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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How campus pro-life activism proves that young people are being lied to about what brings true happiness

By Jonathon Van Maren

For the last several days, I’ve been on university campuses in Florida with some of my colleagues from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and a team of volunteers, engaging with students on abortion. At the end of each day after activism, we have a debrief after taking down the Abortion Awareness Project display and discuss the conversations we had that day. For many of the volunteers, it is their first taste of pro-life activism, and over and over again, many of them bring up one poignant question: How can people believe the things they say?

They are referring to the university students (and often their professors) who are willing to make increasingly strange and repulsive arguments to defend their morally and scientifically untenable position on abortion. Some students will insist that the child in the womb is actually a parasite rather than a son or daughter. Others will say that because the baby is dependent on her mother, she can be killed at the whim of the one who should love her the most. Many say there is a fundamental conflict of rights that exists between a mother and her children — their right to life versus her apparent right to be rid of them.


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A Republican in Utah has put forward a bill to decriminalize polygamy–and it just got unanimous consent from a key senate committee

By Jonathon Van Maren

A few years ago, the best way to trigger an advocate for redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would be to note that once the gender of those involved in the marriage became arbitrary, there really was no reason, strictly speaking, that the number of partners involved should be limited, either. This logical argument—that once you redefine one characteristic of an institution, there is no reason you can’t redefine others, too—was extremely inconvenient for the activists who recognized that they needed to move the Overton Window slowly enough that nobody would get too alarmed. It is always important not to boil the frog too fast.

And so those who noted that polygamy could be coming down the pipe as other unorthodox romantic arrangements demanded government recognition (and the accompanying benefits) were met with outrage and accusations of being smear merchants, bigots, or promiscuous employers of the slippery slope fallacy. It was ludicrous to claim that those who wished to redefine an institution that was thousands of years old would not stop with one radical change, they said, and anyone who said otherwise was simply a raging homophobe.


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Atheist Richard Dawkins says that “of course” eugenics would work

By Jonathon Van Maren

Last fall, the BBC aired a chilling and brilliant two-part documentary titled Eugenics: Science’s Greatest Scandal. In painful detail, the documentary told the stories of children scooped off the streets and locked in asylums for life because they were considered imperfect, of asylum inmates having their babies forcibly aborted because the doctors deemed them to be mentally incompetent, and of the appalling devaluing of human life that came from the policies of eugenics first pioneered by Sir Francis Galton, who was inspired by the work of his cousin, Charles Darwin.

Eugenics, which was practiced far more widely in both Great Britain and in North America than most realize, was the idea that the selective breeding of human beings could produce a better species. This could be done by ensuring that the best specimens produced many children, and conversely making sure that those considered less than perfect did not (eugenics is Greek for “good birth.”) These practices, understandably, fell out of favor when the Third Reich implemented them on a state-wide scale and added the practice of wide-scale extermination to forced sterilization. It is a scarcely mentioned fact that it was Sir Francis Galton who first proposed the idea of benevolent concentration camps of a kind as a place to put populations of people deemed unsuitable for breeding.


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The transgender children of Hollywood stars

By Jonathon Van Maren

If the transgender phenomenon is, as Dr. Lisa Littman concluded, a peer contagion, then it is difficult not to conclude that the steady trickle of celebrities coming out to normalize transgenderism is a dangerous trend, indeed.

As I noted earlier this year, Charlize Theron has made headlines for deciding to raise her son Jackson as a girl — and now another celebrity is coming out to announce that his son is now a girl. This time, it is 13-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade and his Hollywood actress wife, Gabrielle Union.

Dwyane Wade told TV host (and LGBT icon) Ellen DeGeneres that his twelve-year-old son, who was originally named Zion, came home one day and informed his parents that he now believed himself to be a girl. According to Wade, the boy dropped the news pretty bluntly: “Hey, so I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward, I’m ready to live my truth. And I want to be referenced as she and her. I’d love for you guys to call me Zaya.”


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Why it would be a travesty for Canada to provide assisted suicide to the mentally ill

One of the most stunning features of Canada’s discussion surrounding assisted suicide is that debate has been almost completely absent. Pro-life groups spoke out, of course, as well as a handful of churches and religious groups. But only a few Conservative Members of Parliament consistently spoke out on the issue and now, with the eligibility requirements for assisted suicide on the cusp of being expanded, there seems to be nothing but crickets from the politicians. In the mainstream press, muscular opposition to assisted suicide was almost non-existent, with the notable exception of columnist Andrew Coyne, who has doggedly stuck to his guns despite an overwhelming media consensus that government sanction and provision of suicide is a good thing.

In response, Dr. John Maher, the president of the Ontario Association for Assertive Community Treatment and editor-in-chief o the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health, is speaking out. To their credit, the CBC published his column, and I would encourage all of you to read the entire thing:

I am a psychiatrist, and over the past couple of years I have had suicidal patients ask me for medical assistance in dying (MAID). I have explained this is not an option, because they are not dying (their death is not “reasonably foreseeable”) and Canadian law does not allow MAID for people living with mental illness. But now, with the Quebec court’s Truchon decision, it looks like everything is about to change. And I am appalled at the unfairness.

Under the specious guise of legal equality of access to a so-called medical act, Canadian legislators are considering the use of doctors as surrogates to end the lives of our fellow citizens who suffer from treatable mental illness.

A few days ago, a 30-year-old patient with very treatable mental illness asked me to end her life. Her distraught parents came to the appointment with her because they were afraid that I might support her request and that they would be helpless to do anything about it. It’s horrific they have to worry that by going to a psychiatrist, their daughter might be killed by that very psychiatrist.

That same patient said to me, “a doctor killing me is not suicide, it is totally different.”

The perverse veneer of moral acceptability that follows from medicalizing what is patently not a medical act is infuriating in its obfuscatory power. This facile reasoning, from “this person’s suffering persists” to the claim that “death is the best relief of suffering,” betrays profound ignorance about all of the pathways and varied means possible for the relief of suffering.

I have been specializing in treatment-resistant mental illness for 17 years. I want to scream from the political and juridical mountaintop that “treatment resistant” does not mean untreatable. It means clinical experience and sophistication are needed; it means that specialized tertiary care programs are needed; it means patience and persistence are needed.

And in reality, it means that every single person with severe mental illness can experience dramatic improvement in their symptoms and concomitant reductions in their suffering.

The law currently requires that to be eligible for MAID, a patient must meet the standard of “grievous and irremediable” suffering. I have seen much grievous suffering that I acknowledge took months to several years to ameliorate, but I have yet to see a patient with irremediable suffering unless left untreated by inadequate availability of services.

If you have done this work for a long time, it becomes very clear that the main reason for wanting to die is desperate loneliness and existential hopelessness. Shared suffering is reduced suffering. But why live if no one will help me? Why live if my country says my doctor will end my life if I ask?

When I hear patients (as I often do) say nothing works and then I discover they have not been referred to, or had access to, the right specialized care, I cringe. If you have a hard-to-treat cancer you go to the oncology subspecialist. If you have a brain tumour you get a fast referral to a neurosurgeon. If you have a brain disease like schizophrenia, however, you can wait years to get the right care.

In Ontario we have two- to five-year waits for some subspecialist/tertiary-level mental health care; this translates into tens of thousands of people (your mom, your partner, your child) left to wallow in their suffering. They are voiceless.

Meanwhile, those who are not voiceless – lawyers, politicians, suicide advocacy groups – are good at shouting and oversimplifying the real issue, all under the guise of protecting rights: “You deserve to have the right to get your doctor to kill you.”

Unfortunately, you do not seem to deserve the right to have the treatment or support that decades of evidence shows can help. Whither TMS, ACT, community care teams, enough mental health beds, youth mental health services, widely available psychotherapy, and on and on…  And against the naysayers who protest that none of this is affordable, I point to the decades of economic research that shows again and again that prevention and implementation of the right services doesn’t cost more … it saves billions.

This is about political blindness.

We would never underfund heart disease, cancer, and myriad other diseases the way we do mental health care. This is widespread and systematic stigmatization bolstered by prejudice and ignorance. Politicians won’t fund the mental health services we know work, but they’re considering paying doctors to end the lives of their patients … patients who don’t even know that they have been systematically

If society won’t pay for the timely access to effective treatments, then society must not make me its surrogate killer. My vocation, training and oath all aim to relieve suffering and help people find meaning and purpose. Holding a gun to your head, sticking a needle in your arm, or holding a poison pill and a glass of water in my hands for you to take, are all morally equivalent actions. And don’t tell me your desire to die changes the moral nature of my complicity. Your desire to die should call forth in me all possible action and means to keep you alive.

Such have been the laws that require me to admit you into a hospital for your own safety. We can’t have it both ways: suicide prevention and facilitation are fundamentally incompatible moral and pragmatic positions.

And any proposed “safeguards” against abuse in Canada will falter. The past 15 years in Belgium and The Netherlands have shown us that some psychiatrists will ignore safeguards, and some prosecutors and courts won’t enforce them.

Disturbingly, a small number of psychiatrists have done an inordinate proportion of the direct killing of mentally ill patients in these countries. Without question, some psychiatrists in Canada will also be willing to end the lives of their patients. Word will quickly get out about which psychiatrists you should go to in order to get the job done.

The legal language used in Canada also undermines any likelihood of effective safeguards. The standard of “grievous and irremediable” suffering is subjective and cannot be made objective, and every patient in Canada is free to refuse any treatment no matter how much it might help.

In short, I can make myself meet the criteria, and I will find a psychiatrist who will confirm my capacity to choose death and go along with my request to end my life. The only possible way to stop these inevitable abuses is to ban the practice of medically assisted dying for all persons living with mental illness.

Fellow psychiatrists, please hold fast against being pressured to do what we swore we wouldn’t. And please … step up, parliamentarians! Step up, ministers of health! Step up, premiers! Step up, prime minister!

And should it ever come to it, please know that I will never support you in your belief that your life is not worth living.

For those of you who are interested in getting equipped to better discuss assisted suicide, my colleague Blaise Alleyne and I wrote a little book a couple of years ago called A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide, which has been very well-reviewed by doctors and other medical professionals. ARPA has also launched a very helpful website utilizing many of the arguments laid out in the book.

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The LGBT movement wants to stand between parents and their children

By Jonathon Van Maren

LGBT activism generally has two steps. Step one has the activists angrily asking those who oppose their agenda how the proposed policy will impact their lives, with the emphatic assertion that it will not. The second step has these same activists, once they have successfully achieved their goal and demonized their opponents, informing us all precisely how their agenda will impact our lives. They assured us that redefining marriage, for example, would have no impact on religious liberty. A few minutes later, Democratic presidential candidates on CNN were musing about removing charitable status from churches.

Even scarier is the transgender agenda. Trans activists and their allies are claiming that any girl or boy who believes herself or himself to be born in the wrong body should immediately receive “affirmative” treatment, which generally includes puberty-blockers, hormone treatments, and eventually the requisite mastectomies and castrations to complete what they are now insidiously referring to as “gender affirmation surgery.” Parents are often caught off guard by their children coming out as transgender and are so viciously attacked when they suggest that their children should wait before engaging in any regimens or surgeries with permanent results (mutilation and infertility being only two) that concerned parents frequently have to meet in secret.


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More than 2,400 aborted babies will be buried in South Bend this week

By Jonathon Van Maren

In my 2016 book The Culture War, I described coming face-to-face with an abortion victim for the first time: A little baby boy, retrieved from a dumpster behind an abortion clinic, floating in a jar. For me, that little boy will always represent all of the victims of abortion, the millions upon millions of unseen children who arrived in this world uncelebrated and were softly suctioned away soon afterwards. If these children were mourned by their parents, they were mourned too late.

Some of them, at least, were mourned later, by pro-life activists who tenderly retrieved them from the trash and buried them in cemeteries, granting them the respect in death that they never received in life. I saw a gravestone marking where some of them were committed to the earth back in 2014, in a Michigan graveyard. Their headstone read simply: “Twenty Three Unborn Children, Victims of Abortion.  Laid To Rest May 3, 2008. He will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Another sad funeral will take place this week, for the more than 2,000 dead babies discovered on the property of deceased abortionist Dr. Ulrich Klopfer of South Bend, Indiana tomorrow. South Bend, you may remember, is the hometown of former mayor and current abortion extremist Pete Buttigieg, who supports abortion up until birth. From the Associated Press:

More than 2,400 sets of fetal remains found last year in the Illinois garage and a car of an Indiana abortion doctor after he died will be buried Wednesday at a northern Indiana cemetery.

The 2,411 sets of fetal remains that resulted from abortions Dr. Ulrich Klopfer performed in Indiana will be “memorialized” Wednesday afternoon at a graveside service at Southlawn Cemetery and Palmer Funeral Home in South Bend, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office said Monday.

Hill’s office did not immediately respond to messages left Monday asking whether the burial space had been donated. He had previously said Roman Catholic dioceses in Indiana had offered to bury the remains, which were transferred in October to the St. Joseph County coroner’s office in South Bend.

Klopfer died Sept. 3 at age 79. Days later, relatives told authorities they had found fetal remains in his garage in Will County, Illinois. Officials found 2,246 sets of fetal remains in that building. Another 165 sets of fetal remains were found in October in the trunk of a car owned by Klopfer that was parked at a Chicago-area storage unit. All of the remains resulted from abortions Klopfer performed at his now-shuttered clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend. Officials believe those abortions were performed between 2000 and 2003.

Klopfer’s medical license was suspended in 2016 by Indiana regulators who cited shoddy record-keeping and substandard patient monitoring.

Think about that for a moment tomorrow, as you go about your day. More than 2,400 babies will be buried. Babies that were legally killed in the United States of America, with the procedure that killed them being trumpeted as a precious right by every single Democratic candidate running for the presidency.

And remember that as those little ones are being laid to rest, thousands more will be killed in clinics across the country. May God have mercy on us.

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Academic who believes “demon invocation” is an important part of queer theory advocates human extinction as solution to climate change

By Jonathon Van Maren

On January 23, 2020, Bloomsbury Academic published a call to action for all those who care about “climate change.” The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene by Patricia MacCormack, a professor of continental philosophy at Angelia Ruskin University, cuts to the chase and advocates for the ultimate solution to global warming: The end of the human race. For MacCormack, “Extinction Rebellion” has a whole different meaning.

MacCormack, who admits to being an “occultist magician,” is not the sort of weak-kneed climate activist who believes that we should save the planet for our children.

In fact, she doesn’t think there should be any children.

A researcher who has “published in the areas of continental philosophy…feminism, queer theory, posthuman theory, horror film, body modification, animal rights/abolitionism, cinesexuality and ethics,” MacCormack once argued that animals are equal to human beings. Now, she’s arguing that humans should get out of the way entirely.


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Prominent pro-life liberal leaves Democratic Party over abortion extremism

By Jonathon Van Maren

Charles Camosy, an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University (and author of the recent book Resisting Throwaway Culture) has been one of the most unique and interesting pro-life writers for some time. Last year, for example, he penned a fascinating essay titled “The Pro-Life Movement at a Crossroads,” in which he analyzed the political strategy of various pro-life organizations and cautioned the movement against triumphalism.

Camosy also happens to be a Democrat, and has been watching the Democrats move inexorably from “safe, legal, and rare” to making abortion throughout all nine months and funded by the taxpayer a litmus test for candidates. Bernie Sanders, who is the sort of cranky old socialist you can easily imagine bellowing at kids to get off his lawn, announced at last week’s Democratic debate that he would only appoint judges that swore their allegiance to Roe v. Wade, and at a subsequent town hall noted that he believes support for abortion to be a necessary standard for Democratic candidates.

Pete Buttigieg, who is one of the most radical candidates in the race despite his attempt to portray himself as a folksy moderate, has defended abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy as well, most recently in response to questioning from Meghan McCain on The View. She asked him about his disgusting suggestion that perhaps the Bible might support the idea that a baby is not human (and thus abortable, presumably) until “breath,” noting that the abortion issue is a line in the sand for many voters like her. Buttigieg, predictably, didn’t back down. In today’s Democratic Party, there is no room for compassion when it comes to pre-born children.

The spectre of presidential candidates campaigning on the corpses of pre-born children was too much for Camosy, and he published an op-ed in the New York Post explaining why he—and many other Democratic pro-lifers, of which there are far more than most people think—are finally done with the party. His words should make Democratic strategists tremble, but abortion activists—Sanders promised more funding for Planned Parenthood last week if he is elected president—have definitively conquered the Democrats:

Until recently, I spent much of my time working hard to elect Democrats to public office — but the early presidential campaigning pushed me away from the party, as well prompting my resignation from the board of Democrats for Life, where I had served since 2014.

For someone who is progressive on most issues, this decision doesn’t come easy. Like most Democrats, I believe government has an energetic role to play to support women, families and children. I support paid family leave, help with unaffordable child care, labor union rights, the Affordable Care Act, child and adoption tax credits and much else of the kind.

I’m worried about climate change. I’m an outspoken vegetarian. I believe in welcoming refugees and immigrants. I oppose needless wars. But the party gave me no choice. Yes, ours was a small group, but as many as a third of Democrats identify as pro-life. Even when party leadership finally met with us, they didn’t take us seriously.

When we showed them that pro-life Democrats would beat Republicans in certain districts, it didn’t matter. Even when we called for more reproductive choices for women with difficult pregnancies through services like perinatal hospice care, party leaders ignored us.

Anything even hinting that abortion is less than good now violates party orthodoxy.

Normally, Democrats are the party of energetic government protecting the vulnerable from violence. But when it comes to abortion, elite Democrats turn into hard-core libertarians, believing the state has no business getting involved in the private choices of individuals. Abortion is merely “health care,” and the unborn child, unimaginably vulnerable even when wanted, is made invisible and violently discarded.

On this topic, at least, the party has dug in on the side of what Pope Francis calls the “throwaway culture” — the troubling modern tendency to discard people seen as inconvenient. The Democratic elite even rejects conscience protections for medical practitioners who object to abortion. Opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, once acceptable, has become taboo.

The straw that broke this camel’s back was Pete Buttigieg’s extremism. Here was a mainstream Democratic candidate suggesting, at one point, that abortion is OK up to the point the baby draws her first breath.

When I heard that, I realized we were fighting a losing battle.

If the party was willing to go all-in on the most volatile issue of our time with a position held by only 13 percent of the population, it was time to take no for an answer.

Many find it difficult to understand how a single issue could be so motivating for so many millions of people. If that’s you, put abortion out of your mind for the moment and consider the following thought experiment.

Suppose that hundreds of thousands of children are being killed each year in horrific ways. Often they are killed because they have Down syndrome. Sometimes, it is because their grandparents thought their parents were too young and irresponsible to have a child. Very often, it is because an abusive partner demands that the child be killed on threat of violence.

And then suppose a political party claimed this killing was a ­social good. Just another kind of health care. Something to shout about with pride.

This party, it should go without saying, would be unsupportable.

Then keep in mind pro-lifers rightly see no moral distinction between a living human child at seven weeks gestation with a four-chambered heart pumping blood, a prenatal child at 20 weeks gestation who, we now know, can almost certainly feel pain, and older children who have already been born.

Then do the math. The reasoning should be clear.

My broader values mean I can’t vote Republican, however, and this makes me one of many millions of Americans for whom our political duopoly doesn’t work.

I decided to play the long game by joining the American Solidarity Party, a small but growing group that refuses to compromise on support for women, protection for prenatal children and solidarity for working people and the poor and vulnerable.

But millions of others who don’t share my broader values will ­reluctantly feel forced to check the box for a Republican in ­November. And Democrats will have no one to blame but their own extremism.

I’ve long thought that voting Democrat has become morally indefensible. For many pro-lifers, the willingness of Never Trumpers like David Frum to vote for a party that will not even vote against infanticide showed either hypocrisy (did they ever care about pre-born children?) or hideously misplaced priorities. Any of the Never Trumpers who advocated voting for Democrats—or in Frum’s case and a few others, voting for Hillary Clinton, the abortion queen herself—immediately lost all credibility in the conservative movement, especially among the so-cons. The idea that casting a vote for Trump was more morally repulsive than casting a vote for people who have built their careers defending millions of abortions exposed them as people of fluid principle at best.

The other camp of Never Trumpers, however, is a different story. There are many—including David French and some rigidly pro-life friends of mine—who see Trump’s character and behavior as rendering him ineligible for office, and not without reason. But they also see voting for the Democratic Party as reprehensible, and so many of them will either decline to vote or write in somebody else. Disagree with them if you like, but this is an ethical response to the electoral choice we face, even if it is the minority one. Their voices have a moral clarity and urgency that those like David Frum utterly lack, because they have not compromised themselves on fundamental issues in their opposition to the president.

And finally, as Camosy indicated, there is the majority. Most people, having seen that Trump might be a train-wreck incapable of moderation (going after his enemies at the Prayer Breakfast?) but is still following through on his policy promises, judicial appointments, have decided that voting for Trump is the best choice available. Many of his original detractors have been won over by his aggressive advocacy on behalf of conservative causes (including his powerful appearance at the March for Life.) And most of all, the Democrats seem determined to remind voters almost daily that handing them the presidency will enable the most virulent form of abortion extremism America has ever seen.

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Charles Adler calls Member of Parliament who fights sex trafficking “trash”

By Jonathon Van Maren

Every so often, Canada’s progressives in the media remind us that despite their claims of being purveyors of compassion, they are in reality just small and hateful men incapable of understanding complex issues. A prime example of this is radio host Charles Adler, who had a minor meltdown this week over an exchange between Alberta MP Arnold Viersen and NDP MP Laurel Collins of BC.

After a speech about the horrors of sex trafficking and the responsibility of government to intervene on behalf of the victims by Viersen, Collins responded by asking Viersen “to consider listening to the voices of sex workers. Sex workers are saying that sex work is work.” She then went on to criticize Bill C-36, which criminalizes the purchasing of sex in order to target pimps and johns.

Viersen responded: “Mr. Speaker, I would respond to that by asking the honorable member across the way if it is an area of work that she has considered and if that is an appropriate—” here he was interrupted by indignant shouts—”I think this makes the point. I do not think any woman in this country ever chooses this as a job. This is something women are trafficked into and something we have to work hard to end in Canada. Prostitution in Canada is inherently dangerous, and we must work hard to ensure that all Canadians have a safe place to live in this country. We do not want to see our women and girls forced into prostitution.”

Opposition MPs erupted, demanding an apology (which Viersen gave), and the media picked up the story and ran with it. Twitter blew up. Ironically, the outrage precisely proved Viersen’s point: After all, if sex work is just work as Collins claimed, why would it be so offensive to ask someone if they’d ever considered it? If being a prostitute is much like being a florist, or a lawyer, or a construction worker, why should people be so angry at Viersen’s question? Anyone who thinks about it for longer than thirty seconds knows: It is because prostitution is not like other work. Even those who do not accept this position intellectually understand that instinctually.

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Quebec’s Health Minister wants doctors to do more late-term abortions–even though an abortionist admitted the procedures kill children

By Jonathon Van Maren

It cannot be pointed out often enough: Canada is the one of the only nations on Earth with no restrictions on abortion whatsoever. Abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy, a fact that the vast majority of Canadians remain unaware of. This horrific status quo has resulted in babies being frequently born alive and left to die: According to the research of pro-life writer Pat Maloney, there were “766 late-term live-birth abortions in a five-year period.”

You would think the fact that wonderful stories of miraculous micro-preemies being born increasingly earlier and surgeries being done on preborn children would give Canadian political leaders pause, but that is not the case. Just the opposite: According to CTV, Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann “wants doctors to perform more late-term abortions, pointing to a report commissioned by the College of Physicians that claims there are insufficient and disorganized services in this area.”


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Miss Americana: Taylor Swift bashes Christians as illiterate trailer park trash on her path to wokeness

By Jonathon Van Maren

Netflix’s much-anticipated documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, directed by Lana Wilson, was released Jan. 31 to rave reviews from fans and mild compliments from critics, who applauded Wilson’s ability to get at the “real” Taylor.

Promoted as an intimate look at one of the music industry’s biggest megastars, the documentary actually spends very little time on Swift’s rise, her switch in music genres, or anything personal that isn’t already a matter of public record. “Miss Americana” instead spends a lot of time on politics, and Wilson delivers an inside look at Swift’s decision to reverse her much-criticized policy of staying out of the political arena.

Miss Americana is really about how Taylor Swift got woke. Conservatives like to gloat about how little influence celebrities have on elections, but Swift’s decision to come out in favor of Democrat Phil Bredesen in the 2019 midterm election may have affected youth voter turnout in Tennessee. The documentary claims more than 50,000 young voters registered last-minute, allegedly due to Swift’s plea to her fans to get involved, although election trends indicate spiked voter registration before an election is the norm. She posted her political coming-out statement on Instagram, where she has 126 million followers. As Swift notes at one point, millions of them will soon be voters, and she plans to use her platform to shape their views. It’s possible, however, this statement actually unintentionally spurred voters to hit the polls for Marsha Blackburn, since Tennessee is a red state.

Swift’s supposed metamorphosis is so painfully wooden, one suspects she green-lit the documentary specifically to plug her leftist bona fides. At one point she actually clinks her wine glass and announces, “Cheers to the Resistance!”

Miss Americana is the saga of Swift’s willingness to “run from fascism” — yes, she said that — and it plods through her throes of conscience, her argument with her handlers over whether she should go political, and the tremendous weight that apparently lifted off her shoulders when she joined the other courageous celebrities who have dared to brave the backlash and step out against Donald J. Trump.


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If Utah law passes, porn videos will be preceded by 15-second warning

By Jonathon Van Maren

Those of you following this blog will know that I regularly point out the devastation digital pornography is wreaking on our social fabric. Almost a quarter of American women now feel fear during intimacy due to porn-inspired behaviors like spontaneous choking; sexual violence is becoming the norm within the context of romantic relationships; young people are learning about sexuality and each other from porn; and top porn sites consistently push wildly popular content featuring rape, incest, and often both.

In response to this, a number of Congressmen recently sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Barr requesting that he look into curbing the porn industry by enforcing existing obscenity laws, and Princeton scholar Robert P. George chimed in with a letter of his own. Terry Schilling of the American Principles Project laid out how this could be done in a long-form essay over at First Things, and he joined me on my podcast to discuss how the government could take action to restrict access to violent pornography, especially for young people.


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“I feel sad, powerless, and confused”: 13-year-old girl sues for the right not to share change-rooms with biological boys

By Jonathon Van Maren

As the backlash to the transgender revolution grows—I noted the number of laws being put forward in the U.S., as well as the outrage of radical feminists and “de-transitioners” earlier this week—one of the primary sources of pushback is coming from teenage girls who are being forced to live in the world adult ideologues are building for them. Girls have sued their schools over biological boys being allowed in their bathrooms, staged walkouts in protest, and even taken matters into their own hands and tried to prevent boys from entering their bathrooms by force (although one judge ruled that they had no right not to be seen undressed by biological males.) And now, from The Sun, comes another case:

A 13-year-old schoolgirl has launched a legal battle to force a council to scrap its guidance to students questioning their gender identity, it is reported. The secondary school pupil is demanding Oxfordshire County Council overturns its ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit’ – which includes advice that trans pupils should be able to use whatever toilets, changing rooms and school trip dorm rooms they prefer.

 The girl’s lawyer filed a request for a judicial review against Oxfordshire County Council at the High Court in London. She said the 65-page guide is compromising her safety, privacy and dignity. The girl’s lawyer filed a request for a judicial review against the council at the High Court in London, the Daily Mail reports. They claim the toolkit puts her at risk. The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had felt “sad, powerless and confused” by the guidelines, and that schoolgirls should have been consulted first.

She added: “I don’t understand how allowing boys and girls to share private spaces is okay.” She also said she feared that the toolkit’s advice to allow flexibility in single-sex sports could be “unsafe”. The council “utterly refutes” claims it is jeopardising children’s safety.

The Telegraph also reported on the story:

The teenager who brought the action said: “The toolkit has a very significant impact on me as a girl. I am very surprised that the council never asked the opinion of girls in Oxfordshire about what we thought before they published the toolkit. 

Under these guidelines I have no right to privacy from the opposite sex in changing rooms, loos or on residential trips. Sports could end up being unsafe as I am a really small teenage girl and boys are bigger than girls. This guidance could be used in any educational establishment in Oxfordshire, which possibly includes sports clubs.”

“The guidance makes me feel that my desire for privacy, dignity, safety and respect is wrong.

It makes me feel sad, powerless and confused.”

Think about this for a moment: a young girl is being forced to sue for the right to privacy in the change-rooms, where she understandably does not want to be seen undressing by a biological boy. One of the largely unremarked on aspects of the so-called bathroom wars is that judges, activists, school board members, and other adults are actively attempting to destroy the natural sense of modesty that many girls still  have, telling them, in effect, that they need to get over it, strangle their transphobia, and accept that people with penises now have the right to be in the same room with them when they get changed.

What these adults are doing to these girls is nothing short of disgusting. I hope these brave girls succeed in their fight against men and women who are telling them to shut up and do as they’re told—even if it means boys seeing them without their clothes on.

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Dad may face prison for refusing to allow the LGBT movement to indoctrinate his son

By Jonathon Van Maren

I’ve been to many conferences and lectures over the past several years where inspiring speakers tell the audience that we must have hope for the future of Western civilization. This call is generally accompanied by inspiring anecdotes of those who held firm in the face of oppression, usually in circumstances far more dire than our own, presented as evidence that decline can be stopped and that and that all we need is a little courage and a lot of hard work, and cultural reformation is possible.

Leaving that question to the side for one moment — Dr. Charles Murray noted his own skepticism on that point on my podcast last month — I think that it may be important to consider that hopefulness may not be the most helpful disposition in the future. Instead, defiance in the face of an overwhelmingly anti-Christian culture will in all likelihood be in order.


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“Those surgeons should be in prison”: The pushback to the transgender agenda has begun

By Jonathon Van Maren

As trans activists rack up stunning cultural victories across North America, the pushback has begun, from parental protests at public school board meetings to legislation designed to protect women’s rights and prevent children from becoming part of a sweeping social experiment. At last count, eight states are deliberating laws that would protect minors from hormone regimens and sex change surgeries that permanently alter their bodies—now referred to by LGBT activists as “gender-affirming medical treatments.”

According to Axios—which is, of course, presenting this as a horrific attack on the rights of children everywhere to achieve their true selves through prompt sex changes—notes that a large number of these laws are cropping up across the US:

The latest: A Florida House subcommittee on Monday considered a bill that would make it a class 2 felony for physicians to administer gender-related treatments to minors, but did not vote to hold a hearing on the bill, essentially tabling the measure, according to the Miami Herald. A similar bill introduced in the Florida Senate still has to be considered by a committee…South Dakota, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Missouri, Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky are pushing bills that would make administering gender-related treatments a criminal offense or an act of unprofessional conduct subject to loss of medical license.

South Dakota’s State House on Jan. 29 passed a bill that would punish medical professionals with a $2,000 fine and a year in prison if they treat transgender minors with puberty blockers, hormone therapies or gender-related surgeries.

Missouri’s legislature is considering four separate bills pertaining to preventing minors from receiving treatments. One bill would classify parents who approve of treatments for minors as child abusers.

Longtime Republican Rep. Brad Daw of Utah said in mid-January he plans to introduce a bill that would ban minor confirmation treatments, according to CBS-affiliate KUTV…The big picture: Approximately 150,000 people ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. No state has yet completely banned transgender minors’ access to gender confirmation treatments, CNN reports.

Axios included a number of quotes from doctors insisting that puberty blockers and other sex change “treatments” are essential for the health of gender-confused children, a conclusion unsupported by the data (and in many cases contradicted by it.) Additionally, none of these articles ever mention the tragic reality of “de-transitioners,” young people who have been mutilated and scarred by attempting to change their gender, only to realize that this was not the path they should have pursued. Helen Thomas described a meeting of de-transitioners recently in Standpoint Magazine, and the picture she paints is simply heartbreaking:

“If there is a ‘gay conversion therapy’ of our times, it’s this,” says Charlie Evans, the network’s founder, who identified as trans for a decade before switching back last year, aged 28. Of the 300 or so detransitioners who responded to her social-media call some months ago, most were young and female. That chimes with the changing caseload at paediatric gender clinics around the world, which used to see mostly prepubescent boys but now mostly see teenage girls.

These young women have been indelibly marked by their quest for manhood. Five took cross-sex hormones: their voices are deep and some have receding hairlines. Five had their breasts removed, and two their ovaries and wombs as well. Those who underwent hormone treatment will not know whether it harmed their fertility until they try to have children. Those without reproductive organs know they never will…As the event ends, a woman in the audience says in a curiously expressionless voice: “Those surgeons should be in prison.”

Many of the young women noted that over and over again, they’d been told that transition was essential to their survival. “There’s a very strong narrative that if you don’t transition you are going to kill yourself,” one girl noted. “I genuinely thought it was the only option.” She had begun her journey towards transition between the ages of 14 and 16, when she was hospitalized numerous times with anorexia. She started breast-binding when she was 18, meeting a gender therapist at 19, and had sex change surgery shortly after turning 20. “I’m really glad my parents forced me into treatment for my eating disorder and didn’t let me die,” she said. “I wish someone had been there to tell me not to get castrated at 21.”

In fact, a significant portion of the pushback to the transgender phenomenon is not coming from conservative politicians (most of whom are far too cowed to take a stand anyhow) but from the de-transitioners themselves. Twenty-three-year-old Keira Bell, for example, has become a claimant in High Court battle over puberty blockers after being treated at the notorious transgender treatment clinic, the Tavistock Centre. She says that the Centre is rushing kids onto hormone treatments that are “experimental” and that the “treatment urgently needs to change so that it does not put young people, like me, on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent.” Bell and others want Tavistock to stop permanently altering the bodies of young children.

The Tavistock Centre has vigorously defended itself, but a slew of employees have quit for precisely the same reason, with one Marcus Evans penning a long and excoriating condemnation titled “Why I resigned from Tavistock: Children need therapy, not just ‘affirmation’ and drugs.” The fact is that they are hurting the very children they claim are desperately in need of their so-called treatments—and if the de-transitioners have their way, these medical professionals will pay a professional price for what they’ve done. If trans activists have their way, of course, the numbers of children identifying as transgender will continue to spike in the years ahead (just as they’ve continued to soar in Canada, the United States, and the UK for the last half-decade.)

It is just tragic that the pushback to this phenomenon—and whether it will be successful remains to be seen—comes too late for so many children who have had their bodies irreversibly altered. They will have to live with the decisions of adults and the cowardice of leaders for the rest of their lives.

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Starbucks launches commercial on teenager “transitioning” from female to male, donates profits to transgender children’s group

By Jonathon Van Maren

As the LGBT movement achieves cultural dominance, Big Business has sensed the opportunity to monetize wokeness. Over the past several years, dozens of major corporations from Coca Cola to Nike, from Apple to Uber have come out swinging at conservative Christians, attempting to use their economic clout to bludgeon legislators seeking to pass protections for religious liberty and the pre-born into submission. From boycotts to carpeting their establishments with the rainbow at the slightest provocation, if you’re a Christian, Big Business wants you to shut up and buy their stuff, bigot.

With the emergence of the transgender phenomenon, Big Business is upping the buy-in. Despite the fact that chest-binders are known to be very harmful (chest binders are a tight wrap that gender-confused girls use to flatten their breasts and appear male), Sprite released a major advertisement that, included in various shots of cross-dressing teens, showed a girl getting a chest-binder tightened by a smiling friend to disguise her femininity before heading off to Pride. Gillette released an ad tenderly portraying a father teaching his “transgender son”—biological daughter—how to shave after “transitioning” to male. That, and the Super Bowl featured eight commercials with LGBT issues highlighted this past year to an audience of millions. Corporations have money, and they’re using it to normalize gender confusion, hormone regimens, and sex change surgeries..

And now Starbucks has launched a new ad in the United Kingdom, showing a girl named Jemma struggling with being called by her birth name because she wants to identify as James. The ad shows various people “deadnaming” Jemma, until a Starbucks barista calls out “James” and, as these transgender commercials are all intended to imply, lived happily ever after. This, of course, is the point of mainstreaming, normalizing, and even romanticizing “gender transition”—to present it as a moment of true fulfillment, of finally becoming yourself. The truth is sadly different. Starbucks, of course, is going all in on the transgenderism phenomenon, partnering with a radical transgender children’s organization called Mermaids by selling mermaid cookies in their outlets across the UK and donating a portion of the profits. (Mermaids, you’ll recall, are mythical creatures that have no gender from the waist down.)

Someday soon, it might be a good idea to compile an enormous boycott list and, despite the inconvenience and the difficulty, start making purchases only at outlets that don’t take some of your money and send it to LGBT organizations working to make the culture more hostile to Christian values—at least where possible. It wouldn’t be easy, but it might be worth it.

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