Columnist Barton Swaim, writing in the Washington Post, asks: The left won the culture war. Will they be merciful?
Swaim takes note that a growing number of religious conservatives “are rethinking their role in American society and politics,” as they concede they’ve lost the fight to have the law and culture reflect their traditionalist views on marriage and sexuality. Increasingly, they now seek, in the words of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “to live faithfully in a world in which we’re going to be a moral exception.”
Many religious social conservatives (albeit with some notable exceptions), writes Swaim:
are determined only to remain who they are and to live as amiably and productively as they can in a culture that doesn’t look like them and doesn’t belong to them. In time, this shift in outlook may bring about a more peaceable public sphere. But that will depend on others — especially the adherents of an ascendant social progressivism — declining to take full advantage of their newfound cultural dominance. I see few signs of that, but I am hopeful all the same.
I’m perhaps less hopeful, given the trope of the progressive LGBT left that social conservatives denied us freedom and liberty and so now it’s our turn to take away theirs (especially when doing so serves the progressive view that “equality” supersedes all other rights). It’s all sadly reminiscent of the many times throughout history when members of a persecuted class have gained cultural and political ascendancy, and then persecuted their former persecutors, often with a vengeance.
And yes, I’m talking about, among other indications of intolerance backed by state power, forcing religiously conservative independent service providers—at risk of paying exorbitant fines and/or being driven out of business—to create gay-messaged wedding cakes and to artfully plan, cater and photograph same-sex weddings.
More. From New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, The Liberal Blind Spot:
“In a column a few weeks ago, I offered ‘a confession of liberal intolerance,’ criticizing my fellow progressives for promoting all kinds of diversity on campuses — except ideological…. Almost every liberal [responding] agreed that I was dead wrong. ‘You don’t diversify with idiots,’ asserted the reader comment on The Times’s website that was most recommended by readers (1,099 of them). Another: Conservatives ‘are narrow-minded and are sure they have the right answers.'”
(hat tip: Walter Olson)
More. Via a Wall Street Journal op-ed, ‘Freedom of Worship’ Isn’t Enough:
One Colorado, a gay-rights group…wanted to amend Colorado’s constitution to define religious freedom as “the ability to engage in religious practices in the privacy of a person’s home or in the privacy of a religious organization’s established place of worship.”
More. Via the New York Post, Evangelical Christians wonder where the hell their power went:
Politically, old guard religious right organizations such as the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition are greatly diminished or gone, and no broadly unifying leader or organization has replaced them. In this year’s presidential race, the social policy issues championed by Christian conservatives are not central, even amid the furor over bathroom access for transgender people. …
“If a homosexual couple comes in and wants a cake, then that’s fine. I mean I’ll do it as long as I’m free to speak my truth to them,” said Slayden, taking a break after the lunchtime rush. “I don’t want to get (to) any point to where I have to say or accept that their belief is the truth.”
The problem, many religious conservatives say, is that government is growing more coercive in many areas bearing on their beliefs. They say some colleges — citing a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that required school groups to accept all comers — are revoking recognition for Christian student clubs because they require their leaders to hold certain beliefs. …
Trump uses rhetoric that has resonance for Christian conservatives who fear their teachings on marriage will soon be outlawed as hate speech. “We’re going to protect Christianity and I can say that,” Trump has said. “I don’t have to be politically correct.”
Progressives think they represent all that is, well, progressive, even as they go about working to deny liberty to others, and then defend themselves citing how conservatives worked to deny them their liberty—as if that then makes it ok to do unto others as they tried to do unto you.