I’d like to offer another perspective–perhaps a way to bring together rather than separate. This is what I thought of when I thought about culture wars.
There once was an old woman. She loved the Lord and tried to do what he wanted. Most would have counted her as a conservative; she was pro-life and voted Republican because of it. She attended Church every week. She wasn’t special.
She and her husband had a house with a big room downstairs. They decided to build a guest bedroom. But when it was finished, one day she looked at that room and said, “I wonder who it’s for?” She asked the deacon at church if there was anyone who needed a place to stay. He said not to worry, someone would come.
Within a week or so, she heard from a friend that there was a homeless woman about to give birth who need a place to stay. She and her husband went to meet her. She was a black African immigrant, with no family, who had been working in adult home care. When she got pregnant she could no longer do the work.
It was agreed that she should move in. She came cautiously. No one in her community could believe that anything like this could happen. But move in she did. There was soon a parade of African visitors. They would stare as they walked by and say only God can do this. And so it was.
The old woman learned about all the ways of government subsidy–food stamps, WIC, subsidized housing, DSHS, medicaid. She was both impressed and horrified by what she saw.
Over time, the old woman and the young one became like mother and daughter. The little baby became her granddaughter. They shared faith together, and learned from one another, but mostly the old from the new: what it was to grow up poor in Africa.
The young woman moved into a section 8 apartment with her daughter.
Then one day the young woman became sick. It got worse and worse. The young woman was afraid. She had no one to take care of her, she thought. But the old woman said, “We will take care of you no matter what.
The old woman stayed by her side in the hospital. The staff, mostly African themselves, would say, “Why is she doing this?” The nurses and doctors would ask, “How are you related?” And the old woman would say, “What, don’t we look alike?”
Finally the doctors determined that the young woman had cancer. The old woman said she should move in with them again. She couldn’t do otherwise, she couldn’t let her go through this alone.
This time it was different. They really were family. They would talk and talk and talk, they would pray and read the Bible and sing. And the old woman would sit and talk to the African visitors too, and pray with them, because they were now her friends too.
The pastor said to her one day, “Do you realize what you have done? You have broken racial barriers, social barriers, economic barriers, all barriers.” And the old woman was embarrassed. She said, “I have done nothing special. Anyone can do this." And so it is.
The story has not ended yet. But it has gone far enough to make my point. When Christian values are fully lived there will be no culture war.