Pete Riehm
Has Bud Light tipped the culture war?
By Pete Riehm
April 18, 2023

There always has been and will be some form of culture war. We are only aware of the current incarnation of the culture war in the sense of the last few decades of our collective experience as a relatively new nation. But since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden, there has always been someone or some group claiming to know better, denying there are any timeless truths, and insisting everything is relative. People will always disagree about how to live and what’s best, but the culture wars persist because some groups will demand everyone else approve and even endorse their prescriptions for living.

The United States of America became the greatest experiment in liberty, because it was founded and settled by generations of pilgrims and pioneers seeking only the right to worship as they please. With steadfast determination and rugged individualism, they conquered a continent and built a new nation dedicated to preserving and protecting freedom. They were successful because they were devoted to the axioms of the Bible with clear unambiguous understanding of right and wrong. God blessed America with abundance and relative security.

American progressives will howl that it’s the traditional values of average Americans that’s been tyrannically imposed on all. As a super majority country of Christians for centuries, the USA was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and natural law enshrined in our Constitution to protect the God-given rights of every American. While most Americans for most of our history have pretty much lived by their Christian values, there have always been those advocating and living outside those widely accepted and proven norms. While those radicals lived outside the mainstream and were often ostracized, they still generally enjoyed the freedom to dissent and aggravate the majority.

Americans largely subscribe to “live and let live,” so Americans tend to congregate with like minded people in churches and communities. While we commonly debate the proper role of government, culture war disagreements are mostly about morality or more specifically vices. Some abstain from alcohol and tobacco while others indulge, but that issue came to head with prohibition. The Temperance Movement slowly grew throughout the 19th Century until the Eighteenth Amendment outlawing the manufacture and sale of alcohol passed both houses in 1917 and was ratified by three fourths of states in 1920. So from 1920 until it’s repeal in 1933, the consumption of alcohol was illegal in America.

It's fascinating and hard to imagine that a nation, that held such high strict moral standards, in less than a century is moving rapidly to legalize all manner of substance use. Prohibition was an apparent overreach, but the ravages of alcohol abuse are still real and more powerful mind-altering substances are demonstrably more destructive as we witness epidemic addiction and drug deaths. We disagree on what substances are immoral, but we can’t escape the devasting harm of substance abuse. It damages individuals, families, and society. So it’s a legitimate debate, at what point should government draw the line to protect society?

The fiercest battles in the culture war the past half century or so have been over sexual morality. Starting during Prohibition, women’s fashions have steadily devolved showing ever more flesh until today women are practically naked in public. In the 1950s, Hugh Heffner succeeded in making nudity acceptable with his magazine "Playboy," which also implied that licentious behavior was no longer taboo. With the “Sexual Revolution” in the 1960s, many sought to shrug off any moral limits on sexual conduct.

Men were free to objectify women, so feminism rose not to protect women but incredibly to insist women should be as immoral as men. Pornography is certainly not new, but it boomed and is now essentially mainstream, literally dominating the internet. Such hedonism is destructive to society with broken homes and victimized young girls and boys, but purveyors of pornography and alternate lifestyles ignore the deleterious effects scolding the masses for being prude. Americans acquiesced and Pandora’s box was opened.

With the Biblical brakes on morality blown off, the homosexual community made their move for acceptance. At first, it was just tolerance. Americans were cowed into accepting homosexuality as normal as it permeated entertainment, but eventually Americans were coerced into endorsing homosexuality as mainstream with gay marriage.

Most Americans erroneously thought that was the end of the culture war. Adults could decide their sexuality, and we would “live and let live.” But the extremist trans-gender movement stormed the country. Within just a few years, men can be women and women can be men completely contrary to biology. Initially, it was cast as just more tolerance, but the mask was quickly dropped as trans-gender radicals targeted children. In short order, the federal government jumped aboard demanding schools facilitate all manner of LGBTQ+ perversions for children. Make no mistake, this is “grooming.” The intent to open the door to pedophilia.

As trans-genderism invades every corner of society, Americans are reeling as societal norms are being obliterated. They are puzzled and stunned that we can no longer define male and female and worst of all our children are being indoctrinated into perversion. Enter Dylan Mulvaney, a trans-gender influencer, with his new contract to promote Bud Light, the best-selling beer among American blue-collar workers.

Mulvaney dresses as a woman and prances around like a neurotic teenage girl. Bud Light enlisted him as he celebrated his much-publicized year of “girlhood.” Mulvaney is a performer and not unique among trans-gender characters, but his silly antics associated with a traditional American product hit a nerve. Anheuser-Busch was shoving trans-genderism down the throats of their average American customers, and they simply had enough. The backlash was immediate and widespread, an impromptu boycott cost Anheuser-Busch billions in market share within a week.

Absurd and annoying, Mulvaney himself is not really the object of American ire. He is a sadly pathetic caricature probably in need of help and not affirmation of his gender dysphoria, but his over-the-top shtick brought average Americans face to face with the insanity of trans-genderism – and they realized that’s plain wrong. Mulvaney can play whatever charade he likes, but Americans don’t have to accept it, and society surely should not endorse it to our children as normal.

Americans understand the danger and lunacy of trans-genderism, but “woke” corporations like Anheuser-Busch do not. They have abandoned core values and bought into relativism, because they covet compliant consumers. They like anyone seeking power, think they know better, and do not want thinking citizens. Ultimately, this is about sin, and the powers of this world want to extinguish any concept of sin. Not so much because they embrace sin, but rather because they know immoral people are more easily subjugated.

The boycott against Bud Light certainly is and will send a message, but this struggle is not about beer or even Mulvaney. This is battle over morality, which is a spiritual war. So forgo the Bud Light, but Americans must turn to God to heal their land.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesian 6:12).

Pete Riehm is a conservative activist and columnist in south Alabama. Email him at or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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