Assisted Suicide, Abraham Kuyper, Cracking Down in China, and the World Health Organization


Assisted Suicide. Doctor-assisted suicide became legal in Canada in June of 2016. In the first year since legalization, nearly 2,000 Canadians have made use of it, according to Health Canada’s October report. The report said that 1,982 Canadians have committed doctor-assisted suicide under the federal Medical Aid in Dying law, with an additional 167 in Quebec since that province made it legal in December 2015.

Kuyper Remembered. Abraham Kuyper was born 180 years ago this week on Oct. 29, 1837. It would be no exaggeration to call Kuyper a role model for Chuck Colson and for many of us here at The Colson Center. He excelled as theologian, politician, educator, and journalist: four vocations essential for public intellectuals in our own age. Here at the Colson Center, we often refer to him, especially his famous quote: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” If you’d like to learn more about the importance of Kuyper to Chuck Colson, I commend to you John Stonestreet’s speech to The Acton Institute’s annual Acton University. I’m also pleased to note that Acton is releasing new editions of Kuyper’s works. You can find the first fruits of what will no doubt be a multi-year project here.

Cracking Down in China. We like our news in soundbites and our politics and religion as entertainment. Not so the Chinese. Last week, President Xi Jinping delivered a three-and-a-half-hour speech to open the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Though many American politicians think the strategy of engagement with the Chinese government is democratizing that country, this speech offered scant evidence. Mindy Belz, reporting for WORLD’s Globe Trot column, said Xi “left no doubt he will extend his rule well into the next decade. Xi called for a ‘new era’ 36 times in the speech, making no mention of North Korea but signalling a continued hard line toward civil society. Already that has meant a crackdown on human rights lawyers, dissidents, and religious believers.” The CCP also unveiled a new curriculum for Chinese schools, featuring Xi’s political ideology. “[The thought will] go into textbooks, into classes, and into the brains [of students],” said Education Minister Chen Baosheng.

WHO? The World Health Organization (WHO) recently appointed a “goodwill ambassador” whose job is to promote public health programs and “best practices” among developing nations. However, when the WHO appointed dictatorial former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe to the post, the international outcry was nearly unanimous. The WHO quickly rescinded the appointment, which is good news. But the public relations debacle has caused some to wonder aloud how the appointment could have happened in the first place, and whether the WHO is an honest broker and legitimate voice on the world stage.

Image courtesy of davidhills at iStockPhoto by Getty Images.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.

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