I probably don't need to tell my astute readers that the culture war is entering a new phase. But in case you question this, let me give you a few instances. I see the new phase of the culture war in...
--the move to ban or censure Christian schools who advertise in Jobs for Philosophers if they require their faculty members not to engage in homosexual acts,
--the move to force doctors to participate--at least by referral--in abortion and other culture-war activities like assisted suicide,
--the move in my own town to pass a brand-new ordinance banning "discrimination" on the basis of sexual orientation or "gender identity" (the latter meaning a biological man who "identifies" as a woman must be treated as one in all areas, including the use of public women's restrooms),
--the many punishments under similar ordinances of private businessmen for refusing to produce homosexual advocacy materials, photograph homosexual commitment ceremonies, etc.,
--the move to put all public-school children into "community service" assignments. (I refer to HR 1388. I've had some correspondence with the HSLDA on this act, and they inform me that the section requiring setting up a committee to look into service requirements for everybody [!] has been deleted, but that it still contains a provision requiring public schools to enroll at least 90% of their students into such service programs.)
What do these have in common?
It's pretty obvious, isn't it? They are all to at least some degree totalitarian. The gloves are off. Some of us conservatives dreamed that if we built little islands of sanity, we would be left alone on them to till the soil and plant the seeds for the next generation.
Think again. The left has no intention of leaving anybody alone. Everyone must get with the program. You can't have distinctive schools, medical practices, businesses...
or even families.
In philosophy, I see the Hermes petition as being an expression of, "Who the dickens let them in here, anyway?" Where "them" refers to the Christian philosophers and Christian institutions who, to the alarm of the left, have become more and more respected during the last twenty years. Can't have that.
Now, where else have we seen a group become more mainstream, more respected, and even win their right to be left alone over the last twenty years? In home schooling.
So I'm going to make a connection here: I predict, as part of this new phase of the culture wars, an all-out attack on home schooling in the next five years, probably at the state level but perhaps also at the federal level. Somebody somewhere is certainly saying, as with the Christian philosophers, "Who let them in, anyway?" But the "them" here means all the homeschooled kids whose diplomas are being accepted by colleges and the military, who are going on and making good in life and being treated just like anyone else. And also, "Who let them out, anyway?" "Out" in this case meaning "out" of the attempts to regiment all young minds under a single banner, of which the "community service" requirement is only the latest and most blatant manifestation. The more the left gets absolute control (as if their control weren't already absolute enough) of public-schooled children, the more they will begrudge anyone the chance to opt out.
Fasten your seatbelts. I think the flying is going to get rough.
Oh, and while you're at it: Make friends of your fellow conservatives, and let's all get ready to watch each others' backs.