Never Give Up

One of the most famous speeches ever given was by Winston Churchill. On October 29, 1941, Prime Minister Churchill visited Harrow School which he had attended as a youth, to speak to the students. During his talk he gave some memorable lines which have been recalled and repeated on countless occasions.

In his closing remarks, he said this: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

It was a stirring speech given at an exceedingly dark period in English history, and that of the free world. Nazi Germany of course was in the ascendency during this time, and it really did look like Europe and perhaps the entire world would soon be under the domination of Hitler. It was certainly a depressing and discouraging time, and many would have been tempted to think that victory against the Nazis was looking difficult, if not impossible.

Thus this speech of Churchill really helped to remind the English that some fights are too important to let go of, and some causes are too vital to give anything less than our entire efforts. There are many times when the going gets tough, and it looks like it is pointless to go on any further. But we always need to be reminded of doing what is right, even if it looks like the odds are against us, or that the other side seems invincible.

A good example concerns what took place just hours ago. In Melbourne, the Victorian Parliament voted through an abortion bill which decriminalises abortion and allows open slather on abortion, even late-term abortion. It had already passed in the Lower House and was this morning passed in the Upper House by a vote of 23-17. Of course things are not fully over yet: up to 70 amendments must now be debated, and a final vote taken. So things may yet change.

Nevertheless, today is a sad day for Victoria, for Australia, and for the world. Victorian politicians have covered their hands in blood by passing one of the most vile pieces of legislation yet seen in this land. It is indeed a dark day for Australia.

And since this morning, I have received a number of emails from pro-lifers indicating how devastated and discouraged they are. And rightly so. We have all worked our tails off on this bill. Indeed, many have worked tirelessly on this, putting in hundreds of hours of volunteer work, lobbying, protesting, rallying and everything possible to stop this horrendous piece of legislation.

Many have worked far harder and longer than I ever will on all this. Indeed, some have been battling this issue for three or four decades now. They are battle-wearied and battle-scarred soldiers who feel like they have just been kicked in the guts, yet again.

Thus many are angry, bitter, discouraged and exhausted. Some of their emails are very sad to read. Of course I know how they feel, and I share their frustration, despondency and grief. But I have written back to every one of these dear souls, and tried to encourage them to keep on keeping on.

Sure they may sound like glib and pointless words, but we all have a biblical responsibility to encourage one another, to provoke one another to good works, and to not grow weary in well doing.

I have had to remind these dear fellow-labourers that yes, it can be very discouraging and depressing. And yes the temptation is always there to simply throw in the towel and give the game away.

One can understand if a person feels like this, or in fact does this. Some of these troopers have been fighting this hard and lonely battle for decades. It is a thankless task and it results in so much hostility, resentment, persecution and opposition, that one can forgive such a person for wanting to get out of the trenches.

And at such times, those who are believers can be tempted to think that God has let them down, or is not interested, or has abandoned them. But we must not succumb to the lies of the enemy here. These whispers of discouragement and despair come not from our Lord, but from the enemy.

God has not abandoned anyone. God is still on the throne. And God works through his people. We are his workers here on planet earth. He calls us to be co-labourers together with him.

The enemy wants to get us discouraged and to give up. He wants us to abandon all hope. But God wants us to look to him, and to keep fighting, knowing that ultimately the battle is his, and that in the end he will prevail.

We must take some solace from the lessons of history, and Scripture itself. Think of all the times William Wilberforce was defeated in Parliament as he fought a very similar battle: the battle against slavery. Time after time his side lost the vote in Parliament. But he did not despair. He did not give up. He kept fighting and in the end he prevailed.

Of course such victories come at enormous cost. Nothing worthwhile in life ever comes easy. Wilberforce faced horrendous opposition and persecution for his efforts. In fact, he was once known as the most hated man in all of England.

But he was also known as the “conscience of the nation”. Isn’t it great that he did not give up, and that he did not believe the enemy’s voice, that God had abandoned him? Isn’t it inspiring how he persevered, even though he could easily have just given up? There are millions of black people who are so thankful that he did not give up. Millions of slaves count Wilberforce as their saviour.

So please do not give up good brothers and sisters. You valiant warriors have been a stalwart and inspiration to many in this battle, and we need you to keep fighting. Every time I read one of your letters in the papers, or hear you on talk-back radio, or see you quoted in the media, I am thrilled and encouraged to keep going on. You have been a real encouragement and inspiration to me. So please don’t let me and the team down at this vital time. Now is not the time to put up the white flag of surrender, but to strengthen our resolve.

And please do not let the unborn down at this time. I know we have fought so hard, and it seems it has been all in vain. But our labour is not in vain in the Lord, as Scripture reminds us. We must simply persevere, as difficult as it is. We owe it to the unborn to never turn our backs on them.

And what if we put things on the other foot? What if the bill had been voted down? What do you think the pro-death camp would be doing? Would they be saying, “Oh, we worked so hard and so long on this. What a bummer. I am so depressed. I just quit. What is the point of going on?”

Do you think that is what they would be saying? Of course not. They would be redoubling their efforts. They would work even harder to push their agenda. If the other side can persevere, why can’t we?

So please forgive me if I appear to not understand your great despondency and grief at this time. Believe me, I understand it; I feel the same way. This has been a horrible defeat. But it is just a battle. It is not the end of the war. Those who are believers know how things will end. We have read the last chapter of the book, and we know who eventually wins.

So we must not give in. I began with the moving words of Churchill, so let me finish with a few more. Remember that he spoke these words during the darkest, most gloomy period in England’s recent history. Yet his optimism and resolve were an inspiration to millions. So let me also encourage you to never give up, to never surrender, to never succumb to the enemy’s lies.

Churchill said these things during the heat of battle. May we apply them to our battle as well.

“This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.”

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”

“It has come to us to stand alone. . . . I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

“May God prosper our arms in the noble adventure after our long struggle for King and Country, for dear life, and for the freedom of mankind.”

“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

[1534 words]

58 Replies to “Never Give Up”

  1. I felt so sad that this Bill has passed, and that it places such a pressure to abort on women who may already be struggling with criticism from family and friends over an unplanned pregnancy. But your words give hope in a situation that seems hopeless. Thanks.
    Natasha Sim

  2. Bill,
    Thanks for encouraging words. At with David above I live outside Victoria, but spent my first 21 years growing up there, and was devastated to hear what happened on the radio as I drove home. We who live outside Vic. join with you, as your battle is our battle.
    Stephen White

  3. Bill
    Words of hope, wisdom and conviction…
    Thank you and keep up your great work!
    Kerryn Zwag

  4. Thanks for your words of encouragement Bill. My resolve has never been stronger and I am encouraged by signs that the momentum is gradually shifting our way. I am firmly of the view that the pro-death camp are sensing this shift in momentum also, thus their desperation to get this awful legislation through.
    As you rightly say and as bleak as it seems, all is not lost.
    This is a major setback but the fight is not over. Your articles and encouragement have been an inspiration to all of us. God bless you.
    Peter Coventry

  5. Apparently the bill has now passed the final (third reading) vote at 10.35pm with all amendments being defeated. I think the prolifer who shouted to the MPs from the public gallery upon the passing of the second reading vote earlier today said it well “you have blood on your hands”.

    Ewan McDonald.

  6. This government will be judged for their disrespect for human life and the lives that are taken as a result of this legislation will bring this government down. They cannot avoid ultimate responsibility for this licence to kill. I will not say too much, but there will be retribution for the Labour Government and those who voted with them.
    Michael Treacy

  7. When I heard the news I too was grief stricken. I had told the wonderful story of Matthew Prince in My weekly newsletter for Dads. Matthew is a father of two beautiful little girls who put his life and business on hold to make a stand for the children of Victoria, What a hero! I felt for him and as Bill Muehlenberg says all the other brave souls who have made a stand for the unborn. I often think of what it would have been like living in Germany under the oppressive Nazi regime. I wonder who spoke up for the Jews and the many other people who were put in the gas ovens during the Holocaust? I hope I would have. I know that I have spoken up in the case of this Victorian Holocaust bill but so many others have done so much more. More power to you. More Blessings to you. Be encouraged and as Winston Churchill said Never, never, never never, never, never, never, never, ever give up.
    Warwick Marsh

  8. Notice how this type of bill is always passed on a Friday night, so that voters can’t contact their M.P.s on the weekend when the news breaks.
    Michael Watts

  9. Bill,
    Thankyou for your words of encouragement. I am profoundly saddened by the passing of the Abortion Law Reform Bill. I prayed this morning and considered that if my heart is broken, the sinful man that I am, then how much more much God’s heart be broken. I think that is what hurts the most.
    But Bill you were right, just as Winston was right. This is a dark period in Victoria’s political history, we have lost this battle. But now the war has moved into a new phase. New allies will emerge. Broken and contrite hearts will be renewed to fight harder and smarter.
    God Bless you, Bill, and God bless all those battle weary soldiers. Please continue with your soft words and hard arguments. God is still on the throne.
    Steve Flanagan

  10. Something that really sickens me about this killer bill, is the unfettered arrogance of those perpetrators, who foisted it on the State. The very people, who lecture prolifers, that they shouldn’t foist ther philosophy on the general public, are doing exactly that themselves, regarding the treatment of doctors, who are not prepared to give referrals to killer doctors and who could subsequently be prosecuted for their courage.
    Then we have those, who gave absolutely no ground with consideration of an amendment, requesting at least a pain killing drug to the baby involved. I hope it is no idle boast that Catholic hospitals will close the doors of their maternity wards and that real doctors will leave the State, for what is, at least for the present, safer territory.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie, Qld

  11. I am at a loss as to understand the Victorian policies.
    A poll was taken here in Queensland which said 62% of respondents were against the abortion issue.
    Is Victorian opinion so different to that of Queensland or are the politicians taking no notice of the general public?
    Jim Sturla

  12. Thanks to one and all for your kind words and helpful comments

    And yes Steve, I was thinking the very same thing: if our hearts are broken over this hideous outcome, how much more is God’s? We grieve because we have a tiny fraction of God’s sense of justice, outrage and concern.

    One of the few positives I can derive from all this so far is that God may finally be waking up a dead church into action. As Peter said, the momentum seems to be swinging in our direction. I think that is the case.

    In the past usually a small group of committed Catholics would be fighting the good fight on the abortion issue and the life issues. But as the two recent large rallies in Melbourne proved (with around 2000 and 3000 people each), many Protestants and Evangelicals are finally waking up and getting their act together and starting to get involved. Finally!

    Still, many of the evangelical megachurches could have done more, at least in terms of numbers. If it is true that one MP said he would not reconsider his position until he saw 10,000 pro-lifers rallying at Parliament House, then two of these megachurches alone could have done the trick, if all their members rolled up to one of these rallies.

    It still seems that the majority of Christians simply do not care about these issues. They really do not have Father God’s heart on all this. But hopefully that will change. Hopefully this ugly day will see the beginning of real change here, and result in a whole new generation of Christians who will take a stand for the unborn.

    So let’s believe that even in this darkest hour, God is still on the throne, and that good can still come out of all this.

    Keep up the great work every single one of you.

    Many blessings

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  13. It is very sad to see our state fall to such barbarianism. I think we need to remember that the greatest One fighting for the cause of these unborn children is God. Jesus said that to such belong the Kingdom of God (Matt. 19:14). Though this evil will be done to them, they will fall into the arms of their Heavenly Father. On the other hand, those who bring about these crimes of destruction of human life will have to give an account before God. In the end, it is God’s cause that will prevail. So, we are not fighting a hopeless fight.

    Perhaps in these times we are all the more compelled to cry “Come, Lord Jesus!”. He says, “Surely, I am coming soon.”

    David Clay, Melbourne

  14. Wonderful! Victoria has given the right for women to murder their children in-utero. Women now have full control over their bodies. Let them deal with the life-long consequences of abortion also!!

    Women, learn the true power you have over your body!!! You are being sold into lies!!!

    Teresa Binder

  15. With the Legislation having now passed with the support of some unfaithful Catholic politicians, it is imperative immediately that the Catholic Church unequivocably and unambiguously define to all rogue Catholic MPs who vote for such pro-death legislation in defiance of the Church’s Teachings that their communion with the Church is at serious risk. Such an example is illustrated in:

    Immediately below is a copy of my e-mail to Archbishop (Catholic) Denis Hart of Melbourne. His Grace has been and is actively supporting the pro-life movement:

    “Recently an American Archbishop (Catholic) summonsed the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (a Catholic) to his office to provide her with an opportunity to explain and reconcile her public pro-death statements on abortion and her public misrepresentation of the Church’s position on these issues.
    To Catholics such as myself, and I have no doubt there would be many other Catholics of a similar mind, that Catholics, particularly Catholic politicians and others in the public eye who make a public stand in defiance of the Church’s Teachings should be called to account for their position ie whether they are in communion with the Church and whether they should receive Holy Communion.
    The Shepherds of the Church should publicly provide leadership to their Flock particularly to those of their Flock who have worked and prayed so hard and for so long on these issues and who are no doubt feeling somewhat down at the moment.
    No doubt you and others who may adopt this proposal will stand accused by the enemies of the Church of interference in State affairs but Cardinal Pell recently weathered such a storm.”

    John FG McMahon

  16. I concur with those making the observation that one positive outcome of this last battle against abortion is that many more appear to have joined us in this fight. Let’s hope and pray that this is a turning point and that prolife momentum continues to build and people don’t just return to apathy. And I also concur with Bill that “many Protestants and Evangelicals are finally waking up and getting their act together and starting to get involved”, but that many more need to wake up still. I can remember a time in my past when I too was somewhat apathetic regarding prolife activism, but thanks be to God for opening my eyes and for allowing me to play a small part in the fight against the greatest injustice of our age.

    I urge everyone reading this who is not already a financial member of a prolife organisation, to join one – they need your support. It’s an easy and practical way to continue to demonstrate your solidarity with the pre-born and your opposition to abortion.

    Ewan McDonald.

  17. dear Bill,
    thanks for your encouragement – had I not read your words just now I would have wanted to give up – the reality that the slaughter of these little babies will continue, is almost too much to bear.
    May God the Creator have mercy on these little ones.
    Maggie McEwen

  18. Thanks Maggie

    To be honest, with the ministry I am involved in, I probably want to give it all away at least once a month, if not more. But we all have an example of someone who did not quit – and he did it on our behalf. Jesus persevered to the bitter end, and faced much greater disappointment, betrayal and opposition than we ever will. So we must keep pressing on.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  19. This is now my third attempt to write something. There are just so many aspects to this I don’t know where to begin. Or end. One thing I am certain of. This law is wrong. Devilishly, profoundly, thoroughly wrong. It cannot stand in a society that dares to call itself civilized, because I can be certain that history will judge otherwise. Either this law will fall, or sadly, this nation will disintegrate. You just don’t sanction the killing of children and think that society is actually going to be better for it, do you? Where do you think your future comes from?

    For those of you who watched the video I uploaded to YouTube last week and responded by contacting their elected members I can only thank you. I’m deeply troubled by the fact that I couldn’t do anything sooner, but my work and studies simply gave me no room to create something like that until last week – I would’ve liked to have done more, it was pretty rushed. I took it down immediately following the decision in a moment of sadness, but immediate protests from some people (including Bill’s very direct admonishment to me) compelled me to reverse that decision. If you haven’t yet seen it, here is the (new) link:

    FYI, it is actually a cutdown/re-edit of a 15 min version that I scripted and cut in 4 long days and included quite a bit of my personal story and I delivered myself to various MLCs last Friday that were flagged as undecided. I don’t know if any of them watched it. I have at least some idea of how Matt Prince (protested by sitting on the steps of Parliament for many days) might be feeling this morning. And the rest of you who sacrificed your time into this.

    For now, I would love it if you personally contacted whoever you know who has fought for the unborn for decades now and offered them your support and acknowledgement for the work they have done and will no doubt continue to do. As Bill has mentioned, they may very well be feeling pretty low. For me, it has been Denise Cameron from Pro-Life Victoria, who is just the loveliest lady. As a nurse for 48 years and a story to tell about the difficulties of raising children from her own life, I found her warmth and humour disarming and admirable, considering the opposition she would have faced over the years. A true soldier of the cross. The standard MSM (and especially ABC) leftie pro-choice carictature of ‘hateful anti-abortionists’ is shattered as soon as you meet her. I also met Margaret Tighe, and I can most certainly tell you not to trust the one-sentence grabs and quotes with descriptions that end up in the media as being instructive about who she is personally.

    One thing that dismayed me throughout the past year or so when I re-engaged on this debate (following Brumby’s announcement to get the VLRC process underway) was the disorganization of the pro-life movement – especially in their knowledge of how to use modern communication tools well – leading up to this debate. That is most certainly not a criticism of them, but of the lack of support they have been given. I don’t think many Christians are fully aware of what is going on with this issue. It most certainly has evil spiritual forces at work. They are at work in our government, make no mistake – where else are they going to want to be? Many MPs there are merely puppets when it comes to certain issues, I’m sure. Throughout the past 15 months, I have been astonished time and again how otherwise intelligent people have those cerebral faculties fail them when the subject of abortion is raised. Were it any other issue, they seem to be able to reason perfectly well – then all those skills suddenly desert them, even on the most basic point or logic. (Unfortunately, I think some Christian have become infected by this thinking too.)

    This was demonstrated to me so perfectly on my very first post on this blog. I was just saying hi and letting Bill know about a demonstrably inane reply to one of my letters about abortion to The Age on a feminist blog when the owner (a leftie feminazi) found the post and self-assuredly opened her first sentence with “How very interesting that all of the commentors on this page are men…” Given that most of this particular woman’s blog was/is dedicated to raging against sexism (against women, of course), she may just as well opened up by writing “I am a hypocrite and every word I say now must be viewed in light of that fact.” Her job? A print journalist. Supposedly conveying truth to the masses. If she ever moved to Melbourne I’ve a sneaking suspicion where she’d likely end up. A friend remarked to me (when he read her original blog) that she’d probably had an abortion. In fact, she said she’d had two. Hmmm… I’ve no doubt she is representative of the motivation behind the fuzziness of thinking that permeates many. They want to be justified, because deep down they know it’s wrong. So many of them say phrases very much like this – “It’s a difficult decision.” Uh-huh? And just why is it a difficult decision if it’s just a bunch of cells?

    So I would say to Christians, if you want to know how demonic forces operate, you could certainly not do much worse than to take a closer look at this issue. People are actually blinded. They literally cannot see. That’s the mark of the work of the devil. It happens even if they’re wearing a tailored suit. (maybe especially if they’re wearing a tailored suit 😉 ) But then they proliferate their situation by preferring the darkness rather than trusting to reach out. I always remember the picture painted of the (self) blind Dwarfs towards the end of CS Lewis’ The Last Battle. Of them Aslan says, “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.” So I’m sure on the abortion issue there is a profoundly spiritual dimension. Some of it gets quite overt though. A selection of the quotes from women about abortion being equivalent to a sacrament are quite frightening. I won’t quote them here, but (a solemn warning – if you dare) go to:

    Erk. Satan’s work in twisting minds is not pretty, that’s for sure. And there are very strong parallels between abortion and ancient child sacrifice rituals. Reading up about the motivations of the Carthaginians sounds eerily familiar. They performed child sacrifice to avoid having to split up inheritance too much, for wealth, for future position, because the child was defective so they could get a healthy one instead…
    And consider this quote:
    “. . . it is impossible to deal with this subject at any length without coming to terms with the human dimension: how could a culture so well developed morally, intellectually and materially tolerate so ‘abominable’ a custom? How could a sophisticated people sanction what seems to be such a barbaric practice for so long a time? How at the most visceral and critical level could human parents bring about the destruction of their own child?”
    …written by P. Mosca about Carthage before it was conquered by Rome in 146BC, not about Victoria in 2008.

    And to read a little further:
    (towards the bottom)
    (graphic picture)

    I suspect the reason many Christians don’t get involved simply because they have been involved with the issue personally. That’s not good enough. We confess & repent, God forgives, we move on. The past is over, it can’t be changed. None of us is perfect. Otherwise, Christ did not really die for our sins. You don’t have to ‘feel’ anything for it to be true. It is, and always will be. Any lingering effects and earthly consequences are for God to work through us to deal with in His timing. But do something!!!

    We have a Father in Heaven who’s prepared to listen to us prattle on about anything and everything. Or bare our hearts in anguish. He loves us, and this issue is important. So don’t hesitate to tell Him about this and ask for His help and guidance. And… do something! Faith is coupled with actions throughout Scripture.

    …listen who’s talking about prattling on…

    To close here’s a rather lame attempt at satire. A friend told me it would be a crime not to post it so who am I to disagree?!? 😉 (you have to have watched the other video first)

    Mark Rabich


    Surely, as we are impelled into the darkness. Martin Niemoller’s words need to be before us every day:

    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up”.

    David Skinner, UK

  21. Some 40 years ago an issue of similar magnitude for the Christian community could not be resolved through rational debate, with ideological mindset/positions dominating the vote, like now. As we are seeing with the climate change issue, ideological positions, once entrenched in the mindset of a majority of the community/politicians, are (almost totally) resistant to rational discussion. Stronger action required.
    Then the political impasse on a critical issue was government funding for independent schools, which was blocked by entrenched ideology and could only be broken by (physical) leverage, when the Catholics threatened to withdraw their children from their schools and land them on the state system. Bingo!
    We have reached that stage with this abortion issue, where prayer and rational argument now need to be supplemented by ‘leverage’, which only the Christian health sector has access to!
    Peter Finlayson

  22. “Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin'”. Luke 17:1-2.

    I am appalled by what has occurred in Victoria. I pray that the Christians of Australia rise up out of their apathy and support the pro-life movement across the nation. The passing of this vile law is likely to have ramifications in other Australian states.

    Glenda Morgan, WA

  23. Thanks, Bill and to all others who have posted on this blog – it’s amazing how ‘getting together’ with other prolifers cheers one up. I have three indelible impressions of the debate. 1: all the pro-abortion pollies and their cohort sitting in the gallery impassively as the partial birth abortion ‘procedure’ was described. 2. Bernie Finn shouting during one of the amendments to ban this cruel act that he couldn’t believe people in the house were even discussing this kind of killing; that we no longer had claim to being a civilised society and (3) on Friday afternoon seeing the Queen’s Hall (in Parliament) filled with large round tables, beautifully draped and decorated with the feminist colours of pink and purple, ready for the celebration of legislating approving the killing of unborn babies up until birth.
    The pro-aborts were very well organised and consolidated to provide a united front. Prolifers galvanised people to send around 6,000 communications to politicians. These left the pro-aborts unmoved. I sent them an average of six letters and emails, including Mark Rabich’s BRILLIANT video about the Bill.
    But let’s remember that society, including most ‘Christians’ are apathetic and largely compliant to the culture of death. How many people in your church have more than one or two children ? Most of them are using contraception, which is abortifacient and which is the foundation of the culture of death?
    A wise old priest who died this year at the age of 93, Fr John Wilkinson, used to tell us repeatedly, “It is not activism which changes society. It is holiness. Become holy and you will change the world around you.”
    Nonetheless, I strongly believe we have to ‘market’ chastity to young people who are bombarded with erotica from the minute they’re born, practically. We have to take the message to them wherever they are and at the very least direct them to websites which espouse chastity. Only this can give them hope and a secure foundation for the rest of their lives. Let’s take advantage of the natural instinct to rebel and inspire them to rebel against the culture of death!

    Maryse Usher

  24. Dear Bill, thanks for your staunch reliability and hope! I believe that this issue was essentially decided by pro-life leaderships’ failure to act in concert prior to the last state election. Remember who accelerated abortions in Vic? Victorians did, with Hamer, long before Kirner. What lessons did we learn then? What lessons have we learned now? I see every sign that, culpably, NO lessons have been learned. Until pro-life leaderships start to try to understand the political process, Emily’s List-strategies, plus backing the wrong allies at election time, are fatal weaknesses. There’s no point blaming our opponents, when our ‘friends’ [in and out of Parliament] are, as usual, the weak links, or on the other side. With very good wish!
    Gerard Flood

  25. Unlike Gerard, I don’t primarily place blame with the perceived faulty tactics of the prolife groups. It seems to me that the prolife groups are doing the best they can with limited support and resources.

    Neither do I blame our pro-death opponents who are just behaving in the exact way that godless people can be expected to behave. I put the primary blame with us as Christians not being active enough. The problem is not with the darkness – the darkness is always there and is just being itself – the problem is with a lack of light. The church is not fulfilling its role as salt and light in society.

    As Francis Schaeffer said: “Our culture, society, government, and law are in the condition they are in, not because of a conspiracy, but because the church has forsaken its duty to be the salt of the culture.”

    Ewan McDonald.

  26. I plan to read through as much of Hansard as I can in the next couple of weeks to determine who said what. Lower and Upper houses. My goal/hope is to make a video that publicly shows the heroes and villains in this tale, their quotes and compares that with facts and logic. I think it needs to be put on public record in a way that ordinary people can digest more readily.

    One of the ones that comes to mind right away is the breathtaking ignorance and/or stupidity of Susan Pennicuik who claimed within a few sentences the following – that “there is no such thing” (as the abortion industry) – and you wonder what Planned Parenthood in the US is? – and she then went on to claim the same old lies that abortion is safer than childbirth and that women suffer no mental health issues. Astounding.

    Also Greg Barber (Greens) criticized Bernie Finn’s excellent 4+ hour defence of life as “filtering information” (because he said he was so good at sniffing it out when it occurs), but then went on to say “You know what? If we go a little bit soft on this and give out a few concessions this time, we will not get the fundamentalists off our backs. We will not get rid of them by giving them a little bit of what they want, because they want everything.”

    Um, Greg, I’m not sure if you might be looking in the wrong place for those who threaten society. The extremists are not the ones who see life as a gift and are simply trying to protect the unborn, OK? The real dangerous ones are like you, the people who are most likely to also aggressively pursue legislation to get you to qualify for life when you get older, right? Who’s being somewhat selective or skewed in their view here? I feel like yelling to him, “Look out! Behind You!!!”

    And Madeleine Tope, the 20 year old who had an abortion at 15 and who’s testimony is on YouTube, and also appeared in my video from the 6 Sep rally, was rightfully apoplectic at the twisting of her story by Evan Thornley. He said, “What I do not understand is what possible good could now come from throwing her in jail. What good would that do to her or her children? What good would it do to throw thousands of other woman like her — though each woman and her own story and circumstances are different — in jail? It would achieve nothing.”

    Well, I think, Evan, you missed the point. She wishes she wasn’t coerced for the abortion in the first place, if you actually took proper notice. If it was an enforced crime the chances would’ve been much greater that she had not had the abortion. I have a sneaking suspicion he didn’t watch the copy of the DVD I delivered personally to his Moorabbin office. Oh well, at least he can have a starring role in my next video. In response to his comment Madeleine wrote on Facebook 2 nights ago – “(I) will personally ensure that Evan Thornley is not in office one day past the next election.” Hell hath no fury, Evan.

    But, on the flip side, it’s wonderful to read of Peter Kavanagh detailing just one very good reason why the VLRC report was a sham. Study after study he cited showed a link to breast cancer from abortion – all submitted to the commission. All dismissed with a hand-waving paragraph citing one UK study. “The VLRC used that one study to dismiss all of the other evidence that there is a link. The VLRC did not reveal in its report that it had received all the information that I have referred to above; it merely made the above-quoted brief comment in dismissing all that information.”

    I wonder if Greg Barber had noticed that selectivity? Anyway, bouquets to Peter, brickbats to the VLRC.

    Hey – some of these lines weren’t bad – I might recycle them!

    If anyone can recall a specific quote that stands out to them, for or against, with Bill’s permission, let it be made more widely known by posting it here, and I’ll see if I can get this project to work sometime soonish…

    Mark Rabich

  27. In one of the above letters, there was a well meaning comment (which I’ll paraphrase) that the pro-lifers should have combined and done much better. This is easier said than done. A case in point is the fanatical deep seated hatred of the Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin ,now standing as a Republican VP in the US elections, which has emerged in the American media and is being parroted by Australian journalists, who obviously know enough about American politics to be dangerous. I study American politics very closely and know quite a lot about this remarkable lady. I don’t have the space to elaborate on that, except to say that the main reason the hate brigade attack her, is because of her pro-life credentials. The main point I wish to make is that except for one very moderate letter supporting Sarah in one major newspaper, I have not seen one other pro Sarah letter published in any newspaper of significant readership. No letters offered?- not on your life. Some of my friends and I have sent them and they have ended up in the waste paper basket – and that includes religious newspapers. When you are very busy, but take a half hour off to compose a letter and then face a ban on your letter from an editor, obviously on instructions from his or her boss, it does become a bit discouraging. Then there was the time about 15 years ago, that I rang an ABC talk-back show on a controversial subject. The woman, who answered the phone, asked me what I wanted to say and then asked me my name. As soon as I said my name, I was put on hold for 40 minutes, listening to a bunch of inarticulate boofheads, talking rubbish. Having had 33 years experience of commercial radio broadcasting, I believe I would have been somewhat more articulate than those chosen. By chance I met the ABC radio host of that programme, at the local post office one morning (I already knew him- a decent sort of fellow) I told him of my experience and he said “I wish I had known you were waiting, I would have insisted on having you put through”. So you see, it’s not that easy to take the fight to the enemies’ front door.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  28. Great idea Mark. I was going to suggest that someone should document what has transpired over the past few months/year.

    I read through much of the hansard from the lower house debate and one of the most idiotic quotes I found came from the member for Shepparton Janette Powell (National Party). Note especially the part in bold:

    “My belief is that women do not choose to have abortions as a form of contraception. A lot of people say young girls will have an abortion if they find out they are pregnant. There is no way a person would choose to have an abortion. It is the most traumatic procedure that anybody would want to have, and I know there are long-term mental and physical risks, so a woman would not choose to have an abortion just because it is an unwanted pregnancy.

    Mark do you know where I can get a DVD quality version of the Gianna Jessen address to the Queen’s Hall meeting? I also sent video’s to MPs including the 10 listed on RTLA’s list of “10 Crucial Votes” (which included Evan Thornley). As I only had access to the YouTube version of the videos I downloaded these and converted them to a format from which to author a VCD. I had Gianna and Madeline on the one disc so Thornley had at least two copies of Madeline Tope.

    Ewan McDonald.

  29. Mark, I’ve only just seen your excellent video for the first time after reading through the various posts. Many good comments have been made and we need to be careful not to self destruct. Divisions within the pro-life movement over the years have cost us dearly, “united we stand divided we fall”. As Mark so rightly points out, the other side were much better organized (and funded).
    Did anyone notice how the anti-life spokeswoman would consistently say that the law was merely “clarifying existing clinical practise”. From Brumby down, they just stuck to one or two simple statements about clarification and the law.
    Aided by the media, the general public would be constantly fed the simple “one liner” and thus not bother to examine the real issues. The vast majority of us do what we can with what time and resources we have. Our opponents have all the key access and resources. As for some of the politicians, they voted to secure forthcoming preselection or are just plain stupid, or sadly both. For some, like the Greens, it is just blind ideology.
    Peter Coventry

  30. “Until pro-life leaderships start to try to understand the political process, Emily’s List-strategies, plus backing the wrong allies at election time, are fatal weaknesses. There’s no point blaming our opponents, when our ‘friends’ [in and out of Parliament] are, as usual, the weak links, or on the other side.”
    Gerard, I’ve been mulling over this and also the fact that an enormous letter-writing campaign seems to have failed. Apart from getting prolife people into parliament – which is of primary importance – I’m eager to learn what kind of political strategies we can employ to try and get anti-life Bills defeated.
    Maryse Usher

  31. We all know by now what the problem is, it is time to discuss solutions. The vote went down 23 to 17. We have the logic, the pro-aborts have the numbers. The politicians who voted for this have been lobbied and advised ad naseum and if they do not get it now then further lobbying is not going to change things. These Victorian politicians need REPLACING not further LOBBYING. The next opportunity to replace them will come at the 2010 election.

    The upper house is the place to concentrate on as it is where the numbers are closest and the chances are greatest to get in alternative candidates. Approaching the major parties is obviously a failed strategy. What is needed is a party that is hardcore pro-life that if it gets the balance of power can bring down any government that does not move in a pro-life direction.

    There is such a party already in the Victorian parliament and it is called the DLP – Democratic Labor Party. The DLP is 100% pro-life in policy, in its constitution and in the proven performance of its sole politician Peter Kavanagh MLC. Also I understand that they have had a change of leadership at its last AGM and its new executive were active in campaign leading up to the final vote and are ready to declare war on the pro-aborts.

    The prolife sign frame mounted on a car trailer as shown on blog entry dated 5th October 2008 was a DLP frame repainted with non-party political prolife messages. If we could get up to five Peter Kavanaghs elected in 2010, then we would be in a real position to roll back this legislation. To start such an election campaign would need a lead time of at least one or maybe two years. Who here is willing to support the DLP in such an endeavor?

    Kerry Smith

  32. As an addendum to my above post, it should be known that in the 2006 Victorian state election the DLP came within less than half of a percent of getting up a second candidate in the Northern Metropolitan Region upper house seat. Victorian readers may recall media reports that the Victorian Electoral Commission in 2006 initially credited the DLP with two elected candidates though one was lost on a subsequent recount.
    Kerry Smith

  33. Thanks Jonathan

    It is a powerful – even biting – article but its message needs to be heard. If there is a paucity of solid, biblical secular-challenging Christian media in the US, how much more so here in Australia? As Giles notes, James Dobson and Focus on the Family have certainly not shied away from the culture wars and the battles for life, for family, for truth, for faith. But there are very few others doing similar work.

    We are more interested in pushing spiritual pap than in really getting serious about the radical nature of the Christian calling. There is a war going on, but most believers seem to be asleep at the wheel. One wonders what it will take to wake up a sleeping church. Maybe the world-wide financial crisis is part of God’s way of kicking us in the butt, and getting us snapped out of our lethargy, apathy, indifference and selfishness.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  34. Thanks Bill, we will keep on doing our best with this sort of thing. I was just old enough to hear Chuchill’s words and this (quoted above) and his other speaches during the dark days of World War II were more valuable than bullets in keeping up the spirits of people of the UK as well as those of us in the free world. And terrible sacrifices had to be made – In the Battle of Britain alone 75,000 young men of our combined air forces lost their lives. But finally the table was turned and eventually the powerful German Air Force was defeated. Unfortunately, the die is cast and the Victorian government will be added to the list of infamous individuals who used their power to destoy human life.
    Peter Rice

  35. Thanks Peter

    You raise the important point that there will be a cost if we stand up for what is right. It may cost us our life. It may mean imprisonment. It will certainly mean opposition, persecution and hostility. As I said in a previous comment, the really tragic part of all this is how so much of the church of Jesus Christ either does not know or does not care about these issues.

    We really are in a cultural civil war. And there are so many battle fronts. The battle for life is just one of them. The battle for marriage and family is another crucial battle. Indeed, people are going to jail in the US rather than have their children in kindergarten indoctrinated into accepting same-sex marriage. See this very moving and sobering 7 minute video:

    The battles are all around us. Sadly I have already had some pro-lifers tell me they are giving up – they don’t want to waste their time any more on all this. But as I said in the article, now is not the time to give up. We dare not give up, and betray our Lord, our families, our children, and the unborn.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  36. Whilst I agree with most of what Kerry says above, I don’t agree that “We all know by now what the problem is”. Even within the many comments above, there are differing opinions on this.

    As I have already said, I believe the primary problem is not with politics but with the apathy of the churches. What is needed is a revival/reformation within the church – unfortunately this is ultimately not something we can work up but something God needs to send down. Having said that, there are still some things prolifers can do. I think one suggestion above that the Catholic church should be encouraged to discipline Catholic MPs who voted for this pro-death bill, would be a good place to start. Protestant denominations should do likewise.

    I also think somebody needs to create some kind of ‘Hall of Shame’ that publicly calls out those MPs claiming to be ‘Christian’ but who voted for the bill. The list could also include those church leaders and denominations who in anyway support abortion. A couple of examples here are the Melbourne Anglican Diocese which put in a submission to the VLRC which backed decriminalisation and the Salvation Army which has an official policy that states that in cases of rape and incest “an abortion may be justified”.

    I slightly differ with Kerry’s advice regarding politics. I do agree that we need to replace those MPs who support abortion. I don’t agree that it is necessarily right to give up on the major parties. Although I would personally give up on the ALP (as it is beyond redemption), it should be remembered that the majority of Liberal and National Party MPs opposed the bill. The major parties today only have a relatively small membership and therefore only a relatively small number of people preselect the candidates of these parties. There exists an opportunity for Christians to join these parties and to attempt to replace the pro-death MPs at the party preselection level. This might be more effective that trying to replace them by running a minor party candidate against them in a general election. Liberal Party MPs like Bernie Finn who lead the upperhouse fight against the bill and who spoke for an amazing 5+ hours, deserve more support from within their own parties.

    As for minor parties, Kerry is right to commend the DLP and Peter Kavanagh who certainly did us proud in his efforts to oppose this bill even speaking for three hours. But speaking as someone who has stood as a candidate for the Christian Democratic Party at both State and Federal elections, I claim that the CDP has the strongest and best defined prolife position of any party. And on all the major ‘culture war’ issues only the CDP has a no compromising Christian position. Even Peter Kavanagh has expressed support for some form of relationship register that would be available to same-sex couples.

    During the 2007 State election campaign where I stood as an upperhouse candidate, I repeatedly said that the decriminalisation of abortion was THE major issue that should determine how people voted in that election. I often wonder now how many Christians voted for pro-abortion candidates in the major parties instead of for the pro-life CDP or DLP candidates? I also wonder how many of those who wrote letters to their upperhouse MPs pleading with them to oppose the abortion bill, actually voted for those same MPs despite the fact that there were prolife candidates on the same ballot paper?

    Ewan McDonald.

  37. Yes Bill, I am as disappointed as you about the vote in Victoria BUT I am not in despair. Why?

    As I travel around and speak in schools in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Tasmania I am discovering many, many young people who are ardently pro-life. I believe that in the years to come, when they become the leaders in our society, they will look back in horror at the decisions of my generation. They will ask, “Why did they legalise such barbaric procedures in the name of ‘choice’?” I believe they will reverse these decisions. I believe we have the task of making abortion as unthinkable as slavery is unthinkable and unacceptable. So don’t despair. If we stop now we have given in to the pro-death lobby and it is our young people that will be the victims. Be assured that many young people have not given up – we must support them and all future generations.

    Last week in Tasmania I discovered a television advertising campaign under the title of ‘Hope for Women’. Check it out at

    Be encouraged and God bless you.

    Bruce Coleman, The Choices of Life

  38. Thanks Bill for providing consoling comments so well.

    The battle has brought out a lot more keen pro-lifers and this is very encouraging but also points the need now for these pro-lifers to join pro-life organisations and continue to conribute. In this period of great disappointment, this will require tolerance and patience as pro-life groups work out how best to act. As many have noted the access to newsmedia has been a huge handicap.

    All who took any action in this Victorian battle efor the pro-life action are to be commended. I expect perhaps something like 10,000 Victorians may have taken some action. There are perhaps a million or so who heard and were concerned to hear that abortion may be allowed up to birth. WE LOST BECAUSE ALL IT TAKES FOR EVIL TO PREVAIL IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING!

    I think some MPs were aware that the flood of emails and letters was coming from perhaps only a quarter of one percent of the Vic population.

    I don’t think any criticism of pro-life leadership is warranted at this time, People need a range of ways to contribute and the various pro-life initiatives have provided a good range. There will never be full agreement on what is the single best action to take at any given time.

    The number of pro-lifers becoming actively involved is very encouraging. If these numbers continue to grow, we will reach more and more people – the reality of late term abortion in particular does move increasing numbers of people to action.

    Please choose a pro-life group/ organisation and commit to becoming involved. If 50 unborn babies are being killed every day in Victoria, deciding now to do nothing more is not an acceptable option. Pro-life groups and organisations need you.

    Regards, Peter Beriman

  39. This July, In the middle of the Lambeth Conference, Rowan Williams, organised a march in London to protest against world poverty.

    We have had marches against knife violence amongst teenagers, poverty amongst low income parents and we have had numerous prayers rallies against the infringements on free speech, abortion, embryonic research and the effects of pornography and violence in the media. It seems to me that all these campaigns finally centre on one strategic area and one prize to be either lost or retained – and that is the family. Not any old family. Not the family that comes in all shapes and sizes but the biblical family.

    Before we can pray for the nation we ought to be praying for the family; to me, at least, this is the last physical manifestation of the Christian faith in this land. It is the very atom, building block of any society, whereby Christian values are transmitted from one generation to another. It is for this reason that what was once called the Department of Education in the UK is now called by the present government , the Department of Children Schools and Families. The state has taken the place of parents and is in the process of making them redundant so that it can groom and brainwash our children and grandchildren. All tyrannical regimes take control of the education system.

    The homosexual issue, feminism, the threat of pornography and violence in the media, the civil partnerships, abortion, embryonic research , gay adoption, knife crime – the list could go on an on- are all centred on destroying the family. That is the prize . During the battle of Waterloo the battle raged most fiercely around a farm house
    Martin Luther said : “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Wherever the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that one point.”

    At this year’s London Pride rally that was held on July 5th, at which three quarters of million supporters turned up, Boris Johnson, the buffoon and Conservative Mayor of London (we have nothing to hope from this party), addressed the assembled rainbow worshippers. In the light of this article: , we should ask Boris what contributions exactly the lesbian and gay, movement, driven by Ben Summerskill, are making towards social cohesion, stability, security and solidarity with respect to strengthening family life and the raising of children?
    What contributions are we talking about, apart from AIDs and those towards their own self- serving agenda?

    If we can have a Sydney and London Gay Pride why cannot we have Sydney and London Family Pride 2009 to which parents and all those who put the supreme value on the family are prepared to nail their colours to the mast and challenge the stoats and weasels to come out of their holes.

    David Skinner, UK

  40. Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship has this to say concerning a bill to be pushed through British parliament in just over a weeks time:

    “We have consistently argued that the proposals for animal-human hybrids, saviour siblings and removing the need for a father for IVF children threaten individual, family and societal life more than any other legislation for decades.”

    Meanwhile, the British public distracted by the economy are blissfully or wilfully indifferent to the evil that will engulf us and our children:

    David Skinner, UK

  41. In reply to some points raised by Ewan McDonald:

    Regardless of how the press misrepresented his position on relationship registers, the fact is that Peter Kavanagh VOTED the right way against relationship registers and argued in defence of marriage as can be seen in the Hansard extract on his blogspot below:
    and on page five of:

    This was in accordance with DLP policy which is:
    “Absolute opposition to legislative or administrative measures that undermine or degrade marriage by conferring on homosexual, lesbian or transsexual pairings any form of legal recognition of their relationships, per se, whether through “civil unions”, “relationship registers” or other legal device.”

    While the DLP is a secular party its policy platform does concur with the values of committed Christians. So much so that it has been falsely accused of being a ‘Catholic party’.
    Ewan McDonald can look through the DLP polices on the ‘Policies’ page of and not find any policies which conflict with the teachings of the Roman Catholic church or any other Christian denomination for that matter.

    In the DLP constitution which is also on the website on its ‘Constitution’ page it reads:
    “The Democratic Labor Party shall uphold principles of liberty intended to affirm – … the sacredness of human life, from its inception until natural death, as the fundamental basis for all human rights;”
    This is further expanded on in numerous party policies in the aforementioned ‘Policies’ page of

    The DLP more than adequately meets any definition of being pro-life.

    If Ewan wants to set up an pro-life counterpart to Emily’s List in the major parties, then I wish him the very best of British luck.
    As somebody who has spent time inside a major party, its takes a special kind of person who has the time, patience and ability to sit through many meetings where pro-life issues are very low on the priority list and face off against an opposing pro-abort faction only to have the preferred pro-life candidate not get preselected for reasons unrelated to the candidate’s stance on life issues.
    For myself personally I feel I get a better rate of return on energy expended supporting a minor party where the placing of high priority on pro-life issues is taken as read.

    Kerry Smith

  42. Ewan,

    Thanks for the links to the two statements by the Anglicans and the Salvos – I definitely think that committee of Anglicans have got some explaining to do. But, really, when you have Muriel Porter on that panel, what else would you expect but something divided from a biblical position? I suspect many from the denomination would be appalled at what was delivered to the VLRC on their behalf. They should inform themselves of what their leaders did and respond. Indeed, I am going to be asking some questions of my own church leadership, if only, “What did you do?” and maybe even leave it at that. Let God do the rest.

    To All,

    I’m concerned that a few here are getting upset and effectively beginning finger pointing at where the blame lies. And worrying about the truth of political processes and the outworking of policies & tactics. I am in no position to speak to that, I have no experience whatsoever there. But it is beginning to come across as counter-productive wrangling. Can we please remember, that wherever the blame lies (and who of us is really blameless anyway?), it is now history. I’m not saying to ignore the consideration of what to do in this next chapter (dark as it may end up being) of the prolife campaign, it’s just that I feel that we need to be careful about staying focussed on upholding the sanctity of life and I believe at least one thing needs to happen before that begins in earnest.

    I agree with Peter Beriman, I can see merit in most people’s ideas and there will always be a level of disagreement about what should be done in the long term. I don’t wish to address that. But at least so that people are informed for now, may I again suggest what I’m proposing as being in the mix to begin with?

    I really do believe there must first of all be a level of accountability to the general public for what has just happened. And a resource for us all, whatever we choose to do. Although Hansard is easily available for download, I’m sure 99% of the population will not look at that. At the very least, there needs to be a roll call of the members who spoke and voted for and against, lower and upper. People are going to forget about the circumstances surrounding this bill very quickly. Whilst, Ewan, an overview could certainly be extended to cover much earlier events, I believe the focus should very much be on the elected representatives in the last month for now. That is where the issue came to a head, and where those politicians either became heroes or villains. They cast a vote for life or death.

    If some of us here will read through Hansard and point out various quotes and maybe even quote some recent personal comminiques with various MPs and church leaders, it will help me a great deal so I can likely do something with those in a video to go on YouTube. Ewan’s already started. I love the article Jonathan pointed out – so very true. Time to do some of that here. And that clip you linked to from the US is fantastic, Bill, but has a typical criticism from me – well produced but a bit too nice. Why do they always go for the deliberately emotionally manipulative music? I feel like yelling, “The story stands on its own – let it speak!” Arrgh. The Americans (sorry Bill) seem to love those schmaltzy production values but it drives me crazy, even if the basic content is very good. And that story is very important – the Parker’s failure in their court system to get justice may yet be used by God as a great victory in the sense that it sounds a solemn warning around the world. God has this way of bringing victory out of great defeats – I seem to remember something involving a cross… But I digress…

    It would be good to get a few comments from people such as Bernie Finn and Madeleine Tope too, for example – I’m sure they would have no hesitation in giving a little bit of time for that and it would break up a potentially boring series of quotes on the screen. There will likely be others too.

    So now. If Bill will indulge me, here goes.

    It would be great if we could have posters here who will do something simple that will help enormously: read Hansard.

    For no particular reason I am already going through the Upper House on 9th October. Ewan wrote that he has read some of the Lower House so I’ll wait to hear back from him regarding the exact date(s).

    Just write a short post to say what you will read and we’ll try and get it done within the week. Don’t post the quotes here. Just email them to Bill and he’ll forward them to me (is that OK, Bill? 😉 ). Potentially too many eyes here from elsewhere for now.

    I am looking for quotes that are glaringly stupid and/or wrong. Or utterly brilliant. The shorter the better, but a couple of paragraphs long might be accommodated.
    Quote the page number.
    Try not to use more than 2 for each member.

    The Lower House discussed the issue
    on 9, 10, 11 September

    The Upper House discussed the issue
    on 7, 8, 9, 10 October

    As I wrote, I’ve already got the 9th October covered. Is anyone prepared do one of the others?

    Most here are agreed about doing something – well, allow me to challenge you for a beginning point. At the very least the quotes might be collated somewhere on the web too. That is probably appropriate. This is, after all, a day (time?) of infamy. If nothing else, it should be recorded accurately for the future.

    I’ve been systematically studying the Gospel of Matthew this year. This morning it happened to be Matthew 25 and the parable of the Sheep and Goats. The phrase ‘the least of these’ chills me, as I am in no doubt as to who qualifies there. And the last words of Keith Green in his musical summary of the verses says, “And my friends, the only difference between the sheep and the goats, according to the scripture, is what they did, and didn’t do.”

    My encouragement goes out to everybody here. Re-read Bill’s original post. I just have. I felt profoundly deflated too. But never give up.

    Here are the votes in the Lower House (the Ayes are the obviously the bad guys in both votes. Boo. Hiss.)

    Ayes, 49

    Allan, Ms
    Lim, Mr
    Andrews, Mr
    Lupton, Mr
    Asher, Ms
    Maddigan, Mrs
    Baillieu, Mr
    Morand, Ms
    Barker, Ms
    Morris, Mr
    Batchelor, Mr
    Munt, Ms
    Beattie, Ms
    Nardella, Mr
    Brooks, Mr
    Neville, Ms
    Brumby, Mr
    Noonan, Mr
    Carli, Mr
    Overington, Ms
    Crutchfield, Mr
    Pallas, Mr
    D’Ambrosio, Ms
    Pandazopoulos, Mr
    Duncan, Ms
    Perera, Mr
    Eren, Mr
    Pike, Ms
    Foley, Mr
    Powell, Mrs
    Green, Ms
    Richardson, Ms
    Hardman, Mr
    Robinson, Mr
    Harkness, Dr
    Scott, Mr
    Helper, Mr
    Shardey, Mrs
    Herbert, Mr
    Stensholt, Mr
    Holding, Mr
    Thomson, Ms
    Hudson, Mr
    Trezise, Mr
    Ingram, Mr
    Wooldridge, Ms
    Kosky, Ms
    Wynne, Mr
    Langdon, Mr

    Noes, 32

    Blackwood, Mr
    Merlino, Mr
    Burgess, Mr
    Mulder, Mr
    Cameron, Mr
    Napthine, Dr
    Campbell, Ms
    Northe, Mr
    Clark, Mr
    O’Brien, Mr
    Crisp, Mr
    Ryan, Mr
    Delahunty, Mr
    Seitz, Mr
    Dixon, Mr
    Smith, Mr K.
    Donnellan, Mr
    Smith, Mr R.
    Fyffe, Mrs
    Thompson, Mr
    Hodgett, Mr
    Tilley, Mr
    Hulls, Mr
    Victoria, Mrs
    Kairouz, Ms
    Wakeling, Mr
    Kotsiras, Mr
    Walsh, Mr
    Lobato, Ms
    Weller, Mr
    McIntosh, Mr
    Wells, Mr

    And here is the list in the Upper House

    Ayes, 23

    Barber, Mr
    Lovell, Ms
    Broad, Ms
    Madden, Mr
    Coote, Mrs
    Mikakos, Ms
    Darveniza, Ms
    Pakula, Mr
    Davis, Mr D.
    Pennicuik, Ms
    Davis, Mr P.
    Pulford, Ms
    Eideh, Mr
    Scheffer, Mr
    Hall, Mr
    Tee, Mr
    Hartland, Ms
    Thornley, Mr
    Jennings, Mr
    Tierney, Ms
    Koch, Mr
    Viney, Mr
    Leane, Mr

    Noes, 17

    Atkinson, Mr
    O’Donohue, Mr
    Dalla-Riva, Mr
    Petrovich, Mrs
    Drum, Mr
    Peulich, Mrs
    Elasmar, Mr
    Rich-Phillips, Mr
    Finn, Mr
    Smith, Mr
    Guy, Mr
    Somyurek, Mr
    Kavanagh, Mr
    Theophanous, Mr
    Kronberg, Mrs
    Vogels, Mr
    Lenders, Mr

    Long post again, Bill… sorry…

    Mark Rabich

  43. Thank you, Bill.

    Ewan McDonald, you may be underestimating the value of supporting the minor parties. I think if someone can see a path to put forward pro life politicians, whether in the Libs, or Nats, or ALP, then they should go for it. But these good people sometimes depend heavily on even the small flow of preferences that minor parties can deliver, or threaten to deliver. Julian McGauran got into parliament on the back of DLP preferences and has been 100% pro life.

    The DLP was directly responsible for 3 pro life votes in the Vic upper house: Peter Kavanagh (who also followed the DLP rejection of the Relationship Register, and who influenced other upper house members to vote against it) and the DLP’s pro life preference arrangements saw two ALP pro life votes instead of two extra Greens.

    In the earlier vote against Euthanasia, those three votes, along with the vote of John Vogles, who voted against euthanasia because of something Peter Kavanagh said in his speech, account for 4 of the 5 votes that stopped the Physician Assisted Suicide bill. Then there was the mountain of behind the scenes work that Peter Kavanagh organised to gain other votes. So it is highly probable that it was the existence of the DLP here in Vic has stopped euthanasia.

    There is no problem with having a number of smaller pro life parties. They can help each other, if they are principled in how they direct their preferences, as the DLP has always been.

    Smaller parties can build each other’s votes up, too, as happened when Family First got Steve Fielding elected.

    But I know that the DLP has got a consistent record of principled preferencing, and regardless of anything else, it has a bunch of people who are determined to double and double and double its numbers and do as much and more to repeat the 2006 results that I am so grateful to God for.

    And as Christians, we need not limit our expectations or hopes or prayers based on what has happened in the past. But even if we are stubborn and must look at past examples to see what we should hope for, then we need look at the ALP, which was once not a party, which once had only a bunch of concerned people of varying talents or lack of talents, who set their sights, upskilled, organised, for labour rights. We’ve got a bigger goal, and a bigger God behind us.

    Michael Casanova, New DLP Vic Assistant State Secretary

  44. Teresa,

    Yes, I’ve always had a level of bemusement as to why women would support abortion. Empowering men even further to use them as sexual objects certainly seems to me to like that saying of chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.

    I also think that if those women want alone to have ‘reproductive rights’, they should not be surprised to often find them themselves just plain alone then in difficult circumstances as well. You can’t just switch selfishness on and off and expect the universe to revolve around you. Life doesn’t work that way. Too bad this is forced on the unsuspecting masses by these militant extremists.

    ‘Choice.’ – ah, it’s all so profoundly hollow.

    Mark Rabich

  45. Kerry said: “If Ewan wants to set up an pro-life counterpart to Emily’s List in the major parties, then I wish him the very best of British luck.”

    I never said anything of the kind. What I did say was that Christians should not necessarily give up on the major conservative parties and should still consider joining the Liberal or National Parties so as to support prolife candidates in general and people like Bernie Finn in particular. And I well know how frustrating it is for a prolifer working within a major party because like you I have been there too, and it was partly due to that frustration that I left the National Party where I had been very active for many years and joined the CDP instead.

    And neither did I question for one second the prolife credentials of the DLP – in fact I praised them – I simply said that from a Christian perspective the CDP has a better defined foundation on which our prolife view is based.

    I already knew that Peter Kavanagh voted against the State government’s relationship register bill and I had read his claim that he was misrepresented by the press. I commend him for opposing the bill and I commend the DLP policy to which you refer. The newspaper article quotes Peter as such: “provided we retain a special place for traditional marriage . . . if it is necessary to change the law to avoid exploitation in a gay relationship, or to help with superannuation or to end unfair discrimination, then I would support it.” This is consistent with comments from the Hansard record to which you refer:

    Why not simply create a register in which all people may mutually register to receive benefits such as superannuation entitlements, inheritance privileges in the event of death, automatic medical and other powers of attorney in the case of disability, and privileged access if either party is hospitalised, without making registration dependent on a sexual relationship? Why not allow people to register, without even asking if they are in a sexual relationship? Why not allow old friends, siblings or other relatives or lovers, whether heterosexual or homosexual, to register without asking the nature of their relationship and without making a sexual relationship a prerequisite to registration?

    So this statement would seem to suggest that some form of relationship register is OK as long as it is not exclusively available to same-sex couples but would include them. Is this compromise? I don’t know, but I do know that it is unnecessary and confusing.

    Ewan McDonald.

  46. Both Kerry Smith and now Michael Casanova, both of the DLP, don’t seem to be paying attention to anything I say. Now I’m accused of “underestimating the value of supporting the minor parties.” How anyone can come to that conclusion is beyond me, given that in the very same comment above where I suggested that prolife MPs in the Liberal and National Parties deserved support, I also explained my role as a member of and a previous candidate for the CDP. Obviously I believe in the value of supporting minor parties otherwise I wouldn’t be involved in one!

    And just for the record lest any more DLP supporters want to jump on me, I have a great deal of respect for the DLP. When determining the allocation of second preference CDP votes, I strongly and successfully argued that they be directed to the DLP ahead of the FFP, even though some others were suggesting the opposite. After comparing DLP policies with FFP policies, I concluded that DLP policies are much more closely comparable to those of the CDP than are the policies of the FFP.

    Ewan McDonald.

  47. In reply to Ewan McDonald comments at 9:00am 13-10-1008:

    The position espoused by Peter Kavanagh is consistent with the position put out by The Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee for which Rabbi Shimon Cowen is the spokesman for.
    The Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee’s position can be found here:
    The main objection to the government’s register apparently was its insistence on a ‘sex test’ as a criteria.

    The Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee appears to be a task force consisting of representatives of the ‘fair dinkum’ religions to present a united front to lobby government against the bad legislation coming out of the Victorian government in recent years. It does include Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne representatives among others as can be seen here:

    I did note and applaud the principled stand that the CDP took in preferencing the DLP ahead of FFP on the Victorian Senate ticket at the last Federal election.

    I did also note that Family First Party saw fit to preference the LDP – Liberty & Democracy Party ahead on the DLP on its Victorian Senate ticket at the last Federal election. How Family First came to the view that the pro-abortion pro-euthanasia pro-pornography pro-gay marriage LDP was closer in policy to Family First than the DLP is beyond me.

    I trust that all pro-life parties could see their way to cross-preferencing each other so as to maximise the chances of a pro-life candidate getting elected.
    I understand that it is DLP practice to allocate preferences in pro-life order as far as the DLP is aware of the pro-life credentials of the other candidates. Even though this may not be to the DLP’s tactical advantage.

    Kerry Smith

  48. To paraphrase Genesis 4:10, the voice of thy baby’s blood crieth unto me from the steel dish…
    Michael Watts

  49. The Australian reported:

    During the debate, every upper house member who voted for the legislation received an abusive email from an opponent of the bill.

    “You have just condemned untold numbers of unborn Victorians to death,” the email said.

    “Their blood is on your hands … you are, each and everyone of you, a disgrace to humanity.”

    That hardly counts as “abusive”. It seems a pretty reasonable summation to me.

    Ewan McDonald.

  50. The Assembly Hansard 11 Sept 2008 Page 3544

    Mrs MADDIGAN (Essendon)

    “Can I say also that people who perform abortions are not abortionists, they are doctors.”

    Sad to say that Judy Maddigan is my local member, just goes to show how logic in the abortion debate was missing. This sorry story has certainly been a wake up call for me.

    Dallas James

  51. Frank
    as much as I often feel like packing up and leaving the world to itself, I know that if I do turn tail for my own comfort, the condition of the world will eventually close in around me and I’ll have no safe haven left to run to. What’s the good of a comfortable existance when this baby butchery industry is fast destroying our nation. I would prefer the Catholics stay and resist. We need people in the medical profession who have a conscience and the backbone to stand by their convictions. I realise that showing spine is often in the region of the neck but at least for now I won’t be dimembered alive, thrown into a vat of burning solution or have my head punctured and brain sucked out, which is what Australian babies have to look forward to if we run out on them. God is my refuge and my fortress. He provides the only safety I really need. This much I know, anyone who can perform such carnage won’t be satisfied with their present accomplishment. If we don’t stand and fight it will get worse and worse. Voting with our feet amounts to handing them the state on a plate.

    Karen Siegmann

  52. Dear Mr Muehlenberg,

    I wrote an earlier comment and wanted to tell you also about the Christian Pro-Life action organization 40 days for life. Christians and pro-life supporters are praying and fasting and holding 24 hour vigils in front of abortion facilities throughout the US, Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland — during the 40 days of lent. It is an exciting ministery that has been going on for a couple of years. They also have a vigil in the fall. Check out the website and let’s all pray and fast to end abortion.

    Catherine Hoover

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