Welcome to The Bridgehead!

Jonathon Van Maren

A bridgehead is defined as “a strong position secured by an army inside enemy territory from which to advance or attack.” In today’s culture wars, a bridgehead of truth and common sense is exactly what we need. As Ronald Reagan once said, “When you’re outnumbered and surrounded and someone yells ‘charge,’ any way you’re facing you’ll find a target.”The Bridgehead Radio Program does just that, bringing you cutting edge news, interviews, and insights from the frontlines of the culture wars, and engaging in a sweeping discussion on human rights. Featuring renowned authors, commentators, politicians, intellectuals, historical figures, and more, The Bridgehead talks truth and common sense in a culture where it is badly needed. Featuring conversations with everyone from Peter Hitchens, Mark Steyn, Joel C. Rosenberg, and Gavin McInnes to Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Illibagiza, Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank’s step-sister Eva Schloss, and Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff, Bridgehead host Jonathon Van Maren takes a hard look at where our culture is and where we need to go.


Jonathon Van Maren is a popular speaker and writer who has been published in The National Post, The Times of Israel, The Jewish Independent, The Hamilton Spectator, LifeSiteNews and elsewhere, and has been quoted and interviewed by many prominent national publications as well as a wide variety of television and radio shows.

 

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The missing children: How abortion changed America’s literary landscape

By Jonathon Van Maren

Nearly a half-century after Roe v. Wade, abortion is still a subject that bitterly divides America. More than sixty million pre-born children have been extinguished, and their demise is still the rawest of subjects for millions of the people who have survived them. Who would these nameless millions have been? What would these murdered multitudes have done, or written, or sung, or discovered? To reflect on this tragedy is to stare with horror into a black abyss of absence where there are no answers, only the echoes of impossible questions. Artists have grappled with it to no avail, and America’s storytellers, too, have been drawn to the blood-soaked quagmire over and over again.

William Faulkner introduced the topic in The Wild Palms. John Updike used abortion to force his characters into agonizing moral dilemmas. Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind wants an abortion after she discovers that she is pregnant with Rhett’s child. Ayn Rand—if she can really be considered a novelist—championed abortion as a “moral right,” while Pearl S. Buck passionately opposed abortion and Walker Percy condemned it in his essay “A View of Abortion with Something to Offend Everybody.” Truman Capote touched on it in his fiction, too, although he surely must have known that his mother Lillie Mae desperately wanted to abort him, and was only prevented from doing so by his father Arch Persons. A subject of such intimacy and violence could scarcely be ignored by those who task themselves with exploring the messiness of human nature.

What is less well-known is the extent to which abortion has scarred the American literary landscape itself, a soundless violence that profoundly impacted the lives of those who often lived with the ghosts of the voiceless children they rejected. These experiences permeated (and permeate) the lives of some of America’s best-known writers. For many, abortion was a necessary evil—one that would permit them the selfishness necessary to live the lives of fame and literary glory that they desperately desired. For others, abortion was the tragic result of their reckless living, the bloody evidence that somebody must always pay when the music stops, the booze is gone, the sex is over, and the skull-splitting hangover arrives.

One shocking example is John Steinbeck, the writer celebrated for his identification with the impoverished and forgotten Americans of the Great Depression in magnificent novels like The Grapes of Wrath, who forced his first wife Carol to have an abortion in 1939. Carol—who had meticulously typed and edited Steinbeck’s early manuscripts—wanted the baby, but Steinbeck felt that fatherhood would interfere with his writing ambitions, and insisted that they dispose of the child. The resulting illegal abortion was botched, Carol suffered a bad infection in her uterine tubes, and a hysterectomy was necessary as a result. Their marriage collapsed shortly thereafter when she discovered that Steinbeck was having an affair, and she never fully recovered from her bitterness over what had happened—especially as Steinbeck went on to have two sons by his second wife, Gwyn. Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. His ambitions had given birth to success.

Upton Sinclair, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943, has also established a reputation as a man who used his writing to drive much-needed social change, beginning with The Jungle, a novel published in 1906. The Jungle revealed the wretched conditions in the American meatpacking industry and was credited with triggering the public outrage that resulted in the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, passed only a few months later. (Abortion was a subject that would also surface in Sinclair’s novels.) A few years before, Sinclair’s wife Meta had become pregnant, and the couple tried unsuccessfully to abort the child in the womb several times before giving up. Their son David was born on December 1, 1901, and later achieved staggering success as a research physicist. Other less fortunate couples would not get to experience the blessing of failure.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of seminal novels such as The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, was living in the alcohol-fuelled whirlwind of a literary celebrity in New York City with his wife Zelda when their daughter Frances (known as Scottie) arrived in 1921. The following year, Fitzgerald biographers reveal, Zelda became pregnant again—and this time, opted instead for an illegal abortion. Scott’s thoughts on this are not recorded, but he may have referred to the event once. One scene that was later cut from the first draft of The Beautiful and the Damned involved the main character, Gloria, suspecting she is pregnant—and being urged by her paramour Anthony to “talk to some woman and find out what’s best to be done. Most of them fix it some way.” Fitzgerald’s alcoholism killed him by the age of 44, and by then Zelda had been in and out of mental hospitals for several years. She would die in a hospital fire eight years later at the age of 47.

The story of Sylvia Plath, the poet who wrote The Bell Jar and committed suicide by gassing herself with her oven in 1963, is well-known to nearly all lovers of American literature. Plath killed herself as her marriage to the poet Ted Hughes imploded—his mistress Assia Wevill, as it turned out, had just become pregnant. What is less well-known was revealed years later by Plath’s friend Elizabeth Sigmund, who wrote that several weeks after Plath’s suicide, Hughes took Wevill for an “operation”—an abortion. Two years later, Hughes and Wevill had a little girl, Shura. Four years after that, in March of 1969, Wevill gassed herself and her four-year-old daughter to death in their kitchen after feeding the little girl sleeping pills. She had finally despaired of Hughes ever marrying her, and was afraid that when she was gone, the girl would not be as loved as the two children Ted Hughes had shared with Sylvia Plath.

It was in the Beat Generation of the 1950s, that tragic train-wreck of sex, substance abuse, and selfishness, that abortion culture put down its deepest roots. The so-called Beatniks, including the producer of the pornographic poem Howl, Allen Ginsberg, the author of On the Road, Jack Kerouac, and influential post-modern writer William S. Burroughs, are credited with creating a culture of nonconformity and setting the stage for the Sexual Revolution, which would finally bring abortion from the shadows of illegality to celebration as an essential right. While the men slept with virtually anyone willing, male or female, the women of the Beat Generation were left to deal with the inevitable consequences. One historian puts it bluntly: “In many cases, children were the price Beat women had to pay if they wanted to live lives that were as exciting as Beat men.”

And so it was. Beat author Hettie Jones had an abortion, and Brenda Frazer had two. Elise Cowen, who once dated Ginsberg, found that her baby had grown so large by the time she found a doctor willing to do the procedure that she needed an entire hysterectomy to rid herself of the child. Shortly thereafter she moved back in with her parents, but the abortion tortured her. She killed herself by jumping from her parents’ apartment window to the courtyard below. In her last poem, she wrote simply: “Twenty-seven years is enough.” Poet Donna di Prima was forced into an abortion, and poured her bitterness into a heartrending work titled Brass Furnace Going Out. “I want you in a bottle to send to your father with a long bitter note,” she wrote. “I want him to know I’ll not forgive you, or him, for not being born…”

Jack Kerouac also left a path of carnage behind him during his days on the road, before dying of drink at the age of 47. His lover Edie Parker told him what she’d done some time after she’d had an agonizing kitchen-table abortion when she was four months pregnant with his child, and he raged in response—but Parker said that Kerouac would have been even angrier if she’d kept the baby. She may have been right: Kerouac later demanded that his wife Joan have an abortion, telling her that, “Of course I want children, but not now!” Joan refused, and gave birth on February 16 of 1952 to Kerouac’s only child, a little girl named Janet Michelle who would eventually be known by the nickname Jan.

Or at least, his only surviving child—another of his partners reportedly aborted a little black-haired baby that she thought was Jack’s. Kerouac’s girlfriend Joyce Johnson writes of having an illegal abortion while dating Kerouac, recalling the child being “scraped out of me.” Kerouac, meanwhile, disowned his daughter Jan and the responsibility she represented. “The only people for me,” he wrote in On the Road, “are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous Roman candles.” And so he did, becoming in many ways a true icon of the Beat Generation and everything it represented: He lived hard, died young, and his children paid the price.

So did the children of other literary greats. Margaret Salinger, the daughter of The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger, bitterly wrote that her crackpot father once responded to her illness during pregnancy by commenting that she “had no right to bring a child into this lousy world and he hoped I was considering an abortion.” (She wasn’t.) Alice Walker, who won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Color Purple, suffered badly from anxiety and depression after having an abortion in 1965, and publicly defends abortion rights to this day. Joan Didion’s biographer Tray Daugherty has suggested that an alleged abortion in her twenties may explain the devastating abortion in her second novel, Play It as It Lays (Didion and her husband later adopted a little girl.) And there are others.

We do not know who those lost and nameless children would have been. We can only catch a few glimpses represented by the dead and the living, like the shattered baby with a little shock of jet-black hair that looked just like Jack Kerouac’s, or David Sinclair, the writer’s son who survived abortion attempts to become a renowned physicist. They are a reminder of the fact that a society which embraces the destruction of children cannot understand what—or rather who—they are throwing away. Their presence among us may be short, but the missing children at times cast long shadows into the lives of those who sacrificed them for more glamorous things—or who forced young mothers to get rid of them, at times triggering such despair that the broken girls chose to follow their children into an early grave.

There are few honest people who will not admit, at least privately, that abortion is a profound tragedy. But sometimes we forget that this tragedy is also a societal tragedy and a cultural tragedy. We forget that each abortion claimed the life of a tiny person, created by two other people. And when we realize that many of those people are the very writers and artists who tell us the story of America, we can begin to realize that the story of the missing millions has become an fundamental part of America’s story—a heartbreaking, bloody story that must be told–and a story that must end.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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With religious liberty increasingly under attack, how should Christians do politics?

By Jonathon Van Maren

Recently, I finished a fascinating book by Edmonton scholar Dr. Michael Wagner, Standing on Guard For Thee: The Past, Present, and Future of Canada’s Christian Right. I hadn’t been aware that a comprehensive history covering Canada’s journey from a largely Christian nation to a secular country governed by the tenets of the Sexual Revolution existed until recently, when I contacted Dr. Wagner inquiring about sources for another research project I’m currently working on. I finished the book the day before the Supreme Court’s decision on Trinity Western University came out, which seemed to put a gloomy conclusion to Wagner’s description of the seemingly endless string of defeats suffered by social conservatives over the past several decades. With the TWU case, the Supreme Court has made it clear: The religious freedoms of Canada’s Christians to study within their communities (and, inevitably, many others) are of “minor significance” (their exact words), and second-class minority status is now official.

And so the question presents itself: What next? What do religious groups do in a nation where the highest court in the land declares that the violation of religious liberty is of “minor significance,” with other such declarations sure to follow? How do they protect their own interests in the political arena when nearly a decade of Conservative Stephen Harper as prime minister produced the very judiciary that is chipping away at these fundamental freedoms in the first place? Christians and other traditionalist religious groups may be a minority, yes—but as of yet, there are still enough of us to make a substantial political impact, as the leadership races of both Andrew Scheer and Doug Ford have highlighted. So how do we ensure that the freedoms remaining to us—independent religious schools, the freedom to articulate our moral views in the public square, among others, are protected?

There are many different aspects to this question, of course, but I’d like to take a brief look at one way forward from a political perspective for a moment. As religious Canadians—at least, those who are aware of the growing threats to various fundamental freedoms—begin to note with alarm the legal and political trends in this country, they have responded in a variety of ways. Often, it is proposed that we should vote en masse for a small party like the Christian Heritage Party, irrespective of the fact that they have not managed to produce an elected politician in 31 years of existence. Some have suggested beginning a new party entirely, one that creates a values voting bloc open to the many other religious groups that share these values with Christians but would obviously feel excluded from the CHP. I believe the stakes are simply too high for Christian communities to essentially render void the influence we could have in parties where the possibility of extracting essential commitments exists.

To put it bluntly: Our communities need politicians defending our interests and giving voice to our concerns in the halls of power where the decisions that will dictate the future of our institutions are being made. With the TWU ruling and dangerous indicators in provinces across Canada that progressive politicians are entirely willing to malign and target Christian schools in the name of their ideology, we simply cannot afford to opt out of influencing those parties and politicians with a realistic opportunity to halt or reverse legislation that genuinely threatens the existence of Christian institutions. It is a simple fact, confirmed by every piece of available data and Supreme Court decisions to boot, that Canada is no longer a Christian nation, and has not been one for a very long time. Religious Canadians can no longer ignore what is taking place, because secular forces in this country have no intention of obeying their oft-repeated mantra of live and let live. They intend to force their values into Christian communities, and to do what they can to destroy those communities that refuse to comply. Simply look at what NDP Education Minister David Eggen is attempting to do to independent schools in Alberta if you have any doubt that this is happening.

Canadians of faith may be a minority, but we are still a substantial minority capable of an outsize impact in the political sphere if we choose to be so—but in order to be effective, we must start recognizing our minority status and acting accordingly. It is simply true that if we demand that politicians deliver a wholly social conservative agenda, we will be dismissed as unreasonable political actors unaware of how our democracy functions as well as unreliable voters and lobbyists eager to bash the politicians we hope will protect our interests and deliver on policy promises once they are elected. We must begin to function like an effective lobby group—one that realistically assesses our cultural position, decides on those policies and platform planks that are both achievable and, in this new era of attacks on Christian schools, absolutely essential for our communities, and then dedicates our resources and our political power to achieving those policy ends regardless if the leader or the politician we are lobbying is sympathetic to our worldview or our aims overall.

I want to pause here to point out the obvious: Yes, there are many consistent and principled social conservative politicians already dedicated to protecting our interests in both the House of Commons as well as provincial legislatures. Where we have the opportunity to campaign for, elect, and vote for such candidates, these politicians should be our highest priority. Many of these politicians are examples of the men and women who rise to power when the social conservative grassroots dedicates manpower and resources in politically and strategically savvy ways: In other words, when we play the game by the rules as they are rather than proclaiming how much we hate said rules. There is much to hate about the way the Canadian political system functions, not the least of which is the near-absolute power wielded by party leaders, enabling them to turf any candidate or expel any politician that they decide is no longer worth defending. But politics isn’t fair. Neither, we have been perennially discovering, are the courts. But that is the country we live in, this is the system we have, and we must face unpleasant realities if we wish to successfully protect the interests of our communities.

In part, this means that we must consider voting, as a bloc, for politicians willing to agree to policy planks and tangible legislative concessions that are needed by our communities even if we at times personally dislike those politicians or find them distasteful. Doug Ford, who responded to a question from Steve Paikin as to his religious affiliation by asking what he “needed to be,” is one example: If he keeps his promises, essential legislation protecting the conscience rights of physicians may be forthcoming. Nobody is under any illusion that Doug Ford is a social conservative, but from a purely pragmatic political perspective, he doesn’t need to be. We need legislation protecting conscience rights as well as a leader who can be counted on to defend independent schools. If Doug Ford is that leader, we simply can’t afford to ignore or spurn that opportunity. If betrayal is forthcoming, strategic political retaliation should also be forthcoming—but after that betrayal takes place, not before.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms: With the precedent set by the recent TWU ruling as well as attacks on Christian schools across the country, we cannot afford to ignore political opportunities because the threats to faith communities are existential ones. What will we do if we lose the right to pass on our values to our children? What will we do if Christian education is wiped out in Canada—as many politicians and activists would like to see happen? What will happen to Christian medical professionals, lawyers, and others if they face the choice between career termination or profound ethical compromise? There may be many answers to those questions, but the political answer is to wield the influence and resources that we do possess to fight tooth and nail for the freedoms that we still have—and need as a simple matter of political survival. For the sake of upcoming generations—and as a young parent, I mean that with utter seriousness—we cannot afford to do otherwise.

One example that partially illustrates this point is the reaction to a number of pro-life and pro-family organizations to Donald J. Trump winning the Republican presidential primaries. At that point most people, myself included, dismissed the idea that Trump would be an ideological ally on the fundamental issues of life, family and freedom—but the Susan B. Anthony List decided that while they might not want to campaign for Trump the man, they needed to approach him as a powerful lobby group approaches a politician. In exchange for their willingness to work towards his election, the SBA List extracted a list of promises that included the defunding of Planned Parenthood and pro-life judicial nominees, among others. Pro-life leaders almost universally refused to defend much of Trump’s behavior and rhetoric, simply reiterating the obvious: We support this candidacy because we have been promised policies that we want. Our support is not personal support, it is contingent support—a political arrangement. Even skeptical pro-lifers have marveled at just how much Donald Trump has done for the pro-life cause in return for the support he received during the presidential election.

This point is an important one because often, voters of faith confuse voting for a candidate who may be promising much-needed policies—again, let’s use the example of Doug Ford and conscience rights—with endorsing everything a particular candidate has done, said, or advocates for. That is not the case. When we function as a lobby group attempting to secure policies that protect our communities, we don’t simply discard a candidate because they are not perfect. In a nation where we are a minority, we aren’t going to get perfect candidates–at least, the vast majority of the time we won’t. We aren’t voting for someone because we think they are paragons of virtue, we are voting for them in an explicitly transactional fashion: In exchange for our support, they have promised us X. If they don’t deliver, we move our support, because we only ever supported them in order to achieve that specific policy goal. No Trump Train, or Ford Nation, or anything else—just a purely transactional relationship.

I know many people despise this approach to politics because it feels like compromise. I don’t believe it is compromise, since especially from our current cultural position, we are simply attempting to preserve the freedoms that we have. When Dr. Jordan Peterson, who studied totalitarianism for decades, was asked what he had to say to Christians in Canada, his warning was blunt: “Better stand up for yourselves, because your religious rights are very low on the rights totem pole at the moment—and that’s going to get worse, a lot worse, before it gets better. So if you think your religious freedom is worth having, you better be ready to defend it.”

And when he was asked how, Peterson pointed out that in a democracy, the political realm is where freedom lives and dies: “It’s probably time to vote. It’s probably time to take an active role in the political world. I mean, our political institutions are quite functional compared to most political institutions. People don’t use them, and that’s generally because they work so well that you can ignore them. But I don’t think we’re at a point right now where you can avoid making the political personal, and that’s a sign that things are destabilized. If the traditional types are concerned about preserving what they have, and also having the right to continue to engage in their faith-based activities, then they better take a good, hard look at the people who are opposing that and decide what they’re going to do about it.”

That’s precisely what Christians need to do.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

 

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Trudeau’s government will fund groups that spew anti-Semitic hate–but not churches that help the poor

By Jonathon Van Maren

The Liberal decision to insert an ideological purity test into the Canada Summer Jobs Program continues to dog them, as this exchange in the House of Commons a week ago highlights beautifully:

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, in downtown Toronto in what can only be described as a rally intended to incite hatred toward Jews and others, Sheik Shafiq Hudda of the Islamic Humanitarian Service called for the eradication of Israelis, and genocide. Some of his anti-Semitic hate speech aimed at the Jewish community included telling them, “You will leave in body bags.”

Will the Prime Minister condemn these hate-filled anti-Semitic comments?

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): 

Mr. Speaker, we always condemn hate-filled anti-Semitic or homophobic or Islamophobic and hate-filled speech of all types across this country. Canada is a welcoming, diverse country of a broad range of views and perspectives, but we do not allow hate speech and we do not allow the incitement of hatred.

We are a country that is built on mutual respect, on openness and compassion, and we reject the politics of division and hate wherever they come from.

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister‘s actions speak otherwise. On one hand, he is giving these anti-Semitic religious extremists taxpayers’ dollars to actively promote hatred using funds from the Canada summer jobs program. On the other, he has denied funding to faith groups that want to help those in need.

Why is the Prime Minister allowing certain religious organizations to be funded to promote hatred toward Jews, but saying no to churches that want to help the homeless?

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.): 

Mr. Speaker, this is not an issue of faith or beliefs. We can tell they are still Stephen Harper’s Conservatives when they advocate for organizations like the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform to receive public funds, which are then used to attack a woman’s right to choose. We believe that public funds should never be used to actively fight against the rights of Canadians, and we will ensure that no money from the Canada summer jobs program is re-funded to organizations that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that use hate against other Canadians of any type, whether they be women, Jewish community groups, or LGBTQ—

If you watch the actual video of this exchange, you’ll realize that Trudeau’s responses were substantially cleaned up before they were inserted into Hansard—at times, he used double-negatives that indicated he believed the opposite of what he was trying to say, and at one point he may have swallowed an entire sentence and never gotten it back. Trudeau has also proven to be obsessed with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, citing the organization (where I serve as communications director) several times in the House of Commons, and even on his ill-fated town hall speaking tour—but he seems to have forgotten a few key facts.

First of all, it was actually one of his Liberal MPs who signed off on the Canada Summer Jobs cheque for CCBR in 2016, not a Conservative one. And secondly, it is rather bizarre to claim that CCBR is in any way connected to Stephen Harper, considering the fact that CCBR actually ran an entire campaign in 2013 to draw attention to the fact that Harper was an avid defender of Canada’s abortion regime, even tinkering with parliamentary proceedings to ensure that a motion to condemn gendercide would not come to a vote. But when you’re Justin Trudeau, facts don’t matter—you can make things up as you go, so long as you can invoke the Ghost of Stephen Harper in a weird attempt to convince everyone that he’s still the guy you’re running against.

But if you’re wondering how the Liberal government is planning to defend their Canada Summer Jobs attestation, Trudeau’s handler Gerald Butts (an attack dog so sensitive he has blocked me and most of my friends on Twitter for mild criticisms that proved triggering) may have given the game away. Sending out a tweet to celebrate the Supreme Court of Canada’s rejection of religious liberty in their Trinity Western University decision, Butts wrote: “Supreme Court of Canada rules that limits on religious freedom ‘reasonable’ to protect LGBT rights’ #CanadaSummerJobs.” In other words, Trudeau’s Liberals don’t really care if they have to restrict the freedoms of religious Canadians in order to impose their ideological agenda on the country: They think that’s reasonable, and so you’ll have to live with it.

It’s high time that Canadians of faith—and all Canadians who value freedom—work to get rid of the man Dr. David Haskell has referred to as the most dangerous prime minister Canada has ever had.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Jordan Peterson warns Christians that things are going to “get much worse before they get better”

By Jonathon Van Maren

June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of last week Friday’s devastating Supreme Court ruling on Trinity Western University’s proposed law school, in which all seven judges ruling against TWU admitted that they were about to violate TWU’s religious freedom but that this violation was of “minor significance” in the eyes of Canada’s highest court, many have been wondering: What do Christians in Canada do next? There are many answers to this question, of course–and one answer came recently from Canada’s most prominent public intellectual, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.

Dr. Jordan Peterson does not claim to be an orthodox Christian himself—he has told interviewers that he is still working out what he believes on a variety of issues, including the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as a historical event, among others. But he firmly believes that our society will implode without the Judeo-Christian traditions and ethics it is built upon, and has gone so far as to say that he does not believe there is any such thing as a genuine atheist here in the West—Western skeptics, he says, are informed by Judeo-Christian ethics whether they recognize it or not. Unsurprisingly, he had much to say when Canadian political activist Faytene Grassechi asked him what “admonition” he had for Christians in the wake of the Trinity Western decision.

“Better stand up for yourselves, because your religious rights are very low on the rights totem pole at the moment,” Peterson warned, his voice deadly serious, “and that’s going to get worse, a lot worse, before it gets better. So if you think your religious freedom is worth having, you better be ready to defend it, and you better be ready to do that in an articulated way, because you’re not a priority—put it that way.”

Considering that these words come from a man who spent over a decade studying the development and implementation of totalitarianism—his Toronto home is filled with propagandistic Soviet paintings he picked up after the Wall came down—Peterson’s warning carries more weight than most.

When Grassechi asked him what practical things Christians could do to push back, Peterson barely hesitated. “It’s probably time to vote,” he noted. “It’s probably time to take an active role in the political world. I mean, our political institutions are quite functional compared to most political institutions. People don’t use them, and that’s generally because they work so well that you can ignore them. But I don’t think we’re at a point right now where you can avoid making the political personal, and that’s a sign that things are destabilized. If the traditional types are concerned about preserving what they have, and also having the right to continue to engage in their faith-based activities, then they better take a good, hard look at the people who are opposing that and decide what they’re going to do about it.”

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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Trans activists furious after essay in The Atlantic highlights “detransitioning”

By Jonathon Van Maren

If anyone wants to witness a small sampling of what “tolerance” looks like for trans activists, survey the reaction of their movement to an essay published by The Atlantic in their July/August issue titled “When Children Say They’re Trans.” Keep in mind, as you scroll through the waves of vitriol currently spreading across Twitter, that this publication is not a conservative one—it is a very liberal one. In fact, the last time The Atlantic was at the forefront of any controversy, they had just hired and then promptly fired the brilliant columnist Kevin D. Williamson (who was kind enough to come onto my podcast and discuss his book The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome some time ago) for controversial comments about abortion.

This, perhaps, is the source of their rage: A liberal publication daring to engage with trans ideology in a nuanced way, rather than simply spouting off a list of pre-approved talking points. Deviation from these talking points can attract a social media lynching almost immediately these days—even Kylie Jenner was viciously attacked for wishing her father Caitlyn Jenner a Happy Father’s Day, and posting a picture of him from back when he was Bruce. But that sin was insignificant compared to the crimes of The Atlantic, which began an essay with the story of Claire and her parents—a cautionary tale about the dangers of heeding trans propaganda.

Claire was a miserable teenager who, for a variety of reasons, felt isolated and out of place as she entered puberty. Hours of watching teenage trans YouTube stars convinced that maybe her gender (which The Atlantic still refers to as “assigned”) was the issue—perhaps if she transitioned into becoming a male, she would be happy. She broached her parents with her feelings, and although they had no problem with trans ideology in theory, they were understandably hesitant to get their daughter a double mastectomy, which she insisted she needed. Instead, they distracted her and created delays to give her time to think through her decision—and that may have saved her. If Claire’s parents had done what they were advised to do, they said, especially by trans activists online, they would have simply affirmed her decision and procured her the surgeries she thought she wanted. Instead, this happened:

Claire humored her parents, even as her frustration with them mounted. Eventually, though, something shifted. In a journal entry Claire wrote last November, she traced her realization that she wasn’t a boy to one key moment. Looking in the mirror at a time when she was trying to present in a very male way—at “my baggy, uncomfortable clothes; my damaged, short hair; and my depressed-looking face”—she found that “it didn’t make me feel any better. I was still miserable, and I still hated myself.” From there, her distress gradually began to lift. “It was kind of sudden when I thought: You know, maybe this isn’t the right answer—maybe it’s something else,” Claire told me. “But it took a while to actually set in that yes, I was definitely a girl.”

This story enrages trans activists because it begs an obvious but heartbreaking question: With skyrocketing rates of teens identifying as trans, how many kids have begun the process of transition with often irreversible surgeries—as Claire begged to—without having the chance to sit down and actually discover why they wanted to change so badly? How many teenage girls, suffering through a combination of depression, the turmoil of puberty, and the influence of YouTubers and other trans stars, have decided that their sense of alienation means they are not girls, and opt for a double-mastectomy? The answer is far, far too many. According to Jesse Singal in The Atlantic:

The number of self-identifying trans people in the United States is on the rise. In June 2016, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimated that 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender, a near-doubling of an estimate from about a decade earlier. As of 2017, according to the institute, about 150,000 teenagers ages 13 to 17 identified as trans. The number of young people seeking clinical services appears to be growing as well. A major clinic in the United Kingdom saw a more than 300 percent increase in new referrals over the past three years. In the U.S., where youth gender clinics are somewhat newer—40 or so are scattered across the country—solid numbers are harder to come by. Anecdotally, though, clinicians are reporting large upticks in new referrals, and waiting lists can stretch to five months or longer.

Singal’s essay actually lauds many aspects of the transgender phenomenon—the “freedom” of gender nonconformity, the normalization of hormone treatment for dysphoria, and the “rich new language” being cooked up by gender studies majors so that we all know how to talk about this stuff. Singal accepts nearly all of the fundamental premises of trans ideology, and celebrates much of the movement as a genuinely good thing. But Singal also notes that all leading health organizations urge caution and deliberation before any steps towards transition are taken—but that trans activists are urging just the opposite:

The leading professional organizations offer this guidance. But some clinicians are moving toward a faster process. And other resources, including those produced by major LGBTQ organizations, place the emphasis on acceptance rather than inquiry. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics” web page, for example, encourages parents to seek the guidance of a gender specialist. It also asserts that “being transgender is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it as such can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation.” Similarly, parents who consult the pages tagged “transgender youth” on glaad’s site will find many articles about supporting young people who come out as trans but little about the complicated diagnostic and developmental questions faced by the parents of a gender-exploring child.

To put it bluntly, if Claire’s parents had taken the advice of the Human Rights Campaign, their daughter would have ended up with a double-mastectomy rather than the therapy she needed. Regardless of Singal’s sympathy for the trans cause, that fact is impossible to ignore. Many examples of “successful transition” are listed, and the concerns of LGBT groups are sympathized with—but yet, trans activists are gunning for Singal simply because the essay also addresses concerns with what is unfolding:

Some kids are dysphoric from a very young age, but in time become comfortable with their body. Some develop dysphoria around the same time they enter puberty, but their suffering is temporary. Others end up identifying as nonbinary—that is, neither male nor female.

Ignoring the diversity of these experiences and focusing only on those who were effectively “born in the wrong body” could cause harm. That is the argument of a small but vocal group of men and women who have transitioned, only to return to their assigned sex. Many of these so-called detransitioners argue that their dysphoria was caused not by a deep-seated mismatch between their gender identity and their body but rather by mental-health problems, trauma, societal misogyny, or some combination of these and other factors. They say they were nudged toward the physical interventions of hormones or surgery by peer pressure or by clinicians who overlooked other potential explanations for their distress.

Some of these interventions are irreversible. People respond differently to cross-sex hormones, but changes in vocal pitch, body hair, and other physical characteristics, such as the development of breast tissue, can become permanent. Kids who go on puberty blockers and then on cross-sex hormones may not be able to have biological children. Surgical interventions can sometimes be reversed with further surgeries, but often with disappointing results.

The concerns of the detransitioners are echoed by a number of clinicians who work in this field, most of whom are psychologists and psychiatrists. They very much support so-called affirming care, which entails accepting and exploring a child’s statements about their gender identity in a compassionate manner. But they worry that, in an otherwise laudable effort to get TGNC young people the care they need, some members of their field are ignoring the complexity, and fluidity, of gender-identity development in young people. These colleagues are approving teenagers for hormone therapy, or even top surgery, without fully examining their mental health or the social and family influences that could be shaping their nascent sense of their gender identity.

That, in the eyes of trans activists, is blatant heresy—and Singal goes further, noting that many parents do not receive the full range of information they needed when confronted with a child who has or claims to have gender dysphoria. The LGBT community urges them to affirm and begin the path to transition, and teens often are impatient to get the process started—and many parents have told horror stories of even getting kicked out of support groups for the parents of trans kids simply for asking whether or not physical transition is the best way forward. The peer pressure to get on board is enormous, and can have tragic results:

Cari Stella is the author of a blog called Guide on Raging Stars. Stella, now 24, socially transitioned at 15, started hormones at 17, got a double mastectomy at 20, and detransitioned at 22. “I’m a real-live 22-year-old woman with a scarred chest and a broken voice and a 5 o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman,” she said in a video posted in August 2016. “I was not a very emotionally stable teenager,” she told me when we spoke. Transitioning offered a “level of control over how I was being perceived.”

Carey Callahan is a 36-year-old woman living in Ohio who detransitioned after identifying as trans for four years and spending nine months on male hormones. She previously blogged under the pseudonym Maria Catt, but “came out” in a YouTube video in July 2016. She now serves as something of an older sister to a network of female, mostly younger detransitioners, about 70 of whom she has met in person; she told me she has corresponded online with an additional 300. (The detransitioners who have spoken out thus far are mostly people who were assigned female at birth. Traditionally, most new arrivals at youth gender clinics were assigned male; today, many clinics are reporting that new patients are mostly assigned female. There is no consensus explanation for the change.)

I met Carey in Columbus in March. She told me that her decision to detransition grew out of her experience working at a trans clinic in San Francisco in 2014 and 2015. “People had said often to me that when you transition, your gender dysphoria gets worse before it gets better,” she told me. “But I saw and knew so many people who were cutting themselves, starving themselves, never leaving their apartments. That made me doubt the narrative that if you make it all the way to medical transition, then it’s probably going to work out well for you.”

I disagree with much of what Singal has to say, but I applaud the genuine courage it took in today’s suffocating media culture to actually tell the stories of the detransitioners, who are much-maligned and consistently ignored. Singal has also exposed, once again, the intolerance of the trans activists: Regardless of the fact that he both accepts and defends the premises of the trans ideology and despite the fact that he also tells many stories of “happy endings” to transition, that’s not good enough. He disobeyed the rule that trans activists have laid out for the media: If you can’t say everything nice, don’t say anything at all.

It will be interesting to see how this discussion unfolds.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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In Trinity case, Canada’s Supreme Court strikes religious liberty a devastating blow

By Jonathon Van Maren

June 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – On Friday, June 15, the Supreme Court of Canada threw out a quarter-century of legal precedent on religious liberty by deciding, by a margin of 7-2, that it was “proportionate and reasonable” for the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario to refuse accreditation to any law students coming from Trinity Western University due to TWU’s much-maligned “community covenant.” The covenant, which students who choose to attend Trinity agree to, is a lifestyle policy that asks students to adhere to biblical codes of conduct, including the restriction of sexual activity to heterosexual marriage.

It was this covenant—again, a code of conduct for a small, privately-funded evangelical university that nobody has to attend if they don’t want to—that led law societies to claim that students coming from a TWU law school would not be able to escape their particular bias, and thus should not be accredited. Their presumption, apparently, is that people who have a specific set of religious beliefs are incapable of also reading the law as it is written, and that only those who heartily endorse every jot and tittle of what is legally permitted can function as lawyers. Ironically, the Court even managed to claim that their decision was being made as a nod to diversity, when their decision actually struck a devastating blow to diversity in the public square.

In fact, Chris Selley, a rather crotchety atheist over at the National Post, said as much in a column where he noted that the decision instead struck a blow to religious liberty and overturned decades of legal consensus. “The Supreme Court of Canada struck a brave blow on Friday for LGBTQ students who would be compelled to attend a proposed law school at Trinity Western University,” he wrote, “a small, private, evangelical Christian school in Langley, B.C., whose ‘community covenant’ prohibits sexual relations except among married men and women. That is to say, they struck a blow for nobody.”

Further, Selley noted, every single justice who ruled against Trinity admitted that TWU’s religious freedoms were being violated, but brushed that fact off as justified, citing the never-defined, vague concept of “charter values” as justification—an extraordinarily dangerous precedent that will surely be used by others to silence those they disagree with in the future. They dismissed the violation of religious liberty as one of “minor significance,” something strongly rebutted in a blistering dissent written by justices Suzanne Cote and Russell Brown.

“The state and state actors (like the law societies)—not private institutions like TWU—are constitutionally bound to accommodate difference in order to foster pluralism is public life,” the dissenting justices wrote. “Equating approval (of Trinity Law) to condonation (of the covenant) turns the protective shield of the Charter into a sword by effectively imposing Charter obligations on private actors.” Further, they noted, the idea of “charter values”—again, an undefined concept—is “entirely the product of idiosyncrasies of the judicial mind that pronounces them to be so.” In other words? “Charter values” will be used to silence and censure whichever group that a judge decides is deserving of such treatment.

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An update from the gender wars

By Jonathon Van Maren

To close the week off, here’s a roundup of the latest insanities stampeding through the culture.

Maine is the latest jurisdiction to offer a “third gender option” on their driver’s licenses—in addition to male and female, there will also be an “X” for those who are “non-binary.” These sorts of bureaucratic moves may seem fairly insignificant, but they do represent another step towards implementing the ideology of gender fluidity into the government and indicate that the state sanctions and accepts this ideology—and all of its implications.

One of those implications is less freedom for those who do not think that gender is interchangeable or fluid. A teacher in Indiana has apparently been forced to resign after he began calling all of the students by their last names in order to avoid addressing “transgender students by their preferred name.” One student, in keeping with the progressive assertion that words are themselves violent, insinuated that the teacher was unwittingly causing trans suicides by his actions.

Some parents, at least, are becoming outraged as the implications of gender fluidity are beginning to become apparent. Beyond the bathroom wars—one teenage girl is taking her school to court after finding a biological male in the girls’ bathroom only to have the principal tell her that such things were “policy” now—biological male students claiming to be female are cleaning house at sports event. The latest example is in Connecticut, where two biological males (who do not look even remotely female) took home all of the top prizes at the state track and field championships.

The English National Ballet has also fallen to the trans activists—their latest production, Sleeping Beauty, featured a male “gender-fluid” ballerina as part of an all-female ensemble. And a judge in Newfoundland, Canada, has ruled that a “polyamorous trio” of one woman and two men were all legal parents of a child that the woman gave birth to in 2017. The judge described the polyamorous relationship as “stable and ongoing” despite the fact that none of them are legally married, and that they hadn’t bothered to determine who the biological father of the child was. The judge also indicated that having three (unmarried) parents would be “best for the child.” That custody battle, I’m sure, is going to be as ugly as it is complex.

Progressive attempts to chip away at the remains of the family unit continue. From people who reject both femininity and masculinity and attempt to legislate confusion, to dissenters getting fired, to biological males disrupting spaces that were once reserved for all-females—this cultural experiment is going to come with a skull-splitting hangover. And regardless of what one delusional judge has to say, none of this is going to be “best” for the children.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Sadly, some LGBT activists dismiss mothers as unnecessary

By Jonathon Van Maren

June 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — It may rank as one of the most unintentionally sad headlines I’ve ever read, and it showed up in The Telegraph last week: “Baby born to transgender man could become the first person without a legal mother.” A transgender man — a biological woman — is in court insisting that to refer to a legal man as a “mother” is a violation of human rights, and that since society has “evolved,” the birth certificate should instead refer to the person who gave birth to the child as a “father.” After all, in today’s society, “It is an accepted fact that a female who transitions to male may in law maintain the ability to conceive and give birth to a child,” according to the barrister in charge of the legal team.

But it is not the utter moral confusion of this whole mess that I find depressing, or even the ridiculousness of this next skirmish in the war on reality. It is the fact that this story is another indication that our culture is rejecting the idea that having a mother is essential to a child’s well-being, and denying that mothers have a unique role to play in their children’s lives. It would have been unthinkable, a very short time ago, to state that children do not need a mother. But that is exactly what LGBT activists are explicitly claiming — and they are taking that assertion to court.

Many people do not realize that when LGBT activists like Dan Savage claim — as he does — that a child is just as well served being raised by two men than by a mother and a father, that a fundamental part of this claim is that mothers do not bring anything unique to the family arrangement, and that a man can fulfill their role just as well. Savage, in responding with visible anger to a commentator on a panel who asserted that women are often better at nurturing children several years back, dismissed the idea that a person’s “genital sets” had anything to do with their ability to raise a child — as if differing genitalia were the only difference between men and women.

Savage and his fellow LGBT activists are saying, essentially, that there are no real differences between men and women. One of the reasons Dr. Jordan Peterson has attracted so much hatred is because he consistently and scientifically rebuts this assertion, which is fundamental to much of the progressive worldview. But does anyone really believe this? Does anyone actually think that two people of the same sex can complement each other in parenthood the way a man and a woman can? Do they honestly believe that mothers are basically fathers, but just without male genitals? Sure, a few people like Dan Savage have to believe this, to justify their own selfishness. But does anyone else?

I confess here that I grew up with an extraordinary privilege: A happily married mother and father. I’ve long believed that this is the real “privilege” in our society, one that has nothing to do with race or what-have-you: Growing up in a stable home with loving parents. My mother, of course, is the parent I have the very earliest memories of, and I remember thinking once, as she played Frank Mills’ The Happy Song for us kids on a warm summer evening when I was very small, that nobody was more perfect and beautiful than she was. The idea that anybody would (or could) want to do without something so wonderful as a mother is something that still boggles my mind.

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Why conservative Christians don’t trust David Frum

By Jonathon Van Maren

It seems that wherever you look these days, David Frum is cropping up to talk about his latest book, Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic. He’s chatted with Sam Harris on the Waking Up podcast, he’s sat down with Dave Rubin, and he even showed up in his home country of Canada to chat about Trump with the CBC. His message is a simple one: Trump is demonstrably corrupt, and he is using the highest office in the land to financially enrich himself while degrading the fundamental institutions of the American republic. Frum is no bemused National Review Never Trumper—he seems genuinely passionate about what he believes Trump is doing to America.

He may be right. Trump was never particularly well-known for his high ethical standards—even here in Toronto, there are stories still percolating through business circles about Trump’s willingness to screw people during his brief exploratory visits to this city. I’m fairly certain that it would be difficult to find anyone, Right or Left, who would be willing to defend all of Trump’s previous business practices and his current conflicts of interest. His supporters largely respond to such things with a shrug—after all, this is what they expect from politicians. Trump, at least, is their guy and trying to address their concerns.

I’ve been trying for some months to put a finger on what it is about Frum’s moral outrage that I find slightly irritating, and while sorting books in my library the other day, I figured out what it was. I have four of Frum’s books—his memoir of the time he spent as George W. Bush’s speechwriter, his magnificent book on the 1970s, How We Got Here, and two collections of his columns, What’s Right and Dead Right. Those books contain some of the most eloquent arguments for social conservatism that I’ve ever read—his essays in opposition to euthanasia, for example, are beautifully written. Frum even wrote the foreword to Alberta firebrand Ted Byfield’s The Book of Ted: Epistles of an Unrepentant Redneck.

But that David Frum seems to be gone. Frum seems unflappable in the face of the overwhelming cultural victories of the LGBT movement, and disinterested in what the gender ideologues are doing to the country. Religious liberty (which, granted, he supports) is under threat like never before, and the previous president—for all of his fastidious manners and personal dignity—led that charge, positioning himself as the enemy of conservative Christians. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Frum seems to think that Trump’s petty corruptions and buffoonish character are more of a threat to the American Republic than Barack Obama was—or Hillary Clinton, for that matter. He even voted for Hillary Clinton, who was dedicated to using the power of the presidency to destroy religious liberty, and said so.

And that is precisely why so many traditional conservatives are suspicious of David Frum. Why does he, and others, appear not to be concerned about what the Left is doing to the country—and what they would have done, if they’d recaptured the presidency? And if they are, why is all the passion reserved for Trump’s sins and misdemeanours, without any correlating recognition of just how terrifying the alternative would have been? It seems to many that there is a certain type of conservative that wishes only to conserve the ceremonial trappings and procedures and etiquette of power while ignoring the fact that people like Obama and Clinton were passionately committed to the abortion industry and the destruction of the traditional family—but apparently everything is fine, as long as nobody frightens the horses. At least No-Drama Obama was dignified, these conservatives huff, forgetting about the White House being lit up with the LGBT rainbow. Things might not be going great, but decline with decorum is a pretty good slogan.

Again, much of what Frum says and writes about Trump is probably true. Frum is a formidable researcher and a great writer. But he simply does not seem to understand that to many people, an empowered and bloody abortion industry, courts stacked with men and women eager to deprive conservative Christians of their liberty, and an equally corrupt candidate (the Clinton years could hardly be called “dignified”)—these things are existential, and far outweigh any concerns about Trump’s Twitter tirades. To many people, the Trump Administration might be a dumpster fire—but all the right wieners are getting roasted, starting with Clinton herself. I wrote furiously against Donald Trump nearly every day until he was the only alternative to Hillary, and even then I was reluctant–but to suggest that Clinton would be better says much about one’s priorities.

I get it—Trump’s personal deportment is often embarrassing. Niall Ferguson noted recently that it is hard to find something nice to say about Trump’s character, and George Will has admitted that a significant amount of his contempt for this Administration revolves around aesthetics. I cede all of these points and more. But at the end of the day, I cannot understand conservatives who thought that, with everything that is at stake, Hillary Clinton was a better alternative—or why their passions seem so singularly aroused by the bumbling of a Manhattan billionaire, while remaining so cool when fundamental freedoms are under threat.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Malta and Northern Ireland hold out as the abortion wars rage across Europe

By Jonathon Van Maren

News hasn’t gotten any better from the Republic of Ireland since the abortion referendum on May 25—turncoat taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already indicated that while individual medical professionals may be permitted conscientious objection to abortion, institutions will not. In other words, he and his government plan to force Catholic hospitals to provide abortions on demand. A politician who ran as a pro-lifer is now planning to make feticide, which is still technically illegal in the Republic, mandatory even for religious institutions. It is hard to put into words how disgusting the betrayal of Ireland’s politicians is.

On the more encouraging side, the pro-life policies of Hungary seem to be paying off as the government of Viktor Orban strives to pull the nation out of their demographic death spiral and encourage healthy families. Abortion numbers have dropped by over a third since 2010—from 40,449 to 28,500—and those statistics are complemented by a surge in marriages (35,520 in 2010 to 50,600 in 2017) and a plunge in the divorce rate (23,873 in 2010 to 18,600 in 2017). Despite near constant demonization from much of Western Europe, Hungary is seeing real progress as a result of their family-centric legislative program.

Europe’s last two pro-life nations are also resisting the inevitable pressure of the pro-abortion elite in the wake of the Republic of Ireland’s decision to remove the right to life for pre-born children from their constitution. In a mixed victory, the UK Supreme Court dismissed an appeal brought by the ironically-named Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission—although a majority of the judges still indicated that Northern Ireland’s existing laws, which render abortion illegal, were “incompatible” with human rights law due to the lack of exceptions for fetal abnormality or abortion in the case of sexual assault.

Northern Ireland, for the time being, remains the only part of the United Kingdom where the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply. Pro-life activists are mobilizing to lobby politicians—who thus far have promised that they have no intention of changing the status quo—and beginning the hard work of mobilizing Irish pro-lifers for the battle. I interviewed Bernadette Smyth, the leader of the Belfast-based pro-life organization Precious Life, earlier this month, and she noted that abortion activists should know that the result of the abortion referendum in the Republic had by no means left the pro-life movement “dead on the battlefield,” promising a massive fight to keep abortion out of her country.

In the tiny British territory of Malta, where abortion remains a crime under Section 162 of the 2011 Crimes Act of Gibraltar, a government spokesman responded to questions and demands that Malta become the next country to liberalize abortion laws by stating bluntly that, “The Cabinet has not considered changing this [abortion] policy.” Abortion activists, predictably, have responded angrily, with one obliviously claiming that abortion is “a human right. We cannot be the last progressive nation in Europe to have this restriction on women.” If Malta holds firm, the Rock may be the last truly safe place for pre-born children in Europe—something which will infuriate the feticide fanatics who have just finished their wild celebrations in Dublin.

In one final bit of good news, last month the parliament of Portugal rejected euthanasia once again, with the centre-Left Socialist government attempting to legalize the practice, but losing that bid by a narrow 115 votes to 110. Suicide activists, too, are relentless—some are already suggesting that because the population of Ireland was so enthusiastic about abortion, perhaps it is time for assisted suicide to come to the Republic, as well. In the meantime, dissidents to the Culture of Death in each country are fighting tirelessly to protect the young, the disabled, the elderly, and the vulnerable. Two thousand years ago, Christians were recognized as those strange people that rejected the killing of infants and the old. Soon, if the advocates of abortion and euthanasia have their way, that reputation may return.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Child sacrifice still exists among some tribes…but Western elites see no problem

By Jonathon Van Maren

June 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In April of 2018, archaeologists in Peru announced a horrifying discovery: Evidence of what appears to be the largest single mass child sacrifice in the world. Researchers uncovered the skeletons of 140 children between the age of five and fourteen years old, many with dislocated and twisted rib cages, indicating that their killers may have been attempting to pull out their hearts. From what they can tell, archaeology experts believe the children were sacrificed just over five centuries ago to appease the gods as a result of mass flooding.

That same month, an article appeared in the publication Foreign Policy, grappling with an eerily related question: “Should Brazil keep its Amazon tribes from taking the lives of their children?” For centuries, the article noted, a few indigenous tribes in Brazil have committed the ritual murder of infants and some children, specifically those who were considered to be a “bad omen”—disabled children, children born to single mothers, and twins. This question was raised by events unfolding in Brazil. As John Daniel Davidson explained over at The Federalist:

At issue is a law under consideration in Brazil that would outlaw ritual infanticide and child killings by native groups, known as “Muwaji’s Law,” named after an indigenous woman who rejected her tribe’s expectation that she kill her disabled daughter in 2005.

The Brazilian Association of Anthropology staunchly opposes Muwaji’s Law, and compared it to “the most repressive and lethal actions ever perpetrated against the indigenous peoples of the Americas, which were unfailingly justified through appeals to noble causes, humanitarian values and universal principles.” The association also called the law an attempt to put indigenous peoples “in the permanent condition of defendants before a tribunal tasked with determining their degree of savagery.”

That sentiment is shared by Brazil’s National Indian Foundation, known as Funai, which refuses to collect data on child-killing among indigenous tribes, resists even acknowledging its existence in public, and said in a 2016 press release that raising the issue at all “is in many cases an attempt to incriminate and express prejudice against indigenous peoples.”

Those statements, Davidson explains, are actually intended to refer to two key proponents of the law, the founders of an organization to protect the rights of indigenous children called Atini, Marcia and Edson Suziki. The Suzukis, who are also evangelical missionaries, lived among the various indigenous peoples of Brazil for decades, and have witnessed for themselves some of the horrible child-killing practices that still exist among certain tribes. The Suruwaha, for example, believe that children with physical disabilities as well as twins and triplets have no souls, are cursed, and must be killed, usually by being buried alive. As Davidson recounted:

In 1995, the Suzukis were living among the Suruwaha when tribal leaders decided that a two-year-old girl named Hakani, who still could not walk or talk, should be killed, and ordered her parents to do it.

The harrowing story of what ensued was recounted in a 2007 report in The Telegraph:

They committed suicide—eating a poison root—rather than obey the order. Hakani’s 15-year-old brother was then told he had to kill her. He dug a hole to bury her next to the village hut, which is where the tribe usually buries animals, and hit her over the head with a machete to knock her out.

However, she woke up as she was being placed in the hole and the boy found he could not go through with the killing. Hakani’s grandfather then shot her with an arrow. He was so upset he tried to commit suicide, too. But Hakani survived, although her wound became infected and she was left to live like an animal in the forest for three years. At the age of five she was very undersized, still unable to walk and abused by other Indians. She survived only because a brother smuggled food to her.

The Suzukis eventually got Hakani the medical care she needed—she was diagnosed with a treatable condition, hypothyroidism—and nursed her back to health. They tried to bring her back to the tribe, “to show them she was not cursed,” Márcia Suzuki said. “But nobody wanted her.” So the Suzukis adopted Hakani as their own.

Instead of bringing attention to the plight of disabled and unwanted indigenous children, the Hakani affair prompted the public prosecutor’s office in the state of Amazonia to recommend in 2003 that all nonindigenous people be banned from lands occupied by the Suruwaha.

And why was this recommendation made? Because a prominent anthropologist accused the Suzukis of “advocating for Western values” (in this case, condemning the murder of children), and that by doing this they were standing “in the way of the realization of a cultural practice filled with meaning.” In short: The Suzuki’s opposition to the ritual killing of children like their adopted daughter was viewed, by some experts, as an inexcusable form of cultural colonialism. Western publications like Foreign Policy, devoid of any real moral compass, are very sensitive to these sorts of accusations, and are now forced to grapple with whether or not ritual child-killing should be allowed—after all, no one culture is superior to another, and who are we to judge?

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Gay columnist condemns “exposing children” to “debauchery” at Pride Parades

By Jonathon Van Maren

A few years back, my friend JJ McCullough published a rather unpopular column, noting that although Pride parades have become a litmus test for one’s level of tolerance these days, there are plenty of people—himself included—who simply find them distasteful displays of indecency. The media and progressive politicians like to gang up on conservative politicians and demand that they show up and frolic with the crowds or be damned as unforgivable bigots, despite the fact that these events now regularly expose children to male adult nudity and simulated sex acts, something that progressives seem to collectively ignore.

Just in time for Pride Month, Josh deHaas has published a column in the National Post titled “I’m gay, and I wouldn’t blame Doug Ford for avoiding Toronto’s Pride Parade,” essentially concurring with McCullough’s thesis:

One of the first decisions premier-designate Doug Ford will need to make is whether to march in Toronto’s gay Pride parade later this month. If he doesn’t submit to strolling down Yonge Street while getting soaked by leather-clad men armed with water guns, his critics will claim it’s proof he hates gays.

But there are some perfectly legitimate reasons to skip the annual bash. I’m gay, and I boycotted the parade last year. So did a lot of other people, apparently: Pride’s beverage sales declined from $348,917 in 2016 to $197,336 in 2017…

DeHaas then points out that Pride events have become heavily politicized, with the police being told to stay away due to pressure from groups like Black Lives Matter, as well as association with other left-wing fringe groups. And then he makes several points that are sure to incur the wrath of the LGBT crowd—if a politician were to make them, they would find themselves pilloried overnight:

And that’s not the only reason a centrist or right-leaning politician might want to skip.

Some on the left have claimed Ford’s description of Pride as an event where “middle-aged men with pot bellies” run down the street “buck naked” was evidence of homophobia. I’d say that was just an accurate description of what goes on. Disturbingly, more and more parents are bringing young children to watch the parade, exposing them to provocative displays of sexuality that no child should witness. If a politician believes in family values, why would he or she want to be associated with such debauchery?

In fact, the main focus of Canada’s gay lobby recent years has been demanding that taxpayers fund PrEP, an expensive HIV medication that gay men can take to reduce their risk of catching the virus during condomless sex. Experts are now, unsurprisingly, linking PrEP to a rise in drug-resistant gonorrhea. For many gay men, PrEP is nothing more than an aid to promiscuity, yet left-wing governments in Ontario, B.C. and Quebec have all started using precious health-care dollars to hand it out for free.

While conservative politicians face constant pressure to show up at Pride events, none of them dare to respond to those accusing them of various phobias with a few simple questions: Do you think public nudity is appropriate? Is it “homophobic” to think that sex acts, simulated or otherwise, should remain indoors? Should children be exposed to male adult nudity? Should politicians condemn the presence of children at events where adult nudity is common and expected?

I, for one, would be very interested to hear how these questions would be answered.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Homophobic chicken: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologizes for eating at Chick-fil-A

By Jonathon Van Maren

For today’s best news story in the category of “Everything is Stupid Now,” Business Insider just published an article with this doozy of headline: “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey forced to apologize for eating Chick-fil-A during Pride Month.” They described Dorsey’s sins against the Rainbow Empire as follows:

On Saturday, Dorsey posted a photo on Twitter with the caption “Boost @ChickfilA,” showing he had saved 10% on a $31.58 order at the fast-food chain.

Critics immediately seized on Dorsey’s support of Chick-fil-A, whose CEO has come under fire for his views on same-sex marriage, during Pride Month.

“You must love the taste of bigotry!” one person wrote in response.

“Why is Twitter boosting a notoriously anti-gay company during #PrideMonth?” another person wrote.

Among the critics was the former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, who said, “This is an interesting company to boost during Pride month, @jack.”

Dorsey responded: “You’re right. Completely forgot about their background.”

That “background,” of course, is that the CEO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, is a supporter of the traditional family, and as such Chick-fil-A has made donations to social conservative groups over the years. In response to this news (over five years ago now), LGBT activists made a point of making out in Chick-fil-A restaurants, while the company experienced a business surge from those who wanted to vote with their wallets. LGBT activists have never forgiven Chick-fil-A for declining to join the corporate stampede to kiss the rainbow ring—the New Yorker even called the restaurant’s arrival in New York City earlier this year “creepy” because of its “pervasive Christian traditionalism,” which includes being closed on Sundays.

Next time you’re wondering if perhaps the moguls of social media are favoring their progressive users while suppressing conservative ones, remember that the CEO of Twitter publicly apologized for eating homophobic chicken during Pride Month.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Premier Rachel Notley is changing Alberta’s government ID to allow “non-binary” option

By Jonathon Van Maren

Despite her plummeting poll numbers, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s government is continuing to implement their social engineering plans in Alberta, perhaps in an

attempt to fundamentally reshape the government’s relationship with Albertans prior to their presumed defeat at the hands of United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney next year. This time, the NDP has decided to change government ID. From Global News:

Starting Friday, Albertans will have three options when it comes to filling out the gender field on their driver’s licence and other identifying documents like birth certificates.

“Albertans can now choose ‘F’ or ‘M’ or ‘X’ for the sex field on their driver’s licence, ID cards and vital statistic records,” Premier Rachel Notley said. “This is an important step in supporting transgender people, those who are transitioning, or who do not identify with a specific gender. The ‘X’ marker also offers privacy to those who don’t wish to disclose their gender.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but “identifying documents” are generally intended to carry information that allows people to identify the carriers of such documents. “Offering privacy” is certainly not the purpose of “identifying documents,” and thus the gender wars offer us the new ridiculousness of disguising people’s identities on identification documents intended to confirm their identities. That, and making vital statistics less precise and less useful. More:

The government also made it easier for Albertans to change the marker on their identification. Applicants aged 12 and older no longer need a supporting letter from a medical professional to make changes. She said the changes will support the LGBTQ2S+ community and make the province more inclusive and welcoming for everyone.

Notice here that the rainbow acronym is growing in size. The inclusion of the Q (for Queer) is fairly recent, and there are already three more. Identity politics is a wonderful thing.

“It’s incredibly great news,” transgender advocate Marni Panas said. “It’s really great progress. It’s a huge step forward… All Albertans can be recognized in their identification and it gives many people options back that they didn’t have for a long time.”

A Calgary student explained how having to choose between ‘M’ and ‘F’ can be difficult.

“Life being non-binary feels very precarious,” Quinn Nelson said. “My life feels contested and systems that wedge me into the gender binary contributed to that. Being limited to an ‘M’ or an ‘F’ has meant that my citizenship hinges on something that mis-genders me.

First of all, Nelson’s “citizenship” did not hinge on the identification of his or her gender. And secondly, I’m going to guess that the “M” and “F” on government ID wasn’t the real problem here, all things considered. But what this does highlight is the fact social engineering by political progressives does actually accomplish something significant: It begins the transformation of our political and legal systems to adhere to new gender ideologies as if those ideologies were fact. That is a dangerous phenomenon, and it is a much bigger deal than most people think.

Notley and her crew will use their remaining time in power to implement as much of their ideological agenda as possible—especially since Jason Kenney’s extremely disappointing decision to host a Pride breakfast for the United Conservative Party, in what appears to be the first attendance at a Pride event in his entire political career—gives them a solid indication that Kenney will do nothing to oppose or roll back such changes, and the field is theirs for the taking.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Does genuine conservatism still exist in Canada?

By Jonathon Van Maren

June 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Recently, I’ve been reading through Peter Hitchens’ memoir of his political journey, The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost Its Way, due to the fact that many of his observations were proven prophetic by Brexit and the left-leaning governance of the Tory Party. The book obviously primarily addresses European politics, but many of the observations Hitchens makes about British politics echo my thoughts about the current state of Canadian politics, as well – specifically, the fact that successive progressivist governments by the Liberal Party of Canada have shoved the Overton Window so far Left that our so-called conservative political parties are often distinguished from progressive parties only by their significantly better accounting skills.

Today’s Conservative parties, for example, seem to have long abandoned the idea that they’re actually supposed to be conserving something, and instead trail grumblingly along behind the cultural revolutions of the Left, occasionally raising their voices in protest with one eye fixed firmly on the polling numbers. Watching them do this reminds me of something Margaret Thatcher once told William F. Buckley. “Consensus has reared its head – you must have consensus,” she noted. “It is a word, again, that you used not to use when I first came into politics. We had convictions, and we tried to persuade people that our convictions were the right ones. It is no good having convictions if you do not have the will to translate those convictions into action.”

That is precisely why many Conservative politicians sound so uninspired: It is hard to manage social decline while still injecting Old Testament wrath into speeches about imbalanced budgets. To paraphrase Buckley, today’s Conservative politicians are standing athwart history saying, “Do we really have to drive so fast?” Very few are actually willing to defend something that resembles traditional conservatism – instead, many have become quite adept at apologizing for it, or assuring voters in pathetic speeches that conservatives are basically liberals, so don’t be scared, please vote for us.

I recognize that conservative politicians are in a very difficult spot. The culture now sits, for the most part, firmly in the centre-left territory on the political spectrum when it comes to many social issues (although the public does not seem to be reacting very positively to the blitzkrieg of the trans activists, and the culture is not nearly as far-Left as our progressive politicians like to claim). But part of the reason for this is that there are very few politicians who are willing to clearly articulate the rationale behind many common-sense social conservative policy positions, for example, because they are too busy worrying about triggering another hatchet-job from the media, who will incidentally only praise a Conservative who has thoroughly abandoned, if not actually sold-out and criticized, any semblance of conservative policy.

The very best Conservative politician, in the eyes of the media, is one that actually attempts to claim that progressive policies are really conservative-ish, if you squint at them just right. (I’m looking at you, Michael Chong.) These fake conservative politicians can be quoted as proof that actual conservatives are fringe extremists, thus serving as useful idiots for the Left. The task of defining social conservatism has been largely left to the media, the progressive politicians, and the talking heads, who have managed to effectively tar traditional conservatives as social pariahs in possession of a wide range of phobias as well as extraordinarily unelectable. With no response from Conservative politicians in defence of traditional conservatism, the public has understandably developed some rather inaccurate views of what that ideology stands for in the first place.

That leaves Canadian conservatives in a situation where the Left faces each election declaring boldly that We will do this and this! while the Right, attempting to muster something that sounds like conviction, responds: We will allow that to happen, perhaps signal our mild discomfort with some of it, and then remind you that we have a better accountant! Many traditional conservatives still show up and vote out of self-defence, hoping to keep the government out of our homes and schools a little longer, but many others have developed a profound cynicism about the entire process due to the simple fact that there are only a handful of politicians actually willing to speak to any of the issues that they deeply care about. Most political parties claiming the name “Conservative” have at this point fundamentally ceded the ideological victories of the Left, and are now content to dicker over details while trying to find some reason to justify their political existence.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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A PC Majority Government: Ontario Voters Finally Reject the Left

By Jonathon Van Maren

It was a clean sweep for the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario’s provincial election yesterday. Doug Ford’s PC Party secured a majority government with 76 seats at Queen’s Park, the NDP only managed to win 40 seats, and the Liberal Party did not even meet the 8-seat threshold for official party status, going from a majority to 7 seats. Premier Kathleen Wynne narrowly won her seat, and then promptly resigned it, having already conceded that her party would get thumped a week ago in a weird press conference she claims was designed to persuade voters to only elect a PC or NDP minority. She might have realized that voters stopped listening to her quite awhile ago.

There’s a few points to make here. First of all, I can’t begin to say how grateful I am that Patrick Brown is not the premier of Ontario, which he surely would be if he hadn’t gotten dumped by the PCs over sexual misconduct allegations earlier this year. If Brown had won, it would have sent the message to Conservative politicians right across the country that you can backstab and betray social conservatives and still win. Brown had done everything in his power—which was quite a bit—to bully and silence the social conservative MPPs in the PC Party, and he certainly would have continued to do that in order to hang on to power. Instead, we will now have a premier who has stated that social conservatives have a place in the PC Party, and has promised to address several of their top priorities.

There were also some great MPPs elected last night. Sam Oosterhoff continued his winning streak in Niagara West. Will Bouma, who my wife and I had the privilege of voting for, narrowly won in Brantford-Brant. Billy Pang took Markham-Unionville. Belinda Karahalios won in Cambridge. Christina Mitas took Scarborough Centre. Monte McNaughton secured a third term in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. Darryl Kramp was elected in Hastings-Lennox and Addington. I could go on, but you get the picture: A large number of solidly social conservative MPPs will be heading to Queen’s Park, and many of them are replacing the hard-Left progressives who have been running the show for over a decade. The only disappointment was that my friend Andrew Lawton failed to win a seat in London West, despite putting up a phenomenal fight and knocking on 20,000 doors while being the subject of a deceitful and unforgivable smear campaign. The consolation is that none of us have heard the last of him.

The election of Doug Ford and the PCs also upturns much of the conventional script of the Canadian commentariat. First, Ford was unelectable as leader. Then, he was going to screw up the campaign. Now, he’ll become premier of Ontario, despite panicked editorials from the Toronto Star in the final days warning people that Ford would run roughshod over Toronto, perhaps not realizing that this threat sounded pretty good to a lot of voters. As I noted when Ford won the leadership of the PC Party, the media will now try to domesticate Ford, to convince him that he cannot win if he governs like a conservative, and must instead become the sort of Red Tory that they can begrudgingly tolerate. Quite a few are already on Twitter noting that Ford was actually sort of a liberal, if you compare him to an American Republican. While it is true that the Canadian political spectrum is a couple of inches wide, it is also amusing to see people who warned of a Ford apocalypse attempting to comfort themselves with things that they never would have dreamed of saying 24 hours ago.

My friend J.J. McCullough noted earlier this week in the Washington Post that considering the loony lineup of NDP lefties, who ran the gamut from out-and-out Marxists to candidates who refused to wear a poppy (all of them defended by Andrea Horwath), the Ontario election may also have been the voter’s answer to the question of how Left was too Left—a question that the media never, ever asks. Likely, a combination of voter fatigue with the simultaneously corrupt and self-righteous Liberals making life more difficult for the average Ontarians they claimed to speak for, the fact that many of the NDP candidates seemed to be far more fit to run for a university student union than for Queen’s Park, and a desire to run the whole crowd out of town and secure change were enough to do the job. Justin Trudeau, as several commentators already noticed, must be a bit nervous at the moment: Besides Ford joining the anti-carbon tax crew out in the prairie provinces, Ontario’s Liberal wipe-out proves that people can get fed up with virtue-signalling progressivism pretty quickly—and deprives him of a lot of people he leaned on heavily in 2015.

In summation: The Left is out in Ontario, and Ford—whoever he turns out to be—is in. This victory gives a boost to both Kenney and Scheer, and signals that as long as it might take, voters do get sick of the relentless social engineering of progressives, especially when they consistently fail to help the people they claim they joined politics to speak for. Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath, and Patrick Brown will not be premier of Ontario. That’s a good day for this province, and a good day for conservatives.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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Religious liberty would be over had U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Masterpiece Cakes

By Jonathon Van Maren

June 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The reactions to Monday’s Supreme Court decision for Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshops have been coming fast and furious from both sides of the political spectrum. The consensus developing on the Right seems to be suspicious celebration—the Court, after all, did not protect all religious liberty, but specifically ruled that this particular Colorado baker had been the victim of anti-religious discrimination. Thus, the precedent did not go nearly as far as most of us had hoped, and LGBT activists are surely gearing up to fight another day. Perhaps an elderly florist will make a better target.

That being said, I do think that those who are determined to find a black cloud on every silver lining are also underestimating the significance of this ruling. For starters, it must be noted that Christians needed to win this one. The ruling might not have been everything we hoped for, but a loss would have signaled the end of religious liberty in the United States, and a campaign to force opponents of gay “marriage” to involve themselves in celebrations of gay “weddings” would have commenced. Those who are harrumphing about the limits of the victory should pause to remember what would have happened had Phillips lost his case.

Additionally, this victory is more significant than some might think. As David French put it over at the National Review:

All bakers — regardless of religion — have the same rights and obligations. At the same time, gay and religious customers enjoy equal rights under state public-accommodation statutes. Any ruling the commission imposes will have to apply on the same basis to different litigants, regardless of faith and regardless of the subjective “offensiveness” of the message.

This is a severe blow to the state. It hoped for a ruling declaring that the cake wasn’t protected expression and a free-exercise analysis that simply ratified the public-accommodation law as a “neutral law of general applicability.” Such a ruling would have permitted the favoritism on display in this case. It would have granted state authorities broad discretion to elevate favored messages and suppress dissent, all while operating under the fiction that they weren’t suppressing protected expression or religious exercise.

Instead, civil-rights commissions now have to understand that restrictions on religious bakers will carry with them the same implied restrictions on secular bakers, and the protections given gay customers will extend on an equal basis to religious customers. In other words, the Court not only prohibited favoritism, it imposed a high cost on censorship.

Despite the fact that many smart conservatives have bemoaned the decision as a delay of the inevitable, French responded further by pointing out that many of the cases coming down the pipe are actually more favorable to us than the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, and that we may be looking at a very different Supreme Court soon. Essentially, Justice Anthony Kennedy rebuked the LGBT movement by stating, in no uncertain terms, that religious liberty was not just some pretext for bigotry and hatred as gay activists like to claim.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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Justin Trudeau’s past proves he’s a hypocrite on the feminism file

By Jonathon Van Maren

Warren Kinsella, the famous old guard Liberal political consultant, commentator, and author, published a blog post earlier today featuring a newspaper clipping from a British Columbian newspaper dated August 14, 2000. The editorial, written by someone Kinsella refers to as a “known” reporter who is apparently married with children and living out West, details an interesting incident starring none other than our prime minister, Justin Trudeau:

“I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.”

Those were the words that were spoken to an Advance reporter by Justin Trudeau, son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, August 4.

Trudeau, who was in Creston to celebrate the Kokanee Summit festival put on by the Columbia Brewery, apologized—a day late—for inappropriately “handling” the reporter while she was on assignment not only for the Advance, but also for the National Post and the Vancouver Sun.

“If I had known you were reporting for a national newspaper…”

Kinsella went on to note that this story has a lot to say about Justin Trudeau’s modus operandi, and wondered why Trudeau has never had to face the music for his past behavior:

Justin Trudeau “handled” a female reporter, and had apologized.  He wouldn’t have done it “if I had known you were reporting for a national paper.”  The newspaper editorialized about how he was wrong to have done what he did.

To those inside the Ottawa Bubble, stories of this type about Justin Trudeau are no surprise. The Canadian media’s resolute refusal (Patrick Brown being the notable exception) to cover stories of a personal nature are the only reason many politicians manage to maintain a squeaky clean image—although every once in awhile, someone almost gives the game away, like this memorable bit published by Global News after an interview with Trudeau’s wife:

Following the release of his memoir last fall, Trudeau was asked during a CBC interview about extramarital affairs, which he denied.

“Ha! Really?” Grégoire-Trudeau says.

“Ask if whatever happened in our lives – I’m not saying it did or didn’t – as if we would answer that.”

She puts down her fork and looks across the table.

“I can tell you right away that no marriage is easy,” she says. “I’m almost kind of proud of the fact that we’ve had hardship, yes, because we want authenticity. We want truth. We want to grow closer as individuals through our lifetime and we’re both dreamers and we want to be together for as long as we can.

“I’m happy that we had to go through that.”

She left it there, but the fact that she cracked up in response to the news that her husband had claimed he’d never cheated on her to her is hardly a positive reflection on his character. The simple fact—and open secret in many circles—is that Justin Trudeau is not who he claims to be, regardless of the fact that he enjoys flying the feminist flag furiously at every opportunity.

Kinsella’s discovery of decade-old dirt isn’t particularly surprising, nor is the fact that Trudeau is a manifest hypocrite who constantly trumpets his support for women’s rights (recent Globe and Mail headline: Trudeau says gender equality will be top priority at G7 summit) while ignoring his own rather bulging closet. One day, perhaps, things will begin to catch up with him.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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