Do Culture Wars Beget Bad Exegesis?

N.T Wright examines how the opening chapters of Genesis are seen in the light of the culture wars in North America (HT):

I think Wright is onto something when he says that how one answers a question about the meaning/historicity of Genesis is linked into whole lists of other political and social stances. Of course this does nothing to assess what is the most faithful understanding of the text, only what is the “correct” understanding of the text as plotted on a particular political grid.

In whatever milieu readers of the text find themselves, they are aware that certain interpretation will get them into political trouble by appearing too liberal, or too conservative, or too whatever. Wright is correct in pointing out that holding standards of ideological purity too tightly often inhibits honest study and understanding.