Is the culture war heating up?
"Crusading for a Christian nation," says a front-page headline on today's Chicago Tribune. "Christian conservatives, energized by the spiritual revival brought on by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, [are campaigning] to post the 10 Commandments in public buildings throughout the country," writes Dahleen Glanton. "The biblical laws, which some Christians insist should be established as American doctrine, have become a weapon in a long-standing battle to erase the line separating church and state."
Say what? A long-standing battle to erase the line separating church and state? Establish the 10 Commandments as American doctrine? Says who? Not the main supporters of the Ten Commandments movement, which argue for acknowledging the Decalogue as a foundation for understanding other American documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. As Stephen Carter wrote in a recent Christianity Today column, "One thing for which America has traditionally stood—although the dominant culture seeks to deny this simple truth—is that moral obligation flows from a source greater than the self. If we ban from our public places all acknowledgments of this part of America's history, we reinforce the already overwhelming cultural message that our moral obligations (other than tolerance, of course) are only those we choose for ourselves."
Glanton ignores this crucial aspect of the Commandments battles, but it's not out of space concerns. She has plenty of space to slam Christians in other ways. For example, she notes the recent Barna study showing church attendance has returned to normal levels. And somehow she weaves in conservative Christian attitudes toward Islam. "For many devout ...1