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SPOTLIGHT REPORT

The Culture Wars have heated up in our country and in Austin


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Photo: texas Freedom NetworkPhoto: Church
The recent controversy over an Alabama Supreme Court justice who refused to remove a monument to the ten commandments may seem like a long way from Austin, Texas. But Austin has seen it's share of battles between the religious right and those labeled as "secular liberals."

Photo: Sam Smoot"The fact that the United States of America is one of the most religious and one of the most religiously diverse countries on the planet is evidence that our constitution welcomes and encourages religious life precisely because it says that the government will not be involved in supporting one religion or another," said Sam Smoot of the Texas Freedom Network.

"I think we need to keep the separation between church and state strong...and I think that idea is really under attack right now."

Smoot says she has seen a rise in the political power of the religious right and a rise in the belief that there ought to be government support for a certain type of Christianity.

Photo: Marvin Olasky"(Madison wrote) that having a diversity of views is actually very helpful because no one group is powerful enough to take control," said Marvin Olasky, author of Compassionate Conservatism.

"That's the fear that a lot of Christians have right now that in fact because of secular liberal dominance in a couple of very influential spheres of society namely the media -- but that's less than it used to be -- and academia and that's still very strong."

Both acknowledge that a cultural war is going on with controversy over many social questions one hot button issue is whether gay couples should be allowed to marry.

Olasky says he doesn't think there's a concerted effort by American Christians to silence other voices or to overpower other religions. Smoot thinks there is a movement to make huge political and social changes in this country and that the very notion of separation of church and state is what's at stake.

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