Conservatives, Is the Culture War Worth Fighting?

The War On Equality

I haven’t had much to say here in some time, but the recent sad, though not unexpected, ban on gay marriage in North Carolina got me thinking how crazy it is that there are still people in the 21st century who believe that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry each other (it’s even crazier when I consider that my home country of Canada legalized gay marriage years ago with no negative effects that I’m aware of).

So, with that in mind, I want those Evangelical Christians who may come across my site to consider what the endgame of your so-called “culture war” might be (particularly those of you high up in the Evangelical Army, such as groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, who are fighting on the front lines of this so-called war).

First, I want you to read Rachel Held Evans’ recent article, How to win a culture war and lose a generation. Then I want you to take a good long while to consider the fact that you can only win one of two victories in a war like this:

1) You can either win the political power to write the laws and turn your country into a Christian theocracy

or

2) You can win the hearts of the youth who will eventually (likely a lot sooner than you think) take that political authority from you and make their own laws.

If you win battle number 1 you can control the next generations’ actions for a little while, but you will never have their souls.

My generation, and equally so the next, can already see through your lies and hypocrisy, and history tells us that there’s no way you can win in the long run (seriously, you’d think that American conservatives would have learned their lesson after losing their battle against interracial marriage, but apparently they just don’t get that this is a war they simply can’t win).

Yes, you can resist equality for a time, but today’s religious conservatives are going to look just as bad in tomorrow’s history books as yesterday’s religious conservatives who tried to keep people with different skin colours from marrying one another do now. And, as always, you’ll continue to give us religionless folk a key example of why religion is as negative as we claim it is.

A Better Way

There is another way though. Instead of futilely trying to manipulate people’s minds by making laws against actions that offend your religious sensibilities, perhaps you could try showing some of that grace you claim to believe in. To paraphrase something I recently read, allowing gays to marry will harm traditional marriage about as much as somebody else eating a donut will hurt your diet. It’s time to realize that gay marriage can’t harm you in any way, and it certainly can’t hurt your deity, but showing grace and acceptance towards people who are different than you are might actually win a few hearts (or at least drive them from your ranks a little less quickly).