At his TAC blog today, Rod Dreher has posted on a variety of culture-war topics, resulting in the usual outcries from the usual sorts of people who believe in tolerance and the fair exchange of ideas until a conservative shows up and starts talking, at which point they believe in only tolerating that conservative when that conservative agrees with them.
Okay, I kid. But only slightly.
First, Rod posted about Russia's response to the "gay rights" movement. While going out of his way to say that he thinks the law forbidding gay "propaganda" goes too far from a Western perspective and that he rejects any and all violence toward gays or anybody else for any reason, Rod still said the unforgivable--that, you know, historically speaking, Christians would be more comfortable with the idea that we shouldn't be shoving gay propaganda at minors in public than with the American idea that kids absolutely must be taught how to have gay sex with lessons that begin in their fifth-to-eighth grade classrooms (go here for a .pdf of the proposed Common Core sex ed standards if you can stand it). In other words, Rod was making the point that the West, including America, is very much post-Christian and is openly hostile to Christian values especially about sexual morality, and that anybody who doesn't realize that or realize how odd it sounds when we hear Russia--Russia!--standing up for, say, the right of children to be raised by a mother and a father instead of any assorted pair regardless of gender hasn't been paying attention; that is, this stuff sounds odd to Western Christian ears because we long ago gave up on the idea of our government and its institutions being anything but godless, secular, and utterly hostile to our values. Meanwhile in the former locus of godless Communism...cue the "Twilight Zone" theme song.
In a couple of more recent posts, Rod has written about the cluelessness of a parent who can't quite bring himself to teach his daughter his own moral values, and about the State of California and its rush to pass "Make women everywhere feel totally unsafe in public bathrooms, changing areas, gyms etc." laws otherwise known as transgender rights bills. Because the right of a five-foot-two-inch tall female to use the bathroom without having men enter that bathroom and say they are transgender (whether or not they actually are, which is a separate question) does not exist, and it's bigoted of her to want it to. I predict that those posts, which still have fairly small numbers of comments, will end up being 50+ comment threads because so few people can bring themselves to promote sanity or common sense without having to qualify that impulse by a million expressions of politically-correct ideologies designed to minimize the impact of any actual sanity or common sense.
Sometimes, the Catholic blogosphere seems like a nice, quiet little echo chamber where people can sit back and discuss parenting styles, homeschooling vs. traditional schooling, and liturgical minutiae--and don't get me wrong, it's nice that we have this quiet space for discussion of things the rest of the world doesn't seem to be concerned about. But there really is a culture war out there, and sooner or later, we're going to have to start paying attention to it--and get ready to fight.