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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Jimmy Kimmel attacks persecuted Colorado baker for having a “gay” job

By Jonathon Van Maren

August 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – It would be difficult to find a place more lacking in diversity of worldview than the universe of late-night television. On nearly every single issue, the hosts march shoulder to shoulder in lock-step with one another: Bill Maher, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver—the list goes on. Each and every one of these hosts is a bona fide member of the liberal cabal fighting against Trump called The Resistance. Fallon was even badgered into apologizing for not being hard enough on Donald Trump during an interview during the election. Not a single one of them is conservative, or even Republican.

And consider a few of the other major issues. Every single one of these hosts agrees on gay “marriage,” delivering contempt disguised as comedy at anyone who disagreed throughout the decade-long debate preceding the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. On abortion, any discomfort they might feel is not enough to inhibit their unanimous support for Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider. Stephen Colbert likes to trumpet his Catholic credentials, but he is well aware that if he said anything even mildly disapproving of abortion, he’d bring down the full wrath of his fellow hosts on his own head for stepping off the reservation. (That said, there’s no indication that Colbert actually is pro-life.)

In fact, the late-night hosts, while almost entirely irreligious (Colbert excepted) actually form up a team of progressive televangelists. They relentlessly mock those who do not believe what they believe, express comedic disbelief at the rubes and morons who do not vote the same way they do, and do everything in their power to discredit those they disagree with. With a few rare exceptions and a day or two of reckoning after Hillary’s election night loss, their guns are always pointed in one direction. HBO’s John Oliver, for example, would never choose to investigate the Planned Parenthood scandals a bit further—he’d only produce a puff piece attempting to exonerate them for their crimes, replete with faux disbelief that anyone could think differently.

Even Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who won his case at the Supreme Court of the United States scarcely two months ago, has attracted the ire of the progressive funny-men. Jimmy Kimmel, who received the title “the moral conscience of America” from his friends for plugging for universal healthcare, decided to go after Phillips last week when the baker landed in court again, after an attorney relentlessly harassed Phillips with requests and finally got the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to agree that Phillips’ refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition was a violation of civil rights. The LGBT movement, it turns out, has no intention of letting Phillips live in peace.

But Kimmel apparently thinks the whole thing is hilarious. “It’s funny because this is a guy who spends all day, every day, meticulously designing flowers out of icing,” he said to his cackling audience. “His whole life is gay, okay? I don’t know if the wrong cake might bring that to life or what.” Even more than that, in Kimmel’s opinion Phillips apparently looks gay, too—he referred to the baker several times sarcastically as “the totally straight cake baker” and then stated that, “You would think that someone who looks like the Reba McEntire version of Colonel Sanders would be more sympathetic to gender identity issues.”

Actually, you’d think that a comedian would respect the right of someone not to voice a point of view he disagrees with through the art he creates, but that is apparently too much to ask. And of course, Kimmel didn’t mention that the request for a “gender transition” cake was only the final request in a long string of demands placed on Phillips by the attorney and others who wanted to drag him back into court. In September, for example, Phillips was asked to design a birthday cake that showed Satan smoking weed. Following that, someone emailed him asking that he bake a cake with an “upside-down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” He was then asked to bake a three-tiered white cake with Satan engaged in a sex act perched on the top. Another request came in for a cake with a pentagram on it.

Hilarious, right? A Christian baker who just won the right to return to his business and live in peace is the target of harassment by an attorney and a handful of others who request demonic and obscene artwork on their orders simply to harass and upset Phillips. But if Kimmel had mentioned any of those facts in his little monologue where he insinuated that Phillips is a closeted gay man, he might have accomplished something he wanted to avoid—creating sympathy for Phillips. After all, Kimmel has compared bakers declining to use their creative skills to produce celebratory cakes for gay weddings to refusing to serve Jews, so he could not possibly present information that illustrates clearly that it is Phillips being persecuted here.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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Bombshell study exposes transgenderism as an extremely dangerous “peer contagion”

By Jonathon Van Maren

After publishing a lengthy essay in The Atlantic questioning several of the brand-new orthodoxies of transgenderism, the pro-LGBT journalist Jesse Singal found himself the target of a vitriolic smear campaign that saw him damned as a dangerous bigot by furious trans activists. If I was a betting man, I’d say Janice Turner of The Times is next—two days ago, a column was published under her byline with the title “Trans teenagers have become an experiment,” covering a bombshell study by Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University. I usually only include short excerpts from articles I’m analyzing here on The Bridgehead, but I’m going to include a much longer section of Turner’s article to give you a sense of just how much she’s stuck her neck out—and just how dangerous trans ideology really is for kids and teens:

Recently the NHS was called upon by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to preserve the fertility of young trans people by banking their sperm and eggs. Unreported was the bleak truth: if children take the puberty-blocking drug Lupron then proceed to cross-sex hormones they won’t have any fertility to preserve. Their gametes can’t mature enough to bank. Indeed if your natal puberty is blocked you may never orgasm or feel sexual desire. Imagine the outcry if, say, disabled children were effectively neutered at 11.

But where is the ethical debate and long-term research into how Lupron — a prostate cancer drug used “off label” on children — affects brain development at puberty? Or into the impact of massive, lifelong doses of testosterone on young natal women’s health? Or into where this enormous surge in children diagnosed with gender dysphoria (ie feeling they are in the wrong sex body) is coming from? In particular, why are 1,806 of the 2,509 adolescents (72 per cent) referred in 2017-18 to the Tavistock NHS gender identity service girls?

Such is the power of the trans lobby to damage academic careers with accusations of transphobia that few dare challenge new orthodoxies. Which makes research published this week in the peer-reviewed science journal Plos One by Lisa Littman of Brown University remarkable. As a public health expert, she addressed the rise in teenage girls with gender dysphoria like any other medical outbreak. This condition affects only 0.7 per cent of the population, so why were clinicians reporting clusters of trans cases in many high schools?

She questioned 250 parents whose teenagers (83 per cent girls) had shown no signs of gender dysphoria as children. The vast majority (63 per cent) had pre-existing mental health problems including serious psychiatric disorders; half self-harmed; half had suffered a traumatic event such as death of a parent/sibling, family divorce or sexual abuse. (One previously happy 16-year-old was raped and a few months later declared herself trans.) Such “coming out” invariably occurred after binge-consumption of online trans forums on Reddit or Tumblr. Many girls did so in tandem with peers: one parent reports how her 14-year-old daughter and three friends chose male names and announced they were trans boys.

This, says Dr Littman, has direct parallels with other “peer contagions” in teenage girl cliques such as bullying, drug use and anorexia. In person and on chatrooms, anorexic girls egg each other on to avoid doctors’ efforts to make them eat and compete to be the thinnest. “If similar mechanisms are at work in the context of gender dysphoria,” she notes, “this greatly complicates evaluation and treatment.”

Online trans activists, she notes, encourage young people to interpret their vaguest dissatisfactions as signs they are trans. Do you feel an outsider? Are you awkward in your body? One parent wrote: “I believe my child experienced what many kids feel on the cusp of puberty — uncomfortableness!” But the online world insisted she was in the wrong body. Such forums advised young people to edit their childhoods to persuade clinicians they had always felt trans to gain treatment. One girl who went through early puberty felt fat because she’d grown breasts: when she discovered that hating your breasts is a sign of being transgender she edited the text of her diary.

There are strong comparisons here, says Dr Littman, with “false memory syndrome”, a now-debunked theory among 1990s psychotherapists that ordinary problems, like struggling to form relationships, meant a person was repressing childhood abuse. In the course of therapy these wholly imaginary incidents were “recovered”.

In publishing this report, Dr Littman imperils her reputation. Trans groups will ask what the hell a parent knows about a child’s inner thoughts, or dismiss her respondents as bigots. (In fact more than 80 per cent support gay marriage and trans rights.) They will claim these kids are just realising their true trans identity, although the vast majority were reportedly less happy and stable after they “came out”. They will do anything but admit that what Dr Littman has termed “rapid onset gender dysphoria” among girls is a social contagion, because this undermines their key ideological principle, that gender is not constructed but innate.

The trans movement is mainly led by trans women, who never experienced the maelstrom of female puberty, its intense but fleeting certainties. Some transitioned late after fathering children. What do they care about the fertility of troubled girls? Meanwhile LGBT groups such as Stonewall lobby to expedite hormones and surgery, rather than urge diagnostic caution.

The vast majority of these cases involve lesbians, whose same-sex attractions are seldom clarified until late teens. By then they will be compelled towards blockers, testosterone and double mastectomies, with ovaries, as one endocrinologist put it, like “shrivelled raisins”. In this medicalised iteration of conversion therapy, these young lesbians will be transformed into heterosexual men. It’s time we stopped making it up as we go along.

Turner notes that Littman has risked her academic career in order to treat the trans phenomenon as she would treat any other issue of public health, but doesn’t mention the fact that she herself will in all likelihood come under fire for covering Littman’s findings. These findings essentially point out that much of the “transition treatment” teenagers and children are undergoing are tantamount to life-long physical mutilation—and Turner’s decision to compare this process with so-called “conversion therapy” will be unforgivable to trans activists, even though she dutifully referred to biological men living as women as “trans women.” The backlash will be ugly. I just hope that people read what she has read, and realize that Littman’s findings are a warning that should not be ignored.

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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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766 babies born alive after abortions and left to die in Canada over five years

By Jonathon Van Maren

My friend and fellow blogger Patricia Maloney, who has been covering the story of live-birth abortions for several years now, published some of her latest findings last week:

According to new data, livebirth late-term abortions are still happening in Canada. And the numbers are way too high.

According to CIHI, There were 766 late-term live-birth abortions in a five year period from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018. These numbers are even higher since they exclude Quebec.

There has been much speculation about the reasons for these late-term live-birth abortions (P96.4 Termination of pregnancy) but we have no hard data on why they happen since the reasons or circumstances aren’t published with the data.

A study was done in Quebec in 2016. That study: “found the number of infants who were born alive and died after an abortion jumped from one per 100,000 in 1986-1999, to 19.4 per 100,000 between 2000 and 2012. Those accidental live births totalled 218 babies.”

The study’s author asked these sobering questions: “How are such infants cared for?” they ask in the journal Neonatology. “If not resuscitated, is palliative care provided? Are the infants admitted to neonatal units or do they die in the delivery room?”

All information regarding the reasons they happen, and what happens to the child after they are born alive, is anecdotal. But they do happen. This we know for a fact and we know the numbers: 766 late-term live-birth abortions in a five years period.

Of course, there will be no outrage in response to this, even though a baby dying outside the womb technically falls under the purview of Canada’s Criminal Code. When some of Maloney’s earlier findings were presented to the House of Commons by a Conservative MP who requested an RCMP investigation, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper blandly responded that abortion was legal in Canada, indicating that he, like others, felt that babies who died slightly after the cut-off point for a legal abortion still “counted” as an abortion.

Canada’s lack of abortion laws has real-world consequences for real human beings. As Global News helpfully reminded everyone last month when covering the case of a woman who was murdered along with the 8-month-old baby in her womb, “Unborn bab[ies] not deemed human under Canadian law when considering homicide charges.” These sorts of stories are very inconvenient for Canada’s radical abortion activists, because they inform the more than 75% of Canadians who are unaware of Canada’s lack of abortion laws of this status quo, while illustrating why this status quo is problematic. That is why they are referring to even a simple billboard stating that “Canada has no abortion laws” as a “graphic billboard.”

For abortion activists, the truth is the enemy. That is why they work so hard to stomp it out.

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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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So now trans activists want to change the names for genitalia

By Jonathon Van Maren

WARNING: Article contains graphic descriptions. 

August 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Some days, it seems as if the transgender movement is actually trying to sound as unreasonable as humanly possible to ordinary people—that is, the sort of people who live their lives without once being offended at transphobic statements such as “only women can get pregnant.”

There’s also the dozens of new genders that nobody can name, of course, as well as the score or so of new pronouns that nobody has heard of—and that even those who have can barely use properly. And that’s not even to get into the genuinely dangerous phenomenon of children beginning the process of physical transition into the opposite gender. As one clever fellow noted on Twitter: “A transgender four-year-old is like a vegan cat. We all know who’s making the lifestyle choices.”

But as always, things can actually get stupider. One of the self-described “fastest growing health information sites” in the world servicing 85 million people a month, Healthline, has provided a “LGBTQIA Safe Sex Guide” (for those of you wondering about the latest letters in the rainbow alphabet soup, the “I” stands for intersex and the “A” stands for asexual, apparently.) Ironically, I saw it when an incredulous liberal posted a screenshot, noting that he had at first thought that he was reading satire. As it turns out, the word “vagina” is now falling into disfavor for being insufficiently “gender-inclusive”:

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll refer to the vagina as the “front hole” instead of solely using the medical term “vagina.” This is gender-inclusive language that’s considerate of the fact that some trans people don’t identify with the labels the medical community attaches to their genitals.

For example, some trans and nonbinary-identified people assigned female at birth may enjoy being the receptor of penetrative sex, but experience gender dysphoria when that part of their body is referred to using a word that society and professional communities often associate with femaleness. An alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular in trans and queer communities is front hole.

For those of you who are too sane to understand that gibberish, let me break it down: Women who claim they are men, but are still anatomically female, feel that accurately labeling their genitals is problematic because they “don’t identify” with the medically correct terms. In other words, they accurately fear that if someone knows they have a “vagina,” those people will assume (quite safely) that they are female, when they have decided that they are not. And so a new, ludicrous term has been invented to ensure that not even correct terminology can bother their delusion: “Front hole.”

So far, most of the reaction on social media to this nonsense has been disbelief, irritation, and outright mockery—as I’ve written several times in this space, even many liberals simply cannot get on board with the incessant war on biology, language, and common sense that trans activists are waging in academia, the media, and the political arena. Their claims strain credulity, and it has become increasingly obvious that when their ideology butts up against reality, their response is to demand that reality be changed in order to conform to their beliefs. Thus if a woman who decides she is a man finds that having a vagina contradicts her decision, she can now announce that she doesn’t have a vagina—she has a “front hole.”

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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VICTORY: Australian Senate rejects the legalization of assisted suicide

By Jonathon Van Maren

Wonderful news this week out of Australia: The Senate has rejected the legalization of assisted suicide by the razor-thin margin of only two votes. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

A private member’s bill that would have cleared the way for assisted suicide to be legalised across Australia has been defeated.

The bill, introduced by Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm, was defeated by 36 to 34 votes after two days of impassioned debate in the Senate.

It was knocked down after Liberal senator Anne Ruston and Nationals senator Steve Martin were persuaded to vote against the bill, after initially leaning in favour of it.

“I cannot in good conscience offer my support to this bill which will provide the territories the ability to legislate in the area of voluntary euthanasia, certainly without ensuring that appropriate safeguards were in place,” Senator Martin told the Senate on Wednesday.

Politicians from both sides of politics rose to share divergent views, with many in support of the bill emphasising the rights of Australians who live in the territories to make their own laws.

The bill proposed to overturn a federal law that removed the rights of the ACT and Northern Territory to legislate on euthanasia, enacted in 1997 after the NT government briefly legalised assisted dying.

Labor senator Pat Dodson, opposing the bill, argued that “paving the way for euthanasia and assisted suicide” would leave Indigenous Australians “even more vulnerable, when our focus should be on working collectively to create laws that help prolong life and restore their right to enjoy a healthy life”.

Australian suicide activists have been using all the of arguments we heard here in Canada prior to the legalization of assisted suicide in 2015 about a “right to die” accompanied with heartbreaking stories of people in tremendous suffering—while the consequences of assisted suicide were ignored or dismissed. In Belgium, children have been euthanized. In the Netherlands, they are contemplating legalizing euthanasia for anyone above a certain age that feels they are simply finished with life. And here in Canada, a lawsuit has been launched by a man who says he wants palliative care, but is instead consistently offered assisted suicide by healthcare practitioners.

Suicide activists in Australia are vowing to try again, and with the margin of victory being so narrow, Australian pro-lifers don’t have much of a reprieve. But for the moment, at least, celebration is in order.

For those of you who are interested, my colleague Blaise Alleyne and I wrote A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide last year, detailing street-tested ways of defending the pro-life position on this issue. It has been highly recommended by many medical professionals.

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Argentina pro-lifer reveals strategy behind country rejecting legal abortion

By Jonathon Van Maren

August 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –Last week, the senate of Argentina rejected the legalization of abortion by a mere handful of votes, sending shockwaves through the abortion movement and triggering wild celebrations from Argentinian pro-lifers who took to the streets by the thousands, waving the blue kerchiefs that had become the symbol of their movement. The outraged abortion activists responded with violence, chucking homemade fire-bombs and smashing everything in sight. Riot police with water cannons were forced to respond.

Since then, I’ve managed to connect with several Argentinian pro-life activists on the ground to get a sense of how they managed to effectively keep abortion out of their country and mobilize so many people—at one point, they had three million people take to the streets right across Argentina.

The following interview is my exchange with lawyer and teacher María Amelia Moscoso Cardoso, Memé, who is also the Bethlehem Portal Coordinator (a home for mothers in need) and a member of the Federal Executive Board of the Federal Family Network of Argentina. She was kind enough to answer my questions and paint a vivid picture of Argentina’s vibrant pro-life movement and the battles they have been fighting—and continue to fight.

How was the pro-life movement mobilized in Argentina before the crucial vote?

In the month of February, from the moment our nation’s president announced that the legalization of abortion would be taken up in Congress, we began a path of resistance and unity that grew day by day, with two distinct stages—one prior to the decision in the Chamber of Deputies in which a lesser number of us were involved because many believed the legalization effort would fail in the Chamber, and a second stage following the approval of the bill in the Chamber that involved a much greater number of people and a stronger effort leading up to the final rejection of the bill in the Senate of the Nation on August 9th.

Pro-life organizations have existed in Argentina for many years. Portal de Belén (Bethlehem’s Portal), for example, has existed since 1991. The imminence of the consideration of the law made us wake up in our country, far and wide. Many new groups began in a spontaneous way not only to publicly voice their opposition to abortion, but also to work together to make it clear to the legislators that they wanted the people’s opposition to the bill to be reflected in a vote of rejection to the bill by the legislators.

Thus, organizations as well as individuals and families began to participate in the public space, with cartelazos (crossing with posters at traffic lights), ruidazos(meetings in public spaces to make noise), pañuelazos (in our country the use of identity handkerchiefs showed your position on the issue, on the one hand the green handkerchief that begun to be used several years ago to ask for the legalization of free abortion and then, this year the blue handkerchief which was used in sign of resistance to abortion), prayer chains…around one million signatures were collected addressed to Congress, asking for the rejection of the law, in contrast to less than seventy thousand in favor of abortion, among many other activities.

In Congress, various speakers were received to be heard by the deputies and senators. More than eight hundred of us contributed to the discussion. We brought to our Congress a perspective that takes care of all human lives, and in addition to sharing this view with the deputies and senators, our ideas were spread in all social networks and even the mainstream media began to give us some time.

Furthermore, despite the fact that for more than fifteen years we have celebrated the Day of the Child to be Born, this year’s mobilization on Sunday, March 25, was the first major mobilization that demonstrated that the country was moved by the issue and willing to work for the rejection of abortion. On May 20, in the midst of the debate, there was a new invitation to take to the streets on June 10—[the] Sunday before the vote of deputies. The mobilization was in the interior of the country (not in Buenos Aires) with really amazing numbers. Even so, with very few votes’ difference (having achieved the last in the morning of the vote), we lost the vote–we felt that it was stolen from us–and now it was onto the Senate for the final discussion. We coordinated at the national level so that on August 5 we mobilized in the provinces and on the 8th, we were all in Buenos Aires at the door of Congress to show that Argentina is pro-life and is willing to reject the idea of legalizing abortion…the whole country in the capital with a single objective, to say No to abortion.

We were able to coin a slogan representative of our view on the issue of abortion: “Save the 2 Lives.” This way we could show that to be against abortion is to be in favor of the life of the unborn children and also in favor of the woman.

What is the pro-life movement like in Argentina?

I think it is very difficult to define. The national pro-life movement is very varied, with intergenerational charisms, and made up of youth and adults of all ages. With joy I have been able to see even teenagers speak with knowledge and eloquence and assume effective leadership in public. Undoubtedly, what has been [the] most exciting thing during this time is to have seen that the cause of the defense of life has no owners, and even more, is rooted in the depths of the Argentine person.

For more than twenty years we have participated in the National Women’s Meetings (pro-abortion feminists) to bring the pro-life voice, and with that to ensure that the conclusions are not unanimous so that they cannot use them to request the legalization of abortion. Since 2010, we have already worked in a collaboration with several organizations in the Federal Family Network, and also with others that are not part of the network but whom we know and with whom we coordinate actions throughout the country. This year, at the request of an organization in Buenos Aires, a platform called Unidad Provida (“Pro-Life Unity”) was also designed with the aim of unifying the campaign against legalization where new efforts were added.

We all take on in some way, the task of welcoming many who “woke up” to the call of the pro-life cause at this crucial moment so that we can to walk together–with much effort–and “resist” for our country (and also for Latin America). The pro-life movement has a new opportunity to be a daily reality in our country and that is good news.

Is Argentina still a largely pro-life country?

I believe that my country has deep pro-life roots. This has been especially evident in the mobilizations that were a true celebration. There were entire families, groups of young people, all singing with joy for the cause of LIFE, asking legislators to work to avoid abortions and not to legalize them. Defending true Human Rights, asking for support for vulnerable motherhood, and denouncing the shortcomings of the health system because women die more for not having adequate medical attention in pregnancy and childbirth than from clandestine abortions.

We have also seen with pain the advance of the culture of death, luring young people into adhering to the acceptance of abortion. The goal is also to bring the truth closer to those who think differently. We were also able to become aware as a country of the rulers and representatives that we have, that many had not spoken on the abortion issue, that they had remained silent. Now the people were telling them that they would never vote for them again if they voted in favor of abortion. That is also a challenge for the next elections.

Is the push for abortion in Argentina largely domestic push, or is it financed by foreign supporters of abortion?

During this time, it has become clear that the main organizations promoting legal abortion in Argentina were financed internationally…the links of IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation), with Casa Fusa, Fundación Huésped, Amnesty International, Catholics for Choice, etc. Undoubtedly, the international pressure has played a big role in the debate. In addition to that, the mainstream media has played a dominant role.

There was also in the country the spread of repeated lies that influenced the opinion of everyday people, especially the notion that it was urgent to legalize abortion because of the amount of clandestine abortions. The numbers were greatly exaggerated, as they were in the United States during the push to legalize abortion. The claim was made that there were half a million annual abortions in Argentina–impossible to prove, and impossible to believe due to the number of births and total population. It was said to be the main cause of maternal mortality, when in reality it ranks number 40 on the list of causes.

The lies were exposed, although the media did not echo it. Only the social networks and the pro-life speakers at Congress were the spokespersons for that. Even the “celebrities” who joined in defense of the pro-life cause did not have spaces of respect in the media. They were many times ignored or mistreated for thinking and saying that abortion is not a solution.

How will the pro-life movement fight against the next big push for abortion?

We have no time to rest. Since the National Senate rejected the project, immediately the intention was announced to amend the penal code, incorporating decriminalization for the woman who aborts. Thus, meetings have been initiated on this issue, although the project that was discussed spoke of decriminalization and legalization of abortion, and in principle the same issue cannot be taken up again in the legislature until 2019. It is evident that the President is interested in legalizing abortion (hopefully not because of international organizations from whom he is asking for money).

We will continue working in at least three ways: 1. Strengthening the organizations that accompany women and children. It is key that we reach as many people as possible, that we help avoid abortions, save children and women from abortion, that we can help to achieve rights that have been postponed or violated, especially for women and children. 2. Trying to generate awareness of what abortion really is, and getting society to know the truth about abortion and to respect life from conception, rejecting any instance of legalization and decriminalization of abortion. And 3., Participating in direct and indirect political spaces so that the legalization of abortion is not achieved in our country.

We are clear that the battle is cultural, beyond the laws. This is a historical resistance –unique in the world–but even if at some point we lose it, our struggle continues against every abortion, against the culture of death.

What should the pro-life in other countries of the West know about the battle for life in Argentina?

They should be encouraged to resist! The most important thing is to work tirelessly to avoid the pain and death that abortion brings. It’s possible. It is necessary to set aside the old notion that the mother and child are in confrontation, since in reality, they must be more united than ever–and it is that union that we defend. Children come from mothers, so to save children it is necessary to save their mothers. #SalvemosLas2Vidas was our motto and hashtag. (#SaveBothLives or literally #Savethe2Lives )

What has happened in our country has surprised us all, from those of us who have been involved in pro-life for many years to those who have become involved more recently…young people, adults, Catholics, evangelicals, atheists, teachers, lawyers, doctors…the key was to set aside differences to work together on points of agreement. That is key, it is necessary and possible. I am still not over my astonishment. Before this, I had not even dared to dream of my country would be standing up and united for life. I always believed that pro-life militancy was something of a few. I think about it and I am moved.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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After Wiebo: The Ludwigs of Trickle Creek Farm

By Jonathon Van Maren

After a nine-hour drive north from Calgary through an Albertan landscape dotted with reed-filled ponds and muskeg and miles of bright yellow canola fields, my cousin and I turned down a jaw-rattling gravel road featuring a large, tan sign framed with stripped and varnished tree branches that let us know that we had arrived. “Trickle Creek Community,” it read. And underneath that: “In Him we live and move and have our being, And as a plan for the fullness of time, all things in heaven and on earth shall be reconciled and united in Him.”

Welcome to Peace River Country.

Trickle Creek Farm was founded in 1985, when former Christian Reformed pastor Wiebo Ludwig, his wife Mamie, and their nine children arrived in Northern Alberta to start a new life after Wiebo decided it was time for their family to retreat from society for a decade or so to escape a culture he felt was awash with poison. As journalist Chris Hedges would later put it, “Ludwig grasped the moral decadence of the consumer society, its unchecked hedonism, worship of money, and deadening cult of the self.” The eccentric Wiebo, encouraged in his plans to depart for the wilderness by the ecclesiastical troubles that seemed to follow him wherever he went, decided it was time to withdraw. His clan; Harmony, Ben, Fritz, Bo, Josh, Mamie Jr., Salome, Charity, and Caleb would come along.

The Ludwigs were joined in their quest by Richard and Lois Boonstra and their three daughters, Kara, Dania, and Renee (who would eventually marry three Ludwig sons and trigger a population explosion at Trickle Creek Farm). And for the first few years, Ludwig’s biographer Andrew Nikiforuk writes in his fascinating book Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil, the family set to work figuring out how to live with each other in the wilderness. It was a steep learning curve. Cut off from the world—Ludwig declined a proffered welcome party from nearby neighbors—the clan went to work creating a little society in the wilderness that depended on nobody for anything. The residents of Trickle Creek remember hard work, family time, and experiencing untamed nature for the first time.

It was in the early 1990s that the situation began to sour. Ben Ludwig, the red-bearded eldest son of Wiebo (and in many ways his spitting image), told me that this was just as his father had decided it was time for their little community to begin reaching out to other communities and building connections with like-minded Christians. He began talking to Christian Reformed people from Neerlandia and other communities with similar theological backgrounds to discuss whether various forms of collaboration could be found. “That’s just when the oil industry hit us, boom,” Ben told me as we walked about Trickle Creek Farm. “That took all of our focus. That decision [to reconnect] was cut short by circumstance.”

That “circumstance” was the oil industry’s discovery that Trickle Creek was situated atop a major gas field, and the subsequent discovery by the Ludwigs that they only owned the top six inches of their property—the oil companies owned the resource rights to everything else. Oil wells, flaring, and sour gas leaks followed, resulting first in dying and miscarrying livestock, and finally in five human miscarriages and stillbirths. Tensions flared, culminating in standoffs with the oil companies who were, Ludwig wrote angrily, causing the deaths of his children, poisoning his farm, and violating the Lord’s Day to boot.

What precisely happened next is still a matter of educated speculation. After the Ludwigs felt they had exhausted their legal options, which included lobbying politicians, taking their case to court, and at one point even trying to move the whole clan to Costa Rica before getting turned back in Guatemala—a covert war against the oil industry began. As filmmaker David York highlighted in his brilliant 2011 documentary Wiebo’s War, the family fought back against an industry they perceived as threatening the lives of their children and the health of their community—cement was poured down oil well shafts, some were vandalized, and others were blown up. In a few short years, Wiebo Ludwig went from an obscure community leader deep in the Albertan forests to someone labeled an ecoterrorist by some and a folk hero by others. As York explained it: “Wiebo felt that our society was in a spiritual crisis, rather than an environmental crisis. He felt that our addiction to fossil fuels, rampant consumerism and materialism, addictions, and breakdown of family units were all symptoms of a society that had lost its root connection to God.”

After a relentless, years-long pursuit, the police finally managed to put the wily Frisian in prison, with Wiebo being convicted of five charges related to bombings and other forms of vandalism against oil and gas installations in 2000. By then, tensions had risen sharply—a teenager had died of a gunshot wound on the Ludwig property after joyriding across the lawn in a pickup truck in the middle of the night, narrowly missing tents filled with sleeping women and children, and the Ludwig minivan was blown up during a visit to town. No charges were filed in either of these instances. Wiebo was sentenced to 28 months in prison, and served 18. He used his sentence to begin the translation of a Dutch treatise on angels.

Wiebo denied being guilty of the charges, and the Ludwigs still give vague answers when asked about what happened back then. “A greedy industry caused real harm and posed real danger to people just trying to live their lives, and so there was pushback,” Ben Ludwig told me over a cup of coffee. “The industry still pushes closer to our property, so every once in awhile we have to drop by and remind them of our history.” The specific details of that history are still unknown—Wiebo once suggested that he was planning to write a book on everything for posthumous publication, but he died of esophageal cancer at the age of 70 on April 9, 2012, and nothing has surfaced since then. The police even asked if they could come to Trickle Creek, open Wiebo’s coffin (which he had built himself) and fingerprint him one last time. The family refused, but they suspected that the police just wanted to confirm that Wiebo was really dead.

But that is in the past now, and not why my cousin and I came to visit Trickle Creek Farm. That story has already been told by journalists like Andrew Nikiforuk and filmmakers like David York. The story we are interested in is the story of a religious community striving for self-sufficiency, attempting to reduce reliance on the government, and building a community that resembles the sort of Christian enclave traditionalist writer Rod Dreher was describing in his 2017 book The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. The residents of Trickle Creek are known for ignoring the government and the culture to the best of their ability. They are not interested in interfering in the culture, and they chose their remote location so that the culture would not interfere with them.

But what happens when the government becomes so large that it can no longer be ignored? After all, many Christian schools in Alberta had been doing just that when the NDP came to power and decided to begin demanding changes. Homeschooling groups have also come under fire. How does all of this impact Trickle Creek, and what is their strategy for dealing with it? In many ways, after all, they resemble a Dutch version of the Swiss Family Robinson, a family that intentionally stranded themselves in a remote area and then set to work to figure out how to live there. Unlike the Robinsons, however, the Ludwigs are not on an island. Ben Ludwig met us at the front gate to give us the tour as we pulled up in my cousin’s car.

Trickle Creek was buzzing with activity when we arrived, although Ben quickly pointed out that things often slow to a glacial pace during the long northern winters. Because the growing season is so short and the inhabitants of Trickle Creek are so focused on being entirely self-sufficient, it is essential that the summer months be well-used. As Ben walked us around the farm, we were constantly bumping into one or more of Wiebo and Mamie’s fifty grandchildren (there are twenty-five boys and twenty-five girls, ranging in age from infant to twenty-nine years-old). There are 960 acres here, and 650 are usable. The Ludwigs take that as a challenge.

The first impression you get when you tour Trickle Creek Farm is that everyone is so useful. The children—two generations of them now—are homeschooled, after which each person is expected to choose a trade or skill that they’d like to perfect, preferably one that is in high demand at Trickle Creek. Ben does the mechanical work. His oldest daughter Hannah makes soap—bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, dish, and laundry detergent–often infusing them with essential oils she makes from herbs and plants that she harvests from the forest or from one of the vast gardens. She’s also gained an interest in the medicinal quality of various native plants, and jars lining the shelves in the soap-making cabin are forming the beginnings of an extensive apothecary. Others have done amazing work tending to the healthcare needs of the family.

The residents of Trickle Creek grow anything that they can coax from the ground this far north. There are wheat and barley fields, and large greenhouses for tomatoes and a variety of vegetables including corn, which can’t survive outside in this climate. The harvests are stored in a massive, temperature-controlled root cellar built out of two enormous abandoned fuel tanks that they buried underground. It is cool inside, and packed with vegetables of every kind—barrels overflowing with potatoes line the walls. Outside, there seems to be gardens everywhere. Berry patches, too—some of the Ludwig girls are trying their hand at cultivating wild berries, as well, although they still head to the woods regularly to harvest the berries there throughout the summer.

There is also a beautiful stained-wood and glass greenhouse that Wiebo was building when he died—he had last worked on it shortly before he passed away. The Ludwigs are just now beginning to finish the stone wall around the outside of the greenhouse. Ben points to the beautiful glass structure as an example of what they are trying to accomplish at Trickle Creek: Something intergenerational, a community built to last. That’s why the dying Wiebo worked on a project he knew he’d never see to completion. Putting down roots means sticking around for awhile and creating something that future generations can enjoy and improve on. This is something that the Ludwigs believe that a culture that once regularly built churches that took several generations to erect has utterly forgotten—how to work with generations yet unborn in mind.

When we toured the goat barn—there are about 100 goats, with thirty of them being milked daily—a few of the girls and women were milking by hand into buckets, while a headless chicken awaiting butchering lay nearby. Just outside, an apple-cheeked girl was herding a flock of ducks and ducklings towards a little outdoor pen, which was separate from the large chicken coop that houses the laying hens. There was also a flock of sheep, dairy cattle, horses, and surprisingly—at least to me—llamas, which several Ludwig grandchildren informed me are extremely skilled at hocking a vile concoction of spit onto the faces of those they take a disliking to. They do all their own butchering, curing, and meat-prepping as well.

There are bees, too—one lanky fellow named Isaac has become Trickle Creek’s beekeeper and produces nearly 20 barrels of prime honey each year that is now in demand as far away as Vancouver Island. Isaac’s honey operation has received the approval of local black bears, and the Ludwigs have had to spend an ample amount of time trying to keep them away from the hives. Besides bears, the hunting is very good—deer and moose especially (Hannah told us that “we’ve just figured out how to make moose taste good”), as well as some elk. There are pelts hanging on the walls of the log cabins—this far north, a wide range of wildlife frequently comes to visit the Ludwigs. (Ice-fishing is another important winter activity.) There’s also a stuffed snowy owl on the piano inside the enormous log community hall, where the Trickle Creek clan gathers for mealtimes. That one they found, and got a permit to have mounted.

At supper, I discovered that the animals around Trickle Creek do not only become food and furs—sometimes, they can become pets. A little flying squirrel was perched on the shoulder of one of Ben’s young daughters, eying the strangers nervously, and occasionally flying from one girl to the next and then diving down the nearest shirt to remain hidden. The squirrel had been discovered in the woods, and one of the little girls had woken up every few hours to feed it milk from an eye-dropper. The large-eyed creature now resides in her bedroom. This wasn’t the first time a wild pet had stayed for awhile with the Ludwigs—they’d also cared for a young elk abandoned by its mother, and then set it free when it was healed. An owl—not the one stuffed on the piano—had also made a brief appearance.

In addition to the gardens, greenhouses, and livestock buildings and pastures—there’s a recreational field set aside for soccer and volleyball, as well—the clan is outfitted with an enormous woodshop and sawmill, where logs from the forest are transformed into the houses and communal buildings that make up the Ludwig living quarters, which are a combination of logs, straw bales, and stucco. There’s also a building that hosts their bio-fuel operation, which turns cooking fuel collected from restaurants in the surrounding towns into bio-fuel, which they use to run all of their farm equipment and several of their vehicles, as well. Ben took the time to explain the entire process to me, but my knowledge of chemistry is so abysmal that I absorbed very little and instead mulled over the impressive level of self-sufficiency that had been achieved.

And when I say self-sufficient, I mean that Trickle Creek Farm is entirely off the grid. They get their electricity from solar panels that track the movement of the sun, mounted on the chalet-style log homes and other buildings, as well as an enormous wind turbine, all of which are connected to banks of batteries that provide digital readouts detailing exactly how much power has been stored up. The more independent Christian communities become, they explained to me, the less power the government has—after all, the leverage of the secular authorities decreases significantly when you don’t really need them for any of the necessities of life. They have not forgotten beauty in their search for utility, either—there are a number of brightly-colored flower gardens clustered around the log buildings.

When there is something that they need, the Ludwigs get on the Internet, do research, and order training manuals—and then figure out how to do it themselves. If necessary, they consult experts. Babies are delivered by midwives, on the farm. All their cheese—and it is delicious—is made at Trickle Creek. They also have their own mill to make their own flour, and have begun the process of learning how to use looms and spinning wheels. Harmony gave me a tour of the operation, noting that they’ve already begun to make some of their own clothes. I noted with some amusement that a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods was tucked behind one of the looms, presumably stuffed there by one of the girls. It seemed appropriate.

After touring the farm, my cousin and I sat down in the enormous log communal building to chat over one of Trickle Creek’s home-brewed beers. They were very interested to discuss some of the more worrying political developments in Canada over the last several years, including aggressive pushes by the Alberta government to force Christian schools into reshaping their curriculums and permitting Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. Threats to religious liberty, too, are worrying for those in the self-imposed isolation of Peace River Country. These developments concerned them, and Fritz—Wiebo’s second son and Trickle Creek’s pastor—made sure to mention the news to the community when they gathered for supper, which was opened with the reading of Scripture, an invitation to discussion, and then a communal recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Later on, hymns and psalms were sung from blue songbooks that still have Calvin Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan stamped inside the covers. Singing was accompanied by piano, flute, drums, and violin.

It bears mentioning that I have rarely eaten better than during my two days at Trickle Creek. The food was phenomenal—meat on home-made buns, fresh cucumber, and potato salad, among other tasty dishes. The enormous clan also makes up the friendliest and most welcoming horde of hosts I have experienced in a very long time—they were all eager to chat with my cousin and I, and were very open to having long discussions about the philosophy and work of Trickle Creek Farm. More than once Thessalonians 4:11-12 was referenced as the encapsulation of what they are trying to accomplish: And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Spending time with the entire family, with dozens of cousins skittering about, reminded me of a secret wish I had when I was a child that I could live with all of my cousins, too. Trevor Schilthuis, Harmony’s husband, told me that it was this family closeness that led him to follow the Ludwigs from Alberta to Ontario years ago. The adults chatted as the children romped about—the matriarch, Mamie Sr., was in the hospital in Grande Prairie for some back repairs—and one of them noted that old age homes are a very sad thing. Aging mothers and fathers, they asserted, should be cared for by the children that the parents once cared for. At Trickle Creek, at least for the time being, everything is still held in common. It is, fundamentally, an enormous family farm supporting an enormous family.

It is that fact that has created a dilemma, a dilemma that was referenced over and over again by nearly every one of the adults: How does Trickle Creek expand from a family operation with everything held in common, to a community? The first and most urgent problem is the fact that there is a growing number of young people on the farm of marriageable age and no prospective partners. After the war with the oil industry had died down, the Ludwigs had just been ready to resume forming networks again to resolve this problem when Wiebo had been diagnosed with cancer—and he had advised them to instead prepare themselves for the inevitable upheaval that would come with his death. The clan should first figure out how to get on without their patriarch, Wiebo advised, before navigating new relationships with other communities.

Six years have passed since Wiebo’s death, and although the clan is thriving, they have yet to solve any of the existential problems. There are many different ideas of what the community should look like going forward, and much disagreement, too. References to what Wiebo might have done are frequent. In order to go from a family to a community, they will need some form of constitution, an authority structure, a statement of faith, a standard for membership—essentially, a method of self-governance that allows them to expand and preserve the principles that their community is built on while recognizing that expansion is impossible so long as Trickle Creek functions like the close but complicated extended family that it is. Because of the disagreements, these discussions have already been put off for too long—if solutions are not implemented, it is only a matter of time before young people will begin leaving in search of partners.

Trickle Creek Farm, roughly speaking, has gone through four key phases. There was the genesis phase, when the two families arrived in Peace River Country to build their commune in the wilderness. Then there was the war with the oil industry and Wiebo’s subsequent imprisonment. Then there was a cooling-off phase, which lasted until Wiebo’s death in 2012. And now, they have entered the fourth phase, one of transition: How do they transform themselves from a family into a community? Despite the challenges, they seem confident that somehow, some way, this will happen, that there will be an influx of people into Trickle Creek, with the next generation fueling the commune’s next explosive expansion. Despite this confidence, the transition phase is likely to be Trickle Creek’s most daunting challenge yet.

The principles that the clan of Trickle Creek hold dear may yet prove attractive to many if they successfully navigate their transitional phase: Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, love of family, a rejection of materialism and consumerism, an emphasis on the biblical stewardship of Creation, the exemplification of agrarian localism, and the rejection of the hedonism that has overtaken mainstream culture. They set off into the wilderness a much smaller group over thirty years ago to prove that people could find a better way to live than the one set forward by modern society as inevitable. And, for whatever else they’ve done, that they have certainly accomplished.

 

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How Irish voters were manipulated by the media to repeal the 8th Amendment

By Jonathon Van Maren

August 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – It has been several months since Ireland voted to repeal the 8th Amendment, and many pro-lifers are still struggling to understand how, exactly, the result came about.

How did so many people who oppose abortion on demand vote to repeal protections for pre-born children? Why did so many people tell canvassers at the door that they were pro-life, but then vote “Yes”? What did the pro-life movement misjudge or misunderstand in the lead up to the vote, considering the landslide victory for the abortion activists?

As more data has come in and more information has become available, we are starting to get answers to those questions.

One of the reasons that the results were so shocking is that internal polling from both sides had given every indication that the results would be extremely tight, with the “Yes” or “No” side squeaking out a victory by perhaps only a couple of percentage points. Additionally, the general consensus of opinion polls was that only around a third of the Irish people actually considered themselves to be “pro-choice” insofar as supporting abortion on demand—and yet, 66% of those who cast their ballot voted to do away with the 8th Amendment and bring abortion on demand to Ireland. They did this despite clear and constant warnings from pro-life campaigners, who ensured that nearly every lamppost in Ireland was festooned with signs detailing what a “Yes” vote would mean, and canvassers were out every day and night across the country, talking to people and distributing information.

Life Institute, one of the many organizations that made up the Save the 8th Coalition, has now released a twelve-page report detailing precisely why the referendum was lost on May 25 despite the herculean and heroic efforts of thousands of pro-lifers, some of whom had been out canvassing for years. They have cited three key factors that contributed the result of the abortion referendum, which saw 33%–723,632 people—vote to maintain the right to life for pre-born children. Their analysis provides key insights into the stunning upset revealed by the exit polls late in the afternoon of May 25, and provides a far more nuanced picture than does the claims of abortion activists that Ireland is now a universally abortion-supporting country.

Firstly, Life Institute noted, “It was more a vote against the 8th Amendment than vote for abortion—because voters had been persuaded by the media claim, made repeatedly and persistently for the past five years, that the 8th was harming and even killing women.” This claim was repeated by abortion-supporting doctors on television who were willing to openly lie to the public about the impact of the 8thAmendment, as well as what treatment women could receive when pre-born children also received legal protection. Dr. Peter Boylan, the chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, was particularly willing to make outrageously false claims, including the assertion that a woman named Sheila Hodges, who had succumbed to cancer prior to the 8th Amendment becoming law, had died because of the 8th.

But as Niamh Uí Bhriain, the co-founder of Youth Defence and a key spokesperson for the 8th Amendment told me in an interview, the case that seems to have persuaded many of the Irish people to vote for repeal despite the moral objections to abortion is the tragic 2012 case of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died of a septic miscarriage. Abortion activists in the media, particularly at the Irish Times, leapt on the case and claimed that if Savita had received an abortion, she would have lived. Subsequent medical reports proved that this was not the case, and that abortion had nothing to do with it, but despite the attempts by pro-lifers prior to and throughout the campaign to correct the misconception, the narrative had been set—abortion activists put up signs with Savita’s face all over Ireland, and even sent someone to India to record a video of Savita’s parents endorsing repeal.

The ugly truth is that abortion activists used Savita’s tragic death to persuade the Irish people to bring feticide to the Emerald Isle. As Life Institute noted in their report, “The lie that Savita was killed by the 8th Amendment was repeated so often that it became deeply embedded in the public narrative, more deeply, perhaps, than we had realised. A shift had taken place in the mindset of middle Ireland. A search of the website of RTE (the nation’s largest news provider) for example, using the terms ‘Savita, abortion’ yields an astonishing 19,800 results since 2013.” On the other hand, if you search her name combined with the word sepsis, which is what actually killed her, you come up with only 114 results. Savita Halappanavar thus became the Jane Roe figure of Ireland’s abortion lobby: A woman that could be lied about in order to accomplish a political goal.

The second factor contributing to the victory of the “Yes” vote was that many of the Irish people were convinced that difficult health circumstances could only be addressed if abortion was an option. They were told that abortion was the only way to help women in many circumstances, “such as pregnancy after rape, or when the baby had a life-limiting condition, always referred to as a ‘fatal abnormality’ by the media.” Again, doctors like Peter Boylan were more than willing to make false claims about why abortion was necessary, ignoring the fact that Ireland had been declared one of the safest countries in the world to be a pregnant woman. Again, pro-lifers did their best on TV, in interviews, and through the distribution of tens of thousands of leaflets, to explain that abortion was never necessary to address a woman’s health concerns–but the overwhelming push by the media to repeat this point entrenched in the minds of many voters as they made their decision.

The third main factor leading to the repeal of the 8th Amendment was that there are simply now more pro-abortion people in Ireland. The number of people who think that abortion should be available for any reason, despite still being a minority, has grown, “boosted in part by anger at the [Catholic] Church but also other factors, and was expressed in a swing in favour of legalised abortion, particularly amongst younger voters and female voters.” Life Institute noted that at least 33% of voters “are aware of the humanity of the baby, but they believe that the same baby can be killed if that pre-born boy or girl gets in the way of any aspect of their lives, including occasions where the child is simply inconvenient.” This attitude was highlighted at Dublin Castle on the day of the referendum, where cheering, dancing crowds greeted the news that abortion was coming to Ireland.

Despite this heartbreaking loss—one pro-life activist described the impact of the news as a “wound to the soul”—Ireland’s pro-life movement is vast, dedicated, and well-equipped. It is easy to forget in the face of the tragedy of May 25 that over 30% of the Irish people voted to keep abortion entirely out of Ireland—and that many, many more are opposed to the government’s plans and will grow to regret their votes in the years to come. Pro-life activists are now regrouping and strategizing for the years ahead. They will fight for the life of every Irish baby, no matter what the cost.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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Hungary spikes gender studies, Ontario teachers revolt over sex-ed, and Jack Phillips is targeted again

By Jonathon Van Maren

A few updates from the frontlines of the culture wars around the world:

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Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary continues to attract the ire of progressives. Earlier this year, his government passed a “Stop Soros” package to blunt the influence of Soros cash, and now they are insisting that state-funded universities teach genuinely useful skills. Apparently, that does not include gender studies. From FOX News:

Hungary’s populist government is stopping universities from offering courses in gender studies, saying there is no need for graduates in the labor market and they take taxpayer money away from other programs.

The move, announced this week, comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government won a comfortable majority in April after an election focused primarily on immigration. Since then his Fidesz Party has been implementing key parts of its election manifesto.

In a statement, Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said that there is “no demonstrable demand for graduates of ‘social gender studies’ in the Hungarian labor market.

“There is no economic rationale for studies such as these, and so we have reason to presume that it was not created in response to labor market needs, and equally not to furnish students with skills that can be readily and directly converted on the labor market,” he said. It is also questionable to what extent studies with admittedly such low student numbers are economical and sustainable.” 

Hungary’s HVG said that it would only affect two of the country’s universities, but also that such courses had been in the government’s crosshairs for a while.

It seems unlikely that other governments will follow suit.

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Yesterday, I wrote about the news that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop has found himself in court again—a mere six weeks after his victory at the Supreme Court of the United States. This time, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is targeting Phillips for declining to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition. LGBT activists, I pointed out, are simply determined to punish Phillips with incessant lawfare until they wreck his business or they break him. And as ugly as that is, there are some truly repulsive details that have emerged since then. From the National Review:

Lest anyone wonder whether this request was made in good faith, consider that this same person apparently made a number of requests to Masterpiece Cakeshop. In September 2017, a caller asked Phillips to design a birthday cake for Satan that would feature an image of Satan smoking marijuana. The name “Scardina” appeared on the caller identification. A few days earlier, a person had emailed Jack asking for a cake with a similar theme — except featuring “an upside-down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” This same emailer reminded Phillips that “religion is a protected class.”

On the very day that Phillips won his case at the Supreme Court, a person emailed with yet another deliberately offensive design request:

I’m thinking a three-tiered white cake. Cheesecake frosting. And the topper should be a large figure of Satan, licking a 9″ black Dildo. I would like the dildo to be an actual working model, that can be turned on before we unveil the cake. I can provide it for you if you don’t have the means to procure one yourself.

And finally, two days later, a person identifying as “Autumn Marie” visited Phillips’s shop and requested a cake featuring a pentagram. According to ADF, “Phillips believes that person was Autumn Scardina.”

Autumn Scardina is the attorney that peppered Phillips with disgusting requests until Phillips refused to create a cake that Scardina felt could form the basis of another lawsuit. The Colorado Civil Rights Division, obviously looking for a way to get revenge on Phillips for their defeat at the Supreme Court, accepted this witch-hunt as evidence that Phillips was again violating the civil rights of an LGBT person. And so a baker who just wanted to be left alone is back in court, defending his right not to celebrate things he finds immoral.

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In case you needed more reasons to pull your kids out of the public school system, Ontario’s teacher’s union has decided to defy the decision of the democratically elected (yes, that is a needed reminder) Doug Ford government to repeal Kathleen Wynne’s 2015 sex-education curriculum at the request of parents. From CTV News:

Blowing whistles and waving signs, Ontario’s elementary school teachers descended on Queen’s Park to protest the Progressive Conservative government’s decision to return to a decades-old sex-ed curriculum. Following its annual meeting at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto this morning, members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) took to the sidewalks to voice their objection to Premier Doug Ford’s divisive plan to repeal the current sex-ed curriculum introduced by the provincial Liberals in 2015 and revert to a previous version first developed in 1998…

Sam Hammond, the union’s president, told CTV Toronto that EFTO is prepared to do “whatever is necessary” to defend its members who defy the government’s directive in the classrooms.

“We intend to and will defend our members in any way that we need to on a go-forward basis,” he told CTV News Channel during the protest. “We are advising them to use their professional judgement, that’s enshrined in our collective agreements and ministry documents, to teach any or all parts of the 2015, the current modern curriculum.”

This is the state of modern education: Many progressive teachers’ unions believe they know what is best for other people’s children, regardless of what parents say about the matter and regardless of what democratically elected politicians have to say about it. NDP leader Andrea Horwath appears determined to portray herself as the champion of the people fending off the fascist Ford machine, but perhaps someone should remind her of a very important fact: Ontarians rejected her, they rejected her party, and they have done so for decades. If Ontarians had wanted her to be premier, they would have voted for her. They did not. “The people,” it appears, wanted someone else.

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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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Colorado baker Jack Phillips is back in court–this time for refusing to bake a “gender transition” cake

By Jonathon Van Maren

LGBT activists are not giving up their vindictive campaign to punish Colorado baker Jack Phillips for declining to create a gay wedding cake—not even after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in in his favour back in June. Scarcely six weeks after his legal victory, Phillips is already back in court. From the Washington Times:

The Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and was vindicated by the Supreme Court earlier this year is mounting another legal challenge this week after refusing to bake a gender-transitioning cake.

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission discriminated against baker Jack Phillips for his religious beliefs, an attorney requested he create a cake that was pink on the inside and blue on the outside to represent a gender transition from male to female. As a Christian, Mr. Phillips would not make the cake since it conflicted with his beliefs, which was his same reasoning for refusing to bake the same-sex couple’s wedding cake.

The state of Colorado has come after Mr. Phillips again, suggesting state law requires him to bake the gender change cake. It’s the newest complaint mounted against him, which has forced Mr. Phillips to file a federal lawsuit Tuesday.

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Kristen Waggoner, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty law firm defending Mr. Phillips.

The legal complaint claims the state has an anti-religious animus against Mr. Phillips. “For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips … because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith,” the lawsuit reads.

It must by now be clear to any reasonable observer that this campaign has nothing to do with so-called “rights” and everything to do with the desire to make Phillips’ life miserable, and hound him out of business if at all possible. An attorney is the one who commissioned the cake—no word as to whether the lawyer was switching genders, but it seems more likely that once the LGBT activists realized that Phillips had escaped their wrath the first time, they simply resolved to try again. The homophobic thing didn’t work? Alright, let’s try “transphobic” next and see if that sticks. And Colorado Civil Rights Commission is also clearly a bit peeved that Phillips managed to give them a bloody nose at the Supreme Court, and appears eager to try and hammer him a second time.

This is nothing short of a vindictive campaign of personal harassment against a baker who simply wanted to get on with his life. Instead, he has found himself the perpetual target of LGBT activists who are determined to see his head hoisted on a pike before this is all over. They have decide that he must be made an example of. That’s why a lawyer asked Phillips to bake a “transgender cake”—clearly, it was decided that a trans cake lawsuit was likely more viable than another gay wedding cake of some sort. Phillips had fought long and hard for the right to be left alone. It is a shame that the rainbow bullies will not allow him to live in peace.

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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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Trinity Western University scraps “community covenant” after Supreme Court loss

By Jonathon Van Maren

Many of us were wondering what Trinity Western University was going to do in the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada’s June ruling, in which the justices stated that provincial law societies have the right to refuse accreditation to TWU because of their “community covenant” asking that students agree to abstain from sex outside of heterosexual marriage. Ludicrously, the justices admitted that to rule against Trinity Western would be to violate their religious freedom, but then concluded that the covenant might deter LGBTQ students from spending exorbitant amounts of money to attend a small Christian university. As one atheist commentator so eloquently put it, the Supreme Court’s ruling turned the Charter from a shield into a sword, and defended precisely nobody. But it is 2018, and the LGBT streamroller is growling in high gear. It looked like TWU’s law school could be dead on arrival.

Now, according to the CBC, Trinity Western University has decided to drop the community covenant that made them such a target for Canada’s sexual revolutionaries altogether:

Students at Trinity Western University will no longer have to sign an agreement promising to abstain from all sex outside of heterosexual marriage. The board of governors for the evangelical Christian university in Langley, B.C., voted on a motion Thursday to drop the mandatory requirement that students adhere to what the school calls its community covenant.

The motion said the change was made “in furtherance of our desire to maintain TWU as a thriving community of Christian believers that is inclusive of all students wishing to learn from a Christian viewpoint and underlying philosophy.”

The change will come into effect beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, and applies to new and continuing students. In a written statement, TWU president Bob Kuhn said the school will continue to be a “Christ-centred” facility.

“Let there be no confusion regarding the board of governors’ resolution; our mission remains the same. We will remain a Biblically-based, mission-focused, academically excellent university, fully committed to our foundational evangelical Christian principles,” Kuhn said.

The progressives, of course, are pleased as punch by this. The Vancouver Sun announced this move in an article with a video titled “Queer at TWU” embedded in it, just in case you were unsure of what their editorial stance was. The insufferable Michael Coren, who is still being mocked weekly on Twitter by bemused liberal journalists who find his chameleon act transparently pathetic, was of course delighted, as is required by his new employers. The Twitterati erupted into much cheering at the successful slapping around that Trinity Western had received, and were smugly triumphant that Trinity had finally said “uncle.”

A small Christian university that governed itself by Christian principles was bullied into sidelining those principles in order to move ahead with the law school they’d invested so much time and money in, but the sexual revolutionaries and their trained seals in the media are thrilled, so this will not be recognized for what it is: A blow to religious liberty as well as freedom of association.

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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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Peter Hitchens explains why it is Christianity, not Islam, that is despised in England

By Jonathon Van Maren

If I had to recommend only a handful of commentators to follow, Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday would make the cut every time. Incisive, brilliant, and often surprising, his writing is a must for anyone who wants a Burkean conservative take on a wide range of issues. Consider this excerpt from his latest column, in which he explains why it is Christianity, rather than Islam, that is increasingly ostracized in modern society:

This is the creepy and totalitarian treatment of a Christian nurse, Sarah Kuteh, sacked from an NHS hospital for daring to suggest that a patient she was treating might like to go to church and (horror of horrors) ‘inappropriately gave a Bible to a patient’.

The good news is that Ms Kuteh, pictured, whose abilities as a nurse have never once been questioned, has now been allowed back to work by the political commissars who increasingly control our country. But the price of this is a humiliating process of self- criticism, of the sort once usual in communist states.

Typically, the whole thing is conducted in a hideous mangled form of English which makes a supermarket checkout robot sound like Shakespeare.

To regain the favour of the commissars, she has had to write a ‘reflective’ screed in which she ‘incorporated your obligations in relation to having clear professional boundaries and not expressing your personal beliefs in an inappropriate way’ and ‘set out the steps you have taken to address the deficiencies highlighted in your practice. You have addressed how you would act differently in the future.’ In other words, she has confessed her thought-crime and promised not to repeat it.

Well, that is modern Britain, a slimy, squelchy totalitarian state in which unemployment, rather than the gulag, is used to threaten people into conformism and force them to keep their deepest, beloved beliefs a personal secret while they are on state premises.

How absurd. Christianity is pretty much the origin of modern nursing. I am glad my beloved Aunt Ena, a nurse of extraordinary courage and devotion, and an exemplary Christian in thought, word and deed, did not live to see this era.

His book The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me To Faith is a must-read on the declining role of Christianity in Western society, as much as it is an autobiographical testament to faith’s increasing role in Hitchens’ own life. Earlier this summer I also finished The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost Its Way, and I must say I had no idea just how many prominent political figures were once not only die-hard left-wingers, but actually Marxists or Trotskyists. That fact, which Hitchens lays out in great detail, also goes a long way toward explaining why Christianity is so despised by many of the political elites.

As always, Hitchens consistently proves himself an able advocate for and defender of the dwindling remnants of Christianity in Great Britain. Christians could not ask for a more potent pen.

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How the Argentinian pro-life movement mobilized millions

By Jonathon Van Maren

As most of you know, last week the senate of Argentina rejected the legalization of abortion, triggering a wave of outrage from abortion activists and wild celebration from the thousands of Argentinian pro-lifers packing the streets of Buenos Aires. Abortion activists began chucking fire-bombs and trashing whatever they could get their hands on, bringing out the riot police with fire hoses. The contrast between the two reactions was stark and illuminating.

Over the past week, I’ve worked to get in touch with pro-life activists working on the ground in Argentina, and got in contact with Camila Duro, a 24-year-old pro-lifer working for the organization Frente Joven. The pro-life NGO has many projects, but one of their key initiatives is their “Densores de Mamás,” which according to their website “seeks to reduce maternal and infant mortality by addressing its main causes, providing support to women with pregnancies at risk and their children.” Frente Joven was one of the leading pro-life organizations fighting the legalization of abortion, and Camila Duro was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

Which pro-life organization do you work for?

I work at Frente Joven, which is a Non-Governmental-Organization. We have different ways of action: Our social work is focused in pregnant mothers and kids in a situation of vulnerability, and our political work aims to [exercise an] influence in different stages of public participation. We are connected with deputies, senators, ministers and other functionaries.

What is the pro-life movement in Argentina like?

The pro-life movement is especially passionate. We have seen the past weeks how people defend life with all their hearts. Also, our movement is very diverse, actually, It was very difficult to link every single organization to work together. We started to call everyone and we found “Unidad Provida” (“Pro-life Unity”) as a league.

How did the pro-life movement mobilize and respond to the bill to legalize abortion?

We work across three lines of action. We mobilized people by [a] “Citizen Action” work team. Their goal was to create awareness in ordinary people about the [pending] law and to make [it] visible that we are the majority, but a silent majority. We started the phenomenon of “The Light-Blue Wave” to show our position: Our slogan is “Save both lives.”

The second line of action was to communicate our ideas in the mass media and social networks. Our message was to put our eyes on the reality: We can save both lives, and reduce maternal mortality by other actions [than abortion]. We really want to prevent abortion and its consequences. Our poor women and most women are truly against abortion, and to make [that] visible that was our goal. It was a really positive message, and we got many to see it through the media and the social networks. Also, we were [a] worldwide trending topic with the hashtag “#SoyProvida” (I’m pro-life).

Finally, third line of action was to [exercise] influence politically, showing our deputies and senators our arguments and teaching them to defend life, [and] also to propose another solutions. Most people were absolutely against [these] policies, so we showed them the reality of [what] our citizens [really wanted.]

How did the Argentinian people respond to your efforts?

The people responded very well. We had about 3 million people in the streets at many opportunities. Our provinces were [able to] mobilize huge crowds, and senators [then] feel the pressure to not fail them.

Is there much support in Argentina for keeping abortion illegal?

Yes. The city which has more pro-abortion people is Buenos Aires, but it’s very different in the rest of the country, even in capital cities. Approximately the 60% of Argentinians are against abortion in all cases.

The media gave very little coverage to the pro-life movement. What story would you like the pro-life world to be aware of?

First, it is possible to reject abortion. Second, we don’t have to be afraid to speak out loud. Pro-life people are more silent and many times we think that everyone is pro-abortion, but it’s not true. Third, [the] media didn’t show serious specialists–they wanted famous celebrities speaking about things that they didn’t manage very well. It’s very difficult to oppose people who are used to the cameras, but it’s possible.

Are you preparing for the abortion activists to try to legalize abortion again next year?

Actually, we have a bigger problem right now. Our president is trying to legalize abortion by judicial regulations, which are unconstitutional in Argentina. Their plan is to decriminalize first in the reform of the criminal code (which will be on treatment in a few days), and then look for a criminal case of abortion to legalize it through the Supreme Court of Justice. We are reorganising to reject abortion again.

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Why conservatives cannot support Faith Goldy

By Jonathon Van Maren

This is a column I really didn’t want to write for one simple reason: Nobody likes to draw attention to the fact that someone they liked has taken a sharp turn for the worse. In this case, the person I’m referring to is a cheery shock-jock commentator who managed to turn up in nearly every corner of Canadian conservatism for years. She went from a Marxist to a conservative during her university years, wrote for the National Post, ended up as commentator on the now-defunct Sun News Network, and was enticed over to Ezra Levant’s YouTube outfit The Rebel shortly thereafter. Now, she is running for mayor of Toronto. I’m writing, of course, of Faith Goldy.

I met Faith back in 2012, when we both ended up speaking at the same pro-life rally at Queen’s Park. Most people in Canadian conservative circles knew her, or had at least run into her now and again. She was a pro-life Ukrainian Catholic, and got occasional gigs at pro-life events. At Sun News Network, she gained fans by relentlessly chasing down Justin Trudeau, demanding he explain himself on any number of issues. At The Rebel, where she had her own show On the Hunt with Faith Goldy, she interviewed many conservative politicians, including Jason Kenney and Andrew Scheer. She talked to pro-lifers, too—many of my friends went on her show, and she interviewed me on my 2016 book, The Culture War. Keep in mind that this was before her actions triggered The Rebel’s 2017 meltdown—at that point, Ezra Levant was still a fairly mainstream conservative figure.

But throughout 2017, several of the Rebel hosts began to dabble in various alt-right ideas. Gavin McInnes hosted Richard Spencer on his show, and famously got drunk and ranted about the Holocaust during his Rebel-funded trip to Israel. Goldy began to do commentary on the concept of “white genocide,” which implies by its very name that there is some non-white plot to wipe out white people (the term, after all, literally translates to “race murder.”) I met up with Faith in Toronto to talk about why I strongly disagreed with these ideas, noting that European demographics were cratering due to Europeans freely deciding not to have more children (which is suicide, not genocide.) I even explained why the social conservative worldview is actually supported primarily by new Canadians and immigrant communities, as her own reporting on the sex-education controversy in Ontario had also noted. She was her bubbly self, and appeared to agree with me.

And then, in August of 2017, Charlottesville happened. Goldy livestreamed the Unite the Right Rally while delivering a running commentary highly sympathetic to the white nationalist marchers, who had spent one dark night marching with flickering torches while chanting slogans such as “the Jews will not replace us!” and waving swastika flags. Her camera was actually one of the few that caught the deadly vehicle attack that saw a car driven by one of the alt-righters straight into a crowd of counter-protestors, leaving one woman dead. Despite this, Goldy made the rounds on a wide range of podcasts and YouTube shows, at one point casually referring to the “JQ” (“Jewish Question”) and referring to those ideas as “well thought out,” ending up on the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer’s podcast, where she made a joke about her long-suffering boss Ezra not turning down free bacon (because he’s a Jew, get it?)

The result of this was almost immediate. The Rebel suffered a massive meltdown in just a few days, with co-founder Brian Lilley and a series of other hosts and contributors announcing their departures. Goldy got fired after her appearance on the Daily Stormer podcast surfaced. Delighted progressives and long-time foes of Levant moved in for the kill, and politicians were called upon to disavow any and all connections with The Rebel. Ezra Levant, a free speech warrior and conservative insider for decades, had his business venture definitively shoved to the fringe because he had allowed his staff just enough rope to hang him with. Levant, like many others, initially thought that the alt-right was just a group of Internet trolls tossing hand grenades into pastures filled with sacred cows. By the time he realized that this was not the case, it was too late. Politicians and many others now shun his show like the plague. Ironically, one of Goldy’s final statements to the folks over at the Daily Stormer was to compliment Levant for the amount of editorial freedom he permitted her.

It was a genuinely sad thing to watch, and I noted at the time that it was very clearly a cautionary tale for conservatives: the alt-right is dangerous, and consorting with anti-Semites should always be considered absolutely unacceptable. I hoped at the time that Goldy and others who had dabbled with the alt-right would realize their mistake, pull back, and have the self-awareness to understand that this stuff is poison. After all, the Unite the Right Rally had just given us a pretty unambiguous look at what the alt-right movement was all about, what their plans were, and what their vision of Western Civilization actually looks like. There was no dog-whistling at Charlottesville and afterwards: It was a raw and primal scream of rage, directed at the Jews and other “non-whites.” Their display was a chance for anyone tempted by any of their ideas to see what they were buying into, and walk away.

Instead, after an initial statement that was a combination of an explanation and a non-apology, Faith Goldy doubled down. I have been following the alt-right for several years now, especially after I noticed that some conservatives and libertarians of a certain disposition find some of these ideologies to be alluring. Despite her recent denials of being alt-right to the Post Millenial as well as her reposting of her post-Charlottesville non-apology, Goldy has become a frequent guest on white nationalist and alt-right YouTube shows and podcasts throughout the past year, and has carefully cultivated her image as one of them—even inventing a weird version of Canadian history, which apparently has Canada containing large indigenous populations of European people, whom she insists are “settlers” not “immigrants” (the settlers apparently did not immigrate to Canada first before settling. The obvious holes in this historical theory are not addressed.)

For example, one YouTube show she appears on is American Pride, an outfit that also frequently features David Duke (one of his recent appearances focuses on the insidious influence of the Jews), prominent neo-Nazi and editor of AltRight.com Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor of American Renaissance. A brief review of their videos illustrates just how steeped in racism and anti-Semitism they are, and anyone choosing to become a frequent guest on this channel cannot claim ignorance of the worldview they seek to promote. In fact, in one exchange with YouTuber Lauren Rose and Jean Francois Gariepy, Goldy was asked to defend her whiteness:

Gariepy: Now, Faith, it is time for the final purity test. My audience keeps asking me about you. They call you Faith Goldbergstein—are you a servant of the Israeli state?

Goldy, laughing: Aw, man, ultimate subversion, guys—you found me out, fam. No, Ancestry has zero Ashkenazi, sorry to disappoint…I’m fully European. I actually have a lot more Slav DNA than I had expected, because technically—Jeff, don’t judge! Don’t throw me off!—I’ve got three Greek grandparents and one Slav. Yeah, I had more than the 25% Eastern European. And I had 1% Finn as well. I’m very proud of that 1% Finn.

Gariepy: Well, in my video “What is White,” I’ve pointed out that the Slavs and the Greeks, you can include them in the white race if you want. They are genetically slightly different from Europeans, but it depends on how big you want to draw the circle.

Goldy: Absolutely. I’d like to draw the circle big enough to include Ukrainians and Greeks.

Another show that Goldy has regularly appeared on since her firing from The Rebel is Red Ice TV, usually with host Lana Lokteff. Lokteff is a prominent figure on the alt-right—she’s appeared on panels with Richard Spencer, and is married to Henrik Palmgren, who is reportedly working on the creation of a media outfit with Spencer. Again, Red Ice TV specializes in anti-Semitism, has dabbled in Holocaust denial, and has regularly featured David Duke as an honored guest. It was in a conversation with Lokteff that Goldy explicitly rejected “civic nationalism” in favor of ethno-nationalism (white nationalism), stating that civic nationalism has led to the “balkanization” of our society, as evidenced by phenomena such as Chinatown. Because of this, Goldy told Lokteff, civic nationalism must be rejected in favor of ethno-nationalism, which she unironically describes as one of the prime drivers of 20th century history. “The question is,” she stated, “are we going to work against nature, and try to rise above it, even though we’re forty, fifty, sixty years into this experiment and those partitions are only becoming more distinguished? Or are we going to say, maybe it’s time to dis-aggregate?”

Despite all this, Goldy has tried to protest when people point out that she has obviously decided to throw her lot in with the alt-right. When she quoted the so-called “Fourteen Words” on the alt-right Millenial Woes podcast, she protested the backlash by saying that there was nothing wrong with white people wanting to secure a future for their children—which may be literally true, but does not change the fact that she decided to parrot a phrase coined by white supremacist David Lane of terrorist group The Order while in prison for the murder of a Jewish radio host. When you consciously decide to associate yourself with a certain movement and employ their catchphrases, you don’t get to pretend to be stunned and offended when someone points out the association—one that was greeted with delight on the alt-right. She also backed down when she recommended a book that calls for the elimination of the “Jewish menace,” saying she hadn’t read that far yet. Regardless of this, alt-right figures are extremely pleased with Faith Goldy’s decision to run for mayor of Toronto, seeing it as a platform to spread their views–Mark Collett, a YouTuber once featured in the BBC documentary Young, Nazi, and Proud, released a video urging alt-righters to push Goldy’s campaign.

I’ll be honest: I would not have written this article if Faith Goldy had not decided to run for mayor. I had unhappily noted her departure from conservatism and subsequent embrace of (and by) the alt-right, and so for obvious reasons we no longer ran in the same circles. But now she is back, and I’ve noticed that many social conservatives, libertarians, and others seem to be unaware of what she’s been up to since her departure from The Rebel—which is perfectly understandable, since most people don’t keep track of what is going on in the alt-right underworld. As such, Goldy will most likely attempt to garner support from those who were once fans of her Rebel show—people who will then end up being damned by association because of her alt-right record and the folks she’s been fraternizing with over the past year. Social conservatives, libertarians, and conservatives in general—the people who are scorned by the alt-right as “cucks”—need to be aware of Goldy’s trajectory, and need to recognize the consequences of associating with her campaign.

Many have said that people should not be abandoned over a simple mistake, and that Goldy’s appearance on the Daily Stormer podcast post-Charlottesville was simply a single mistake. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be the case. Since then, as I have pointed out, she has primarily frequented shows and podcasts run by alt-right figures who also host David Duke and other neo-Nazis, has explicitly rejected civic nationalism in favor of ethno-nationalism, has seen fit to protest so-called accusations of Jewishness and assert her whiteness, and chosen to parrot the catch-phrases of self-described white supremacists. While Goldy can play the semantic game and attempt to highlight points of disagreement between her and the alt-right friends she spends hours with on YouTube shows and podcasts for political expediency, as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. She’s done her best on their shows over the past months to prove she is one of them, even going so far as to describe her ideological evolution, and there is no reason to think that is not the case now just because she finds that inconvenient to a mayoral run. I find all of this to be sad and incredibly disappointing. But these are the facts.

I have one final point to make: If Faith Goldy is not launching this mayoral run to attract attention to her ideas, as many alt-right figures hope, then her decision is simply an exercise in profound selfishness. If Goldy actually cares about conservatism, or the pro-life cause, or libertarianism, or anything else, the biggest favor she could do for those associated with these causes is to stay home. All you have to do is look at what happened to Ezra Levant, once a fairly mainstream figure in Canadian conservatism, to see what happens to people who become associated with those who dabble in alt-right ideologies. Goldy’s actions in Charlottesville were the main factors in the torching of The Rebel’s credibility, and anyone who decides to throw their lot in with Goldy can expect something similar to happen to them. Goldy’s name, after all, is already used as a weapon against any politician who ever appeared with her. The alt-right is poison, and that poison rubs off on anyone who gets close to it. Goldy knows the result that her actions and associations have—she jokes about it all the time. And so by courting conservatives who have everything to lose by associating with her, she is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that this mayoral run is a vanity exercise that is about her, and nobody else.

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Abortion activists say that telling Canadians about lack of abortion laws is “dangerous”

By Jonathon Van Maren

Another so-called “controversy” over abortion has been sparked here in Canada. This time, it was triggered by the political pro-life organization We Need A Law (WNAL), which draws attention to Canada’s lack of abortion laws and calls for our politicians to act on the mandate they were given in the 1988 Supreme Court R v. Morgentaler ruling and pass legislation. According to my friend Mike Schouten, the director of WNAL, thirty billboards with the simple statement “Canada has no abortion laws” will be going up across the country from Victoria to Halifax. About 77% of Canadians think we already have abortion laws, he pointed out. It’s time to correct that misconception.

You’d think that this wouldn’t be particularly controversial. Billboards with a simple statement of fact, educating Canadians on the legal reality in their nation. What could be so controversial about that? But then you’d be forgetting that we live in Canada, where the media and most politicians are incapable of having a reasonable or mature conversation about this issue. Some pro-life people have been fooled into thinking that if pro-life activists focus on producing only inoffensive types of messaging and outreach, that controversy can be avoided. Time and again, that belief has been proven to be unfounded—and WNAL’s campaign is the latest example. Consider this nonsense, from Global News:

A billboard on one of Dartmouth’s busiest roads is generating public concern over access to abortion in Canada.

“I think it’s trying to foster fear and stigma and I think that kind of message can be really dangerous,” Sarah Baddeley said, the Halifax Chair of Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

The billboard is part of a national campaign by a pro-life organization called We Need a Law. The group is based out of British Columbia and says they’re trying to raise awareness around “the issue of abortion legislation.”

“We Need a Law, is an advocacy campaign-building support among Canadians and then asking our federal authorities to pass laws that do protect fetal interests,” Mike Schouten said, the director of We Need a Law.

Legal experts in Nova Scotia say the billboard sends “harmful messaging” and that there haven’t been any criminal laws with respect to abortion in Canada since 1988.

“It’s disappointing to see a sign like that come up because it’s not true that abortion is unregulated in Canada. Fear and stigma can be really significant barriers to access for a lot of people as they make a choice that’s right for them and a billboard like that fosters that fear and stigma by suggesting that abortion somehow exists in a regulatory void, which is not the case,” Baddeley said.

Keep in mind here that these are not the sorts of signs that the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform uses. They do not show the public what happens to victims of abortion. They don’t even say what happens during abortion, or include any facts about fetal development. But according to abortion supporter Sarah Baddely, a sign that simply informs commuters what the legal reality in Canada is can be characterized as the promotion of “fear and stigma” and should be considered “really dangerous.”

Other so-called “legal experts” called the dissemination of this bland legal fact “harmful messaging,” and to back that statement up they literally pointed to the reality that the billboards are drawing attention to: “that there haven’t been any criminal laws with respect to abortion in Canada since 1988.” Baddely then added that abortion is regulated in Canada, while of course not mentioning that abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and that any guidelines that exist are simply that: Guidelines. As our discombobulated “legal experts” pointed out, there are no criminal laws, and thus it is possible to abort a baby in the last month of pregnancy. The reason Baddely considers this sort of fact to be dangerous is that it is dangerous to the survival of her preferred political outcome: Most people recognize that this is an unacceptable legal status quo. I have talked to countless Canadians on this issue, and nearly all of them are stunned to find out that we have no abortion laws.

This is how intellectually bankrupt Canada’s abortion activists are, and this is how badly they want to hide the truth from Canadians. They don’t just want to ban evidence of what abortion does to the pre-born human being developing in the womb, or censor facts about the abortion procedure or fetal development. No, even a campaign that simply tells Canadians that we have no laws on abortion is unacceptable to them, because they are terrified that if pro-life activists continue to address the widespread ignorance surrounding the abortion issue, they will begin to lose support. And so they infantilize Canadians by claiming that telling us what our legal regime looks like is “dangerous,” hoping that they can respond to facts with fear-mongering.

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A lawsuit calling Ford’s sex-ed repeal a human rights violation has been launched

By Jonathon Van Maren

The fight over Ontario’s sex education curriculum is going to end up boiling down to a single issue, where neither side can budge: Gender fluidity. On one side, you have LGBT activists who are demanding that children be taught that they can switch from boy to girl or vice versa, and that sex and gender are two separate things. They want children to believe that their biology can be irrelevant to who they are. And on the other side, there are those of us who believe that this is profoundly harmful and confusing for children, and that this social experiment concerning gender fluidity is going to end very badly indeed (and in fact, many parents point out that it is already causing immense harm.)

It was a given that the backlash to Doug Ford’s repeal of Kathleen Wynne’s sex education was going to be intense. Simply put, in order to spread their ideology—especially the tenets of transgenderism, which most people instinctively find dubious—LGBT activists need to have their ideology taught in the public schools, and they will fight for access. Just as the Ford government announced new consultations, it turns out that some are already taking action against the curriculum repeal. From the Toronto Star:

At least six Ontario families are launching a human rights case over the province’s plan to use an outdated sex-ed curriculum, saying it will harm their children — the first legal challenge amid a growing backlash over reviving the two-decade-old lessons and the impact on LGBTQ youth.

While the main applicant is an 11-year-old trans youth from rural Ontario, a number of families from Guelph, Toronto, Sudbury and other cities will support the case with evidence of how the new curriculum — which the Ford government said it will suspend this fall — helped support their elementary school children. All of the kids involved in the case are younger than 13.

“We’ve been in conversation with parents of trans and queer youth, currently in Grades K to 8 … and these families are very concerned about the planned changes,” said lawyer Marcus McCann, who along with colleague Mika Imai will be announcing the human rights challenge Thursday at Queen’s Park. “Our belief is that shelving the curriculum is raising red flags from a human rights perspective.”

Imai said they will request an expedited hearing, and may seek an interim order to keep the updated curriculum in place this fall. While the families were going to hold off until the government officially ordered boards to revert to the 1998 curriculum, with school just weeks away “we just can’t wait,” added McCann. “The stakes are too high.”

You’ll notice that there is no middle ground here. Those of us who oppose this curriculum would agree that the stakes in this fight are very high, which is why organizations like Parents as First Educators and the army of parents it has been fielding for several years now have fought so long and hard to have these dangerous ideologies taken out of the schools. But for others, having young children taught about transgenderism is quite literally a “human right”—I’m sure the reasoning will be both tortured as well as solemnly accepted by the media and progressive politicians—and they’ll go to court to make sure that all children get taught what they want their kids to know. More:

Jake Somerville’s child began transitioning in kindergarten and “we found that the school, the teachers, played a really big role,” said the Guelph father, helping her socially and “working with children in the classroom who had a lot of questions about what she was going through.”

The teachers brought in books and would talk about boys wearing dresses or wanting to, and rather than separating boys from the girls for classroom groupings, teachers would find other ways — not related to gender — to do so.

“That was in 2015,” Somerville said. “The (new) curriculum had already started. We found the teachers … were so knowledgeable about what needed to be done … we didn’t have very much exposure to the trans community, so it was refreshing to go into the school system” and be supported. By using the old curriculum, “it leaves it open for every single school to have a different climate, all across the board,” said Somerville.

For families outside of Toronto, the worry is greater because they are fewer supports available outside of school, said Sudbury mom Sylvie Liard, who has one young child she describes as gender non-conforming. “Going back to the older curriculum, where nothing was addressed, is unfathomable,” she said.

Somerville’s story is precisely what worries so many parents. A child physically transitioning in kindergarten? Five-year-olds being taught that their bodies might not correlate to their gender? Teachers encouraging boys to wear dresses? The simple fact is that most Ontario parents do not want their children learning that stuff, and many were even under the mistaken impression that school was about education. Even those who couldn’t care less what trans activists are up to do not think that their kindergarteners need to know the finer details of queer theory in between nap-time and the monkey-bars.

Those suing the government for a violation of “human rights” are now launching an online fundraising campaign to cover their legal costs. In response, the grassroots organization Parents as First Educators is asking Ontarians to sign a petition expressing their support for the Ford government’s repeal and is pushing to ensure that the Progressive Conservatives don’t buckle under pressure and insert these ideologies into the new curriculum, as well. Many thought the battle was almost won when Doug Ford kept his promise to get rid of Wynne’s sex-ed and begin consultations with parents. It turns out that it is just beginning.

SIGN THE PETITION FOR PARENTS AS FIRST EDUCATORS

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