By Jonathon Van Maren
Our second weekly State of the Culture review is ready, covering a wide variety of topics. From the declining abortion rate to the violence of Muslim refugees against Christian refugees to the transgender bathroom conundrum, here’s what you should know this week.
First, the good news: The number of abortions in the United States continues to drop, according to the Center for Disease Control. From CTV: “Federal statistics show abortions have been in a general decline for about 25 years. The number of reported abortions dropped 4 per cent in 2012…about 699,000 abortions were reported to the federal government that year. That’s about 31,000 fewer than the year before.” While many reasons for this are being cited, some are definitely encouraging: “Others argue there’s been a cultural shift and more women opt to continue their pregnancy. In 2012, the abortion rate fell 5 per cent to 13 abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age. That is about half what it was in 1974, the year after the landmark Supreme Court decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.” So amid a torrential downpour of glum news, there is the wonderful news that lives are being saved.
Over at the National Post, Father Raymond de Souza pens a brilliant column on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, noting that a genocide is unfolding and that the options for Christian refugees are few. “Christian, Yazidi and other minority groups are hard to reach,” he notes, “because they generally find the UN refugee camps, dominated by Sunni Arabs and infiltrated by ISIL agents, to be hostile, if not physically dangerous. The effect, therefore, of working within the UN refugee determination program is to implement a policy that actually favours Muslims over Christians.”
Which brings up a point most are trying to ignore: Christians who have successfully escaped the cauldrons of Syria and Iraq often find themselves faced with an equally lethal reality—violence from Muslim refugees. As CNN reported some time ago: “Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard — killing them — because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday. Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.” Animosity between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East has existed since the dawn of Islam. For some reason, this history is being ignored—even as Christians are flung into the sea by those who still remember.
If you’re going to read one article on the transgender bathroom problem, read A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About Transgender Bathrooms over at The Federalist. It’s a powerful and moving narrative, written with more than a hint of desperation.
“Don’t they know that one out of every four little girls will be sexually abused during childhood, and that’s without giving predators free access to them while they shower?” Kaeley Haver writes. “Don’t they know that, for women who have experienced sexual trauma, finding the courage to use a locker room at all is a freaking badge of honor? That many of these women view life through a kaleidoscope of shame and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, dissociation, poor body image, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty with intimacy, and worse?”
“Do they know that more than 99 percent of single-victim incidents are committed by males? That they are experts in rationalization who minimize their number of victims? Don’t they know that insurance companies highlight locker rooms as a high-risk area for abuse that should be carefully monitored and protected?”
The cry of someone, victimized as a little girl, to stop the madness. A cry to stop and consider, for just a moment, the real victims our society produces. And no, those victims are not confused men like Bruce Jenner.
If you’d like concrete evidence that this is, as Mark Bauerlein so eloquently pointed out, the dumbest generation, a new Pew Research Center Poll has you covered. As it turns out, “40 percent of American Millennials (ages 18-34) are likely to support government prevention of public statements offensive to minorities.” These are the infantile college students shrieking that Lincoln should be removed from any place of honor, because the man who freed the slaves was a racist. These are the fascist children who think that university employees should be fired, because feelings, that’s why. On one hand, it’s tempting to agree with Jonah Goldberg, who laughs bitterly at universities for constructing the air-tight liberal bubble that created these little monsters in the first place. On the other hand, when that many voters are calling for the right to free speech to be removed, we should all be pretty terrified.
The Washington Post recently took a look at the fact that the United States is becoming less religious—and specifically, less Christian. This should come as no surprise to anyone, if the social and cultural mores of society at large are any indication. The title of the article is indicative: “Nominal Christians are becoming secular, and that’s creating a startling change for the US.” Well, yes. What we’re seeing in many cases is not Christians giving up on Christianity, but those who lazily identified as Christians without subscribing to its tenets finally admitting that no, they weren’t really Christians after all. In keeping with our modern trend of being able to self-identify as anything you want without having to provide any evidence that you are, in fact, that thing, “Christians” like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their legions of supporters can say they are Christian while supporting the redefinition of marriage and the destruction of human life in the womb. However, when the façade becomes unnecessary, the pollsters discover that there were many imposters among the ranks of the faithful. That’s why if you ever hear anyone in the media or any “progressive” politician bring up Jesus or Christianity, you can be sure that they’re only doing so to beat traditional Christians over the head with some manufactured hypocrisy these armchair theologians think they’ve discovered.