State of the Culture: So It Begins

Just in case you were having a pleasant week, I’ve got this week’s culture update ready for you. If you want to read some good cultural news first, check out my recent article on The Pro-Choice Movement’s Year of Panic. Otherwise, read on.

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Remember that Christian family in Norway that had their children taken away from them, with allegations that Christian doctrine could prove damaging being one of them main reasons? Well, the story has turned from frightening totalitarianism to every Christian parents’ Soviet-style nightmare. From The Christian Post:

Officials in Norway have moved to place five children that were seized from their parents on charges that included “Christian radicalization and indoctrination” up for adoption, reports state…

“The process of confiscating the Bodnariu children started when the Vevring School principal, the middle school attended by Eliana and Naomi, called the Barnevernet and expressed her concerns regarding the girls’ religious upbringing, her understanding that the girls are being disciplined at home, and that she considers the parents and grandmother to be radical Christians; an overriding concern that the principal’s perception of the parents’ and grandmother’s religious beliefs inhibit and handicap the girls’ development,” he outlined.

“In the same call to the Barnevernet, the principal stressed that she was only requesting the Barnevernet’s counseling services, as the girls are intelligent and creative, and that she, the principal, doesn’t believe that the girls are being physically abused at home,” Bodnariu said. “This same principal had previously scolded and categorically forbid one of the Bodnariu girls from singing as a result of the girl singing a Christian song to her schoolmates.”

The situation has sparked protests in the country and beyond, including on Dec. 21, when over 300 people protested at the Embassy of Norway in Bucharest, Romania. Supporters of the family held signs and banners such as “Norway, return the children to the Bodnariu family” and “Norway, give us back the children you stole.” On Dec. 26, over 400 protesters gathered in Madrid, Spain in support of the Bodnariu family, and other events are planned in the UK, Poland and Belgium.

In the meantime, the Romania Insider reports that Norwegian authorities have opened the adoption process for the children, which some believe is unlawful.

“Barnevernet is going ahead with the process of adoption because they say that such a long time has passed and now it is going to be traumatic for the children to be returned to their parents,” Cristian Ionescu, pastor of Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago, told the Christian Post.

One can only pray that the outcry grows loud enough for the cold-hearted kidnappers to return the children to their parents. Progressive totalitarians, with anti-Christian bigotry trickling through their icy veins, are beginning to show their hand—and all of us should be paying attention. Statism is no longer creeping in the West. In some places, it is beginning to slither.

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Just in case my Canadian readers are scoffing at the idea that such a thing could ever occur in Canada, there is a worrying development on the horizon. Mark Penninga of the Association for Reformed Political Action wrote recently in the Lethbridge Herald on the potential implications of a federal anti-spanking law:

We can all agree that federal government has the responsibility to prevent the shameful abuse that occurred at many residential schools in years past. But it is a logical fallacy of both the TRC report and the Trudeau government to use that as justification to ban appropriate physical discipline. Section 43 does not condone abuse. On the contrary, peer-reviewed research and evidence from international jurisdictions makes a very strong case that Section 43 is in the best interests of both parents and children.

In 1979 Sweden became the first nation in the world to outlaw physical discipline. In the years following there was a 519 per cent increase in criminal assaults carried out against 7-14-year-olds by children under age 15, children born after the law had been enacted. Even more shocking, 46-60 per cent of cases investigated under Sweden’s law resulted in children being removed from homes. A staggering 22,000 Swedish children were removed from homes in 1981, compared in 552 in Finland and 163 in Norway.

In 2010 a Swedish mother and father were thrown in jail for nine months and ordered to pay the equivalent of $11,000 to each of their three children because they were spanked, even though the court concluded that the parents had a loving and caring relationship with their children. The “remedy” will hurt the children a lot more than the spanking.

If Canada wants to learn from the residential school legacy, we should be the last to pass a law which has led other countries to forcefully removing thousands of children from their homes and driving a wedge between children and parents.

The TRC report claimed that corporal punishment is a relic of a discredited past. Yet peer-reviewed research proves without a doubt that corporal punishment, when done in keeping with Canadian law, results in as good or better outcomes than all other forms of discipline.

There is no shortage of research which decries spanking. Yet the fatal flaw of all of these studies, and repeated by this TRC report and now it appears, the Trudeau government, is that they lump appropriate physical discipline in with other harsh physical punishment, such as pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping or hitting. It is of little surprise that the outcomes would be negative.

In 2007 researchers conducted the first scientific review of studies that compared physical discipline with alternative methods. Twenty-six studies from the past fifty years were examined, and the conclusion was that the outcomes depended completely on the type of physical punishment. So-called “conditional” physical discipline, which is what Section 43 allows, “was more strongly associated with reduction in noncompliance or antisocial behaviour than 10 of the 13 alternative disciplinary tactics.” Further, no negative side-effects were found unique to physical punishment.

Consider, for a moment, how an anti-Christian government that believed passing on Christian doctrines to children was abuse in and of itself might want to use such laws. It’s safe to say, based on precedent, that Christian communities have very good reason to fear such things. Not because paranoia is helpful, but simply because we can see how these laws have been used in other jurisdictions—and countries that until very recently, could have been considered part of what we once called “civilization.”

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Not all of these trends are going unnoticed. People are getting angry. As Douglas Wilson told me recently, it’s impossible for a government to rule a people it holds in contempt—once those people realize that they are held in contempt. That’s why an anonymous rant against the modern “social justice warrior” that is surfacing on Twitter and reddit is gaining so much traction, in spite of the occasionally tasteless language being utilized. Here is a rather telling excerpt:

Worst of all, you turn the very principles of freedom against us. We tolerate you because we believe in free speech and civil discourse, not bullying and violence. But that means we have to watch you advocate against that very freedom. We don’t believe in ruining a stranger’s professional life over an opinion, but that means that we can’t punish your actions.

We believe that the rightness of our actions should speak for itself. You believe in bullying, even as you claim to love the oppressed.

Funny how the evil and all-powerful patriarchy has seen fit to act according to SJW whims for all of recent memory, punishing those they hate and protecting those they love. Funny how the evil oppressor males have to speak anonymously, while the SJWs fighting the power can use their real names and get mainstream media coverage for fun and profit…

That’s the arrogant core of it. You do the same evil, in the same pattern, as so many before you, because mob justice, punishing dissent, and repression of others is just fine and dandy so long as the “right” people are doing it to the “wrong” people…

All I ever asked was to be left alone.

But we won’t be. Because as I wrote in my column for LifeSiteNews this week, that’s not their endgame.

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Speaking of endgames, the Dutch continue to be cutting edge in the field of finishing elderly people off. From Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition:

The Netherlands government has decided to extend euthanasia to people with dementia who are incompetent to request death by lethal injection, if the person requested euthanasia while still competent. 

The 2014 Netherlands euthanasia statistics state that out of 5306 euthanasia deaths; 81 people were lethally injected for dementia and 41 people died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.
To lethally inject a person who is unable to request death undermines the “safeguard” of consent. Even if the person, while competent, requested euthanasia for dementia, now the person is unable to change their mind.
Since the person is incompetent to request death by lethal injection, the new “guide” undermines the safeguard requiring a clear request. Who will decide when the lethal injection should be done? Will it be determined that some lives are not worth living? 

Consent, of course is our society’s new god. We’ve unharnessed greed, callousness, sexual desire, perversion, and more—but we hope that the flimsy gate of “consent” will withstand the full fury of human depravity.

I’m not overly optimistic, for the record.

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