The Southern Baptist tradition of which both Warren and Robertson are a part has a long history of resistance to male hair.
Now paradoxically conservatives were eagerly experimenting with this countercultural style.
The simplest explanation for this about-face would be that long hair and beards are no longer considered liberal or rebellious and that the Saddleback beard contest – like the fulsome beards of the Duck Dynasty men – were more stunt than statement.
But that answer would only be partly true.
Beards – especially large ones – retain their daring and nonconformist quality and this is an important part of their appeal to conservative as well as liberal men.
A generation ago conservative evangelicals began appropriating rock music into their worship.
Now finally it is time for hair.
Is it possible to be a conservative rebel?
Why not? That is precisely what many young American men aspire to be today.