Last month, The Interim celebrated its 25th anniversary. It might seem strange that a newspaper, founded after the fact to cover a press conference the media ignored, should have such an achievement to celebrate. By its name and nature, the paper presents itself as a temporary enterprise. Nevertheless, we are still around, after a quarter of a century. Sadly, we cannot be the Pro-Life Times, because those days have not yet arrived. Instead, we are The Interim, and we tell the stories of our time, in the interim – that is, in the between time.
We must never forget that the toleration of abortion is a very recent and totally unprecedented phenomenon in the history of civilized society. Hardly more than a generation ago, the very word was an obscenity. The legalization of prenatal infanticide in Canada is not quite 30 years old. Abortion on demand has not always been legal, nor will it be so forever. These dark years have been a tragic, but temporary, lapse in the history of a great and moral nation, a lapse from which it will surely recover.
So, although it may seem that we are out of step with our time, the opposite is true: the times themselves are out of joint. In this way, we follow Schiller’s dictum: “Live in your own century, but be not its creature.” We relate to our times; we are a part of our culture, precisely because we are critics of its actions. To paraphrase a modern philosopher, the friends of Canada cannot afford to be its flatterers. Because we are between the times, we therefore belong to our age all the more. We participate in the world as a counterpoint to it, not in spite of our dissent, but because of it.
The world, of course, does not see things this way: incessantly, we are told that our opinions are outdated. In actual fact, however, our critical stance anticipates the future. For, in defending the unborn, we are fighting not only for the weakest members of our own world, but for the very future of this world. We have all been unborn and, in our noble cause, we protect the same weakness we have all endured.
Our cause allows us to defend civilization itself, to truly participate in what Burke calls the continuum of the “dead, the living and the unborn.” For the word “unborn” means both: those in the womb and those not yet in the world. It is a truism, but a profound one: our children are our future – in fact, they are the future.
The Interim chronicles an anxious age, a lamentable hiatus from an honourable past. In doing so, we remind the world of a most-necessary truth: namely, the fragile beauty of every unborn life. This reminding, of course, is never merely a reminiscence of the past, but a call to (and plea for) the future.
“Redeem the times, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16). For now, the occlusions of the age prevent the true story of Canada’s cultural conflict from being told. But, as St Paul reminds us, “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31). Since the founding of this newspaper, progress has already been made. Canada’s paradoxical legal situation – a legal vacuum on abortion, the “born alive” rule – has already yielded the contradictions that will eventually end it. As St Basil says, “Evil is opposed, not only to the good, but to itself.” The truth, no matter how much it is derided or denied, is seeping into the culture – slowly, but certainly.
The Interim exists as an interruption. We have laboured in the cause of truth for 25 years and, unfortunately, we are still relevant, still necessary. The Canadian exile from common sense continues. But so do we. One day, the world will come to its senses; until then, we live in the between time, the interim. In this meantime, in these counted days, we fight the good fight, holding fast to the splendor of truth and holding out – to both our readers and our culture – the hope and the promise that is every human life.