“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Thursday, May 18, 2017

BITTER-SWEET MEMORY OF AN MS REMISSION

I lost my ability to play guitar in 1985.  Although I don't refer to it, there was a brief period during the 1990s when I got back my ability to play the guitar. It was bitter-sweet. 

Throughout most of my pre-multiple sclerosis life music a great passion, and I was good at it. Fear that MS would snatch that love away again -- as it had cruelly done before -- kept me guarded. My teenage son asked me to teach him Signe from Eric Clapton's Unplugged album, which I did. 

Not long after that, what I feared happened. I lost my ability to play the guitar again. The experience was more bitter than sweet because once more it broke my heart. My ability has not come back. And so I closed the interior music door so thoroughly that that memory slept for twenty years. I put it out of my mind. That is why I don't speak of it. 

This past weekend I was enjoying supper at my now adult son's home. Music softly played in the next room and Signe started. My little grey cells holding that memory awoke! I remembered teaching him that song. A vague sadness came over me listening to the pleasant melody again and thinking of the time that has passed. My son has his own family now, and I am a grandfather.

Here then is Eric Clapton's Signe from his Unplugged album (1992). 


FETAL PAIN AND ABORTION DECISIONS

In the 3 March, 2017 edition of Canada's National Post newspaper, an article appeared entitled "Baby's pain can have lifelong impact". Reporter Eva Ferguson began the article by stating:

"On the heels of a debunked myth that preemies aren't developed enough to feel pain, Calgary scientists are now studying the long-term impact of infant distress and how it may be linked to pain problems and mental health issues later in life."

As late as the 1980s, surgery -- even major surgery -- was conducted on days-old babies WITHOUT anaesthetic because medical experts believed that preemies -- and even some newborn babies -- could not feel pain. Well, it appears that not only do these infants feel pain, it may have life-long effects. (another horrible oops!)

Not only do preemies feel pain, babies in utero feel pain. Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh Anand is Professor of Pediatrics (Pediatric Critical Care) and anesthesiology and pain medicine at Stanford University Medical Care Center. He has stated:

"The position, asserted by some medical experts, that the unborn child is incapable of experiencing pain until a point later in pregnancy than 20 weeks after fertilization predominately rests on the assumption that the ability to experience pain depends on the cerebral cortex and requires nerve connections between the thalamus and the cortex. However, recent medical research and analysis, especially since 2007, provides strong evidence for the conclusion that a functioning cortex is not necessary to experience pain."[1]


Granted, you will find medical authorities who deny fetal pain but they are often abortion proponents, physicians who perform abortions, or professional organizations representing (or favouring) pro-abortion ideology, such as Physicians for Reproductive Health, the American and Canadian Medical Associations.[2]   

[The same website as quoted above with Dr. Anand answers the pain deniers. See
http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/answering-the-pain-deniers/]

I think that if there are conflicting views, then it is incumbent on civilized people to take the path with the least risk of pain to the unborn child about to die. But that's the problem: When it comes to abortion, our culture is not really civilized at all. Babies in utero are killed by the thousands, day after day, year after year, for no other reason than they are unwanted or inconvenient to their parents. Cultural elites, supported media, and many secular professional medical organizations support the "right to choose" ... the death of one's offspring. It is presented under the euphemism of "reproductive choice". It plays up the autonomy of one party by the death of another. Genuine human rights never suppress one human being's right to life for another person's right to pursue happiness.

Abortion proponents and their allies say that admitting any possibility of fetal pain to abortion minded women would hurt their feelings and cause them stress. They would rather inflict excruciating physical torture on an unborn child about to be torn apart (under the fiction that it's only a blob of tissue) than possibly cause its mother emotional discomfort in her abortion decision.

Abortion sympathizers and proponents deny the humanity of the youngest and weakest segment of the Human Family and give another segment of the Human Family preposterous power to decide life and death. Abortion sympathizers and proponents deny any compassion to the most powerless and give all sympathy and powerful who can decide to kill their own children before birth.

This is not right. It is barbaric! There is no sense of proportion or balance. In order to maintain a false right to abortion for any reason (or no reason), our culture has compromised the integrity its own humanity, damaged women's, and destroyed unborn children's. We are poorer on all fronts.

A proper sense of proportion toward an abortion-minded woman is to show compassion to both her and her baby. It involves giving her ALL the information about prenatal life throughout all 9 months of pregnancy (including ultrasound images of her developing unborn child). She needs to know the risks of abortion -- and there are risks.[3] Abortion is not safer than childbirth in North America, that's politically charged rhetoric without scientific basis.

It is condescending and paternalistic to withhold information from women because it might make their abortion decisions more difficult. They need to make informed decisions and they need the facts. All of them.

A proper sense of proportion ensures women in crisis pregnancies have positive alternatives to abortion.  That's what Crisis Pregnancy Centers across North America do every day. Many are funded by individuals or churches and operate with shoe-string budgets and volunteers. They also deserve federal, state and provincial support. After all, America's largest abortion organization, Planned Parenthood of America and their affiliates, have been receiving half a billion dollars annually for years from federal and state governments. 

If the "choice" to kill one's unwanted offspring before birth is the issue, then provide equal government funding to life-affirming pro-life organizations (such as pro-life community-based Crisis Pregnancy Centers). Even the ground for decision making, or defund Planned Parenthood.

A civilized society does not stack the deck against women to make life-affirming decisions. Level the ground upon which life and death decisions are made. And if abortions are to continue (God forbid!) then at least provide anaesthetic to unborn babies before their deaths by abortion. If these children must die to satisfy their parents, at least eliminate any possibility of fetal pain.

Mark Davis Pickup
____________
[1] http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/fetal-pain-the-evidence/6-documentation/
[2] Canadian Medical Association on abortion (http://policybase.cma.ca/dbtw-wpd/PolicyPDF/PD88-06.pdf). American Medical Association contradicts themselves on Abortion. They have tried, at one point or another, to play the neutrality card, yet as the pro-life blog Live Action illustrates, the AMA is pro-abortion. (http://www.liveaction.org/blog/ama-radically-pro-abortion/)
[3] I have on file a list of 365 America women, most named with their ages at death, who have died by "safe" legal abortions in the U.S..

Sunday, May 14, 2017

QUALITY OF LIFE IS A MOVING TARGET


To book for speaking about euthanasia, assisted suicide or a Christian perspective on suffering and/or disability, send an email to me at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca 

Mark Davis Pickup 

Monday, May 1, 2017

SPEAKING IN CANADA'S YUKON ABOUT LIFE ISSUES

I will be speaking in the Capital City for Canada's Yukon territories, Whitehorse. This will include a community public forum to discuss implications of Canada's barbaric new law allowing assisted-suicide of incurably ill and disabled Canadians (see poster below), talks to elementary, Junior high and high school students about this topic, as well as disability and disability inclusion. I will also address the annual March for Life on May 11th.

I am available for bookings to speak in your area. Contact me by email at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca

Mark 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SPEAKING TO YOUNG CHILDREN ABOUT LIFE ISSUES (IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY)

I was recently asked to speak to elementary students (6-12 years old age) at a Christian school about Life issues. I agreed but was sensitive to the young age of the children I would be addressing. I didn't want to burden tender hearts with the horror of abortion or the immorality of doctors helping sick and disabled people kill themselves. It's not right to put such heavy weight on small shoulders. Let children be children. Sadly, they will discover, soon enough, the cruelties of adults who kill unwanted babies before they are born and vulnerable sick and disabled people.

Instead, I spoke to the children about the inherent value of their lives and every other life in the world. I wanted to help to build a foundation in them of unreserved reverence for all human life in which killing other human beings is unthinkable, Only time will tell. 

They will eventually face the daunting prospect of being a Christian in a hostile anti-Christian culture. Will they have the moral courage to stand against the barbarity of our age? I have posted below my speaking notes. I welcome feedback.
___________________________

Good morning, children. I have come today to speak to you about life: Your life, and your life, and yours – every human life. I want to talk with you about God’s love for us all.

God loves every baby in his or her mother's arms or in his or her mother's tummy. God loves young people and very old people. He loves people like me who are disabled.  You cannot find any human being in the world God does not love. He loves us all. And God wants us to be with Him forever, through believing in His only Son, Jesus. Why do you think that might be?

I think it goes back to the very beginning of everything.  We read in the Bible that when God created the world He put his image into the human race.  In the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible we read:

 “Then God said,‘Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them.”[1]

It is because everybody has deep within their soul, the image and likeness of God that everyone deserves respect, care, kindness and love.  

Your value and worth do not come from what you can do, how smart you are, how popular, healthy, rich, or how good looking you are. You are important and valuable because you have God's image and likeness, and He loves you.

Somebody may wonder when did God put his likeness and image into you, me, us? It was given to you long before you were born. God planted his image into you at the moment you started (that moment big people call conception).  Your mom and dad didn’t know it, but God did. 

At that moment all the ingredients that make you you came together and made you unique and different from every other person who ever lived or will live in the future. Isn't that neat?

Do you want to know something else? Before your mom knew she was pregnant with you, God was with you.[2] He knew your name before you started to take form. God knew you, and he sanctified you. (Sanctified means sacred, holy).[3] He mentioned you by name![4]

The Bible says that! It says you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Your heart started to beat just 18 days after you were started in your mother’s tummy. God whispered your name then, and He whispers your name today – like a still small voice – calling you to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. God does that with everybody; He is the Father to us all.[5]

In fact, I think Jesus would have willingly died on the cross if you were the only person to ever become a Christian. He loved everyone in the world as though they were the only one in the world. 

Did you know that your body is God’s temple because it contains the image and likeness of God?  In the Bible, the Apostle Paul wrote:

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of Holy Spirit, who is in you, and was given to by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.”[6]  

Remember, in every one of you God planted his image and your body is the temple for that holy image. Respect our bodies and take care of them.  You never appreciate good health so much as when you lose it. I know, I lost mine.

Everyone has the right to be alive, find their place in the world, and become what God’s wants them to be. God has a purpose for each one of you.  He loves you and wants you to love Him. God does not want to lose anybody.[8] There is nobody else like you! There is a reason you are here.

You don’t need to know yet what that reason or purpose is. As you grow in your faith in Jesus, keep your heart sensitive to God’s voice (which never contradicts the Bible).

This Christian School teaches you important things like math and science, history and language arts. But most importantly this school teaches you about God, and tries to help you grow in your faith in Jesus Christ, and become a better Christian in an unchristian world, and prepare you for life. When the time is right God will lead you into your purpose.

But for now, you need to pay attention to you studies and education, and commit your life to Jesus, pray and be obedient to God’s Word which is? … the Bible.

If you are tempted to do something that is against what the Bible teaches, then that something is wrong.

For example, if you are tempted to gossip or say mean things about someone, remember they are made in the image of God too. He loves them, and they deserve respect and honour. And the Bible teaches us this.

The Bible tells that we are to guard what we say. With our tongue we bless our Lord and with that same tongue we say bad things about people “who are made in the image of God.”  The Bible tells us this should not be. [9]

We must be kind in the things we say and do to people. Help them to do what is right and good and encourage them to be their best. Never say or do things that will hurt them or dishonour them. Jesus said that whatever we do to other people we do to him.[10]

If you do not help somebody who needs your help, then you hurt Jesus. It is Him you did not help.[11]

Think of it this way: Suppose someone hurt my wife, they don’t hurt just my wife, they hurt me. They may as well have hurt me because I love my wife and what hurts her hurts me. In the same way, if someone is kind to her, it makes me happy to see her happy. It’s just like they were kind to me. Does that make sense?

Don’t ever think that someone who has a deformity or a disability or is different doesn’t have the image of God within them. They do, just like everyone else. We often judge others by what we see on the outside but God judges what’s on the inside.[12] 

And if you feel unkind or mean, don’t be. Pray that God will calm down those mean or unkind thoughts. Be kind in what you say and do – even if you don’t feel like being kind. (Be careful about feelings. You can't always trust them. The truth of the Bible exists regardless of how you feel.)

God wants you to treat others with loving-kindness just like he would do. Be kind. Try to ease another person’s pain – whether in their heart or their body. You will make Jesus happy.

And through your actions and kind words, who knows, people who do not yet know Jesus may be attracted to you. They may start going to church and hear that God loves them so much He sent His only begotten son that they might have eternal life by believing in Jesus. They might confess their sins, have faith in Jesus and trust in God.[13]

As you can see, I use a wheelchair. There was a time – a long time ago – when I was healthy. I could walk and run and play, just like you. Then I got a disease called multiple sclerosis (MS). You don’t need to worry, it’s not contagious, you can’t catch it from me. One day, a long time ago, I started having trouble walking and here’s the reason why.

Everything that happens in your body comes from signals sent from your brain.  The brain sends electrical signals to the body through nerves.  For some people, like me, the strangest thing begins to happen.

The messages from my brain start having trouble getting to where they are supposed to go. Here’s why: My body starts to confuse my nerves as a foreign body – something that should not be in my body, and so my immune system starts to attack parts of my nerves. Well, actually that’s not quite true. My immune system attacks the fatty coating around the nerves called myelin.  

Do you know what the immune system is? It is your body’s defence against infections. It’s like your body’s army to fight off cold bugs and other sicknesses. Well, my army thinks I am the enemy and attacks that fatty coating around the nerves! That coating begins to swell and squeezes the nerve so only part of the message gets through, or none of it. 

For example, my brain might send a message through to my arm telling my hand to pick up a pencil. Maybe only part the message get through to my arm and it tries but it has trouble picking it up. Maybe it can’t pick the pencil at all!  Maybe most of the brain’s message gets through but because the myelin is swollen it makes my arm ache and it goes numb  – much like what you might feel at night when you sleep on your arm too long. It goes numb and it feels like pins and needles.

After a while that swollen and irritated myelin begins to breakdown, and develop scars. The Latin word for scar is scler. The word osis means sickness. These scars begin to happen in various places along my nerves – in many or multiple places. That’s why they call my disease multiple sclerosis or MS.

In my case, most of my scars make my legs hard to use. Sometimes it made my arm hard to use.
Sometimes the MS made it hard to see or speak, but it mostly affects my legs. That’s why I use a wheelchair or scooter.  It’s not so different from glasses people wear. They are simply tools intended to help us in our daily lives. Nothing more. 

The same is true for a blind person who uses a guide dog trained to be the person’s eyes. (We must not bother a guide dog when he is on duty. He has a job to do.)  Maybe a blind person uses a white cane to tap-tap-tap, and find their way down a street. It’s white to let other people know the person is blind.

A person who is hard of hearing or deaf may use a hearing aid or sign language to communicate with their family and friends. These are all just tools to help people live a normal life, and find their way in the world, and hopefully reach their full potential, the reason God put them here, just like you. 

I can use my disability to serve God. Maybe one day God will heal me and make me better, but for now, I use my situation to serve Him.

I must tell you that when I first got sick with MS, I became angry. I did not want to have a disability. But God, my family and my church and Christian friends loved me even when I wasn’t very lovable. When I realized my disability was not going to go away, I became very sad and depressed. I didn’t think I was valuable anymore. 

My family, my church and Christian friends held me up as a child of God, even when I didn’t feel like one.

I had to remember God’s image was still in me, regardless of how disabled or sick I became.

My family, church and Christian friends helped me search for a new way to fit into the world and serve God, even when my legs or arms or eyes didn't work very well.

God does not want anybody to live outside a Christian community. We were not meant to be alone.[14] When you see someone who doesn’t fit in or has no friends, you can be their friend. It may mean the world to them. 

Invite them into your group of friends. If your friends don’t like it, tell them that whatever they do to others, we do to Jesus. If someone is disabled, don’t make fun of them or stare at them. Be kind to them.

They know they limp or use crutches or a wheelchair or have a deformity; they don’t need to be reminded of it or be treated meanly by others.  If they are missing a limb or look different, be kind. They know what they look like.

They should not be left out and have no friends. They may need a friend, and you can choose to be that friend! That’s what Jesus would do, and we should too. Do you want to know something? That is when your faith in Jesus really shines.

Everybody needs a friend and companionship. You and your group of friends have the power to decide to be friends with a friendless person. 
After all, isn’t what you would want if you had no friends and weren’t invited to play? Always keep in your mind that what we do to others, we do to Jesus.  

If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them and tell the bullies to stop. If you saw Jesus being bullied would you try to stop it? Well, respond as though it was Jesus being bullied.[15]

Everybody needs love, even bullies. The bullies also bear the image of God and they need to be reminded of it and behave in a way that honours God. Be kind to bullies too. 

Remember, sometimes the best way to show that you are a Christian is by your actions more than what you say.

If you have given your life to Jesus, let your faith shine like a light on a hill.[16] Jesus said He is the light of the world.[17] If you have given your life to Him, then you have His light in you.[18] Let it shine. People will know you are followers of Jesus by the way you love other people.[19]

So what am I saying? Prayerfully ask Jesus to teach you to remember that everyone has the image of God inside them. They may behave like they do but look for the good that could be not the bad you see.

We live in a world where people who are strong, young and beautiful are considered winners. The world doesn’t have much room for people like me. We are the world’s losers. But we are winners to God. He welcomes people who are weak, the old and people with disabilities. 

Jesus said,

“When you have a luncheon or a banquet feast, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives and rich neighbours. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward.  Instead invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”[20]

God wants everybody at his table. People who believe in Jesus Christ and live for Him are in the family of God. We are His children.[21] And that includes babies inside their mother’s tummy, it includes people with disabilities, and people who are very young and people who are very old. God wants us to include them all in our world.

When you see someone disabled come to your church, make a special point of introducing yourself.  If you don’t have people with disabilities at your church, invite some.

Don’t be scared if they make weird movements or can’t talk very well. They are aware you are there. If you can’t understand what they are saying then say that and ask how to talk to them?

If moving around is a problem, don’t be afraid to ask if they would like help. Remember, I said that wheelchairs, canes, scooters, guide-dogs help people live their lives. They are tools. Don't see their disability, see them. Everybody needs to be included and have friends. Everyone needs the Lord.

Okay, who wants to drive my electric scooter?

Mark Davis Pickup



[1] Genesis 1.26a & 27, also 5.1-2. Cf. Col. 3.10, 2Cor. 4.4, 2 Corinthians 3.15-18, James 3.8-10.
[2] Psalm 139. 13-16. Cf. Job 10.8-12.
[3] Jeremiah 1.5.
[4] Isaiah 49.1-2, 5.
[5] Malachi 2.10.
[6] 1Corinthians 6.19-20. Cf. John 2.21, 2Corinthians 6.16
[7] Ephesians 2.18-22. Cf. Matthew 18.20.
[8] 2Peter 3.9. Cf.  Ezekiel 18.21 & 33.11.
[9] James 3.8-10, also 411a; cf. Romans 3.13-14, 1 Peter 1.1-2.
[10] Matthew 25.40.
[11] Matthew 25.45.
[12] 1 Samuel 16.7
[13] Psalm 40.3.
[14] Genesis 2.18a
[15] See Matthew 25.35-40, cf. Matthew 10.40
[16] Matthew 5.14-16.
[17] John 8.12, cf. John 1.4-5 &9, 2 Corinthians 4.6, Ephesians 5.14, cf 1 John 2.7-11.
[18] John12.36, Ephesians 5.8, 1 Thessalonians 5.5.
[19] John 13.34-35, 1Thessalonians 4.9, 1Peter.1.22-23.
[20] Luke 14.12-14. Also see verses 16-24.
[21] John 1.12-13, Galatians 3.26.

CULTURAL ACCOMMODATION IS ALARMING, AND DANGEROUS

Samuel D. James
I am a conservative who supports Christian morality, and a traditionalist when it comes to marriage. I have noticed a dumbing down of conservatives when it comes to marriage and life issues like assisted suicide. Anti-Christian cultural accommodation is not only alarming, it's dangerous. I came across an excellent article by Samuel D. James, entitled "Kink is Not Conscience", in First Things online magazine. It illustrates the moral confusion of our time.  See
https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/04/kink-is-not-conscience

Thursday, April 13, 2017

CANADIAN ANTI-CHRISTIAN EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IMPOSES RADICAL SEXUAL AGENDA ON CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

Alberta's anti-Christian
education minister
David Eggen
Alberta's Education Minister, David Eggen is forcing a radical anti-Christian sexual indoctrination on Christian schools under the guise of inclusion. Eggen's devious version of inclusion apparently does not include Christian education or beliefs. He is imposing graphic material promoting radical sexual agendas while policing pro-Life presentations on all schools, beginning at elementary school levels.

Most recently, minister Eggen took offence at an accurate high school presentation comparing abortion to the holocaust. He called the presentation inaccurate but failed to produce the alleged inaccuracies. The comparison of abortion to the Nazi holocaust was apt and I suspect that's why he took offence. He's part of the Alberta socialist government, the New Democratic Party (NDP), that has long supported abortion. So-called progressives don't like comparing abortion to the holocaust. Why? The similarities are too striking: The Nazis did not consider Jews as persons, Canada doesn't consider prenatal life to be persons (based on zero scientific evidence); The Nazis systematically killed Jews they didn't want in gas chambers, Canada systematically kills unwanted preborn babies in abortion clinics. The comparison may be offensive to abortion supporters, but it is apt. If the shoe fits ...

How are biblical Christians to respond to such egregious assaults on their constitutional religious freedom of religion, thought, opinion, belief and their expression guaranteed in section 2 of Canada's Charter of Freedoms? An example is the following is a press release issued by the Canadian Christian Reformed pro-Life Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) regarding the Alberta hostility toward Christian education. 

____

12 APR 2017 PRESS RELEASE: CHRISTIAN ADVOCACY GROUP WELCOMES PROVINCE-WIDE INVESTIGATION OF THIRD PARTY INFLUENCES IN ALBERTA SCHOOLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR REFORMED POLITICAL ACTION (ARPA) CANADA
April 12, 2017

Christian Advocacy Group Welcomes Province-wide Investigation of Third Party Influences in Alberta Schools 

EDMONTON – The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada applauds the call for an inquiry into what students of Alberta schools are exposed to. “The sad truth is that Alberta’s Ministry of Education is the party most guilty of promoting propaganda in provincial schools,” commented ARPA Canada’s Executive Director Mark Penninga.

Accessing Information not Myths (AIM), an Alberta-based activist group, is calling for a province-wide investigation in light of a presentation made about abortion in a Roman Catholic school in Red Deer. Education Minister David Eggen was quick to chime in, expressing regret that the province’s “excellent filters didn’t catch something like this.” Eggen added, “I think it’s a good reminder to everybody to be vigilant and to ensure this sort of hateful propaganda doesn’t infiltrate our schools.”

ARPA Canada notes that an inquiry into what is being taught to, and even forced on, Alberta students is exactly what ARPA Canada has advocated for, though Minister Eggen has been most unreceptive.

“We have been working with hundreds of Albertans over the past year who are concerned about how the Minister of Education has been forcing their schools to promote a radical gender ideology that is unscientific, full of misinformation and harmful,” explained Penninga. “Instead of showing even an ounce of regard for these concerned parents, the Minister ploughed ahead with his agenda and his secretive efforts to revamp the entire education system using “experts” that he refuses to make public.”

As reporter Ted Byfield has exposed, Minister Eggen refuses to disclose crucial information about who is behind what even he calls the most sweeping reform of the school curriculum ever undertaken in the province. Freedom of Information requests are also denied. The minister absolutely refuses to share the names of the 300-400 “experts” who are making these radical changes.

“It doesn’t stop there,” Penninga continues, “Just weeks ago the blog Informed Albertans detailed how the Alberta government is funding and promoting a website that delivers sexually graphic content, including images of naked men and recommendations for how to use BDSM products. This sexually abusive and pornographic content was linked to on the Alberta GSA Network website to ‘help K-12 children with their Gay-Straight Alliance.’” added Penninga.

“It is ironic that Minister Eggen and AIM call the pro-life presentation hateful and inaccurate,” Penninga added. “No evidence is produced to support this. The fact is that Canada’s Criminal Code definition of a human being is both hateful and inaccurate. The Criminal Code says that a child becomes a human being only when it has completely left its mother. The sciences unequivocally prove that human life starts at conception. If the Minister wants the scientific facts taught in Alberta schools, we welcome it, because it would only further the pro-life cause,” Penninga concluded.

ARPA Canada lawyer AndrĂ© Schutten also noted that the Minister’s comments are constitutionally inappropriate. “This is not the first time Minister Eggen seems to think he stands above the Canadian constitution,” Schutten noted. “The Charter of Rights protects our fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, and association. The young lady at the centre of this controversy was delivering a factual and respectful presentation, at the request of the school. Mr. Eggen and the activists at AIM may have different views about abortion, but that does not give them the right to censor all views they don’t like.”

Schutten went further. “The Charter exists to protect citizens from the heavy hand of the state. What Mr. Eggen is implying here – that he can snuff out a pro-life presentation like this – is borderline illegal. If he continues in this direction he can expect court challenges from our organization and others like it.”

Interview Requests:

For further comment, contact Hannah Sikkema, media facilitator at 1-866-691-2772, ext. 1 or Hannah@ARPACanada.ca.