“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, June 15, 2013


Mark Davis Pickup
My last post was under the title REFLECTIONS ON THE DEATH OF CANADA'S ABORTION CHAMPION. It was about Henry Morgentaler and contained a link to my recent column for Canada's Western Catholic Reporter newspaper. I received the following note from a man I will identify by his last initial: Mr. K. He wrote --

Hi Pickup, 

I heard you had aborted your child and that you were a big supporter of Planned Parenthood.  Now you are writing all this stuff in the catholic newspaper.  Do you take the reader for a fool?
Mr. K is right. Forty-two years ago I got my girlfriend pregnant and pressured her to have an abortion. She reluctantly succumbed to my pressure and emotional abandonment. It broke her heart and eventually it broke mine too. I will take that grief to my grave.

Mr. K the accuser is also right about my support for Planned Parenthood's terrible work. More than thirty years ago, as Director of Family and Community Support Services for two Alberta municipalities, I promoted Planned Parenthood affiliates and even invited them to make presentations in my communities.  
Later when I became a Christian, I confessed the sin of murdering my unborn child. I repented of my sin and repudiated my earlier support of Planned Parenthood. Since then, much of my life has been an act of penance. I will speak about the poverty of abortion (and euthanasia) to anyone who will listen.

God has forgiven me but the Mr. K's of this world have not. They are  quick to remind me of my old sin and think because of that I have no right  to speak or write about the subject of abortion and nobody but a fool would read my "stuff."
Mr. K's cynical comment is not the first time I have heard this sort of criticism.  It's indicative of a world view that makes no room for repentance and forgiveness. The crooked finger of accusation is always ready and quick to point in condemnation. The culture of death sees people like me as turn-coats and betrayers.
Yes, Mr. K., I am a sinner. I do not need you to remind me, my own conscience does that.

Happily God has forgiven me of the terrible sin of abortion (and other sins) through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ at Calvary. I have been freed from the shackles of my sin of abortion and the Mr. Ks amongst us cannot put them back on. Nice try. I will proclaim to other sinners the salvation that God has made available to all humanity, and I will warn others against the  evil of abortion that broke my heart, and killed my innocent child.

If Mr. K ever needs to be forgiven for something, he can take heart knowing that Christ's sacrifice can do the same for him.

Mark Davis Pickup

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Abortion on demand in Canada (paid for by taxpayers) has been the horrendous state of affairs for decades.  There is no other individual more responsible for this than the infamous Dr. Henry Morgentaler. 

Abortionist Henry Morgentaler
He died recently at the age of 90 years. The nation is left to clean up the bloody landscape and broken lives that have been directly and indirectly hurt by his horrible legacy (for which he received the Order of Canada). Moral corruption knows no bounds.

 There is no law in Canada to provide protection for pre-natal life at any point during pregnancy.

I wrote about the death of Dr. Henry Morgentaler in my latest column for Canada's Western Catholic Reporter. You can read it at this link


Monday, June 10, 2013


In my little corner of the world (Alberta, Canada) there is a issue raging about government cutbacks to support services for people with severe disabilities. Disabled Albertans feel threatened -- and with good reason. Many of the support services that will be cut provide personal daily care that will directly impact  the ability of disabled people to function, live in their communities and participate in society.

Heidi Janz, Ph.D.
For instance, I know a highly educated woman with severe cerebral palsy. She has so much to offer the world but needs physical support services to do it. Her name is Heidi Janz. Recently, Dr. Janz wrote a letter to the Edmonton Journal newspaper articulating what a lose of flexible supports, tailored to her needs, will mean to her. She stated:

"...this flexible support has made it possible for me  to work as a professor at the University of Alberta, travel and speak at conferences and so on. The demise of this support service will, in effect, herald the end of my active career." 

As I say, Dr. Janz has so much to give to our community but she needs some help because of cerebral palsy. She's not asking for much and it's not much to provide when we consider that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Support services to people with disabilities enables them to pursue careers, hold down jobs, go to school or volunteer in their communities. What will happen without proper levels of support? Dr. Janz states bluntly "We will again become isolated."

Is Dr. Janz exaggerating to make a point? I don't think so. People with disabilities in Canada have fought hard for more than three decades for the ideal of inclusion within society. Each gain has been hard-won. Getting flexible supports for daily living and home care are critically important to full inclusion and life with dignity.

For those of us who have fought against acceptance of assisted suicide -- falsely promoted as death with dignity -- we know that proper supports and care for people who are chronically ill or disabled are an important component in countering the superficial allure of the 'death with dignity' mindset.

Granted, there are many other aspects to living with dignity that touch on the emotional and spiritual components of the human condition ... but the practical side of life is important too. Support services may include assistance for dressing, eating, bathing, cleanliness and house-keeping, range of motion exercises, etc. Home care brings medical care to people in their homes.

What's happening to disabled people in my corner of the world is not unique. It's important that Pro-Life advocates everywhere help people with serious chronic illnesses and disabilities get and keep flexible and timely supports and care services they need. Make no mistake about it: It is an important part of successfully resisting euthanasia and assisted suicide pressures.

Life with dignity has many aspects. Life advocates must champion them all. Please work in your area to make sure they are in place.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NEWS IS SUPPOSED TO BE BALANCED (or is that a hopeless relic of the past?).

Edmonton is the provincial capital city of Alberta -- a province in Canada. A local television newscast recently aired a story that was a thinly veiled promotion of assisted suicide disguised as health news.

 A few days ago I wrote an email to the station protesting what their health reporter, Su Ling Goh, did (she was praised by her on-air colleagues).  I shared the email with a number of specialists who work in end-of-life care  across Canada.  Last evening I received an email response from one of those specialists "Jean". She is an associate professor of nursing at a major Canadian university and palliative care consultant.

Part of Jean's note is immediately below in which she suggested I post the substance of my email to the television station on this blog. I have done that with a few adaptations to make it more suitable to a blog format and you will see it beneath Jean's note.

News is supposed to be balanced and unbiased, otherwise it becomes advocacy or worse: propaganda! 

(See below)

Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for sending this piece along.  It is my hope that you sent this in its’ entirety to Global TV and cc’d Su!  In addition I hope that it’s on your Blog.  Your language skills are so amazing and everyone needs to read your work. 

May I quote some of this during my presentation to the Dementia Association?

Because of your profound disability you speak the truth with eloquence and great passion.

May God continue to bless you in speaking out against the horrors of perverse thinking in our society.

(see below)
From: Mark Pickup
Sent: Sunday, June 02, 2013 8:13 PM
Subject: Health Matters segments on assisted suicide, May 27 and 28, 2013

Reporter Su Ling Goh on set
I watched the segments about assisted suicide on “Health Matters” by reporter Su Ling Goh. She profiled the case of ALS sufferer Amy Doolittle.  Everyone was so effusive in their praise of her coverage (right down to the weather lady). The story was more a legal matter than a health matter: assisted suicide.  At the conclusion of her story about Ms. Doolittle, news anchor Gord Steinke said something to this effect Goh: “We’ll have to see if the story brings about a change.” What?  Is Goh a reporter or an advocate for a contentious and illegal cause? 

Contrary to what Gord Steinke alluded to, a reporter reports and should remain objective and neutral. Assisted suicide is illegal and other people with degenerative diseases (like me) will continue to lobby to ensure it stays that way.  Amy Doolittle had the right to the very best palliative care available – and ALS symptoms can be treated with modern specialized pain management medications and techniques – I know a number of end-of-life-care specialists who have effectively relieved ALS symptoms: Su Ling Goh did not interview any. 

Donna Wilson, University of Alberta
Goh reported that some wishful nursing professor at the University of Alberta speculated that within 10 years assisted suicide will be legal in Canada. Based on what? The federal government, and the Justice Minister have indicated no such change in law is forthcoming.

Now, some corrections to Su Ling Goh’s reporting: Sue Rodriguez was from Victoria not Toronto. Although suicide was decriminalized in 1972, that did not make it legal. Canada's Parliament recognized that imprisonment for attempting suicide was inappropriate and that suicidal people needed psychological help and counselling not jail. But that did not legalize it. Suicide is not a right. 

As late as this past October, the Canadian Parliament gave unanimous support to the idea of establishing a national suicide prevention strategy. Such a strategy should be for all Canadians not just healthy and able-bodied Canadians.

According to Su Ling Goh’s story 78% of Albertans support assisted suicide. Really? Do they support assisted suicide for everyone or just the sick, disabled and dying?  If not, is the issue really one of a "right" but culling the herd of its diseased, disabled and dying? 

Mark Davis Pickup
If the statistic Goh quoted is right, it is unsettling for a severely disabled Albertan like me to know that 8 out of 10 people I pass on the street agree with assisting my suicide should I despair of life and sink beneath the waves of my circumstances; those same people want suicide prevention for healthy and able bodied people. I had no idea my fellow-Albertans held people like me is such low regard. 

In the interests of fairness, I hope  Global Edmonton will cover the struggle of disabled people to gain life with dignity rather than so-called death with dignity, and equality before the law (and no, Su, helping us kill ourselves does not further equality rights.)

Mark Pickup