“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, October 18, 2013


Paula Simons
A columnist for the main daily newspaper in the city of Edmonton (Canada) recently wrote an article decrying a non-denominational Christian pregnancy centre giving presentations in public schools. The columnist is an anti-Christian named Paula Simons. 
She wrote with a disparaging tenor about the Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre providing sex education classes promoting abstinence in the public school system. I expected nothing more from Simons.
Her column was interesting to me for two reasons: 1. As I say, Simons seems to have an anti-Christian bias which I presumed would come out in her column. My suspicion was right. 2. In the 1980s, I co-founded the original organization that became the Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre. Yes, their foundations are Christian. At the core of those foundations is the abiding principle that all human life is sacred and deserves to be treated with dignity as bearers of the image of God. If that is offensive to Simons, then so be it.

Simons said “the research” shows “teens make wiser decisions when they are prepared for safe sex ― and when they haven’t made idealistic plans to abstain until marriage.” All the research shows that?

While I agree that young people need to be equipped with knowledge about the risks of sex outside marriage, let’s also acknowledge that in an era of rampant sexually transmitted infections there is no such thing as “safe” sex only safer sex.  As far as “idealistic plans” to abstain from sex until marriage, I actually believe in having idealistic plans for marriage. This comes from my own bitter experience. I was sexually active before marriage and was poorer bringing that baggage into married life.
Sex is the most intimate expression of love between a husband and wife; the specialness of that expression is cheapened by giving it away to other people who are not part of that intimacy. As far as teen pregnancy goes, I also experienced that back in the early 1970s and successfully pressured my girlfriend to have an abortion. It’s something I have regretted since then (so has she). Pre-marital sex and teen pregnancy – and subsequent abortion hurt my marriage. Now as an old man, looking back after 40 years of marriage, I wish I had an idealized view of marriage as a young man.

Allowing a Christian-based sex education to be presented in public schools is the proper approach for a pluralistic society. After all, Christians make up a significant part of North American society. They should have a right to have their views represented in the public education system ― not just secular perspectives ― if we really do have a pluralistic society that is accepting of all views.

Simons wrote that “public schools which serve our diverse community have no business foisting one particular set of religious values on everyone. …” The Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre is “foisting” their views on an unwitting public school?  Paula Simons gives Edmonton Public Schools too little credit and the Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre too much.

Mark Davis Pickup
Some people may find one set of values offensive while others do not. Personally I find much of secular education offensive.  Secularism is not neutral. I do not think secularism has any business dominating public schools where many people of faith have children attending. We all have a valid place in public education. Welcome to that diverse community, Paula Simons.

No comments: