Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America

Synopsis

A riveting account of how Christian fundamentalists, Orthodox Jews, and conservative Catholics have joined forces in a battle against their progressive counterparts for control of American secular culture.

Excerpt

A European friend of mine recendy observed that Americans typically conduct their lives in private and with little controversy. He did not mean to deny that such issues as abortion, gay rights, funding for the arts, women's rights, child-care policy, church and state litigation, multiculturalism, and court-packing are followed in the press and even debated passionately among American families, friends, and coworkers. But, my friend asked, do these culture wars have practical relevance for them? The answer will no doubt become more apparent to him as his stay in the United States lengthens. Eventually, he will see that these issues frequently seem abstract to people only until a part of their own lives intersects an issue of the culture war: a daughter or a friend wants an abortion, a marriage ends in divorce, a cousin comes out of the closet, the local school teaches values they deeply disagree with, they can't find decent day care for their kids, art at a local gallery is censored, a local activist burns the American flag at an antiwar rally. All of a sudden, what had long been confined to the abstract becomes very real. Not only their passions but their very life commitments are drawn into a public controversy much larger than their personal troubles--controversies that seem to have a life of their own. As we will see, the contemporary culture war touches virtually all Americans; nearly everyone has stories to tell.

The idea of a culture war taking place in America will be familiar to some; the term has of late become a topic of conversation in certain . . .

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