http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PeoplesCrusadeMassacre.jpg

Is the culture war over?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PeoplesCrusadeMassacre.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PeoplesCrusadeMassacre.jpg

If so, the paynim have won. New Jersey's now got same-sex marriage, with GOP presidential wannabe Chris Christie throwing in the towel. Marijuana dispensaries are open in more and more states, and for the first time most Americans are cool with that.

While the needle on abortion is stuck pretty much where it's always been, there will soon be more Nones than Catholics, which doesn't bode well for the pro-life camp.

Assessing the situation, the culture warrior who used to head the Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Richard Land, told the Wall Street Journal the other day that the leadership of his denomination was "divided into those who think the culture war is lost; those who are weary and want it over; and those who think they are losing the war but feel victory is still possible." Putting himself in the last group, Land declared, "We are like where Britain was in 1940, under heavy attack but still not defeated."

If Land is hoping for Spitfires to reverse the tide, he knows he's not got one in his successor Russell Moore, who is urging church leaders to be "winsome, kind and empathetic." Winsome is not a word that leaped to mind when Land was in the saddle. Moore's approach, like Pope Francis', is geared toward relating to the wide world as a friendly interlocutor. Francis meets with atheist editors. Moore has coffee with pro-gay pastors.

Sticking with World War II analogies, the alternative is the Hitler's bunker approach: Secularists are attacking from the West! Muslims from the East! Let's barricade ourselves in our churches -- or maybe in Texas and Oklahoma and Kansas -- with our guns and our Bibles and our laws against Sharia law.

After the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell in 1187, it took another century for the Crusaders to lose their last stronghold in the Holy Land. Culture wars don't end quickly.

If so, the paynim have won. New Jersey's now got same-sex marriage, with GOP presidential wannabe Chris Christie throwing in the towel. Marijuana dispensaries are open in more and more states, and for the first time most Americans are cool with that.

While the needle on abortion is stuck pretty much where it's always been, there will soon be more Nones than Catholics, which doesn't bode well for the pro-life camp.

Assessing the situation, the culture warrior who used to head the Southern Baptists' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Richard Land, told the Wall Street Journal the other day that the leadership of his denomination was "divided into those who think the culture war is lost; those who are weary and want it over; and those who think they are losing the war but feel victory is still possible." Putting himself in the last group, Land declared, "We are like where Britain was in 1940, under heavy attack but still not defeated."

If Land is hoping for Spitfires to reverse the tide, he knows he's not got one in his successor Russell Moore, who is urging church leaders to be "winsome, kind and empathetic." Winsome is not a word that leaped to mind when Land was in the saddle. Moore's approach, like Pope Francis', is geared toward relating to the wide world as a friendly interlocutor. Francis meets with atheist editors. Moore has coffee with pro-gay pastors.

Sticking with World War II analogies, the alternative is the Hitler's bunker approach: Secularists are attacking from the West! Muslims from the East! Let's barricade ourselves in our churches -- or maybe in Texas and Oklahoma and Kansas -- with our guns and our Bibles and our laws against Sharia law.

After the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell in 1187, it took another century for the Crusaders to lose their last stronghold in the Holy Land. Culture wars don't end quickly.

Update: Russell Moore backs and fills.