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FIRST-PERSON: Why I write so much about the culture

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- Through the years I have on occasion been asked why I choose to address issues of a social and political nature in my writing. In my new role as the Louisiana Baptist Convention's liaison to the Louisiana Legislature, the question has changed, but only slightly. I'm now asked why I am willing to invest my time rubbing elbows with elected officials. The short answer to both questions is I want to make a difference.

The longer answer to the questions ultimately arrives at the same conclusion. But the lengthier answer does seek to provide some rationale for my willingness to tackle cultural issues that some would not touch with a proverbial 10-foot pole.

The focus in my writing and with the Louisiana Legislature is on ideas and issues, and not on individuals. I seek to address policies and laws that will not only impact our culture, but will ultimately shape the attitudes of society.

Some contend that morality cannot be legislated. That view is not only misguided, but it is naive. All of our laws and policies are rooted in morality. Even an attempt to be amoral is a moral position. The question is not whether or not morality be legislated. The real question is: Whose morality will be enshrined in law and policy?

Over the last four to five decades, activists possessing a liberal view of morality have sought to influence law and policy in the United States. As a result, many issues once deemed purely moral in nature have been pushed into the political arena.

Allow me to explain what I mean by "activists." Activism consists of organized efforts to promote, impede or direct social and political change. It can take on a variety of forms: letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, lobbying, boycotts, rallies, street marches and strikes. But the activist's goal is to impose his or her morality on society.

As a result issues such as abortion, homosexuality, poverty, animal rights and the environment, all have been politicized. And because politics has the tendency to incite controversy, many believe the followers of Christ should avoid the subjects altogether.


There is a scene from "Hoosiers," one of my favorite movies, that I believe adequately sums up the reality of some of our friends on the Left. It also shows why retreating from moral issues that have been politicized is simply not an option.

In the film Gene Hackman plays basketball coach Norman Dale. Dale has been hired as the new high school basketball coach in Hickory, Ind.

When Coach Dale arrives in Hickory, basketball practice already has begun under the direction of a local man name George. Dale feels he needs to take control of the situation so he tells George, "First of all, let's be real friendly here, okay? My name is Norm. Second, your coaching days are over."

George, who takes basketball very seriously takes umbrage to the coach's remarks and replies, "Look, mister, there's two kinds of dumb. A guy that get's naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and a guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kind of forced to deal with."

Many activists on the Left are like the guy in George's analogy that invades his living room. They really cannot be ignored. Now, I am not saying that activists are dumb. They are anything but dumb. What I am saying is they have invaded the living room of society and are pushing to normalize many behaviors that are aberrant.

If we avoid the moral issues that have been politicized, then all we are doing is surrendering what we believe. We are allowing another view of morality -- or even immorality -- to shape the future of our society. This is something I am unwilling to do.


At the very least, when I write or address legislative issues I want people to realize there are rational people who hold traditional, biblical views on these issues. Ultimately, I hope to change minds. In lieu of that, I hope to at least make people think about the positions they hold.

If time reveals all I have really done was impede the encroachment of darkness as it slowly engulfed society, then in the end I hope I still made a difference, even if only in one person's life.

Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention's office of public affairs, and editor of the Baptist Message, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( and in your email (

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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