Family Forum, an information an analysis organization, hosted its first conference in Hamilton on February 17. The group’s motto – “God, Family and Country” – was supported by speakers at the one-day event, held at bethel Gospel Tabernacle.

Over thirty delegates, representing the interests of pro-life and pro-family groups, were welcomed by Family Forum president Lynne Scime. Mrs. Scime emphasized the educational aspect of Family Forum. While the group has strong pro-life roots, it “will not duplicate the work of a pro-life movement,” she said. A social worker and mother of seven, Mrs. Scime has been a pro-life activist since the early seventies.

Screaming fits

Father Tom Lynch, pastor of St. Thomas More in Millbrook, Peterborough diocese, and a director of the Canadian Youth Pro-Life Organization (CYPLO), gave delegates a brief overview of the pro-life movement. In contrast to recent media predictions, Fr. Lynch believed that the Mulroney abortion bill, C-43, will be passed at third reading in the House of Commons.

“Talking to the lobbyists we know,” he said, “Mulroney has had two screaming fits in caucus telling people if they don’t back this bill they will pay for it and will regret it sincerely.”

Of serious concern is the muscle-flexing of the Right-to-Die movement. Recent tactics, he said, include the withholding of food and water, based on their redefinition as medicine. The same rationalization that allows abortion embraces euthanasia, he observed.

Private identity eroded

Keynote speaker Dr. Eric McLuhan of Toronto talked about the ways the media themselves, regardless of programme content, shape and reshape the users and their families.

“The more we use these media in our lives, the more we – adults equally as children – are alienated from reality and the more our sense of private identity is eroded,” he said.

“As a consequence,” noted Dr. McLuhan, “people find the traditional family too confining and are increasingly unable to sustain its demands and responsibilities… all of which makes normal family pressures and values intolerable and paves the way for divorce, abortion, euthanasia, homosexual ‘marriage,’ and the rest.”

Democratic forms

Rev. Read Myers, of the Canadian Research Institute in Mississauga, spoke on the decline of Western democracy in Canada. In doing so, he compared democracy – before 1982, that is – to the construction of a house. Everything, he said, depends on the strength of the foundation.

Canada has, since its birth, based its laws on the British North American Act – itself rooted in the Christian principles of British Common Law.

All that has changed, he stated. With the arrival of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, democratic forms still exist, but their contents are made of a New Age religion: Secular Humanism.