I sat down to write this column and as I was thinking about what to say, I realized that it was going to be in the January, 2000 issue of The Interim. Yes indeed, this would be my first column for the new year – and for a new millennium! And then, all of a sudden, I thought, “If there is a new millennium.” Just think! I go to all this effort to write a column for The Interim, and then the world ceases to exist and it’s all for nought. What should I do?
That was when my inflated thoughts of self-importance came crashing down and I realized that my ideas and my time really aren’t valuable enough to raise questions about whether or not I should do something now that may prove to be of no consequence in the future. But seriously, folks, I hope the roll-over into the new millennium has been a valuable perspective-developing experience for you.
What do you want to be found doing when Christ returns? Wise people answer that they want to be found busy in the daily tasks of obedience that are required in the context in which God has placed them. For many of us that includes pro-life activity, activity that is often thankless and apparently fruitless. But is it fruitless? As you go about your work, are you cultivating the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in your life?
We have a busy year ahead of us and we want to do everything in a way that reflects a godly spirit, exhibits a persevering attitude, and demonstrates a commitment to truth.
We have to meet with our senators over Senator Sharon Carstairs’ euthanasia bill (S-2). We also need to prepare for possible hearings connected with a Senate committee formed at her request under the guise of updating the substance of the original Senate Committee report on euthanasia and assisted suicide published four years ago.
We also have to monitor the progress of a conscience bill introduced in the Senate (S-11) – the bill originally introduced by Senator Stanley Haidasz before he retired last year and finally brought back to political life by Liberal Senator Raymond Perrault. Furthermore, Reform MP Maurice Vellacott’s conscience bill has the opportunity to see the light of day again in the House of Commons (see article elsewhere in this issue).
We can also expect new developments and problems associated with ongoing research and development in the areas of genetic and reproductive technologies that will need to be addressed. The government is supposed to introduce legislation early in the year to regulate this field. Then there is the urgency over the level of organ donations in Canada and the fear that the lack of donors may lead to unethical practices. Once again this is an issue pro-lifers need to monitor.
And these are only the federal issues. Do you feel overwhelmed yet? Well, don’t. Instead, pray. And pray specifically for guidance about what you can and should do in this ongoing battle to defend innocent life. The pro-life movement needs financial support, but it also needs people. Several pro-life youth groups started up last year. If you are a young person, maybe you should join one in order to find out how to get more involved. Perhaps you are in a position to start a local chapter of one of these groups in your community or school.
Pro-life activity would also benefit from more Canadians taking the time to contact their politicians (at all levels of government, including school board trustees) to express their views on pro-life issues. We should also pray for increased consensus among pro-life Canadians about how we should vote in elections. The inability of pro-lifers to sway elections in this country detracts substantially from our influence when it comes to trying to convince politicians to back our demands.
But we don’t just need people talking to their politicians; we also need communication taking place with church leaders. It would be encouraging to hear more stories about church leaders speaking out more often about abortion and euthanasia, exercising the spiritual leadership that many ordinary religious folk and politicians want to see and need to see.
One of the easiest areas for most pro-life Canadians to get involved, I expect, is with crisis pregnancy centres, those outposts that offer a constructive alternative to the carnage that takes place around us each day. Perhaps you can donate money or needed supplies or even some time. In most cases you don’t need a psychology or counselling degree; you just need to know how to show that you care about a hurting person. Maybe you just need to be available for a friend or family member who is contemplating abortion and needs someone to talk her out of it.
Perhaps you will be one of the few people God calls to be on the very front lines of the political battle, involved in civil disobedience alongside Linda Gibbons or someone else in another part of the country.
And don’t forget the importance of your presence at March for Life 2000 in Ottawa later this year.