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America's Cultural War
Pastor Jack Hoffman ©2004

In the past couple of weeks, the so-called “culture war” has come into hi-resolution definition as never before. Previously some didn’t understand what was happening in our land, it was kind of blurred, foggy and difficult for them to see. Now, suddenly the haze has lifted and right before our eyes in crystal clarity and in plainly defined terms the battle lines are being drawn. Several key events have occurred that have helped bring into the limelight two distinctly different ideologies, or shall we shall moralities, around which the conflict is ensuing. This conflict is so intense and its stakes so high that the very existence of our nation, at least as we have know it, is ultimately at risk. The “culture war” was accelerated by the following three high-octane incidents and it will only prove to burn hotter and more intense in the days to come. The incidents were: the distasteful and lewd Super Bowl half time show, the mayor of San Francisco issuing marriage certificates for same-sex couples and the releasing of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ and the ensuing media uproar.

Much like a flare lights up the darkened battlefield as it drifts lazily down below its parachute, so these three events have illuminated the immense internal malady of America. Interestingly these events have helped reveal the deep division that exists here, and by opening up the old wound, laid bare the infection below the surface. The odd coincidence of them all happening within a few weeks of one another in February may not be so much an accident, as it is in the Providence of God. The Sovereign Lord, who reigns above all, may be allowing us to wake up before we slumber into oblivion.

First of all, the Janet Jackson episode during the half time show brought into national attention what everyone has been so aware of for so long, but simply have been lulled into accepting. “Just turn the channel” has been the mantra of the libertines for so long and it has been too widely and well received. The sad truth is that even with more and more channels, we are finding less and less to turn to that doesn’t feature nudity, profanity, love of drugs, coarse and profane discussion, gratuitous violence and the promotion of alternate and evil life-styles. So the garment was ripped away before millions and millions of children who were watching with their parents not expecting to see a strip show. The result was that finally the sensitivity of so many of us was resuscitated by the shocking jolt of in-your-face indecency. The liberal media is laughing and making fun of the proceedings in Washington, and the fact that many broadcasters and executives are lining up before Congress and starting to clean up their act. But it isn’t censorship, it is more like the effects of a nasty stomach flu, we are just starting to regurgitate part of what has been making us sick for so long. And you know that once you throw it up, you always feel a whole lot better.

Then, there is the issue of same-sex marriages. The attempt to redefine the institution that was created by God and has remained solvent and created stability for society after society for thousands of years. The actions of militant homosexuals are the logical outcome of several decades of pro-gay propaganda, successful waged in our media and entertainment venues. People were conned several decades ago into thinking that what homosexuals and lesbians did in the privacy of their bedrooms wouldn’t hurt or affect the rest of us. Then it became cute and fashionable to present this perverted way of living as normal and even as humorous in so many sit-coms and movies. Out of the closet and into our homes via television and on to flaunting their licentiousness at family theme parks and national parades. Then using the smoke screen of civil rights to compare their desire for “equality” (as though anyone was denying them the right to be the way they chose) to that of the African American. This is a whole different issue, but those who understand that are never given the time or national podium to debate, rather are dismissed as homophobic and bigots. So the agenda was pushed, more and more benefits were acquired. But rather than being satisfied with being left alone, or even accepted, the militants now want to ram their way of life down the American throat by trying to dignify their abnormal and deviant living by solemnizing it with a definition of legal marriage. As bad as all that is, and as plain as it illustrates the difference between that which has served mankind for millenniums and that which will help shred the fabric of our societies normalcy; there is even more ilk.

When a mayor of a city in our nation decides that he or she can ignore the law of the land, and simply issue decrees and dictate policy in violation of that law, we are on the verge of anarchy. What we see happening in places like Haiti should serve as warnings of what tragedy anarchy brings to a people. But, to make it even worse, the Supreme Court of California won’t even order a stay to the issuing of those licenses in San Francisco. We have long suspected that the courts want to dictate policy and promote agenda rather than enforce. Well now you can see it taking place. The attorney general of California didn’t need to go to the Supreme Court to ask them to do the chief law enforcement official’s job; it should have been done without hesitation. Those breaking the law should have been arrested and the practice stopped immediately. Anarchy is just around the next bend. Then to top it all, our President openly states that we need a constitutional amendment to define marriage as it has been since the beginning of time, as a man and a woman in legal union. And what do we find? Many of our legislators and elected representatives cannot even decide to stand for right. In several state legislative bodies, liberal individuals who represent the side of the “cultural war” that is opposed to Judeo-Christian ethics or principles and tradition are blocking even the discussion of the issue. The lines are being drawn; watch what side of the battlefield your senator or congressman toes up to.

Finally The Passion of The Christ has been so hotly debated. Secularists, most who didn’t even see the film, have denounced it as anti-Semitic and violent. They have personally vilified the producer/director Mel Gibson. But all the hype is once again an attempt to camouflage what is really happening here. On one side of the arena are those who do not want any discourse or reference made to religion, particularly to the religion of Christianity. The cross of Christ offends them because it confronts them with their sin and rebellion against a holy God. So they reject it and try to bury it in rhetoric, lies and misrepresentations. They will not be honest with themselves or with those they wish to influence. It is this same Jesus that does and will divide asunder. On the other side of the arena are those, like this author, who have pledged their allegiance to the Christ and who will not let the culture swallow them up like so much quicksand. With our tickets and support we are sending a clear message in this battle, that we will not continue to be silent while our nation, and our faith, is being denigrated and our Savior is once again being maligned by the secular elitists who hold power and try to control thinking.

The war is being waged and it is going to be a long and costly one. The enemy gained a beachhead, and is advancing toward the stronghold. The very fiber of our being, our history, tradition, faith and families are in the balance. This is not a time to be giving up. This is not a time to be having petty in-family quarrels. This is a time to stand united in our core beliefs about what is really important in our society and wag the war with courage and boldness. It is time to stay the course. If we do have to watch our nation dissolve and sink into an immoral cesspool, let’s be the ones that refuse to leap in for the swim. Keep your garments spotless pilgrim; it’s going to get really dirty on this battlefield.