|The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men” – Psalm 12:8.
Rarely, if ever, has the awarding of the Order of Canada stirred up so much controversy as when it was announced on July 1 that Henry Morgentaler would be a recipient. The intent was to canonize a hero of the abortion “rights” movement. But awarding the nation’s highest civil honour to the man who perhaps worked harder than any other to abort babies has refueled the abortion debate and given new energy to the pro-life cause.
There has been an outpouring of indignation that a man who brings destruction on the most innocent should have received such an honour. On July 8, the leaders of Madonna House in Combermere, Ont. formally returned the Order of Canada that had been presented to their foundress, Catherine Doherty. Suzanne Stubbs, director of women at Madonna House, commented, “We don’t want the medal, because it has been dishonoured by being given to someone who has not built up Canada.” Thus far, at least a half-dozen Order of Canada medals have been returned. According to Lifesitenews.com, some 1,000 people rallied at Rideau Hall on July 9 to demand that Morgentaler’s honour be revoked. Tens of thousands of people have signed various petitions protesting the honour.
The honouring of Canada’s chief abortionist is not just about giving him a personal pat on the back. The elites, including Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin, who reportedly pushed this divisive decision, clearly wanted to send the message that abortion is just fine, that there is nothing inherently wrong with taking innocent life. Now, I know they didn’t actually say that, but it is the underlying subtext, for in honouring the activist, they implicitly honour his cause and facilitate the redefining of what is tolerable and supportable.
I lament for our nation. For it has now gone beyond tolerating the shedding of innocent blood to actually celebrating it. The motto of the Order of Canada is Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam, which means, “They desire a better country.” But, apparently, Morgentaler did not desire a better country for all those preborn Canadians who were not allowed to see the light of day.
Governor-General Michaëlle Jean and those who advise her on these decisions have stuck their collective fingers in the eyes of countless Canadians who hold to traditional moral values. This breathtaking impudence explains the white-hot outrage expressed by so many columnists who write from a moral perspective.
One activist, at a loss to know what to do in the face of such contempt, uniquely thumbed his nose at the current resident of Rideau Hall. He photocopied a picture of the medal of honour, performed some unmentionable “bathroom work” on the copy, then carefully wrapped it all up and sent it to the office of the governor-general. Childish? Extreme? Overly provocative? Perhaps so. Do I support such an act? No. But, on the other hand perhaps those who spurn historic morality by honouring the vile activity of taking innocent life through abortion should not be surprised to find that they have tarnished their own office.
True, the Bible calls us to render honour to whom it is due. But to bestow honour on the unworthy is itself dishonourable. And the most honourable thing for the governor-general and her counsellors to do would be to rethink and repent of their actions.
To the chagrin of abortion supporters, the governor-general’s award to Morgentaler has revived what many people had thought to be a dead issue. Former activists are flocking back, donations are coming in and the media are paying attention once again to the pro-life cause. It seems that the movement to protect innocent life owes a debt of thanks to the office of our governor-general.
Jean Chretien once made the palpably false statement that Canada now has “social peace” on abortion. This latest outrage ignited by giving the Order of Canada to the country’s most (in)famous abortionist proves that he couldn’t have been more wrong. Millions of Canadians like myself will never, ever surrender to the notion that it is acceptable to kill the most defenceless. Much less will we ever agree that it is right to honour those who do so. We’re here. Our views may seem queer. Get used to it.
A version of this originally appeared in the Guelph Mercury.