ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2018 “Are You Ready for What’s Coming?” by Betty Bandstra
The Association for Reformed Political Action included Smithers in their fall tour across the country and we were privileged to have the executive director, Mark Penninga, emcee an informative evening with guest speakers André Schutten and Mike Schouten.
It was a well-attended event held at the Canadian Reformed Church on October 19 but if you were not able to be there, the following is a recap of a few important items.
Part 1: The “Stage was Set” by Penninga who gave us a quick journey through the cultural world view of previous generations; ‘modernism’ that held to logic and objectivity, through ‘post-modernism’ that elevates emotion and personal belief arising from circumstances to the ‘post-truth’ thinking in western societies today.
The objective reality that abortion and euthanasia kill human beings, and that there are only male or female human beings has not changed; what has changed are the feelings about these facts. Decisions, even at the highest court in our land, are now being made upon the foundation of the justices’ feelings and preferences as they set aside years of legal precedence.
But, as the Bible itself says, there is nothing new under the sun. The human desire to get away from truth was already evidenced by the first parents in the Garden of Eden and it is glaring at us in the culture around us today. Yet we, who know Jesus- the truth, must be obedient to the job he has given us; that is, to shine the light of his truth into the darkness.
Part 2: Mike Schouten, who presented the case for “Pre-born Human Rights”, took us through the beginnings of the “We Need a Law” movement and the various campaigns they have engaged in at the federal level; what has been learned and how that is being applied to the next project.
Advancing bills that tackle issues like the practice of aborting girls and the complete lack of legal protection for a child killed in the womb through a criminal act, while valuable, was called nibbling at the edges of the real issue; the status of abortion in Canada today.
After sharing the shocking news that Canada is now the only country without an abortion law, Schouten proposed that the “Project Next Step” was a strategy for advancing pre-born human rights with a bill that has a clear goal of aiming for an International Standards Abortion Law that falls in line with other democracies. Their connections in Parliament are working hard to build support for such a law that, while not saving all children from abortion right now, we might at least achieve a huge improvement over the current lawlessness where all are killed. The direction of trying to save all the children would be the long term goal, and they will use the same strategy as the pro-abortion activists; regularly and frequently have bills presented in Parliament by a ‘Champion’ so that the idea is discussed in parliamentary committees and the media, whether or not it is passed. Eventually the scales of public perspective tip in favor of an idea that has become ‘normal’.
Part 3: André Schutten, whose presentation on “Religious Freedom” gave us a little more clarity on the legal world, addressed some recent court cases, both decided and pending in which they were able to be ‘intervenors’; that is, allowed to present arguments to the courts.
While the “Wall” decision was an affirmation of a church’s internal authority, the decision to forbid a law faculty at the Trinity Western Christian University in BC was a decision based on the ‘preferences/feelings of the judges, not on the objective rule of law presented before the current justices of the Canadian Supreme Court.
Basing decisions on imagined ‘values’ in the Charter that are not written anywhere sets aside years of precedent law. It reduces a solid foundation into quick sand and the consequences of this “Post-Truth” worldview will wreck massive damage to the religious freedom of groups and individuals who are obedient to the TRUTH; that is Jesus Christ.
Two very significant examples of attacks were:
1) The Federal Liberal government added a requirement that any applicant for a Student Summer Employment grant must first “check the Box” to agree that the applicant’s BELIEFS were the same as Prime Minister Trudeau’s; that abortion was a Canadian Value and a reproductive right. While some groups fully understood that this goes against the Charter Right of Freedom of Religious beliefs, other Christian groups where advised by their MPs that ‘checking the box’ was merely a formality of no consequence but had to be done in order to “get the money”.
2) The second attack is currently leveled at Christian/Catholic/Independent schools in Alberta by the NDP Education minister. Two years ago he said that the schools were exemplars of successful anti-bullying and that they modelled an ‘inclusive culture’ worthy of emulating; however they ran afoul of the multi-gendered, intolerant, anti-life world view of a heathen culture and have been threatened with complete defunding unless their vision and mission statements change. They may NOT reference anything newly labelled as intolerant; ie: that there is only ONE God, that he created (only) male and female genders. That marriage is the blessed union between a (male )husband and (female) wife (not to be defiled by adultery) who are biologically endowed by God their creator to reproduce (not abort) offspring who are created in the image of God. And that the Schools educational efforts MAY NOT support these beliefs because they create unsafe spaces.
The event was a clarion call to Christians: it is time to defend God’s truth to a culture that has lost its moorings.