Preachers and politicians got together at a pro-life rally and it was something to see.

“Any church that calls itself Christian and doesn’t have a sermon against abortion this Sunday doesn’t deserve to be called Christian!” charged Rev. Ken Campbell, Baptist minister and founder of Choose Life Canada.  Rev. Campbell said this to an enthusiastic crowd of 1,500 at the Queensway Cathedral in Toronto on the Sunday following the Supreme Court of Canada decision that struck down Canada’s abortion law.

“Amens” could be heard rising from the audience estimated to be 90 per cent Protestant, made up mostly of Baptists and Evangelicals, gathered to honour P.C. David Packer for “The 1988 Hero of the Year” award for Toronto.

Rev. Campbell described Packer as a “courageous cop” and noted that Chief Jack Marks and 1,500 police officers had not turned out wearing baseball hats and buttons to support Constable Packer – but for another policeman who had been convicted of severely beating up a man.  (The man had been caught using a stolen credit card)  So much for “Toronto the good,” Campbell said.

“Public officials,” he complained, “were afraid to come here today.  That’s the extent wicked tyranny has dominated the nation.  But the Bible reminds us that the joy of the wicked is short-lived.”

Packer accepted a large bouquet of roses for his wife, Anne, who was unable to attend, after receiving the award to a standing ovation.

“I would like to call you to arms today,” Packer said in a very brief address, “because what happened (on Black Thursday) is that the light has dimmed appreciably over Canada.”

Fr. Ted Colleton, a Catholic priest and popular pro-life activist, said: “A time like this needs a man strong of mind, great of heart, with true faith and ready hands.  It also needs men of honour, men who will not lie.  Unfortunately, men of this caliber are not welcome among Metro’s finest, but, David Packer, thank you for being such a man.”

The audience roared its approval and a host of television cameras around the podium made it an historic event.

At a press conference previously, Rev. Campbell called abortion a cheap, violent, barbaric and ugly solution to problem pregnancies.  He insisted that The Way Inn, located beside the Morgentaler abortuary in Toronto, would carry on and so would the picketing.  Campbell calls abortion “The Holocaust of the Unwanted” but said that he would not go outside the lawa.  He also wanted to know why anyone would cheer the news that there is no protection for the unborn now.

Rev. Campbell accused the press of favouritism, of slavish drooling over Morgentaler and his lawyer, Maurice Manning, saying: “I hope you’re as critical of Henry’s attorney and also of Henry as you have been of me and my attorney.”  His attorney is Angela Costigan an able pro-life lawyer.

At the rally, Rev. Campbell also accused the Toronto Star of censorship, in cutting certain religious phrases and truthful comments from his ads which appeared in the paper recently.  The Star has a new policy that ads directed to, or critical of particular segments of the population should not be published.  The Star, he pointed out, does not censor ‘escort’ ads, which are often a front for call-girl operations.

Rev. Hudson Hilsden, of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, called for strong immediate action for pro-lifers to get involved politically, write letters and join the picket lines.

John Oostrom, Conservative MP for Willowdale, urged the audience to go to all nomination meetings and ask their candidates were they stand on pro-life issues and “don’t be washed away by any flitting answer.  Join a political party.  Wear pro-life buttons.  Have pro-life candidates on the ballot.”

Judy Johnson of Etobicoke, a candidate for the Family Coalition Party in the recent Ontario provincial election, and an active member of Campaign Life Coalition, urged inactive pro-lifers to become active with CLC office volunteer work, picketing, fundraising, attending political meetings or whatever a person could do.

Angela Cositgan, lawyer for choose Life, said that thought the Supreme Court struck down the abortion law, it also re-affirmed the authority of Parliament to enact laws to protect the life of the unborn.

Patrick Boyer, Conservative MP for Lakeshore, who started off the proceedings, said: Life is God given – every form of life deserves protection.”

The rally from the opening National Anthem to the closing prayer was a fitting tribute to one who chose to honour life, Constable David Packer.