The PJ Tatler

Why There Will Never Be Peace in the Culture Wars

Good piece (or “smart take” of you’re a Beltway denizen) by Tim Carney today in the Washington Examiner. He looks at how differently the Hobby Lobby case is viewed on the left versus the right.

Christian conservatives think marriage is a sacred bond, tied up with family formation. Christians also believe in the sanctity of life from conception. Secular liberals, Haidt has concluded, hold sacred the plight of the traditionally oppressed — including women and gays.

Feminist Marcotte was explicit about this: “Hobby Lobby is angling to deprive women of their religious liberty to use their own health care plans as they see fit,” she writes in the Daily Beast.

The Pill is not just a pill to them. It has become something holy. And they won’t tolerate any burden between them and their Blessed Sacrament.

The culture war isn’t religious versus secular. It’s a clash of two faiths.

Interestingly, mandate champion Sandra Fluke provides us with a way out: “Your boss shouldn’t be involved in your health care decisions — that’s common sense,” she wrote this week.

The problem is, Fluke doesn’t mean that. Or, she doesn’t mean it in the same way that a conservative would mean it. A conservative would argue that keeping one’s boss out of personal decisions means just that — your life is your business, but you’re on the hook to pick up the tab outside the basic benefits that you and your employer have agreed to. A conservative would argue that because we don’t view corporations as extensions of the government and its social programs. Liberals argue that your boss should just cover the cost for every conceivable lifestyle choice that you might make, because freedom, and because corporations should behave like social welfare programs, not profit-seeking ventures. The conflict here is fundamental. On the left, business owners are not people with their own beliefs and moral values, once they establish a business. Businesses exist, to the left, just to provide “access” to stuff that the left wants them to provide access to.

Leftwing Democrat Sen. Patty Murray said as much on MSNBC today.

Murray casts the Hobby Lobby debate as one governing “access to birth control.” Americans don’t have any problem with “access” to birth control. The contraception mandate wasn’t even written into the text of the Obamacare law at all. The Department of Health and Human Services created it out of nothing, to advance a political wedge issue — the so-called “war on women” — to help out with President Obama’s re-election effort. It was done to create division and motivate the president’s leftwing base. And it worked. It’s still working.

Because of the politics of the mandate, and because of its effectiveness in creating a divisive issue that motivates the left, Carney’s hope for peace in the culture wars will not be reached.

Here’s one rule to make it even simpler: If there’s a serious debate over a religious exemption to a proposed law, the proposed law probably reaches too far into people’s private affairs, and should be scrapped.

By getting government out of people’s lives — how they run their business, whom they love, and what pills they take — we could accomplish peace in the Culture Wars. The question is: Does the Left want peace?

No, they don’t. Or at the very least, they don’t want peace if they believe they can punish their enemies. They will only seek peace when their social issues stances start to cost them elections. And in all likelihood, probably not even then. When they stand down on an issue, as many of them have on gun rights lately, it’s temporary. The tragedy trolls will return to flog that issue the next time they see some advantage.

If the left wanted peace in the culture wars, they would not keep going out of their way to start those wars.

They start those wars to gain advantages. They start those wars to hurt their opponents. Lately they start those wars to break challenges to government power — their own power — such as Christian churches and traditional values. They know what they’re doing and they have no interest in stopping. This gives their opponents some choices: fight back, or surrender.

Too many on the right are comfortable with the latter.

Some people just can’t help being terrible, dishonest and offensive. Being jerks, lying and smearing people, taking stuff from other people, and telling others what to think and how to live — that’s what makes some people tick. Such people — Amanda Marcotte, Sandra Fluke, Barack Obama — will never want peace when war is profitable.