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Kelsea Ballerini attends The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 09, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.Jason Kempin / Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this year, I was contacted by a journalist for Society, a biweekly print magazine about culture, society, and politics based in Paris that has become one of the best-known print magazines in France. The writer wanted to do an interview on a few columns I’d written on the culture war being waged within the country music scene, where younger performers are beginning to push the progressive agenda that their peers are advocating elsewhere. The journalist was clearly skeptical of my thesis that country music has become a part of the culture wars. 

“According to you, why is country music, historically rather conservative, evolving currently towards more progressive values?” he asked. My response: “Country music was a conservative genre because it primarily celebrated the ordinary (albeit in a uniquely American context): faith, family, and freedom. Rock and other genres were intentionally transgressive, and country music stood out by contrast. But as the sexual revolution has thoroughly transformed culture and the digital age and entertainment industry have done much to eliminate regional cultural distinctions, the transgressive views of an elite few on sexuality and human relationships are becoming increasingly ordinary, and country music is beginning to reflect that.” 

The culture wars, simply put, are the clash between the residual values of Western civilization and the progressive values of the sexual revolution as we advance further into the post-Christian era.

His second, more awkwardly worded question, got to the heart of why he wanted the interview in the first place: “What do you blame on the new pro-LGBT country scene?” In response, I pointed out that this culture war was to be expected. In many ways, the new (and vociferous) pro-LGBT or LGBT-identifying country stars are simply another example of what is happening across culture, be it literature, film, TV, children’s entertainment, or music. The LGBT movement has become an ascendant force, and their ideology has become ideology of most major social institutions. It was once frowned upon to openly defend alternative sexual lifestyles; it is now frowned upon to condemn them. The country music scene took longer to evolve because it was rooted in a more conservative tradition – but it has changed nonetheless. 

The journalist asked me to define what a culture war was and asked whether the changes in country music are simply another microcosm of what is going on everywhere. The culture wars, simply put, are the clash between the residual values of Western civilization and the progressive values of the sexual revolution as we advance further into the post-Christian era. A culture based on Judeo-Christian values is fundamentally at odds with a culture committed to hyper-individualism and total personal liberation, and the culture wars are a result of this tension. Our culture’s values were once Judeo-Christian and based on biblical revelation. They are now based on a commitment to total autonomy and sexual revolution. Our entire moral infrastructure has been replaced, and no aspect of society will remain untouched by this.  

Those pushing this agenda in the country music scene are doing it very intentionally. Tyler Childers, for example, recently did an interview for a profile on NPR in which he explained why he is using his country music to tell queer love stories. Kelsea Ballerini performed with drag queens at the CMT awards. Jason Aldean and his wife were targeted by angry young country stars for opposing transgender ideology. And “queer country songs” are increasingly the norm. As I’ve noted before, the Sexual Revolution is totalizing, and nothing will be left untouched. Country music has already gone through a transformation away from tradition over the past two decades – now it is transitioning completely. There are a handful of artists still committed to the old values, but they are consistently under fire if they dare to express their views. 

Country music was a uniquely American cultural phenomenon – and there was no chance the activists were ever going to leave it alone. 

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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.