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Saturday Selections – Feb. 17, 2024

Failing at failure? This could be a great way to bring up an important conversation with our kids. The fear of failure stops many children from trying new and hard things. God gave them talents, and if they are going to develop those skills (and not bury them - Matthew 25:14-30) our children will need to push their limits. That might mean running so hard they start tripping, stumbling, and even eating some dirt. They need to know there is such a thing as God-glorifying failure... but not God-glorifying cowardice. Marriage makes men better Though he doesn't acknowledge God, this evolutionist has discovered that God's plan for the family – marriage – works best, reining in men's antisocial behaviors. There is a really great metaphor here, too, about our rational self being a rider trying to control an elephant that represents our impulses. Those impulses – or, in Christian terms, sinful desires – can be easier or harder to control depending on where we take them. So, for example, a rider troubled by alcohol shouldn't "take his elephant" into a bar. To extend this to the family realm, a dad or mom trying to deal with a kid that pushes their buttons shouldn't indulge in watching the late show – they'll have to put their elephant to bed early each night to better enable them to be calm and controlled. The Swiss Family Robinson: a return to the classics Jonathon Van Maren makes a plug for this great book. Parents, if you get your kids a copy, be sure you get an attractive one: a great cover, good font, and a few illustrations thrown in here and there can really help by making a classic so much more appealing. G.K. Chesterton on AI If you want to understand AI, then who better to ask than someone born two hundred years before it was invented? This is a good one! And for an in-depth dive check out what's on offer at The most bizarre experience of my life When theologian E. Calvin Beisner was invited to do an interview about climate change, he never expected to be interviewed by a clown. Who knows how this will end, but some people certainly are desperate to try to make Christians look bad. "He Gets Us" takes a big "L" in the Super Bowl Among the Super Bowl commercials last week were two to promote the "He Gets Us" evangelistic campaign. Many Christians have defended them as "pre-evangelism" – sure, they didn't hint at the Good News, but they did tell people that Jesus gets them. That's a start, right? There's some truth to that – they had a minute, and if you had just a minute would you be able to present the whole of the Gospel to someone? To say it another way, an incomplete message isn't wrong... it just needs more. But the problem comes when we say the easy part and stop. And a lot of "churches" are content with just telling folks that Jesus gets them. But they don't want to offend anyone. Telling people they need to repent? Jesus as Saviour is offensive indeed. Now someone has shown how it is possible, in just a minute, to tell people quite a lot about Jesus and their need for a Saviour. And Ray Comfort gives his own version here. ...


Gambling as the new norm? Christians still need to say no

Estimates had Americans betting a record $23 billion on Super Bowl LVIII, up more than a third from the $16 billion that was wagered in 2023. Among the betters was one Cardinal Pritchard, who shared that he’d made a wager in an article for the news site Not the Bee. Pritchard didn’t specify how much he bet, so it could have been trivial. What is notable is that he publicized it on a specifically Christian website and in making his admission there, he was acting as if it’s no big thing for Christians to gamble. The irony is that he did so in an article on the enormity of America’s gambling problem – Pritchard reported that an estimated 67.8 million Americans placed a bet on the Super Bowl, for an average of well over $300 a bet! Gambling is a bad bet Big, too, is just how common gambling has become – that works out to almost 1 in 5 Americans. Pritchard actually reported it as 1 in 4, but his math was off. Bad math is, of course, an ailment common to gamblers, who make the repeated mistake of thinking that this time they’ll come out ahead. But in a bit of computation that should be a part of every Christian high school math curriculum, if you engage in any sort of regular gambling the odds are going to get you in the end. Why? Because casinos and online sites take their percentage, so what’s paid out will always be less than what was paid in. Thus one of the reasons Christians shouldn’t gamble is because it’s a bad use of the resources God has given us. It’s worse than what the one servant did in the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25: 14-30) who buried the money his master entrusted to him, and didn’t even put it in the bank to earn some interest. How much angrier would his master have been if the servant had come back with half a talent, having frittered the rest away in gambling? Or if he’d come back with a debt of several talents? Even when you win gambling is bad news But what if you are an especially good gambler, defying the odds to actually win more than you lose? Would it be okay for a Christian to gamble if he could turn a profit? No, but for a different reason. When you win at gambling it is only because someone else lost. Whatever your gain, it is someone else’s pain. Sometimes investing is likened to gambling, but a key difference is that if I make money on a business investment, it can be as the result of that business doing something to benefit many others. A company like Costco grows in value because it opens more stores that serve more people some good values. Your gain as a Costco stockholder comes at the general populace’s gain too. But in gambling, you only win because someone else has lost. And that’s not loving your neighbor (Matt. 22:35-40). Add to this the number of people who get addicted to gambling and lose everything. And then consider how, in Canada, provincial governments have a big hand in pushing gambling, and thus a big hand in destroying these lives. While I couldn’t dig up the specifics for the Canadian Super Bowl wager numbers, gambling is big business in Canada too, as evidenced by the sheer volume of sports gambling ads on television. A peek at government coffers shows their own heavy dependence on gambling. Alberta, for example, is expecting to take in $1.5 billion in 2023-2024, or, more than $300 per citizen. God’s people need to understand why gambling is wrong so we can steer clear of this entrapment. And in steering clear we can also be a good neighbor to others by “denormalizing” gambling. Just say no, for everyone’s sake....


Understanding the war in Gaza

On October 7, 2023, the terrorist organization Hamas launched an attack on Israel from Gaza that killed about 1400 Israeli civilians. Hamas also took over 200 hostages. The brutality of the attack was staggering, and there are reports of Hamas terrorists recording videos of their own gleefulness as they committed atrocities against Jewish women and children. In Western countries, thousands of “progressives” began demonstrating in the streets and posting messages on social media in support of the Hamas attacks. Then, as Israel counterattacked into Gaza to prevent further Hamas aggression, progressives demanded that there be a ceasefire to halt Israel’s military advance. In the view of such progressives, the Palestinians of Gaza are an oppressed people under the colonial rule of Israel. But such a view doesn’t understand the history of the region and the current situation. Correcting misinformation To correct the misconceptions, Dr. Willem J. Ouweneel, a prominent evangelical theologian in the Netherlands, quickly put together a small book to help Christians understand the big picture. This book is called Israel and the Palestinians and it was published by Paideia Press within weeks of the terrorist attack. First of all, it’s important to understand that Palestinian Arabs are not the original occupants of the land who were subsequently dispossessed by Jews. Yes, there have been Arabs in Palestine for centuries, and there were Jews living there too for an even longer time. As Ouweneel explains, “There have been Jews living in the Holy Land virtually continuously since the arrival of Israel under the leadership of Moses (about 3,200 to 3,400 years ago).” Yes, many Jews were expelled by the Romans in the first and second centuries AD, but some Jews always remained. It was their original homeland, after all. Arab and Jewish Palestinians The Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 and much of the rest of the Middle East during the seventh century. For centuries thereafter the area, revered as the “Holy Land,” remained under Muslim rule – except for a brief interlude when the Crusaders held control. In 1917, during World War One, the British seized it from the Ottoman Empire. Between the two world wars, while the British administered this territory, large numbers of Jews came from other parts of the world to live there. Both the Arab and Jewish residents were known as “Palestinians.” The idea that only Arabs are Palestinians developed later, especially after Israel became a country in 1948. That is, the claim that there is a specifically Arab Palestinian national identity is very recent historically. Palestine partitioned As the number of Jewish people in Palestine surged, their potential military strength grew correspondingly. Tensions between Jews and Arabs increased. The British therefore tossed the “Palestinian issue” hot potato to the United Nations (UN) for a solution. A UN commission proposed partitioning Palestine into the modern country of Israel and an Arab Palestine territory, and this proposal was adopted by the UN. The Jews were jubilant that they would get their own country and they formed the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The Palestinian Arabs refused to establish their own country, partly due to pressure from neighboring Arab countries. The Arab leadership wanted every inch of Palestine. Those neighboring Arab states immediately launched an all-out attack to wipe Israel off the map in 1948. However, the Arabs lost this conflict, known as Israel’s War of Independence (1948-1949), so Israel was successfully established. The Palestinian Arabs ended up with nothing, because the country of Jordan took control of the West Bank and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip, both of which territories had been assigned by the UN to the Palestinian Arabs. Ethnic cleansing? At the formation of Israel, about 700,000 Arabs fled the new country and became refugees in surrounding Arab countries. This was encouraged by the Arab states, but Ouweneel notes that “the Jews themselves may have contributed to this Arab departure by intimidating them.” At the same time, though, “around 850,000 Jews were expelled from the surrounding Arab countries. These were Jews whose ancestors had often lived in those Arab countries for centuries.” They were welcomed in Israel. So, it seems that to some degree, there was a form of ethnic cleansing on both sides. Israel is an officially Jewish state, so Arabs who live there “are, in a sense, second-class citizens.” Nevertheless, they enjoy the same democratic rights as Jewish residents. Indeed, there “is no country in the Middle East where Arabic speakers have as many rights as in the land of Israel.” The main point, though, is that Israel is not some sort of Jewish colony in Palestine. Jews have lived there for millennia. Furthermore: “throughout history, there have always been more Jews than Muslims living in Jerusalem. In 1860, when Zionism did not yet exist, there were 11,000 Jews compared to 6,500 Muslims, and in 1906, there were 40,000 Jews compared to 7,000 Muslims. At all times, Jerusalem has been more of a Jewish city than an Arab one.” Muslims cannot accept Israel According to Ouweneel, the bottom line is that the root of the conflict is religious. Muslims believe that since they conquered Palestine in the seventh century, it is and must always belong to the “realm of Allah.” In other words, “it is inconceivable that Jews would ever have their own state in an area that has become part of Allah’s world. This is an abomination to many consistent Muslims, both within and outside the Middle East. For seventy-five years, these Muslims have fervently desired that the state of Israel come to an end as soon as possible.” It is with this in mind that the chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine must be free” can be properly understood. It means that “all Jews must be expelled (or better yet, killed) from the land, only then will Palestine truly be ‘liberated.’” Due to the deep-seated religious basis of this conflict, then, Ouweneel believes there can be no lasting political solution. The Jews believe strongly in defending their country, and consistent Muslims believe strongly in wiping it out completely. There’s no middle ground. Peace only through Christ However, peace would be possible if both Jews and Muslims in the region turned to Christ. As Ouweneel writes, “The solution is for Jews and Arabs to be reconciled with God individually, in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18–20). Then reconciliation with each other will follow naturally.” So, while it’s easy to sympathize with the Israelis rather than their opponents, there is no room for hatred. “We must learn to see in the face of every Muslim a potential Jesus-believer." Indeed, some missionary organizations are reporting that thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ right now. Conclusion Israeli forces have continued to push into Gaza to root out Hamas terrorists. Unfortunately, many civilians are dying as result. Civilian casualties are much higher than they need to be because Hamas uses them as human shields by operating out of schools and hospitals. From the Israeli perspective, if Hamas is not destroyed, its terrorists will continue to commit atrocities against civilians in Israel. Thus, to protect their own people, the military operation in Gaza must continue, despite the unfortunate civilian casualties. Every country has a right to self-defense, and Israel is no different in this regard. Hamas launched its attack on October 7, and Israel is fighting back. Those who are outraged by Israel’s military operation should reflect on the fact that this entire episode is the result of a massacre of Israeli civilians by Hamas. Oct 9 march in New York two days after the attacks with a sign touting the slogan "From the River to the Sea." (Picture credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock - Top picture credit: Below the Sky / Shutterstock)...


Alberta government announces new transgender policies 

Yesterday, the Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, announced several transgender policies concerning surgeries, hormone treatment, parental rights, sexual education, and sports. Smith delivered the policies in a video posted on social media. Surgeries and hormone treatments  Smith declared a ban on transgender top and bottom “surgeries” for minors aged 17 and under. Previously, “bottom surgeries,” involving the mutilation of a child’s genitalia, were already prohibited for minors. Levi Minderhoud is the BC Manager at the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA), which has been advocating for these changes through the “Let Kids Be” campaign. He mentions that before this announcement, “top surgeries” – breast removals – were happening to minors: “The National Post reported last year that hundreds of girls in Canada have had mastectomies under the guise of ‘gender-affirming care.’ These are not only medically unnecessary but also cause permanent damage to young women's bodies. Alberta is right to prohibit them for minors.” Additionally, Smith announced the ban on hormone treatments for children aged 15 and under. She clarified that children currently receiving hormones would not be affected. Those aged 16 and 17 could start hormones with approval from parents, a physician, and a psychologist. Parental rights in the classroom Under the new policies, students aged 15 and under who wish to use another name and/or pronouns at school must get parental permission. Students aged 16 and 17 will not require permission, but parents will have to be informed by the school if their child is using a new name or pronouns. Regarding sexual education lessons in the classroom, parents will need to opt-in to every lesson covering sex education, sexual identity, or gender identity. Smith’s decision to implement an opt-in policy, rather than an opt-out policy, is significant, as it could remove contentious presentations from the classroom without facing a major political backlash. If most parents choose not to opt-in, it could lead to the shutdown of these classes if only a few students participate. Female sports   The new rules will also prohibit so-called “transgender female athletes” (aka, men) from participating in female sports. As Smith noted: “There are obvious biological realities that give transgender female athletes a massive competitive advantage over women and girls.” Although Smith failed to articulate that “transgender female” really means “male,” she did affirm the reality of biological differences between males and females (Gen 1:27). Two steps forward, one back It wasn’t all good though. Children 16 and up will still be able to get hormones that may leave them irreversibly sterile. Smith also announced efforts to advance “transgender care” for adults. Currently, Alberta residents seeking transgender surgeries have to travel to Quebec. Smith aims to change this by bringing specialists to Alberta to facilitate these genital mutilations within the province. It’s important to care for those around us struggling with gender dysphoria, but it’s not caring to harm a patient’s body in an attempt to remake them into a gender they can never become. These policies have faced significant backlash from transgender advocacy groups, some arguing that Alberta’s policies surpass the parental rights policies in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.  John Sikkema, Director of Law and Policy for ARPA, expressed gratitude for the announcement, stating: “ARPA is very thankful for Premier Smith’s policy announcement this week. We urge her government to follow through with implementing these sound policy changes, despite the predictable backlash by progressive activist groups and media.” Smith took questions today, at a press conference on these new policies. You can view it below. ...


Judge: government wasn’t legally justified to invoke the Emergencies Act

A year ago, Justice Paul Rouleau ruled that Canada’s federal government acted appropriately when it invoked the Emergencies Act to clear out “Freedom Convoy” protesters who were camping out around Parliament Hill back in 2022. But this past week a different judge made the opposite call. Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley ruled that the government was not legally justified in invoking the Act. For those who need a refresher, on Feb 14, 2022, the Canadian government invoked the Emergencies Act, claiming that the hundreds of semi-trucks and thousands of protesters that had been around Parliament Hill since late January of that year were a “threat to the security of Canada.” Invoking the Act gave the government increased powers. However, any increase of power for government has to come with a corresponding loss of freedom for their citizens. For example, the government gained the power to freeze protesters’ bank accounts, and those they chose to do this to, lost the ability to access their own money. The government gained the power to ban protests, but, as Justice Mosley ruled earlier this week, they did so at the expense of citizens’ Charter Right to freedom of expression. However, as The Globe and Mail’s Marieke Walsh and Sean Fine reported: “The government failed to prove that there was an emergency, as defined by the Emergencies Act, with the protests not meeting the high threshold of a threat to the security of Canada, said. The government ‘cannot invoke the Emergencies Act because it is convenient, or because it may work better than other tools at their disposal or available to the provinces,’ he wrote.” For Christians who have been wrestling with what the limits of government power are, this ruling presents another wrinkle. What does submission to government look like when one arm of the government declares something right, and another declares it wrong? This ruling also confirms that just because a government official declares something doesn’t make it so. Even as our country drifts from God, it is still a nation of laws, not just a nation of men – we don’t have to submit to every whim of our political leader, but can appeal to a system of laws, including our Charter of Rights, that even the Prime Minister can be held accountable to. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has announced the government plans to appeal. Photo is of Ottawa protesters on January 29, 2022. Picture credit: Michel Elzo/Shutterstock...


Alberta taking steps towards nuclear power

In the same week that Alberta was facing power shortages, the government announced they were going nuclear. Last week the province was sending emergency alerts to residents asking them to limit their electricity usage because of pressure on their electrical grid from extremely cold temperatures. Then, on Jan 15 an announcement was made of a partnership between two corporations to examine the feasibility of building small modular reactors (SMR) in the province. Currently there are no nuclear power projects west of Ontario. The partnership is between Alberta company Capital Power and the crown corporation Ontario Power Generation, which owns four nuclear power plants and is responsible for close to half the electricity generation in Ontario. The two companies shared that their plan is to take two years to assess the feasibility of small nuclear reactors in Alberta. This aligns with a strategic plan that was created by the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick in 2022, towards the advancements of SMR’s, which they called “the next evolution in nuclear innovation and technology.” Nuclear power is far more reliable than “renewable” power options like solar and wind, which Canadian governments have been pushing for decades now. They are able to produce maximum power more than 92 percent of the year, compared with 35 percent for wind and 25 percent for solar. “Nuclear energy offers humanity the safest, most efficient approach to harnessing natural resources for its use” explained Vijay Jayaraj, Research Associate for the CO2 Coalition. “As the densest energy source available, nuclear fuel requires the least amount of material and land for electricity production.” Safe electricity is necessary for lighting, heating, cooling, refrigeration, and most commercial activity. Although we take it for granted, it has been critical for alleviated poverty and promoting human flourishing.  As Andrew Spencer, from the Gospel Coalition notes, “as we prudentially consider technologies that balance the goods of society with the limits of creation, relatively clean sources of electricity like nuclear power are part of seeking the welfare of the city in which we dwell. (Jer. 29:7) This is especially true for people on the margins who cannot afford expensive electrical backups and are most at risk when the power goes out.”...


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....


Use RSS to get RP delivered

Get all your favorite websites, blogs, podcasts and video channels sent to one place ***** Are you tired of repeatedly visiting your favorite blog only to find out that there haven't been any new posts? Are you tired of sifting through everything on YouTube to find what you want to see? Are you tired of going to one place for podcasts, another for videos, and another for news? And are you tired of having your email inbox filled up with all the updates for your newsletter subscriptions? Then RSS may be for you. What is RSS? RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" and has been a part of the Internet for more than 30 years. It is the technology behind podcasts and most blogs, news sites, and other web pages that update content regularly. All these sites provide an RSS “feed” – it's often hidden, but still there in the background – that lists when a new post or video or podcast is added to that site. This RSS feed is really just a specially formatted document with information about each update on a site, with the date, title, author, etc., and even the partial or complete content of the post. This RSS document would be strange for you to read, but an RSS reader or aggregator is a piece of software that can read it easily enough. Once you set up your aggregator it can quickly check all the RSS feeds from your favorite sites and collect all the newest material into a single list for you to peruse, organized by the date on which items were posted, and including the associated images and content. Why use an RSS aggregator? Why would you want to consider using an RSS aggregator/reader? There are all sorts of reasons: So you can get updates for all your favorite Internet content in one place instead of having to go to your email inbox and all your favorite websites and apps to access their newest content. So you don’t have to give out your email address to all kinds of websites to get updates on their content. So you don't need to use social media to access most of what you're interested in. So you can often get updates on exactly the part of the website that you’re interested in instead of everything that gets posted. You can, for example, get just Reformed Perspective’s news feed, or choose just its book review feed, instead of getting everything. Another important consideration is that your RSS feed can't be controlled or filtered by social media companies or the government (unless they start completely blocking access to websites). Finally, you might want to make use of the RSS feed just because it is built into so many websites, and it’s there for you to access and use. Some aggregator software may charge for their service or include ads, but if you don’t want to pay for it, just use a free service, because the RSS feed itself is there already, freely available. Some RP examples Almost all blog sites, including, include RSS feeds. For Wordpress sites like RP’s, it is as simple as adding “/feed/” to the end of certain web addresses. So if you wanted to get everything from RP, you would tell your RSS aggregator/reader to follow: Blog sites will often have separate feeds for the various categories and tags, so some options for RP include categories like: News - Book reviews - You can get even more specific by using one of our tags to get just the new posts on those topics: Pro-life - Christian film - Around the web It’ll work the same all over the Internet too, with sites like: Web comics: Once again, since this is a lot like a blog, it will likely have an RSS feed. Podcasts: These all use RSS, which is how Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc. know when there's a new episode. Our Manna podcast's feed is here: News: Many news organizations also have RSS feeds. The True North Centre's main feed, for example, is at YouTube: YouTube makes it a little difficult to get to the feed nowadays, but most aggregators can find it for you if you paste in the channel URL. The feed URL for Pierre Polievre's channel, for instance, is How to get started RSS aggregators can show you your content in various ways that might remind you of some email programs, grouping things by topic folders, or by date. The easiest way to get started with RSS is to use a service like or These popular services include a website, mobile apps, and even web browser extensions that make it easy to gather and consume your updates. Because they are popular, it’s also easy to find YouTube instructional videos if you need more help. Most of the services have free and paid service tiers, and as you might suspect, the free ones usually include ads. However, they do a lot of the work for you, so they're really the best option if you're just starting out with news aggregators. Feedly offers a free tier that allows users to group as many as 100 feeds into three separate folders of their own creation. So, maybe you want all news articles in one, the YouTube video channels you follow in another, and podcasts in the third. If you want to include more than 100 feeds, then you’ll need to upgrade to their paid tiers. There are lots of other services out there including more complicated versions – like, and even do-it-yourself options like and the built-in aggregator in the Vivaldi web browser (available at – but these might be better suited to someone particularly techy who likes figuring things out for themselves. Mark Coolen is Reformed Perspective's own tech guru....


In the age of the smartphone, kids aren’t performing as well

Research released in December seems to indicate a general decline in student performance around the world over the last decade and a half. These findings were based on the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), a test administered to almost 700,000 15-year-old students in 2022. The PISA has been run every two years for decades now. One of the takeaways from the latest results was that in the 16 years from 2006 to 2022, worldwide scores for math, reading, and science dropped from 10 to 20 points. According to PISA, 20 points represents approximately a year’s worth of learning, so this amounted to between a half and a full year of learning lost in these three areas. It’s hard to get the why from such statistics. Some of that was almost certainly due to COVID closures, with the sharpest declines in math and reading happening over the years 2020 to 2022. But as the author of one of the reports, Andreas Schleicher, noted, the trajectory was already downward beforehand. Schleicher pointed to “digital distractions” as a possible culprit. “Students who reported being distracted by other students using digital devices in some, most or every maths class scored 15 points lower in PISA maths tests than those who barely experienced this.” What can be done to improve scores? State schools are going to look to the government for the solution, and some have tried banning smartphone usage at school. The results have been mixed: good in some countries, and not as much in others, where students may simply be getting around the ban. Christians can point to something that hasn’t been tried: instead of more government intervention, what if we had less? Children who are on screens 5-7 hours a day (or even more) need parents (not a Big Brother) to step up and fill the void, both educational and emotional, that these phones and screens are currently filling....


Toronto hospital experiments with artificial wombs

In mid-November, Toronto SickKids Hospital began the first experiments in its new lab, testing the creation of an artificial womb.  In 2017, artificial womb testing succeeded in keeping fetal lambs gestating in “bio bags” for up to 28 days. Lambs surgically removed from their mothers' wombs at 105 to 115 days, were transferred into the bio bags. Scientists from the Philadelphia-based lab claim this experiment showed promise as the first time an artificial womb could maintain fetal and organ development. These tests have been conducted with over 300 lambs. Toronto SickKids Hospital is following on with their own experiment, this time using pigs, not lambs.  Dr. Mike Seed, head cardiologist of the hospital, states that these experiments aim to develop better life support for prematurely born babies. The hope is to simulate a womb that would support continued growth and nurture of the fetus, providing a better chance at life.  If the preborn aren't recognized as human... Now, just because we can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. In the pursuit of scientific advancements, there is a need for scrutiny, especially when it involves interventions that potentially disrupt the natural order established by God, such as the sacred process of childbearing. Of course, the idea that a baby born prematurely at 22 weeks could thrive in an “artificial womb” is appealing. However, can we trust those who evidently have little regard for the sanctity of life to continue their process of experimentation in a way that respects these smallest and most vulnerable of lives? What if it wasn't her body? A recent National Post article explores the idea that advances in this medical technology could impact “abortion rights.” In Canada, pre-born children have no legal status until their first breath. University of Montreal bioethicist Vardit Ravitsky expresses concern about how this could “revolutionize our relationship to pregnancy, reproduction, and women’s place in society.”  Could legislators change abortion policies to remove the pre-born child from the mother to finish gestation inside an artificial womb? Ravitsky warns that having such a womb capable of carrying on an unwanted pregnancy apart from the mother could result in the mother losing the "right to decide that this child will not live.” She poses the questions: “Is the pre-born child considered born when it leaves my body? Is it born when it leaves the artificial womb?”  An important truth that can be highlighted is that inside or outside of the womb (natural or artificial) life begins at conception. Although this bioethicist has a pro-abortion worldview, she strips away the jargon and euphemisms of what abortion is. Ravisky says that when women say they want an abortion they are saying two things: “I don’t want this pregnancy in my body,” and “I don’t want this child to be in the world.” Abortion is not just the removal of pregnancy; it is at the essence the removal of the child from the world in a way that is utterly brutal and destructive to God’s creation.  Not a brave new world Another concern is where this could all lead. The concept of an artificial womb is not new, with Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic Brave New World exploring the idea over 90 years ago. Huxley warned that separating reproduction from love and family bonds could lead to a less human and more controlled society. Eliminating natural reproduction from the God-ordained male-female process alters the structure of families. This transformation is evident in practices like in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, where same-sex couples are now able to create children, depriving the right for children to have both a mother and a father. The plotline of babies being born inside of incubated bottles now doesn’t seem too far off. As the medical field makes advances that may seem like “preserving” human life, there is a need for discernment. Society should avoid practicing science or legislation that would harm the pre-born. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Photo by Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS15112, used and adapted under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license....


What’s happening on the Hill: federal legislation to watch in 2024

What came first: the chicken or the egg? While I’m convinced that God started by creating a chicken, the riddle points to two truths: that eggs come from chickens and chickens come from eggs. We can ask a similar question in a different and more important area of life. What comes first: laws or culture? Again, the answer to this riddle is that both are true. And that’s why a country’s laws are so important. They not only shape our culture, but they are also symptoms of what our culture wants. Laws are not only signposts of where we are going, but conveyor belts pushing us in a particular direction. So, where are our laws directing us to go? Well, here are some of the potential laws on a variety of issues that the House of Commons and the Senate will continue to study and debate throughout 2024. The bills that ARPA Canada is actively following can be categorized into bills relating to life, pornography and sexual exploitation, family, and human rights and justice. Note: In Canada, bills need to go through eleven steps to become law. A bill needs to pass first reading, second reading, consideration in committee, report stage, and third reading in the House of Commons (or Senate) first and then go through the same five steps in the Senate (or House of Commons). Finally, the Governor General must give Royal Assent to the legislation. We mention this so you can know how close the bills listed below are to becoming the law of the land. Life Euthanizing the mentally ill The first one is actually not a bill, but an ongoing discussion. The Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (consisting of both Senators and MPs) is meeting to discuss the expansion of euthanasia to people with mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition. The committee is officially reviewing “the level of preparedness in Canada” to euthanize people with mental illness. But some MPs and committee witnesses believe Parliament must stop, or at least delay, the expansion of euthanasia to mental illness, which remains scheduled for March 17, 2024. The committee is expected to submit a final report to Parliament, with recommendations, by January 31, 2024. Euthanizing the mentally incompetent Another bill, S-248, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), seeks to expand euthanasia still further by permitting advance requests for euthanasia. This means that a person who is worried about losing the capacity to consent to euthanasia may consent weeks, months, or even years in advance. They would just need to pick a random day in the future to be euthanized or declare that they agree to be euthanized if they reach a stated level of decline and have lost the capacity to consent by that point. The bill is awaiting further study at the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Pornography and Sexual Exploitation Protecting young eyes Bill S-210, the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act, prohibits making pornography accessible to young people online and requires pornography companies to verify the age of potential viewers of pornography. Canadians rank 7th in the world for daily porn consumption, and children are exposed to it at increasingly younger ages. This bill is an important step in restricting pornography that is available for children and adolescents. Bill S-210 has successfully passed through the Senate and completed its first hour of debate in the House of Commons on November 23, 2023. It is currently awaiting further debate at second reading in the House of Commons. Protecting young people While Bill S-210 prohibits children from viewing pornography, another bill seeks to prohibit a person from making or distributing pornography without first ensuring that those depicted are at least 18 years of age and have consented to their image being depicted. Online pornography often exploits young people, particularly girls. Bill C-270, the Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act, would make such exploitation punishable by a fine of up to $500,000 or up to two years in prison. Bill C-270 successfully passed through the Senate and, in December, also passed its second reading in the House of Commons, with all Conservative, NDP, and Bloc MPs, as well as several Liberal members, supporting it. It is currently awaiting further study by the National Safety and Public Security Committee. Better terminology Bill C-291, introduced by MP Mel Arnold in June 2022, focuses on the issue of child pornography. The bill seeks to replace the term “child pornography” with “child sexual abuse and exploitation material.” While a simple terminology change does not directly combat child pornography, it does shift our society away from viewing child pornography as something that is potentially value-neutral to denouncing it for the abuse and exploitation that it is. The bill has received widespread support so far, passing unanimously in the House of Commons and passing second reading in the Senate. It is awaiting further study at the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Human trafficking Finally, a set of bills focus generally on human trafficking. Bill S-263 and C-308 are identical bills in the Senate and House of Commons which would require the government to maintain, update, and report on the progress of its National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking. The current strategy ends in 2024 but Canada desperately needs to do more – not less – to combat human trafficking. Both bills have passed first reading in their respective legislatures but have yet to proceed any further. Family Spanking bans Currently, parents in Canada are permitted to use force (e.g. spanking) to correct a child, as long as the force is reasonable under the circumstances. In the past 25 years, at least 14 bills have been introduced as attempts to ban corporal discipline, but none have passed. The government can never replace parents in the life of a child and must not try to do so by legislating how children ought to be raised. A set of bills – Bill S-251 and Bill C-273 – are the most recent attempts to ban corporal discipline entirely. The Senate bill is currently awaiting further study at the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, while the House of Commons bill completed its first hour of debate at second reading on November 27, 2023. Human Rights and Justice Protecting personal political speech MP Garnett Genuis introduced Bill C-257, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting against discrimination based on political belief), in 2022. An identical bill, bill S-257, was also introduced in the Senate in 2022 by Senator Salma Ataullahjan. Both bills have passed first reading but are awaiting further debate in their respective legislatures. These bills would prohibit discrimination by federally regulated employees against a person because of their political belief or partisan activity, such as, for example, an air traffic controller being fired because he expressed support for a conservative policy on a radio talk show. These bills would help safeguard free participation of all people in public life. Restorative justice The Canadian justice system is the focus of Bill S-265, introduced in the Senate in May 2023. Some elements of the bill support pathways for restorative justice as an alternative to incarceration. It would require training for authorities in the justice system regarding restitution and restorative justice programs. The bill also focuses on helping victims of crime navigate the justice system and access information about various services and programs. The Senate has begun to debate the bill at second reading, but it is awaiting further debate. Conclusion All of these bills are private members’ bills, meaning that they aren’t given the same priority as government bills to be debated and voted on. And yet, these bills give our representatives in the House of Commons and the Senate the opportunity to focus on critically important issues that the government may be ignoring. Some of these bills would have a negative impact, while others would have a positive impact. Either way, each one has the potential to shape Canadian law. If you are interested in further analysis of any of these bills, please visit for existing analysis or any updates as they develop....


Print & pod – the real “social” media?

I’m typing these words on my laptop, in a not-so-comfortable seat of an airplane, somewhere between Vancouver and my hometown in northern BC. But I’m guessing that you are reading these words in ink and paper, seated in a comfortable chair, ready to relax. If I’m right, congratulations. You made a good choice! You could have been staring at a screen, filling your time with content that’s more likely than not to leave you feeling empty. Instead, you are engaging with a publication that, I am confident, by the last page will leave you feeling like you finished a nourishing and tasty meal. I’m on my way back from Reformed Perspective’s annual in-person board meetings, where we took a good hard look at why this organization exists, and what’s most important for us to focus on. We concluded that RP exists not just to apply God’s truth to the issues of our day, but also to celebrate His truth. And we concluded that our time and resources are best spent producing content that goes deep (rooted in God’s Word) and goes wide (for all His people). In particular, we want to invest even more in “print and pod” – this magazine and our Real Talk podcast. These two mediums allow us to deliver solid content directly to you, without it being watered down, or interrupted by big-tech and government gate-keepers, or getting lost in a sea of other messages. Can we even be deep on social media? This world has no shortage of shallow content competing for our attention. We’re all becoming more aware of the negative consequences that social media in particular can have on hearts and minds, literally re-wiring our brains and making us feel like we are alone in a scary world. Yet, like an addiction, we keep going back for our fix. And this isn’t just a struggle for youth and young adults. Many adults and seniors are no less attached to their devices. The irony of “social” media is that we have never been lonelier and more fragmented. RP publishes on Instagram, Facebook, and X (Twitter), and has also used smaller outlets like MeWe and Gab. In the past we could justify this quite easily – it drove people to good content on our website and reached people who would never have seen this content otherwise. It even allowed for some discussion. It has been encouraging to see RP’s resources seen by hundreds of thousands of people online. But things have changed. Today, people rarely share posts and links, or engage with what is shared. And platforms like Instagram make it difficult to connect our followers to our website. That means most posts there are limited to the few hundred words that Instagram allows, so our posts are necessarily simpler and shallower than you’ll find in this magazine. Also, people who “like” or “follow” us often don’t see our content in their feed, even if they want it. And if they do, we are one message among thousands, including a lot of ads. We can’t compete with the flashy eye-candy that fills these feeds. Even if we invested tens of thousands of dollars to compete, would even that get us seen? In fact, a good argument could be made that by being on all sorts of social media platforms, RP is encouraging others to spend their time there too. And when we consider that there are no shortage of dangers lurking – users are just a couple clicks away from pornography – is that something we want to encourage? Bringing “social” back to media Now the supposed benefit of social media is the “social” – the many family members, friends, and past acquaintances that we can reconnect with. But how deep does that reconnection go? So what if RP could facilitate reconnection on a deeper level? Because we are a charity that provides the magazine (and podcast) at no cost, not only does it go to you, it also goes to thousands of others, including those who sit next to you in the pew. You have no idea what they are scrolling through on their phone, but you do know that they received a copy of RP and had an opportunity to read these very words. Why does that matter? If we have something in common, it can provide us with an opportunity to talk about an issue that needs attention. In recent years it has become common for church members to shape their opinions on cultural matters by following personalities that they respect or admire. Social media companies notice what we’ve clicked on, and then serve more content that aligns with what we already like, making us all-the-more convinced. At the same time, other Christian brothers and sisters have been carried in a different direction. And then we wonder why there is such division! We sure don’t claim to have figured out all the topics we write about or speak on. Far from it. We have a lot to learn. Sometimes we are wrong. But mediums like this can start a discussion with brothers and sisters in the LORD so that we can sharpen each other in our walk with the LORD. If you know that others have access to the same content, it makes a discussion all the easier. So could it be then, that print could be the basis of a new, actually social media? We believe so. Seeking your advice So what should we do about the digital sort of social media? Is it time to flick the switch, cold turkey? There’s good reason to at least consider that option. The small choices we make in the moment become habits which shape our character and lives. Few of us spend hours straight scrolling through our feed. But we do spend 10 minutes here, and then another 5 there, again and again and again. It adds up. And it is time taken away from our family, our friends, and from the worship of our God, doing the tasks He has set before us. So if your life ended today, how might you be described in your obituary? How would your children and friends describe your life? As grounded in God’s Word, relationships, and nurtured by resources with substance? Or addicted to whatever was sent to your device? As you can read in the ED update at the end of this magazine, we are investing in print and pod by making this magazine available to even more churches (beyond the nine or so denominations who get it today) and increasing the collaboration with the podcast. We haven’t yet decided what to do with RP’s social media presence. Just because it doesn’t have the same advantages as print and pod doesn’t mean it has no value. Knowing that there is wisdom in the counsel of many advisers (Prov. 15:22), we respectfully ask that you weigh in. If you have a few moments, please share your thoughts with us. Here are three ways to do so: Write a letter to the editor for publication at [email protected] If you prefer to just send us a note, email: [email protected] and we will share it with the team and take it into consideration. Or you  can fill in the form below. Loading…...


Halloween decorations overtaking Christmas decorations in BC

A survey of BC residents concluded that, for the first time, more people in the province are going “all out” with their decorating for Halloween than for Christmas. The survey was conducted by BC Hydro, the crown corporation that provides most of BC’s hydro power. It found that half of BC residents decorated their homes for Halloween this year, thirteen percent of which put on a “mega display” (defined as ten or more strings of lights and at least one plug-in inflatable). Just over half plan to decorate for Christmas, of which ten percent plan a “mega display.” Although the numbers are similar, and the survey was done before Christmas, when one compares Halloween decorations with Christmas, the contrast is striking. Halloween decorations generally celebrate death with tombstones, skeletons, and even effigies, ropes around their necks, hanging from trees, and then there’s the embrace of the occult, witches, and darkness. In contrast, most Christmas decorations radiate light, joy, and beauty, a fitting display to mark a holiday that celebrates the birth of our Incarnate LORD. BC recently made headlines for being the province with the highest proportion of people who say they have “no religious affiliation” (now up to 41 percent). As such, it isn’t surprising that there is waning enthusiasm for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Yet it is sad that a population would willfully celebrate the darkness which Christ came to save us from. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20)....

News, Pro-life - Abortion

What does Pierre Poilievre think about the unborn?

In a Dec. 11 profile published by le journal de québec, the wife of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre talked about the couple’s attitude toward the unborn. Anaida Poilievre told the newspaper (in French): “We are pro-choice. We decided on this. I am a woman from Quebec, I grew up here. And it’s part of my values.” But one of Canada’s most prominent abortion defenders, Joyce Arthur, doesn’t think Poilievre is really on her side. She argued back in the summer of 2022 that while Poilievre had declared himself both “pro-choice” and “pro-choix” at the French-language leadership debate earlier that year, his voting record indicated he was “anti-choice.” So which is it? Is Poilievre somehow against the slaughter of the unborn, even as he has verbally defended a mother’s right to murder her child? The voting record that Arthur points to shows Poilievre voted for a number of bills which did seek to protect the unborn. But these were protections that pro-choicers should have supported too… if they were, in fact, pro-choice and not simply pro-abortion. Poilievre voted for bills that would have made it a crime to kill or harm an unborn child that the mother wanted to keep. He also supporting penalizing attempts to coerce a woman into having an abortion she didn’t want. Even if we were, for the sake of argument, to adopt the pro-choice notion that a mother’s decision is what makes an unborn baby valuable, then one could be entirely pro-choice (or “pro-choix”) and still support these bills. That same voting record also shows that Poilievre voted against a pro-life bill that would have banned sex-selective abortions. So, Arthur doesn’t make a compelling case for Poilievre to be anything other than what he, and his wife, have said he is. That said, Poilievre’s Conservatives still welcome pro-life MPs – the only party in Parliament to do so – and he himself has voted for some of the private member's bills the party’s pro-life MPs have offered that would have protected at least some unborn children. As leader he is courting the pro-choice vote, but he is still looking for the pro-life vote too. So any interaction pro-life voters have with him will need to be done with our eyes wide open. Photo is adapted from the original here by Wikipageedittor099 and is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 agreement....


Climate conference hypocrisy continues to be instructive

COP28, this year’s edition of the annual United Nations climate conference, has come and gone, setting a record for accredited participants, with more than 70,000. That’s a sizable increase over the previous year’s 49,000, and there were estimates of 400,000 others in the trade and technology expo around the conference. Canada sent more than 700. The Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 event took place in the United Arab Emirates, one of the planet’s leading fossil fuel producers. There’s an irony there, but more pointed is the hypocrisy. These are the same politicians who are deliberately making fossil fuels more expensive to discourage your and my usage. It needs to be done, we’re told, because we face an “existential crisis.” Whatever it takes, because there is no Planet B! But what’s up with the 70,000 plane tickets? What’s the CO2 count for that? Why doesn’t that matter? If we’re really at a crisis point, wouldn’t drastic measures be warranted at the highest levels too? How painful is it, really, to hold their conference via Zoom? But no, we’re not at that level of crisis yet. The hypocrisy is aggravating, but more importantly it is instructive. Whatever our leaders might be saying about a crisis, their actions tell us what they really think (1 John 3:18, Tit 1:16a, James 1:22) and what we should think too. In a Dec. 6 post, the folks at the Climate Discussion Nexus made a plea for world leaders to demonstrate good faith by showing they can actually do what they propose. “To all the people gathering at COP28 ….if you’re so sure this energy transition can work, and be fun exciting cheap easy and great, stop with the grand pontificating and finger-pointing, and show us a demonstration project. Show us just one large or even medium-sized jurisdiction that can run its economy on ‘green’ energy.” We need to move off of fossil fuels? Before you propose it for the entire world, show us it can work in a small town somewhere. Show us how it can be done reliably and affordably. But until you can do that for a town, what reason would we have to think you could ever do it for the world?...


Two months later, Poilievre’s apple moment keeps rolling

Back in October, Canada’s Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre went viral with a video clip that’s been characterized as a “masterclass” for dealing with hostile media. Poilievre was visiting an Okanagan orchard, and the editor of the local paper, the Times Chronicle, tried to get Poilievre to answers questions about how he was a rightwing “populist….taking a page out of the Donald Trump” playbook. In response, the Conservative leader – munching contently on a huge apple – batted away each loaded question by asking his own. He wanted Urquhart to define his terms. And Urquhart couldn’t. When Poilievre posted the clip to Twitter on Oct. 14, it garnered more than 1.5 million views, and national coverage by the likes of the Vancouver Sun, National Post, and Globe and Mail. His performance was so dominant the Winnipeg Free Press’s Charles Adler tried to recast the exchange as the Conservative leader “squashing” and “devouring” the poor reporter. Poilievre’s apple moment made a splash in the US too, and the rest of the English-speaking world (prompting an Australian Sky News anchor to wonder if “perhaps there is hope for Canada yet”). And two months later the clip was still making the rounds. Joe Rogan, possibly the world’s most popular podcaster (this is not a recommendation of his show), shared the clip with his tens of millions of listeners on a Dec. 7 episode. Christian apologist Tim Barnett highlighted the seven questions Poilievre posed as a “brilliant” example of “using good questions in tough conversations.” Poilievre went viral because he was effective and because he was confident in the face of an arrogant, unfair attack – asking the reporter to explain his insults dismantled them, and Poilievre’s casual apple-munching was the perfect optic. Barnett believes God’s children can be that effective and that confident in our own confrontations with a hostile world if we employ this same tactic. In attacking our God, the world is attacking the very Author of reason and reality, which leaves them open to the same sort of dismantling if only we are brave enough to ask them to explain themselves. And the apple? Well, that’s optional. ...


Trudeau’s ban on single-use plastic overturned

A Federal Court has ruled that the Liberals' decision to designate plastic as “toxic,” so they could ban single-use plastics, overstepped the federal government's authority. Since 2022, six types of single-use plastic have been banned, including bags, cutlery, and straws. Canadians have been slurping on soggy paper straws since, being told that this is for the good of the earth. Christians are called to be stewards of creation. But stewardship is connected to our God-given mandate to “have dominion over the earth” (Gen. 1:26) and is based on reality, not simply intentions. So, was the government’s plastics ban actually a good step forward for Canadians and the planet? As the Fraser Institute  explained in response to the court ruling, 99 percent of plastic waste in Canada is safely disposed. More striking, the federal government’s own analysis concluded that the ban will increase waste rather than decrease it: removing 1.5 million tonnes of plastic over a ten-year period while adding almost double the amount of other kinds of waste. Some of this other waste will be paper products, which break down more quickly than plastics, but these plastic substitutes will result in higher greenhouse gases and lower air quality. And the government’s plastic ban comes with a cost that goes beyond the inconvenience of carrying your groceries out the store in your arms and then proceeding to buy garbage bags rather than reuse the ones that used to carry our groceries. The $616 million in forecasted benefits over ten years are outweighed three to one by over $2 billion in additional costs from the new substitute products. In spite of the court ruling, the government may not be willing to change course. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has said that the government is “strongly considering an appeal.”...


Will Canada start killing their mentally ill this March?

There are only a few more months until Bill C-7 could become law in Canada. This bill would allow doctors to euthanize some of Canada’s most vulnerable – those who are told they have an irremediable mental health condition. This past March 2023, the government tried to finalize this law, but by God’s grace, they were delayed a year. Bill C-7 would already be law today if it were not for so many Canadians who pushed back, wrote MPs, and made their voices heard. On November 24, 2023, I attended a meeting where Members of Parliament Dr. Leslyn Lewis, Ed Fast, Michael Cooper, Tako Van Popta, and Dr. Stephen Ellis spoke about doctor-assisted suicide, and the acceleration of our government’s agenda to create a culture of death. It was encouraging to hear this group of MPs passionate about a culture of life and empathy. MP Dr. Stephen Ellis was a long-practicing family physician before becoming an MP and he has been trying to stop euthanasia from gaining momentum. He stated some facts about euthanasia that he gleaned from his medical practice and research. 15,000 people per year are currently accessing euthanasia in Canada. Rates of doctor-assisted suicide are increasing by 30 per cent, annually. There is already a framework for a bill to suggest doctor-assisted suicide for those with opioid addictions. A Senate committee is also currently working on a framework for children to obtain euthanasia without parental consent. Health Canada is not keeping track of physicians’ non-compliance with safeguards. Thus, the public has no idea of the abuses taking place because there is no accountability for granting or coercing medically assisted deaths. Last March, Bill C-7 was delayed when many Canadians united to voice their anger. A letter was also produced by 17 chairs of psychiatry from Canadian medical schools urging the government to stop the bill. The government scrambled and produced Bill C-39 which created the one-year delay in offering suicide to the mentally ill. During that time, MP Ed Fast created a Private Member’s Bill, C-314, which stated that a mental disorder is not a grievous and irremediable medical condition for which a person could receive euthanasia. The supporters of Bill C-314 were able to persuade all NDP MPs and 8 Liberal MPs to vote in favor of this reversal of Bill C-7. Fifteen liberal MPs who agreed to support the bill changed their minds after Trudeau invited suicide activists into the House to convince his caucus. Still, Ed Fast’s Private Member’s Bill C-314 failed by only a very narrow margin in the House. And the battle is far from over. MP Ed Fast and MP Michael Cooper are on the special committee of medical experts, MPs, and Senate members whose job is to investigate the ethics of Bill C-7 and form a conclusion before the year allotted by Bill C-39 is over (March, 2024). The expert panel has concluded that it is impossible to determine whether a mental illness can cause an irreversible state of decline. No research has changed in the past year that would support Bill C-7. The government will very soon make their choice to either follow their expert panel’s advice or proceed while ignoring their advice. As Christians, we obviously do not agree with doctors murdering their patients, period. However, the inclusion of mental illness as a qualifier for doctor-assisted suicide makes this program just that much more damaging to our country. In the next few months, we have an opportunity to hold our government accountable for its decisions. We can pray for the MPs who are fighting Bill C-7, and we can again contact our MPs to voice our concern. We can also sign petitions to stop Bill C-7. According to this expert panel of MPs who spoke in November, all these actions really do make a difference....


Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire, launch a new kids’ TV network

What kind of TV shows or videos do you want your children or grandchildren to watch? What choices are off limits because of objectionable content, or worldviews antithetical to the Christian life? Thankfully we now have one more option to choose from. In 2022, The Daily Wire announced that it would compete with Disney and other studios, by launching a kids’ entertainment division. If you aren’t acquainted with The Daily Wire, you may still have seen YouTube clips from some of their commentators, including Jordan Peterson, Roman Catholics Michael Knowles and Matt Walsh (who made the What is a Woman? documentary), and Jews Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager. Their entertainment service has now gone live under the brand name “Bentkey” with a handful of original series aimed at kids, and around a dozen series produced by others but vetted by the brand as “safe” viewing for children. Parents and professional reviewers have given thumbs up to the new service, with even left-leaning commenters seeming to appreciate the lack of an agenda in the streaming shows. Christian parents will still need discernment to judge if Bentkey is acceptable for their family’s viewing, but may appreciate this additional choice. Bentkey is available by subscription only, either as part of a membership at or as a standalone product for $99 U.S. annually at (Currently, Canadians can access the kids’ network only through a web browser, while those in the U.S. are able to download an app to their Smart TV or tablet.) And if you’re looking for more entertainment options, last year RP published a whole issue on “Movies that King David might watch,” full of 200+ recommendations of worthwhile films for the Christian family. Find the issue here, and the article at Picture by Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock...

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