Party-driven and religion-driven models of opinion change posit that individuals revise their positions on culture war issues to ensure consonance with political and religious predispositions. By contrast, models of issue-driven change propose that public opinion on cultural controversies lead people to revise their partisan and religious orientations. Using data from four panel studies covering the period 1992-2012, we pit the party-and religion-based theories of opinion change against the issue-based model of change. Consistent with the standard view, party and religion constrain culture war opinion. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, but consistent with our novel theory, opinions on culture war issues lead people to revise their partisan affinities and religious orientations. Our results imply that culture war attitudes function as foundational elements in the political and religious belief systems of ordinary citizens that match and sometimes exceed partisan and religious predispositions in terms of motivating power.