This month, on July 1st, the nation celebrated Canada’s 141st birthday. As a family, we sang our national anthem, we flipped through an encyclopaedia entry on Canada and we each prayed and thanked God for this country. The boys were thankful that we live in a wealthy and peaceful land, Katie was thankful that we were free to worship God and Laurie was thankful for the wonderful and beautiful natural resources this country affords... lakes, trees, mountains, forests, wildlife.
Although we have much to be thankful for, sadly, I could not thank God for the spiritual climate in this country. On July 1st this year, I heard on the radio about the Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s nomination to the Order of Canada, the highest honour bestowed on a Canadian citizen. Morgentaler has pioneered legalized abortion in Canada. I grieve over how much we have lost and how quickly we have lost it.
Eminent Canadian philosopher and thinker George Parkin Grant (1918-1988), a professor at McMaster University and a devout Anglican, lamented what he called the “evident fall of western Christianity.” It was his hope as a philosophy and thinker “to try to understand just a small amount of what was at fault in this particular manifestation of Christianity, so that one plays a minute part in something that will take centuries—namely the rediscovery of authoritative Christianity… it has been given truth in a way no other religion has.”
As evidence of the “fall of western Christianity” and the lack of “authoritative Christianity” was the abortion issue in Canada. Grant wrote in the mid-80s, “If tyranny is to come in North America, it will come cosily and on cat’s feet. It will come with the denial of the rights of the unborn and the aged. In fact, it will come to all those who cannot defend themselves.” A proponent of the Right-to-Life Movement, George Parkin Grant wrote and spoke against the Supreme Court decision to strike down the criminal code restrictions on abortion. He stated on CBC, “The Supreme Court decision on abortion fills me with terrible sadness at what lies ahead for our country—an increase in the mass killing of the weakest members of our species.”
The American case that spurred on Canada’s “pro-choice” movement—“Roe vs. Wade”— took place on January 22, 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court granted a young mother (Jane Roe, a pseudonym) the “right of choice” to take the life of the developing child in her womb. “Roe” never aborted her baby, but the landmark case opened the door for the deaths of over 40 million unborn children. It wasn’t until the 1990s when Roe came forward and revealed her true identity in her book I am Roe (1994). In the book, Norma McCorvey—“Roe”—describes herself as a monogamous lesbian living in Dallas. Four years later, McCorvey converted to Christianity and has abandoned her homosexuality. She now advocates for the unborn.
In her new book, Won By Love, (1998) she writes, “I had to face up to the awful reality. Abortion wasn’t about ‘products of conception.’ It wasn’t about ‘missed periods.’ It was about children being killed in their mother’s wombs. All those years I was wrong. Signing that affidavit, I was wrong. Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong. No more of this first trimester, second trimester, third trimester stuff. Abortion—at any point—was wrong. It was so clear. Painfully clear.”
After 30 years of abortions in North America, women have not gained true freedom with the decimalization of abortion and the unborn certainly hasn’t gained any freedom. Dr. James Dobson writes, “research reveals that an alarming number of women are coerced to have abortions by their husbands, boyfriends, parents and most notably, by abortion clinic ‘counselors.’” In the U.S., abortion is a multimillion dollar industry. Many women feel—ironically—that they have no choice BUT to abort an “unplanned” pregnancy. Little is explained about the dangers involved. Dobson goes on to write, “The truth is that abortion is far deadlier to women than childbirth; it is linked to a 30 to 50 percent increase in breast cancer; it is related to high rates of abuse, suicide and death; and it causes many women to suffer for the rest of their lives with the physical and emotional scars of Post Abortion Syndrome. And, most importantly, it is an affront to the great heart of the Creator.”
All is not lost. There is still hope to make change in this country. A recent online poll by the Globe and Mail showed that 92% of the participants stated that Morgentaler should not receive the honour. If only Canadians would be more vocal about the actual abortion issue! I am hoping the fervour over Morgentaler receiving the Order of Canada will cause Canadians to stop ignoring the horrible reality of “mass killing” in this country.
In this country, people have fought for the closures of residential schools, the ending of forced sterilization of mentally challenged people, the “persons case” where women earned rights as legal “persons”, and the abolishment of slavery. It took effort, determination and sacrifice. As we sing the line, “God keep our land, glorious and free”, let us ask ourselves how God wants to use US to “keep our land glorious and free”, for all Canadians, born and unborn.
How can we, in the words of George Parkin Grant, resist “tyranny” and rediscover “authoritative Christianity”? Let us wait on the Lord, pray sincerely and speak up for truth. Let us not be ambivalent to the issue.