Spiritual battles in Parliament
What would you say to young people who want to get involved in the prolife movement about the spiritual battles you endured in Parliament? I want to encourage young people to get more involved but I also feel they need to be prepared for the reality of what they will face. Cathy
I have never felt spiritual attacks more clearly than when I stood up to tangibly defend the lives of babies in the Victorian parliament in 2016. Throughout the debate to ban late term abortion and to provide crisis counselling and assistance for women with difficult pregnancies, I was ridiculed and criticised as you can well imagine. It was, however, the spiritual darkness I felt within the chamber, which was most disturbing. It is times like these where the power and importance of prayer is highlighted. I honestly could not have physically stood up in that chamber where the oppression was so palpable, if I did not have prayer surrounding me. This includes my own prayers, and the multitudes of prayers of others known and unknown to me.
An attack on my faith which I openly admit is the basis for my prolife beliefs, was sustained and relentless. This often happens when we make a stand for life. Our faith, our belief structure and our very reason for living, is aggressively condemned. Of course, we can back up our beliefs with science, with medical arguments, even with philosophical ones – but it is our faith which opponents will attack. Unfortunately, this means some prolife activism hides from faith. This is not something I am prepared to do. In fact, at the end of the debate on late term abortion in Victoria, I said this from the floor:
[Many] people in the chamber have …[stated]… that I am a religious ideologue. I am a Christian. I make no apology for this. I have as much right to be here and to express my opinion and the opinion of my base — that is, the people who vote for me — as anyone else here does. This is religious freedom. To continually use my religion in a derogatory light does not work for me. I am proud to be a Christian in politics; we need more Christians, more Catholics, more faith-filled and more spirit-filled people in politics. We stand in the gap for people who cannot, so I will take the oppositional description as described by … [other members]… who have a disdain for my beliefs, as a compliment, not a criticism.
(Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins, Victorian Legislative Council, 25 May 2016)
Standing up amongst such disdain, even hatred for our beliefs requires Wisdom which passes all understanding. This Wisdom may not make sense to those around us. It is found in the Still Small Voice of God and it is there for each of us to discern individually. Being spirit-led in our prolife activism will lead us to bring about real change.
Let’s talk about life – together.
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