In a Republican Party currently led by a President who has managed casinos, committed numerous infidelities, and boasted of serial sexual assault, Social Conservatism has gone out of vogue. A couple of causes that come to mind include rising secularism in the country and a backlash to orthodox theology on LGBT issues (I personally hold orthodox Christian views on such issues, though that’s a topic for another day). Still, for a society to be Conservative in any meaningful sense of the word, these issues still matter.
There’s been a couple of big events this week pertaining to Social Issues. First, the annual March for Life took place today in Washington D.C. As several people have pointed out on Twitter, this took place in the context of a government shutdown where Republicans institutionally fought to fund a border wall significantly harder than they’ve ever fought for pro-life initiatives and defunding Planned Parenthood. Nonetheless, the March for Life is an important reminder of just how prevalent the pro-life movement is in our country, even if elites on both sides of the aisle reject it. One quick critiques, though – In a forward looking movement trying to unite pro-lifers of all political orientations, centering the rally around Ben Shapiro and Mike Pence seems questionable.
The other major social debate was around religious liberty issues. I’m not normally anti-elitist, but many cultural elites were expressing dismay at Karen Pence accepting a teaching position at a Christian school that forbids LGBT behavior among students and doesn’t hire LGBT teachers. This is essentially the same policy many Christian schools all across the country to have, and this episode revealed just how out of touch many people are with the day-to-day life of people of faith.