Jonathon van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars

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Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos claims that "young people hate the Left." But where's the proof?


Grim poll: Conservatives are losing catastrophically on every single issue…except this one

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - If certain enthusiastic public figures are to be believed, there is a wave of iconoclastic and libertarian youth who are fed up with political correctness and ready to turn the Left on its head. When I attended a campus event featuring the recently disgraced and even more recently resurgent Milo Yiannopoulos last fall, he made the claim loudly and boldly: “I might be the only one who has noticed this trend, but young people hate the Left. I have thirteen-year-olds emailing me. I even have children attending my campus events.”

Ignoring for a moment the obvious problem with a child attending an event put on by the self-described “Dangerous Faggot,” this sort of optimism is entirely unwarranted—unless, as is obviously the case with Milo, you do not see moral issues as indicative of national health overall. On that front, Americans continue to shift to the left, and continue to abandon Judeo-Christian values—if they even know what those are anymore. Gallup recently released new polling data for their annual Values and Beliefs poll, and the results were very sobering.

The number of Americans who believe that birth control is morally acceptable, for example, is at an all-time high: 91%. This includes many forms of birth control that can potentially cause abortion. It also ensures that abortion clinics will be busy for years to come dispensing with the unwanted children that survived the chemical playground they were conceived into. The contraceptive mentality, the fundamental belief that sex and childbearing are entirely unrelated acts, is not just accepted. It is overwhelmingly prevalent.

It’s no wonder, then, that having children outside of wedlock is now not only the norm, it is considered to be an equal arrangement to having children with two parents. Sixty-two percent of Americans say that it is morally acceptable to have children outside of wedlock, with reproductive technology now assisting single parents in fulfilling their dream of parenthood regardless if that child would be better off with a mother and a father. But then again, children are now a commodity people have a right to possess or discard, and their wellbeing is rarely considered outside of political virtue-signalling. Children can be brought into existence at all costs, and removed from existence at all costs.

Divorce, too, managed to hit an all-time high in Gallup’s new poll: 73% of Americans think that divorce is morally acceptable. Keep in mind, this does not just refer to divorce in extreme circumstances. This is no-fault divorce, the idea that marriage is not a life-long commitment but is simply a relationship that will last until either the husband or the wife grows tired of the arrangement and moves on. It is now more difficult to extract yourself from a cell phone contract than it is to leave a marriage, even a marriage with children.

Gay ‘marriage’, on the other hand, has the whole-hearted support of a vast plurality of Americans, with 69% saying that it is morally acceptable. It is stunning to think that as recently as 2004, the United States was being swept with waves of voters demanding state laws reaffirming marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. That is no longer the case. The media, the entertainment industry, and Internet pornography began the cultural revolution, and the establishment politicians finished it.

Support for pornography is creeping up at a slower pace, with only 36% saying that porn use was morally acceptable. Then again, over 80% of men and nearly half of women are consuming porn every single month, so it’s pretty clear that moral disapproval is not proving to be a tough enough deterrent. Still, I’m hopeful that the consistent public attention the negative effects of porn have been receiving might begin sending the right message to a porn-hooked culture.

In a set of polling data with nearly universally bad news, there is a single outlier: According to Gallup, support for abortion has only changed 1% since 2001, with 43% of Americans saying that the procedure is morally acceptable. This can be attributed to the massive educational efforts of the pro-life movement and the relentless exposure of abortion as a violent act of physical destruction by everyone from undercover reporters such as David Daleiden to street activists holding abortion victim photos. The abortion rate has been consistently falling, and it is heartening to see what activists can do when they truly set to work to change the culture. On every moral issue, social conservatives are losing ground—except for abortion.

Looking at the raw data, it’s hard to see where someone like Milo Yiannopoulos gets his optimism from. He may not care about most moral issues—his relaunch party, after all, featured male and female strippers—but even on free speech and free markets, the numbers look grim. Millennials are embracing socialism, rejecting the fundamental idea that freedom of speech and freedom of expression are bedrock values in a democracy, and turning university campuses into totalitarian safe spaces that exclude any idea they find threatening to their fragile progressive worldviews.

The truth is that an entire generation has grown up more or less disconnected from the Christian past of the West, and that activists must fight tooth and nail to educate the public on each and every issue. We see what happens when massive educational efforts are undertaken: On abortion, we are not losing ground—and even under the most pro-abortion president in American history, over 300 laws were passed on the state level. Pornography, while still prevalent, is now attracting the ire of government bodies across the West who are recognizing it for the public health crisis it is. Social conservatism as a worldview may be on the fringe, but there are many, many opportunities to change that.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.