I think it is safe to assume that most of us are aware that Dr. Henry Morgentaler has been named to the ‘Order of Canada’ which “recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.” (cited from the government webpage here)
Mr. Morgentaler is best known for being an advocate of abortion rights. At one time he was even charged and jailed in March of 1975 for ‘conspiracy to commit an abortion’ (for a history of abortion rights in Canada go here).
Thus we should take Mr. Morgentaler and his supporters very seriously; not only because of the seriousness of the issue but because of the manner in which they promote and protect their cause. It is not a legal issue for them as much as it an ideological issue: something they to which they are strongly committed.
This brings to mind words such as faith and belief. Liberal deputy House leader Marlene Jennings is quoted as saying (in response to the appointment):
I’m sure that there are those of all political stripes who will not be pleased, who would like to see constraints on a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, but I think it’s a wonderful day for Canadian women and for women’s rights.
As quoted in an online Globe & Mail article.
Apparently this is an issue of belief in the name (or guise of) rights, in particular women’s rights. Apparently this is about something universal and uncompromisable that all women share by virtue of being female. One wonders though on what basis this right comes to be or came to fruition? Many argue, as the Supreme Court did originally, that the right for a woman to have an abortion is in concert with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But even if this was only a legal issue one would have to ask the question: where do these laws or rights originate? If, in the words of Marlene Jennings, it is so ‘wonderful’ that woman can have an abortion in Canada why do so many Canadians oppose this right and even claim that it is wrong and a violation of the right to life? Are these rights, therefore, universal?
Since we have now dug down to the foundations of law we see that it cannot merely rest upon popular opinion (even if that might be the case) nor the power of the Supreme Court. For if it merely rests upon these entities what would prevent the law from being changed if it went to a referendum or if the Court suddenly (miraculously) changed its opinion?
And if the law changed wouldn’t abortion rights advocates be angry about the decision especially if the very power that granted them that right revoked it? Wouldn’t they claim that this was morally wrong?
Avoiding the basic or foundational issues will, therefore, get us nowhere. This brings us to our current situation where we see that abortion rights have less to do with legality and morality as they do with power. The Supreme Court struck down the abortion laws through an imposition of their power. The people of this country who support such rights continue to shout down the opposition and claim federal funds without tax payers consent to commit what many of us consider to be a crime against humanity (sorry but the term ‘murder’ is politically incorrect). Who has the right to make right and wrong? Those in power.
Now as Christians, however, we believe in another power. Not a ‘higher power’ (as the popular phrase goes) but the God of the universe who has created all things for the glory of His name. Recognizing His sovereignty and lawful authority is, in part, what it means to be a true believer. Saying that murder is wrong is simply an reflection of the law that God has given man in creation and in His Word.
Yet even most Canadians (except murderers I guess) think that murder is wrong so that even if we don’t demand ‘a life for a life’ we surely demand some kind of justice be done against the murderer and some kind of protection for those who might be harmed by others. After all, don’t our Charter of Rights and Freedoms say, and I quote, that
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.
Now here is the dilemma. How does this apply to the so called fetus in the womb? From this article we must conclude therefore that the fetus’ in their mother’s womb must be thought of as follows: a) not Canadian citizens and therefore not protected by this ‘Legal Right’ or b) “in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice” their life is forfeit. Yes I am aware of the irony that the Supreme Court of Canada used this very statement as the foundation of their decision to make abortions legal in Canada. But you see that is the whole point.
According to conclusion a) legally and logically one is not a Canadian citizen until they have been born (because the law protects children who are born). But why then may a mother sue a person if they, for example, recklessly strike her in some fashion causing the fetus in her womb to be hurt or even killed? We must conclude then, it is within the power of the person carrying the child to make this fetus a person, or a citizen. But THAT is contrary to the very spirit of the article that “everyone has the right to life” and may not “be deprived thereof” which itself is not based upon personal opinion, one way or the other.
We are left with option b) that, therefore in accordance with the principles of justice someone’s life may be forfeit. I ask however: what principle of justice is it that allows a life to be taken at the whim of someone who, in their opinion, determines this life to not be of value to them? Does it take a genius to see the extension of such a principle to anyone in this country that is deemed not valuable to those who may have some fundamental interaction with it? (think Latimer). Does it really make us stop and think about the history of eugenics and the struggle of power over life?
Okay, okay I know. Life begins when the brain waves develop or when the heart starts beating (of course there is no universal law or limit that can be cited or one that has been legislated, but perhaps the better scientists will instruct us). But is that what human life is? A heart beat, a brain wave? Is that what we say by implication? Yes we do. My right as a woman, as a man, as a Canadian citizen is greater than the right of the fetus. My life is more important than theirs and so I may take that life. It is that simple and it is that mad.
But what I really don’t understand is how we can say that a woman’s right to choose is based upon the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when that very same document tells us that “Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” Uh, come again? The supremacy of God?
Now I am not going to go down the road of arguing that Canada is a Christian nation, nor even that it was at some time and that we need to return to that (even if these statements were correct let us avoid them for the sake of staying focused on the issue at hand). At the same time a proper understanding of the statement ‘the supremacy of God’ would, I think, largely hinge on what God or god we are speaking about. I must admit that I don’t know a lot about the history of the Charter of Rights but I do know that they were referring to some god and it behooves us to find out what god we are talking about so we can all know who is supreme over this land, as our national anthem states “God keep our land glorious and free”.
Perhaps the Supreme Court of Canada can tell us which god is supreme over us (and them?). Or better let us allow the abortion advocates inform us that we can’t have religion(s) or the religious tell us what to do even though, as we have seen, they base their arguments on what they perceive to be fundamental universal rights which is about as religious as one can get. In any case they must know what god we now serve, right?
For when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were written abortion was illegal in this country. Apparently the god of that time was not in favour of such a thing. Later however we must have had a new god take over who was pleased with abortion, or at the very least, would not stand in our way. When I was baptized as an infant, the minister pronounced the blessing in this way: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” I believe that the Triune God of the Bible says no to murder (as we pointed out above). That was in 1977. 11 years later though, some other god must now be speaking to me and all Canadians saying ‘yes’ to abortion.
Of course the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that Canada is also founded upon the rule of law so perhaps it was just the law that made abortion legal (as per the ruling of the Supreme Court based upon the aforementioned article). But of course this still begs the question: which law and how do we bring those laws in harmony with the supremacy of (our) god? Apparently by ruling as they did, the Supreme Court therefore says that the god of Canada rules us in such a way that our laws must allow women to have an abortion.
I have an answer to that question of ‘which god?’ that I am not going to assume that everybody is going to like. I think however it is an honest answer, one that truly looks the issue square in the face and doesn’t back down. An answer that doesn’t muddy the water with legal jargon, debates about conception and even democracy. (Side note: democracy and the supremacy of God? One wonders how these two things can coexist. But that is an issue for another day).
And, sorry, but I am going to get religious on you. That is just the way we are all made (believing in something). So I am going to go to the Bible and let you know what god I think is supreme in Canada (at least in the hearts of many Canadians – but thankfully not in reality: see Daniel 4:35).
His name is Molech. You meet him in such passages as Leviticus 20 & Jeremiah 32:35. Molech’s name is derived from the Hebrew verb ‘to rule’. He is a ruler and he expects allegiance. He wants your children, and he wants them to die. Apparently parents would sacrifice their children through fire to appease this god.
This god loves death, of the greatest and most horrific kind. Death is his goal, his reason for being. Not his death of course but that of your children, let us say Canada’s children. The problem or inconsistency on our part is that this god wanted the children after they were born, not merely from the womb as a fetus. Maybe we should start thinking about this before we make that god angry and expose our country to his wrath for not abiding by his ‘supremacy’.
You see the ancients would often expose their newly born, rejected children to the elements. They were not as sophisticated as we are with our Supreme Courts and terminology that cleanses or sanitizes our actions. They would probably laugh at us for our laws that distinguish between a fetus in the womb and a child born to his or her parents.
All that aside, it seems we are worshiping this god, this lord, this supreme being today. Well some of you are. I’m not. Maybe that puts me in conflict with Canadian law that still retains the statement about ‘the supremacy of (g)God’. Maybe I should be part of the culture of death that surrounds us and what we accept day by day as part and parcel of our lives.
Maybe then we should wish death upon anybody and everybody, whom, as we pointed out before, is in fundamental conflict with the principles of justice that Molech has ordained.
But we don’t. We are a fickle bunch. We claim this god as our own but then do silly things like protect life in other instances. We get angry about drunk drivers who because of their carelessness and foolishness kill others. We allow our Supreme Court to put them in jail and deprive them of their fundamental rights and freedoms. We are incensed with gang violence and even manslaughter of all kinds. This signifies something different within us: just a small bit of rebellion against Molech and his death culture.
The Bible, at least, tells us that we are made in the image of God (not a god). So we still, in a sense, know right from wrong. We still appeal to universal absolutes especially when we are the offended party.
In addition the Bible tells me that God gave man his laws for his well-being and that to keep them meant life and to disobey them meant death. Thus it tells us that when we sin we will be punished in accordance with justice. Paul told the Romans in chapter 1 of his epistle that God deals with us in accordance with our sin to the extent that He gives us over to the most basest desires.
Fortunately, however, the Bible also tells us that God sent His Son into the world that whosoever might believe in Him would have eternal life. The Bible tells us to repent, to confess and grieve over our sins, our wickedness and turn to a gracious Creator who would not be at war with us (Romans 5:1) if we are justified by faith through His Son. The Bible tells us that murder, the unlawful taking of a life without regard for its worth as being made in His image, is wrong and destructive. And so the Bible tells us that in Christ by His Holy Spirit we will want to stop murdering (even in our hearts – see Matthew 15:19 and then Galatians 5:19-24).
Of course I am powerless aren’t I? I can’t change people’s hearts or minds. ‘Abortion rights’ are so ingrained in the hearts and minds of Canadians that to suggest that they should be overturned is to invite anger and hostility. I am not a justice of the Supreme Court and my one vote doesn’t really make a difference come election time when most politicians avoid the issue anyways. And to top it off my religion is not welcome in the public sphere and even mocked because, well, some other god is apparently being worshiped.
But I am comforted by the thought that my God reigns despite what the pundits say. And He is sending His Son to judge the living and the dead. This is not out of some petty or violent desire for revenge. This is in light of the principles of justice that we all, in one fashion or another, accede to, as demonstrated in the very words of our Charter.
You see we are guilty of murder. We are guilty of worshiping a false god. And we, quite frankly, are ripe for judgment. I pray then, that God’s mercy will find us out before our nation dies in the most terrible sense of that word.
‘O Canada’ there is blood on your hands. ‘O Canada’ I weep for your fallen children. ‘O Canada’ repent.