The New Yorker is often an exercise in paternalistic parody, and this one is pretty high-laire. Very thoughtful of the New Yorker to give Southerners advice.
Re: "Southern political passions have always been rooted in sometimes extreme ideas of morality, which has meant, in recent years, abortion and school prayer."
Oh yes, extreme it is to be for prayer in school and be against killing the unborn. So radical.