May 25, 2002
Culture War What is this
What is this thing we call the "Culture War" and why do we seem to be stuck with it?
The Culture War is being promoted on many fronts and by many groups, but let us start with one particularly emotional, stubborn modern issue: why are so many people apoplectic about homosexuality?
Whether one calls them "moral conservatives," the "religious right," or "family values" people -- one thing is clear: their political Mother Lode is an unshakable obsession that society will somehow collapse if people are not made to worry constantly about whether or not certain citizens are placing their private parts into the right orifices.
Naturally, this furnishes an unending supply of fuel for those on the left-wing side of the political spectrum, for emotional "hot-button" issues are their stock in trade. Was it an accident that the modern gay rights movement began largely as an adjunct to the anti-war left? Further, why did it take fundamentalist singer Anita Bryant (who shouted about homosexuality on the cover of Newsweek in order to stop it) to put the gay rights cause indelibly and permanently on the political map?
Largely a reaction against anti-homosexual bigotry, the gay rights movement would be unnecessary in an enlightened society. The gay rights movement and the moral conservatives need each other and help perpetuate each other, just as the Republicans and the Democrats need each other.
Does it strikes you as preposterous that so much of the political agenda in a supposedly enlightened, free country is driven by such considerations as whether or not some people happen to like where certain men's might consent to place their penises?
Ideologues would like to paint this as a war between "traditional values" and modern "moral relativism."
History is forgotten in the process.
posted by Eric on 05.25.02 at 10:45 PM
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