“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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Will America be blessed or judged?

It was April 25th 2004.

I watched the images on television of three hundred thousand people descending on Washington Mall to demonstrate for abortion rights. Some Right! – the Right to kill one’s unwanted offspring. A parade of Hollywood celebrities showed up in force and gave stunning witness to the fact that money and prestige does not inoculate the human heart from moral poverty or hardness. Over ninety celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin, former Friends star Jennifer Aniston and Cindy Crawford. (Sharon Stone respected city sanitary regulations and wore her underwear.) What hardened the hearts! Angry Canadian singer Alanis Morissette bore witness to the reality that the Little Pill really does have a Jagged Edge. Billionaire founder of CNN, Ted Turner came and helped chase love away. It was a who’s who of beautiful people who had lost their inner beauty.

Feminist organizers dubbed the event "March for Women’s lives." There was no mention of the children's lives who die by abortion. Yes, it was the pampered, loved and wanted against the unloved and unwanted.
Obscenely rich

Obscenely rich elites demonstrated against the Right to Life of the human family’s weakest members – unwanted unborn children – in order that their parents may have the Right to pursue happiness. Apparently being unwanted or inconvenient is the unpardonable sin in the world of Whoopi, Demi, Alec, Morgan, Ted, Martin, Alanis and other celebrities and liberal politicians who champion the right of parents to kill their unwanted children in utero; Apparently they are humanity’s refuse undeserving of defence as, life or even inclusion in the human family.

It's interesting to note that the likes of Demi Moore would pose nude and pregnant for Vanity Fair to show off her loved, expected and protected baby. In Demi's world, a different child of the same gestation about to undergo the barbaric partial birth abortion procedure deserves go protection, no love -- only excruciating death. Such a child is guilty of the capital offence of being unwanted or inconvenient.
Politicians who seemingly had forgotten the truth behind the Declaration of Independence showed up too. There was former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Members of Congress Carolyn Malony (NY), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Carol Mosley Braun (IL), Barbara Lee (CA), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Barbara Lee (CA), Jerry Nadler (NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Susan Davis (CA), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), and appropriately named Louise Slaughter (NY). Democratic Senators like Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi also lined up to confirm elitist America has no room for the unwanted child in the womb. They may talk about universal human rights but they believe in selective human rights.

I found it surprising that black politicians like Eddie Bernice Johnson, Carol Mosley Braun and Sheila Jackson Lee were distanced from prejudice and dehumanization of the past. They championed prejudice and dehumanization of the youngest members of the human family. I would have thought that they, of all people, would be sensitive to the inclusive and universal nature of Universal Human Rights.

Three years later, the queen bee of choice, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, is running for the Democratic nominee for President of the United States -- and she has a good of getting it!
The blood of 40-million babies cries to heaven
After more than 30 years of abortion on demand in America and more than 40-million abortions, America is in serious risk of God’s judgement. Yet in my naivety, I still believe it is not too late and that a merciful God may still forgive America -- if it repents of this terrible moral sin. If Roe v Wade is overturned and legal protections returned to unborn children, I believe that God may hold back His judgement.

The 2008 election may prove pivotal to America. Only support candidates running for public office who will uphold the sanctity, dignity and equality of all human life. I believe America stands at the edge of either God's judgement or His blessing. God is patient but He has his limits.

Remember the words of American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson:
“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”[1]

Mark Pickup

[1] Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia (1784), Query xviii. Manners.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

American Life League releases video report on children's sex book

WASHINGTON, D.C. · November 19, 2007 / PRNewswire / – "Parents need to know what Planned Parenthood has in store for their children and this report is an excellent starting point," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. "The book 'It's Perfectly Normal' is obscene and offensive to Christians."

American Life League's second video report exposes the contents of the book "It's Perfectly Normal." Recently, a Washington State Prison rejected a fundraising letter that included censored images from the book for being "sexually explicit" and "obscene."

American Life League released the report as a part of its continuing effort to educate the public on Planned Parenthood's activities.

"This video report is just the beginning," said Sedlak. "We will continue to use this new media to expose the nation's largest abortion chain and we call on Christians across the nation to join us in putting a stop to tax payer funds for Planned Parenthood."

For the truth about Planned Parenthood, check out these related links:

Protect Your Children - exposing Planned Parenthood's war on childhood innocence:

Sign our petition to end tax funding for Planned Parenthood:

Get the Wednesday STOPP Report:

Help us continue with these releases:

See the ad information that a Washington State Prison rejected:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A voice speaks across the decades: "There is no such thing as life unworthy of living."

A version of this article also appears in this week's
Western Catholic Reporter newspaper (Canada) (http://www.wcr.ab.ca/columns/markpickup/2007/markpickup111907.shtml)

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency recently published a short article about a new memorial in Berlin dedicated to victims of the Nazi euthanasia programme which claimed close to 100,000 lives of handicapped people in Germany during the Second World War.

Started by Hitler in 1939, the T4 euthanasia programme initially targeted mentally ill people and deformed children up to the age of three years old for lethal injections. What started with abnormal infants gave way to abnormal older children and finally disabled and handicapped adults.

Nazi euthanasia

The Nazi euthanasia programme was based on the idea racial purity and paved the way for the final solution which eventually claimed the lives of 6-million Jews. It was the euthanasia programme that developed gas chambers camouflaged as shower rooms where poison gas was piped in to kill disabled people deemed life unworthy of life.

The first gassing demonstration for Nazi officials overseeing the T4 programme occurred in a disused prison in Brandenburg; twenty Jewish psychiatric patients were gassed. The demonstration was deemed a success. Six killing centers were established where busloads of people with mental illnesses, or physical disabilities or handicaps were shipped for systematic exterminations. One doctor oversaw the gassing of 5,000 disabled people in six month period from March to August 1940.[1]

The euthanasia program never enjoyed legal sanction; it was murder even with under perverted laws of the Third Reich.[2] Although Hitler signed a decree for an adult euthanasia programme against ‘lebensunswertes leben’ – “life unworthy life” or “beings unworthy of existence”, he instructed officials that under no circumstances was the Fuhrer’s Chancellery to be seen as active in the program.[3]

Doctors who participated in the program did so voluntarily. Roughly 45% of them were members of the Nazi Party and many were belonged to the SS. Many of the doctors were exempted from military duty and enjoyed elevated status and perks rare in a wartime economy.

Christian witness

On August 3rd 1941, Catholic Bishop Clemens von Galen risked his life at the Munster Cathedral where he delivered a scathing sermon against the euthanasia programme. He condemned attempts to give legal sanction to killing the disabled and handicapped. He roared across the pulpit, “Once admit the right to kill unproductive persons, then none of us can be sure of his life. A curse on men and the German people if we break the Holy Commandment ‘Thou Shalt not kill’. Woe to us German people if we not only licence this heinous offence but allow it to be committed with impunity.”

Bishop Galen’s sermon sent shock-waves throughout the Nazi leadership! Twenty days later on August 23rd, Hitler officially suspended the T4 programme. The Nazis retaliated by beheading three parish priests who distributed copies of the Bishop’s sermon, but left Bishop von Galen untouched for fear of making him a martyr.[4]

Word of Bishop von Galen’s fiery sermon against the euthanasia programme spread like wildfire. The BBC in England made broadcasts about the sermon. It made the front page in the Daily Telegraph. The RAF dropped copies of the Bishop’s sermon over Germany. Ordinary German soldiers on the frontlines and outposts were sent copies of the sermon by family members. Although Hitler threatened Bishop von Galen, the threat proved idle.

A cunning Nazi film entitled Ich Klage an (I accuse) was produced that year which was shown in theatres in Germany. It portrayed a doctor whose wife suffered from multiple sclerosis. In the warm glow of the family hearth, the doctor gently, ever so lovingly, assists his wife’s suicide, giving her the deliverance she so obviously desires. He faces charges of murder but in turn accuses the state of not helping the disabled die. It was a skilled and clever propaganda film promoting euthanasia by introducing the idea of autonomy and assisted suicide. Many Germans thought Ich Klage an was the Nazi response to Bishop von Galen’s charges.

Pope Pius XII elevated Bishop von Galen to Cardinal after his courageous stand defending the disabled and handicapped in the face of daunting hostility.

His words speak across the decades to North America where the heinous offence of euthanasia is gaining acceptance: "There is no such thing as life unworthy of living."

In December of 2004, three months before the judicial execution of disabled American Terri Schiavo, and his own death, Pope John Paul approved beatification of Cardinal Clemens von Galen.

Cardinal von Galen’s courageous actions serve as a towering example for Christians everywhere to defend the defenseless whose lives are devalued or endangered by euthanasia acceptance.

Mark Pickup
[1] Michael Burleigh, THE THIRD REICH: A NEW HISTORY, (New York, Hill and Wang, 2000), Michael Burleigh, p.387.
[2] Burleigh, p. 383.
[4] Taken from, The History Place: World War Two in Europe, (http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/euthanasia.htm), accessed 7 November 2007.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me."

An article recently appeared in the local newspaper regarding a children’s palliative care specialist.[1] Dr. Dawn Davies is the only palliative care specialist at the University of Alberta (Canada).

Pediatric palliative care is under-recognized and under-subscribed, it is an area that is sorely needed at this ominous juncture in time. Disabled newborns are often left to die -- denied food and water -- at the advice or cooperation of hospitals, and consent of their parents. Perhaps this is the way and sway of secular hospitals but Christian health care facilities must never cooperate in the killing of any human being regardless of how hopeless the case. As Malcolm Muggeridge said,

"Jesus healed the sick, raised Lazarus from the dead, gave back sanity to the deranged, but never did He practice, or include, killing as part of the mercy that occupied His heart. His true followers cannot but adopt the same attitude."
Christian hospitals
A disabled child in utero must never be killed in Christian hospitals -- nor can Christian hospitals legitimately cooperate in attaining such an end. Once born, a disabled baby may only live an hour, but in that hour the child must be welcomed into a tender embrace of Christian love and palliative care -- and not abandoned by withholding food and water. That may be the way of the world of bioethics but it has no place in the actions of a follower of Christ, or institutions that align themselves with His name.

The child's family must also find themselves in the same tender embrace of loving Christian care throughout their bereavement and recovery. This is the call of authentic Christianity to health care professionals, in cooperation and support of Christ's Church. I can think of no more powerful witness to Christ's love. It is shoe-leather evangelism at its finest.

It is time for health care facilities everywhere bearing Christian affiliation to examine their policies and practices to ensure that they are life-affirming and never life-denying. If they are not prepared to do this … then cease their Christian affiliation and stop maligning the holy name of Christ and His Church!

In this new Dark Age of early 21st century North America, authentic Christianity has the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus Christ, showing His love and mercy to the “least of these.” Remember our Lord’s words:
“Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me  receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.[2]
It has been the same for every child throughout the centuries since our Savior uttered this truth.

Mark Pickup

[1] Jodie Sinnema, “Children’s palliative care puts focus on living: Edmonton’s only specialist spearheads one-year training program,” Edmonton Journal, 18 Nov. 2007, A1.
[2] Luke 9.48, NKJV.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dignifying suicide

Canada’s The Ottawa Sun newspaper is in the throes of publishing a series of articles about euthanasia and assisted suicide. They interviewed a wide array of people on both sides of the issue. I was one interviewed by the reporter, Donna Casey.

When she called, I wondered, Why the interest in assisted suicide? A private Member’s bill in the House of Commons to legalize assisted suicide died on the floor of Parliament in 2005. Since then, Canada’s federal government has shown NO interest in re-opening debate about changing laws to allow euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Euthanasia is not a backburner issue—it’s not even on the stove! So why such interest by the Ottawa Sun to dedicate resources and space to a series of articles about an issue that’s not even in the news? It seems they are trying to be a news maker rather than just report it.

One of the people interviewed was Paul Spiers of an American disability group called Autonomy (http://www.autonomynow.org/). He’s also a darling of the Right to Die movement.

Natural fit
Spiers told the Sun reporter that Canada has a tradition of supporting and protecting human rights, therefore aid-in-dying (assisted suicide) would be a natural fit for our “socially progressive values.” Yeah, right. First of all, Canada’s tradition of protecting human rights has a huge gaping hole: Abortion.

There is no legal protection for prenatal life in Canada. Unborn children have no legal protection at any point throughout pregnancy. A woman can abort her child for any reason, or no reason at all. That’s not socially progressive, Paul, it’s socially regressive.

It should be noted that this state of affairs stands in stark contrast to public opinion. A recent Environics opinion poll showed that two-thirds of Canadian women support legal protection for unborn children. Fifty-seven percent of men support legal protection.[1]

Spiers called assisted suicide the “the last civil right.” This is an outrageous thing to say! Suicide (assisted or otherwise) is not a civil right. Such perverted thinking must be utterly rejected.
Death as a right
In June of 1997, the US Supreme Court was ruling about whether states have the right to ban assisted suicide. In a unanimous ruling the high court ruled that they do. Chief Justice William Rehnquist said,

"An examination of our Nation's history, legal traditions, and practices demonstrate that Anglo-American common law has punished or otherwise disapproved of assisting suicide for over 700 years;"

Assisted suicide may indeed be a natural fit for Canada of the 21st century, but it must be resisted. Opinion polls (the latest being June 2007 by Ipsos-Reid) consistently show more than 70% of Canadians support assisted suicide of the terminally ill.[2] Of course, it never stays there. It will also include the chronically ill, the profoundly handicapped, and the disabled.

There is no right to die. Death is an eventuality, it is inevitable. Death will visit us all. Death needs no protection -- life does. Death can not be taken away, but life can be taken away.

Never dignify suicide (assisted or otherwise) by talking about it as a “civil right.”
We do not dignify death by killing the dying or disabled. Dignity is not found in poison, starvation or dying of thirst. Death with dignity is the natural conclusion to having lived with dignity. Give a man life with dignity and he will die with dignity. Dying with dignity is a process not an event.
Saint Augustine said, "[A]nyone who kills a human being, himself or another, is guilty of murder.”[3]

Never let clever arguments seduce you to believe evils are good. Suicide (assisted or otherwise) is not a civil right. It is evil and must always be rejected by civilized people and never supported by law or by people of good will.
All suicide must be adamantly opposed by Christians who love God’s laws. We are commanded to be salt and light to this present dark age.
Mark Pickup
[1] According to the Environics poll, more than one-third (34%) of women support legal protection from conception onward, 21% after three months of pregnancy and 12% say babies should be protected after six months. Overall, 62% of Canadians supported legal protection at some point before birth.

The Focus Canada poll of 2,047 Canadians was conducted between September 17 and October 14, with a margin of error of ±2.2% nineteen times out of twenty.

[2] Juliet O’Neill, Most Canadians support assisted suicide, polls show, Canwest News Service, June 10 2007 (http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=d8946345-be11-462e-8227-d96681b7d2ef&k=35092)
[3] City of God, Book One, chapter21