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Technology in Reformed schools

With great technological innovation comes great responsibility. In an era where the digital landscape transforms the way we live, learn, and connect, Reformed Christian schools stand at the intersection, navigating the delicate balance between embracing innovation and upholding their Bible-based values. The integration of various technologies – whether computers, YouTube videos, cell phones, iPads, or the hot-button topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – is forcing a profound question upon Reformed Christian education: How can we ensure that the transformative potential of technology aligns with and honors our Christian worldview? Are these tools mere distractions, pulling our focus away from the godly values our schools want to foster, or can these technologies be harnessed to deepen the connection between students and their Christian identity? As the debate rages on between an impulse to retreat from technology entirely and the temptation to embrace it wholeheartedly, Reformed Christians have some complex decisions to make about how we will use technology in our classrooms. Survey says  To try to get an understanding of what’s happening in Reformed schools across Canada, I asked 20 of them to participate in a survey exploring their approaches to screen time, technology policies, and the broader digital landscape within their educational environments. The participating schools ranged from elementary to high school and consisted of Canadian Reformed, United Reformed, and confessionally Reformed (but not associated with a specific church) schools. Of the contacted schools, 12 schools responded. Questions ranged from yes or no questions to also allowing principals and school administrators to expand their answers in anonymous anecdotes. I also spoke with school principals who were willing to share more about their experiences. Among our survey respondents, the majority (92%) have specific policies regarding the use of technology in the classroom or on school property. It’s encouraging to know that most schools are recognizing a need to regulate the technology being used on campus. Most schools had guidelines for “Computer Usage Policy” for devices owned by the school as well as an “Acceptable use of personal devices policy.” One school said no phones at all Marc Slingerland is the principal at Calvin Christian School, a K-12 school in Coalhurst, Alberta. Slingerland said that his school has tried a few approaches with different rules for personal devices in different grade levels. Across the board, they had a no-phone policy, “no phones allowed to be seen or in class.” However, they found that for older students in grades 11 and 12, some parents felt more comfortable with them bringing phones to school knowing that they would be driving to the campus. Taking this into consideration, the policy was changed to allow for grades 11 and 12 to use phones during breaks in the foyer. The hardest part was that this became a long haul of policing students – Slingerland says they have now reverted to the original plan. “There’s a set time and a set place at which it’s allowed. It’s constantly policing the boundaries and if they’re just going to the locker to get a book, they can easily quickly just check it. So, we actually went back. This is now our second year with no student devices on school property at all.” When to introduce? When it came to the introduction of school computer labs or school iPads into classrooms, the prevalent sentiment was that the early stages of a student's development may be better navigated without the intrusion of technology. Paul Wagenaar is the principal at Jordan Christian School, a K-12 school in Lincoln, Ontario. When it comes to the younger grades, Wagenaar says that it’s rare for their school to introduce digital tech to students under grade 5. “We intentionally keep technology out of the classroom in the early years as much as possible. The extent of the technology would be that each classroom does have a projector. Once in a while, there will be a video or something that will be shown to the students. But no use of iPads, or any electronic device in our classrooms up until grade four.” Regarding the survey, most schools (with elementary-aged students) said that it’s between grade 3 and grade 5, that they start introducing technology like computers or laptops. “The exposure to technology in younger grades is limited to the teacher's laptop and projector,” one principal said. Benefits in older grades When it comes to older grades (grades 8 to 12), some schools pair each student with their own iPad or laptop just for their own personal use. This type of “1-to-1” approach aims to enhance the educational experience by embedding technology into the curriculum. This allows teachers to foster personalized learning, and prepare students for the digital demands of the modern world. Jordan Christian School has taken this approach in their high school. Their principal shared that each student has an Edsbee account, which is a web-based K-12 learning platform for teachers to upload assignments, and mark grades and attendance. The teacher will then enforce when the laptops should stay closed during lessons, and when the laptops can be used. Wagenaar says that he has found this useful in preparing students for post-secondary endeavors. “We feel that they need to be prepared for the world in which they live as well. So I think the benefit of students having their own device is that in those four years, they really learn it well, and they're well prepared for college or university or the workforce.” While some schools take the 1-to-1 approach, others opt for the use of computer labs or Chromebook carts. “The portable laptop cart has made student access to and use of technology much more convenient, with more opportunity than a standalone computer lab,” said one principal. In terms of technology tools deemed helpful, the respondents highlighted a variety of platforms and applications such as Kahoot, Google Classroom, Google Docs, and educational apps like IXL and Scratch Jr. Conversely, some tools, like YouTube, were identified as unhelpful due to potential distractions and inappropriate content. Interestingly, 75% of schools also said they have dealt with emerging technologies like AI in the classroom, including instances of students using AI to complete homework assignments. Filters and firewalls  A large challenge in having digital devices in classrooms is the ability to monitor students, and keep them from getting into trouble online. All schools said that they use online security safeguards and firewalls to protect students from inappropriate websites and distractions (i.e., computer games). For many schools, it's up to the teacher to enforce policies on how to use digital devices in class. Some principals voiced that they turn the screens on an angle so that the teacher can see what's happening on the screen. One survey respondent mentioned that they use an app called “GAT Shield” which gives teachers access to see all of their students on their own devices. “Teachers can also lock webpages, close tabs, push websites, and send out individual or class-wide messages. Additionally, we have filters set up using some of their presets and our own to flag explicit material, inappropriate language, violent images – weapons, etc.,” this respondent noted. “When a student has tried to access this material, it sends a link/screenshot to the teacher and account administrator's emails.” In some of the specific policy guidelines, if students use devices in a way that violates school policy it can lead to the device’s confiscation for a period of time. Years of research  With firewalls in place blocking video and audio streaming apps like YouTube and Spotify, it can help to combat distractions – yet distractions to videos or inappropriate online content are not the only things Christian classrooms should be aware of. In 2020, researchers and professors David I. Smith, Kara Sevensma, Marjorie Terpstra, and Steven McMullen put together a three-year study on the use of technology in Christian schools titled Digital Life Together: The Challenge of Technology for Christian Schools. This comprehensive study relied on a variety of research methods from documentary video, interviews with students, staff, and teachers, as well as focus groups. Two of the authors, Marjorie Terpstra and David Smith, are researchers at Calvin University's education department. Something notable they found in their research was students' openness to talk about their online shopping habits during class. Smith noted: “The most common form of distraction was going shopping. It wasn't playing games. It wasn't social media because that was mostly filtered out by the school. It's really quite a recent thing.” He mentions that distractions have always been a thing with or without technology in the class. Whether it’s passing paper notes or a student hiding the book he’s reading under his desk, it's not a new phenomenon. But, online shopping in class is something all too new. During one of the student interviews for the book, Smith mentions a student who was proactively open with her shopping habits… in Bible class. She shared: “It's great because in Bible class, you can take notes faster and you can get the assignments written faster, and then while the teacher's talking, you've got time to go shopping.” Smith says that parents and educators need to be aware of this online shopping phenomenon because this consumerism mindset is often something that is tossed under the rug: “Access to sexual material online, access to the wrong views about sex, some worry about cyberbullying and violence and violent material and so on. Very little worry about shopping, right? Because that's not something that the Western middle-class Christians worry about very much, we're as gung ho about that as everybody else.” Smith says that as Christians, we need to be counter-cultural in not succumbing to the world's ideas of “spending time lusting after consumer goods.” Parents and teachers need to change their mindset to acknowledge these discrepancies by teaching students to be discerning with their online habits. Christian education should be designed to equip students for the real world Overall, in conducting this survey with Reformed schools it's evident that technology in the class is something that we cannot run from. Instead we should be teaching students to use it well. Terpstra alludes to an important truth, that Christian education is an opportunity for students to grow in community with one another, learning how to live and make choices. “They get to enact their faith right now. It's not like you are in school so that someday when you grow up, you can enact your faith, but technology and other choices that we can make can help them to be Christians right now.”...


Health minister will protect kids from nicotine, but not castration?

Last week, the federal government announced that it will “explore legislation and regulatory options” to address the growing popularity of youth using certain “stop smoking” aids.  Specifically, the government is focusing on restricting access to nicotine pouches, which are tobacco pouches placed between the gum and cheek, with the intent being to counteract nicotine cravings. Zonnic is one of the popular brands approved in Canada, with Health Canada stating that the 4 mg per dose “is usually recommended for adults who smoke 25 or more cigarettes a day and want to quit smoking.” These pouches release the same addictive chemicals found in cigarettes, vape products, and chewing tobacco. In July 2023, Canada approved Zonnic as a natural health product, allowing it to be sold at any store with no restrictions.  But these products have been marketed to teens with different candy-like flavors and colorful packaging. Federal Health Minister Mark Holland was having none of that: “To the tobacco companies that continue to look for ways to use loopholes to addict people to their products: Get away. Stay the hell away from our kids.” The BC government already took action last month, ensuring this product can only be sold over the counter in pharmacies.  Yet, this same “keep away from our kids” minister, just last month, criticized the Alberta government for new policies that focused on protecting minors from gender transition hormones and procedures, banning males from female sports, and giving more parental control over sexual education curricula. Holland stated that the policies are “deeply disturbing.”  Holland listens to the science regarding addictive drugs harming minors. Yet, when it comes to so-called “gender-affirming care” that does irreversible harm to children including sterilization, castration, and other genital mutilations (more harm than nicotine products could do), he would rather align with an ideological stance that fails to affirm a child's God-given sex. ...

News, Sexuality

Leaked documents show “gender medicine” is neither science nor medicine

Leaked internal files from WPATH, the world’s leading transgender medical association, reveal doctors openly acknowledging patients’ regrets, painful complications, and life-threatening conditions resulting from the double mastectomies and genital amputations and mutilations involved in transgender “medicine.” The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) created standards for such “procedures” that have been adopted by doctors around the globe (including many in Canada). Significantly, WPATH is also a vocal advocate for “gender transitioning” of minors. Mia Hughes is a women’s rights advocate who curated the recently released 250-page leaked report. She summarized some of the alarming findings: “WPATH-affiliated health-care providers advocate for the destruction of healthy reproductive systems, the amputation of healthy breasts and the surgical removal of healthy genitals as the first and only line of treatment for minors and mentally ill people with gender dysphoria, eschewing any attempt to reconcile the patient with his or her birth sex.” The documents reveal that WPATH-affiliated healthcare providers endorse irreversible and damaging interventions, such as hormone treatments and surgeries, even in cases where minors may not fully comprehend the long-term implications. Videos from leaked Zoom calls show doctors openly admitting that children have little to no understanding of what they are consenting to. One doctor even stated that they are “explaining things to people who haven’t even taken biology in high school.” Doctors within WPATH have also stated they are aware of severe complications, including cancer, resulting from these interventions. One doctor shared that a 16-year-old female patient had developed cancerous tumors with an oncologist and surgeon confirming this was a result of the prescribed hormones. Moreover, the documents reveal there is a disregard for the psychological and emotional struggles of patients, with clinicians dismissing concerns and proceeding with treatments despite serious mental health issues. We are regularly urged to “trust the science,” but the gender debate shows how twisted the world’s “science” can become. But for those with eyes to see, reality aligns with God’s Word, that we are designed to be “male and female in His image.” For more, see Matt Walsh's podcast below about the leaked documents and the origins of WPATH. ...


Christian healthcare workers taking province to court over vaccinations

In the fall of 2021, Hilary Vandergugten was working as a charge nurse in the emergency department of a hospital in the Fraser Valley when British Columbia (BC) health authorities ordered all healthcare workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vandergugten wasn’t willing, and like many in her position, lost her job. Two-and-half years later, Vandergugten is still unable to work as a nurse in BC. She can, however, practice just south of the border in the US. “There is an obvious nursing shortage and doctor shortage in our province, but seems to completely ignore that,” said Vandergugten. The BC Ministry of Health reports that almost 2,500 healthcare workers lost their jobs after refusing to get vaccinated, and that doesn’t take into account healthcare workers who opted for early retirement, so the loss of healthcare workers could be quite a bit higher. When Vandergugten refused to get vaccinated she was initially ordered to go on unpaid leave on Oct. 26, 2021. While on leave, Vandergugten went to her family doctor to get lab work done to prove that she had immunity from the virus, as she had already had COVID-19. However, her lab work was not accepted, and on Feb. 3, 2022, Vandergugten was officially terminated from her position at Langley Hospital. Challenging the courts  During this time of uncertainty, Vandergugten started meeting with “the Ark,” a fellowship of Christian healthcare workers who also lost their jobs due to vaccine orders. This fellowship joined a judicial court challenge started by doctors who had lost their privileges to practice in any hospital or government owned clinics. “We as nurses started to get together in the Lower Mainland here in Greater Vancouver, just a bunch of Christian nurses that had all found each other in this process. We just started getting together, supporting each other and praying and then became involved with this court challenge.” During this time, Vandergugten said that many court challenge opportunities came up, whether it be suing the union or the health authority. Yet, she says none of them aligned with the group's Christian values. They then were asked to join a case that resonated with them, challenging Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer, stating that her mandates were extreme and that she overused her emergency powers. Vandergugten’s name was put on the affidavit, the legal document that served as the evidence for the case. The courts heard their case for judicial review in November and December of 2023, and they are currently waiting to hear a decision. The decision date was set for the end of February, but they now understand that the courts can delay until the end of June. Vandergugten notes: “Lots of people at church are asking about it and praying for a favorable ruling. I will say to them, ‘You know what, if there is an extension that also is in God's timing and God's timing is perfect.’” Winning the case wouldn't automatically reinstate their jobs right away, but it could set a precedent for going forward with challenging their jobs. “There's still a battle that we need to win. This is just one case. For us to actually get our jobs back and be reinstated to the jobs that we were in, is still a far way off.” Crazy anti-vaxxer  Vandergugten says that for her, the decision to not get vaccinated was not what the mainstream media deemed as “crazy anti-vaxxers.” Prior to the vaccine, she worked for months in the emergency department at the peak of the pandemic. Once the vaccine came out, Vandergugten started seeing a rise in what she wondered were potential vaccine injuries. “Working on the frontline in the emergency department, there was an increase of early miscarriages and vascular injuries, strokes or blood clots or macular eye injuries. I knew that right away, that's a vaccine injury.” She says that it was disheartening to see this up close, especially when she felt any sort of disposition would mark you as a conspiracy theorist. “It’s hard to sort out actually. It’s hard to validate for yourself, when you see what's happening in front of you daily at work, and try to have conversations with colleagues who refused to engage. People accused me that I was being crazy and making stuff up.” Spiritual and relational growth in times of grief  Hilary and her husband Sprout. As challenging as this time has been, Vandergugten has found peace through solely relying on Christ. “It has been very beautiful, right? Like, you rely daily, you know, for emotional support, for spiritual support that He will heal those holes, but also that will open my eyes to others that are hurting, right?” She says that one of the greatest gifts to come out of this has been the connections made with other Christian healthcare workers through “the Ark” group. In addition to praying for each other, they have created work opportunities. No longer able to work in care homes because of their vaccine status, many people will reach out to “the Ark” group to find home care jobs for those who lost their jobs. She said some people will ask for unvaccinated nurses to take care of their loved ones instead of sending them to a nursing home. “This has been an unbelievably beautiful gift of just strong Christian women, not all of the Reformed faith – there are Mennonites and Pentecostals. But it’s just this beautiful gift from God that we can be together and pray for each other and encourage each other. And all of us have said our faith has become so much stronger.” In addition to her spiritual growth, Vandergugten says that this adversity has strengthened her marriage. She is grateful for her husband's support in leading her family through this difficult time, and for his ability to defend and protect her. She mentioned how she didn’t have the “traditional” type of marriage – she had always worked even if only part-time. This led her to let go and let her husband lead. “My marriage has become stronger because of it. It has been beautiful for our marriage, defending his wife repeatedly. My husband has this line, saying the collateral damage of COVID has been beautiful.” Times of uncertainty lead to new opportunities  Once Vandergugten and her sisters, also nurses, were fired, they thought they would prepare for the long haul so, they began the process of studying to get their American licenses. They have since passed these examinations and now have the ability to work south of the border.  “We wrote our NCLEXs and got our American licenses. I actually work in Washington State, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from my home.” To continue to hold a nursing license, a nurse needs to maintain a certain amount of hours. Vandergugten is grateful to be able to continue getting hours, because if BC health authorities do ever open up the restrictions for unvaccinated nurses, she’ll be able to return. She fears others will be ineligible to practice due to a lack of hours. Although this work is a blessing, at times, Vandergugten also finds it painful. “It's beautiful that I'm able to work there, that I'm able to be back doing what I love to do and have done for 28 years,” she said. “It's just painful that I have to cross the border and leave our healthcare system, with it being so short of so many nurses.” Why bother? Vandergugten says that she received some pushback from others questioning why she would even fight something like this. She says that we still live in a country with a democratic judicial system so we should exercise our rights. “We actually still live in a democracy, you've got elected people, who are making laws and rulings that affect the people, the common people like us, and then we have a judicial system that holds the elected people accountable,” she said. “We need to continue to honor this process and use it because otherwise we are not in a democratic society and I'm not acting like a citizen of a democracy, rather, I'm acting like I'm a subservient part of a totalitarian government. Right? And those are some of those fundamental freedoms that people forget. We shouldn't be afraid to exercise that.”...


Lawyer learns she should double-check ChatGPT’s work

Last month, a BC lawyer was caught submitting an AI-generated legal application to a family court. Chong Ke was representing a father asking that his children travel to China so he could have parenting time with them there. Ke used ChatGPT, a text-based generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), to write the application, which cited two fake cases. ChatGPT does not provide links to its sources which makes its fabricated content hard to spot. To the AI’s “success,” the case was won, finding it was in the best interest of the client's children to visit their father. Although the fake cases were put into the application, they were never presented in the hearing, so the courts kept the initial ruling. Shortly after the ruling, the lawyers for the mother tried to track down the cases referenced, even asking for copies from the opposition. After not receiving any copies the team hired a researcher to find the cases. This matter was then taken to court where Ke apologized for her actions. "I acknowledge that I should have been aware of the dangers of relying on Al-generated resources, and been more diligent and careful in preparing the materials for this application. I wish to apologize again to the court and to opposing counsel for my error.” The process of preparing legal documents can be arduous, and although AI technology might be a tool to help with this, we should not be naive about its capabilities. Ke was ordered to pay the costs associated with the time and resources the other counsel used to discover the fake cases. In attempts to make court applications easier, the lawyer ended up doing the opposite, deceiving others in a scramble to seek truth in the application. In the court case against Ke, the judge reminds us that AI is not a replacement for humankind. “As this case has unfortunately made clear, generative AI is still no substitute for the professional expertise that the justice system requires of lawyers."...


BC says goodbye to phones in school

Last month, the Premier of British Columbia, David Eby, announced that schools must implement restrictions on cellphones. It would be up to local districts to decide how these restrictions would be enforced, but Eby stated that the expectation is to remove phones from the classroom. One exception would be cases where students with disabilities require them as part of an accommodation. Additionally, the government plans to launch two new services, one to help people remove explicit images of themselves from the internet, and the other to help victims pursue online predators for damages. Legislation is also planned to hold social media companies accountable for online harms. This means that the government could take legal action against major companies like Facebook for harms to individuals they may have had a role in. These changes come in the wake of the tragic suicide of Carson Cleland, a 12-year-old BC boy who fell victim to a sextortion scheme in October 2023. Sextortion is when an online predator tricks someone into sending nude images of themselves. Then the predator usually asks for money or for more explicit images. If the victim won’t comply then the predator will threaten to share these images with the victim’s friends or family. Parents must remain their children’s first line of protection, but the pervasiveness of social media, and its negative impact on children, has gotten to the point where even proponents for smaller government, like Christian commentator John Stonestreet, are calling on the State to enact legislation to address these issues....


British Columbia approves protocols to give opioid prescriptions to minors 

Recently, Adam Zivo reported in the National Post that the British Columbia government has authorized the distribution of opioid prescriptions to minors, without parental permission. This is being done under the province’s “safer supply” or “harm reduction” strategy which involves the prescription of opioids, including fentanyl, to addicts. So, instead of trying to put these children into rehab to get off drugs completely, the program aims to provide individuals with “clean” drugs as an alternative or supplement to the illicit and toxic substances that they are addicted to. Harm reduction is grounded in the belief that complete abstinence is an impossible goal. This perspective is evident in sex ed, where the focus is on teaching kids how to lower but not eliminate the risks of unwanted pregnancies and STDs – it’s safer, but not at all safe, sex. One of the goals of harm reduction is often to “destigmatize” actions, whether it be in the case of “sexual liberation” or drug use. Some Christians see this shame-free approach as a way of loving your neighbor, yet it goes directly against what God says about sin. How can one come to repentance if you are told what you are doing is not shameful? Despite the implementation of “safer supply” pilot programs across the country since 2020, the latest data from BC Coroners Service reveals that 2023 marked the third consecutive year with overdose deaths exceeding 2,000 lives. Recent reports of “safer supply” programs have found serious cases of diversion, where people were getting government-funded drugs and selling them, and in some cases, bringing them to youth in suburban areas. In an August report, the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) proposed protocols permitting nurses and doctors to prescribe opioids to both adults and minors. The BCCSU, in outlining its protocols, has even admitted that “To date, there is no evidence available supporting this intervention, safety data, or established best practices for when and how to provide it.” So, without any clear sense of concrete evidence that interventions like this work, they proceeded to recommend this process with loose requirements. The only requirement for minors to qualify is a “two prescriber approval system,” wherein one medical professional interviews the patient, and the other signs off. What raises serious concerns is the lack of acknowledgment for parents and their rights over their children within these protocols. According to the National Post’s Adam Zivo: “While the B.C. government generally promotes its commitment to safer supply, it was oddly silent in this instance. I became aware of the new protocols only because two concerned addiction physicians contacted me shortly after their publication.” The absence of any requirement to inform or involve parents in the decision-making process for minors seeking prescription opioids may create incentives for young individuals to distance themselves from their families. The family unit, a child’s God-given foundation of support and guidance, is bypassed in a manner that could contribute to strained relationships and increased risks for the young individuals involved. Not only does the province allow access to safe supply drugs without needing parents’ approval, but it also takes away parents’ rights to get the help their child needs. In BC, parents can’t make their kids go to rehab against their will. Historically, the Church has been the place where individuals with addictions sought help, but in recent times, we have witnessed a shift towards government interventions driven by a worldview that doesn’t value the family as God does....

RPTV, Sexuality

RPTV: Jojo Ruba talking about Canada's Conversion Therapy Bill

 Welcome to Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison. Today we're here in the Canadian History Museum, reflecting on Canada's past. We're right now in front of the LGBTQ history section, and it's quite interesting to reflect on how things have changed. Today we're going to be talking about Bill C-4, which was first passed in 2021: the conversion therapy bill. I had a conversation with JoJo Ruba, a Christian apologist and communications director at Free to Care, reflecting on the history of the conversion therapy bill, and what this means for Christians, churches, and the general public. JoJo Ruba: Free to Care was a ministry that started about two years ago when conversion therapy legislation and bans were being put in place, particularly here in Alberta where I live; and these bans are so intrusive and badly written, that simple counseling by consenting adults is now criminal. And LGBTQ people no longer have access to that and Christians can no longer provide that support; so Free to Care now, as there's been legislation passed federally, is working to educate and equip churches and pastors and ordinary Christians to continue to support their LGBTQ-identified friends and family, and to continue to share the gospel even in this issue, believing full well that God can do wonderful things for people who are same-sex attracted, like myself. Alexandra Ellison: Yeah, and you know, going back to 2021, when Bill C-4 – the conversion therapy bill – was passed, could you kind of talk about that for people that maybe haven't heard much about it, or maybe just heard what they saw from the mainstream media? JoJo Ruba: Yeah, no, the mainstream media didn't cover much of it. It actually started with a man named Kris Wells out here in Alberta. Kristopher Wells : So today, in 2019, conversion therapy largely takes place underground; you won't be able to walk into a licensed counselor’s office and ask them to engage in this practice, because it would be deemed to be unethical and unprofessional. So we largely see conversion therapy happening underground in faith-based communities, which makes it harder to detect, but also more dangerous, the more underground a practice like this goes. JoJo Ruba: So the bylaws here in Alberta actually define conversion therapy as any practice, treatment, or service that offers even LGBTQ people simply to help reduce unwanted same-sex sexual behavior; not just attraction, behavior. So we called up about 25 counseling agencies, secular psychologists and psychiatrists, asked them for help with porn addiction. And all of them that did sexual addiction counseling said yes. But when we said it was gay porn addiction, suddenly they didn't want to help anymore. And two counseling agencies even said, we will let you get help, but you can't mention it's gay porn. So which is exactly the point we're making, right? This isn't a ban on torturing people, which is what the common mindset was, as with why the LGBTQ people were pushing this was because they had said, ‘Many of us have experienced torture, we were forced under, were tricked into getting counseling from these churches. And all they were trying to do is make us not gay.’ And so this narrative that homosexuality is this immutable identity was really at the heart of the debate, Alexandra, and the challenge was for us to actually speak to that mindset, to say as Christians, we actually don't believe sexuality should be your identity; we believe that we are much bigger, much better, more important than who we want to sleep with, or what kind of clothing we want to wear today. And we think God has designed us to find our identity in Christ, which means our priorities or choices are all about following how God designed us and not how we think about ourselves. And that we love people because we and they are made in God's image, not in our own image. That's the big mistake that this legislation is pushing. And so after the Calgary bylaw was passed, the same organizers, Kris Wells in particular, brought this to the federal level. So what happened was the Liberals called an election, the Bill had to be reintroduced as Bill C-4, it was called C-6 before – and Bill C-4, that's when they actually added that this also, this bill also applies to consenting adults. Before, consenting adults may have been challenged, but it wasn't specific, now it is specific that consenting adults, consenting Canadians can no longer access the counseling that they want if they're simply wanting to reduce same-sex sexual behavior. So we pointed out at this point, if you're providing marriage counseling, if your pastor is providing a marriage counseling – and of course marriage counseling means that you make a commitment to say, hey, we're not gonna be sleeping around with anyone other than our spouse, right? Of course, I mean, this is 2000 years of Christian teaching and the Jews before that, right? It's not a surprise, we teach that. Well, if that counseling includes, well, you can’t have sex with someone of your own sex, that's technically conversion therapy counseling now, and that's technically criminal, when by the way the results of that, the punishment, is five years in jail for offering that kind of counseling, and three years in jail for simply giving the phone number out of a pastor or Christian counselor, who would help you reduce your same-sex behavior.  That Bill went through, who because of the Conservatives and Liberals and the rest of the parties coming together said we're not going to debate it, even though it was radically changed by adding consenting adults. And we're going to pass it without any public inputs. Speaker of the House of Commons : Accordingly, all those opposed to the honourable Member moving the motion, will please say nay. Agreed. The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay. There being no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carries. JoJo Ruba: All they needed was one MP to say no, we're not going to let that happen; we need it to go through a democratic process. No MP from the Conservative Party; to vote against that, all we needed was one. And so it became law, the end of 2021, beginning of 2022. But here's the problem. The Liberals actually passed legislation that said, the Justice Department has to provide legal analysis for any new criminal legislation that would change the Criminal Code. Well, that analysis never came out until the day this Bill got royal assent and became law. So there's no way the Members of Parliament would have read that legal analysis. And particularly that legal analysis said exactly the same thing we were saying during committee stage: what you're doing is potentially violating the Charter rights of consenting adults to have the conversations that they want to have. And this Kris Wells guy actually compares people like myself, who’s a consenting adult, to drunk drivers who are incapable of making decisions. He actually did a CBC video saying that. So this is the kind of mindset that we're dealing with. And Alexandra, just to summarize all of this, it's been a year and a half now, almost two years since the Bill was passed. And not one person has been charged under this law. But what's interesting is during the time of this debate, the people who were pushing for this law said thousands of gay kids were being tortured in church basements as we speak. That's the kind of language they were using, ‘thousands.’ Well, if that's the case, then we should have had at least one person being, you know, rescued from these awful Christians, torturing them in the church basements. But again, torture and kidnapping are already criminal beyond this law. So that hasn't happened. And in fact, the first conversion therapy events in Vancouver and in Ontario for kids already were passed around 2015. So none of these laws or bylaws, both provincially and municipally, and federally, have had any one person convicted, or charged. So that tells me there's something else going on here in terms of legislation. And what we think it is and we've seen this sadly happen is it actually creates a chill effect among churches and pastors – so that churches are themselves self-censoring. One large church here had their pastor actually tell someone, that if someone, even a member of his own congregation, came to him asking for help dealing with same-sex attraction, he would refuse to help them. And that's the kind of stuff we're sadly seeing, because Christians are not understanding the ramifications of this. If the government can dictate what we believe, and how we practice our beliefs, even within our own members, in terms of how we teach the Bible, what the Bible teaches on sexuality, on this issue – they can do that on any issue. And the secular government coming into the churches, saying we will police you if you start praying for gay people and to help them not act the way they don't want to act themselves as consenting adults. That has to be something we understand is the most egregious religious freedom violation – in fact, human rights violation that is the case right now in Canada, I would argue. Alexandra Ellison: Yeah, well, I think it's great. Just, you know, thank you for taking the time to go over the history and what has happened. Kind of reflecting on that, as Christians, especially, you know, a large audience who's watching us are Christians, how should we react to this and is there anything that we can do to fight against legislation like this, even though it has already been passed? JoJo Ruba: Well, any legislation that's passed, of course, is always subject to the will of the democracy. So, as Augustine, I think it was, I think it was one of the one of the Catholic MPs actually told me, culture is always affecting politics. In fact, politics is downstream to culture. Which means if we want to change the law, we want to change the culture first. And part of the conversations that the church has to have is on sexuality and gender identity, being able to give a positive, life-affirming, real-person discussion, where we focus on God's truth and love for humanity. And the fact that because He loves us, He gives us rules on how we ought to behave. Right. So that's part of the conversation training I provided for you. I’m writing a book on that actually, hopefully, you guys here, your audience, I'd love to hear your prayers for this. And if you want to order one next year, hopefully, it'll be done by this time next year. We would love to share that with you. But it's about redeeming conversations. So that's part of the title, where we want to redeem the opportunity, so to have conversations with people. One of the saddest things, Alexandra, that I saw was the Members of Parliament debating the issue during question period during the debate on the Bill. And you could just see how ignorant so many of these Members of Parliament are not just of the Bill itself, but of Christians in general. So there were several Bloc Québécois MPs, for example, en français, who said we need to re-educate these ignorant, small minority groups of people who are torturing kids, basically, with Bibles. They often reference movies where kids were tortured with Bibles. When I went through my counseling that never happened, the person read the Bible with me, we prayed together. And he helped me understand that sexual attractions are things that I have, it's not things that we are unless we want to make them that way. And I've never acted on or identified as gay, because that's not what I am. And I think it's important to give that kind of messaging to the culture around us, especially to young people. But there's gonna be many times where we will find ourselves sexually attracted to or sexually confused in all kinds of ways. That's okay. But that's part of a fallen world. The challenge is, what do you do with that? What do you do with those attraction? What do you do with those feelings? Do you take the time to submit them to God and trust that God's design is good? Or do you act out and follow what the culture says you ought to become or do or be, right? So the first step is really we need to get our house in order if we as churches want to deal with this issue publicly. And with this law, we want to make sure our Christian community is actually solid on this issue. And sadly, there are Christian denominations, including Reformed denominations, that have gone completely off their rocker on this issue. As we reflect on the two years since the passage of Bill C-4, it's essential for Christians to stand firm in their faith and continue to reflect biblical sexuality, even if that means going against what the world has to say. If you enjoyed this video, make sure to give it a thumbs up and share it with family and friends. For Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison in Ottawa....

News, RPTV

RPTV: Hamilton-bus pro-life ad ruling is a technical win, but still a win

TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison. Today we are here in Hamilton, Ontario right outside the Provincial Court to cover ARPA's legal battle against the city of Hamilton in a case that has captured the attention of pro-life advocates. The central issue is whether ARPA Hamilton has the right to display a pro-life advertisement on the side of a city bus. In the spring of 2021 ARPA Hamilton attempted to post a pro-life ad on a city bus when MP Cathay Wagantall's bill to ban sex-selective abortion was before Parliament. John Boekee: The work we were doing at the time was advocating for the sex-selective abortion bill. The ad said we're for women's rights, and through pictures, it applied that to women of several different ages. We thought to say that we're for women's rights shouldn't be that controversial. Yet they were able to connect it to abortion, so for that reason, it was rejected. The city's reasoning for rejecting the ad is rooted in their assertion that a pre-born child does not qualify as a human being under the criminal code, and thus is not a person. Using a personal pronoun implied personhood and was thus misleading. John Sikkema: In our case against the City of Hamilton, we had a fairly brief hearing at the Ontario Court in the city of Hamilton. The court decided that Hamilton was not justified in rejecting our ad, so in that sense, the case was a win for ARPA. The court said that the city had not explained to us, in writing, how it limited our freedom of expression, and so the court sent it back. The court said this decision fails – you, the city of Hamilton, need to give reasons on freedom of expression. Now, truth be told, that's not how we wanted to win. We had actually framed the case, not as a freedom of expression case, first of all, but as questioning the city's finding that our ad violates the city's advertising policy. So what we had wanted was for the court to look at that policy and to find that the ad does not violate it and we think we had pretty good arguments for why that was the case. The court didn't hear those arguments and kind of decided it on, again, a bit of a more technical issue. So while it's a technical win, it's not really what we wanted to accomplish with this case because pro-life ads keep getting rejected as being allegedly misleading, and violating advertising policy. So, at this point, we have to decide, do we wait to see what the next decision is from the City of Hamilton and challenge that? Do we possibly appeal the decision of this court even though technically we won? Those are things we'll have to decide as we get the written reasons from the court for its decision, which we don't have yet. John Boekee: When you are frustrated with human judges and human courts, we turn to that, that He is the judge of all the earth, and in the end there will be justice. We are thankful for that, and we can rest in that. But there is also frustration at human judges who give us so little time after so much work had been put in, so that is very frustrating. But we can be thankful that there is still appeal, and there is still a justice system. So trusting that God is the Judge of all the earth, that also gives us the motivation to keep working and to keep going day-to-day to do what He's called us to. And that wraps up our coverage of the ARPA Hamilton case. We'll continue to follow this case closely and bring updates as they unfold. Thank you for joining us today – please feel free to support our work by subscribing to this channel and sharing this video with friends and family. For Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexander Ellison in Hamilton, Ontario....


Canadian women's unfulfilled fertility goals and the country's declining birth rate

TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective. I'm Alexander Ellison. Today we are diving into a pressing issue – Canada's record low birth rate. Statistics Canada recently confirmed that in 2022 just over 350,000 babies were born, marking the lowest number of live births since 2005. This raises a critical question: what do Canadian women really want when it comes to family size? "So, do you guys have children?" "No, no." "Yes." "Do you have children?" "No." "Uh no." "Do you have children?" "Yes." "Do you plan to have children in the future?" "We don't think so. We actually just talked about it, like two days ago, and I don't know. Everything is just getting so expensive. We rarely know if we will make it, everything's rising up so much." "Honestly, I did think I was going to do it when I was younger, but recently, I've changed my mind, not just because of the whole financial thing, but security, and everything in my country. And then the whole idea of having children is just so big a responsibility. I don't know if I want it or not." "I had three, and that was enough." "I feel like I'd like to build a family of my own. I found that quite a nice future idea, to kind of like raise people like I was raised, hopefully give them a good future." "Yeah, pretty much the same. I just like the idea of family."  "Just having people to support you..." "Yeah, by your side." "It's really important, especially the fact that I don't have siblings, you know. So I want to have children." "Well, we had four children, two girls and two boys, and life was busy, but it was enough. I wouldn't want it to be busier, but I can't imagine my life without them." A Christian think tank, Cardus, took a closer look, through a survey they did, discovering some eye-opening facts. They found that when it comes to family size, there's a significant gap between what Canadian women desire and what they actually have. Andrea Mrozek: "So we found that almost half of Canadian women wish they'd have more children than they do have at the end of their reproductive lives. So we asked a range of women, up to the age of 44. And that's the key takeaway: that women would like to have more kids than they have. Fertility ideals are much higher than intentions. What that means is that the future people have for their family is not typically fulfilled. "My thought for changing the culture is around recognizing that you can be fulfilled over the life course in every way – that the career is something you can have the entire life course to work on – but having children is something you only have a more limited amount of time to work. I think we're really fortunate to live in a world where we have a lot of options and possibilities as women today. I think now is the time to speak more strongly to the joys of a family life. At one point in time you needed to speak more strongly to the desires of doing waged work and getting out into the world and having a career, but those things are completely accessible, they're accessible over the life course, but having a family is something that is deeply fulfilling and can only be done in a certain time frame. We kind of lost the plot on why that matters, how it feels to not achieve that. I really am hoping young men and young women can live in freedom and trust God with their lives. That means trusting him with every aspect of our lives including our family and our fertility. In a secular worldview, it's quite constrained – you have to do things in a particular way, in a particular order, and definitely take the birth control pill till you're good and ready, and really constrain, actually, how you live your life. I think you could view a secular worldview as being quite constrained. Then the joy of being Christian, and the beauty of being Christian is living in the freedom of God's plan for us, and being open to all aspects of that, at whatever time in life that they do come. I think we as Christians have more capacity to live imaginative lives, and that includes our family lives." As we conclude our discussion on women's fertility goals, let us remember that children are a blessing and an integral part of God's plan for families. In a world where fertility rates are declining, it is crucial to support and understand the desires of women when it comes to building their families. We hope this video has shed light on the importance of considering women's wishes in family planning and how societal challenges can impact their fertility choices. Remember in all our pursuits let us honor the call to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28), trusting in God's divine wisdom. Thank you for watching this video. Please like this video and subscribe to this channel, and feel free to share with friends and family. For Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison....

Politics, RPTV

RPTV: MP Arnold Viersen on the legal fight against pornography

OVERVIEW 1:05 - Beginnings with local ARPA chapter 3;30 - Why don't you do it, Arnold? 4:09 - Why learning French isn't always a bad idea 5:05 - Three reasons Viersen ran 5:48 - Private Member's Bill on pornography 8:01 - Mindgeek, the Canadian pornography company 9:53 - On protecting children online 12:23 - Ways to fight pornography and human trafficking 14:21 - Christian worldview as a launching pad TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective; I’m Alexandra Ellison. In today's video, I had the privilege of sitting down with a dedicated Member of Parliament who has been actively using his Christian worldview to champion the cause of human dignity. Arnold Viersen is the Member of Parliament for Peace River-Westlock in northern Alberta Today, let's learn more about how he got into politics and what he is currently doing to combat online pornography. So, to start off, could you introduce yourself and just talk about how you got into politics. Arnold Viersen: Well, thanks for interviewing me. My name is Arnold Viersen. I'm the Member of Parliament for Peace River-Westlock, which is a big chunk of Northern Alberta. I mostly just say Northern Alberta, because... several European countries are smaller than that. I'm married. I've got six kids – my oldest is 11, the youngest is two and we're expecting one in February, so it's exciting. How did I get involved in politics? It was through an organization called ARPA Canada. There was a guy named Mark Penninga – you might have heard of him before – and he came to Edmonton I think back in 2010, just before I got married. There was a notice in the church bulletin – organization called ARPA, a guy named Mark Penninga, be here on Wednesday night, kind of thing – and so I convinced my brother-in-law to drive with me. It was about 50 kilometers to church, so it was a bit of a drive. I said, hey we should go to this thing, And he says, "Well, what is it?" I said that's what is for, to tell us what this is. So we showed up and four other people showed up so there was six of us that showed up to this event. Mark was telling us how he wanted to set up local ARPA chapters all across the the country, and that a local board was, he was kind of hoping for seven people to be on these boards and seeing as there was six of us there, he just kind of told us that we were now the ARPA board for that area. So that was back in 2010 I became a local board member with ARPA. Then I moved to Neerlandia, Alberta – that's where I'm born and raised – and I moved back there, bought a house there. I got married and joined the local ARPA board in in Neerlandia. I was involved with organizing a God and Government in Alberta, and then the following year we organized it for Ottawa. ARPA's big thing was "get to know your Member of Parliament so that you can have some influence with them" and so I went there and got to know my Member of Parliament. Then in 2013, where I lived became a brand new riding. There was no incumbent, there was no Member of Parliament at all. I thought, Well, rather than waiting to get to know my Member of Parliament, if I work hard to elect somebody then I'll know them before they get elected and I'll probably have more influence. So starting in 2013, I started going around asking my friends if they thought they should be Members of Parliament – three friends in particular I talked to, and one was like, "Wait a minute, I've got six kids; I can't do that." The other one was "I've just started a new business here; I can't take my foot off it." And the third just thought it was crazy. But all all of them said. "Hey Arnold, if you think it's such a good idea, why don't you do it?" So I was 27 at the time. I didn't think 27-year-olds were old enough to be Members of Parliament, but turns out there's only three requirements for being a Member of Parliament – be a Canadian citizen, be 18 years old, and get the most votes – so that put me on the path to running in the nomination for the Conservative Party of Canada, and running to be the Member of Parliament. The Reformed community came out very strong in support of me, in the nomination in particular – that was a really important piece that led me on the path to doing this. People always say, "Did you dream of this your whole life?" and, definitely not. I remember Mr. Wielinga in grade seven trying to teach me French and I said, "Why are you teaching me French? Probably Dutch would be a better language to learn than French, seeing as I could probably use that more." And he said, "Well, you never know, you might work in the Parliament building one day." And I said to him, "Fat chance of that happening!" He came back – he lives in South Africa now – he came back a couple years ago and walked to my office and said, "Fat chance of that happening, Arnold!" So, it wasn't something that was on my radar, prior to 2013. That's really interesting to hear how God puts different people in your life to lead you down a different path. So over your years in politics, you've worked on many issues upholding human dignity. Why has this been so important to you? Arnold Viersen: So when I ran in the nomination, there was three things that motivated me to get involved in politics. One was the defense of Alberta. I generally find that the rest of the country doesn't understand Alberta, and also generally is trying to shut down all the things that were we're trying to do – so that was one of the things. I'm a firearms owner and I also find that the country is pretty hard on firearms owners so I wanted to defend firearms owners. And the unborn or pre-born – that was another motivator for me. In Canada there's no protection, there's no law for the pre-born so I wanted to get involved in politics to defend the pre-born. That has branched out into probably more of just a defense of human dignity. Back in 2015, right after I got elected, I had the opportunity to do a Private Member's Bill, and everybody in the whole country shows up with ideas for a Private Member's Bill. Seeing as you get to make the decision on what that is, I just started writing a list. And there's a guy named Mark Penninga again – a character that reappears in my story of politics often – I just remember I had narrowed it down to 12 items that I was interested in. I remember going through it with him, and his criteria for whether it should be a go or no go was how many other MPs would do it. If the issue had wide support and other MPs would probably do it, he said "Arnold, you don't have to do that one; somebody else will do it." So that's how I came to the issue of combating pornography in Canadian society – we eventually settled on doing a private member's motion on the impacts of pornography on Canadian society. That has basically drawn together a whole bunch of groups from across the country that care about that issue, and human trafficking and prostitution. That area, that's kind of been my niche in the world of politics. So I'm a Conservative Member of Parliament – I fight alongside my Conservative colleagues, and then my kind of special thing that I bring to that Conservative movement is the combatting of human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography. And this seems to be fairly well accepted within the Conservative movement and I'm able to get some some action happening on it in other parties as well. Focusing in a little bit, I've seen a lot of kind of campaigning for online safety of children. Would you be able to expand on that, and introduce what is is Mindgeek for people who don't know about that. Arnold Viersen: Mindgeek's a company that owns a whole host of websites in the world. They're based in Montreal, Canada, so they are a Canadian company. They claim that they own 80% of the pornography in the world, and I don't have any reason to doubt that either. Their ownership structure is really murky. We're never quite sure who's in charge and who owns it. We do know that they make a lot of money, despite it being a private company so their are not publicly available. But they brag about how much money they make, which is approaching a billion dollars a year. They've gotten into hot water – we've kind of been pushing this – in that they have no controls on who is viewing pornography, but also who is showing up on their site. In Canada there's non-consensual images laws; there's underage images laws; all this kind of stuff. But Mindgeek doesn't seem to care about the law, and they just want to make a lot of money. They have a big office building in Montreal; I've been out there protesting outside of their office building in Montreal. They are two main executives that we know of, based in the Montreal area, so this is a particularly Canadian story, although the ramifications of their actions are felt all across the world. I know that you've been working on legislation and also working on spreading this message. What do you see the future of protecting children online? What do you hope to get? Arnold Viersen: While my private member's motion way back in 2015/16, kind of opened the door to this discussion, I've seen of other countries – France, Germany, the UK, Australia, and then states like California, Utah – have all really been grappling with this as well. While we got accolades in Canada early on for starting to tackle this, other countries have very much leapfrogged us. There's some good stuff happening in terms of age verification of those that are using pornography, and then also of those showing up in pornography, that's kind of happening all around the world. It's branching out a little bit beyond that, to child safety online becoming more of a much broader topic than just pornography use. It's about, what are the impacts of social media, why are our children more depressed and more sad and participating in other socially detrimental activities? Instagram for example – their own internal documentation showed that one of their notification features was causing suicides in 12-year-old girls. So this whole online safety world and regulation is growing. While I started in this fight around the pornography issue and keeping porn out of the hands of kids and keeping kids out of porn, it's broadening out from there into this whole online safety world. I liken it to traffic laws. When the car was first invented, it was cars and horses and buggies and there were no laws around how the roads work. We've made decisions on which side of the road to drive on; we've made decisions about painting lines on the roads, and the lights on the roads, and what the lights mean, and putting guardrails, and all this kind of stuff. So we're likely going to proceed down a similar path when it comes to the use of the Internet. For a lot of the audience, they're very passionate about these issues but they're not necessarily sure kind of where to start on, you know, wanting to get involved; how can people get involved? Arnold Viersen: Well first, the biggest thing is, just quit looking at porn. That's a big challenge. In Canadian society we know from the stats 85% of the population is participating in the use of porn. So the most impactful. I would say it's the simplest; it's not necessarily the easiest but it's the simplest. Beyond that there's local organizations that are fighting human trafficking in your local area. Human trafficking happens within 10 blocks or 10 minutes of where you live. There's likely an organization in your community that's already participating in the fight against human trafficking, sheltering the victims of human trafficking, that sort of thing. If you want to get involved politically, there's huge opportunities for all of these things municipally, provincially, and federally. Municipally, you have the licensing of body rub parlors, that kind of thing. That all municipal. Libraries, what kind of content is available on library computers, that kind of thing, that's all municipal. Provincial, you have the education system – how do we train our children to identify victims of human trafficking and also to not become victims of human trafficking. So there's education opportunities. Then federally, becoming a Member of Parliament – the more Reformed Members of Parliament we have here the better, in my opinion, so... get involved with your local Conservative association, run for nomination, that sort of thing... Thank you so much for sharing. My final question would be, how do your Christian convictions come into play in everyday life on the hill as an MP? Arnold Viersen: Being a Christian on Parliament Hill is a luxury – it gives me a solid worldview, a launching pad from which to launch from for the issues I work on. It also allows me to see issues clearly, having a solid worldview. Being a Christian on the Hill also sometimes pigeonholes. People see you coming, which has its advantages as well – people, generally, because they know I'm a Christian, they think I'm going to think in a particular way, which often I do. So it opens the negotiation up on any particular issue; you have a good starting point, a good basis point Being a Member of Parliament is an extremely rewarding position, and one that you have to enjoy every day that you're here, because I've watched many Members of Parliament come and go, so make the most of it. Thank you so much for coming on to speak with me today. Be sure to go check out . Arnold Viersen: Yeah, check out my website and follow me on Facebook and Instagram so you can keep up with all the work that I'm doing in Parliament. Thanks for watching this episode. If you would like to support this work, please consider liking this video, subscribing to this channel, and sharing it with friends and family. For Reformed Perspective, I’m Alexandra Ellison in Ottawa....

Pro-life - Abortion, RPTV

RPTV: Katrina Marshall on being a pro-life advocate

TRANSCRIPT Welcome to Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison. Today we bring an inspiring video of a young woman who has been working to make a difference in the pro-life movement. Her journey has taken her to the heart of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, where pivotal decisions about the sanctity of human life are made. Through dedication and passion, she has been working tirelessly to reshape the way people view the value of every human life. Join us to learn more about her challenges and her commitment to a cause that has the power to change lives. Katrina Marshall: "I'm Katrina Marshall. I wanted to be in Ottawa. I was connected with a church here, sort of online during COVID, before I was actually in the city. And it's not too far away from my parents in Kingston." Marshall got involved in the pro-life movement after an internship with the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform (CCBR), an educational human rights organization dedicated to making abortion unthinkable in Canada. Katrina Marshall: "I actually heard about the CCBR internship from an ARPA Canada newsletter – my brother shared the ad with me and I applied to their four-month internship March of last year, and I could not go back from that experience. So it's been kind of life-changing." As part of the internship Marshall spent the past two summers traveling around western Canada educating people about the truth of abortion. Katrina Marshall: "Basically we spend most of it doing pro-life street outreach and various projects. We do what we call 'Choice Chain' which is basically a public protest. We use abortion victim photography in all our projects, and we do things like door-knocking, and we do flyer delivery known as postcarding. So we are witnessing to a world that is often very pro-choice in our society, and we have conversations with people. Sometimes we'll just display the photos so that everyone knows what abortion actually looks like, and it's incredible. It's very hard work to do it all day, every day, but it's so rewarding. "It's hard to summarize, but you live for those conversations where they do end up changing their mind. They often end up sharing a lot, even a person, male or female, starts out completely supporting abortion, often by the end of the conversation, they will completely reject abortion in all circumstances, including the hard ones. So when that happens, it's almost hard to believe, because it's such a controversial topic. And often we see a lot of people who are really set in their ways, and who don't want to give us an inch. So when someone changes their mind it kind of just makes your day, sometimes even makes your week, depending on how it goes. But it's also definitely something that we get a lot of hate for, as you can probably guess. So we get a lot of verbal abuse, and things like that, but it is really worth it for the positive moments." Marshall spoke about the process of what having on-the-street conversations is like. Katrina Marshall: "Everyone is coming from a different place. So we always just try and ask them what they think about abortion, get their viewpoint. Often they'll bring up a hard circumstance where they think it is justified. Some people support abortion for any reason; some – in fact many, mostly – for limited reasons. So we always want to speak into that, into the specific situations they're discussing, and the issues they're raising. Not only that, but find out where their ideas are coming from, where that opinion was formed, and what's going on in their life, to really have compassion for them, and not just for the babies (as we are often accused of). "So if someone said they supported abortion for most situations, but not for casual encounters which they deem is irresponsible, I would ask them to consider a toddler in that same situation. If someone brought up the case of poverty, I would ask them if they would tell a mother who is in poverty, a mother of a 2-year-old, if she could kill that child to solve that problem. People are often taken aback: 'Of course not; of course we can't do that!' We use this common ground especially to begin. Then we use that analogy with the toddler and question, 'If we can't harm born humans, then why can we ever harm the same humans a few months earlier?'" Changing the general public's mind about abortion can be a path toward succeeding in political legislation. Katrina Marshall: "A lot of people have asked me why I do this specifically, and my answer is that there are so many people, especially pro-lifers, who don't recognize the value of educating the public on the issue of abortion, and how that plays into other arms of the pro-life movement, such as the political arm, or the pastoral crisis arm. If the public doesn't see that abortion is wrong then these other arms will not succeed. I see a large gap in the educational arm of the movement. What better way to save babies than to to talk with people who don't think that abortion is wrong at all, and in fact it's often celebrated." As a Christian, Marshall says that she can educate others about abortion as much as possible but at the end of the day it is Jesus Christ who saves lives. Katrina Marshall: "You can't change everyone's mind. When you realize what abortion is, how children are being starved to death, and ripped apart, and no one loves them, it's hard to recognize that sometimes you're the only one that will stand up for them. You're the only one that will love them, and honor their legacy, and it's hard to recognize that only God can change minds and only He can save lives in this work and you have to surrender that to Him." For Reformed Perspective, I'm Alexandra Ellison in Ottawa....