“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

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING BILL 207

Below is the text of an email I sent tonight to Dan Williams, Alberta MLA who sponsored Bill 207, as a legislative committee is studying the bill in Edmonton

To Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River
CC. The Hon. Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, Brad Rutherford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont

Mr. Williams: Thank you for calling me the other night. As I stated, I am happy to appear before the legislative committee examining Bill 207, CONSCIENCE RIGHTS (HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS) PROTECTION ACT. As you noticed, and commented, I am blunt with my language. After more than 30 years appearing before federal, provincial and state (US) legislative committees studying assisted suicide bills, I am no longer prepared to play word games with euphemisms designed to make evil appear good. I am an old man and don’t have time or patience for dishonesty and deceit perpetuated by euphemisms used by special agendas of left leaning secularists who do not ascribe to the sanctity of human life. 

Medical Assistance In Dying is palliative care—not lethal injections. That’s what we have in Canada. We do not have physician assisted death or medically assisted death, we have medical killing. We do not have death with dignity, we have euthanasia. Death with dignity comes from having lived with dignity, it is not bestowed by lethal injection, poison or starvation and dehydration. Abortion is not just the termination of pregnancy, it is the killing of an unborn child. People who say they  support the right choose don’t finish the sentence. Why? Because to finish the sentence with any modicum of honesty would require them to say what they really support: The right of a woman to choose to kill her unborn child.  

Issues of access are red herrings and the NDP know it. If I were to appear before the committee I would tell them that. Many Christian and Muslim doctors consciences and religions prohibit them from killing.  To require them to refer patients to doctors who will euthanize them makes them accomplices to the killings. That is also untenable and a deep and serious violation of their religions and they believe may damn them in the after-life. It is wrong to force them to refer suicidal patients, who meet the criteria under federal legislation. Bill 207 seeks to address this. Physicians may not be required to refer patients for assisted suicide now but there’s nothing to stop the Alberta Medical Association from passing a policy in future that does make them do it, such as the Ontario Medical Association did. Bill 207 would simply codify into law the assurance that Christian and Muslim doctors will not be faced with that possibility in the future.  It provides them with the security that they can continue to practice medicine that heals and never kills. Peace of mind.

Christian and Muslim doctors who want no part of medical killing are the minority who need their conscience rights protected. There are plenty of physicians who are prepared to kill or refer patients to killer doctors. Physicians whose consciences or religion prohibits them from killing patients must be allowed to opt out COMPLETELY from the process and that includes being forced to refer patients for euthanasia now or some future date. This can often be accommodated and accomplished through simple approaches such as signage in doctors’ offices identifying a doctor who has opted out of the “Medically Assisted Death or referral” process, so patients can find another doctor who will, if that’s something they may want. 

The LGBTQ issue is another issue completely in a different category. Why? Gender reassignment surgery is never done by a physician to kill the patient, MAID is always intended to kill the patient. From the perspective of a Christian physician, only the second involves murder and has eternal consequences that may jeopardize their very soul. Regardless of whether politicians believe that to be true, the physician (or nurse) does, and that must be respected. Section two of the Canadian Charter states under the heading of Fundamental Freedoms: 

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

Bill 207 seeks to ensure that physicians are not compelled to refer patients for abortion or euthanasia. It rightly presumes that “expression” includes actions and behaviour and not just verbal expression. Bill 207 simply gives Christian and Muslim doctors peace of mind that they will not be compelled to refer patients for MAID (euthanasia) in future by a changed policy of the Alberta Medical Association, The Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons or any other regulatory body. 

As an Albertan with a serious, degenerative disease of multiple sclerosis, I want to be able to choose my physician who does not ascribe to, or support euthanasia. For your information, I have attached a copy of a letter I gave to my physician prior to Canada enacting its Medical Assistance In Dying legislation in 2016. The name of the physician has been removed so not to identify him/her.

Feel free to share this email and attachment with the committee examining bill 207.

Sincerely,
Mark Davis Pickup
Beaumont, Alberta
Att.
Mark Davis Pickup
4417-51 Street, Beaumont, AB, Canada, T4X 1C8
Tel: (780) 929-9230, Email: MarkPickup@shaw.ca

                                                                                    


30 December 2015

XX XXX XXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXX, XX
XXX XXX

Dear Dr. X:

I can hardly bring myself to write these words but a dark reality in Canada requires it. I am referring to legalizing physician assisted suicide scheduled to begin in 2016.  For over 20 years I have feared that a time such as this would come to my country and the common good of society at large.  I have spoken across Canada and America against euthanasia and assisted suicide. 

Should I ever request assisted suicide, I want you to refuse to help me. On this point I am emphatic. Presume that I am speaking out of depression or that multiple sclerosis has begun to affect my mental state. I would not make such a request in my right mind. If, in your judgment, I am suffering from depression please get me the counselling I need.  If the MS is affecting my mind, protect me from myself or others who would take my life before my natural death. Regarding my end of life care I ask you to provide treatment in accordance with my Roman Catholic faith (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos 2276-2282).

I have such deep respect for you and the proper application of your profession (in its Hippocratic tradition) I would not ask you to stop being my healer and become my killer, unless my mental faculties were impaired by depression or disease.

Sincerely,



Mark Davis Pickup

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

ALBERTA'S BILL 207 AND CONSCIENCE RIGHTS

The Canadian province of Alberta is considering a bill to fully protect conscience rights of health care providers: Bill 207. Alberta physicians are not required to perform euthanasia (lethal injection) to patients meeting the criteria laid out in Canada's Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation.  But many Christian doctors are afraid they might be compelled to refer suicidal patients, who meet the legal criteria for MAID, to physicians who are prepared to kill them. Who might compel them to refer? Perhaps the Alberta Medical Association—much like the Ontario Medical Association has done, or some other regulatory body. Bill 207 would simply protect Alberta doctors from that possibility. The bill is being met by the usual suspects from the progressive looney left of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and their allies. 

The NDP want doctors who refuse to participate in euthanatize to be compelled to refer patients to killer doctors who will—which makes them complicit in their patients' suicides.  This is abhorrent to many Christian (and Muslim) physicians. They believe euthanizing people or assisting in their suicides (which referral is) is a grave sin (pardon the dreadful pun) has eternal consequences. 

Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees of freedom of religion, thought and belief, and the expression of personal beliefs. Expression does not merely involve what one says but also involves how he/she behaves.

Over the next few days Bill 207 will be examined by a legislative committee comprised of United Conservative (UCP) and New Democrat (NDP) MLAs. I expect the UCP MLAs to rightfully deal with conscience rights (which is what the bill is about) and the NDP to focus on bogus access issues. It's bogus because there are plenty of amoral doctors willing to engage in euthanasia. If the bill passes—which is uncertain—access issues can be addressed by such things as signage in doctor offices stating which physicians at the clinic do not provide euthanasia or referrals. In hospital settings, scheduling can ensure killer doctors are available or on call for lethal injection requests. 

Leave pro-Life doctors (and nurse practitioners) to practice medicine in peace, without fear of being forced to provide euthanasia referrals. That's what Bill 207 would codify into law: Reassurance, peace of mind, and protection for health care providers now and in the future. I don't think that's asking too much. 

Below is a poster advertising a conscience rights and duties lecture being held at Saint Joseph's Basilica in Alberta's capital city of Edmonton tomorrow. I trust the speakers will not contradict or offend Catholic teaching about euthanasia, suicide, proper end of life care, or murder. I'm sorry for the short notice but it only came across my desk by email this morning.  -- Mark 


Sunday, November 17, 2019

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO HEAL OUR NATIONS?

https://www.lifenews.com/2019/11/15/ohio-bill-would-ban-abortions-declare-unborn-babies-
human-beings-under-law/?fbclid=IwAR1bc99OE2sV3nWZ8f5cugGpYeXZ3zToe1wP5SlQe9yHxWbu9C2eTBo90rk

The article above reports that a bill has been introduced into the Ohio state legislature that would ban abortions and declare unborn babies human beings under law.

Could this mark the beginning of society reclaiming the right to call itself civilized? Does this bill represent the first inkling of a change in cultural mindset in how the youngest members of the human community are considered? Could this bill codify—at least in one U.S. state—what we knew in our hearts all along? We all know in our heart of hearts (even if we won't admit it) that the unborn child is a human being, deserving our protection, love and care, and to be valued as an indispensable part of the human family. 

These are questions that spark hope in my breast that the holocaust of abortion will end in the not so distant future in America.  What about Canada? I fear my nation may be a lost cause for embracing the right to life as the first and highest right. All abortions (and now lethal injections of the sick and dying) are all fully funded with tax dollars.

I am reminded of something one of America's Founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, said: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." If America tempted God's justice over slavery, how much more does America (and Canada) offend Divine justice with the systematic murder of more than 60 million children before birth! 

Perhaps Ohio is leading the way for a national repentance for the
evil of abortion, that may yet stay God's hand of justice. Dare I pray for the same change of heart for my secular nation of Canada?  

Monday, November 11, 2019

REMEMBRANCE DAY AND OUR DYING CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION

The article below was originally posted on the
 HumanLifeMatters blog three years ago.
__________

School children rose from their desks to stand for two minutes silence in memory of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in
two World Wars. We Canadian children stood tight-lipped and gazed at the Red Ensign flag at the front of the classroom. Every creak, children shuffling, even slight noises from the school’s ventilation system became magnified during our solemn silence. It happened every November 11th. We were told to remember.

But how could we “remember” when the last World War ended eight years before most of us were born?

My father
in England in 1942
As an elementary school student during the early 1960s, I gave the brief ceremony all the respect I could muster in my small mind. I knew something terrible had happened. My father was a veteran of the Second World War. He occasionally told me about the desperate struggle that occurred during 1939-1945 against the Nazis. 

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had summed up the stakes in his 1940 address to the government and the British people about what became known as the Battle of Britain:

British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
“I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. ... If we can stand up to him, [Adolf Hitler] all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted by the lights of perverted science.”

These words conveyed the desperate hour in which they were spoken. We can tell that there was a Christian civilization that was threatened. I can find no record of howls of protest in the British House of Commons decrying Churchill’s assertion that western civilization was Christian. It was. And my father’s generation was prepared to put everything on the line – even their lives – to defend it. In fact, 400,000 American, 326,000 British and more than 43,000 Canadian soldiers did just that. Such a terrible sacrifice!

The Christian civilization Churchill spoke of had spawned the institutions, religion, laws and legal traditions, culture and mores that made western civilization great. But within two generations after the Second World War, that Christian civilization to which Winston Churchill referred has been largely destroyed. It hasn’t been destroyed by guns but by ideas. Secularism has dismantled it. 

The baby-boomer generation that immediately followed the War years are largely responsible for what the Third Reich could not do through armed conflict. I am told that much of Europe has forsaken Christianity, their great cathedrals sit empty. Large portions of European populations no longer seem to care for the things of God. 

The poison of liberal secularism is changing America and Canada too.  We have gone from being Christian countries to being anti-Christian. The new liberal establishment in government and the media and secularists are even trying to revise history by saying we never were Christian.  The “broad sunlit uplands” we inherited at such a great cost are marred by threatening storm clouds of a new Dark Age of steely secularism. We are sinking into its abyss.  What’s shocking is the new Dark Age looks remarkably similar to Winston Churchill’s prediction. The old man was right!

We have our own holocaust of rampant abortion that has claimed millions more lives than the Nazi holocaust against the Jews. Euthanasia against the sick and disabled is being practised. The perverted science like cloning and embryonic stem cell research is upon us ― and some of it is even funded by governments we elect!

Any semblance of a previous Judeo-Christian moral consensus that guided previous generations is all but gone and western civilization is being left to drift in relativism and vague but dangerous shifting ground of unfettered personal license.

Institutions previously held dear and cherished (like marriage) are being redefined, disassembled or abandoned. 

We should not be surprised. This is what happens when people and nations abandon God. That’s the bad news; the good news is that there are still people, within the wayward culture, who have not forsaken Christ or Christian morality.  It is up to those people to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim that which has been lost.


This is a darkening time when faithful Christians are called to hold up the light of Christ and point the way back to a culture that has lost its Christian moorings.  Do not lose heart when people who prefer darkness speak ill of you. They spoke ill of Christ too. Great is your reward in heaven.

Friday, November 8, 2019

IMPLICATIONS OF EXISTENCE

Think about the implications of 'you'. If one genetic, geographic or even timing had been different, nothing you love would be because you would not exist. Your world would not exist. The same is true for me. As that profound children's philosopher Winnie the Pooh once said, "We would not be."

Somebody may respond that it's all abstract because we would not know we don't exist if we did not exist. That's my point: You and I DO exist. It was God's will that you and I—and all we know and love—would exist.* 

My wife's name is LaRee. When I think of our lives together from that perspective, my responsibility to nurture, protect, love and care for the lives God has given me (including my own) becomes clear. Love bears a cost and a responsibility—an awesome and serious responsibility! I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love expands. Out of my romantic love for LaRee came children and parental love sprouted and began to grow. We wanted them to grow-up in a good place so our love for community expanded. Our children had children and our love as grandparents started. Grandparental love is slightly different than parental love. LaRee and I had to learn to love intensely but slightly removed—love from the sidelines in a supportive role to our adult children. In some ways I found grandparental love more difficult than parental love because we have little control. These are the lessons of love as we prepare to meet the Author of love. 

Now, as two lovers preparing for old age, LaRee and I enter our last phase of love in this world. We find ourselves back at romantic love where it all began. When does learning to love and be loved stop? I don't think it does in this world. It is a preparation for the next world and eternity.

Mark
_____________
If you don't believe in God then you're reading the wrong blog.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

AS LONG AS SHE LOVES ME

My wife, LaRee, and I just celebrated our forty-sixth wedding anniversary. I wasn't exactly the best choice for a husband. LaRee married me for better or for worse. Thirty-six of those years have been very trying. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and became seriously disabled. Then, in 2012, I was diagnosed with cancer. And yet LaRee chose to continue loving me. 

Young couples just starting out on their life-journey together,
should not be discouraged when they hear that half of all marriages fail and end in divorce—half of all marriages succeed! If they place Christ at the very centre of their marriage and lives, as their first and highest love, they will discover that Christ gives love and makes love grow to heights they did not know were possible! Why? Because Christ is the definition of love. 

About a year ago, I started hand-writing LaRee a love-letter each morning to accompany her medications that I put beside her favourite chair before she gets up.[1] My dilemma is this: How do I express the inexpressible? How do I put in words my immense love for LaRee?  Our love is what matters to me in this world. My place is with her and her place is with me. We. I am content with life as long as she loves me.

If I dream, let be about LaRee. If I laugh or weep, let it be with
LaRee
LaRee. I want her to be the first person I see every morning and the last person I see before I go to sleep at night. I want her in every part of my life. "LaRee" is the sweetest word in my vocabulary. Having LaRee in my arms makes me whole: One flesh. Two people united for one lifetime in marriage. LaRee.


If our family turned on me and ceased to love me, it would break my heart. But I would get through it, as long as she loves me. If I became a pariah or an outcast in society, I could still walk with my head up, as long as LaRee loved me. 


And if my dramatic MS remission (that allowed me to walk after 16 years in an electric wheelchair) was to end, and I was forced to return to my wheelchair again, I could accept it, as long as she loves me. If LaRee were to pass away before me, I could carry on knowing that she still loves me, and is waiting for me, and resting in God's perfect love. 

Our love and life together has been blessed by God. I am loved.
Mark
________________
[1] I lost the use of my right arm and hand for twenty years and was not able to hold a pencil to write.

Monday, October 28, 2019

HUMAN OPINIONS AND DETRACTORS

Human Opinions and Detractors—by Father Jim Canova

When Jesus went into the house of Zacchaeus many people complained at his association with a sinner. He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house!  Meanwhile, the Lord responded to the conversion of Zacchaeus with some of the most beautiful words of the Gospels: Today salvation has come to this house…
Do not care too much about who likes you and who does not. Why waste time worrying about who is for you and who is against you? Besides, you would be startled at what people really think of you! Just do your best to please Our Lord, and He will be on your side. He will stand by you as long as you hate sin and try to avoid it in your daily life. When He is with you, what does it matter who else is against you?
Never be disturbed when others say things that hurt. If you thought more often of your sins, you might even agree with some of their remarks.
Speak often with Our Lord, and people will impress you less than they do now. The more you advance in prayer, the less will you be tempted to talk against others. What they say or do against you, will seem so trivial when you have learned to join Our Lord through prayer and recol­lection.
Our Lord knows what you really are. What people say about you, will not change what you are nor what Our Lord thinks of you.
Just do your best for Our Lord’s sake, and do not worry what anyone may think or say of you.
Do not fear the judgments of those around you. Live for Our Lord by trying to please Him in your daily life. Then will you enjoy His peace – a peace which only He can give!
In God alone will you find true peace and joy. You must not desire to please others, and when there is question of doing what is right, do not fear to displease them! Only God’s judgment is important. All will agree with God’s opinion of you at the Last Judgment.
This article was  submitted by Fr. Jim Canova to ProLife Corner, and online presence of Stephenson County Right To Life, Freeport, Illinois. Link here