Culture War: Abortion, School Prayer And Gay Marriages
The culture war is still happening today over many issues, and the result of this war has caused America to be diverse. The conflict between groups with different ideologies, beliefs, and values are the cause of the culture war. The groups that come to mind in this situation are liberals and conservatives. Liberals tend to be democrats in which they believe in liberty, equality before the law, and they believe the government should always be active in politics. Conservatives are Republicans and they usually favor traditional concepts and they are cautious about change in certain things such as religion or politics. The culture war has been around since as far as the Civil War and it is still around today. People in America usually associate themselves on one side as either democrat or republican, and because of that, there are continuous arguments on certain topics between these groups causing America to be split into two. America is a culture war because of the states, people resort to the state for laws to be put into place because they are more likely to get their beliefs heard at the state level over the national level. When people have strong beliefs about a topic and result to state legislation being passed, it causes people to become angry and result to not visiting that state, not doing business in that state, or associating with people in that state. Traditional beliefs cause people to come together in groups where they have the same beliefs, and people with non-traditional beliefs consider themselves independent and they do not need to bond with social groups who have the same beliefs as them. Some common debates that are popular consist of abortion, gay rights, and prayer in public schools. This paper will be discussing why there is still a culture war, the different viewpoints on certain topics from these groups, and why it has caused America to remain diverse.
Abortion is a top debate in American society. Debates between Democrats and Republicans can be crucial because Democrats tend to support abortion, whereas, republicans do not. Most of the culture war deals with the states. When the Roe v Wade case was concluded in 1973, which stated that women have the right to get an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment. People had many different opinions about this case, and they wanted to have their opinions heard. People today tend to result their opinions to the state level rather than the national level because they feel their opinions will be heard at the state level. Many states such as Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, Kentucky, and Missouri all have some type of legislation of banning abortion. Most of these state’s are in the south and that is where the culture comes in because many southern states tend to be very religious and have strong views on the meaning of life when it comes to abortion. States in the east, west, and north tend to support abortion rights and have not put any ban on abortion. Abortion is put into two categories such as pro-life and pro-choice. People that are pro-choice tend to be Republican and they have their beliefs about abortion due to their religious views. People that are pro-life tend to be Democrat where they support abortion rights and believe every woman should have the right to an abortion and they should be treated equal in that situation. The society today is diverse on this debate topic because pro-choice members and pro-life members do not get along regarding their views. In a study on abortion activists, it was shown that pro-choice activists women share no common premises and very little conversation with antiabortion activist women (Mouw & Sobel, 2001). The Strengths in this study are that women are expressing their own opinions on abortion and standing up for what the belief in. They also protest and do anything to make their voice heard. The weaknesses of this study are that women are going against each other because of their political views of abortion and they bash each other’s views which results in more conflict and even violence. In conclusion of this study, it is seen that regardless of the opinions of the pro-choice and pro-life women, they equally care about the value and importance of motherhood.
School prayer is another top debate in American society. The separation of church and state is still liable today. Schools are run by the state and religion should not interfere with schools. Schools are intended to educate students and for them to focus on their education, therefore, religion debates in school takes students’ focus away from education and they focus on defending their views rather than learning. Students can pray in school, but it is required they do it in private and not make a scene of it. There are many religions in the United States and the culture divide is that Christians want god back in schools, but the other religions believe that their views matter and Christianity is not superior to other religions. Religion is about conformity and people believe that if other’s do not abide by the rules of god then they are going to hell, and then there’s individuality which is where religions express their own beliefs and express that they are independent and they believe what they want to believe regardless of what other people say. People argue that school prayer should be allowed because everyone has the right to express their religion regardless of what setting they are in, and other people argue that it should not be allowed because it violates the concept of separation of church and state and that school is for education and not religion. They also believe it should not be allowed because other religions attend the same school as Christians, and it would just start a religious debate between different religions and their views. People argue that the pledge of allegiance should not be allowed in schools because it concentrates on Christianity and other religions may not believe in the same god as Christians do. Other’s argue that the pledge of allegiance should be allowed but if certain people do not believe in that, then they could sit down and not participate. According to a study, the question should school prayer be prohibited was asked, and 28% said yes while 72% said no. These results showed that the people who said no believed anyone has the right to express their religion and that voluntary prayer should always be allowed. The people who said yes believe that it interferes with other religions and their views and that it causes a distraction from student’s learning and distracts the teachers from teaching. The strength of this study is that people care about religion and want to maintain a healthy environment in schools. The weakness is that people are continuing to become diverse in their opinions because religion has always been a top debate in politics. In conclusion to this study, overall, people want different religious views to be respected regardless of what they are. Even though people may not agree on certain things regarding religion, everyone acknowledges that freedom of religion is in the constitution and must be respected.
The last top debate in the culture war is gay rights. Gay rights have been a crucial debate because there are so many people that do not accept it. Today, gay marriage is legal and gay couples can marry whoever they chose. There have been some situations regarding gay rights that have happened in America such as businesses declining services to people who are gay and when this happens, people who witness it tend to be mad about it and say they will no longer come to the business because of discrimination. Laws have been put into place that prohibits discrimination in any place in the public. Laws in place regarding gay rights helps with reducing the chance of discrimination happening. Many people support gay rights because they believe that it is a person’s choice to do what they want in their life and people believe that if they are not bothering anyone then they do not care. Other people have the traditional beliefs and believe that god created a man and a woman to get married and love each other, and do not want that to change. In a study conducted in 2003, it shows that 58% of Americans opposed gay marriage and did not want it legal, and 33% of Americans favored gay marriage and wanted to keep it legal because it is their choice to get married. Later, in 2017, the same study was conducted and 49% supported gay marriage while 44% did not. The strength in this study is that more people became more accepting of gay rights and gay marriage. The weakness in this study is that there was not that much of a decline in the percentage of people who opposed gay marriage. Another weakness was that the same study was conducted 14 years apart. Overall, more people have become accepting of gay rights and have accepted that gay people can live their life the way they chose, and they can love whoever they want.
The culture war still exists today, and America is still diverse in many debate topics. Americans are diverse because of their beliefs and values. Beliefs and values are very important to people and because of the political debates on topics, it causes people to fight with others, it causes violence in some cases, and it tears Americans apart. Social media also plays a big role in American diversity because it is the place where people express their views the most. Overall, Americans are diverse in politics, religion, and other things all because of their beliefs.
- Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics. (2018, September 24). Retrieved from https://www.people-press.org/2013/03/20/growing-support-for-gay-marriage-changed-minds-and-changing-demographics/.
- Mouw, T., & Sobel, M. E. (2001). Culture Wars and Opinion Polarization: The Case of Abortion. American Journal of Sociology, 106(4), 913. https://doi-org.proxy.longwood.edu/10.1086/32029
- Should school prayer be prohibited? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.debate.org/opinions/should-school-prayer-be-prohibited.