Why We Can’t Just Get Along

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McGough.jpegIt’s been so hard to get past the culture wars because 1) they involve real differences of belief and principle; and 2) a lot of our politics has come to be structured around them. It is a bit churlish–OK, I’m a bit of a churl–to diss those who, with the best of intentions, are trying to mark out a middle ground for at least some moderate types on either side to occupy. But to imagine that middle-ground positions can, or indeed should, neutralize profound disagreements over the norms that govern abortion and the rights of non-heterosexuals in our society is a mistake.
So the culture wars will continue, in one form or another. And with that in mind, let me recommend A Field Guide to the Culture Wars by Mike McGough, sometime editorial page editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and now a Washington-based editorial writer for the Lost Angeles Times. Hot off the press, the book not only tells you who’s who and what’s what but provides essential context for understanding why. Mike’s one of those old-breed intellectual journalists who combines deep knowledge of religion and law with a love of the daily cut-and-thrust of politics. On a subject that stirs ungodly passions, his is a dispassionate voice of reasoned understanding. So order your copy today.