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The essay “Punching Down” by Charlotte Allen in the latest issue of First Things raises an important issue overlooked in media coverage of same-sex marriage controversies. In the stories of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to certify same-sex marriage licenses, and florists and other service providers who refused to participate in same-sex weddings, Charlotte uncovers a clear class division. Working-class Christian are targeted by cultural and professional elites. People with advanced degrees and hip attitudes, with automatic support from powerful institutions (free legal representation from the ACLU), mobilize against lone workers and small business owners. To miss this social element in the disputes is to underestimate the force applied to principled Christians—the punching-down factor.

We met with Charlotte in Washington D.C. last month to discuss the issue. Click play below to hear her perceptive thoughts on the class conflict underlying same-sex marriage skirmishes.

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