Letter to the Editor: Culture wars are far from over


Michael Barone”s Dec. 19 column is mystifying. He suggests culture wars won”t affect the 2016 campaign, thereby ignoring undercurrents in the debate he mentions most: homosexuality and the push by certain advocates to silence all disagreement over that lifestyle choice. The effort, via legislation or fiat, to criminalize the right to free thought among those who prefer a traditional view of marriage and sexuality is already at a boil.

Recall the outrage when Chick-fil-a, Duck Dynasty, Kirk Cameron, and most recently the Duggard Family of TLC’’s 19 and Counting, expressed support for natural marriage. Recall the forced resignation of Mozilla”s CEO because he’ had made a contribution to California’s Prop 8.

For many on the more militant side of the homosexual community, tolerance is not enough, total endorsement must follow.

A recent example comes from, of all places, Fayetteville, Arkansas. A law passed by the City Council in August required churches, Christian schools, and other para-church ministries to hire homosexuals for “secular” jobs (such as school teachers), allowed men to use women”s restrooms/locker rooms, required Christian businesses to service “same-sex weddings,” and provided for prosecution of those who refused to comply. Only a special referendum by residents prevented the law from taking effect. The story probably didn”t make it to Barone’’s desk, but as long as laws demonizing people who disagree are considered, culture wars will continue, and politicians will be drawn into the fray.

Finally, Barone fails to note that marriage equality cannot stop at homosexual couples. President Barack Obama’’s White House meetings with bisexual representatives to discuss their needs, i.e. marriage, supports that reality. Many people who supported marriage equality are beginning to realize the complexities of redefining marriage in the first place, and
any retraction of that initial enthusiasm will provoke new discussions, like this one — if love is the only criteria for marriage, how do we forbid it to pedophiles?

These issues may be overshadowed by larger concerns –– ISIS, an $18 trillion debt, or another Ebola-like outbreak. But let no one be deceived, the culture wars are far from over.

William Shifflett, Edinburg

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