On August 8, I marked an important anniversary – it was five years to the day I was hired as the editor of The Interim. The special day came about a month after another anniversary, my tenth wedding anniversary. Both my wife Christina and I have noted that after ten years it has seemed both a lot longer and a lot shorter than a decade of marriage. Longer, in part, because we were engaged, dated or knew each other for about a decade before finally exchanging our vows; shorter because it has brought us unimaginable joy, the time flown by as we experience the highs of life together.
Likewise, my time at the helm of the newspaper seems both a lot longer than five years and a lot shorter. Have I really been responsible for 60 issues, from the conception of stories through to their editing and finally the layout? Yet, it seems longer because I contributed stories and served on the editorial advisory board for more than three years before Jim Hughes and Dan Di Rocco offered me the job I am now privileged to hold.
In both the world and in my own life, so much has changed.
Much to the chagrin of my dear wife, I have whole issues of the National Post and Toronto Star and even a few New York Times laying around our home dated August 2001. Reading those pre-September 11 papers is sometimes quaint; there is little news about Islamic fundamentalism, national security and Iraq; Jean Chretien was still the prime minister but there was the anticipation of the future political juggernaut named Paul Martin and the Canadian Alliance was in disarray. The issues that preoccupy us has changed in many ways.
But not completely. The moral issues – the taking of innocent human life, the disintegration of the family, the assault on decency, the threats to religious freedom – remain. And like August 2001, they are seldom discussed but always present.
That is why The Interim is so important and why I am honoured to have a part in it. Abortion, euthanasia, divorce, contraception, same-sex ‘marriage,’ virtueless education, cloning, unethical science, and a host of other issues are the most important issues a society must deal with, and yet ours, ostrich-like, sticks its head into the sand. Or worse; it sometimes calls evil, good and good, intolerance. The Interim is one of the few publications that disseminates the truth.
As I noted earlier, I have experienced a great deal of change personally in my life during my time at the paper. When I accepted this job in 2001, Christina and I had two boys. Now our family is twice the size and growing. Joining Patrick and Michael, Kathryn and Madelyn, is another brother or sister, expected in late October. They are a major reason why I fight the Culture of Death today, to inform the legions of Canadians concerned about the threats to morality and decency: I want my children to live in a world in which respect for human life and family life is restored, and short of that at least a world in which they can continue the fight of which their mother and father were part.
I am now the longest serving editor of this paper. While some have said that it would be great if there was no need for The Interim when battle against immorality is finally won, I look at it differently. Whether I’m at the helm or someone else is, I hope that The Interim continues to exist long after abortion is outlawed and marriage is defined properly and thriving again. I hope that the paper can be one that celebrates the Culture of Life (which we do, sometimes now in our arts coverage and other positive stories) rather than report and comment on the Culture of Death in all its horrible manifestations.
But until that time comes, this paper has the vital function of informing Canadians (and others) of the dangers in our midst.