I always seem to be on a plane, 30,000 feet above my home, when news is released of my country making landmark decisions to advance the Culture of Death. In February 2015 when the Supreme Court overturned the law prohibiting assisted suicide, I was en route to speak in Texas. Yesterday, fourteen months later, I was en route to present in Wisconsin and my stopover gave me a chance to read that the Liberal government had introduced Bill C-14, draft legislation allowing for euthanasia and assisted suicide. And although it was tempting to want to stay in the clouds, to flee a country that promotes perversion of “health care,” my plane landed, I had my passport, and I was reminded that I am Canadian. So as I think about my country’s attack on human life—and my country’s attack on the medical profession that is given the sacred duty to respect and protect that life—it occurs to me that the response of people of good will ought to be very simple: We just say no.
Think of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man: the power of no. Think of Gandhi and his followers’ famous Salt March: the power of no. Think of Alice Paul and her fellow suffragettes: the power of no. Like these social reformers, we must go against the tide and declaratively state our no in the face of injustice.
- Inject a poison to kill you? No.
- Refer you to someone who will kill you? No.
- Hold your hand while you kill yourself? No.
- Be silent when I should speak? No.
- Vote for a politician who would advance this Nazi-like philosophy of “lives unworthy of life”? No.
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has noted, “Our success will depend more on whether we are respected than liked. Respect flows not from doing what the other finds pleasing, but from what is seen as consistent with principle, courageous, and immune from the temptation to change with the wind.”
So in the spirit of being consistent with the principle that human life has inherent dignity and worth, that each human being is willed, loved, unrepeatable, and irreplaceable, when some wish to end such a life that is not yet over, we say no.
In the spirit of being courageous, as the powers-that-be may threaten and intimidate those who do not comply with this impending unjust law (which St. Augustine would say “is no law at all”), we say no.
In the spirit of refusing to change with the wind, when different variations of the same death-obsessed philosophy are proposed, we say no.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The times of challenge and controversy are here—now. We must embrace the power of no.