“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

Monday, March 30, 2020

EVERYONE CAN PITCH IN TO FIGHT COVID-19

I've been severely disabled with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 36 years. For over 16 of those years I used an electric wheelchair and only had use of one arm and hand. For many years, people had to do the most ordinary daily things for me. There were times I needed help getting dressed. I could not hold anything in my right hand. Other people had to cut my food for me. By any definition my disease was (and may be again) end stage MS. It's impossible for me to express my deep gratitude for all the assistance people have given to me over the decades. 

Just over a year ago something extraordinary and unexpected
happened. I started regaining lost function! Today I can walk with a cane(s) and the function of my right arm and hand returned. Not only can I cut my own meat at dinner and I can write again after 25 years unable to.  My neurologist and family doctor are dumbfounded. This is not supposed to happen with end-stage multiple sclerosis. Things degenerate not regenerate. And with a brain as riddled with plague as mine, this is not supposed to happen. I may lose this regained function, and my new lease on life.

But for now, it's my turn to give back. With the COVID-19 pandemic an international call went out to people who sew to
make masks. My wife stepped up to plate and began to sew. She showed me how to sew (I've never sewn a stitch). Now I have an opportunity to give back to the community.  It is very meaningful to me. In my small way I can say thank you—not so much to individuals, many of whom are nowhere near—but to a community of those who cared. Through small gestures like this perhaps I can express through actions the gratitude that words fail to express. We are all a part of that great family of humanity who are afforded the privilege of caring for one another. In this case, trying in a small way to care for the community that cared for me. 

Let's all pitch in in whatever way we can to fight this unprecedented pandemic.  We are all citizens with responsibilities to the common good and members of our communities with responsibilities each other. Perhaps it's grocery shopping for seniors, tutoring students online, reaching out to people for whom self-isolation has caused depression, or even just staying home to help break transmission of COVID-19.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

SMILE: BETTER DAYS WILL COME

Dear Young people of Italy and Spain: Yes, I have seen the sorrow that permeates your nations as COVID19 ravages all you know and love. Yes, I saw the make-shift morgues and the images of military trucks filled with bodies of your loved-ones driving down streets. Yes, I saw the images and I wish there was something I could do to assuage your overwhelming grief. My heart aches for you. I want to throw my arms around you and try to console what is inconsolable. 

I have known a crushing heartache with the death of a loved-
one—although from different circumstances—I know that your pain may feel it will break you in half. I will not, if you don't let it. Hold on, better days will come.

There will be a reason to smile again. Although you may not believe it now, life is still worthwhile and better days are coming.
Smile* though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you.

The sun is just behind the dark clouds of this pandemic. Its warmth will again shine upon your shoulders. And when it does, let its rays light up your face with gladness. Believe that the joy of life will be yours again. 
The sun sets but it also rises. Better days will come and life is so worthwhile. There will be tomorrows for you to live. Opportunities for love still wait for you.
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
I know the despair of wondering what the future holds when the present seems to be stripped of too many losses. That was the very time when I had to keep trying and believe that life was still worthwhile even though everything around me told me otherwise. I want you to know better days are coming.  
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.  
The dark shadows of this pandemic will fade away in the light of a hopeful new day and this crisis will pass.  Do not lose heart even though your world seems to be falling apart. 
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.
Young people of Italy, Spain and elsewhere, look to the future with hope and smile.
*The word smile means a spirit of optimism.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

WORSHIPPING CHRIST IN THIS PANDEMIC

Christ is with us in this storm
This is the first Sunday when churchES across North America are closed due to the COVID19 pandemic. Thanks to Youtube, Christians can still worship our King. I have provided two links: One IS for Catholic Christians on this 4th Sunday of Lent. It is the first link below. The second is a Pentecostal worship service this morning in Franklin, Tennessee. Don't look at the worship differences, look at the common feature of worshipping Jesus Christ. In this frightening storm of a global pandemic, keep your eyes of Jesus. Come together in Spirit and Truth.

CATHOLIC MASS, 22 March 2020. (The video below starts part way through the Mass. Push the cursor back to the beginning.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFJE7js-4a0


CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH, Franklin, Tennessee, (PENTECOSTAL). The video starts part way into the service. Back it up to the beginning. Sorry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZpsIVrg-g4&t=430s






Sunday, March 15, 2020

CORONAVIRUS GIVES A CHANCE TO DEFINE & REFINE OUR HUMANITY

The world finds itself in a pandemic. The Coronavirus (COVID 19) is impacting every aspect of life from healthcare to commerce, travel to community life. We do not yet know the full extent of what the COVID beast may morph into and everybody is frightened.  The beast is threatening life as we have come to know it, but it is also going to test the mettle of our character individually and as nations. Have you ever wondered what kind of human being you really are when a test of your humanity comes? Well COVID19 may be that test. What kind of person are you? 

This pandemic gives us the opportunity to come together as communities and support each other, or as early indications are showing, we can adopt the mentality of every man for himself. Do we horde or price-gouge essential supplies such as hand sanitizers household cleaners, toilet paper, face masks and food—all things other people need too? Do we strip grocery store shelves empty so that others not so quick off the mark have nothing? 

I heard of a man from Chattanooga, Tennessee who took a U-Haul across Tennessee and Kentucky snapping up all the hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes from every store. He wanted to make what he called “crazy money,” and jack up the price as high as possible to sell to people in desperate need of them.[1]  Another man near Edmonton, Canada, scooped up all the children’s thermometers at Costco then bragged how much profit he was going to make. 

Really? Are we a community or a jungle of animals feeding off others? This is not right.  Perhaps I should not be surprised how quickly my culture can descend. We embrace personal autonomy. I, me, mine. (Wasn’t there a Beatle song by that name?) For more than forty years we have killed children before birth who were inconvenient to our lifestyles or personal ambitions. Now personal autonomy and self-determination have brought medically assisted suicide to various jurisdictions throughout the world, including my country of Canada.  I have multiple sclerosis. No matter how much I may degenerate I do not have a right to commit suicide or ask someone to help me kill myself.  It would offend the Common Good and put someone else’s eternity at risk.  Euthanasia and assisted suicide crosses a long-held taboo against murder and weakens the foundations of interdependent community.

You can not have interdependent community and personal autonomy.  They are diametrically opposed ideas. You must choose which it shall be.  Unfortunately we have made the wrong choice for over four decades.  But it can change.  Reject personal autonomy and independence and embrace interdependence. 

I believe with all my heart that we are inter-connected and responsible for each others’ well being—for no other reason than every person bears the indelible image of God. Words like familyneighborcommunity and nation attest to our interdependence. I believe this so much that for more than twenty years I took that message across North America. I spoke from Canada’s Yukon to Louisiana and Alabama, From Boston to Los Angeles and countless places between those points.  I took that message to anyone who would listen (and even some people who did not want to listen.) 

Every generation is confronted with the most ancient question: “Am I my brother’s keeper.”[2] Your answer to that question will govern how you behave toward others. 

If you ascribe to the principle Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, then you ascribe to the Golden Rule, the principle of mutual interdependence.[3] And that brings me back to the current situation confronting the world with COVID 19. 

We must rise to our better selves: If you are sick or symptomatic, isolate yourself for the required two weeks. Buy only those items that your family needs and don’t horde essential items everybody needs. Help those who can not get out to acquire what they need in terms of basic essential items. Heed public health directions in a rapidly evolving pandemic.

No matter how desperate things may become remember that God is with us. Answer Yes to Cain’s question. We are our brother’s keeper. Let us use COVID as an opportunity to show our children and grandchildren this life principle for now and the future. 

Mark 
A Prayer of Saint Patrick
Collegium Iuvenum Stuttgart



[1] Nick Nicas, “He Has 17,700 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer and Nowhere To Sell Them,” New York Times, 14 March 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html

[2] Genesis 4.9.
[3] See Matthew 7.12.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

ULTIMATE REALITY JUST BEYOND THE DOOR OF TEMPORAL REALITY

As we approach Lent, I am struck by one of the great problems I have faced throughout my Christian walk. It is impossible for me to begin to grasp the enormity of God’s love. Quite simply, I can not internalize or understand the immense love that lies behind and beyond the Cross. For Christ to willingly suffer and die to save someone such as me is too much for my puny mind to comprehend. I must simply accept that it is true, but it is a confounding mystery!

Easter breaks my heart. How can I possibly repay Christ for what he has done for me? It is impossible! All I can do in response is surrender to Christ’s perfect love and try to love him in return. That brings me to a second problem: My love is so poor, so shabby and so fickle that it’s not even worth having – and yet Christ accepts it. It makes me think of a loving father accepting the shaky and indistinct scribbles on a piece of paper drawn by his small child and pretending it is a masterpiece of art.  But this simple analogy quickly breaks down. The small child’s drawing is the best he can do ― it was produced in the purity of innocence. The love I offer back to God has been jaded by ego, tarnished by life, and is not pure. (On the matter of love, small children are better than me.)

That is when I catch an inkling of the extent of my spiritual poverty: All I have to offer God is not worth having. Even my pitiful and wretched version of love requires Christ’s generous love to be accepted by God. The transforming love of the Cross is what will change my understanding of the true nature of love and will draw me closer to truly loving God and my neighbour.  

In the seventeenth chapter of John we find Christ’s great high priestly prayer just as His Passion was about to begin. Christ prayed for his disciples and those who believe in Him through their word (verse 20). Jesus prayed that believers would be brought to perfection through him and be with him in heaven and see his eternal glory and know God’s perfect love (see verses 23-26). Throughout his prayer, Christ made clear that although spiritual perfection is our future state with him, the transformation begins in this world.

We do not know what this perfected transformation will be like. Saint John said, “...what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed  we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1John 3.2.) Saint Paul told us that Christians can be transformed into the “same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.” That image is Christ.

This transformation of spiritual character is still a mystery that often involves pain here on earth. Paul told us that if we share in the sufferings of Christ we share in his glory. He said that our sufferings here on earth are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us. This transformation begins to occur when we unite our sufferings with the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. 

And when we do this a strange and wonderful spiritual transformation begins. Our spiritual poverty is absorbed into the glory of Christ’s sacrifice. Our pain united with His pain begins to produce in us a “weight of glory” to use St. Paul’s words, that will only be fully realized in eternity. He said that “although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” 

Surrendered pain in union with Christ is a refining instrument, if the sufferer allows it to be. God will raise us up (just as Christ was raised) and place us with him. 

For me, decades of suffering intensified my spiritual longing to be with Christ and see him as he is in heaven. This yearning is for the ultimate reality that lies just beyond the door of temporal reality. I am reminded of my Lord’s words to the thief as they were dying on their crosses: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

My longing is not so distant at all. The mystery behind Easter is the key to satisfying my deepest desire; God put eternity in my heart ― and yours too (see Ecclesiastes 3.11.)

Mark

Friday, February 14, 2020

PIED PIPERS FOR MEDICAL MURDER

In 2016, Canada legalized medically assisted suicide for physically sick and disabled people whose deaths are "reasonably foreseeable."  That was not good enough for death advocates. Immediately the reasonably foreseeable portion of Canada's "Medical Assistance In Dying" law was targeted as well as the requirement to be over 18 years of age. And why just the physically disabled? Canada's liberal progressives howled, "What about the mentally ill who want help killing themselves?! Discrimination!" 

Remember that death advocates originally promoted medical assisted suicide for dying people who were in uncontrollable physical pain, and wanted to end their suffering. That was the sales pitch—but it was not all they had in mind. In 2016 assisted suicide advocates got their way after decades of advocacy. Canada legalized euthanasia under the euphemism "medical assistance in dying."

Of the thousands of people who have received "medical assistance in dying" since 2016, only six were self-administered assisted suicides as was sold to the nation by the death with dignity crowd. What Canada actually has is lethal injections. That's not medical assistance in dying, that's medical murder. Don't you just love those slippery slopes progressive liberals deny? Don't you just love the syrupy sweet euphemisms they use to disguise the bitter poison of monstrous acts!

Liberal progressives laugh at the idea of a slippery slope on moral issues. Their laughter is hollow and unconvincing. All we need to do is look at the liberals' sacred cow of abortion. It was legalized in Canada in 1969—3 years before the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that opened the path for the systematic murder of over 61,000,000 children before birth. Abortion advocates still repeat the mantra about abortion being safe, legal and rare. Well, it may be legal but abortion in America and Canada but it is neither safe nor rare. The injured and dead bodies of thousands of women attest to that fact.

In 1969, at third reading of the original abortion bill, then Canadian Justice Minister John Turner rose in the House of Commons to reassure a reluctant and uneasy Parliament about his bill:

"The bill has rejected the sociological or criminal offence reasons. The bill limits the possibility for therapeutic abortion to these circumstances: It is to be performed by a medical practitioner who is supported by a therapeutic abortion committee of medical practitioners in a certified or approved hospital, and the abortion is to be performed only where the health or life of the mother is in danger."

The bill passed into law. Was that what happened in practice? Not even close. It was a ruse. The ink was barely dry on the legislation and the law was being flouted. The Justice minister was lying. The first Prime Minister Trudeau (Pierre) smugly clarified that the law meant health to include mental health. Things got so bad in Canada that by 1982, there were more abortions than live births in Canada's largest city of Toronto.  Either the law was being ignored or Canada had the unhealthiest women on the planet! The precedent for accepting medical murder was set.

The law was completely struck down in 1988, by Canada's Supreme Court. From that day until now, there has been no law on abortion in Canada. There is no legal protection for unborn children at any point of pregnancy. A woman can have an abortion for any reason or no reason, completely paid for by the taxpayer. All she needs to do is call up her nearest friendly abortion clinic and make an appointment. She can have as many abortions as she wants and they are all paid for by the government. What was once utterly unacceptable is now a right.

You see, a monstrous idea can never be presented to the public conscience in its full hideousness. It must be skillfully sold in small increments over time. The public conscience must be massaged and lulled to sleep. Take an idea that makes people recoil in disgust an horror and present it gradually, in altruistic scenarios. Create dire situations with extreme cases. Present a lie as truth. Keep telling it with conviction, and eventually what was unthinkable yesterday becomes thinkable today and a human right tomorrow. Coarsening the public conscience takes time and skill to kill.

Abortion did not kill millions of women as we were told during the 1960s. The year prior to Canada legalizing abortion in 1969, there were 367 deaths by illegal abortion. As tragic as those deaths were, they were not thousands or even millions. 

Fifty years later we were told that assisted suicide was needed for people with uncontrollable pain at the end of their lives. But modern pain medication and techniques can completely relieve all physical pain. How do I know this? Dr. John Scott, a Canadian expert in palliative care wrote the following words:


“The World Health Organization has demonstrated that access to pain-relieving drugs, along with a simple education program, can achieve relief in the vast majority of patients. Specialists in various parts of the world estimate these basic approaches can control 85-98 percent of cases. The remaining cases require more careful attention and the use of multiple drugs and therapies to achieve complete relief.”*

Those words were written in 1995. How much more refined has pain management improved in these intervening years?! I posed that question to another end-of-life care specialist, Dr. Margaret Cottle. Not only did she confirm the veracity of Dr. Scott's words, she told me about the marvellous new advances in pain management.  Suffice to say, if you know someone who is suffering in pain in 2020, they don't need a lethal injection, they need a new doctor!
So now, Canada is thinking of legalizing euthanasia for what they euphemistically call "mature minors" and the mentally ill. Don't be placated or fooled by skilled but evil wordsmiths. Let me bluntly clarify the immoral quagmire in which we find ourselves sinking. Canada has legalized killing off its suicidal sick, dying and disabled citizens, and now it is contemplating expanding its terrible euthanasia law to include children and the mentally ill. These are the very people a civilized society should be protecting with the best care available. What we call medical assistance in dying is actually medical murder. Canada has lost the right to call itself a civilized nation. 
Mark
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* Dr. John Scott, "FEAR AND FALSE PROMISES, The Challenge of Pain in the Terminally Ill" inEUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE: The Current Debate, ed. Ian Gentles (Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited, 1995), p. 96.



Tuesday, January 28, 2020

THOUGHTS ABOUT CHRISTIANS RESPONDING TO EUTHANASIA

I was recently interviewed for a Canadian current affairs program called CONTEXT: Beyond the Headlines, with Lorna Dueck. Lorna was examining the Canadian government contemplating expansion of its euthanasia legislation to include the mentally ill and children. During the interview, I was asked how Christians should respond to euthanasia? You can hear my answer by clicking hereLorna Dueck ended the program by giving me the last word.

Join the mailing list of CONTEXT: Beyond the Headlines, for a thoughtful and penetrating Christian perspectives on a broad range of Canada's current affairs topics by clicking here and becoming an Insider

Mark


Saturday, January 25, 2020

THE MOST PRO-LIFE PRESIDENT EVER ADDRESSES THE 2020 MARCH FOR LIFE

President Trump with children to deliver his
historic address to March for Life 2020. 
Listen to President Trump's complete speech to the 47th March For Life 2020, click here. God bless President Trump. God bless America.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

GRIEF FROM WHICH WE DON'T RECOVER, LOVE THAT NEVER DIES

There is such a thing as a grief from which we never truly recover. There are loves that never die. I have experienced both.

It was exactly fifty years ago my father died. He was part of that generation broadcaster Tom Brokaw called the 'greatest generation.' They were raised during the Great Depression of 1929-1939. They fought in World War II against the Nazis and Axis forces; they did not do it to be recognized or for fame. They simply did it because it was the right thing to do.  

My father was born in 1917, during the Great War. He was not afflicted with a miserly disposition that many people were left with from suffering depravation of the ‘dirty thirties.’ Quite the contrary, my dad was generous to a fault with his money and his time.  He was a deeply committed Christian. He loved me from the day he discovered my mother was pregnant. 

From my first memories of childhood, his unconditional love, gentle but firm nurture and manly good nature loomed large over my world and early formation. We were two peas in a pod and I worshipped him. I shouldn’t have but I did. Even fifty years after his untimely death the smell of old books and pipe smoke (rare these days) reminds me of him. 

In January of 1970, dad and I went downhill skiing on a bright and sunny afternoon, just as we had done for many years. The sun reflecting off the white snow intensifying the brightness and pleasure to be outdoors in a crisp Canadian winter day. I remember the wind in my hair, breathing the clean cold air, the sound of my skis that sprayed snow with each turn. Everything was perfect.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Dad was skiing ahead of me. Suddenly he collapsed face down in the snow. I stopped,
quickly ripped off my skis, and ran to turn him over. His eyes clouded then rolled back into his head. My father died in my arms from a massive heart attack that day on a ski slope. The experience is indelibly and forever burned into my memory. He was fifty-two years of age. I was sixteen.  

That was the grief from which I have never truly recovered and that is why I remember it like it happened yesterday. I am sixty-six years old now and I have thought of him every day since that cold January day in 1970.

My father would not fit into the New Dark Age of the twenty-first century. Then again, nor do I. He would be horrified to learn that Canada has overthrown its Judea-Christian roots for nihilism, that acceptance of truth has been replaced by relative truth, versions of truth, truth based upon personal feelings, situations and circumstances.

He would appalled to discover that children are taught all kinds of perversion in public schools—beginning in kindergarten. My father would be stunned to discover that marriage, as it was known for hundreds of years, has been redefined and that divorce rates hover near fifty-percent of all marriages, and countless children are being raised in single-parent homes where their father is absent.  He believed children need and deserve to be raised by their mother and their father. So do I.

My father loved children. It would have broken his heart completely to learn abortion has become a right and millions of children have been killed before they ever saw the light of day.  In Canada, a woman can have an abortion for any reason at all or no reason whatsoever and have as many abortions as she wants, and they are all paid by taxpayers.  He would be horrified to learn that Canada legalized euthanasia. He would weep to discover Canada is contemplating expanding euthanasia to the mentally ill and children. 

I think he would regret coming back to discover that those things he held most dear, and Canada once embraced—like the sanctity of all human life—is all but gone.  We are a pale reflection of the great nation he knew, loved and served.

Sleep in peace, my father.  You wouldn’t want to see what we’ve
become and I would not want to watch your heart break completely. There is such a thing as a grief from which we do not recover.  Sleep in peace. Sleep in peace.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

EVERY PERSON'S "ORIGINAL RIGHTS"

In 2013, The New York publication the Human Life Review celebrated its 40th anniversary publishing life-affirming scholarly articles. On January 10th of that year, they published an article I wrote for them under the title "Wei Jingsheng, Champion of Universal Human Rights." That was 3 years ago yesterday. I am taking this opportunity to re-post that article on the HumanLifeMatters blog.
_______________

Wei Jingsheng
Wei Jingsheng, perhaps the Peoples Republic of China’s best known pro-democracy, human-rights activist, spent a total of 18 years in prison as a dissident charged with “counter revolution propaganda and agitation.” He was released in 1997 and, following pressure from the Clinton administration, deported to the United States. In early 1998, Wei issued a joint statement with Amnesty International in which he spoke of universal human rights:
Human rights have already been accepted globally as a standard of conduct. . . . Even autocratic countries, even those countries where slavery is practiced, have to pay lip service to the acceptance and respect . . . of human rights principles. (This attitude) creates favorable conditions for those who fight for human rights, freedom and democracy, and gives the people who suffer persecution growing encouragement to fight for the rights, which originally belong to them. . . . Those rights which originally belong to the people have been taken away by the oppressors.
All of us accept—deep in our heart of hearts—that there is “a standard for conduct”: a standard of right and wrong. We may not admit it, but we do. Wei apparently believed this truth was self-evident. He spoke with conviction about “original rights,” which people everywhere possess, regardless of borders or citizenship. He seemed to be referring to something akin to inalienable rights, which “originally belong to all people.” Governments may forbid citizens from exercising them but the oppressed are still the heirs of original rights.
When Wei was in prison he told one of his oppressors: “Truth is truth. Once you understand this, nothing can erase it from your heart. This is something no torture can extract from you.”[1] Notice how Wei spoke about truth as irrevocable, irrefutable . . .  inalienable. What truth, and which “original rights,” was he referring to? When he used the word “originally,” what did he mean? Do these original rights come with adulthood or do children possess them too? Do some people enjoy these rights—whatever they might be—while others do not? Do they exist only in this generation or have they existed throughout the ages, regardless of what any government or court has declared? Who or what bestows these rights?
Although Wei spoke about human rights in the context of the Chinese people suffering under a brutal communist regime, parallels can be drawn to rights that have been denied by oppressors elsewhere, and to other members of the human community. These “original rights” must begin with the fundamental right to life. If the right to life is not guaranteed for everyone then all other human rights become arbitrary and uncertain. The right to life must be protected as the first and highest human right.
We know that Wei was speaking about rights that belong to everyone because he described them as global. If these rights belong to all people “originally, from the beginning,” then what Wei envisioned must also apply to children. It goes beyond that— if these rights are with everyone originally, then logically they must apply to human life at any point on the life spectrum. There can be no exceptions.
America’s Declaration of Independence states that “inalienable” rights were endowed to humanity by the Creator: God. Even my own heavily secularized country, Canada, has a preamble to its Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizing “the Supremacy of God”—a law Giver. We may ignore it but it is there.
Who is this God? Both America and Canada have their legal roots in British Common Law, which has Christianity at its base. This is not a matter of opinion; it is plain historical record. In 1829, Joseph Story, a future Supreme Court justice, stated in his inaugural address as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University: “There has never been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.”[2] Sir Matthew Hale, a noted 17th-century English lawyer and judge, said “Christianity is part of the Common Law of England.”[3] Christ is behind Christianity; Christianity is behind Common Law.
Could it be that original rights stem from the same origins as the beliefs that convinced abolitionists that slavery must end, and influenced those who fought against child labor in England? What I am alluding to (and I think Wei was too) is some sort of moral standard of behavior or conduct, a defining of right and wrong, written deep within humanity’s heart.
Here in North America, the most glaring example of original rights being violated and denied is abortion, the government-sanctioned killing of millions of unborn children. If life begins at conception (and there has never really been any doubt about that) then the right to life exists from life’s origin.
Civilized and compassionate societies, ones that truly believe in universal human rights, must support women in crisis pregnancies so that they will give life to their babies, and never participate in abortion. Abortion is a crime against tiny human beings, and against the human community.
“Original rights” come from God, not legislatures or courts. If that weren’t true then governments and courts could simply legislate these rights away—and many have tried. But there is a higher law written in the heart of humanity. Which is why abortion has never been accepted even though Roe v. Wade is over four decades old.
It has been nearly 20 years since Wei issued his human-rights statement. As far as I can tell, he still believes what he said, and all that it implied. Original rights belong to everyone but the oppressors and deniers of life are still on the prowl.

MDP
____________________________
NOTES
[1] Wei Jingsheng,  “Handful of Pennies” http://weijingsheng.org/doc/en/A%20handful%20of%20pennies.html
[2] Quoted in Perry Miller, editor, The Legal Mind in America (New York: Doubleday, 1962), p. 178.
[3] Historia Placitorium Coronae, ed. Sollom Emlyn (1736). Also in Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, iv, 1765.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

IS THE BIBLE ACCURATE AND RELEVANT?

Is the Bible simply a bunch of old fables written by primitive, ignorant men thousands of years ago, and no relevance to modern people? That's the post-modern 21 Century view.  There's a problem with that thinking—the Bible's prophetic accuracy dating back thousands of years. I invite you to set aside an hour and view a production posted to YouTube under the title "The accuracy of the Bible" Click here 

Why am I posting this content to a blog called HumanLifeMatters? It is precisely because human life matters. If the Bible is the Word of God (and I believe with all my heart that it is the inerrant Word of God) then it requires a response from you and me with eternal consequences. Christ came because human life matters to God.

Mark