Culture Wars: Then and Now

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(Replies to Nev):

I grew up in a secular household, so I never understood where people were coming from with the religious stuff. And things were pretty bad when I was a kid, as far as people throwing Christianity into your face. About as bad as it is now with Islam, although the crusaders of my childhood were generally non-violent.

Tay and I grew up during America’s last culture war, when people felt threatened by *legitimate* social progress and were trying to impose what essentially amounted to conservative Christian values upon others — even though it wasn’t so simple as religious vs. secular or left vs. right.

Al Gore and his wife — believe it or not — were at the forefront of those who wanted to use government censorship to keep subversive, Satanic ideas from working their way into the minds of young people. The Evangelicals were with him, unsurprisingly. But non-churchgoers and the moderately religious were not.

The same sort of media-driven outrage you see now was going on back then, only they were playing up the divide by stoking outrage over traditional “American” (i.e., conservative) values, even though the media back then was almost as left-wing as it is now.

It was about ratings — for the networks, at least. For the average Joe, it was about religion, and for the politicians, it was about political power. Both the Dems and the GOP wanted to secure their share of thr Evangelical vote, which back then was pretty evenly split.

The crusaders ultimately took it too far. People (especially young people) rebelled — hardcore. The concept of America as a judeo-Christian nation slowly began to die, except in the minds of the Evangelicals.

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