‘Progressives’ on the Value of Life
By Mark Davis Pickup
Within certain media and academic circles the term “progressive” is used to describe policy makers and politicians who promote agendas typically attributed to liberal causes. It’s a curious description that is used to cast a positive light on favoured or fashionable ideological perspective. Conservative views are often described with derogatory labels such as right-wing (or even “extremist”) by secular media or political elite.
Sooner or later, the question must be asked: What is the progressives’ definition of progress? What do they want society to progress toward and how will we know when we get there? What will the progressive ideal world look like? Well, we can get some indication of their world by the things they espouse or decry. On moral issues, progressives consistently reject the previous moral consensus of western Christian civilization that served as the foundation of human advancement throughout the past thousand years.
For example, I have noticed that progressives tend to favour and espouse assisted suicide for the dying, incurably sick, and disabled. They euphemistically call it “choice in dying.” It will become a legal option in Canada beginning in June 2016. Notice the terminology has shifted from “physician assisted suicide” to “physician aid in dying” to make killing sound compassionate. The new phrase is inaccurate and deceptive. Palliative care is physician aid in dying; it alleviates suffering rather than killing the patient. In the past few weeks another phrase has emerged to broaden the scope of assisted suicide: medical aid in dying. This can encompass nurses. After all, it will often be nurses who give lethal injections, under the doctor’s orders.
Government sanctioned assisted suicide is, as I said earlier, a rejection of previous western Christian civilization and Common Law that has discouraged or punished assisted suicide going back centuries. So the progressive view of the world will include helping the dying, physically and mental ill, and disabled people―the weakest and most vulnerable citizens―kill themselves if they become suicidal. Why should this surprise anyone?
Decades ago, Progressives in Parliament and the Supreme Court imposed unfettered freedom to choose abortion for unwanted or inconvenient pregnancies despite the fact that abortion has been considered a moral evil since the first century. Again this was a rejection of that previous moral consensus of western Christian civilization. It has resulted in millions of unborn children being killed before they ever saw the light of day.
So we see that the progressives’ new world abandons and kills society’s most vulnerable under the guise of what they euphemistically call “freedom to choose” death for oneself or another life.
The weakest and most defeated of society pay the highest price for progressives’ version of progress. I am one of the sick and disabled the progressives are willing to kill. It appears to me that their progress is actual regress into a barbaric Dark Age. Their utopia may well prove to be hell on earth for the sick and disabled, or unwanted children yet to be born. They have led us down the wrong moral road! We must turn back! The hour is late and darkness is descending.
C.S. Lewis said, “We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
What is the right moral road? The right road follows a well-worn path established by the Ancient of Days. We will know it by taking our queue from the Scriptures and Sacred Traditions articulated so clearly and beautifully by the Catholic Church. If there is death with dignity it rests in Christ not poison or the end of a needle. In Christ we can find genuine life with dignity even when life is at its end. In Christ we will discover that the end of this life is just the beginning of eternal life.
Christians must stand up at this critical juncture in time to warn Canadian society it has taken the wrong road. Society must turn around and go back to the right road where true progress can be resumed once again.
Do not be discouraged if your warnings meet with limited success in turning people toward the right road. Canada’s death affirming culture will find it hard to understand the life affirming message found in Christian morality. Jesus told us that the road that leads to Him is narrow and few find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Even so, we are still called to point the way. Christ calls all humanity to himself.
Proclaim the value of every life. Evangelical and Catholic citizens, demand care and protection of all who are in danger of being killed or killing themselves!
In Christ there is life.
Mark Davis Pickup has lived with aggressive multiple sclerosis for over 33 years. Although electric wheelchair dependent, Mark has spoken across the United States and Canada promoting the sanctity, dignity, and equality of all human life. He has addressed politicians and legislative committees (both Canadian and American), university forums, hospital medical staffs, religious and denominational leaders, community groups, and organizations about the critical importance of protecting all human life from conception to natural death. Mark is also a widely published writer on bioethical and Christian issues. He writes a column for Canada’s Western Catholic Reporter newspaper. Mark is the recipient of numerous awards including the Monsignor Bill Irwin Award for Ethical Excellence, the William Kurelek Award for fostering respect and appreciation for the dignity of human life (Canada), and a Governor General’s Medal for Community Service.
This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at humanlifematters.org/2016/03/progressives-on-value-of-life.html.