- Created on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 10:10
With all that's going on in Canada with regards to euthanasia, the release by ARPA Oxford of this video is very timely. On Tuesday October 15, ARPA Oxford hosted a euthanasia debate in Mt. Elgin, Ontario. Over 300 people came to Oxford Reformed Christian School to hear the debate between Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Michael Payton of Dying with Dignity. The debate centred on the general question of whether or not end-of-life care in Canada should include euthanasia. ARPA Canada's André Schutten served as the debate moderator.
The purpose of the debate was to help educate our local Reformed church members and the general community on two of the most prominent perspectives on both sides of the euthanasia debate. This follows on the Reformed perspective on euthanasia provided in the ARPA Canada 2012 Fall Tour. Our hope was that attendees would leave with a better understanding of the pro- and anti-euthanasia arguments and be better equipped to tackle the issue from a Reformed perspective.
The event was recorded and linked here is the edited video. Watch it and be equipped to tackle this issue with your co-workers and neighbours!
- Created on Monday, 09 June 2014 06:36
It was less than 50 years ago that Pierre Trudeau declared that “there’s no place for the State in the bedrooms of the nation,” but today, the State is dictating that virtually every kind of “bedroom behaviour” has to be legitimized and even celebrated. How, and why, did that shift take place?
On the program this week, Reverend Joe Boot from the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity traces the history of the changes; the philosophical and worldview underpinnings of the march to what he calls libertinism. His presentation, entitled “Sexuality, Politics, and Culture”, was given at an ARPA event in Niagara a few weeks ago. The lecture was a full hour long. We present a shortened version of the speech on the second half of the program. (If you’d like to hear the full version, it’s available online here.)
Also on the program, ARPA’s lobbying efforts, (and those of others), have paid off with the introduction of a new law to regulate prostitution in Canada. We get an analysis of the new legislation from ARPA lawyer Andre Schutten.
The Quebec government has re-introduced a bill to legalize euthanasia. (The full English text of Bill 52 is here.) We speak to Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition about how Quebec is trying to skirt around the Criminal Code prohibition against a practice which – up to this point – has been considered murder. The Coalition is preparing a legal challenge of the Bill – if you’d like to contribute to that cause, you can do so here.
And an update on New Democrat MP Charlie Angus’ private members motion to introduce a national strategy for palliative and end of life care.
- Created on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 21:54
*Update: the mainstream media is sharing many of the talking points we use on this issue as well. Check out excellent commentary from Calgary Herald, National Post, Globe & Mail, and The Catholic Register.
As many ARPA readers know, the issue of prostitution has been a big one on our policy plate for the past few years. In the fall of 2011, ARPA Canada published its first Respectfully Submitted report on this issue, calling on the federal government to give serious consideration to rewriting our laws on prostitution to pre-empt the Supreme Court from striking down our current laws. The government did not act at that time, and the Supreme Court, in December 2013, did strike down our prostitution laws as we predicted. Thankfully, the Court gave Parliament one year to draft new laws. Today, they tabled the draft law titled, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. The preamble sets the tone of the document and is quite impressive. It's worth reproducing here. Note how it doesn't shy away from the public harm that prostitution is and how the commercialization of prostitution is so detrimental:
- Created on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 21:17
Update: We have posted links to a 5-part series from the Gospel Coalition on this issue below as well as a link to a detailed medical/phychiatric analysis from world-renowned physciatrist. Just click Read More and scroll to the bottom of the article.
The issue of transgenderism is all over the mainstream news these days. The issue is a very emotionally sensitive issue, and a politically sensitive issue as well (to say the least). Yet we know that God has designed gender a certain way (that is, gender and sexual identity are binary for He created us male and female). Since we know this truth, Christians ought to have something to say about the modern phenomenon of gender fluidity. We've talked about the issue from a public policy perspective already a couple years ago. You can see our video explaining our position here. You can also read Senator Plett's speech in the Senate urging caution on moving forward with a gender identity affirming bill. For a refreshingly common sense approach to the issue, check out this frank commentay here. And for a well thought out Biblical response to the issue and how the church should respond, check out this link here as well as this resolution here, (or rather, 18 resolutions) which one of the largest Christian denominations in the world will consider in the first half of June, 2014. Hopefully the resolutions will be adopted and the Biblical truths and the freedom that come from it will be upheld.
- Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 11:29
Thank you to Mark Luimes for joining us at ARPA Canada for the past month in our Ottawa office. We have all enjoyed working with you and are especially grateful for all you have contributed in your short time with us. We wish you the best in your future studies and look forward to seeing where the Lord will lead you. Have fun at home on the farm over the summer and we'll see you when you're back in town!
- Created on Thursday, 29 May 2014 10:34
Yesterday, the House of Commons passed Charlie Angus' motion for a national palliative care strategy, almost unanimously (with only 1 vote against, by Bloc Québécois MP Jean-Francois Fortin). This motion is non-binding, meaning that it won't necessarily change laws but it certainly has the power to direct the conversation and move towards enacting laws. The motion asks the government to work with provinces and territories to ensure individuals have access to "high-quality, home-based and hospice palliative care," as well as providing more support to caregivers and encouraging Canadians to "discuss and plan for end-of-life care." (You can read more on the CBC website here)
We wrote about Mr. Angus' motion in April and also interviewed him on our Lighthouse News radio program, where he explained how he is "trying to bring in a better palliative care and end-of-life strategy that is positive and affirms life and affirms the spiritual components that we all count at those traumatic and sometimes profound moments in our lives".
Many of you sent an EasyMail letter to your MP, encouraging them to vote yes to Mr. Angus' motion - thank you for letting the government know that you believe there is a better solution for our ageing population that cares for the individual and the family. Whether you sent an EasyMail letter, signed a petition or called their office, thank you. These can seem like baby steps, but collectively, God is using our voices to be heard in Parliament. Stay tuned for next steps.
You may also be interested in reading Father Raymond De Souza's op-ed in the National Post where he explains clearly the necessity of a national palliative care strategy and why this is something that ought to be embraced by all parties - not just those who have historically been on the right of the political spectrum. We seek to help governments enact good public policy, and we can agree that wherever you sit on the political spectrum: dignified and compassionate care for the most vulnerable is something we can certainly all agree on. Thank you Mr. Angus for your work on Motion 456 and thank you readers for engaging with your elected officials.
- Created on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 15:53
Today the House of Commons voted 174-80 against MP Maurice Vellacott's Equal Parenting motion. The Conservative Party cabinet was whipped to join the NDP and Liberals and vote against it. We interviewed Mr. Vellacott about his motion on Lighthouse News and you can listen to there here.
Vellacott was not deterred by the defeat, calling it a "milestone in the efforts by Canadians from across the country to secure the best interests of children." He added "the need for equal shared parenting is on the social and political radar like it has never been before due to Bill C-560 and the grassroots work of so many men and women from every Party across this country, educating their Members of Parliament on the best interests of the children of divorce. The timing is perfect with the avalanche of social science research these days demonstrating the need for the continued active involvement of both their fit parents in the lives of children."
Although the Cabinet was whipped to oppose the motion (was this out of spite against Vellacott's outspoken pro-family and pro-life perspective?) there was a ray of hope. Vellacott noted that during debate the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, Bob Dechert, promised Canadians that the government would "review the custody and access provisions of the Divorce Act and, in so doing, will consider how it can further encourage parents to rely less on adversarial processes and focus on the needs of their children."
- Created on Monday, 26 May 2014 18:52
The Overton Window. It’s a theory that tries to pinpoint what political positions are – and are not – palatable in Society. On the program this week, we feature an interview which applies the theory to Canada’s resurgent debate on abortion, and tries to provide some insights into “shifting” that window in a more pro-life direction. There has been no shortage of discussion on the matter ever since Justin Trudeau issued his ultimatum to Liberal candidates in early May. Mike Schouten from WNAL appeared on SUN TV to discuss Mr. Trudeau’s position. We feature some audio clips from that program this week.
We also refer to a number of print articles in the broadcast, from the National Post, the Calgary Herald, the Vancouver Sun, the Toronto Star, and a gem of a letter to the editor written by the former Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island. Also on the program, a brief update on the legal machinations surrounding the Trinity Western University Law School case.
- Created on Monday, 26 May 2014 08:11
Do you think this poster is so offensive that a municipal government is justified in banning it from being displayed on their buses? Or do you agree with us that Edmontonians are capable of having this discussion? Check our ARPA's op-ed, published in the Calgary Herald this morning, on why the City of Edmonton was wrong to deny the publishing of this billboard on their buses. And kudos to the Barrhead/Neerlandia ARPA group for doing all they could to get this billboard published!
If you think Edmonton should have allowed this billboard to be posted on the ETS buses, and if you're concerned about the City's censorship, give the Edmonton mayor and councillors a call. You can find their contact info here.
Calgary Herald - 26 May, 2014 - André Schutten - With all the chatter about fetuses over the past few weeks, it seems that abortion isn't the pariah of discussion topics it once was. Justin Trudeau's no-choice-but-pro-choice comments and Niki Ashton's proposed-then-quickly-withdrawn motion on abortion have generated pages of commentary in every mainstream paper across the country.
But if you thought that freedom of discussion about contentious political issues was entering a new and glorious era of freedom, think again. While the media and federal and provincial politicians are finally talking about abortion again, municipalities continue to run scared.
In fact, the level of government guilty of the most censorship is the municipality. Keep Reading
- Created on Monday, 26 May 2014 14:11
In response to this story about Meriam Ibrahim, Mr. Blokhuis was inspired to pen the following poem.
(Read the signs of the times)
When your head's placed in a noose,
Does it matter tight or loose?
Would it's texture hold you back,
When placed on that torturous rack?
Tell, would forty lashes hurt,
Less, with, or without your shirt?
Would it merely hurt your pride,
With a knife pierced through throat's side?
- Created on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 11:50
Pastor David Lipsy, pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Church in Burgesville preached from 1 Timothy 2 and the importance of praying for all those in authority. This message was preached on the Sunday prior to God & Government and calls on each person to commit to praying for those in authority as commanded in the Bible. It is an encouraging and refreshing reminder that we each have a role to play and that God is indeed sovereign over all.
You can listen here.
- Created on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 08:14
Mark Penninga, Vancouver Sun, May 20 2014: Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau announced last week, just before the National March for Life, that candidates for the next election for the Liberal Party will be required to be pro-abortion. This is clearly discriminatory. It excludes at least half of the population that for religious or other reasons does not support the status quo of zero restrictions on abortion.
I joined the thousands of Canadians who marched for Life in Ottawa on Thursday. Many of those who are pro-life are Christians. There was clearly a strong contingent of Roman Catholics, traditionally strong supporters of the Liberal Party. Another sector included evangelical and Reformed Christians.
This new Liberal policy therefore is indirect discrimination against some Christians. I have seen almost nothing from lawyers denouncing this discrimination. On the other hand, lawyers and human rights activists have lined up to denounce Trinity Western University. At TWU, students must sign a community covenant document wherein they agree to abstain from sexual intimacy outside marriage, which the university defines as being between a man and a woman.
TWU does this to stay true to its Christian basis. Outspoken lawyers have argued that because their professional codes of conduct requires non-discrimination, TWU should not be approved.
May I respectfully point out this reasoning may well apply to members of the Liberal Party. Keep reading
- Created on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 08:04
Updated July 29, 2014: see postscript
Under the title of "the Granddaddy of Government Scandals," FreeThePressCanada has made the effort to connect ARPA Canada to Canada's Federal government. ARPA is cited a whopping 95 times in this report, all in an effort to uncover this "scandal" of Christians using their democratic freedom to communicate their views with their government officials. Unfortunately, the author didn't take the time to fact-check, nor even give us the courtesy of a phone call to clear up her big questions and allegations. If she had, it might have made for a rather boring report. Here are just a few corrections to the many factual errors in the report:
- Created on Friday, 16 May 2014 11:09
A euthanasia doctor in Belgium, apparently blind to the sick and twisted nature of his plan, has announced a euthanasia seminar and tour in Auschwitz. To hold a seminar on euthanasia in an extermination camp where the idea of 'lives not worth living' took its most extreme form, is strange, to say the very least. As our friends at ProWomanProLife suggest, this seems to be a peculiar application of Godwin's Law. Thanks to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition for publishing this story. Read it here.
- Created on Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:46
Special report by ARPA intern Mark Luimes
If there is one phrase I've heard more often than others at the various political and motivational events I've attended since moving to Ottawa, it is that "youth are the future leaders of our society". It's true, and it has the been the driving motive behind student engagement events like the "I vote/Je vote" campaign at uOttawa, pro-life club training events like the NCLN Symposium, and events like the one I was able to attend this past week, the National Student Forum.
The National Student Forum is a two-day event that takes place before the National Prayer Breakfast. It is intended for young Christians who are interested in learning more about what it is like to be a Christian leader in politics. The Forum is packed full of interesting and practical talks given by Members of Parliament, Senators, Parliamentary staffers, and others who have valuable experience to share. This year's forum was coordinated, hosted and moderated by the exceptionally talented and experienced Daniel Gilman, a staffer of six years and a well-known face among Christian political activists in Ottawa; his presence was an invaluable and entertaining part of the forum.
- Committee Work on the Hill
- March for Life 2014 - a video update!
- Lighthouse News - God and Government
- God & Government 2014: Huge Success
- God and Government - Wednesday
- God and Government - Tuesday
- Palliative Care and Motion 456
- Euthanasia, Abortion and a Tribute - Lighthouse News
- Students Visit Crisis Pregnancy Centre
- Irreplaceable: A Focus on the Family film
- Mr. Jim Flaherty has died
- Christian Law School Debate
- March for Life 2014
- ARPA Oxford Hosts Abortion Memorial
- Assisted Suicide Bill Coming to Parliament - But a Vote is Unlikely
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