Jonathon Van Maren

Ending the Demand for Abortion

In a society where women often need to return to work shortly after birth, where it is far cheaper to procure an abortion than to give birth in a hospital, and where many of the current policies penalize childbirth and childbearing and incentivize abortion, we believe that creative policy-making can bring about relief for many mothers and families.

As the pro-life movement enters a post-Roe era after Dobbs, the anti-abortion movement is revaluating, looking ahead, and strategizing about ways to reduce abortion through a variety of policies—not only on the supply side, but on the demand side as well. Marvin Olasky, a veteran pro-life scholar, recently wrote about ways pro-lifers can reduce the demand for abortion. Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life and Kristen Day of the beleaguered Democrats for Life co-authored an essay calling on legislators to “make birth free.” And last week, a joint statement titled “Building a Post-Roe Future” was released with hundreds of signatories—including Foster and Day.
The statement, which I worked on with pro-life activist Eric Scheidler, ethicist Charlie Camosy, and apologist Josh Brahm, notes that while protecting the human rights of the unborn is essential, there is much more that we can do. “We are pro-life conservatives, moderates, and liberals united in our conviction that every human life has value—including the lives of both the unborn and that child’s mother,” the statement reads. “We believe that our society should prioritize the needs of both, and that ultimately this can only be achieved by significant changes in public policy.”
Of course, the pro-life movement has always recognized the importance of supporting women facing unplanned pregnancies, donating untold millions of dollars to thousands of crisis pregnancy centers and other organizations to assist mothers and children. But in a post-Roe landscape, the non-profit network will simply not be enough. Some states have already acknowledged this. When Texas passed new abortion restrictions, it also committed $100 million to the Alternatives to Abortion program, which offers everything from diapers to job training.
Read More
Related Posts:

Andrew Tate, Symptom of the Sexual Revolution

Andrew Tate, a creature of the sexual revolution who advocates masculinity without virtue, strength without tenderness, and casual cruelty by right of conquest. His popularity is an indication that in our pornified, post-Christian society, this particular path has proven attractive to legions of confused young men. These men desire, as men always have, to be heroes—but in a society that has left them with no guidelines or pathways for achieving true heroism, many cling to the false promises of Andrew Tate. 

Over the past year, thirty-six-year-old Andrew Tate has become a cultural phenomenon. On social media, the former British kickboxer-turned-influencer is one of the most famous men in the world, with over eleven billion views on TikTok alone. Tate is the personification of various internet subcultures, combining the critiques of the anti-feminist “manosphere” and the alt-right with the posture of a pickup artist. A self-described pimp who has stated he believes sexual fidelity is only for women, he made his millions running porn sites. He now uses social media to accrue legions of young male fans and monetize them by running online programs such as Hustler University, which sells tips on how to pick up women and get rich quick. His popularity grew when several social media platforms decided to simultaneously de-platform him, landing him interviews with everyone from Tucker Carlson to Piers Morgan.
On December 29, Romanian authorities arrested Tate and his brother at his Bucharest mansion on charges of human trafficking. Six women have accused Andrew Tate (and other suspects) of running a “lover-boy” scheme in which they persuaded women they wanted a relationship but then forced them to perform in pornographic videos. He remains in jail without bail on charges of rape and sex trafficking.
Tate’s status as an international internet celebrity makes this more than a local crime story. It is crucial to understand why he is wildly popular among men today. Tate made his money by turning his romantic partners into “camgirls” and selling their bodies to viewers online. On a now-deleted section of his website that pitches his tactics to other men, Tate wrote:
I’ve been running a webcam studio for nearly a decade, I’ve had over 75 girls work for me, and my business model is different than 99% of webcam studio owners. Over 50% of my employees were actually my girlfriend at the time and, of all my girlfriends, NONE were in the adult entertainment industry before they met me. . . .
Read More
Related Posts:

The LGBT Agenda is Trying to Destroy Children: Statistics Show it is Working

Some will grow out of identifying as “non-binary,” and will be able to do so far less painfully than a child who underwent sex change surgeries or took puberty blockers. But the underlying worldview — that I can be whoever I say I am and society is morally (and perhaps legally) obligated to positively affirm my delusions —are here to stay.

(LifeSiteNews) — Earlier this month, I noted in this space that LGBT activists have so effectively taken over the curriculum of Canadian public schools that students were now being encouraged to choose different gender identities — including fresh new categories such as “non-binary,” which almost nobody had heard of until very recently
Our school system is not simply providing information about new “gender identities” — it is actively encouraging and facilitating children to push boundaries and question their sex.
Indeed, the effectiveness of this indoctrination is creating a massive spike in children identifying as anything but themselves everywhere it has been implemented—even liberal comedian Bill Maher, long-time supporter of the LGBT agenda, noted the trend: “If this spike in trans children is all biological, why is it regional? Either Ohio is shaming them or California is creating them.”
The last few years have seen the trend escalate. A report by The Post Millennial, for example, highlights new data from Seattle Public Schools shows an 853% spike in students identifying as non-binary over only three years. In 2019, 53 out of 55,417 students identified as “non-binary.” In the 2022-2023 school year, that number was up to 505, including three children in preschool, 16 in kindergarten, 89 in grades 1-5, 125 in middle school and 272 in high school.
It is obvious to any reasonable person that a child of four or five years old identifying as “non-binary” has very little to do with the child’s identity, which he or she cannot even conceptualize at that age.
Read More
Related Posts:

The Ghastly Truth about “Gender Transitioning” Is Coming Out, and Liberal Elites Can’t Stop It

Children who have been ruined by transgender ideology are coming forward and speaking “their truth” on every platform available to them, and their stories are heartbreaking. And photos of children who have undergone transition surgery…are horrifying to people even when those posting them are doing so positively.

(LifeSiteNews)—It is no surprise that progressives are amping up efforts to cancel Matt Walsh, the Daily Wire podcast host and activist taking on the gender ideologues. His investigation into the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s practice of “transitioning” children—which included video of one doctor noting that the surgeries are “huge money makers”—triggered Tennessee lawmakers to call for an investigation. This has resulted in an announcement by Vanderbilt that it will be halting all “sex change” surgeries for underage patients while reviewing their processes.
When the U.K.’s Tavistock clinic did this, the independent investigation found that children were being “transitioned” hastily—and a class-action lawsuit with up to 1,000 families participating was close behind.
There were plenty of commentators—even on the conservative side—who scoffed at the idea that a bare-knuckle brawler like Matt Walsh (and the Daily Wire) could produce reportage that could create change. But there is a direct line between Walsh’s reporting and activism and a major hospital putting a hold on mutilating children. This is undeniably huge. Walsh, like the rest of us, isn’t perfect. But his activism against the gender ideologues has been undeniably effective, and he gets results where others have failed.
Meanwhile, the Daily Wire is also showcasing how to relentlessly expose a movement that has been operating with impunity—and the consent of institutional elites—and to the permanent detriment of tens of thousands of children. I suspect that coverage from non-mainstream outlets has assisted in driving these stories to the surface. Consider this recent story from Reuters, for example, that exposes the fact that the manufacturers of puberty-blocking drugs such as Endo International plc and AbbVie Inc have refused to conduct safety trials despite their products being prescribed to children:
Left-wing news outlet Reuters published data on Thursday about the rising number of children and adolescents adopting a transgender identity and seeking medical interventions. Among the shocking revelations is that between 2017 to 2021, 17,683 of the 121,882 children ages 6 to 17 diagnosed with gender dysphoria received puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones. Despite such widespread adoption for the drug’s off-label use, the drug’s manufacturers refuse to conduct safety trials for their use in treating gender dysphoria in adolescents.
Read More
Related Posts:

Parents are Scoring Victories Against LGBT Ideologues Who Want to Corrupt Their Children

As parents push back, school boards are being forced to buckle. The lesson here is simply: To change the culture, we must engage it. That means voting in local elections. It means going to school board meetings. It means not remaining silent when these things are happening in our communities. Because when parents to speak up—when they do insist on change—we see change happening, from Arkansas to the United Kingdom. Be encouraged—and get active.

With a seemingly constant firehose of bad news, it is genuinely important to mark our cultural victories. It is true that the LGBT movement has both infiltrated and taken control of the public school system, from the contents of the curriculum to the celebration of “Pride Month.” But it is also true that the growing parental rights movement has created an effective backlash and is steadily accruing victories.
Earlier this month, for example, the Rice Lake School Board passed a policy mandating that parents must be made aware of any student who changes their name as part of “transitioning” genders. Over the past several years, we’ve seen many examples of schools assisting children in “social transitioning” (or worse) without telling the parents. The rationale for this has been the insistence of LGBT activists that parents pose a danger to their children, and that these changes should be hidden from them.
In fact, several transgender activists actually protested the board meeting, saying that the policy was “discriminatory” and that it made students unsafe. Parents pushing for the policy stated that it was essential for them to know what is going on with their children. “Parents have to be informed of or grant permission to literally anything else,” one noted at the meeting.
Parents also scored a victory in Conway, Arkansas, where the school board approved policies that trans activists predictably oppose.
Read More
Related Posts:

What is Coming Next for Canadian Churches?

 Carl Trueman offers some powerful advice in the aforementioned essay, including being deeply rooted in doctrine and Scripture; rejecting the postmodern worship practices that have come with our “childish age”; and putting “our own lives in perspective…before God.” We must work to defend our communities and shape the minds of our children while also seeking to love our neighbours. Canada is post-Christian, but Christians in Canada are thus far facing social and political marginalization rather than persecution. There will be a cost for Christian beliefs in the coming years, both social and financial. We should use this time to prepare for what may come–and what is likely to come.

Canada’s federal government is overtly hostile to orthodox Christians. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has consistently accused those of holding Christian views on issues like abortion and sexuality of being fundamentally unCanadian; he has sought to deny government funding to summer jobs programs that will not overtly affirm his views on these issues; he has insisted that those who share the views of the vast majority of people throughout Canada’s history are hateful and bigoted. But when 68 churches were damaged or burned down in 2021 with a collective shrug and late-coming, muted protest from Canada’s progressives, it became glaringly obvious: apathy towards and disbelief in the religion of Canada’s founding has become overt hostility. Polling shows that an increasing number of Canadians believe that Christianity is damaging for society.
I have thought for some time that intolerance towards Christians in Canada is likely to grow. The vicious protests of the Toronto Public Library in 2019 were a wakeup call—activists raged outside the library for hours and even called for violence because an event featuring a pro-abortion, pro-gay feminist speaker named Megan Murphy had been allowed to proceed. Murphy agreed with progressives on everything—except for the idea that biological men identifying as women should be allowed into female-only spaces. For that, the mob bayed for her head. If they hate her that much, I wrote at the time, can you imagine how much they hate us? And furthermore: What stands between that mob and what they want? Our federal politicians? Provincial legislators? The courts?
The answer, of course, is almost nobody. Canada’s Conservatives, with a few notable exceptions, are eager to prove their loyalty to the LGBT movement and are unlikely to be reliable allies. (The “freedom candidate” Pierre Poilievre is a reliable vote for everything the LGBT movement asks for, including the “conversion therapy ban” that effectively bans some pastoral and parental conversations.) Canada’s media only pays attention to Christians when conflict with the LGBT movement or abortion industry erupts; post-Christian mainliners like Michael Coren are paid to write the same tired columns over and over again insisting that Christianity is akshually supportive of the sexual revolution and that 2,000 years of Christian teaching have gotten it all wrong.
Considering the fact that there are very few Canadians who still participate in religious worship and the overt hostility of those who control Canada’s institutions, what are the coming years likely to bring?
In a recent essay for First Things, Carl Trueman—one of our post-Christian era’s most trenchant observers–noted that Christian churches “face an unprecedented challenge” due to “the collapse of the broad moral vision that made them coherent entities.” The churches which have thus far escaped the wrath of the secular progressive elites, he noted, are those who have burned a pinch of incense (or, in many cases, several handfuls) and attempted to reconcile themselves to the new moral order by suddenly discovering that Christianity permits and endorses what it had previously called morally abominable.
It is important to note that we are just entering the post-Christian age—things are likely to get a lot worse. Trueman predicts that the chasm between the post-Christian churches and those that cling to Christian orthodoxies on life and sexuality is going to grow:
I would anticipate that within five years we will witness a significant disruption across all major representatives of the Christian faith.
Read More
Related Posts:

The Queering of J.R.R. Tolkien

If the academics are to be believed, every closet in Middle Earth is absolutely stuffed with creatures eager to launch Pride Parades in Mordor and Drag Queen Story Hour in the Shire (the definitely gay Samwise Gamgee could take all of his children).

It was inevitable that the LGBT movement would eventually claim J.R.R. Tolkien. Those cultural figures too towering to be toppled and too beloved to be cancelled must be co-opted to serve the new governing ideology: their work misinterpreted; their lives pored over for the slightest hint of anything that can be called “queer”; their work forcibly mutated beyond all recognition. In short, they must transition. Truth no longer matters because we can now identify things precisely as we choose.
Thus, the process of queering Tolkien has begun, especially as Amazon prepares to launch their new series based on his work (into which they have already sunk hundreds of millions of dollars). One journalist penned a lengthy essay last year insisting that Sam and Frodo were gay, which is perhaps inevitable in a society that is increasingly incapable of distinguishing intimacy from sex. (Sam’s marriage to Rose and their thirteen children is, apparently, irrelevant, as is the obvious truth that Tolkien would not have included, even covertly, a gay romance, being as he was, a traditionalist Catholic with views on sexuality are precisely what you’d expect them to be).
Over at The Guardian, Ben Child admitted that it was unlikely that Tolkien himself intended for anyone to read queerness into his canon—but this inconvenient fact, according to Child, simply doesn’t matter. The trilogy, he insisted, has “obvious queer connotations” despite the fact that Tolkien likely “saw hobbits as childlike innocents, mere sprites who lived long, long ago, in the mists of a sexless, Eden-like, ancient Faerie” and that “it’s hard to imagine that Tolkien had anything particularly carnal in mind.” Despite all that—and the fact that these lusty fan theories are easy to debunk—Child states that the “debate over just how gay the Lord of the Rings really is will no doubt be raging in another hundred years.”
The Tolkien Society, which has been colonized by LGBT activists, clearly concurs. Last July they hosted a conference called “Tolkien and Diversity,” an epic, two-day literary vandalization. Here are just a few of the included lectures:

Cordeliah Logsdon – Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings.
Christopher Vaccaro – Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Robin Reid – Queer Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!
Danna Petersen-Deeprose – “Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien.

Read More
Related Posts:

“Groomer”: An Empty Slur for Pro-LGBT Teachers, or Based in Reality?

“Educator sexual abuse is a major problem that largely gets ignored because it’s so uncomfortable to talk about. While a very small fraction of educators and school employees prey on the children in their care, one bad actor can do damage to many students.”

(LifeSiteNews) – There has been quite a bit of debate on the Right over the past few months about the use of the term “groomer.” A “groomer” is defined as someone who develops a relationship with a child for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and the term has been used by those fighting against the sexualization of children and sexual indoctrination in schools.
In response to LGBT activists dubbing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill — which prohibits teaching kids in the third grade and younger about sexuality — the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, parental rights advocates coined the phrase: “Ok, groomer.”
During one of their Backstage events, Daily Wire hosts Andrew Klavan, Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro, Michael Knowles, and Jeremy Boering discussed the use of the term, with Walsh noting that he thinks the term applies literally to many of those pushing sexual ideologies in schools, while Shapiro stated that it is a rhetorically brilliant quip that should not be used literally.
Columnist (and gay rights activist) Andrew Sullivan and Douglas Murray also discussed the term during a conversation on Murray’s new book The War on the West, with Sullivan strongly objecting to its use.
Sullivan in particular has excoriated conservative activist Christopher Rufo on Twitter for mainstreaming the term, accusing him of smearing educators. Rufo has pushed back by posting a growing list of news stories exposing sexual abuse in public schools by teachers (although no specific evidence that these assaults are connected to the sexual indoctrination in question.)
Rufo recently told Fox News that the lack of research is appalling: “The public school system has a serious child sex abuse problem.” The last significant federal study on this topic, which was conducted by the Department of Education in 2004, suggested that millions of American schoolchildren are victims of teacher sexual misconduct in each generation of K-12 students—and there hasn’t been any significant research since then.

Related Posts:

Be Careful Not to Allow “Transgender” News Stories to Accustom You to Their Lunacy

Change can happen—overnight, historically speaking. People may have condemned or mocked the idea that a millennia-old institution could be redefined by a handful of activists and revolutionaries, but here we are. The younger generation of voters don’t even remember what society was like before.

(LifeSiteNews)—Simply to keep up with the carnival of absurdity our culture has embarked on with the embrace of gender theory may seem like a pointless endeavor, and indeed, it is nearly impossible to review each new daily round of dispatches from the frontlines of the Sexual Revolution as it moves through our public schools and halls of power. But because we must live in this culture and raise our children on what we hope will be islands of sanity, it is still important at least to track certain trends.
One of these trends, and I have been detailing it in this space consistently, is that of normalization. What I mean is that we are very close to becoming inured to the sheer ludicrousness of the claims made (and now largely imposed) by transgender activists. We have become so barraged by news that once would have been the exclusive purview of satire sites such as The Babylon Bee and The Onion (which, like nearly all once-liberal outlets and institutions, has been thoroughly domesticated and has become what it once mocked.)
There are, for example, headlines like this in The Metro: “Ex-soldier exposed her penis and used wheelie bin as sex toy in public.” The first line reads: “A trans sex offender lifted her skirt and exposed herself three times in one day.” This article produced a wave of derision, jokes, and double entendre on Twitter, all directed at the fellow trying to pass as a girl while flashing his member about as well as those indoctrinated or dumb enough to believe this pervert was a woman. Comments along the lines of “women are acting so weird these days!” constitute the majority of responses.
Read More
Related Posts:

“Smartphones as Security Blankets” Prevent Us from Living Fully Human Lives

It is an irony that the very devices that are causing us so much stress—through non-stop social media, doom-scrolling the latest pandemic or war news, the fear of missing out on what is going on right now—have also become pacifiers that make us less likely to actually do something.

(LifeSiteNews)—A Saturday column in the Washington Post posed an unsettling question: “Are smartphones serving as adult pacifiers?” It begins with the story of a UPenn assistant professor observing that while working on her PhD, she often reached for her phone when she was stressed. “Just holding it made me feel good,” Shiri Melumud said. “It gave me a sense of ease or calm. It was similar to children who seek out their pacifiers when they are stressed. For many of us, our phone represents an attachment object, much as a security blanket or teddy bear does for a child.”
At first glance, the comparison doesn’t seem apt. After all, our smartphones often cause us active stress — social media companies intentionally use anger, fear, division, lust, or loneliness to monetize our attention and drag our eyeballs past more ads to keep their tabs running higher. But Melumud’s comparison went further. Like children, she noted, we often “become frantic” when we misplace our omnipresent smartphones, which serve as digital security blankets. We use them constantly, and for everything. We route our lives through these devices.
But as it turns out, the role of smartphones in our lives may be even larger than we thought. According to the Post: “[S]cientists studying the relationship between people and their smartphones also have come up with additional insights in recent years about how people behave when using them, including discovering that people can draw needed comfort by their mere presence.” In short, we genuinely form “a deep personal connection with our phones” that become, in some senses, extensions of our personalities—and we open up more on our phones than in other spheres of our lives.

Scroll to top