- Created on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 08:22
Deeper Analysis: Transgenderism
What’s the issue? Transsexualism, also known as transgenderism, Gender Identity Disorder (GID), or gender dysphoria, is a desire to
- Created on Monday, 21 September 2015 18:56
We Need a Law is kicking off its “lifeTOUR” this week, with stops in Moncton on Wednesday, Charlottetown on Thursday, and Halifax on Friday. On the feature interview this week, a discussion with WNAL Director Mike Schouten about what the Tour is hoping to accomplish within the context of the ongoing federal election campaign.
In the news, schools are back in session across the country, and in Ontario, the protests are continuing against the sex education component of the government’s new Health and Physical Education curriculum. The ARPA Chapter in Niagara is spearheading an awareness campaign on the issue, with strategically placed billboards and a website. Organizer Chris Hessels says the campaign is about “creating relationships that wouldn't normally come together”, and “standing on common ground”. Those relationships involve, in large part, new Canadians; the immigrant community which sees the curriculum as a threat to traditional values. Pro-life activist Jonathon Van Maren has written a piece detailing what he says are “irreconcilable cultural forces“ that are on a collision course in this issue. We talk to Jonathon about that blog entry.
Meanwhile in Alberta, parents continue to lobby against Bill 10, the new law that mandates the creation of “Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs” in all schools where even a single student requests them. The group “Parents for Choice in Education” (PCE) was planning a big rally this coming weekend, but they’ve now decided to postpone that until spring, focusing instead on collecting signatures on a petitionasking for changes to the law.
PCE has also released a new study by economist Mark Milke, detailing the millions of dollars that Alberta taxpayers are saving because parents are sending their children to Christian and other independent schools.
And the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons has quietly released new policy guidelineson the issue of doctor-assisted suicide. The policy says that doctors who don’t want to participate in doctor-assisted suicide on moral or religious grounds will have to make “an effective referral to another health-care provider” for the procedure. The entire policy is still subject to a legal challenge, which will likely go before the courts sometime in the next year.
- Created on Monday, 14 September 2015 08:54
In the news this week political turmoil surrounding the County Clerk Kim Davis in Morehead Kentucky who was sent to prison for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Her refusal, she says, was based on opposition to the US Supreme Court ruling which mandated that all States must start issuing those licenses to same-sex couples. Davis argued she couldn’t do that in violation of her Christian worldview. On the feature interview today, a look at the underlying ethics of Christian civil disobedience, with Dr. Nelson Kloosterman. His website has hosted a discussion on this issue in recent weeks, and we get his assessment of the political stance Kim Davis has taken.
In the news, ARPA has a new “election guide” on our home page to help you sort through the various positions the parties have taken in the current Canadian federal election - positions on issues that should be of importance to Christians. On the program this week, we speak with Executive Director Mark Penninga about why this was published, and how it can be used.
Several ARPA chapters are hosting all-candidates’ forums in the election in the next few weeks. We talk to some of the organizers about what’s involved in putting on an event like this.
And, some great news out of the British Parliament on the issue of doctor-assisted suicide.
- Created on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 11:32
(A print version of this article, suitable for churches is attached below)
The recent euthanasia decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in Carterv. Canada hangs its shadow over Election 2015. The results of this election will have a substantial impact on the direction Canada takes and the extent to which euthanasia and assisted suicide is challenged, curtailed, or even celebrated.
In February 2015, the court struck down Canada’s laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia and gave Parliament 12 months to act. No new legislation has been introduced yet. The new Parliament will have to act quickly or Canada will be left with an enormous hole in its Criminal Code and vulnerable lives will be at risk.
- Created on Monday, 24 August 2015 10:02
One of the most controversial aspects of the recently-released Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was the use of the term “cultural genocide” to describe the practice of residential schooling that took place during the 1800s and 1900s in Canada.” So begins an article posted on the ARPA website this summer about the parallels between the abuses of the residential school system and the way Christian and independent schools are now being marginalized in today’s culture. The article was written by Kent Dykstra, the Principal of William of Orange Christian School in Surrey, BC. On the feature interview this week, we talk to Mr. Dykstra about the central assertion of his article - that some governments are repeating the mistakes of the residential schools debacle in the context of today’s education system.
In the news, the government of Quebec has introduced a new law to strengthen the powers of its Human Rights Commission and weaken the concept of parental authority. We have some legal updates on the Trinity Western Law School case this week.The federal euthanasia panel is now taking online submissions. Full details, including some suggested talking points, are here. WeNeedaLaw is getting ready for its fall LifeTOUR. This year the tour will be travelling from coast to coast with the aim of empowering pro-lifers - particularly in this election season - by focusing on three issues: sex-selective abortion, unborn victims of crime, and “fetal pain” during abortion. (Complete details and a full tour schedule can be found here.)
An Ontario man has managed to force both the federal Health and Justice ministries to correct their approach to corporal punishment. Harold Hoff found that both ministries were disseminating factually incorrect material on the issue. He engaged in some comprehensive research to prove his point, published that research, and then took it to his Member of Parliament. Both ministries have now moved to correct their information.
- Created on Thursday, 20 August 2015 19:25
UPDATE, Aug 25: The province of Ontario, in conjunction with the other provinces, has now also innitiated its own (very biased) survey about assisted suicide. This one takes about 15 minutes to complete and it is very important that we also share our views with this survey. https://www.ontario.ca/page/doctor-assisted-dying-and-end-life-decisions-consultation
In response to the Carter Supreme Court decision which struck down Canada's assisted suicide laws, the Minister of Health and Minister of Justice have formed a panel to investigate options for a new law. This panel will be meeting with official stakeholders, including ARPA Canada. It is also asking for input from you - the public. Please set aside 20-30 minutes to share your thoughts and concerns with the panel by filling in their extensive online survey. The panel will share these findings with the new government, which will be drafting a new law. It is so important that the new government hears our concerns loud and clear. We are trying to make this as easy as possible by walking through the survey with you and providing some suggested responses you can share.
You can share your views with this panel in two ways. First, you can complete their online "issue book" which is a 20-30 minute survey that asks you to respond to a variety of matters pertaining to assisted suicide and euthanasia (almost all multiple-choice style). Second, you can write your own letter or submission and upload it, to be shared with the panel. Of course you are most welcome to do both! The focus of this article is on option 1.
- Created on Friday, 12 June 2015 17:07
When the new Parliament returns after the election, MPs will have only weeks to introduce new assisted suicide legislation before the February 2016 deadline. Even if the Supreme Court grants an extension, Parliament will still have to pass new a new law quickly. It is so important that each of us uses the opportunity NOW to talk to them about the issue. Lives can be saved or lost depending on how our government responds. There is so much that you can do!
ARPA's Legal and Policy Resources on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia:
- New Legal Analysis & Draft law: How Parliament can continue to prohibit assisted suicide without needing to invoke the "not-withstanding clause"
- Draft Law: Using notwithstanding clause to continue to prohibit assisted suicide
- Policy Report: Broader analysis of why Parliament must prohbit assisted sucide and euthanasia
- Factum: ARPA's legal submission to the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v Canada
Read, watch and listen:
- Read and share ARPA’s policy report and draft legislation (see above) on assisted suicide and euthanasia: post them to your page encouraging others to read and take action, send a copy to your friends via email, or drop a copy off your MP’s office. The more these reports can be shared, the better.
- Watch ARPA’s recent video update explaining why this issue is a priority, and share with friends.
- Listen to ARPA’s staff explain why our draft legislation is realistic and constitutional and well worthy of support by all MPs
Take Part in the Government Consulations
The Minister of Justice and Minister of Health have created a special panel to consult with Canadians about how to fill the legislative void. ARPA Canada has been invited to meet with the panel because we were an intervenor in the Supreme Court Case. But it would be much more effective if you send them a similar message and even reccomnd our policy report and draft law.
Go to the panel website at http://www.ep-ce.ca/en/consultation/ to submit your thoughts in a respectful and upbuilding way. You can do so via the "Issue Book" or by uploading something you have written, or both. We have seen this make a huge difference when the government consulted Canadians about new prostitution legislation. Let's take this opportunity to stand up for life!
We have created an article (find it here) that walks you through this survey, including some sample sentences you can include.
Write a letter to your MP:
You can still use ARPA’s EasyMail to send a letter to your MP in just a few minutes. However, its important to note that with the election campaign underway, this is going to be less effective as most MPs have set aside their regular duties to campaign.:
- Letter 1 (Brand new): Encourages MPs to read ARPA’s draft law which would continue to prohibit all euthanasia and assisted suicide. It's legally sound and needs to be considered.
- Letter 2 (recent): Passionate call for MPs to draft principled legislation soon
- Letter 3: Request MP to read and respond to ARPA policy report
- Letter 4: Shorter request for MP to read policy report
- Letter 5: More detailed call for MP to do the right thing (no reference to policy report)
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper:
Summer tends to be a slower time for newspapers and they are more likely to print what is submitted to them. Please be sure to keep your letter short (no more than 200 words), make just one point and make it well, the more personal it can be the better, have someone proof it before you send it, and then be sure to actually send it in! Check out our policy report for facts and statistics to include. Some talking points to consider:
- In light of the Supreme Court Carter decision, Canada’s laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia were struck down. Parliament has just months to pass a new law.
- If Canada doesn’t pass a new law, we will become one of the most permissive and liberalized euthanasia regimes in the entire world. Even the Supreme Court made it clear that it is looking to Parliament to enact strict regulations.
- As soon as our country crosses the line where it is OK for some people to kill others based on how they feel about themselves, it becomes impossible to ensure that the line won’t move to include others, who also want to die. We see proof of this in the Netherlands and Belgium, which have broadened their “strict” laws to include infants and children.
- As soon as some people can be killed based on their disability or health, everyone who meets that criteria has to then justify their existence. This is something nobody should have to do.
- Encourage your MP to do the right thing and pass a law soon which continues to prohibit all euthanasia and assisted suicide.
- Parliament can do this by invoking the not-withstanding clause which is in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and exists exactly for this purpose. Canadian laws should be made by Parliament, and interpreted by the courts, not the other way around.
Meet with your MP:
Request a meeting with your MP to discuss this issue. Summer is the time to do this, as they are in their ridings and are not nearly as busy.
- Send them an email (you can use the EasyMail links above and include a request at the beginning to meet), or give them a phone call. Find their phone number by putting in your postal code here. Explain that you would like to meet to discuss euthanasia and that it is a priority to do so now, before the election.
- You are welcome to ask a few others to join you. Just make sure you coordinate with them ahead of time so they know what you want to speak about and what they can bring up.
- Keep the meeting friendly and courteous: thank them for their service and remember that they have a very difficult position. Ask what you/your community can do to help;
- Take along a copy of the ARPA policy report and encourage them to read it and respond to you after having done so.
- Phone us if you need any help – 1-866-691-2772.
- Created on Monday, 10 August 2015 12:20
(A print version of this article, suitable for churches is attached below)
The introduction of abortion legislation is one promise the major political parties will not be making in the lead up to the October 19th election. It may seem like a political victory for the pro-life movement in Canada is not forthcoming. It is as though God has withheld his favour on the labours of those striving for laws protecting our pre-born neighbours.
Will we ever succeed? Would it not be better to simply acknowledge that any effort to implement legislative change is futile? Maybe we should just focus on sharing the gospel and effect change that way. The temptation to simply concede the status quo may be strong, but it is wrong and contrary to a Biblical understanding of the purpose of government. God restrains the evil of abortion by various means, including the government. Government is sent “to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good” (1 Peter 2:14).
The Bible is full of examples, both in the Old and New Testaments, of God’s people having influence on secular governments. Joseph, Daniel, Esther and Paul come to mind immediately. Regarding abortion and the Biblical teaching that all human beings are created in the image of God and have equal status before Him, perhaps it is easiest to point to Exodus 20 and the sixth commandment “You shall not kill”. The Scriptures are clear: the unjust killing of a human being is never met with the approval of a holy God. That said, the unjust killing of an innocent child is viewed with particular disdain. Consider Jeremiah 7: “The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord….They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire – something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.” The creator God could not even fathom such a thing! The killing of innocent children is something God detests and (in human terms) did not anticipate human beings were even capable of doing!
- Created on Monday, 10 August 2015 13:45
Almost everyone is familiar with the Bible text that’s carved into the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. The words “He shall have Dominion” are taken from Psalm 72. But did you know there are 14 other Biblical references scattered around the seat of Canada’s federal Parliament? On the feature interview this week, Al talks with Tim Bloedow, who’s done extensive research on this, and has written a booklet entitled “The Biblical Legacy of Canada’s Parliament Buildings” (you can order a copy from his website by clicking here).
In the news, the federal election has precipitated a change in Ottawa’s plans for consultations on euthanasia. Parliament has been told it has to rewrite the Criminal Code in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the Carter case. In July, the government appointed a panel to look at the issue, and that panel immediately promised to consult with groups which had made unsuccessful submissions at the Supreme Court. But after the election was called, that panel decided it won’t be hearing from those groups until late October, after voting day. However, individual Canadians are still being invited to submit their thoughts on the issue to the panel via their website. You can make your submission here. (If you’re not sure what to put into your submission, ARPA is working on some talking points, which will be posted to the “Carter Case” page on the main website within the next week or so.)
A potentially major expansion of abortion services in Canada. The day before the federal election was called, the federal Health Ministry announced it has approved the distribution of a drug called “RU-486”, which is also known as the “morning-after pill.” We Need a Law is mounting an effort to have that decision overturned. More than 1300 emails were sent to the Health Minister and other federal politicians in the days immediately following the approval, and WNAL Executive Director Mike Schouten will be going on a national tour this fall to provide information and talking points for supporters to engage all candidates on this issue during the election campaign.
And ARPA is one of just three groups that have been invited to present oral arguments to the BC Supreme Court in support of the Trinity Western University Law School. The University is going to court to challenge a decision by the BC Law Society, rescinding an earlier approval of the establishment of a Law School at TWU.
- Created on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 05:32
ARPA Canada is pleased to share another resource with our supporters. In provinces across the country, education policy continues to evolve, and usually for the worse. In particular, new policies and programs are being developed and implemented that directly undermine parental authority, advance a particularly hedonist sexual ethic, and openly attack the Judeo-Christian worldview.
- In Quebec, a mandatory religious studies program for all schools requires an “objective” approach to the teaching of religion, meaning that the State insists that Christian schools must teach about other religions uncritically.
- In 2013, Ontario passed Bill 13, imposing gay-straight alliance clubs on Catholic schools and promoting a sexual ethic directly contrary to Christian teaching.
- That bill has been replicated in Manitoba through Bill 18 (passed in 2014) and Bill 10 in Alberta (in 2015). Unlike Ontario, Bill 18 and Bill 10 apply to independent Christian schools too.
- In British Columbia, a complaint from a homosexual activist was resolved when the B.C. government agreed to allow that activist to review the entire curriculum in the province to ensure adequate coverage (i.e. promotion) of the homosexual lifestyle. This arrangement was called the Corren Agreement, negotiated in 2006 and implemented in 2008.
- Currently, Ontario is pushing a new health education curriculum that includes a very controversial sex education component, despite the concerns of parents over the age appropriateness of the material.
These bills, curricula and policies impose a one-size-fits-all approach to issues of bullying, religion, and sexual ethics on all schools in their provinces, including independent, parent-run schools.
This Christian critique is ARPA Canada's principled, Biblical response to these policy changes. We hope you'll give it a read, share it with friends, and also let us know what you think of it. If there are ways to improve the document, we welcome your input and advice!
Update (July 20, 2015): Read this article from Large Family Mothering that addresses some of the lies that are reinforced by the public school system.
- Created on Friday, 26 June 2015 04:43
By Kent Dykstra
One of the most controversial aspects of the recently-released Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was the use of the term “cultural genocide” to describe the practice of residential schooling that took place during the 1800s and 1900s in Canada. It is defined as “the destruction of those structures and practices that allow a group to continue as a group… Specifically, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.”
Much of the printed reaction to the report was a combination of self-condemnation and hand-wringing that characterizes much of the discourse on this topic. But as I read more about it, I wondered whether cultural genocide, as defined above, continues in Canada even today.
Provincial governments, especially in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and recently also Alberta have been increasingly undermining parental rights in education by enforcing a view of secularism and sexuality that is at odds with the beliefs of a significant number of parents. This is done under the guise of human rights, but at its core is an assumption that the moral/cultural beliefs of the enlightened majority should be forced onto the minority. For example, over the past few years the province of Quebec went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in its efforts to force every school, including religious schools, to teach courses about religion and culture from a secular perspective. In other words, the state demanded that the religion and consciences of the parents and their children be squashed by the secular humanist beliefs of the majority. This is precisely the same assumption that gave rise to the residential schooling system.
- Created on Monday, 22 June 2015 08:05
As many of our Albertan readers know, Bill 10, hastily passed before the election with major amendments, radically reworked the Education Act, Schools Act and the Alberta Human Rights Act. Bill 10 is problematic for many reasons, principally because it undermines parental rights, threatens religious and associational freedom, and promotes nonsensical public policy. For more about the problems of Bill 10, see our earlier analysis here. Also, we encourage you to read and share this call-to-action letter mailed to all of our ARPA supporters in Alberta.
We're happy to share with you another resource and call to action. Please watch this video discussion between ARPA's executive director Mark Penninga and ARPA's lawyer André Schutten about Bill 10. Share it with your friends and family. And then follow up on the action items they mention in the video.
You can also print the petition at this link (and read the fact sheets) and bring it to your school, workplace, church or neighbourhood and get as many friends, family and colleagues to sign it.
You can also send an EasyMail letter right now to your local MLA. We have three to choose from.
- Letter 1 - Law can't be built on feelings (link)
- Letter 2 - Bill 10 violates freedom of religion and association (link)
- Letter 3 - Parental Authority Undermined (link)
Please also use Facebook to share this action item by clicking “share” at the bottom of this article.
- Created on Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:34
Prizes, expert judging, and promotion sponsored by Compass Creative and Reformed Perspective.
In 2013 we held our first billboard contest and the submissions continue to be used in various mediums - as billboards, car decals, stickers and large-scale ads on trailers.
This summer we are launching the 2015 edition of the billboard design contest. We challenge our readers to create new designs for billboards, which can then be used by ARPA groups, our campaigns, and other organizations to make a testimony across our land.
The winning design will tackle a critical issue in the Canadian public square through a compelling, impactful, creative, and persuasive message that meets the criteria of one of two categories listed:
- Category 1: Abortion (prize is an 8" Samsung tablet)
- Category 2: All other political issues (prize is a 10" Samsung tablet)
Runners-up in each category will receive a one-year gift subscription to Reformed Perspective magazine.
- Created on Thursday, 11 June 2015 11:42
Update (July 20, 2015): Read this article, titled "Free speech: what banning ‘gay conversion therapy’ will really stop"
***Take Action Today: 3 EasyMail letters waiting for you below***
Recently Ontario and Manitoba passed legislation banning therapy for teens with unwanted homosexual or transgender feelings. We have serious concerns regarding the implications of these laws, and fear they are just around the corner for other provinces. At the end of this article we have some pointers on how you can respond in your province.
On June 4th, the last day that the Ontario Legislature was sitting before the summer, MPPs voted unanimously to pass Bill 77, heralded by its proponents as the right step following similar legislation in some jurisdictions of the United States. This bill was first proposed by New Democrat Cheri DiNovo a minister in the United Church of Canada. She argued, “these kids do not need to be fixed. It’s society that needs to be fixed.” The bill was written to remove coverage for “services rendered that seek to change or direct the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient, including efforts to change or direct the patient’s behaviour or gender expression.” It will also seek to prohibit providing these services to anyone under the age of 18. Manitoba’s new regulations are similar.
- Praise be to God for the new Ottawa office
- ARPA in Vancouver Sun: Time and Place for Spanking
- An ethical alternative to euthanasia
- Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms on Bill 10
- The value of the Scriptural testimony engraved on Canada’s Peace Tower
- Court challenge of Abortion Censorship
- Breaking News: ARPA files constitutional challenge against abortion censorship law
- FIPPA challenge - FAQs
- The Saguenay Decision
- Action Alert: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Law
- Religious freedom is a shield against anti-religious bigotry
- Lunney Leaves His Party
- Bill 10 undermines parental rights and the free society
- The appeal of the CPSO decision
- ARPA Canada calls on governments to protect religious freedom
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