Don’t Believe We’re Losing the Culture War

The New York Times editorial board wants us to believe we are losing the culture war, but do they have evidence?

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Under the headline, “The Tide of the Culture War Shifts,” The New York Times Editorial Board writes,

Not long ago, it would have been unusual for a Democratic senatorial candidate in Iowa to run a powerful abortion-rights television ad like the one recently broadcast by Representative Bruce Braley.

The ad lists in detail the anti-abortion positions taken by Mr. Braley’s Republican opponent, Joni Ernst. In the State Senate, the ad says, she sponsored a “personhood” amendment (declaring a fertilized egg to be a person) that would have the effect of outlawing abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and would also ban many common forms of birth control. Ms. Ernst is even shown saying at a debate that she favors criminal punishment for doctors who perform abortions; the ad describes her position as “radical.”

Ms. Ernst’s personhood ideas, shared by at least five other Republican candidates for United States Senate this year, have been radical for years. What’s new is that Democrats are increasingly willing to say so. For years they were cowed by the religious right into changing the subject when abortion or birth control or same-sex marriage came up. But now, increasingly assured that public opinion supports their positions, Democrats have become more aggressive in challenging Republicans about their beliefs.

I fully admit that this kind of evidence would be in line with a real shift in opinion on the part of the populace. Maybe there has been some shift. But then again, we’ve also seen amazing pro-life victories in the legislatures of some states.

[See also, “How to Fight Back in the Culture War: One Man’s Example.”]

What seems to be missing from this analysis, however, is an acknowledgment that the Democrats are desperate to bring out their base in this election. There are indications that they are going to lose and lose big. There is reason to hope that the Republicans might capture the Senate.

So yes Democrats are being more brazen and open about their views, but that might be a sign of retreat, not expansion. They are appealing to a smaller group of people because they have given up on the rest.

We need to continue to watch and pray that hearts will be changed, and to work for that end. The decline of Christianity could lead to the situation that the New York Times Editorial Board want us to believe is here already.

But the war is not over yet, not by a long shot.