“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, December 8, 2010

Christian sentenced to hang in Pakistanfor blasphemy

Read Mark Pickups latest blog "Christian sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy". Go to http://markpickup.org


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Heart-ignorance of God

Read Mark Pickup's last blog "Heart ignorance of God" at http://markpickup.org

Monday, November 29, 2010

Longing for perfect love

Read Mark Pickup's latest blog, "Longing for perfect love."

Go to http://markpickup.org
The above link may not work. You may have to manually input the blog address.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pregnancy Counselling Centres are mainstreet Christianity at its best!


My friend Brad Mattes of the Life Issues Institute in Cincinnati sent me a note about Bethany Steele. Twenty-four years ago her mother found herself in a crisis pregancy. She seriously considered abortion. But through the help of a Christian crisis pregnancy center, she continued her pregnancy and placed her baby for adoption. John and Elaine Steele adopted baby Bethany into their wonderful, loving family.

When she was eighteen, Bethany wanted to meet her birth-mother. The link above chronicles that story.

Christian Pregnancy Counselling Centers can be found in cities across North America.

I co-founded one in the city of Edmonton in 1984. It is called the Pregnancy Care Centre (see their web-site at http://www.pregnancycarecentre.ca/Home/tabid/63/Default.aspx). Each year, over 1,800 women in crisis pregnacies pass through the Pregnancy Care Centre. They have discovered life-affirming alternatives and turned away from abortion. Thousands of children are alive today through the work of this agency -- and others like it. Post-abortive women have received counselling and spiritual healing. Pregnancy Care Centres are mainstreet, shoe-leather Christianity at it's best.

Churches are the backbone of support, not only financially but through providing volunteer support, outreach, and prayer.

Support Pregnancy Counselling Centres in your area.

Mark Pickup

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tribute to Dr. Mildred Jefferson (1926-2010)

Read Mark Pickup's tribute to the great American Pro-Life activist, Dr. Mildred F. Jefferson. Go to http://markpickup.org


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Being pro-Life means more than opposing abortion

Being pro-Life is so much more than being anti-abortion. Being truly pro-Life pro-Life means being concerned for every human life at every stage, stage and eventuality -- especially in the face of increasingly aggressive cultural forces tat say otherwise. It not only means opposing the destruction of all human life but also providing constructive alternatives that uphold human life.

Critics of the pro-Life movement often accuse pro-lifers of only being concerned about saving unborn babies. This is not true, and I think the accusers know it -- or they are woefully uninformed about the pro-Life movement.

For years I've worked with pro-Life groups across North America; I have encountered
an extensive network of programs and services offering life-affirming alternatives to women in crisis pregnancies. Pro-Life activists work in partnership with local crisis pregnancy centres and churches to provide support and inclusion for women and their babies.

Many crisis pregnancy centres offer crucial life skills training to young mothers, employment assistance in concert with existing community resources, or help women to get educational upgrading and/or further education. Other groups work with adoption agencies if women in crisis pregnancies wish to take this option.

Many pro-Life groups have established counselling services for post-abortive women.

These are essential pro-Life responses in a era when abortion on demand is widely accepted.

But things must not end there and they have not.

The pro-Life movement has evolved over the decades from solely trying to stop abortion to actively working to check the acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide. This is necessary because, with the passage of time, western society has hardened its attitudes toward vulnerable, inconvenient or unwanted human life.

The thought of assisting the suicides of defeated people has gone from being unthinkable to acceptable to legislatively supported in places like Oregon and Washington state. Advocates of euthanasia and assisted suicide are vociferously lobbying in other jurisdictions for laws that allow killing of terminally and chronically ill people.

Even without legislation, euthanasia and infanticide of incurably ill and profoundly disabled newborns and adults are being quietly practised in hospitals across North America. It's often a subtle practice cloaked in nuances of health care decision making and cryptic medical terminology designed to convince families and caregivers to allow people with terminal or chronic illnesses or serious disabilities to be euthanized.

What is the usual method of killing? Withholding nutrition (food) and hydration (water). Sadly, in certain bioethical and medical circles, imperfect or inconvenient human life has become as cheap as grass clippings.

Many pro-Life groups are quickly expanding their work to respond to this new assault against vulnerable humanity. They must shift gears to become proactive and encourage community based strategies to educate people about caring for loved ones who acquire disabilities of diseases.

This may involve promoting or establishing community faith-based hospices, special supports for parents expecting a disabled child or befriending families where early onset of dementia has been diagnosed in a parent or spouse. New pro-Life responses should involve development or coordination of respite services for primary caregivers of profoundly disabled people.*

[Sometimes a proper response to such families may be as simple and practical as help with yard work, providing transportation to and from medical appointments, or helping them research where to access services and advocacy when needed.]

Society's aversion to disability and the myth that death is preferable to disability must be challenged at every turn. It must be challenged because it is a lie.

The pro-Life movement must promote a new cultural paradigm that sees people with disabilities as indispensable to community life. We must get the message out that people with disabilities have unique gifts to bring to the table of human experience. Even those who are comatose or unresponsive unknowingly call their caregivers and community to a higher standard of love.

Mark Pickup
*My wife's experience with abortion, post-abortion grief and living for 26-plus years with my degenerative multiple sclerosis, as well as helping aged family members with end of life care has equipped her with a heart and understanding for appropriate and well-rounded community pro-Life responses. This blog entry is largely based upon her insights.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Listen to Mark Pickup's 30 minute address about Christian suffering delivered to Canada's Catholic Organization on Life and Family. Go to http://markpickup.org


Sunday, August 15, 2010

See Mark Pickup's latest blog "One woman's pro-Life message for a time such as this".

Go to http://markpickup.org


Friday, July 23, 2010

Squandering what our soldiers won

Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "Squandering what our soldiers won" at http://markpickup.or


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shame on the MS Society

Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "Shame on the MS Society" at http://markpickup.org

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Read Mark Pickup's latest post "The safety of Catholic hospitals". Go to http://markpickup.org

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A beautiful commercial showing prenatal development

Apple iPad and Pampers have combined to produce the most beautiful life-affirming commercial. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulV5LDwdn8Y&feature=player_embedded

Lovingly produced for expectant parents, it shows prenatal development in its proper context: The youngest members of the Human Family. Unfortunately I fear that when abortion advocates see it they will become enraged and lobby these companies to drop the advertisement. In order for the so-called pro-Choice position to prevail, they must keep the culture ignorant about what the choice is really about. It's losing position.

With the advent of 3&4D ultrasound that vividly shows photograph-like images of the unborn child, and the proliferation of new communications, the "Pro-Choice movement" has been reduced to worn out slogans, shouting down all opposition and character assassination. Science and logic are on the pro-Life side.

I still believe that if people are give real information about prenatal life, they will turn away from abortion to solve a social problem. A great and terrible day will come in the not so distant future when North American culture will awaken to what we have done to more than 40-million preborn children. National consciences will be pierced by the blood of those children. Those people whose consciences have not been completely seared will ask "What have we done!" -- and the abortion ideologues will scurry for dark places to hide.

I believe our culture will turn to people who have stood up for the sanctity, dignity and equality of all human life in search for a way back. Individual and national repentance can still lead to a revival of the ancient western moral code, and the previous Christian civilization we have largely rejected.

Perhaps we are not yet beyond the Almighty's forgiveness.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cardinal Virtues & the Pursuit of Perfection

Read guest blog entry by Fr. Wellington Santana "Cardinal Virtues & The Pursuit of Perfection" at http://markPickup.org

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Internal Sin

Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "My Internal Sin" at http://markpickup.org

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pro-Life conferences

This weekend, May 8th, Alberta Pro-Life Association is having their conference at King's University-College (9125-50 Street)in Edmonton Alberta. My wife LaRee and I will make a presentation "Love Lost; Love Regained" in which we will chronicle and reflect on our experience, as a couple, with abortion and degenerative multiple sclerosis. Canadian national TV host, author and newspaper columnist, Michael Coren will deliver the keynote address to the conference banquet on being a pro-Life journalist.

People can register for the full conference $60., the banquet only $45. Accommodations are available at King's University College or hotels in the southeast of Edmonton. You can register online at www.albertaprolife.com or by long distance call toll free 1-877-880-5433. Edmonton area registrations can be made by calling (780) 421-7747. For more information about Alberta Pro-Life convention, go to http://www.albertaprolife.com/


American readers note that LaRee and Mark Pickup will give the keynote address to the 2010 U.S. National Right to Life Prayer Breakfast in Pittsburgh on June 25th. For more information or to register for this years U.S. national Right to Life conference, go to their website at http://stoptheabortionagenda.com/convention/)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Language Police

Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "The Language Police" at http://markpickup.org

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today is the tomorrow I feared yesterday

Since becoming a grandparent I have been annoying friends with pictures of my grandchildren. In fact, at one point I sent so many photos by email to my friend Bob Schindler (father of Terri Schiavo) the sheer volume crashed his computer! After apologizing profusely, I decided to take the hint and scale back on my grandfatherly email boasting.

Yes, being a grandparent is proving to be one of the best and happiest phases of my life and that brings me to the point of this short blog.

I have had an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis for 26 years. In the early years
after being diagnosed, I was often affected by a series of terrifying roller coaster rides of MS attacks. I would go to bed at night not knowing what function I would wake up with or without. It was horrible! At times it was only the very real presence of Christ in my life and the love of my family that sustained me.

If I had despaired of life, and if assisted suicide had been available (like in Oregon and Washington state), and if I had taken that option, ... look what I would have missed! My five grandchildren bring me unspeakable joy and happiness.

My annoying people with emailed pictures of my grandchildren is really just another way for me to say I am able to celebrate life in all its stages, phases and eventualities despite a disease that is slowly destroying me. My disease and electric wheelchair can not take away my joy.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide acceptance is often fuelled by fear of the future. But today is the tomorrow I feared yesterday. My todays are filled with the only thing that ultimately matters in life: love.

Euthanasia not only kills people it kills the potential to love and be loved.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We All Matter

Read Mark Pickup's lastest blog "We All Matter" at http://markpickup.org

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baby Isaiah James May (October 24, 2009-March 11th 2010)

On March 11th, baby Isaiah James May died in the arms of his parents, Isaac and Rebecka May, at Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital. He was surrounded by aunts, uncles and grandparents.

You may remember that baby Isaiah was born October 24th 2009 in a small Alberta town after a difficult 40 hour labour. His brain was oxygen deprived because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Baby Isaiah was air lifted to the Stollery hospital in Edmonton. He was ventilator dependent throughout his short life and never emerged from a coma. You can read more details in previous blog entries.

The hospital told told Isaac and Rebecka their baby was brain dead. It must have been a terrible shock. At one point, the Mays were notified by official letter on hospital letterhead that baby Isaiah would be removed from his ventilator on January 20th 2010. The Mays wanted to give Isaiah 90 more days to see if he would improve but the hospital wouldn't budge. The Mays went to court to try and get the three months for Isaiah.

Isaac and Rebecka sought an independent second, third and fourth medical opinions of baby Isaiah's prognosis. They overturn every stone of possibility to give their baby a chance. It was only when Isaiah's hopeless situation became clearly evident with independent medical input kindly presented to them, did they finally agree to let Isaiah's respirator be turned off.

As I write this blog, Rebecka and Isaac are at their home planning baby Isaiah's funeral. Please lift up this beautiful and courageous couple in prayer.

Good night baby Isaiah, good night.

Mark Pickup

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mark Pickup's latest blog

Read the latest blog by Mark Pickup about the seminar "SEARCHING FOR MEANING IN SUFFERING: A Christian perspective" at http://markpickup.org

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The tyranny of Canada's socialized healthcare

Danny Williams (60) is a self-made man. He was a multi-millionaire long before becoming Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Williams loves Newfoundland. He only takes a salary of one dollar a year as Premier. Under William's leadership, Newfoundland has transformed from a a depressed have-not province to an emerging place of promise -- thanks, in part, to well placed off-shore oil and gas. He has compassion and toughness in defending the rights of Newfoundland.

Last year Williams developed heart disease. He decided to seek heart surgery in the U.S. at his own expense (leaving the the provincial loonie he's paid annually in his pocket.*)

Friends of Medicare, the liberal Canadian media, and other defenders of Canada's universal healthcare system were outraged that Danny Williams did not patiently wait for his turn to have surgery in Canada. With the usual shrill indignation of Canada's socialist elites, they said Williams had some explaining to do when he got back to Canada! No he didn't.

I did not think he had any explaining to do whatsoever. Surely a man can spend his own money the way he wants! How are his decisions about his money anybody's business but his own?

Recuperating at his Florida condominium, Danny Williams was interviewed by Canadian media. "I was warned by my staff that this could be an issue," Williams said. "But this is my heart. It's my health and it's my choice." In short, Danny Williams thumbed his nose at his socialist critics. Good for you Mr. Williams, good for you.

The very media and government elites who tout "choice" when it comes to abortion decry a man's "choice" when it comes to his own life.

I can imagine if Obamacare becomes law, Obama would eventually appoint a Czar to oversee it and gradually strip away the private option to ensure there are no queue jumpers, no two tier healthcare -- one for the rich and another for ordinary people.

In the end, Americans could find themselves with a tyranny of socialized medicine -- just like Canada. Beware of the path Barack Obama and the Democrats take America!Does America really want Canadian style healthcare with its crippling debt by government mismanagement resulting in long lines waiting for necessary surgery, hospital bed closures and cutbacks in diagnostic imaging. Yet abortion on demand is funded -- unscrutinized and no questions asked -- regardless of whether taxpayers object? Think long and hard my dear American friends. Think long and hard.

Think of Danny Williams and imagine a place where a man's own money is up for public debate.

Mark Pickup

*The Canadian dollar coin bears the image of a loon. It's known as the loonie.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A reasonable request for Baby Isaiah -- and his parents

The case of baby Isaiah will be heard again today in an Edmonton (Canada) courtroom. As you may know, Baby Isaiah May was born October 24th 2009 after a difficult 40 hour labour. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his throat cutting off oxygen to his brain. He was born brain-damaged and has been in a coma and respirator dependent since then. Doctors in charge of his care want to remove the respirator while his parents want 90 days more to see if their baby will improve. They sought a court injunction to keep the respirator in place.

Justice Michelle Crighton has asked for the testimony of two medical specialty perspectives: An independent neonatologist and a independent pediatric neurologist.

Regardless of Baby Isaiah's prospects, I pray that Justice Crighton will do the compassionate thing and grant the 90 day window for Baby Isaiah to be on the respirator. Not only will it give an opportunity for him to improve, but it will give a needed opportunity for his young parents to prepare themselves for either a special needs baby or prepare for his death.

Baby Isaiah is not the only person requiring care. Ninety days is necessary, reasonable and compassionate for all parties involved. I hope Justice Crighton understands this and grants the 90 day repreive the May family has requested and need.

Mark Pickup

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trusting God

Below is the second part of LaRee Pickup's presentation (see previous entry for part one).

We needed a house that would allow Mark to move about without a struggle, a home that would take us far into this disease – and further if necessary. Where the MS would take us, we did not know. We had to trust God.

My prayer was two-sided. I always had a deep longing for permanence, a place to call home. As a child I was moved from pillar to post (37 times throughout Canada). Every year I attended a new school; I didn’t want my children living like gypsies. There was nothing I wanted more than a stable HOME, a permanent address and an apple tree in the back yard. The Lord knew this had been my deepest wish.

And so, in 1987, God answered a need and a wish. He provided us with a wheelchair accessible home in Beaumont, Alberta, just down the hill from the Catholic church. During difficult times of MS attacks Mark seemed to find solace sitting near the apple tree and looking up the hill at the old church and listening to the sound of its bell. It seemed to draw his heart closer to God.

Our home has become a meeting place for family occasions.

Every August we gather in the backyard to pick apples from the tree. What a special blessing God has given to me! All I needed to do was trust Him. God enveloped me with His love in such a way that I don’t need a Superman husband. (I must admit though, when I hear a noise in the night, I send Mark in his electric wheelchair whirring into the darkness swinging a cane to protect us from the bogeyman.) What more could I ask for?

I am convinced that the Lord has allowed the MS to continue so that we grow spiritually and learn to depend upon him completely.

Do you want to know something else? I think we’re going to have a bumper-crop of apples this year.

I am convinced that love is the only thing that really matters.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The pain of watching a loved-one degenerate

Recently my wife LaRee were in the Canadian province of Manitoba to deliver an address about suffering. I delivered the perspective of someone with a degenerative, incurable disease. She gave the perspective of a loved-one watching the degeneration occur. Below is part of her address. More will follow in the coming days:



Mark lives with the real symptoms of aggressive, degenerative multiple sclerosis, which have their limits. I am left to witness it all, ― and imagine. Imagination has no limits. That is why I believe it is easier to be than to watch.

Despite countless trials love has prevailed. But love is like the two sides of a precious coin. The two sides of love are this: It is life’s greatest ecstasy but also the cause of life’s greatest agonies and anguish.

The 19th Century writer, Victor Hugo said, “To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. To love is a consummation.” -- And so it is.

Yet as a wife, mother and now a grandmother, I want more, and I ask further.

I want to protect those I love from pain, emotional hurts, disappointments, and even life, as it ends, — but I cannot. So often I sat at the bedside of suffering loved-ones and prayed, “Lord give me their pain” – as though there is some quota of suffering to be filled which I can bargain over with God. There is not.

Romantic love begins with a glance and a hello and ends in tears of goodbye at life’s conclusion and separation – or it should. Life begins with the agony of childbirth but is quickly forgotten by the power of love. Such is the love for a mother for her children.

When Mark and I married, he was so healthy and active. For the first eleven years of marriage he was a super-achiever not only in his career but with family life. After being diagnosed with MS, his career stalled and he was often too sick to participate in family activities. Our children were 7 and 5 when Mark was diagnosed with MS. They had difficulty understanding why their Dad could not play and be active like he used to be.

At the time that Mark was diagnosed, I didn’t even know what MS was. I had no idea of the impact it would have on our future. And so I began to research the medical literature and even visited a few auxiliary hospitals to see if I could pick out the people with MS. I noticed the canes, the crutches, the wheelchairs and scooters, the van contraptions and curb cuts. Multiple sclerosis meant disability! I looked into the faces of loved-ones of patients with MS and wondered if I could face the heart-break and hurt.

My initial reaction was anger. It was irrational but my immediate response was anger. How could Mark do this to me? How dare he get sick!

He was supposed to be the strong one. I was the weak one. “Damn you!” I thought. If one of us was to get sick, it should be me. I could cope better with disease. Mark was the one with the most energy. I could accept this much more easily if I was the sick one. I could just slink away from the world, it would be okay. I was angry, sad, and bitter but most of all,... I was afraid.

I wanted to correct the fate God allowed by trying to convince Him he made a mistake. Mark could raise the children, remarry, and go on with life.
“I can’t do this!” I cried. “I cannot sit back and watch this Lord.” I pleaded with God to give me the MS.

Mark’s faith was stronger than mine, his personality stronger than mine, his body was stronger, his upbringing stronger. His ability to make a living was better than mine. Couldn’t God see that?! I was so angry with Mark and GOD! I felt cornered and so let down.

Mark’s MS started changing him. I began to gauge the distance between benches in shopping malls when we went shopping in case he needed to sit with exhaustion. I started fearing places with crowds. He might get impatient and I would see that look of frustration on his face.

Then one afternoon I looked on in horror as my husband began to crawl up the stairs in our bi-level house so he could go to the bathroom. I realized our life had changed and I had to make some decisions. The first decision I had to make was whether I was prepared to stay in the marriage.

Many times Satan told me that there was an easier way out. “You’re still young. The kids would get over it,” He whispered over my shoulder. “You can start over like many other women after divorce.” The temptation continued: “You can get help from other family members. They will understand.” Even people at my work asked why I was staying with Mark. (?)

It did not take long to realize I needed to get serious with God and ask for his hand if I was going to jump on the wild MS rollercoaster ride. My first prayer was to ask for a wheelchair accessible home so we could begin our new life TOGETHER: God, Mark and me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Children viewed as punishment corrupts human hearts

In 1994, Mother Teresa was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying:

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters." [My emphasis added.]

Fourteen years later, confirming Mother Teresa's assertion that abortion fosters anti-child hostility, Barack Obama said "If [my daughters] make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." A mentality that views inconvenient babies as punishment is common in 21st Century North America. It is a form of internal violence that can corrupt the human heart at a most primal level.

No baby should be ever be viewed as punishment or unworthy of love, nurture, or burdonsome -- regardless of the the circumstances revolving around how or when they were conceived. Every life should be viewed as a gift and valuable.

If North America is as enlightened as they believe, then surely we have room for every child, not just those who are convenient.

Which view of children do you want? Mother Teresa's inclusive value of all children or Barack Obama's selective value given to only some children?

Both Mother Teresa and Barack Obama received Nobel Peace Prizes. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 after more than 30 years working with the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Obama received his Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009, after a mere 9 months in the White House for his vast accomplishments, doing, -- well, er, not much. Who deserved the Nobel Prize more: Mother Teresa or B.O.?

The greatest defender of peace is the person who defends the weakest, the most vulnerable, the unwanted, the speechless, the defenseless -- always and everywhere.

Children as punishment ... what a despicable attitude.

Mark Pickup

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Show your support for Baby Isaiah and his parents!

See - http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Baby+Isaiah+stays+life+support/2490599/story.html
"Baby Isaiah stays on life support for now", Edmonton Journal, 27 January 2010.

As you read in my last blog (see below), Canadian parents Isaac and Rebecka May of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, are in the throes of a life and death battle for their three month old baby Isaiah James. He was born oxygen deprived and is ventilator dependent. Doctors at the Stollery Children's Hospital in the provincial Capital city of Edmonton want to turn off Baby Isaiah's respirator which will result in his death. Rebecka and Isaac want 90 days more to see what progress Isaiah will make. Let's be clear, they are willing to accept the terrible prospect no parent wants to face. They simply want to exhaust all possibilities their baby might be able to live. And so they went to court to get an injunction to allow Baby Isaiah 90 more days. That's not asking too much; if they must live for the rest of their lives having lost Baby Isaiah, let them have the consolation that every avenue and chance -- however remote -- was given to their little one.

Yesterday, Court of Queen's Bench judge Michelle Chrighton asked for more expert medical opinions about Baby Isaiah's case and gave the May's lawyer until February 19th to find a pediatric neurologist to lend an opinion about Isaiah along with an indepenent neonatologist Dr. Richard Taylor.

Rebecka and Isaac established a Facebook page for Baby Isaiah called "Prayers for Isaiah". More than 25 thousand people of good will have become members offering their prayers and encouragement to the Mays. I encourage readers of this blog to do the same (and invite their friends to send notes of encouragement). Offer moral support to this courage young couple fighting for their baby Isaiah James May. Let's double that number and show the Mays that 50,000 of their closest friends stand in solidarity with them!

Regardless of how things turn out, I want people of good will everywhere to send a short note to the Mays and let them know the world stands with them in their struggle. If Isaac and Rebecka must face the death of their baby boy, we stand with them in their grief. If Baby Isaiah is to live, we stand with this family in their joy regardless of any special needs he may have. Where there is life, there is hope.

You can also send a short letter or card of support to: Rebecka and Isaac Mays, c/o Ronald McDonald House, 7726-107 Street, Northwest, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 4K3.

Alert all your friends, and thank you.

Mark Pickup

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The case of Baby Isaiah, and what you can do.

Baby Isaiah James May was born on October 24th 2009 after a 40 hour labour. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his throat, depriving his brain of oxygen. Baby Isaiah was air-lifted to the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Baby Isaiah was put on a ventilator and his treating physician declared him brain dead. A letter was sent to to his parents telling them baby Isaiah's respirator would be turned off at 2:00 pm on January 20th 2010. This would result in Isaiah's dead by suffocation. His parents, Rebecka and Isaac May, were stunned. They decided to fight the medical decision and hired a lawyer to get an injunction to stop the action by the Stollery Children's' Hospital and give their baby 90 more days to see if he will improve. It's good.


Apparently nobody told baby Isaiah he's brain dead. The little fighter is making progress -- albeit painfully slow -- but each day he does something new. He has gained weight, he responds to pain, he moves his limbs, responds to pain, occasionally takes a breath over the respirator. His mom Rebecka says she sees new things in her baby every day. Despite this, the hospital is intend on removing baby Isaiah's respirator. Rebecka and Isaac May sent their lawyer to court to press their case for another 3 months.

The judge stopped the hospital from removing Isaiah's respirator and gave the parents' lawyer until January 27th to find alternate expert opinion to counter the treating physician's opinion that further treatment is futile.

I sent out an appeal across North America for names of another neonatologist to counter the view that Isaiah's position is hopeless. Names started coming in and I forwarded them to the family's lawyer. She will provide the medical records of Isaiah along with video of him, and ask for their assessments.


The case of baby Isaiah is gathering attention from around North America. I was contacted by a New York radio talk show, as well as other media from across North America. Then American Life League President Judie Brown decided to feature the case of Baby Isaiah in her commentary on Monday, January 25th. Her commentaries have an international following; she is a member of the Pontifical Council on Life and Family.

If the Alberta court sides with the Edmonton hospital's stated intent to kill baby Isaiah, North America will be watching. Good. There has been too much infanticide and euthanasia happening quietly in hospitals across North America. It's time the hush stops! We need to protect disabled and vulnerable people not kill them. If the court sides with killing baby Isaiah, and against his loving parents, it will be time to ask ourselves: What kind of people have we become!?

Rebecka and Isaac May are asking for 90 days to see if Isaiah makes progress. Is that asking too much?! Some people have brought up the expense as reason not to grant a 90 day reprieve for Isaiah. After all, they say, "Alberta's Health Care system is in financial trouble." That's a selective financial concern. We pay for thousands of abortions each year, no questions asked. A woman can have an abortion for any reason what so ever, or no reason at all. She doesn't even need a doctor's referral. Just call up the abortion clinic and make an appointment. She can have as many abortions as she wants. It's all covered at taxpayers' expense. Millions upon millions of taxpayers' dollars are spent each year for abortion on demand! Don't tell me we can't afford to care for a sick baby boy by the name of Isaiah James May.

Medicine and health care are supposed to be life affirming not life denying. Remember, history ultimately judges societies based upon how they treated their weakest and most vulnerable people.


I ask readers of this blog to contact the Stollery Children's Hospital to let them know you expect that world class facility to do the right thing and give baby Isaiah May 90 more days to improve before removing his respirator. That's not asking too much of the hospital. Call the hospital at (780)342-8080. Email the treating physician Dr. Ernest Phillipos at ernest.phillipos@albertahealthservices.ca Ask him to give baby Isaiah 90 more days on a respirator as his parents requested. Copy your email to Alberta's health minister at health.minister@gov.ab.ca

Thank you.

Mark Pickup

Also see baby Isaiah's facebook. Go to Facebook and type "prayers for Isaiah". For more background see http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/familyhealth/article/753685--parents-fight-to-keep-newborn-on-life-support

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three pillars of truth for secular minds

Many people within the great pro-Life cause have wondered how they can win over or attract people with non-religious, secular mindsets. After all, the pro-Life movement is largely peopled with Christians. It's a tough prospect but not impossible for those secularists who are open-minded.

In as far as I can determine, the pro-Life position must be presented to the secularist on the basis of three pillars of truth which they can accept(in as much as they will accept the idea of Objective truth):

The secularist must be persuaded on the premise of universal human rights and fostering human inclusion. In order for rights to be universal they must include all human life or they are not universal, but selective. This is the first pillar of truth to present to the secularist. Use the slogan "All human rights for all humans". Secularists love slogans, it gives the impression they've thought an issue throught and have cleverly boiled it down to a few words.

We must establish very early the biological fact that life reproduced sexually begins at conception. This is not opinion or metaphysical contention ― it is plain experimental evidence. This is a critical point for people to understand. It is the second pillar of truth for the secularist. Use the slogan "Human rights begin when human life begins."

At this point the secularist is apt object and say, “Surely you’re not asking that an embryo should have the same rights as a baby or a women!?” Well, yes, that’s what we are proposing. Anything less is sophistry and bigotry.

This concept is foreign to modern sensibilities. Remember, it’s been over 40 years of abortion on demand in Canada and 37 years since Roe v Wade in America. The philosophy of “Choice” is deeply ingrained into the public mindset as the highest of ideals. Life advocates must patiently present the ethical shift toward always choosing life under every circumstance and place ... as though it is a new and revolutionary moral paradigm shift. And to many secular ears and hearts, the idea of always choose life is a new paradigm. Remember, many secularists do not view every life as valuable or worthy of living.

The choice of always choosing life must be presented on a foundation of love and inclusion. Life advocates must speak in terms of universal human rights, within the human family, community, inclusion, acceptance of disability and extreme age as enriching our collective human experience not detracting from it.

We can appeal to great human rights documents such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The American Declaration of Independence and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They all place the Right to Life first, and rightly so. Without the Right to Life guaranteed, all other rights become arbitrary and uncertain. This is the third pillar of truth we present to the secularist.

The inherent problem with appealing to secularists about Life issues is that there is no consensus of objective truth to which we can appeal. A secularist may agree on one or even two of the pillars of truth but when the third is presented they are apt to see they are being asked to place truth over agenda and abandon previous held views. They may have a caricature of "pro-Lifers" as shrill and unreasonably rigid. Their thinking is not linear or logical. Their conclusions are often driven by appealing agendas or unstable feelings.

Remember these are people whose truth is relative, vague and situational. The secularist is motivated by self-interest and personal autonomy more than the Common Good.

It is into this environment that we re-introduce love as the highest ideal rather than "Choice". We re-introduce other-centered love that always gives life and lives life. Life advocates must lovingly promote the giving and living of life in all its eventualities and all its circumstances. To do this is to celebrate love. To take away or deny life – whether it be one moment after conception or the senile old person in a nursing home, or the anguished sufferer of a terminal or chronic disease, is the antithesis of love.

Life advocates must present this extravagant and expensive love as a new ethos and the bedrock for a Culture of life and inclusion for everyone to enjoy from conception to natural death.

Mark Pickup

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This song is for you, far away

Read Mark Pickup's latest blog "This song is for you, far away" see http://markpickup.org