Conservatives Lost the Culture War, in a Biblical Parallel

Conservatives Lost the Culture War, in a Biblical Parallel. By Josiah Lippincott.

Immigration, trade, war, and crime. Being right on these four issues propelled Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016 against all odds. The intervening seven years have changed nothing. …

The Paul Ryan strategy of calling for lower taxes and deregulation is yesterday’s failure. Voters don’t have enough skin in that game to care. Calling for entitlement reform, i.e, cuts to social security and medicare, is political suicide. And as the 2022 midterms showed, campaigning on social issues like abortion is also a losing gambit. …

Christianity has been forced into irrelevance as we increasingly turn away from our old God and our old morality:

COVID-19 made the weakness of American Christianity painfully clear. …

Virtually no one today cares what the pope or any megachurch pastor, for that matter, has to say about political and cultural life. Their endorsements do not move the needle and their influence has had little to no bearing, even on their own flocks, when it comes to preserving the older standards of Christian morality and decency.

Since 1933, the American Right has posted loss after loss in the culture war. From blasphemy laws to pornography, school prayer to abortion, gay marriage to biological men using women’s bathrooms, conservatives and Christians have suffered a nearly unmitigated series of losses. …

The modern pastor wants little more than to issue platitudes and collect the tithe.

The vague admonitions to “have faith” and “follow Christ” that pepper the Sunday morning pastoral exhortations from America’s pulpits generally lack any practical core. America’s pastors, with few exceptions, shy away from fighting for the faith they supposedly love. They lack the sternness and fidelity of their forebears. Compare a St. Augustine to a Pope Francis or a Martin Luther to a David French. Our Christian forebears had iron in their souls. The modern pastor is generally soft.

We live in a country where the president says it is antisemitic to ban trans surgery for minors. And yet you will strain yourself trying to hear any priest or pastor say a word in response. Millions of Americans are hurting, desperately confused about their very identity and sexual impulses, and the leaders of the churches have almost nothing to say. Nonessential workers indeed.

America is awash in men’s groups, Bible studies, discipleship training, women’s seminars, and worship conferences. Yet divorce is through the roof, abortion is common, and homosexuality lauded from the very centers of American financial and political power. …

Pope Francis, just like John MacArthur, agrees with the leftist view of racism. And Tim Keller, just like Pope Francis, lauds mass immigration. On the most prominent liberal issues of our day there is total agreement among the leaders of the West’s supposedly different Christian denominations. …

The new religion rules now:

There is not a single Fortune 500 company in America, not one, that would denounce transgender surgery for minors.

Those institutions shape the public consciousness in a way social conservatives simply cannot. Manufactured consent is real and all around us. A large portion of Americans simply accept whatever their televisions and cellphones tell them to believe no matter how perverted, wrong, or harmful. Even many of those who do not agree with it, at least bow to the moral consensus. Think of all those many millions who got vaccinated, not because they wanted to, but because their “job required it” or because they couldn’t “travel without it.”

The idea that large numbers of Americans are going to “wake up” and “push back” is simply a cope. That’s not how popular opinion works. The idea that Americans are going to see transgenderism as a bridge too far is, I think, much overhyped. I remember the gay marriage “debates,” such as they were. I remember Prop 8 passing in 2008 in California. I also remember how none of these setbacks for the Left ultimately had any bearing in the end. By 2015, gay marriage was the law of the land. Today it is untouchable liberal orthodoxy supported by a majority of Americans, including large numbers of “conservatives.”

Deploying more 10,000-word essays on teleology and the new natural law isn’t going to solve the social issue problem either. Millions of Americans didn’t start shoving dildos in orifices, guzzling sex change hormones, and consuming billions of hours of pornography a year because they read an article or heard an argument. These sexual and social perversions spring from a much deeper source, one that isn’t going to be solved by policy wrangling in D.C. think tanks.

The spiritual crisis that afflicts the West runs far deeper than most social conservatives want to admit. They don’t understand how bad things really are, which is why they stand around, mouths agape, as they try to figure out what a “furry” is or why U.S. military officers dress up in leather “pup play” fetish gear while they sodomize each other in uniform and then post photos to social media.

In light of our ongoing moral and spiritual crisis, I fully expect that the Bud Light/Dylan Mulvaney controversy is merely a blip that will soon pass. In the 1990s Ikea ran the world’s first commercial featuring a gay couple. In 2022, Ikea was valued at $17 billion. Go woke, go broke? Sure.

Power flows from the barrel of a gun, or the willingness to use it, culturally speaking:

The Matt Walsh’s of the world won’t want to hear this, but trying to fight the Left on gender with desiccated Socratic arguments (“What is a woman?”) is a losing battle. Owning liberals with facts and logic is mostly a waste of time. Political power doesn’t flow from scoring debate points in the “free marketplace of ideas.” It comes from the willingness to impose one’s beliefs on others and possessing the resources to do so.

All morality requires enforcement.

The Left implicitly understands that point. They are more than happy to crush their opponents. Just ask Donald Trump, John Eastman, Douglas Mackey, or any of the January 6 defendants. …

At some point, every political regime must put its foot down. Some people think cannibalism is wrong, others think that it is right. If the former are to prevail politically they must be willing to use force against the latter. In the end, this is what morality requires. This is what morality is.

Conservatives and Christians today simply lack the force of will to impose their social morality on the Left. That is why they lose cultural battles and the Left wins. Conservatives aren’t even willing to mock their enemies. If you want to make “respectable” social conservatives and Christians uncomfortable, call a prostitute a “whore” in their presence. Mock OnlyFans as a den of “sluts.” Express deep revulsion at sodomy. Watch them writhe in psychic pain.

Such firm moral condemnation, I am frequently told, is “judge-y” and “un-Christian.” “We” need to “watch our tone” as “we” seek to “draw others to the faith.” As their flock comes under attack from wolves, the shepherds condemn those who would fight back. There are many such cases. …


Trump showed that even in our degraded moral culture, a huge percentage of Americans still want the nation to survive. They don’t hate themselves despite all the propaganda to which they’ve been subjected. The old pre-World War II conservative consensus in favor of protectionism, non-intervention, and immigration restrictions is still enormously popular.

This reminds me of a story, in the Bible.

The Jews of Egypt were the people chosen by a God. Then they escaped from slavery in Egypt, and were led by Moses to the promised land, which they soon conquered, by around 1200 BC. In return, their God required them to follow his teachings. His first commandment was “You shall have no other gods before me.”

The story of the Bible is that for several hundred years God’s people at first happily obeyed but then started back-siding, cutting corners, not obeying his strictures, and even indulging in a bit of worshiping other Gods, such as Baal. The God was patient and rewarded the penitent, but it wasn’t enough, especially as even the Jewish Kings were sometimes prominent back-sliders.

The more the people disobeyed him, the more God punished them with disasters. They stubbornly didn’t seem to get the hint. Around 730 BC, Assyria conquered the northern part of promised land and dispersed 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel into other parts of the Assyrian Empire — they were never heard of again (the “lost tribes”).

Yet still the remaining people of Judea stayed on what God regarded as an immoral path, so worse came. Around 600 BC the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and dragged off its ruling and professional class into exile in Babylon, where they remained until 538 BC when they were released to go back to Jerusalem. A very dramatic punishment for a nation.

Is there anything in this story for modern times? Perhaps. Consider the time scales — of hundreds of years of increasing immorality punished increasingly harshly, culminating in the complete destruction of Israel.

The western world, led by the US, was a promised land for humans from 1800 to the late 1900s, finally breaking the Malthusian limit and most everyone always having enough to eat for the first time ever. Technology made our lives so much better than our ancestors, a life of comparative luxury and good health.

But the people are turning away from their Christian past, their Christian heritage, and the Christian God that helped them get to the promised land.

Baal is back. Transgenderism anyone?

But there is more to the Bible story. 500 years after the Babylonian punishment, Jesus Christ started the Christian Church. Initially persecuted by the immoral tyranny of the day, the Roman Empire, the Christians eventually went on to conquer the Roman Empire — which officially adopted Christianity as its official religion after about three hundred years. The Church is the only organization able to withstand and conquer a tyranny. That ability is written in its DNA, even if not in a generation of soft, acquiescent pastors. Which is hwy the hard left always go after the Christian Church first.

But, again, note the time scales. We could be in a civilizational descent for a long, long while yet.