This is not an argument that Christian conservatives should give up on the issue or that it is not a germane debate in the public square. It is, however, an argument why presidential candidates should not get sucked into the details or start taking positions base on other states’ laws that they imperfectly understand. It is also a warning that the culture wars are not the best issues — not even close — for Republicans. Iran is on the way to getting a bomb, war is raging in the Middle East and Hillary Clinton destroyed e-mails to keep them away from investigators. Any of these issues (don’t forget Obamacare, the lackluster economy, wage stagnation and the general competence of the liberal welfare state) are far more favorable terrain for them and will not divide the GOP or turn off non-Republicans. When Republicans wander into these quagmires, they are being reactive and defensive, fighting battles that at best they can only hold their own in.
In short, Republicans should be brief, be compassionate and be aware of the limited utility of these issues. Kasich is right: Indiana can work this out without GOP contenders’ help. They should move on.