Yes, there are “cultural wars.” The totalitarian spirit lives, and thrives in the desire to impose rules for living on others. In such a world, it’s good to impose rules on yourself, so when the time comes, you will know what is worth defending. My own “cultural war” rules are:
1. The million multiple rule: judge your actions by the question, “if a million people were to do the same thing, how would society be affected?” Example: changing the meaning of words to suit your agenda. If a million people each changed a word to suit their own personal agenda, and insisted that others agree on the new meaning, what would happen to truth in communicating?
2. Know the difference between compassion and enabling. Mistaken actions that feel compassionate but are really damaging: enabling, appeasing, indulging. Truth is compassionate, empowerment is compassionate, rebuking and chastising can be compassionate, accountability is compassionate.
3. Rehashing old grievances is disempowering. You may feel justified, but no one will ever owe you a living. See #11.
4. If you truly believe in relativism, jump off a tall building holding a sign that says “gravity is just relative.” Some things are just plain true!
5. Expect more of yourself than of others. Hold yourself to much higher standards than you expect of others.
6. What love is, and isn’t. Love is sacrificial action, not feelings.
7. Feelings as a basis for decisions are as substantial and lasting as clouds.
8. Get over yourself and your offenses. If you are offended at any of my rules, that’s my problem how?
9. If you aren’t making the kind of forward progress you expect, look behind you to see what kind of baggage you are dragging.
10. The Bible is my standard for truth. Everyone needs a standard, especially those who don’t think they need a standard. Your senses, inferences and emotions lie.
11. You are not entitled to feel safe. For anyone to be Entitled to feel safe, that necessitates suppression of whatever feels unsafe…to anyone. If you are entitled to something you haven’t earned, then that something has to come from someone who has it. What happens when they don’t want to give it up?
12. Race relations can only improve as individual relationships take precedence over group identities. The formula for making race relations worse? See #1 to 11.
13. “Virtue-signaling” is the root of most of today’s ginned up conflicts. I am not interested in appearing virtuous, nor is it necessary for those who put duty before pleasure. Striving to appear virtuous encourages an individual to cast disagreement as evil rather than a different perspective. If you believe something that makes you feel virtuous, and someone else believes something entirely different, and that means to you that either they are evil and/or deluded, you aren’t virtuous but deluded.