How the Collapse of Cultural Christianity led to the Dominance of the LGBT Ideology

A conversation with Jonathon Van Maren

Thursday, May 30th, 2:00 – 4:00 EST

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According to a 2019 poll, between 20% and 25% of American adults now identify as ‘nones’ (meaning that they do not identify with any religion), a percentage higher among younger adults than older adults and likely indicative of a long-term trend. According to a 2020 Politico/Morning Consult poll, 49% of voting-age Gen Z (those born after 1996) respondents identified as either agnostic or atheist—a sea change in religious identification.

Even those who still identify as Christian are abandoning any semblance of orthodoxy, with 40% of American Christians claiming that the Bible is ‘ambiguous’ on abortion, 34% rejecting the biblical definition of marriage, and another 34% claiming that abortion is morally acceptable.

For example, around a quarter of Gen Z identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or ‘genderqueer’—while just a few years ago, less than 3% of the population identified as on the LGBT spectrum. Politico reported in 2020 that “a third of Gen Zers say they know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns to refer to themselves and nearly 6 in 10 say forms or online profiles should allow more options than ‘man’ or ‘woman’” and that consequently, “religious liberty, particularly as it relates to discrimination against LGBTQ people … does not at all resonate with younger Americans.”

Identification with the LGBT movement is undergoing an astronomical rise; identification with Christianity is plummeting. Indeed, dozens of new sexual and gender identities have recently been invented, allowing straight people to claim LGBT status as well. In 2023, 38% of Brown University’s student population identified as LGBT—with many simply identifying as ‘other’—up from 14% a decade earlier. An overwhelming majority of those identifying as non-heterosexual in name, however, are only interested in relationships with the opposite sex in practice.

Eric Kaufmann told one media outlet. “What we find instead is that identity is rising much faster than behaviour, indicating that people with occasional rather than sustained feelings of attraction to the opposite sex are increasingly identifying as LGBT.” What is even more likely is that vague terms like ‘queer’ are allowing straight kids to obtain the status and privilege that now come with identifying as LGBT without actually engaging in same-sex behaviour.

Some have argued that the skyrocketing rates of young people identifying as LGBT indicate a social contagion. There is truth to that analysis. But these stats also reveal the sheer scale of the LGBT movement’s near-total victory in not only mainstreaming their ideology but achieving cultural dominance in key institutions. A crucial sign of that dominance is the fact that so many young people desperately want to identify with their movement. At the same time, cultural Christians are rapidly disappearing.

In this lecture, Van Maren will explore the root causes of these dramatic cultural shifts and asses the implications of this rapidly changing cultural context for Christian witness and ministry.

Based on an article by Jonathon Van Maren in the European Conservative 

Speaker Bio

Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. He has served for more than ten years as communications director at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, a national pro-life organization. He has delivered speeches and lectures on various cultural issues in Canada, the United States, and Europe. His work has appeared in First Things, National Review, The American Conservative, Christianity Today, and the National Post, and he is a contributing editor at The European Conservative, one of Europe’s premier journals of politics and culture.

Jonathon is the author of several books, including The Culture War, Seeing is Believing, A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide, Patriots: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Pro-Life Movement, and most recently, Prairie Lion: The Life and Times of Ted Byfield.