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How should conservative Christians handle a rapidly changing culture?

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“Today,” said Ted Cruz when the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision came down, “is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.” Which is quite a claim, as that history includes the Battle of Antietam. Some evangelical leaders pronounced it “the downfall of America” (Tony Perkins) and a “nose dive off of the moral diving board into the cesspool of humanity” (Franklin Graham) — a mental image I wish I could unthink.

Suffice it to say that conservative Christians have been lately pondering their relationship to American culture. And not just those who are hysterical for a living. When the court rejected traditional sexual ethics as a permissible basis for laws defining marriage, many conservative believers felt a cultural milestone had been reached.

It had once been plausible — though not necessarily accurate — for conservative Christians to regard themselves as part of a “moral majority” in which traditional Judeo-Christian views were broadly shared. That is no longer minimally credible on issues of the family and sexual ethics. And the change in self-perception among some believers has been jarring.

In an essay in Christianity Today, “The Power of Our Weakness,” my co-author, Peter Wehner, and I explore this altered landscape. The manner in which conservative Christians navigate their journey away from outdated notions of a “Christian America” will have much to say about the quality of our public life in the actual America.

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