What was the issue in this film and what are the results of victory/defeat for both sides in the political/religious issues. Today, what is at stake and what continues to be at issue in the politics of religion in the US?
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I think that one thing that is at issue in the politics of religion today is whether the US will be dominated by the more traditional values associated with "the heartland" or by the more "progressive" values of the "coast." (There are surely many people who would like something in between, but they are not generally heard in the conversation.)
There are many people who would like to see the US return to what it was like (we think) in the '50s. This was a time when the country was much more explicitly Christian and when traditional values ruled. My mother swears, for example, that a married teacher of hers in the mid-50s was not allowed to teach while pregnant because it would be a too-obvious reminder of sex.
I don't think that most of the religious right would want us to go that far, but the religious right would like a return to a time when government acknowledged Christianity as the leading religion of the country and when government tended to some degree to enforce traditional values.
Nowadays, there seem to be no limits on what is appropriate to show on TV (Viagra ads by the million, for example) and there is a major reluctance to make any official reference to Christianity.
I think that this is what is at stake in the politics of religion in the US today -- will we stay at one extreme or the other? Will we push farther in the more liberal direction? Will we settle somewhere in the middle?
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