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Times columnist sees ‘changing culture war’

Catholic World News - December 09, 2010

Writing for The New York Times, Ross Douthat sees a shift in America’s cultural divide.

“For a long time, the contours of America’s culture war seemed relatively straightforward,” he writes. “On one side was the country’s growing educated class, who tended to be secular, permissive and favorably disposed to the sexual revolution. On the other side were the social conservatives of middle America — benighted yahoos or virtuous yeomen, depending on your point of view, but either way a less-educated and more pious demographic, with more traditional attitudes on sexuality and family.”

Now, religious believers are more likely to be college graduates, while the less educated are abandoning the institution of marriage. “No religious body seems equipped to play the kind of stabilizing role in the lives of the ‘moderately educated middle’ (let alone among high school dropouts) that the early-20th-century Catholic Church played among the ethnic working class,” he says.

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