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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Importance of the Cultural War (Updated)

As I wrote yesterday, exercising your First Amendment Rights can have consequences. Phil Robertson, the star of A&E's Duck Dynasty program was "suspended indefinitely" by A&E after making remarks about homosexuality being a sin. In doing so, A&E stated that they stood firmly with the LGBT community. Presuming their actions don't violate a contract, they have a right to do what they did. But it, too, carries consequences. It now looks like A&E may be loosing the most popular television show on cable TV. The other stars of the show have indicated:

The Duck Dynasty stars have issued a statement amid the controversy surrounding family patriarch Phil Robertson's anti-gay remarks. The Robertson clan says they "cannot imagine" the show without him, and that they are "in discussions" with A&E about the future of the series.

"We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible," reads a statement posted on the family's Duck Commander website. "Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family."
 And there is a call on FaceBook to boycott A&E for its decision. So far, it has received 1.4 million likes. As I indicated yesterday, A&E executives may have breached their duties to the company shareholders by terminating Phil Robertson and, thereby, killing their most popular program.

But why should all this matter? Bryan Preston writes:
Wittingly or not, A&E has chosen a side in the culture wars. The network said as much in its statement last night, when it said that it strongly stands with the LGBT community, against a man whose offense was quoting the New Testament. That’s a significant statement, one that Christians should not ignore.

Many on the right have seen the trajectory of the gay rights movement and concluded that it’s wise to surrender on the marriage question to be “on the right side of history.” The lesson of Phil Robertson suggests that once the marriage battle is won, groups like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD will simply move on to a new battlefield. They will not stop. They do not exist to stop. They exist to keep on pushing. The next battlefield may well be codifying the idea they expressed last night, that quoting mainstream Christian beliefs that have been in place for a couple thousand years amounts to hate speech that should be banned.

But discrimination against Christians is perfectly ok.

Unless GLAAD has a theological division, it’s in no place to dictate Christian values. But that won’t stop it from trying. The end game for GLAAD and its allies is among the most intolerant goals possible: They want to drive all Christians and Christian values and ideas from the public square in America. They want to persecute and oppress. They admitted as much when they supported Robertson’s suspension for saying something that they didn’t like.

... Courts have recently clouded the freedom of association, mandating that wedding cake bakers and photographers cannot choose whom they associate with. If they can’t, why can A&E? If A&E can, why can’t the bakers and photographers? Is tolerance just a one-way street now? And if it’s a one-way street, is it really tolerance at all?
There is more to this than gay rights, or the right to kill babies, or all the other perversions supported by the left. Each of these particular issues is merely a stick used to beat Christians. Stepping back, there is the deeper strategy of eliminating Christianity. In July this year, Ed Driscoll quoted the following from an essay by Lee Congdon, professor emeritus of history at James Madison University:

Following Gramsci, Leftists know that Christianity remains the greatest obstacle to their total victory in the culture war. “The civilized world had been thoroughly saturated with Christianity for 2000 years,” the Italian had written; something, he insisted, had to be done about that, and something has. The de-Christianizing of America and the West that he advocated is by now well underway. Inspired by the anti-Christian French Revolutionary calendar, publishers now insist upon the secular “B.C.E.” (Before the “Common Era”-whatever that means) rather than “B.C.” and “C.E.” (the Common Era) rather than “A.D.” Booksellers, popular magazines, and television treat with respect anti-Christian screeds such as The DaVinci Code. Courts, including the Supreme Court, declare most displays of the Decalogue to be “unconstitutional.” The media repeat the mantra according to which Islam is “the religion of peace” (daily evidence to the contrary notwithstanding), find nothing to criticize in Buddhism, and remain “non-judgmental” concerning scientology and other cults, while at the same time they portray Christianity as the religion of “crusaders,” bigots, and yahoos. Members of the Christian clergy have themselves joined in the relentless attack on orthodox Christianity.

Few thoughtful people deny that we are living in a time of decline. Judge Bork entitled one of his books Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. Pat Buchanan recently published The Death of the West. The only question that remains is: Is the decline reversible? There are a few signs of hope, including the much commented upon challenge to the “mainstream” media presented by talk radio, bloggers, and Fox News. That is something, but not enough. Gramsci counseled his side to begin a “long march through the institutions,” by which he meant the capture of the cinema, theater, schools, universities, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and courts. It is past time to begin a long march in a new and better direction.
There is some hope. Although the mainline denominations that have allowed themselves to be carried by the winds and currents of political correctness are on the rocks, certain Christian sects are doing quite well. And this article indicates that Pentecostalism seems to finding a foothold, even in Europe. It is time that Christians learned lessons from the fight over gun rights, namely, compromise does not work with the left because the left does not compromise. There comes a time to say "no more."

Update: Case in point about the futility of compromise with the left--Lockheed Martin pulls donations to the Boy Scouts, notwithstanding they now will admit homosexual boys into the organization, because they continue to exclude homosexual leaders.

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