“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, December 5, 2020


 Anti-maskers are howling that their rights are being violated. I presume they are referring to their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Which constitutional rights do they have in mind? The right to peaceful assembly and association (S2: c & d)? Their mobility rights (S-6)? 

 How could any Charter right possibly supersede Section 7 of the Charter?: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

Let me assert that the legal rights of Section 7 must always supersede the right to association, assembly and mobility. There must be a hierarchy of rights.  Why? Without the right to life guaranteed, liberty and security of the person cannot be guaranteed. If public health measures are required to minimize serious threat of COVID 19 then the right to peaceful assembly, association and mobility must respect primary rights. In times of crisis primary rights must take precedent. A minority of Canadians who refuse to follow basic public health principles of physical distancing, wearing masks and staying home must not be allowed to threaten the majority of citizens! The majority of the population’s right to security of their person (and quite possibly their right to life) is more important than the right to gather at the local bar or have a party or not wear a mask—until the pandemic is over. I came across an appropriate comment: “Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.” 

Canada is in a health emergency that has infected 396,270 Canadians and killed 12,407 (as I write these words). Granted, the minority’s rights must be respected, but not at the cost or threat to the majority. Like another old saying goes: ‘Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.’ There have been other desperate times when citizens’ rights have been temporarily suspended or curtailed. 

Conscription during the 1st and 2nd World War is an example. In 1970, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s imposed of the War Measures Act[1] after the radical French separatist group Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped Quebec Deputy Premier Pierre Laporte and British diplomat James Cross. They murdered M. Laporte. The War Measures Act suspended Canadians civil liberties until the crisis was over. 


What’s my point? There are times when the citizens of a country are called upon to obey urgent policies on matters that threaten their fellow citizens. They may not like it, but they follow government direction—in this case, public health measures for the general good. We are being asked to temporarily give up a few of our guaranteed rights to overcome a grave and dire pandemic. 


Throughout the ages, an ancient question is continually posed. Each generation must answer it with a Yes or No: Am I my brother’s keeper?[2] The answer determines what kind of people we chose/choose to be. Are we an interdependent nation that looks out for each other or a jungle of self-centered individuals demanding what’s theirs no matter who it hurts or kills?


Related post http://www.humanlifematters.org/2020/11/covid19-desperate-times-call-for.html

[1] The War Measures Act was repealed in 1988 in favour of the Emergencies Act.

[2] Genesis 4.9.

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