The Atlantic

What a Clash Between Conservatives Reveals

Even if the secular left has no intention of playing fair in the culture wars, that doesn’t erase the Christian imperatives of civility and decency.
Source: Carolyn Kaster / AP

A story commonly told these days on both the left and the right says that American Christians, and especially evangelicals, are solidly behind President Donald Trump. The real story is far more complex, and has led many Christians to some fairly serious soul-searching, and others to ask hard questions about whether we even know what an “evangelical” is. Among Christians, as among so many other Americans, one of the chief effects of the rise of Trump has been to widen some fault lines and expose others that we didn’t even know existed. It is at least possible that some good will come from this exposure.

You can see some of these fault lines opening up in a recent controversy that has greatly occupied many journalists, scholars, and ordinary people who care about the relations between Christianity and conservatism. The controversy began when Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor of the , , “There’s no polite, David French-ian third way around the cultural civil war”—referring to the lawyer, former soldier, and who has often made the case that Christians in the public arena, and since then, the conservative world has been fairly obsessed with adjudicating the dispute.

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