State of the Culture: Good news for a change

By Jonathon Van Maren

These culture updates are often alarming and I’m told by some of my readers that they are more suited to a Monday than a Friday. Today, for a change, I’ve decided to do a shorter culture update, and include some of the genuinely good news we’ve seen over the last week or two.


The ongoing battle over euthanasia legislation has just taken a fascinating turn. While the Liberal bill obviously falls drastically short of anything Christians can support, I didn’t expect them to hold the line over their eligibility standards. Not only did they ignore the radical recommendations of the committee, but they now seem prepared to fight the Senate over expanding the eligibility for euthanasia:

After the Senate passed an amended version of the Trudeau government’s controversial euthanasia legislation on Wednesday, the House of Commons today sent the bill back to the Senate for what pundits warn could be a showdown between the appointed second chamber and elected MPs.

After scarcely five hours of debate, MPs voted 190 to 108 Thursday to pass the government’s motion approving five minor Senate amendments to Bill C-14, and refusing two others.

Notably rejected was Liberal Independent Senator Serge Joyal’s amendment, described as “gutting” Bill C-14 because it deletes the stipulation that a person’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable” in order to be eligible for assisted suicide or euthanasia.

In the midst of the depressing mess that is the assisted suicide debate in Canada—I’ve written extensively on it here and here—it is at least marginally encouraging to see the Liberals stick to the one flimsy safeguard they’ve placed in this legislation.


I’ve written before on the horrifying story of Christian Norwegian parents having their children forcibly removed from them by authorities and shipped out to foster homes across Norway, even refusing the parents access to some of the children. In January, it was reported that the Norwegian government planned to adopt the children out to other families as the desperate parents pleaded for assistance in having their family returned to them. This month, however, there is wonderful news:

In the face of international pressure, the Norwegian government has dropped charges against Bodnariu parents and agreed to return their four children still in foster homes spread across the country.

After meetings through most of last week between the “county board,” the parents Marius and Ruth Bodnariu’s lawyers, and lawyers for the Barnevernet, the child welfare agency that seized their five children last November, the latter grudgingly dropped its case and agreed to return the children.

“They will return the two boys this week,” Houston lawyer Peter Costea told LifeSiteNews. “They wanted the girls to stay with their foster families until they finish school.”

According to Costea, who gathered signatures of more than 100 human rights lawyers and experts from around the world to a petition for the children’s return, “International pressure is what prompted the release of the children.” In addition to his petition, Romanian Christian expatriates, like Costea, held protests in 50 cities in more than two dozen countries outside Norwegian embassies and consulates. They gathered over 50,000 signatures to a petition.

One can only imagine the joy these parents feel at this news. We rejoice with them.


Occasionally, Christian boycotts and a fed-up public can make a real impact. One instance is that of Target and their recent kowtowing to the new transgender insanity gripping the minds of the cultural elites. Irritated and upset by Target’s dabble in social engineering, customers spoke with their wallets:

Target’s CEO Brian Cornell refused to change course when confronted this week by shareholders who are alarmed by his expensive push for a transgender, mixed-sex changing-room policy that has helped wipe out almost 20 percent of the company’s value.

Cornell told the annual meeting of investors that the company intend to stick with the April 19 transgender policy — which requires its customers to use mixed-sex changing rooms and bathrooms — and he even insisted there has been no financial repercussions, despite a $10 billion Wall Street loss in the months since the policy was announced.

Cornell was pressed about the financial impact of the policy by investors, including Justin Danhof, the director of the National Center Free Enterprise Project.

“Target’s shareholder meeting was appalling from beginning to end,” Danhof said in a press release after the meeting.

Liberal corporate leaders such as Cornell throw around the words ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ so much they “are starting to lose their meaning. In addition to my question, two other shareholders also expressed concern over the company’s offensive bathroom policy. Cornell just kept repeating the same vacuous lines about diversity and inclusion. He doesn’t seem to get that he has offended the sensibilities of millions of Americans.”

Danhof asked why Cornell claimed via the media that his pro-transgender policy is just like ordinary civil rights for black, and asked if Cornell thought everyone who stood against the store’s policy were like racists and were bigots.

The question is based on an interview the CEO gave to CNBC. “We’ve had a long history embracing diversity and inclusion. A couple weeks ago, one of our team members sent me a note reminding me that if we went back to the mid-60s, our company was one of the very first to use African-American models in their advertising, and back then, it wasn’t well received,” he said.

Danhof explained his exchanges with Cornell in a Breitbart interview.

“My question dated back to last month when Cornell defended the company’s position and policy by comparing what they’re doing with their bathrooms to their 1960s era use of black models by claiming it wasn’t well received then. Well, that is shocking and appalling. What he is doing is making a moral equivalency of those who think his bathroom policy is outrageous and offensive today, so to those who oppose his bathroom policy he is basically comparing them to racists from the 1960s. And basically labeling everybody as a bigot.”

Cornell wouldn’t answer the question, prompting Danhof to say, “So, by implication, of course he thinks everyone that disagrees with him is a bigot. Otherwise he would have said no.”

The CEO declined to answer questions over the pro-transgender policy posed by other investors.

Cornell was also asked if the company had conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the pro-transgender policy before issuing it. The CEO didn’t answer this question either.

Cornell insisted Target has suffered no negative financial impact due to the much hated bathroom policy. He claimed Target has seen “zero, ZERO, negative financial implications from their policy,” Danhoff said.

“But from the announcement and from the last time I checked the stock price the stock had fallen. Target’s stock price was $83.98 the day of the announcement. On Monday, it was $68.81. That’s an 18 percent drop in seven weeks,” Danhof told Breitbart.

It’s always encouraging to see when pushback has an impact.

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