Religion, Divorce, and the Missing Culture War in America

Author
MARK A. SMITH
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Political Science Quarterly
Volume
125
Issue Number
1
Publication Date
Spring 2010
Institution
Academy of Political Science
Abstract
In his speech to the Republican National Convention in 1992, Patrick Buchanan seized the pulpit to proclaim that Americans were fighting an intense culture war. This was a struggle “for the soul of America," Buchanan declared, "as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself." Just a year earlier, sociologist James Davison Hunter had written of a culture war waged between those with orthodox and progressive worldviews. With one side believing in a fixed and transcendent authority, and the other invoking human reason as the guide to morality, conflict invariably engulfed a range of political issues. Considering the context of incendiary debates over public funding for the arts, the legality of abortion, civil rights for gays and lesbians, and teaching evolution in public school classrooms, Hunterʼs analysis seemed an accurate description of American politics in the 1980s and 1990s.
Topic
War
Political Geography
America