Yet, despite the demographic power of evangelicals, they are largely marginalised from the media and education. The writer Jay Nordlinger might be correct when he says that ‘all conservatives are bilingual – we have to be. (We speak liberal and conservative.) But liberals tend to be monolingual – they don’t need to speak our languages, or to know much about us at all.’ Indeed, if you are a secular progressive or liberal secularist, it is possible to live in a society that comports to your world view. If you are an evangelical Christian, it is not that easy.
Evangelicals have managed to capture a large segment of the Republican Party, but in other areas of culture they are forced to conform to the norms of society as defined by secular progressives. Take, for example, the most elite universities in the US. The leadership and faculty, when taken as a whole, largely reject the truth claims of Christianity or, at the very least, do not see Christianity as a useful system of belief to help shape campus and intellectual life. Evangelical student groups have been asked to leave campus because of their views on a host of social issues. Today, I would venture to guess, it is virtually impossible for a scholar who is pro-life, believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, or does not fully embrace a progressive view of human history, to land a teaching post at one of these universities. Evangelical faculty and graduate students, in order to make it, must learn to keep quiet about the way that faith informs their understanding of the world. This kind of compartmentalising is not always a bad thing, but it is a reality.
Whether it be academia, popular entertainment, or some other sector of culture, secular progressivism is a real threat to evangelical Christian values. Christian culture warriors are often sloppy and usually inconsistent in the way that they apply Christian faith to public life, but not all of them are crazy. They are astute observers of modern culture who represent the values and fears of a significant portion of Americans. And, as long as secular progressives continue to remain intolerant about the deeply held religious convictions of these Christians, and refuse to understand them as part of a larger conversation about national identity and the common good, it will be difficult for US democracy to move forward.