The Culture War has been with us for a very long time. My own view is that it started in 1933 when the Humanist Manifesto, drawn up by young Unitarian ministers, declared war on orthodox Triune Christianity. The Manifesto’s most significant statement regarding religion was the Thirteenth, which reads:
Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.
In other words, since 1933, the purpose of humanism has been the takeover and reform of other people’s religions in order to conform those religions to humanist ideals and goals. That is why the humanists have insisted on investing homosexuals with high positions in Trinitarian churches. That is where the Culture War is being fought with greatest ferocity, even if it means destroying an old and venerable denomination.
Gay men and women already have a church that welcomes their full participation. It is the Unitarian Church. So why must they force themselves down the throats of believers who hold that homosexuality is a sin? Because the very existence of that point of view, held by millions of Christians, is an affront to their way of life.
A Personal Declaration of War
Unitarianism, which was born at Harvard University in the late 18 th century, has been at war with Calvinism ever since. The Unitarians rejected the divinity of Christ and instead invested humanity with divinity. All of us were born with the divine spark, and therefore Jesus was no more divine than the rest of us.
Man was not innately depraved, as Calvin taught. According to the Unitarians, man was basically good and even morally perfectible. All he needed was a good secular education. The university library replaced the church as the means of salvation. As Humanist Manifesto II, published in 1973, states:
We believe…that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species….[W]e can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know, humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.
While most of the 35 men who signed the first Manifesto were Unitarian ministers, some were educators like John Dewey and historians like Harry Elmer Barnes. The second Manifesto was signed by 261 individuals, including such luminaries as science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, Francis Crick (co-discoverer of DNA), Alan F. Guttmacher (of Planned Parenthood), Sidney Hook (socialist philosopher), Lester Mondale (brother of Walter), B. F. Skinner (eminent Harvard psychologist, founder of “behaviorism”), James Farmer (pacifist and civil rights activist), feminist Betty Friedan, Sol Gordon (of values clarification fame), Sir Julian Huxley (former head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization – UNESCO), Gunnar Myrdal (Swedish liberal economist), A. Philip Randolph (black socialist and leader of AFL-CIO), and others.
In other words, the Culture War was declared by real, live human beings who were convinced that the days of traditional orthodox religion were over, and that the new dawn of humanism was about to break over the horizon, making men and women rational, scientific, atheistic, or in search of spiritual alternatives in Eastern religion, paganism, and witchcraft.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the humanist millennium: a Christian revival began to take hold of the American people. People wanted salvation through Christ, not the public school. They wanted forgiveness of sin, and they wanted the promise of eternal life after death, none of which the humanists could offer.
The trauma of 9/11 has also had its impact on the Culture War. In fact, we can safely say that the great victory the Republicans achieved in the election of 11/2 has served notice on the humanists and atheists that God is not dead. He is very much alive, and spoke through the millions of Americans who went to the polls and rejected gay marriage, abortion, humanism in the schools, and the anti-Christian elite.
The Culture War, of course, is by no means over. Abortion on demand is still legal. The public schools are still in the hands of the humanist left. The gay agenda is still being promoted. But the war against Islamic terrorism has brought Americans to the stark realization that without a strong Christian faith, that war will not be won.
R. J. Rushdoony summed up what the Culture War was all about in his seminal book The Messianic Character of American Education, when he wrote:
A realistic appraisal of our time requires recognition of this grim fact: chaos is the goal of contemporary human endeavor. Chaos is thus not a threat but an objective. For those who believe that liberty is the concomitant of law and of order, the answer rests clearly upon man to accept, instead of the genetic fallacy, the sovereignty of the ontological trinity, God the sovereign creator and redeemer.
The Culture War is between Christianity and chaos. On November 2, 2004, the American people rejected the chaos of gay marriage, abortion, and a humanism that inevitably brings chaos to every aspect of human life.
In the war in Iraq, we see our soldiers in humble prayer before going into battle. They pray for God’s protection while they carry out their mission to protect America. Their willingness to die for their country is what makes their sacrifice sacred to us all. Of late, some of the news programs have been listing the soldiers who have fallen in battle. Is it not interesting that they generally come from the small towns in fly-over country, the red states that voted against chaos?
The humanists are at a loss to understand what hit them on 11/2. But they still control the mass media, the universities, the cultural institutions, the public schools. Which means, that while we are winning the Culture War, we still have a long way to go before we can claim ultimate victory.
- Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Samuel L. Blumenfeld (1927–2015), a former Chalcedon staffer, authored a number of books on education, including NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, How to Tutor, Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers, and Homeschooling: A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Children.
He spent much of his career investigating the decline in American literacy, the reasons for the high rate of learning disabilities in American children, the reasons behind the American educational establishment’s support for sex and drug education, and the school system's refusal to use either intensive phonics in reading instruction and memorization in mathematics instruction. He lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad and was internationally recognized as an expert in intensive, systematic phonics. His writings appeared in such diverse publications as Home School Digest, Reason, Education Digest, Boston Magazine, Vital Speeches of the Day, Practical Homeschooling, Esquire, and many others.