“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, 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
______________________________
* 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