“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

Saturday, January 11, 2020

EVERY PERSON'S "ORIGINAL RIGHTS"

In 2013, The New York publication the Human Life Review celebrated its 40th anniversary publishing life-affirming scholarly articles. On January 10th of that year, they published an article I wrote for them under the title "Wei Jingsheng, Champion of Universal Human Rights." That was 3 years ago yesterday. I am taking this opportunity to re-post that article on the HumanLifeMatters blog.
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Wei Jingsheng
Wei Jingsheng, perhaps the Peoples Republic of China’s best known pro-democracy, human-rights activist, spent a total of 18 years in prison as a dissident charged with “counter revolution propaganda and agitation.” He was released in 1997 and, following pressure from the Clinton administration, deported to the United States. In early 1998, Wei issued a joint statement with Amnesty International in which he spoke of universal human rights:
Human rights have already been accepted globally as a standard of conduct. . . . Even autocratic countries, even those countries where slavery is practiced, have to pay lip service to the acceptance and respect . . . of human rights principles. (This attitude) creates favorable conditions for those who fight for human rights, freedom and democracy, and gives the people who suffer persecution growing encouragement to fight for the rights, which originally belong to them. . . . Those rights which originally belong to the people have been taken away by the oppressors.
All of us accept—deep in our heart of hearts—that there is “a standard for conduct”: a standard of right and wrong. We may not admit it, but we do. Wei apparently believed this truth was self-evident. He spoke with conviction about “original rights,” which people everywhere possess, regardless of borders or citizenship. He seemed to be referring to something akin to inalienable rights, which “originally belong to all people.” Governments may forbid citizens from exercising them but the oppressed are still the heirs of original rights.
When Wei was in prison he told one of his oppressors: “Truth is truth. Once you understand this, nothing can erase it from your heart. This is something no torture can extract from you.”[1] Notice how Wei spoke about truth as irrevocable, irrefutable . . .  inalienable. What truth, and which “original rights,” was he referring to? When he used the word “originally,” what did he mean? Do these original rights come with adulthood or do children possess them too? Do some people enjoy these rights—whatever they might be—while others do not? Do they exist only in this generation or have they existed throughout the ages, regardless of what any government or court has declared? Who or what bestows these rights?
Although Wei spoke about human rights in the context of the Chinese people suffering under a brutal communist regime, parallels can be drawn to rights that have been denied by oppressors elsewhere, and to other members of the human community. These “original rights” must begin with the fundamental right to life. If the right to life is not guaranteed for everyone then all other human rights become arbitrary and uncertain. The right to life must be protected as the first and highest human right.
We know that Wei was speaking about rights that belong to everyone because he described them as global. If these rights belong to all people “originally, from the beginning,” then what Wei envisioned must also apply to children. It goes beyond that— if these rights are with everyone originally, then logically they must apply to human life at any point on the life spectrum. There can be no exceptions.
America’s Declaration of Independence states that “inalienable” rights were endowed to humanity by the Creator: God. Even my own heavily secularized country, Canada, has a preamble to its Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizing “the Supremacy of God”—a law Giver. We may ignore it but it is there.
Who is this God? Both America and Canada have their legal roots in British Common Law, which has Christianity at its base. This is not a matter of opinion; it is plain historical record. In 1829, Joseph Story, a future Supreme Court justice, stated in his inaugural address as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University: “There has never been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.”[2] Sir Matthew Hale, a noted 17th-century English lawyer and judge, said “Christianity is part of the Common Law of England.”[3] Christ is behind Christianity; Christianity is behind Common Law.
Could it be that original rights stem from the same origins as the beliefs that convinced abolitionists that slavery must end, and influenced those who fought against child labor in England? What I am alluding to (and I think Wei was too) is some sort of moral standard of behavior or conduct, a defining of right and wrong, written deep within humanity’s heart.
Here in North America, the most glaring example of original rights being violated and denied is abortion, the government-sanctioned killing of millions of unborn children. If life begins at conception (and there has never really been any doubt about that) then the right to life exists from life’s origin.
Civilized and compassionate societies, ones that truly believe in universal human rights, must support women in crisis pregnancies so that they will give life to their babies, and never participate in abortion. Abortion is a crime against tiny human beings, and against the human community.
“Original rights” come from God, not legislatures or courts. If that weren’t true then governments and courts could simply legislate these rights away—and many have tried. But there is a higher law written in the heart of humanity. Which is why abortion has never been accepted even though Roe v. Wade is over four decades old.
It has been nearly 20 years since Wei issued his human-rights statement. As far as I can tell, he still believes what he said, and all that it implied. Original rights belong to everyone but the oppressors and deniers of life are still on the prowl.

MDP
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NOTES
[1] Wei Jingsheng,  “Handful of Pennies” http://weijingsheng.org/doc/en/A%20handful%20of%20pennies.html
[2] Quoted in Perry Miller, editor, The Legal Mind in America (New York: Doubleday, 1962), p. 178.
[3] Historia Placitorium Coronae, ed. Sollom Emlyn (1736). Also in Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, iv, 1765.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

IS THE BIBLE ACCURATE AND RELEVANT?

Is the Bible simply a bunch of old fables written by primitive, ignorant men thousands of years ago, and no relevance to modern people? That's the post-modern 21 Century view.  There's a problem with that thinking—the Bible's prophetic accuracy dating back thousands of years. I invite you to set aside an hour and view a production posted to YouTube under the title "The accuracy of the Bible" Click here 

Why am I posting this content to a blog called HumanLifeMatters? It is precisely because human life matters. If the Bible is the Word of God (and I believe with all my heart that it is the inerrant Word of God) then it requires a response from you and me with eternal consequences. Christ came because human life matters to God.

Mark 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

TOWARD INCLUSION THIS CHRISTMAS—AND BEYOND



I came across this photo of Santa interacting with an autistic child. It nearly brought me to tears. For most of my adult life, I have worked for inclusion—particularly as it relates to chronically ill people, those with disabilities, and women in crisis pregnancies.

Inclusion! It just happens. It happens in small ways and small gestures that may seem insignificant yet make significant differences in the daily lives of people. Disability inclusion doesn't happen because of government programs (as helpful as they may be), legislation, or fashionable "progressive" thinking at any point in time. Real inclusion begins in the hearts of ordinary people. It is expressed in their places of work, their schools, their churches and neighbourhoods in cities, towns and villages all across the nation. Inclusion opens doors that were previously closed to relationships. Inclusion is interactive and changes a noun into a verb. 

Inclusion embraces every member of the human family—born and unborn, the very old and the very young, every ethnicity, the abled and the disabled, the poorest and the rich, the addict, the homeless, the deranged, and those who are not even loved by anybody. Inclusive communities are life-affirming, never life-denying. They do not kill each other. There is no place for abortion, assisted suicide or euthanasia in truly inclusive communities. Inclusion involves a nurturing of minds and spirits of people. It cares. Authentic inclusion encourages people to rise to their full potential that God intended for them. Inclusion begins in the womb and ends at the tomb. It involves every stage and state of life between those two points. Inclusion is what it means to be PRO-LIFE. 

MDP

Friday, December 6, 2019

TRANSGENDER INSANITY

This morning, an important email letter came across my desk from Brian S. Brown, President of the
National Organization For Marriage, based in Washington, DC. You can read Mr. Brown's letter below. I urge readers of this blog to support the National Organization for Marriage in their critically important work. You can contact them here: 

National Organization for Marriage
2029 K Street, 
Washington, DC,
U.S.A., 20006 
Telephone: (888) 894-3604
email: contact@nationformarriage.org 

(NB: This post may result in Google suspending the HumanLifeMatters blog account.)
_______________________________________________

Dear Friend—A couple of years ago the liberal government of Canada under Justin Trudeau passed a law enacting the LGBT extremist gender ideology agenda that is having disastrous consequences. Bill C-16 adds “gender identity” and “gender expression” to Canada’s Human Right Code. This, in part, is effectively what the grossly misnamed Equality Act pending in Congress would do here in the United States.

Of course, the entire idea of “gender identity” is a made-up concept that does not exist in the real world in which we live. It’s a creature of the elites who have been seeking to impose it through indoctrination, intimidation and political correctness. In the real world, we live by a set of immutable rules that help define our physical reality – there’s a thing called gravity, the body requires food and water to survive, we must breathe to oxygenate ourselves, etc. One of those immutable rules in the real world is that each of us are born either male or female. Our sex is a biological reality that cannot be changed by identity, expression, desire or feelings.

Despite the utter incongruity of the concept of gender “identity,” the movement to impose it is powerful, well-connected and influential. Many people who disagree with it are not interested in publicly talking about the issue for fear of being labeled a hater. So, they quietly roll their eyes, go about their business and hope that it won’t affect them.

One group of people in Canada has quickly figured out how they can game the system and use the insanity of “gender identity” to serve their own interests. Male prisoners. Men in prison have caught on that the law allows them to declare a female gender “identity” and then assert their right to be housed in an all-women prison facility. That’s what many of them have done. And some of them are the worst criminals around – child rapists, murderers and sexual predators.

The reason the men are doing this is obvious: they want to force themselves upon the women inmates. And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. A Canadian prison advocate recently told a media reporter, “They currently have three ‘trans’ inmates [at Grand Valley Institute (GVI) in Ontario], and I use the term 'trans' loosely here because they are openly telling the other female inmates they are not really trans. They are only at GVI to have sex with the females.”

Sadly, the response to this situation by prison authorities reflects the enormous influence that the LGBT community exerts over liberal institutions of government. The GVI Warden reportedly told the female inmates that those who have a problem with the situation “could go to psychology.” Prison advocates report that medical staff distribute the morning-after abortion pill to female inmates.

It’s understandable that some people may want to just keep their head down when it comes to challenging the advent of gender ideology, but that will only make things worse. Before long, the ability of men to force themselves on girls and women will be happening in every facet of society – schools, hospitals and medical clinics, intimate facilities such as showers and spas, development programs for girls, etc. We are already experiencing the beginning of this trend.

Even worse, if we don’t fight now while we can, this situation won’t be a trend, it will be federal law. The Equality Act (which we call the InEquality Act because of the one-sided way by which it imposes the LGBT agenda) has already passed the US House of Representatives. Every Democrat in the US Senate supports it (as does at least one Republican), and every candidate for president has endorsed it.

You can be sure of this: if the Democrats win the presidency and take over Congress, they will find a way to impose gender ideology on the American people. Having men worm their way into female prisons will be the least of our concerns then.

NOM is fighting hard to alert the American people to the dangers of gender ideology and the many problems that would be created if the InEquality Act becomes law. We’ve produced many communications about this issue and generated tens of thousands of grassroots contacts with members of Congress to oppose this agenda. But still, the legislation is pending in the Senate and could come up at any time... .

... It’s a crazy world that we live in these days where insane concepts like “gender identity” are taken seriously and advance at a rapid pace. But we can exert great influence and reverse this course if we all work together and have the courage to stand up and be counted.

Thanks for standing with us on this critical issue.

Faithfully,
Brian S Brown
Brian S. Brown
President

Thursday, November 28, 2019

CANADIAN VALUES?

As we approach the end of 2019, I have looked at the traffic of this blog. Two-thirds of its 820,000+ hits are American and rising. Canadian interest has fallen to just over 28%. Am I being too hard on liberal progressive snowflakes who dominate Canada's governments and media? Perhaps my posts reflect how disenfranchised I feel toward the country of my birth. 

I keep hearing about Canadian values after dispensing what we used to refer as community standards which were loosely based upon a previous Judaeo-Christian moral consensus. What are Canadian values? Nobody has clearly defined these celebrated new Canadian values other than syrupy references to embracing differences (everybody is embracing now), a spirit for celebrating and funding everything multi-cultural (except our British heritage). 

I know Canadian values include unfettered abortion for any reason
at all or no reason whatsoever, all paid by government. I know Canadian values want to bar pro-Life citizens from seeking elected public office in Canada's parliament. I know that new Canadian values jailed Linda Gibbons for more time than many armed robbers. Her high crime? Daring to pray outside abortion clinics, within a pro-choice court ordered injunction, and offering women in crisis pregnancies life-affirming help for themselves and their babies. I know Canadian values include lethal injections for the terminally and incurably ill who become suicidal. (We refer to it by the innocuously deceptive euphemism "medically assistance in dying." Lethal injections are more accurately called medical killing or euthanasia). I know that new Canadian values are generally anti-Christian, ambivalent to anti-traditional marriage, and apparently we have about sixty different genders from which people can choose to become. 

I know that people who embrace our new Canadian values re-
elected a Prime Minister whose government has tons of money for everyone else (see chart to the right), will pay $10.5 million to a convicted terrorist, but apparently does not have enough money to properly care for our veterans and seniors. 

I don't fit very well in 21st Century Canada (and I don't want to). I prefer to live on the fringes of the brutal and Brave New World that's part of Canadian values. It's a bit too sinister for me. I suppose that may be one reason why the HumanLifeMatters blog is losing Canadian readers.  — Mark



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS REMEMBERED

As America prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, I am reminded of a Thanksgiving post I wrote 4 years ago “Thoughts About Syrian Refugees.” So many Syrian Christians have been murdered since then. You can read the post here. To my American friends and family: May God bring peace to your home as you contemplate all your blessings of living in the greatest nation on earth. — Mark