“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, August 29, 2008

Who was that woman?

My August 21st post was entitled, “My role in long ago abortion still haunts me.” It prompted somebody to ask about the woman who was my girlfriend. Her name is LaRee and two years later (1973), we married. We will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this year.

LaRee and I had two other children and we now have five grandchildren. For years, LaRee grieved her abortion. When our next child was born, she looked into the baby's face and thought, “You are not my first baby.” For years we kept the abortion a secret from our children. We finally shared it with them in their teen years in hopes it might serve as a deterrent to them from making the same mistake. Happily, neither did.

LaRee recently became the provincial Director of a pro-Life organization in the Canadian province where we live (Alberta). A previous blog of June 9th announced her appointment.

Pro-abortion ideologues maintain that there is no such thing as post-abortion trauma. LaRee is a living example that trauma does occur after abortion. It can settle into grief, guilt and regret that can last for decades. To those who say that life in the womb is not a child, she says “Come look at the marvel of 3D and 4D ultrasound and you will see the humanity of the child.” To those women who regret their abortions – and there are millions -- she says,

“Give your sorrow to Christ. He will understand and forgive you – just as He has for me. We are part of that great family of the heavy-hearted people who know the poverty and lies of abortion. Into Christ’s gentle care we give our children, our sorrow, our shame. He frees us from our grief.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

More on Canadian late term abortions: Suppressing the terrible truth.

My June 5th 2008 blog was called "Canada and late term abortions." It dealt with the fact that there are no restrictions against abortion at any point throughout all 9 months of pregnancy in my country. You can have an abortion for any reason or no reason -- and this occurs even in late term pregnancies. Canadian abortion supporters deny it. Even the national advertising regulatory body Advertising Standards Canada tries to suppress this horrible reality by ordering removal of all advertisements revealing this grisly truth. Oh, Canada! Where did you go so terribly wrong?

Below is the text of a press release I received from a Canadian pro-Life group.

For Immediate Release

August 25, 2008

Dejavu - Advertising group says ads are “deceptive”

In a bizarre – yet anticipated- ruling last week, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), rejected fact based evidence from Stats Canada, confirming, abortions do occur throughout all nine months of pregnancy and a ruling from the Supreme Courts, which shows that there are no laws against abortion in Canada.

Corry Morcos, president of Edmonton Prolife, the group behind the billboards, said the decision was “unbelievable, but expected” given the previous ruling regarding the Life Canada ads. “Governments have failed to enact any legislation as requested by the Supreme Court in the 1988 Morgentaler decision, and that is why today we have no protection for the unborn in Canada. Abortions are totally unrestricted by any laws. But apparently educating, through advertising, about this truth is not allowed.”

The ad “9 Months, that is the amount of time the government say it is legal to have an abortion. Abortion. Have we gone too far? “has been running for two years and one complaint has been received. The ad is speaking solely to the legal status of abortion in Canada, yet ASC wanted the ads to include various medical guidelines. Women will be interested to note that according to ASC women may not be assured an abortion simply upon request particularly after the first trimester.

In the appeal ruling, Ad standards was silent on many of the grounds for appeal issues raised by Edmonton Prolife. In particular the issue of competing interests. “Council did not do its due diligence in looking for “competing interest”. The complainant in the case is an activist in the “pro choice” movement and clearly has a “competing interest”.

The ASC, a self-regulating body of Canada’s advertising industry, wants to appear to be the gatekeeper for consumers, to make sure we are receiving the truth. Their website states

“ASC is the industry body committed to creating and maintaining community confidence in advertising.”

Confidence? The very media organizations that the Ad Standard represents have written numerous articles deriding the Ad standard council’s prior decisions against similar ads. When your own membership questions your integrity, the confidence that the general public has in the ASC is compromised. When ASC calls facts deceptions, the authority of the ASC to be keeper of all that is “truthful, fair and accurate” in advertising rings hollow to many.

It is completely mind boggling for Edmonton Prolife to be held to the ruling of a self-regulating, unnamed complaints panel of anonymous people who can claim anything they want, without providing a shred of documentation. Yet when Edmonton Prolife, provides documentation, including government statistics, and legal rulings, those facts are dismissed as false, misleading and inaccurate.

Prolife groups and their messages of facts and truth are being censored, that is the bottom line.

For more information, contact Corry Morcos at 780-455-5249 or Edmonton Prolife at 780-425-1637

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My role in long ago abortion still haunts me

A recent edition of the Knights of Columbus magazine Columbia, featured an article entitled ‘Reclaiming Fatherhood’. It dealt with men and abortion. This struck a chord with me because I am affected personally by abortion.

In 1971, my girlfriend became pregnant with our baby. We were both seventeen years of age. She wanted to get married and have the baby. Not me, I was a goodtime Charlie. There were parties to attend, beers to drink, drunken choruses to sing. The prospect of fatherhood would have put a damper on the good times and so I began pressuring my girlfriend to have an abortion.

It worked to my advantage that there were many clairvoyants and crystal ball gazers who predicted a life of dire poverty, welfare and lost opportunities, if my girlfriend made the mistake of having the baby. They told us that if we married at seventeen, I would be relegated to low paying and dead-end jobs forever and a day. I would never reach my potential! That was the conventional wisdom. I remember it well.

Granted, the message scared me, but it also gave me ammunition to pressure my girlfriend to abort our baby. The underlying desire to protect hedonism was a powerful motivation. It was so easy to solve ‘our problem.’ The developing child simply had to die.

Of course, I didn’t couch the reality of abortion in such brutally blunt terms. In fact I stopped thinking or referring to our “problem” as a baby and start talking in terms of “it”, ‘potential life’ and a ‘blob of tissue.’ It was necessary to remove the developing child from her humanity. It worked. My pressure on my girlfriend to abort our baby was intensified until, with nobody affirming the life she carried, she submitted to the hands of an abortionist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton in December of 1971.

On the surface I was glad to have our “problem” solved and cracked another beer to celebrate the occasion. But something deep inside me did not sit right with what was done to solve our problem. The abortion did not solve “our problem” — it created new ones.

Phrases like ‘blobs of tissue’ grated against my conscience. Even at seventeen years of age, I knew they were lies. Unfortunately for this Good-time Charlie, I knew better.

During the 1960s, before abortion became a fashionable social issue, my father kept a complete TimeLife book series in his bookcase. One book was entitled Growth. It was published in 1965 and contained very early prenatal photography by Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson, dating back to 1957. Using an endoscope, and other methods, Nilsson captured stunning imagery of life developing within the womb. His photographs originally were made famous in a book entitled A Child is Born, but they also appeared in our TimeLife book.

My strategy to cope with advocating my own child’s death was simple: Deny, deny, deny. This approach worked for most of the next decade.

I became the Director of Family and Community Support Services for two Alberta communities. In both communities I referred couples in crisis pregnancies to the nearest Planned Parenthood affiliate and even invited that vile organization into my communities to promote themselves and their so-called “services.”

Eventually my conscience would be suppressed no more. A Dark Night of the Soul -- to borrow a phrase from St. John of the Cross -- occurred in which my first inklings of God’s conviction stabbed me like a knife. Facing the awful fact that I was pivotal in the killing of my first child brought great grief and internal mortification. It involved, in part, acceptance and confession of my terrible sin. It involved penance, and openness to God’s leading and illumination in my life. A long and painful journey of purgation before God continues to this day, although the dynamics changed throughout the past thirty-seven years.

I have been forgiven of my terrible sin, but the journey toward God continues with slow purging of my imperfections and sinful human nature. Still, my terrible sin is the single biggest regret of my life.

Fathers of aborted children are, by and large, forgotten in public discussions of abortion. The Columbia magazine article “Reclaiming Fatherhood” brought this out powerfully. Organizations like Silent No More have given post-abortive women a way to express their sorrow and regret. But thousands of men of aborted children face trauma and grief too.

Last year, the U.S. based National Office of Post Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, the Knights of Columbus, the Archdiocese of San Francisco sponsored the first international conference for male post-abortion trauma. Good for them. It’s needed so badly.

Abortion is a tragedy on so many levels. I consider it to be a great moral poverty of the age in which we live. Forgiveness and healing for men and women hurt by abortion can help to lessen its effects. Abortion’s negative influence on society will require a cultural reversal, or face God’s judgment. All we can do for the millions of aborted children is to commit them to our Lord’s tender care, and pray for God’s forgiveness of us and a twisted time such as this one.

Mark Pickup

The above blog also appears in the August 25th 2008 edition of Canada’s Western Catholic Reporter under the title “ABORTION CAN THROW MEN INTO TURMOIL TOO: My role in long ago abortion continues to haunt me”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lessons of time

To read Mark Pickup's latest blog "Lessons of time", go to http://markpickup.blogspot.com