Culture Wars Took 2009 Off Conservative protests were largely secular, writes EJ Dionne By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 24, 2009 10:07 AM CST 10 comments Comments Anti-abortion protesters rally on the Capitol steps as they mark the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008, in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (Newser) – America called a ceasefire in the culture wars this year as the economy and debate on the role of government pushed battles over religion and culture to the back burner, writes EJ Dionne. The change was most apparent on the right, where the loudest voices of protest came from the largely secular tea-party movement instead of Christian conservatives, Dionne writes in the Washington Post. This shift has been seen before, Dionne notes, when cultural issues like the prohibition of alcohol declined in importance during the Great Depression. "The paradox for Obama is that if the economy continues its comeback in 2010, his overall standing will improve, but the risk of renewed conflict over religion and values will also rise." The president would probably be happy with the trade, Dionne writes.