Published March 26, 2009
Jonathan Krohn may be small of stature, but he packs a powerful punch in conservative politics. And national media and politicians are taking note.
NORCROSS — The New York Times called him “The Little Mr. Conservative.” The Huffington Post called him a “Conservative Wunderkind.” Fox News refers to him as a political prodigy. His biography is posted on Wikipedia.
Jonathan Krohn, a member of Peachtree Corners Baptist Church, may be the most prominent 14-year-old in the nation at the present time.
Krohn’s Feb. 27 speech at the 36th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington has thrust him into the limelight and garnered him guest television appearances on “Fox and Friends” and “Huckabee.” He has also become a frequent guest on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America,” a syndicated radio program.
This nationally prominent teenager gave his heart to Christ as a five-year-old lad in a Junior Hill revival in his home church. As Hill was preaching Jonathan thought, “I don’t want to go to hell. I want to go to heaven; and I want be able to influence others to come to Christ.”
Bob Horner, who was pastor of Peachtree Corners at the time of his conversion, baptized him.
Jonathan stated, “For awhile I thought maybe God would call me to be a missionary. I went to the church library where I found a copy of “Missiology,” a book containing an assortment of essays on the strategical views of doing missions. I began to read the book because if I was going to be a missionary I wanted to go to Mecca to serve Christ.”
When asked, “Why Mecca?” Jonathan told The Index, “Mecca is filled with Muslims; and the Muslims in Mecca are the most difficult to reach. They are the most Muslim of the Muslims. ?I have always been up for a ?challenge, so I thought if that is what God called me to do I ?would focus on that hardcore group of people.”
Thoughts of being a missionary to Mecca may have been a motivating force behind his desire to study the Arabic language. For two years he has been learning the Central Semitic language from adult friend and fellow church member Hatem Lel-Sayegh.
His mother, Marla Krohn, a drama teacher by profession, home schools Jonathan and instructs him in a variety of subjects including Latin. But she has never stressed politics in those lessons, mostly due to a lack of personal interest. Jonathan has found that path on his own.
“Jonathan has a lot of passion. He is a good student, she said. “He has honored his father Doug and me as his parents. God has had His hand on him from day one.”
Jonathan has been playing the cello for more than nine years and has been performing on stage since the age of eight. Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville named him “Atlanta’s Most Talented Child” in 2006. He has had three call-backs for the Broadway part of Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins.”
Jonathan’s repertoire of acting include local stints as John Darling in “Peter Pan,” Scott in “Dear Edwina,” Young Cain in “Children of Eden,” Olin Cravin in “The Secret Garden,” as well as smaller parts in “The Wizard of Oz,” “Tom Sawyer,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
The 14-year-old from Duluth first became interested in politics at age eight when the Democratic Party in Congress was consistently filibustering President Bush’s judicial nominees. Jonathan was fascinated by the filibusters and inspired to learn as much as he could about the political process. He began reading voraciously and started listening to talk radio and political commentary.
Jonathan became interested in Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” show and started waking up at 6 a.m. to listen to the former U.S. Secretary of Education. Jonathan began to call Bennett while he was on the air and the two became friends. Jonathan refers to Bennett as a mentor.
In a March 8 interview with the New York Times, Bennett commented, “Jonathan is an extraordinary boy, very special. He wowed my audience. He wowed me because he’s very engaging and learned. He’s got staying power.”
Jonathan’s meteoric rise to national fame, however, is the result of a book he wrote entitled, “Define Conservatism,” and last month’s appearance on the CPAC program. His two-minute talk before the annual convention for conservative activists wowed the audience and cast him into the limelight across the continent.
In his message at the CPAC he said, “During the election I noticed that there were many people throwing around the words, ‘conservative,’ ‘liberal,’ and ‘socialism.’ I decided there were too many people who threw this word ‘conservativism’ around, but didn’t understand what they were talking about. They didn’t understand ‘conversativism’ as a basis of principle, but they understand it as a basis of policy.
“Conservativism is not about the party, because the party is the shell. It is the inside, the filling that really means something. In the book I have defined conservativism, which is based on four principles: respect for the Constitution, respect for life, less government, and personal responsibility.”
In a personal interview with The Index, Jonathan explained, “I am a conservative because my conservative views are more in line with my moral views as a Christian.”
So, for the present time Jonathan is enthralled with politics. He said, “It is something that God has set on my heart.”
The emerging political pundit quickly identifies his favorite conservatives as William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan.
He has not arrived at his conclusions on a whim or fancy. He is a voracious reader. Among his favorite books are: “A Theological Interpretation of American History” by C. Gregg Singer, “John Adams” by David McCullough, and “A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic” by Henry Mayer.
Jonathan’s diet of television fare is probably antithetical to that of most teenagers. He watches Fox News, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC (occasionally to get the opposing view) and the popular television drama “24.”
In explaining his rationale for being a fan of the fast-action drama of Jack Bauer in “24,” Jonathan stated, “Jack Bauer and 24 are conservative because they use waterboarding and painful experiences to get the facts out of terrorist regimes in order to save thousands of lives. The program also illustrates how mean and ruthless terrorists are, like when they cut off the finger of the President’s husband.”
What Jonathan did not like about a recent episode of “24” was Cherry Jones, who plays the part of the U.S. President, giving a brief testimony about global warming. During that testimony she remarked, “On ‘24’ every one of us is in a desperate race against time to prevent calamity, but the good news is that our show is a work of fiction.
“But there is a very real threat facing all of us – climate change. Our planet is running out of time. Together we can solve this crisis. For tips on how you can reduce your own carbon footprint go to fox.com. Join us today. Help us stop the clock on global warming.”
That political infomercial did not sit well with the very observant Mr. Krohn.
Jonathan’s rise to fame and his conservative views have not been expressed without some reprisal. He has been threatened and called a Fascist. Someone wrote, “Someone needs to stop that kid or shoot him.”
The most common comment has been, “He’s been brainwashed by his parents.”
Marla replied, “That certainly isn’t true because politics bore me. I don’t know half of what he knows about politics. We gave him a Christian foundation and have taught him to love God first, love others second, and share God’s love at every opportunity.
“I just wish I had his ability not to fear. He is secure in God’s love and he goes for it.”
Doug Krohn stated that Jonathan is the only child that survived out of four pregnancies. Marla experienced the trauma of three miscarriages. So, Jonathan truly is a “wunderkind,” which is actually German for “miracle child,” or “wonder child.”
Learn more about Jonathan Krohn and his book at www.defineconservatism.com.
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