Nap Time is Over for the Dogs of (Culture) War

Approximate Read Time: 4 minutes

“Let sleeping dogs lie” is an adage that dates back to the 13th century according to some historians. Others claim that it goes back further than that, to the Hebrew scriptures. Proverbs 16:17 says, “He that passes by, and meddles with strife belonging not to him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.”

Whether one is tempted to awaken a sleeping dog, or grab a dog by the ears, or, even worse, grab a sleeping dog by the ears, the intent of the phrase is much the same. It is a request for something to remain undiscussed or avoided if addressing it might cause trouble.

We’ve been thinking a lot about sleeping dogs during the past few weeks that we’ve been writing about the current culture war in the U.S. The culture war is a topic that a lot of people would like to avoid. Honestly, we’d like to avoid it too. We’d be content to be in the land of blissful cluelessness and happy thoughts.

the problem is…the culture war is not to be avoided. it is here. and it is growing.

Consider this segment from the PBS News Hour, a U.S. news source known for being centrist and fair, from last Friday, March 24. The segment focuses on an effort to pass Parent’s Rights legislation in the U.S. Congress that gives parents more control over what their children are taught in schools. We aren’t going to comment on the merits of the legislation. We will note, though, that due to the deep divides in Congress and between major political parties, it is not likely to pass and, even if it does, it is likely to be vetoed by President Biden whose party does not support the measure.

What we will do, though, is use this PBS segment to illustrate why we cannot avoid the culture war. That this legislation has risen to be debated at a national level tells us that it has been incubating at the local level for a long time. It didn’t just appear overnight. For decades communities and schools have discussed the role of parents in their children’s education. Some states, communities, and schools have policies in place that give parents greater control and others have more restrictive policies. In fact, may we offer one more illustration of how the culture war has emerged at the local level? As our country and communities become more divided on culture war issues, the more likely it is that change makers will have to address them.

This is why we are offering Preparing for Controversy in the Fog of (Culture) War, our next FREE online seminar. It will be Wednesday, April 19 at 4:00 PM EDT (GMT/UTC-4). Change makers can no longer afford to sleepwalk while the culture war grows.

Sorry, but nap time is over. It’s time to wake up…even if we do awaken the dogs.

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