“Substance, oh, substance, where have you been?” singer-songwriter Jon Foreman wonders aloud on Selling the News, a poignant political-sociological muse set to hard rock.

“You’ve been replaced by the masters of spin,” he continues, “who make good-looking books and write history in. We’re selling the news.”

“When nothing is sacred, there’s nothing to lose. When nothing is sacred, all is consumed. We’re still on the air, it must be the truth. We’re selling the news.”

More than a decade after its release, the song stands as a bitter indictment of our modern world. Foreman’s warning of what happens “when nothing is sacred” has come to pass and it serves as a reminder of just how dangerous a post-objective value, post-religious society can be.

The West once respected the sanctity of certain issues: life, marriage, family, and childhood innocence, for example. Now, it is hell-bent on distorting these consecrated creations of God in any way possible.

God has one plan for marriage; the world has too many to count. God intends for us to shield our kids’ minds; the world wants them to see and hear and know everything, clickbaiting them into becoming lifelong customers of its filth.

This year alone has seen at least two beloved childhood icons perverted for depraved purposes.

Everyone’s favorite bear, the cuddly Winnie the Pooh, caused a stir earlier this year when he appeared in a gorey trailer for the upcoming horror flick, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey. Picture The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only with Pooh Bear as the culprit.

When nothing is sacred, all is consumed…

Even Santa Claus made a disturbing foray into gratuitous violence in Violent Night, an R-rated film in which Father Christmas goes on a brutal killing spree. One critic called it “a holiday actioner for the gore-hounds.”

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Some might argue that these movies are not necessarily meant for kids and therefore should not be judged on the merits of their adult spin on childhood nostalgia. Others would say these films are just dark, twisted comedies and that I am overreacting.

My more cynical take is that our culture is destroying everything good. It is not sick enough that we have lost respect for life; we must cast a nihilistic shadow even over the few bright spots left in our world.

Nothing is off limits, not even Winnie the Pooh slasher films or Saint Nicholas ruthlessly spilling gore. Not even jokes about satan in a kid’s show or children in an advertisement campaign featuring bondage gear.

Again and again, the unholy hands of the secular world prove that they will soil anything they touch.

We, as conservatives, must ask ourselves what exactly we are trying to conserve. Conservatism is, by definition, predicated on conserving something. If we can not even make a case for conserving goodness or the idea that some things in this world are sacred, what then are we fighting for? It is time for us to mount our defense of decency or give up trying to conserve anything at all.

In the grand scheme of things, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey and Violent Night might not be much of a big deal. But if they are indicative that goodness and sacredness are dead or dying in our culture, we have reason to be concerned.

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.

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