The love of God’s law is true love of country
Over the last few months Josiah Wood and other British Columbia judges have handed out harsh sentences to pro-lifers. These range from two to four months in jail for breaking an injunction imposed to protect Vancouver’s free-standing abortuary. An added sting is the judges’ refusal to grant a reduction in time served for good behaviour, something readily granted to others convicted of a criminal offense.
The men and women who are serving these sentences do so willingly. This surprises many. Some people, such as the parents of one Toronto participant in Operation Rescue, think they must have fallen into the clutches of a cult. How else is one to explain such extraordinary behaviour?
Pro-lifers who sacrifice their jobs – as Toronto Constable David Packer did – or their freedom – as have the B.C. pro-life prisoners – may be unusual, but they have not taken leave of their senses. On the contrary, they fulfill the words spoken by St. Paul when he states:
“The unspiritual are interested only in what is unspiritual, but the spiritual are interested I n spiritual things. It is death to limit oneself to what is unspiritual; life and peace can only come with concern for the spiritual.” (Rom. 8, 5-8)
Many Christians continue to avert their eyes from the killing of the unborn. They bury themselves in other tasks, perhaps in the hope that this “unpleasantness” will itself somehow disappear. They are upset that “vocal anti-abortionists” – as the press calls them – continue to “cause trouble.” While deep down in their hearts they are aware of their duties as Christians, they stifle the Holy Spirit which tells them to bear witness to the truth. (John 15.26)
Committed secularists on the other hand, understand the issue only too well. They realize that what is at stake is their contention that law has no need of Christian morality. They, too, are upset and do not like what they see. The awakening of both is, perhaps, Operation Rescue’s first accomplishment.
The media’s understanding is expressed in different ways, sometimes shrill, sometimes groping and hesitant. The editors of the Vancouver paper The Province, are enraged, “It is not the clinic any longer that is the target of these zealots. The Supreme Court of Law and the rule of law are.” (January 24, 1989)
Others flail wildly at the pro-lifers like Bruce McLean in his column, “Are we facing rule by religion?” (The Province, January 24). Or they are sarcastic like Michele Mandel in her column on the dismissal of Toronto Constable David Packer (“Cop’s fight above the law,” Toronto Sun, March 11). She describes the Constable’s supporters as “those who zealously believe they are on a direct mission from the Lord himself.”
Others try to meet the issue head on, but their secularism closes the door to a solution and leaves them floundering in a sea of contradictions. “It’s important to separate the complex moral issue from the much simpler legal one,” states a Vancouver Sun editorial (February 10), not aware that this is what Parliament did in 1969 thereby causing all the problems. While “there is no middle ground and no earthly hope of a compromise on the moral issue,” it continues, Parliament will have to settle that aspect. The editorial continues:
“Many of the demonstrators sincerely believe that in defying the court injunction they have been following a higher moral law. But in a democratic society where church and state are separate and freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed, no religious law can prevail over the law of the people. British Columbia is not Iran nor is it the Vatican.”
An editorial in one of the smaller dailies was less muddled. It put the issue at its bluntest: “…no matter how sincerely these people cherish their beliefs, they must accept and be guided by the law of the land, even when it conflicts with ‘God’s law’” (Sault Ste. Marie Star, February 9). Now this is precisely what pro-lifers are not willing to do.
The current conflict is the consequence of separating law from morality begun in the late sixties. In a society without God, a warped view of the meaning of life twists everything in the wrong direction. Civil or criminal law is not truly law – and cannot be respected as such – unless it reflects the basic principles of God’s law. It is the error of both secularists and lukewarm Christians to think otherwise.
The judges who issue injunctions are applying reasonable measures such as Trespassing Acts to cover up crimes. The injunctions are issued in support of a non-existing right, the so-called “right” of every woman to kill her unborn baby. There is no such right, nor has there ever been such a right in all of history.
To defy such false principles and false applications of law is to honour one’s country as well as God.