“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, May 9, 2015


If you look on the mantle behind my picture at the top of my blog
Ludwig van Beethoven
you will see a bust of Ludwig van Beethoven. I have mentioned this before but I keep it there to remind me of the capacity of human spirit to overcome adversity. Beethoven suffered from
 deafness that eventually became near complete and yet he is one of the greatest composers who ever lived! 

In many of my speeches throughout North America, warning of the perils of euthanasia and assisted suicide, I have often referred to Beethoven. There was a point in his grief journey, as deafness was shutting out his music, when Beethoven was driven to consider suicide. He mentioned this in a letter to his brother Carl. Imagine if assisted suicide had been accepted in his day as a legitimate way of dealing with disability or psychological pain; and imagine if he had given in to that temptation at a low point (with the full support of society and assisted by doctors ).[1] Think of the music we would have missed! 

One my favourite compositions by Beethoven is his Moonlight Sonata -- written in serious deafness. 

The grand piano at center stage
of arts centre named after my mother:
The Eleanor Pickup Arts Centre
My mother was a music teacher. When I was a child I remember a few her advanced students tackling and mastering Movement No. 1 and occasionally No. 2. To the best of my memory, I do not remember any student of my mother's becoming so advanced as to attempt Movement No. 3. Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Although my mother has been dead for 9 years, I would like to dedicate Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata to her memory, and to the concept of human dignity that remains despite adversity and suffering.

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsOUcikyGRk for Moonlight Sonata in C sharp minor, Op.27, No. 1,2,3. Pianist Valentina Lisitsa

[1] On 6 February 2015, the Supreme Court in my country of Canada struck down the nations laws against assisted suicide. In a unanimous decision the high court ruled that physician assisted suicide should be available for any "Irremediable" medical condition (including illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering and is intolerable in the circumstances of his or her condition."  This could encompass psychological pain. The high court felt that available treatments need not be be taken. If Ludwig van Beethoven lived today in Canada, can you see how he might be at risk of being assisted in his suicide? 

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