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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VICTORY: Appeal judges overturn forced abortion order in the United Kingdom

This is absolutely fantastic news from the Press Association: The forced abortion ordered by Justice Lieven was overturned on appeal:

Doctors must not be allowed to perform an abortion on a pregnant mentally-ill woman, Court of Appeal judges have ruled.

A judge on Friday concluded that a pregnancy termination was in the woman’s best interests.

Mrs Justice Lieven had analysed evidence at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in London.

But three appeal judges on Monday over-ruled that decision after the woman’s mother, a former midwife, mounted a challenge.

Lord Justice McCombe, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson had considered the challenge at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

They said they would give reasons for their decision at a later date.

Lawyers said they thought the circumstances of the case were unique.

Thank God for this. More details to come.

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Planned Parenthood loses in court, Christians win in court (and other stories)

By Jonathon Van Maren

A new roundup of culture war news:

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Abortion activists in Canada have created a feticide app that allows you to find the best place to kill your pre-born children in a very short amount of time. From The Record:

An abortion referral app developed in Waterloo Region is now available Canadawide. Choice Connect is a joint project between the SHORE Centre and Kitchener software company Zeitspace, which developed and donated the app to the Planned Parenthood affiliate.

“We’re very proud to be launching the app. I think it really speaks to the innovation here in Waterloo Region,” said SHORE Centre executive director Lyndsey Butcher. The national launch at the True North conference in Kitchener on Wednesday was two years in the making, with the app starting in Waterloo Region and then expanding to Ontario last fall. Now women and trans people across Canada can find the nearest abortion provider based on their needs through the app without having to deal with the delays and judgment they commonly face now.

If SHORE sounds familiar to you, it is because they made the news after an abortion activists assaulted herself some time ago in an effort to smear pro-lifers.

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A wonderful story recently unfolded in Ohio, set to the gruesome backdrop of Democratic legislators passing abortion-until-birth laws across the US. From Cleveland:

The Cleveland Clinic completed its first in utero fetal surgery to repair a spina bifida birth defect earlier this year on a 23-week-old fetus, bringing a new surgery option to northern Ohio.

The surgery was in February. The child, a baby girl, was delivered via cesarean section June 3.

“By successfully repairing the defect before birth, we’re allowing this child to have the best possible outcome and significantly improve her quality of life,” Dr. Darrell Cass, director of fetal surgery in the Clinic’s Fetal Center, said in a prepared statement. “There are different measures of quality in determining success for fetal repairs and in this particular case, all metrics for maximum quality were achieved.”

Each new advance in our ability to treat babies in the womb reveals abortion for what it is: An act of savagery against a beautiful and innocent human being. This debate is not simply about bodily autonomy versus the right to live. It is about what it means to be human, and whether we will return to the pre-Christian days when we could kill our own children, or whether we will cling to the Judeo-Christian tradition that gave those children rights. In the meantime, 65 million children have died horribly, and their blood cries out for justice.

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Last year, I noted that a federal court ruled that a World War I memorial cross on public land had to be torn down. Now, the US Supreme Court has overruled that ridiculous piece of jurisprudence. From the Associated Press:

A 40-foot-tall, World War I memorial cross can continue to stand on public land in Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in an important decision about the use of religious symbols in American life. The justices said preserving a long-standing religious monument is very different from allowing the building of a new one. And the court concluded that the nearly 100-year-old memorial’s presence on a grassy highway median doesn’t violate the Constitution’s prohibition on the government favoring one religion over others. Seven of the court’s nine justices sided with the cross’ backers, a lineup that crossed ideological lines.

This is a good precedent, and we can now expect to follow. Hopefully, this will at least slow the iconoclastic fervor of those attempting to uproot and smash all indications of America’s Christian founding.

***

This is fantastic news, and will hopefully close some Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. The GOP failure to defund Planned Parenthood is the most consistently frustrating broken promise, as several years of defunding would drain their coffers and potentially cripple them. So this, reported by VICE, is a step in the right direction:

The Trump administration can implement a rule that could strip Planned Parenthood and other health care organizations of millions of dollars in federal funding, a panel of three judges from U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit ruled in a scathing opinion issued Thursday.

Under the rule, announced in February, health care providers that offer abortions or refer patients for the procedure will be cut off from Title X. The $286 million federal program currently caters to four million low-income people and offers them access to services like birth control, as well as cancer and STD screenings.

If they want to keep the money, providers must now maintain a “clear physical and financial separation” between abortion-related treatment and their other work — like building a completely separate facility to perform abortions in. They’re also generally forbidden from referring patients for abortions.

Planned Parenthood is a criminal organization that has facilitated the sale of baby body parts, killed millions of babies, and presents a blood-red stain on America’s national history. It is long past time to do away with it.

***

Remember the story of Charlie Gard? How about Alfie Evans? Some legislators fortunately have not, and Sohrab Ahmari is reporting that new laws may soon prevent such awful situations from happening again:

Can a pair of brave but terribly sick little boys, neither of whom lived to see the age of two, move a whole nation to change unjust laws? Of course, they can. Indeed, that’s what Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans are poised to achieve, when Parliament considers a law aimed at strengthening parental rights in disputes with physicians over the treatment of sick children.

Charlie’s Law, nicknamed after Charlie Gard, would permit parents to seek treatments at other hospitals “unless it would cause the child ‘significant harm,’” The Daily Mail reported last week. “The law would also compel hospitals to offer mediation in disputes before resorting to the courts.”

If enacted – and please God, let it be enacted – the proposed legislation would make it less likely for parents to find themselves having to single-handedly fight off Britain’s medical and legal establishments merely to try alternative remedies. That, you will remember, is what Charlie’s and Alfie’s parents had to do, and in both cases they failed to overcome the bureaucracy, notwithstanding the interventions of Pope Francis, President Trump and millions of supporters around the world.

This is fantastic news, and I’m sure anyone who remembers the awful press conferences where choking, desperate parents pleaded for help for their children will agree with me.

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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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Government meeting in Alaska opened with “hail Satan” prayer, Elizabeth Warren demands reparations for gay people (and other stories)

By Jonathon Van Maren

A new roundup of culture war news:

***

This new case will dictate whether or not female sporting events actually survive, or whether they end up being a collection of confused and mutilated males competing against one another to the cheers of the LGBTQ crowd. From FOX News:

Three Connecticut girls who participate on high school track teams have filed a federal discrimination complaint against a statewide policy on transgender athletes, saying it has cost them top finishes in competitions and possibly college scholarships.

The conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom filed the complaint on behalf of Selina Soule and two other minor girls Monday with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. It seeks an investigation and actions to make competitions fair.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference governs high school sports in the state. It says its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law requiring students to be treated in school according to the gender with which they identify. The complaint says transgender athletes have been consistently winning track and field events and the policy violates federal protections for female athletes.

If the girls lose, biological males will dominate both male and female sporting events, and another female-only space will be eliminated. It is interesting to note that the transgender revolution has primarily impacted women, who are losing the spaces they fought for over the past several decades and are being told they are bigoted if they complain: Bathrooms, locker rooms, battered women’s shelters, and even Girl Scouts. Each new inalienable “right” invented by the progressives comes at the expense of another group. In this case, it is women and girls.

***

As the Democratic candidates for president fight to find breathing space in their overloaded clown car, the battle to see who can become the wokest has begun in earnest. Joe Biden, as I mentioned earlier, has already caved on federal funding for abortion, and he’ll be sure to sacrifice any of his remaining loosely-held principles in his final geriatric bid to achieve the White House as the race wears on. Elizabeth Warren, who has already suggested nationalizing everything and seizing private property, has now decided that the reparations debate (which is currently raging in a far-off corner of the Left regarding slavery) should also be applied to the gay-married couples who didn’t get quite as much as she thinks they were owed in tax returns. From Mic.com:

LGBTQ+ Americans have historically received unjust treatment by the United States government, but some politicians are now looking to correct past wrongs. On June 20, Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren introduced the Refund Equality Act, a bill that would benefit same-sex couples formerly discriminated against through the U.S. Tax Code due to unequal marriage laws.

If the act passes, LGBTQ+ couples married in states where their union was recognized before gay marriage was legalized nationwide in 2013 could amend their past tax returns to receive IRS refunds. According to NBC News, that’s approximately $57 million in total owed to countless couples who weren’t able to jointly file federal tax returns prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.

As Warren noted in a statement, her home of Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage back in 2004. Yet because the government’s definition of marriage didn’t match the state’s, many married LGBTQ+ couples in Massachusetts, depending on their incomes and individual finances, were prevented from receiving the refunds they deserved.

“The federal government forced legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts to file as individuals and pay more in taxes for almost a decade,” Warren said. “We need to call out that discrimination and to make it right — Congress should pass the Refund Equality Act immediately.”

Once we decide that reparations are the thing to do, there’ll be no end to them. Just as Justin Trudeau is constantly discovering new groups that have suffered injustices in history (and history is famously full of them) that he can apologize for, thus sprucing up his re-election bid with the appropriate amount of virtue-infused penitence, Warren has clearly realized that if the Left has accepted the concept of reparations for slavery, there will be more reparations debates to come. She is decided to get out in front of that parade with a Pride flag, and whaddaya know, it coincidentally happens to be Pride Month. Of course, if Warren’s plan goes through, the LGBT reparations debate will balloon faster than their acronym, and the federal government will soon find itself on the hook for smashed windows at Stonewall and everything else anyone can think of. (I’m sure Eric Swalwell has some ideas that nobody cares about.)

***

I know most of the Satanists believe themselves to be trolls attempting to offend as many people as possible, but for those of us who believe Satan actually does exist and that calls on him could actually be answered, this sort of thing, reported by The Hill, constitutes playing with fire:

Several attendees at a government meeting open to the public in Alaska walked out in protest after an opening prayer praised Satan. The Associated Press reports the prayer, where a woman declared “Hail Satan,” was given by Satanic Temple member Iris Fontana, who won the right to open the meeting with an invocation of her choice. “That which will not bend, must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared as demise. It is done, hail Satan,” Fontana said to open the meeting, according to local radio station KSRM The controversial prayer Tuesday night started the meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough and prompted several attendees to exit.

A protest outside the borough’s administration building ensued, drawing 40 or so people. Fontana was reportedly among one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit litigated by the ACLU of Alaska against the borough after it approved a policy in 2016 to only allow people belonging to official organizations with an established presence on the Kenai Peninsula to give invocations at meetings. Last year, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the borough policy was unconstitutional and the policy was changed to allow anyone to offer invocations regardless of affiliation.

We’ll file this one under “be careful who you invoke.”

***

Dr. Jordan Peterson is taking aim at Canada’s public school system again, over a recent story about a young girl traumatized by gender ideology. From the National Post:

This week, journalist Barbara Kay released a story on The Post Millennial website about an application filed before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario by the parents of a six year girl, “N,” who was made subject to the new tenets of gender identity theory by her hypothetically well-meaning elementary school teacher at Devonshire Community Public School (Ottawa-Carleton District School Board). According to Kay’s account, the teacher insisted to the children that “there is no such thing as girls and boys,” and “girls are not real and boys are not real.” In consequence, “N” began to manifest substantial confusion about her identity. She asked her parents why her existence as a girl was not real. She asked to see a doctor for an opinion. She became unsettled about the reality of her biological existence. Her concern persisted over a three-month period — a long time in the life of a young person.

Consider this: At the tender age of six, “N” was being required, first, to question an identity she had spent continual and effortful time developing since (at minimum) the age of two — learning the rules she understood to be generically appropriate for her role, so that she knew how to fit in, play her part, get along, refrain from violating the expectations of her peers and the adults she interacted with, and planning, as best as she could, her course through life as a female. Second, she was being required to question what constitutes “real” — because if you are six, and you’re a girl, and you know it (and so does everyone else), and you are now being told that none of that is “real,” then the whole idea of reality becomes shaky and unstable. The seriousness of the philosophical and psychological confusion that such demands are capable of generating should not be underestimated.

I can barely envision a pedagogical strategy less conducive to stable early childhood development, particularly for a thoughtful child, which is exactly what “N” seems to be — much to her detriment, in this situation. Trusting her teacher, as she apparently did, “N” listened to her lessons and tried to think through what the complicated and internally contradictory mess of information she was presented with might actually signify — and failing, as was inevitable, because there is nothing that it signifies that is reasonable, logical, practical, or true. No matter: “gender fluidity” is school board policy, even for six-year olds, and the distress of a perfectly normal child at the lessons is a price well worth paying to ensure that ideological purity, no matter how counterproductive and absurd, is stringently maintained. Better the child suffers than the teacher thinks. Better the entire educational system reformulates itself around the new dogma (and to hell with the possibility that the experiment might go wrong) than the ideologues governing its structure question their absurd and fundamentally resentful presumptions.

Despite discussing their concerns with the school principal, the superintendent of the school board, and the curriculum superintendent, the parents allege that all these authorities refused to agree to “communicate with parents when sensitive discussions took place” (remember, these are six year olds) and would not issue any directive or take any corrective action “to ensure that children of female gender identity were positively affirmed.” “N’s” parents have since moved their child to another school where the same absolutely inexcusable foolishness has not yet repeated itself. And now we’re going to find out — courtesy of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (an organization in which I could hardly have less faith and which should be abolished as soon as possible) — whether little girls have the right to maintain their normative, common, practical and realistic world-view and opinion of their own bodies, or whether that is trumped administratively and legally by the existence of the incoherent set of rights inexcusably and forcibly granted to the tiny minority of people who insist that their “identities” are entirely self-generated and absolutely inviolate socially and legally. I would place a strong bet on the latter, and I think the fact that it’s come to that is to our great collective shame and danger.

As I’ve been saying for several years now, this is not going to end well.

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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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This is medical rape: UK judge orders forced abortion on Catholic woman

By Jonathon Van Maren

A radical pro-abortion judge in the United Kingdom has just approved a forced abortion, despite the wishes of the pregnant woman, her mother, and the social worker who has been caring for her. From the Catholic News Agency:

A British judge has authorized doctors to perform an abortion on a pregnant Catholic woman with developmental disabilities and a mood disorder, despite the objections of the woman’s mother and the woman herself. The woman is 22 weeks pregnant.

“I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the State to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion,” said Justice Nathalie Lieven in her ruling in the Court of Protection, June 21.

“I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination,” Lieven explained, arguing that her decision is in the best interest of the woman.

The Court of Protection handles cases involving individuals judged to lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. The woman, who cannot been publicly identified, has been described as “in her twenties,” and is under the care of an NHS trust, part of the UK’s National Health Service.

Doctors at the trust wished to abort her pregnancy and argued that, due to her diminished mental capacity, the abortion would be less traumatic for the woman than giving birth, especially if the baby would then be placed in foster care. The woman’s mother made clear to doctors and the court that she would assume care of her grandchild.

The woman is believed to have the mental capacity of a grade school-age child. She is reportedly Catholic, and her mother is Nigerian. It is unknown if the pregnancy was conceived consensually, and police are investigating the circumstances of conception.

The woman’s mother, reported to be a former midwife, registered her absolute opposition to the abortion citing the Catholic faith of herself and her daughter. A social worker who cares for the woman also disagreed that she should be forced to have an abortion. The judge said she did not believe the woman understood what it meant to have a baby.

“I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” Lieven said. Lieven also said that she did not believe the woman’s ongoing mental health care needs would permit her mother to assist in raising the child. Allowing the child to be born and then removed from the woman’s home and placed into foster care or adoption would be against the woman’s own interests, the judge concluded.

“I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [from her care],” Lieven said, because “it would at that stage be a real baby.” Lieven clarified that the pregnancy “although real to [the woman], doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch.”

As a lawyer, Lieven has appeared in court before in cases concerning abortion. In 2011, while representing the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, an abortion provider, she argued that British women should be permitted to medically abort their pregnancies at their own homes instead of in a hospital. Five years later, Lieven argued in court that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws were a violation of the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act.

In 2017, she said that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws were akin to torture and were discriminatory.

Unrestricted abortion is legal in the UK until 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which doctors must certify that the abortion is in the medical interests of the mother.

NHS statistics show babies born at 24 weeks have a 50% chance of survival on average, though the rate depends on the NHS trust providing care. Babies born in a University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust hospital in London at 23 weeks of gestation have a 70% chance of survival.

This horrifying scenario has unfolded in the United Kingdom before. Five years ago, Family Court judge James Munby ordered that an abortion be performed on a 13-year-old girl against her will, despite the fact that once again, experts testifying at the trial oppose the decision and the girl’s psychiatrist even warned that the abortion would damage her. Despite that, Munby actually said the following: “Leaving to one side her own wishes and feelings, the preponderance of all the evidence is clear that it would be in her best interests to have a termination.”

In short: Some UK judges believe that they can force unwanted abortions on women despite the fact that experts and caretakers warn that these forced abortions will damage the women because those judges believe that the women would be better off with their children. Those children, of course, are dismembered by an abortionist and tossed out like garbage.

This is nothing short of medical rape: A judge ordering a woman be forced into stirrups against her will, an abortionist forcing his way into her body, and removing the innocent child that she does not want aborted.

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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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How my daughter’s reaction to a fetal model showed that children are instinctively pro-life

By Jonathon Van Maren

Earlier this week, my wife dropped by our pro-life office over lunchtime with our toddler daughter. As we chatted with coffee, Charlotte began to wander through the office to do some exploring, poking here and there to see what she could find. There wasn’t much that was fragile around that she could break, so I wasn’t too concerned.

She soon found a bin of plastic 11-12 week fetal models and began to rescue them from storage.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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LGBT pride parade advocates say children like to see ‘nakedness’ and ‘kink’

By Jonathon Van Maren

It is Pride Month again in North America, and this means many of our mainstream publications turn into relentless promoters of public nudity and sanctimonious bigots nursing a grudge against previous generations. These individuals head onto TV to demand that our political leaders show the appropriate amount of support for the festivals of twerking that encompass large swathes of our biggest cities. Along with the rainbow partying and the fawning media coverage, of course, come some of the stupidest debates that you can imagine. One recurrent argument – and yes, this is now an argument – is whether children should be exposed to the lewd proceedings.

It would seem fairly obvious that events featuring sexually-charged displays would be inappropriate for children. It would also seem obvious, to any fair-minded observer, that the public displays of scantily-clad men in leather bondage gear, floats featuring revellers engaging in simulated sex acts, nude men displaying their genitals, and a wide array of other obviously explicit behaviors should be classified as “sexually-charged.” But in today’s upside-down world where the only blasphemy left is expressing doubts about some jot or tittle of the LGBTQ2S agenda, even pointing out the obvious is considered to be offensive.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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New York City creates an abortion fund for women from pro-life states

By Jonathon Van Maren

Following on the heels of Governor Cuomo’s decision to not only legalize abortion until birth but also to celebrate this macabre move by having New York landmarks lit up in pink, New York City has made another move to become America’s abortion capital—and this time, it is focused on other states. According to the appropriately-named Jezebel, NYC is responding to a recent rash of pro-life legislation by creating a fund to provide abortions to women from around the country:

New York City has set aside $250,000 to cover abortion expenses for uninsured people with a third of the money specifically earmarked for those traveling from outside the city seeking access to safe and legal abortion. The fund makes New York the first city in the country to designate money specifically for abortions.

The relatively small amount will probably help around 500 people get abortions through the New York Abortion Access Fund, but lawmakers also see the money as a statement against abortion bans taking place in other parts of the country. According to the New York Times, the money won’t necessarily go to Planned Parenthood, which already receives public funding and provides myriad other services, but rather to cover the cost of abortion for those without insurance:

“The abortion access fund provides payment to clinics on behalf of women who might not be able to pay for abortions, but are not covered by insurance or Medicaid. Roughly a third of the fund goes to women who come to New York for abortions.”

Uninsured people seeking abortions in New York City can contact the Abortion Access Fund, which offers an assessment within a 24-hour period, and in some cases, provides referrals to groups that cover transportation costs. The Times reports that in 2018, the group helped 600 people cover abortion expenses. City Councilwoman and chairwoman of the Council’s Women’s Caucus Carlina Rivera says that in the days before Roe v. Wade, the city’s less rigid abortion laws made New York a safer space for those looking to end pregnancies. She hopes to once again make the city “the beacon for the rest of the country.”

Welcome to 2019, the year New York City declared itself a “beacon for the rest of the country.” Apparently, that’s how an abortion extremist describes a city where African American babies are more likely to be killed in the womb than survive until birth, and aborting children has become the norm.

It appears that if you are a baby in the womb, the lines that New York City is most famous for should actually be placed near the border of Alabama or another pro-life state:

Give me your tired, your poor, 

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

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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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Christian bakers win again at the Supreme Court

While many astute political commentators worried that the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling would not be enough to protect religious liberty in the long-term, the short-term benefits are still undeniably significant and the Supreme Court clearly intended the case to set a new standard in the standoff between LGBT activists and Christian business owners. The latest example of this comes in the form of more good news for Christian bakers. From the Christian Post:

The United States Supreme Court vacated a ruling against a Christian couple forced to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a gay wedding cake. In an order released Monday morning, the high court vacated an earlier ruling against Aaron and Melissa Klein, a Christian couple from Oregon who lost their bakery and were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2013.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals of Oregon “for further consideration” due to the 2018 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In Masterpiece, the court ruled 7-2 that Colorado had shown an unconstitutional anti-religious animus toward Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop when it punished him for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding.

“To describe a man’s faith as ‘one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use’ is to disparage his religion in at least two distinct ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical—something insubstantial and even insincere,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority in Masterpiece.

“This sentiment is inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law—a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation.” Last October, the Klein family filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, arguing that they were wrongly punished by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries for refusing for religious reasons to bake a cake for the wedding of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.

The Bureau fined the Kleins $135,000 for refusing to make the cake, forcing them to close their bakery Sweetcakes by Melissa. The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the BOLI order while the Oregon Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal.

Anthony Kennedy intended to enshrine his grand compromise into law before he turned his seat over to a battered Brett Kavanaugh: Same-sex marriage is legal, but religious liberty is protected. LGBT activists, of course, are having none of this: They want total cultural victory and the submission and humiliation of their perceived enemies. Thus, Kennedy’s final compromise will not hold out for long. Radicalized courts will continue to send Christians, hat in hand, to the Supreme Court until the Court decides to either succumb to the LGBT blitzkrieg or deliver a ruling that protects religious liberty far more explicitly than the Masterpiece Cakeshop case does.

In the meantime, good news finally for Aaron and Melissa Klein. What LGBT activists have done to this family for years has been simply disgusting.

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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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Helpless dad stands outside clinic and begs mom not to go through with abortion

It is one of the most heart-rending videos I have ever seen. It was shot outside the grotesquely named Hope Clinic for Women and shows a young man wearing a blue hoodie and a grey baseball cap pulled backwards over his shaggy hair pleading in front of the clinic doors. He is crouching, hands outstretched towards the closed door, pleading in a shrill tone of desperation that cuts straight to the soul. “Please don’t kill our baby! Abby, please don’t kill our baby! Abby…” and the voice shatters and trails off into wrenching sobs.

This video went viral on Twitter on Father’s Day. It was first posted to pro-life activist John Ryan’s Facebook account this past weekend with the following description:

Fathers Day weekend nightmare. This father is kneeling at the doors of this abortion mill crying out hysterically for the life of his child. His name is Tyler. Mothers name is Abby. Please pray for him. He said Abby has been abused in her life and one of those involved in the abuse, her stepmother, is the one that brought her here to kill their child. He said she has three other children at home including a 4 1/2-year-old who is very much aware that mom is pregnant and looking forward to the birth of her sibling. He said they planned this baby. The baby at risk is 12 weeks old. In the attached videos you can hear this father crying out for his child’s life. It is heartbreaking. This is what a real father does when his child is in imminent danger.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

 

 

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The American Medical Association condemns euthanasia, the Democrats condemn pro-lifers (and other stories)

A round-up of news stories:

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Fantastic news from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, published on June 10:

The American Medical Association (AMA) upheld its opposition to assisted suicide by a vote of 65% to 35% today. The AMA overwhelmingly maintained that:

“Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks”

At a 2016 meeting of the AMA, delegates voted to ask the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) to review the AMA policy on assisted suicide. In May 2018, CEJA upheld the AMA policy on assisted suicide, but in June 2018, AMA delegates once again asked CEJA to continue reviewing its policy on assisted suicide. In October 2018, CEJA adjusted the language of its recommendation while upholding that the AMA maintain its opposition to assisted suicide. In November 2018, AMA delegates once again decided to ask CEJA to continue reviewing the AMA policy on assisted suicide. After three years of intense review of its assisted suicide policy, AMA delegates overwhelmingly upheld that assisted suicide is incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.

Suicide activists, predictably, are outraged by this decision, but a failure to reach this conclusion could have opened the floodgates for assisted suicide legislation in states across the country. For now, the dam is holding.

***

Much to the dismay of the country’s right-wing leader, Brazil’s highest court has moved to ban “homophobia and transphobia,” taking a dangerous step towards criminalizing any disagreement with the LGBT agenda. From the Daily Beast:

The Brazilian Supreme Court has ruled in favor of criminalizing homophobia under current legislation until Congress creates a law that specifically addresses the matter, Reuters reports. Eight of the court’s 11 justices voted on Thursday to treat homophobia like racism, which under Brazilian law is also considered a criminal act. “Sexual orientation and gender identity are essential to human beings, to the self-determination to decide their own life and seek happiness,” Justice Gilmar Mendes said. When it became clear last month that most of the justices would vote to criminalize homophobia, President Jair Bolsonaro accused them of overstepping into legislative territory, and suggested it was time for an evangelical Christian to be appointed to the court. 

Same-sex marriage is already legal in Brazil, but the justices claimed that this law was necessary in order to criminalize dangerous attitudes towards sexual minorities. Time will tell how the law is implemented, or how Congress will respond.

***

Despite a long battle by the Christian Life and Family movement in Ecuador, liberal justices moved to transform the country despite public opinion. From Reuters:

Five of nine judges in Ecuador’s top court on Wednesday ruled in favor of two gay couples who sued after their request to be married was denied by the country’s civil registry.

The Latin American nation is the 27th country to allow same-sex marriage with the move coming during the annual gay Pride month and events to mark the 50th year of the Stonewall riots in New York that gave rise to the global movement for LGBT+ rights.

In nearly every country, massive social change has been forced from the top-down, and public opinion only follows once the LGBT project has been imposed on the population by a handful of (usually) unelected judges.

***

It is not just “transphobia” and homophobia that are being compared to racism these days. Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand upped the rhetorical ante recently by saying that pro-lifers (and polls say this is a slight majority of the American public) are in many ways similar to Nazis or the Klan. From the National Review:

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand suggested that opposition to abortion is akin to racism.

Gillibrand, who continues to linger near the very bottom of the pack of Democrats running for the 2020 presidential nomination, has stated that she plans to impose a litmus test on all of her judicial nominees, should she be elected. When asked whether that choice would threaten judicial independence, here’s how Gillibrand replied:

I think there’s some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable. Imagine saying that it’s okay to appoint a judge who’s racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic. Telling– asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America, I don’t think that those are political issues anymore.

The senator next claimed that she respects “the rights of every American to hold their religious beliefs true to themselves,” but went on to suggest that the principle of “separation of church and state” demands that “ultra-radical conservative judges and justices” not “impose their faith on Americans.”

“There is no moral equivalency when you come to racism,” Gillibrand added, “and I do not believe there is a moral equivalency when it comes to changing laws that deny women reproductive freedom.”

The Democratic Party is the self-declared enemy of the pro-life movement, and anyone who values life in the womb or liberty itself should never, ever forget it.

___________________________________

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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The mainstream media is taking steps to assist abortion activists in keeping abortion legal

By Jonathon Van Maren

As the pro-life movement gains ground in the United States, the primary opponents of pre-born human rights are beginning to get worried.

Last month, Cecile Richards noted grimly that Roe v. Wade is “hanging by a thread.” Abortion activists are raising cash to create abortion funds for women who live in states where abortion is nearly impossible to procure. And liberal states continue to make abortions supporters look positively ghoulish, with Vermont recently legalizing abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy and Illinois legalizing partial-birth abortion and eliminating conscience protections for doctors.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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Parents sue clinic because their daughter was born with Down syndrome–and they’d rather she be dead

By Jonathon Van Maren

Last month, an Australian couple was granted an extension by the Supreme Court in Brisbane to sue the medical staff of a Gold Coast ultrasound clinic. The pending lawsuit is expected to be an enormous one, with extensive damages being sought as well as a personal injury suit on behalf of the mother. An initial reading of the preliminary details makes the case appear to be extremely serious, causing one to wonder what the doctor and the ultrasound technicians might have done wrong.

That question has a stomach-turning answer. As it turns out, the couple’s daughter – now a little girl of four years old – has Down syndrome. The couple had not been expecting this, as both a doctor and a sonographer had told them during an appointment in August of 2014 that the risk of a chromosomal abnormality was in the “low range” and that further testing was unnecessary. They turned out to have been mistaken, and the child had to spend several weeks in intensive care with a feeding tube following her birth.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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LGBT activists are so determined to destroy Jack Phillips that they’re suing him a third time

By Jonathon Van Maren

The LGBT movement’s talk of tolerance has always been a joke: They fully intend to achieve cultural dominance, and then attempt to “punish” those who publicly disagree with them and crush those who refuse to go along with their agenda. That is why they actively seek florists and photographers and bakers who disagree with them: Because they need to make an example of people to warn the rest of us that if we do not submit to their ongoing transformation of the nation, they will hoist our heads on pikes.

The most prominent example of this is Colorado baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who has unfortunately found himself in their crosshairs for a third time.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT LIFESITENEWS.COM

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The corporations are going to war with the Christians (and other stories)

By Jonathon Van Maren

As I noted in my review of Tucker Carlson’s latest book Ship of Fools, the Republican coalition of social conservatives and Big Business has definitively collapsed, with the corporations wrapping themselves in the rainbow flag and throwing their lot in with the Left. The latest evidence of this is a new petition titled “Don’t Ban Equality,” signed by 180 CEOs to signal their disapproval of the recent spike in pro-life legislation passing on the state level. Hollywood, which has apparently forgotten what the #MeToo movement told us about their moral fibre, has also been vocal in opposition to pro-life laws. We’re seeing the entire forces of the elites begin to shift into place for the war over abortion: The entertainment industry, the progressive politicians, the media, and the corporations, all fixing for a fight against a movement that has been defending the pre-born for a half-century with a fierceness that nobody predicted. It is, quite simply, a battle for the future of America. Millions of lives are on the line.

***

Speaking of corporations and their virtue-signalling, Budweiser—which may not be the King of Beers, but is certainly a staple of unwoke blue collar workers—pulled this ridiculous stunt for Pride Month in the UK:

In observance of “Pride Month,” Budweiser UK has released nine cups to celebrate various stated forms of sexuality or gender identity, including a cup that recognizes “asexual,” “grey-asexual” and “demi-sexual” pride. The popular beer company tweeted about its cups on May 31, including its asexual offering, which features one black stripe, one grey stripe, one white stripe and one purple stripe.

“Black is for asexuals who don’t feel sexual attraction to anyone. Grey is for grey-asexuals, who sometimes feel sexual attraction, and demi-sexuals who only feel it if they know someone well. White nods to non-asexual allies, and purple represents the whole community,” the tweet reads, urging followers to “fly the flag for asexual pride.”

Other cups celebrate “genderfluid pride,” “non-binary pride,” “transgender pride,” “inclusive pride,” “lesbian pride,” “intersex pride,” “pan pride,” and “bi pride.”

“Yellow is for those whose gender exists outside of the gender binary. White is for people with many genders. Purple is for those who feel a mix of female and male, and black is for those who feel they are without gender entirely,” a tweet explaining the “non-binary” cup reads.

“Blue symbolizes male attraction, pink female attraction, and yellow attraction to other genders,” the company outlined of its “pan pride” cup. It says of its bisexual cup, “Magenta is for same-gender attraction, blue is for attraction to genders other than your own, and lavender (a mix of the two) represents attraction to your own and other genders, though some interpret it differently.”

Twitter promptly exploded with mockery, and it appears that Budweiser may have misread their target audience. But it is amusing to consider the corporate hacks who sat there, scratching their heads and trying to figure out how to one-up all the businesses obediently slapping the rainbow on their advertising for the month, and coming up with this babble.

***

A worrisome new poll shows that the transgender movement may be gaining ground, although I’d like to see the data sets before I take it too seriously (as Peter Hitchens often points out, public polls are commissioned to shape public opinion rather than to reflect public opinion.) From TIME:

More than six in ten Americans say they have become more supportive of transgender rights compared to their stances five years ago, according to a new survey.

The findings from the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, show a shift in public perception across political parties. Over three-quarters of Democrats surveyed reported being more supportive of transgender rights now than in 2014. Meanwhile, 64% of independents said they felt this way, and 47% of Republicans did.

Majorities from major religious groups also indicated their perceptions had changed, according to the survey, which contacted over 1,000 people. Nearly 70% of Catholics reported becoming more supportive of transgender rights over the last five years, versus 60% of nonwhite Protestants and 52% of white evangelical Protestants, the findings published Tuesday say.

I’ve been saying for awhile that most people are still not on board the transgender train, and so the time to push back is now. If we do not, the public school system and the entertainment industry will do the job, and the next generation will be thoroughly indoctrinated. We are already seeing signs of that, as transgenderism becomes a social contagion and sweeps through the high schools.

***

Saskatchewan has approved funding for the abortion pill, meaning that the years-long attempt by some pro-life groups to get abortion defunded in that province (where the majority of voters was on side with the idea) has been a failure. Nunavut is now the last Canadian jurisdiction that has not agreed to fund RU-486.

***

The New York Times published a front-page story titled “The Making of a YouTube Radical,” detailing one 26-year-old man’s shift towards the right and then back to the left via various YouTube creators and commentators. Unfortunately, the article managed to engage in one of the left-wing media’s favorite tricks: Conflating everyone from Jordan B. Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dave Rubin, and Joe Rogan with alt-right commentators in an obvious (and lazy) attempt to paint everyone slightly right-of-centre or insufficiently woke with the same brush. This passage was particularly disgusting:

Mr. Cain never bought into the far right’s most extreme views, like Holocaust denial or the need for a white ethnostate, he said. Still, far-right ideology bled into his daily life. He began referring to himself as a “tradcon” — a traditional conservative, committed to old-fashioned gender norms. He dated an evangelical Christian woman, and he fought with his liberal friends.

“It was kind of sad,” said Zelda Wait, a friend of Mr. Cain’s from high school. “I was just, like: ‘Wow, what happened? How did you get this way?’”

So a “traditional conservative” is now someone who is also “far-right,” just a few YouTube videos away from being a follower of Richard Spencer or a Holocaust denier? Dating an evangelical Christian is a sign that something “sad” is happening, prompting woker friends to wonder how someone could possibly “get this way”?

Even more disappointing is the fact that the article was written by Kevin Roose. Roose is no hack—he once went undercover for a semester at Liberty University, the world’s largest evangelical post-secondary institution, and then wrote up his experience in a book titled The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University. It is a brilliantly-written book, and Roose genuinely struggles to understand and connect with his evangelical peers. In fact, he even goes on dates with an evangelical girl, which is a tad ironic considering his recent piece of writing. Perhaps the Age of Trump has tribalized Roose, too, or perhaps he has simply forgotten what he learned at Liberty. Either way, his front page New York Times essay was a sloppy hatchet-job, and he knows better.

_________________________________

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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Shameful, wrong, and exploitative: Little boy dances in drag at Pride Parade

For the next month, you’re going to see relentless calls for conservative politicians to march in Pride parades across North America. Those who refuse will be called homophobic, even if they are simply the sort of people who prefer not to attend sexually-charged events featuring nudity and simulated sex acts. In fact, children are often exposed to adult nudity at these events–and Canada’s public broadcaster thinks that’s no big deal. I, on the other hand, am the sort of person who thinks that this short clip below shows the disgusting sexual exploitation of a child–and I make no apologies for that.

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America is more pro-life than any other developed nation

An interesting data set was released by The Guardian recently taking a look at public opinion on abortion in the United States as opposed to other first world countries:

The US is much more hostile to abortion than other countries in the developed world, with more Americans opposed to terminations than supportive, according to a survey of 23 of the world’s biggest countries.

The YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey, which was conducted before this week’s move in Alabama to impose the strictest abortion legislation anywhere in the US, found 46% of Americans said abortion was unacceptable, compared with 38% who found it acceptable.

The poll puts the US on a par with developing countries such as India (48-37%) and Turkey (47-41%), but considerably out of step with America’s rich-nation peers.

“The US is exceptional compared with other highly developed countries on religiosity,” said Andrew Whitehead, a professor who studies religion in the US at Clemson University, South Carolina. “Even though the US is growing more secular over time, we are an outlier compared with western Europe or other countries that are similarly advanced technologically.”

It is particularly encouraging to consider the fact that nearly a half-century out from Roe v. Wade, the abortion debate has not gone away, and the pro-life movement has continued to gain ground. Over and over again the demise of the pro-life movement has been predicted, and each time that prediction proved to be rather premature. More:

Supporters of the US president were even more anti-abortion: 78% of Donald Trump voters said abortion was unacceptable, with just 18% approving of terminations. Rural areas were significantly more anti-abortion than cities.

People who sympathise with Trump’s positions are often those who seek more religion in public life, such as prayer in school. “When we look at moral issues like abortion there’s such as strong correlation between conservative religiosity and attitudes toward abortion,” Whitehead said.

When Trump calls to overturn Roe versus Wade, the landmark 1973 US supreme court decision that legalised abortion, “he’s speaking their language”.

The better educated an individual, the more likely they were to approve of a woman’s right to have an abortion. Older people were less persuaded of a woman’s right to choose than the young: 53% of those aged 55 and over were opposed, compared to 34% of 18-24 year olds.

Patriots were more anti-abortion than the average American. Of those who expressed the view that the US is the best country in the world, 65% were anti-abortion.

Abortion is the defining issue of our time. Progressives may insist that it is simply another form of healthcare, but the fact that the debate continues to tear the country apart proves that nobody is buying that lie—not even themselves.

__________________________________

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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