There has been a plethora of villains to be prosecuted after the conflict over Covid-19 is won (but that is far from a sure thing). On the other hand, there are the heroes to be venerated such as Naomi Wolf has done in a recent article posted on LRC, where she also lambasted the cowards. Here I would like to present one relatively unknown hero, Dr. Francis Christian.
I learned about Dr. Christian from a street interview from Ottawa with Vivafrei who did hours and hours of live streams during the truckers protest. He later did a long interview of Dr. Christian with his partner Robert Barnes. The doctor speaks with the voice of a Shakepearian actor and with old world manners. Originally from India, he did his medical training in India, Britain, and Canada. He has been a practicing surgeon in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan since 2007. His official post is Clinical Professor of Surgery, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. Furthermore, he was appointed director of the Surgical Humanities Program and director of Quality and Patient Safety in 2018 and co-founded the Surgical Humanities Program. Flowing from his deep interest in the humanities is his poetry. Being a healer, teacher and poet could make Dr. Christian a man for all seasons. But it was his speaking out based on his conscientious objections to vaccinating children that clearly established his character to the world.
Consider this quote on A Man for All Seasons from Wikipedia, “The title [of the play and movie] reflects 20th century agnostic playwright Robert Bolt’s portrayal of [Thomas] More as the ultimate man of conscience. As one who remains true to himself and his beliefs while adapting to all circumstances and times, despite external pressure or influence,” He was penalized by being removed from his academic posts (listen to the creepy indictment meeting in the link) for speaking out. Here is a negative article, Controversial Saskatoon professor penned his own fate | Healthing.ca, yet this excerpt describes Christian and his situation rather well.
“The romance novel’s protagonist sounds like a true hero — a virtuous doctor willing to stand up to the medical establishment over a drug he believes is causing illness and death.
Here’s an excerpt from an online description: “David’s principles of professionalism, justice, fair play and scientific inquiry lead him to challenge the medical-surgical industrial complex in a risky, dangerous and highly charged race to truth.”
The novel appears to have been self-published about a decade ago by Frank Christian [a link to this book], known more widely as surgery professor Dr. Francis Christian. He’s also a poet.
For those of us struggling to understand this man and why he would jeopardize an impressive career and reputation, this might provide some insight into his world view.
Christian has suffered mightily in the wake of his public efforts to question the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the reality of the pandemic.
He was suspended from his academic roles in the department of surgery at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine while his behaviour is reviewed.
He’s also been fired from his role as director of quality improvement and patient safety with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
He’ll continue to get full pay from the U of S during the review, and his contract with the SHA continues to September.
Christian is facing discipline largely for his starring role at a bizarre news conference in Saskatoon this month.”
In one of the many interviews I have heard with Drs. Malone and McCullough (both on Wolf’s list of heroes), Malone mentioned that being unreligious, he had noticed the pattern of religious belief in those speaking out like McCullough. Even the Wall Street warrior Edward Dowd is driven, or at least supported by faith. Dr. Christian is an Indian from India, yet alluded to his christian faith in the long interview. So there must be a story in his very western name.
When asked how he could be supported he only mentioned his book of poetry called To a Nurse Friend Weeping. I don’t read much poetry, though I find listening to it much more enjoyable and moving. So I bought his book really only to support him in his trial and cannot comment on the quality of the work. But I will note the following poem for LRC, anti-war readers.
Live Free Or Die, Was New To Me
I always thought to die free was liberty,
freedom found within, like fire lightning
the last post, life lived not in longing
for embrace forever of mortal flesh,
but eternity smoking out time,
and today like tomorrow lived abundantly
Another army with clanging steel
or homing missiles making free,
will soon be bound by tyranny …
and then our nests of never again
are scattered soon by another eagle
with sharpened talons swooping.
Better far is freedom lived within,
and being freed indeed, be liberty.
For me Reflection on the March to Sorrow was perhaps the most poignant poem in the collection. The first and last lines are given below.
I know your heart was shred and mind benumbed
the better human being dead
And did home give you humble joys
you hoped to find wrapped
in parcels of simple happiness?
a kiss, a word, a hug, a joke
cutting through the icy stillness of the soul?
In actual fact it did!
or you would long be dead.
And over the hugs and tears
that licked your fears
the Cross towered over the wreck.