A Millennial Response to “Cultural Conservatives Have Barely Begun to Fight”

by Anna Maria Hoffman

Yesterday, David French penned a great article in National Review called “Cultural Conservatives Have Barely Begun to Fight”, which addresses many of the issues we cover here at Counter Cultured. This article is a response to Rod Dreher’s “The Accidental Benedict Option” at The American Conservative, which suggests that Christians should retreat from American culture and instead focus on building up the Church to inspire others to live a better life. Dreher is a prominent cultural conservative, but David French is right. Dreher’s advocacy of “strategic withdrawal” suggests weakness.

In his article, French rightfully explains that the theological base is strong but social conservative grassroots efforts are not entirely strong. It is true that churches more in accordance with tradition are growing while mainline, progressive churches are rapidly losing membership. That is surely a sign that people, regardless of which denomination they are part of, prefer churches that are true to the core of Christianity in general. That is good news. It makes sense because liberal ideas and the tenets of Christianity do not naturally go in sync, as liberalism rejects tradition, the value of human life, and subsidiarity. Liberalism sees government, not God, as the ultimate authority.

French is right to assert that the social conservative grassroots movement has had some successes, such as Hobby Lobby’s legal victory and the success of American Sniper, but has not yet begun to fight for its beliefs strongly as liberals have done so on their issues. From my own experiences in conservative politics these past five years, this is one of the biggest problems the conservative movement faces today. Two problems are prevalent here: passivity and lack of strategy. Passivity comes from folks who are in the fight but are either too exhausted to keep up the fight or prefer not to do much because they are motivated to continue this advocacy for money and power. The latter is a sad and unfortunate truth many people refuse to discuss. In addition, a lack of strategy has been most evident due to the amount of cultural battles we keep losing to the Left, most noticeably on marriage. It keeps on persisting because many folks prefer to stick to old ways of cultural advocacy that do not involve savvy digital media strategies and the power of young people. The Democrat Party has taken advantage of these things when it comes to furthering its social policy goals.

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