I wrote the following essay in replay to a paper a good friend of mine wrote.
Why do people who claim to be Christians decide to participate and support things that seem to be contradictory to the lifestyle they profess? The answer, from the paper, suggests that you believe it is because our society is becoming more and more tolerant. I would agree with this in some regards. We are defiantly living in a Post-Modern Era, which means that people, as the Newsweek article you quote suggests, are more concerned that people have freedom than they are about enforcing moral values. Freedom has become the most important moral value and the only value that is enforced across the board. This means that our generation is becoming more tolerant. This impacts Christians greatly because the Christian faith has traditionally taught that God is concerned with moral behaviors.
It seems to me that Christians have adapted to Post Modernism in two ways. (1) On one extreme, we have decided that the best way to address this problem is to put people in places where they can force people to "be moral." If we can change laws and put new laws in place that represent Christianity and the morals that we teach, society will be better off. An example of this would be to support legislation that outlawed Homosexual unions or banned certain television shows from being aired because they were outside the bounds of Christian morality. (2) On the other extreme, we have decided that the Bible speaks less about moral issues and more about social justice issues, so the thought is that we need to stop pushing our morals down other people's throat and make sure that we fight for "justice for all." An example of this would be that we ought to legalize Homosexual Marriage because by preventing gay couples from marrying, we are infringing on their human right to be happy.
In both cases, I think we are taking away from the impact and influence the church has on society. In both views, faith becomes irrelevant. In the first perspective, we isolate outsiders from the grace that God offers to all persons. In the second perspective, our faith becomes so watered down, that Christianity and the views expressed by society become one in the same.
I truly believe the solution comes when we address the moral failures with the grace and love of Jesus. The church will become relevant again when we rediscover God's desire is to reach every person with love and grace though Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. We do not need to change legislation for the church to be relevant, we must show that Jesus is enough to change hearts and lives. In saying this, Jesus does teach us that there are some ways of living that are harmful and destructive. Following the way that Jesus taught us to live will be what brings true "life" to our lives.