“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, March 26, 2009
See my latest column for Canada's Western Catholic Reporter entitled "New York targets Catholic Churches, hospitals: Anti-Church attack also propogated by Dan Brown's Angels and Demons."
Go to http://www.wcr.ab.ca/columns/markpickup/2009/markpickup033009.shtml
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Renowned American bioethical thinker Wesley J. Smith has written an enlightening article entitled "Stem cell Double Talk" for the Weekly Standard. It deals Obama's policy overturning the Bush policy on embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. (See http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/263fnapt.asp)
I have written previously that I will not be able to enjoy any stem cell therapies derived from embryonic sources. Getting better on the backs of other human life is unthinkable for me. It reminds me of Goya's macabre painting Saturn Devouring his children.
EMBRYONIC STEM CELL PHARMING
Embryonic stem cell pharmers know that stem cells from embryos are much more problematic that other sources yet the pharmers are plowing forward. Is it ideology that drives them into perverted science? Is there some underlying reason for the embryonic stem cell fixation?
The darker side of me wonders if North America's culture has to find something redeeming (or at least mitigating) for the devaluation of prenatal life that caused the massacre of more than 50 million prenatal lives in the past 40 years. Abortion is North America's holocaust!
If embryonic stem cells could provide therapies for victims of spinal cord injuries, suffers of diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or other conditions, then pro-choice brutality could be couched in altruism.
It would also provide a darkly delicious revenge for pro-choice
ideologues. People who believe that human rights begin when human life begins and find themselves disabled or incurably ill with a disease helped by an embryonic stem cell therapy, will either have to forsake their views to get better or forsake the ESC therapies and remain in their wheelchairs and continue deteriorating.
What a diabolically delicious punishment for being pro-Life! Wait, the pro-choice glee and sneers will be short lived. Life in this world is not all there is.
My ultimate victory and liberation from my wheelchair and disease will not come from consuming the left-overs of unwanted children in the earliest stages of human life! My victory lies in Christ as I step from this life to the next leaving my wheelchair and the darkness of this world behind.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Gao Zhisheng is a Christian and Nobel Peace Prize-nominated lawyer who has been persecuted, tortured by the People's Republic of China for his work battling continued human rights abuses. He was abducted and nobody is aware of his whereabouts, although his supporters believe he's being held in the Beijing area.
A Christian brother is in great danger and in need of our help. He may well be suffering at the hands of PRC torturers as I write these words. Christians and other people of good will have written
to President Hu Jingtao of China appealing for Gao's release. Letters have also been written to other leaders like Canada's Prime Minister and US President Obama (see letter below dated 28 February asking that they intervene on behalf of Gao to pressure Chinese officials to release him.
I ask readers of this blog to write their elected officials asking them to appeal to PRC President, Hu Jingtao, to release Gao Zhisheng and cease persecuting him. President Jingtao's mailing address is - Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Readers of this blog are located in England, Canada, America, Australia and India. I ask you all to write. Ask your friends to do the same.
See below for text of letter to President Obama and House Leader Nancy Pelosi. It will give you an idea of material to use.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. President and Madam Speaker,
Gao Zhisheng, the Nobel Peace prize-nominated attorney, one of China’s foremost leaders in the rights defender movement, and “China’s conscience,” was abducted on February 4, and his whereabouts are unknown. His disappearance is all the more disturbing because of an account released recently of the 50 days of torture Gao suffered in 2007 at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The account of his treatment in confinement during 2007 is a harrowing depiction of what he suffered at the hands of those acting on behalf of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials:
“Then, the electric shock batons were put all over me. And my full body, my heart, lungs, and muscles began jumping under my skin uncontrollably. I was writhing on the ground in pain, trying to crawl away. Wang [one of the lead torturers] then shocked me in my genitals.”
Gao wrote further describing his ordeal in a separate, incident: “Then two people stretched out my arms and pinned them to the ground. They used toothpicks to pierce my genitals. I can't use any language to describe the helplessness, pain, and despair that I felt then. At a point like that, language and emotion do not have the power to explain.”
In his account, Gao says that the torturers mentioned they were using the same torture methods that they had earlier refined on Falun Gong practitioners. He admitted that he had tried to kill himself to stop the suffering, and that he believed that God helped him to come back from the brink of death.
He also described Communist Party officials asking him to write articles—for any price he named—defaming Falun Gong and Hu Jia, another prominent rights defender who worked together with Gao. Gao refused, but did later write some articles against his will, when they threatened that the torture would not end.
Gao also mentioned that torture took place that was even more horrible than he recounted in his writings, but that he could not describe it because the CCP threatened to abduct him again and torture him in front of his wife and children.
Gao was abducted in September 2007 after writing an open letter to the U.S. Congress to explain the human rights situation preceding the 2008 Olympics. Gao and his family have been persecuted before after open letters he had written to officials at a high level in the Chinese regime, calling for an end to government persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, though he is not a Falun Gong practitioner himself.
After his open letters, Gao’s law practice was taken away from him, constant monitoring and surveillance by police of him and his family was instituted, and he was abducted several times and tortured. The CCP has not spared his wife, nor his 14-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son in its efforts to silence Gao. With a deep belief that justice and the rule of law will ultimately prevail in China, Gao continues to speak out regarding what he believes is right.
As described in his book “A China More Just,” Gao has defended the rights of house-church members, coal miners, petitioners to the government, home-demolition victims, and Falun Gong adherents. He was deemed one of China’s top-ten lawyers before his defense of Falun Gong practitioners.
We should not allow a good man to face such detestable, inhuman treatment at the hands of a regime with little current respect for the most basic human rights. We ask for your help in keeping these matters in the public eye in the hope that the Chinese regime may free Gao and give him whatever medical attention he may need.
Your support may save this man who has been the foremost symbol of the movement for application of basic human rights and for application of the rule of law in China currently enjoyed by most of the rest of mankind.
Friends of Gao Zhisheng