“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, May 18, 2012


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I was asked to give a short message to over a thousand people gathered in front of Alberta's legislature (Canada) for the annual March for Life. Below is the substance of that message.

Mark Davis Pickup
May 18th 2012

To value every human life from conception to natural death – and every state and stage between those two points – is what it means to be truly pro-Life. It is the ideal behind the concept of universal human rights. That’s what the word “universal” means. The right to life is the highest human right. If the right to life is not guaranteed and protected then all other rights become arbitrary and uncertain. They can be taken away with the stroke of a legislative pen. 

That’s why it’s so important that you are here today. If you won’t take time out of your busy schedules to make a statement for life’s value for vulnerable humanity like the unborn or flawed people like me then pray tell, who will?

I hear talk of death with dignity for the terminally and chronically ill and the disabled. Dying with dignity is not achieved by injecting poison into a person’s blood stream when they are at their lowest point or withholding food and water from them. That is not dignity, that is abandonment of a most profound nature. Dying with dignity is not an event, it is a process. It is the end result of having lived with dignity.

People who espouse euthanasia or assisted suicide throw around the phrase "quality of life". They see a disability and say they wouldn’t want to live like that. So what! I don’t want to live like this either [in an electric wheelchair] but that does not mean I’m better off dead. After more than 28 years with degenerative multiple sclerosis I have come to understand that quality of life changes with time. When I was 30 years old what gave my life quality was to be active and athletic and to have an upwardly mobile career. If you would have told me that my future would be in an electric wheelchair with only one limb unaffected by disease I would have said there is no quality of life in that kind of existence.  Well, now I am 59 years of age and in an electric wheelchair. My life has quality. Why? My definition of quality of life changed. What gives my life quality today is love: To love and to be loved.
You see, during my darkest times when I was sinking beneath the wave of my circumstances, my wife LaRee held me up as valuable – even when I lost sight of my own value. She loved me even when I was not very lovable. She walked with me through my deepest grief and anguish (just as she has done with so many other people). The old Mark was gone as surely as if he had died, but she encouraged a new Mark to emerge from the shadows of grief and be as vital as the old Mark.

I have five grandchildren who love me and I love them. They bring LaRee and me so much joy. If I had opted for assisted suicide when I was at my lowest point during my mid-thirties, l would have missed it.  You see, we do not know what blessings tomorrow may bring.

I want to thank you again for coming out today. You have not forgotten the weakest and most vulnerable whether they are the unborn, the sick or the disabled. You are our friends and a world that has abandoned the sanctity of human life ethic: We need as many friends as we can get. Please do not tire or grow weary of participating events like this. You never know whose heart you have changed (even the hearts of politicians who are squirreled away in the safety of the building behind me).

Always keep close to your heart the value of every human being regardless of their ability or sentience. Every life has immeasurable worth for no other reason than they all bear the indelible image of God. 

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