Are the Culture Wars Over? Have We Lost?

 

ChorusMany people look around our culture and society and see utter destruction. They see grade-schoolers being taught that the gay-sex drug PrEP is just peachy. They see kids being taught there is this thing called anal sex. Seventh graders in my local school system hear it 22 times—not 21, not 23, 22 times in a single year. It is for safety reasons, you dolt.

Kids can access the hardest of hard-core porn on the iPhones that they ought not to have. Most of what they are watching is prosecutable under federal law that has been adjudicated by the Supreme Court; but no one has done anything like that since the Reagan Administration.

In your place of employment, they are passing around gay propaganda; and there is nothing you can do about it. A lady who works for Alaska Airlines was canned because she asked if it was a good idea for her company to so vigorously support the Equality Act which will have the effect of making Christians second class citizens.

Most of the Fortune 500 score a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. To get a perfect score, a corporation must agree to every jot and tittle of the gay agenda, including insurance coverage for the lopping off of otherwise healthy breasts and penises, and going along with the strange sexual kabuki of “trans men” and “trans women.”

This started long ago, going on sixty years. They took prayer out of public schools. There was no groundswell of support for such a thing. In fact, when the Supreme Court struck down the Regent’s Prayer in New York, newspapers from coast to coast condemned the decision. The next year they struck down Bible reading in public schools. The Supreme Court said the government must be neutral in religious matters and the only way it could be neutral was to come down on the side of—get this—secularism, which even then meant without God, without religion. That was when the Federal Government took a side in the Culture Wars against us.

What followed? Hell followed.

A few years later, they said contraception was a Constitutional right for married couples. Not long after, contraception became a right for singles. Then came a right to abortion. Then a right to sodomy. Then a right to homosexual marriage. And they say we are obsessed with sex!

Want to know what we lost all across this land? Consider that as late as the 1950s, fornication was illegal in at least 38 states. Adultery was illegal in all but five states. Sodomy was illegal in all the states. Even seduction was considered both a tort and a crime. And contraception was forbidden in most places. Each of these laws reflected fundamental aspects of traditional Christian teaching.

And what has replaced these fundamental Christian teachings? The teachings of a new faith, a new Established Church. After all, where kids once prayed and read the Bible, they are now forced to recite “proper pronouns” and to believe that kids can be born into the wrong body.

The Pelvic Left laughs at us when we say there is a Culture War going on. They say we are paranoid conspiracy mongers. This is nothing less than gaslighting by those holding the whip hand. Make no mistake, the Culture War is real. It is a war of aggression by the progressive Left against the Christian people. For our part, it is a defensive war, and therefore it is not only a just war, but it is mandatory that we fight.

Sadly, young Christians laugh, too. They think the Culture Wars are so 1980s, so Jerry Falwell, and we ought to get over it and get to building little pockets of Christian orthodoxy in the woods of New Hampshire, or in the reclaimed gritty blocks of Pittsburgh. And hats off to them! But they ought to know the Culture Wars are coming for them even in the New Hampshire woods and in the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

The Culture Wars are real. You may not believe in the Culture Wars, but the Culture Wars most assuredly believe in you, and most especially your children. Recall the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus singing about how they are coming for our kids. They claimed later they were just kidding, or something. Do you believe them?

I see the exact same things as the defeatist conservatives. I have written about these atrocities for the better part of 25 years. What’s more, I have acted. My group has played a key role in stopping the Pelvic Left at the UN. They want a global right to abortion, and we have stopped them. They want to redefine the family, and we have stopped them. They want “sexual orientation and gender identity” as a new category of nondiscrimination in international law, and we have stopped them. We have gone up against all the powers of the earth and stopped them.

Sure, the Pelvic Left has the upper hand. They command the heights of power. So what! As my boss at Fortune magazine used to say, “If it was easy, they wouldn’t need [expletive deleted] like us.” T.S. Eliot said there are no lost causes because there are no gained causes. The fight that started in the Garden is not going to end any time soon, not until Jesus Christ himself comes down on a cloud. In the meantime, the fighting is good. It’s just. What’s more, it’s kind of fun. And as that great Culture Warrior Richard John Neuhaus used to say in bleak times, “We can turn this around.”

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    AustinRuse: And as that great Culture Warrior Richard John Neuhaus used to say in bleak times, “We can turn this around.”

    What’s that old saying?  “No general ever won a battle by surrendering.”  Damn straight we can turn this around!

    The culture war is not over, but we ground troops need a Patton-like leader to rally behind.  Trump was that leader, but the full-court press by the MSM, never-Trumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans who resign their offices took its toll – not to mention the Wuhan Flu.

    I can see a Trump/DeSantis ticket in 2024 . . .

    • #1
  2. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    “Is there not a cause?”

    • #2
  3. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The battles will not be over until they marginalize all that disagree with them.  Sadly we are heading that way faster than expected.  Not sure why the Right surrendered the battle but it did.  Now we just have to watch the ever quickening ride into oblivion.  

    • #3
  4. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Was it OVER when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?  No!

    Social conservatives promote values that sustainable.   If the new values are sustained, they will be become the new conservative values.  If they are not sustained, then conservatives have won.  Thus, in the long run, social conservatives will win the culture war, but today’s social conservatives might not like the win.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Welcome to Ricochet, Austin.

    • #5
  6. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Was it OVER when the Germans Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? No!

    Social conservatives promote values that sustainable. If the new values are sustained, they will be become the new conservative values. If they are not sustained, then conservatives have won. Thus, in the long run, social conservatives will win the culture war, but today’s social conservatives might not like the win.

    FIFY

     

    • #6
  7. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    AustinRuse: Kids can access the hardest of hard-core porn on the iPhones that they ought not to have.

    If I had school age kids, I wouldn’t allow them a smart phone.  A flip phone, maybe, for emergencies.  Though I seem to have made it alright without a cell phone at all.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Juliana (View Comment):
    FIFY

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Stad (View Comment):

    The culture war is not over, but we ground troops need a Patton-like leader to rally behind.  Trump was that leader, but the full-court press by the MSM, never-Trumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans who resign their offices took its toll – not to mention the Wuhan Flu.

    I can see a Trump/DeSantis ticket in 2024 . . .

    A major problem with Trump as a culture war leader is that his personal history is less than exemplary.  On the other hand, his habit of defiance was refreshing.

    The crux is not whether confused people should be allowed a zone of personal freedom to act on these “identity” issues but whether the rest of us are required to approve and applaud.  I don’t mind Jenner donning a dress and finding a surgeon willing to mutilate him.  What I mind is the expectation that I regard this as positive and brave and that I concur in his decision.

    The left has succeeded in conflating Americans’ almost instinctive desire to grant each other as much liberty to act on our beliefs and desires as possible with a mandate to believe that adherence to the “normal” is a hate crime because it precludes automatic endorsement of perversion and self-destructive undertakings.  Presumably, Lou is not really free to be Louise unless all of the rest of us are willing to help him pick out his first dress.

    By its nature, the left does not give a rat’s a$$ for the well-being of actual, individual people (look how fast cis-female feminists have been knocked off the ideological victims’ pecking order and trashed for not cheering male competitors in girls’ sports and men in the ladies room).  That is the vulnerable port on the death star that we ultimately need to exploit.

     

     

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    The culture war is not over, but we ground troops need a Patton-like leader to rally behind. Trump was that leader, but the full-court press by the MSM, never-Trumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans who resign their offices took its toll – not to mention the Wuhan Flu.

    I can see a Trump/DeSantis ticket in 2024 . . .

    A major problem with Trump as a culture war leader is that his personal history is less than exemplary. On the other hand, his habit of defiance was refreshing.

    The crux is not whether confused people should be allowed a zone of personal freedom to act on these “identity” issues but whether the rest of us are required to approve and applaud. I don’t mind Jenner donning a dress and finding a surgeon willing to mutilate him. What I mind is the expectation that I regard this as positive and brave and that I concur in his decision.

    The left has succeeded in conflating Americans’ almost instinctive desire to grant each other as much liberty to act on our beliefs and desires as possible with a mandate to believe that adherence to the “normal” is a hate crime because it precludes automatic endorsement of perversion and self-destructive undertakings. Presumably, Lou is not really free to be Louise unless all of the rest of us are willing to help him pick out his first dress.

    By its nature, the left does not give a rat’s a$$ for the well-being of actual, individual people (look how fast cis-female feminists have been knocked off the ideological victims’ pecking order and trashed for not cheering male competitors in girls’ sports and men in the ladies room). That is the vulnerable port on the death star that we ultimately need to exploit.

    My hypothesis is that it is precisely the sort of tolerant attitude that you express which has led to the massive increase in the prevalence of sexual deviance.  Isn’t it analogous to a team that wants to play defense, but won’t play offense?

    • #10
  11. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    FIFY

    sorry – I am just very literal and have never seen Animal House

    • #11
  12. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Juliana (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    FIFY

    sorry – I am just very literal and have never seen Animal House

    It’s worth the effort.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Juliana (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    FIFY

    sorry – I am just very literal and have never seen Animal House

    No need to apologize. I was merely bringing the cultural referent to your attention.

    • #13
  14. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    My hypothesis is that it is precisely the sort of tolerant attitude that you express which has led to the massive increase in the prevalence of sexual deviance.  Isn’t it analogous to a team that wants to play defense, but won’t play offense?

    The “tolerant attitude” is less a cause and more of a consequence.  It is almost as if the entire western world woke up one morning and decided to admit they no longer really believe the animating religious principles of their civilization and that they have just been going through the motions for decades.  There is then no energy to act to protect moral standards and save souls if it no longer seems to matter. 

    • #14
  15. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    There is only 2 things we can do but it requires republican politicians to do the one thing they hate to do.  Something.

    So the only path to even just creating a space for existence requires going hard at employers under EO law, and the ability to bid on state contracts, prosecuting employers for fraudulant misrepresentation of being EO employers.

    Start running EO seminars and develop a network of labor attorneys with at minimum free cease and desist nasty grams.

     

    That is the only ace we have left.

    • #15
  16. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    There is only 2 things we can do but it requires republican politicians to do the one thing they hate to do. Something.

    So the only path to even just creating a space for existence requires going hard at employers under EO law, and the ability to bid on state contracts, prosecuting employers for fraudulant misrepresentation of being EO employers.

    Start running EO seminars and develop a network of labor attorneys with at minimum free cease and desist nasty grams.

     

    That is the only ace we have left.

    I don’t understand this.  I’m opposed in principle to EO law.  I can’t imagine suing someone under its auspices.

    • #16
  17. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Is this post still on the feeds?

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Is this post still on the feeds?

    Yes. Try the Load More Posts button at the bottom of the Member Feed.

    • #18
  19. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mr. Ruse, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see your name attached this post on Ricochet where I’ve been a member since 2010. Welcome! I make it a point to read whatever your write at CRISIS Magazine (you and Anthony Esolen).

    A month or so ago, I hurried to finish your book, Under Siege: No Finer Time to Be a Faithful Catholic, before Mass so that I could hand it off to our very young, faithful pastor. It turned out the deacon gave the homily that day and it was so aligned with your book, I was propelled by the Holy Spirit to the front of the sanctuary after Mass where he was preparing the altar for the next Mass, and said to him, “I thought I was giving this book to Fr. Jim, but it’s very clearly intended for you, Deacon.” He called me the next day and thanked me profusely and expressed his admiration for your message. I asked him to hand it off to Fr. Jim when he was finished with it.

    A couple weeks later, Fr. Jim caught me after Mass where his homily spoke to your message and he said to me, “Can you tell I’ve been reading Austin’s book??” Yes, I could tell.

    I have since bought a second copy of your book and plan to read it again (I have it with me at Hillsdale College this week where we’re meeting with other Ricochet members for a CCA on the election). The final chapters dealing with modern day saints were so inspirational, it’s a message I needed to absorb again. Everyone needs it in these challenging times.

    I believe you’re doing important work — the Lord’s work. Many blessings and thanks to you, sir.

    P.S. There’s a Ricochet Catholics group open to all. We’d love to see you there, as well.

     

    • #19
  20. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Was it OVER when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!

    I like it this way.  It could be a John Belushi reference or a prediction of what Joe Biden will say in his remarks on the eightieth anniversary of the event, 12/7/21. Either way, it’s delicious.

    • #20
  21. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Stad (View Comment):
    The culture war is not over, but we ground troops need a Patton-like leader to rally behind.  Trump was that leader, but the full-court press by the MSM, never-Trumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans who resign their offices took its toll – not to mention the Wuhan Flu.

    I guess it’s a lack of imagination on my part.  I have a hard time picturing Donald Trump leading a crusade for chastity and sexual purity.  That strikes me as likely as a 1970’s Dean Martin leading a crusade against alcohol.

    • #21
  22. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Oh wow, is Austin Ruse now a columnist here on Ricochet or a member?  Or perhaps neither and the moderators saw it in their wisdom to posted this marvelous article. I read this originally when it was published in Crises magazine. I was overwhelmed on how spot on it was and expressed many of my thoughts. I was considering putting a post together for Ricochet quoting key parts. I am grateful it has been posted for all to read.
    The only place I would quibble is in the optimism at the end. I’ve stopped being optimistic about our culture. The rot will continue for the foreseeable future. Gay marriage is not getting overturned. Abortion isn’t going away. I doubt many mass conversions to real Christianity is going to occur in my lifetime. I don’t think we have stopped sinking into the slime and I can’t see a change to western society’s decline. Only through God will it be possible. I pray for it to happen.

    • #22
  23. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    The culture war is not over, but we ground troops need a Patton-like leader to rally behind. Trump was that leader, but the full-court press by the MSM, never-Trumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans who resign their offices took its toll – not to mention the Wuhan Flu.

    I guess it’s a lack of imagination on my part. I have a hard time picturing Donald Trump leading a crusade for chastity and sexual purity. That strikes me as likely as a 1970’s Dean Martin leading a crusade against alcohol.

    I agree. As positive as a leader Trump was in fighting the left, he was not that good in promoting moral values. I agree. 

    • #23
  24. Mikescapes Member
    Mikescapes
    @Mikescapes

    OLD BATHOS: “The crux is not whether confused people should be allowed a zone of personal freedom to act on these “identity” issues but whether the rest of us are required to approve and applaud.  I don’t mind Jenner donning a dress and finding a surgeon willing to mutilate him.  What I mind is the expectation that I regard this as positive and brave and that I concur in his decision.”

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    My hypothesis is that it is precisely the sort of tolerant attitude that you express which has led to the massive increase in the prevalence of sexual deviance.  Isn’t it analogous to a team that wants to play defense, but won’t play offense?

    The tolerant attitude referred to by Old Bathos is liberty. This inclination of Americans to live and let live derives from the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is at the heart of tolerance. How much tolerance is too much? Not always such an easy question to answer. My guess is that when a lifestyle encroaches on your liberties it’s a good place to start. 

    I agree that encouraging the freak show isn’t such a good idea. Encouragement comes in different forms. It’s one thing to say X can become XY. Another to tolerate X using XY’s bathroom in grammar school. In such a case we who find this intolerable can act: protest, promote legislation, go to court, vote the school board of ed. out of office, etc. But in other situations we are helpless. How do you protest a gay couple having children when they have the right to marry. It may bother me that the kids they raise are likely to become gay themselves, thus creating a larger gay world, but my hands are tied, by law and pop customs emerging from a mindless society.

    Bathos resents (and I join him) the effort to push bizarre behavior down out throats. Those who enable it have the upper hand at the moment. You can speak out if you’ve got the balls, but look out for the catcalls of racist, homophobe, Nazi, and worst of all privileged white guy. 

    There are too many examples of those responsible for the deterioration of America so I’ll end here. But I am far more pessimistic than both you and Old Bathos. I/m/o, we have lost the culture wars for the foreseeable future. Those in power who agree with you don’t know how to turn things around. And even if they did the will to act is weak.

     

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Manny (View Comment):
    Oh wow, is Austin Ruse now a columnist here on Ricochet or a member?  Or perhaps neither and the moderators saw it in their wisdom to posted this marvelous article.

    It says he’s a Reagan Member. If TPTB (not the volunteer moderators, who have no such power) had added him, it would be as a contributor. He must be supporting the site.

    • #25
  26. Austin Ruse Reagan
    Austin Ruse
    @AustinRuse

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mr. Ruse, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see your name attached this post on Ricochet where I’ve been a member since 2010. Welcome! I make it a point to read whatever your write at CRISIS Magazine (you and Anthony Esolen).

    A month or so ago, I hurried to finish your book, Under Siege: No Finer Time to Be a Faithful Catholic, before Mass so that I could hand it off to our very young, faithful pastor. It turned out the deacon gave the homily that day and it was so aligned with your book, I was propelled by the Holy Spirit to the front of the sanctuary after Mass where he was preparing the altar for the next Mass, and said to him, “I thought I was giving this book to Fr. Jim, but it’s very clearly intended for you, Deacon.” He called me the next day and thanked me profusely and expressed his admiration for your message. I asked him to hand it off to Fr. Jim when he was finished with it.

    A couple weeks later, Fr. Jim caught me after Mass where his homily spoke to your message and he said to me, “Can you tell I’ve been reading Austin’s book??” Yes, I could tell.

    I have since bought a second copy of your book and plan to read it again (I have it with me at Hillsdale College this week where we’re meeting with other Ricochet members for a CCA on the election). The final chapters dealing with modern day saints were so inspirational, it’s a message I needed to absorb again. Everyone needs it in these challenging times.

    I believe you’re doing important work — the Lord’s work. Many blessings and thanks to you, sir.

    P.S. There’s a Ricochet Catholics group open to all. We’d love to see you there, as well.

     

    Wow…how very lovely. I am so grateful. I am new in these parts and glad to find the sympatico!!! Feel free to pass along austinruse@c-fam.org to your priest and deacon…

     

    • #26
  27. Austin Ruse Reagan
    Austin Ruse
    @AustinRuse

    Manny (View Comment):

    Oh wow, is Austin Ruse now a columnist here on Ricochet or a member? Or perhaps neither and the moderators saw it in their wisdom to posted this marvelous article. I read this originally when it was published in Crises magazine. I was overwhelmed on how spot on it was and expressed many of my thoughts. I was considering putting a post together for Ricochet quoting key parts. I am grateful it has been posted for all to read.
    The only place I would quibble is in the optimism at the end. I’ve stopped being optimistic about our culture. The rot will continue for the foreseeable future. Gay marriage is not getting overturned. Abortion isn’t going away. I doubt many mass conversions to real Christianity is going to occur in my lifetime. I don’t think we have stopped sinking into the slime and I can’t see a change to western society’s decline. Only through God will it be possible. I pray for it to happen.

    Many thanks for your kind words. Yes I just became a member and crossposted this from Crisis!

     

    All the best,

    Austin 

    • #27
  28. Austin Ruse Reagan
    Austin Ruse
    @AustinRuse

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    Oh wow, is Austin Ruse now a columnist here on Ricochet or a member? Or perhaps neither and the moderators saw it in their wisdom to posted this marvelous article.

    It says he’s a Reagan Member. If TPTB (not the volunteer moderators, who have no such power) had added him, it would be as a contributor. He must be supporting the site.

    I am supporting the site. I am brand new. Thanks for the welcome

     

    • #28
  29. Austin Ruse Reagan
    Austin Ruse
    @AustinRuse

    Thanks to all for the lovely welcome. Much appreciated. 

    • #29
  30. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    Oh wow, is Austin Ruse now a columnist here on Ricochet or a member? Or perhaps neither and the moderators saw it in their wisdom to posted this marvelous article.

    It says he’s a Reagan Member. If TPTB (not the volunteer moderators, who have no such power) had added him, it would be as a contributor. He must be supporting the site.

    Thanks. 

    • #30