Jonathon van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars

Featured Image
So, engaging in any activity with the potential to make someone feel ashamed of a past action is a shameful thing to do, and so we should feel ashamed of ourselves. Got it.

Blogs

The painful irony of those ‘Slut-walks’

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

It is interesting to note the evolution of our culture’s perception of values over time. The word “prude,” for example, brings to mind a dour, asexual—if not anti-sexual—person, with whom there may well be something fundamentally wrong. However, it has a very different origin, deriving from the word “prudence”—which used to be considered quite a valuable trait. Some etymologists say it even derives from the French prudefemme, meaning a “respectable woman.” But traits like “respectableness” and “prudence” have fallen out of fashion. And thus it is that the brave warriors of today’s aging and disease-ridden Sexual Revolution, without any morally credible battles left to fight, have set their sights on combating the vague idea of “shame.”

In her 1874 book Middlemarch, Mary Anne Evans (writing under the penname George Eliot), wrote eloquently of the concept of shame:

The terror of being judged sharpens the memory: it sends an inevitable glare over that long-unvisited past which has been habitually recalled only in general phrases. Even without memory, the life is bound into one by a zone of dependence in growth and decay; but intense memory forces a man to own his blameworthy past. With memory set smarting like a reopened wound, a man’s past is not simply a dead history, an outworn preparation of the present: it is not a repented error shaken loose from the life: it is a still quivering part of himself, bringing shudders and bitter flavors and the tinglings of a merited shame.

These, of course, are all very novel concepts.  The idea of a “blameworthy past” or “merited shame” are now glibly but fiercely remodeled as “alternative lifestyles” or “self-expression.” The greatest thought-crime one can commit on the modern university campus is to be perceived as “judging” someone, which could possibly result in “shaming them,” which in today’s vernacular means that they were made to feel bad about something, irrespective of whether or not that thing was, in fact, something they should feel bad about. Any hint of heresy from the moral relativism of the Sexual Revolution is bound to prompt a defiant, shameless march, whether it is a “Slut-Walk” or even an anti-“fat-shaming” march.

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

It’s often so ridiculous that it defies response. I remember two of my university peers discussing what to do about the upcoming scheduled Slut-Walk in Vancouver some years ago. “How are we supposed to react to that?” asked the one. “Just go and watch!” chortled the other, in what I would venture to say was a rather shameless way.

Like other manifestations of moral relativism, the Sexual Revolution’s war on shame is intellectually suicidal. As a pro-life activist, I can’t count the number of times I and my comrades are yelled at by people who dislike how we expose the reality of abortion, and who tell us we “should be ashamed” of ourselves. Why? “Because we might make some people who have had experiences with abortion feel bad.”

So, engaging in any activity with the potential to make someone feel ashamed of a past action is a shameful thing to do, and so we should feel ashamed of ourselves. Got it.

It may seem rather stupid when put that bluntly, but left-wing publications shriek day in and day out that Christians - and anyone else who might timidly suggest that standards for behavior, sexual and otherwise, do exist - should be “ashamed of themselves.” This, while claiming that “shaming people” was the unforgivable sin being committed in the first place.

Like most other manifestations of the Sexual Revolution, the war on shame is not an accidental happening, but the result of a carefully orchestrated philosophy designed to promote sexual hedonism. The work of Swiss psychiatrist and contemporary of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, did much to promote that idea that shame was, in his words, “a soul-eating disease.” Jung did not suffer from much of this disease himself, engaging in a number of high-profile affairs while remaining married to the mother of his children. If shame were to crop up, Jung thought, repeated exposure to shame could eventually neutralize the feelings.

That, of course, is the role pornography plays in our culture today. While “shamelessness,” and our correlating dislike of shame and accompanying guilt, have been steadily increasing since the advent of the Sexual Revolution, the rise of Internet pornography has turned that into a monstrous tidal wave. Now, every imaginable sexual action, no matter how disgusting, deviant, or wicked, can be found with just a few clicks of the mouse. And millions upon millions have progressed from titillation, to lust, to dark sexual obsession. The Sexual Revolution began the war on shame, and Internet pornography finished it. Those sad, pathetic university activists, yearning for the glory days of 1968, are really nothing more than clean-up crews.

And I mean that. There really is something sad and pathetic about young university students, burning with zeal to fight for something, and settling on the right to as much meaningless sex, or as much exposed skin, or as much health-destroying gluttony as one might want. And when I think of university students of times past, who boarded buses heading into the Deep South to protest segregation, and got clubbed and hosed and brutalized for the civil rights of themselves and others, I can only shake my head at the contrast.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

Sign up for our FREE pro-life and pro-family newsletter

LifeSite's daily headlines delivered right to your inbox. The best way to stay informed on the issues that matter.

Select Your Edition:



Advertisement
Jonathon van Maren

Follow Jonathon...

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.