I have written numerous times about how those who dare to stand against the militant homosexual juggernaut are being targeted, persecuted and attacked by the activists and their supporters in the powers that be. But these people are not the only ones to feel this wave of aggression and hate.
Pro-lifers have also over the years experienced their fair share of abuse. They too have been targeted, and they also know what it is like to feel the wrath of their opponents. Those who dare to speak up for the rights of the unborn are often subject to harassment, persecution and even the heavy hand of the law.
There are plenty of examples of this. Let me highlight just two of them here. The first comes from the People’s Republik of Toronto: that city known for its tolerance and openness – of all the wrong causes that is. Canada as a whole is amongst the most PC nations on earth, and the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario lead the way here.
This is how the story goes: “An Ontario Court of Justice judge erupted in a lengthy, angry tirade against pro-life activist Mary Wagner – and ejected a spectator from the public gallery – in a downtown Toronto courtroom Wednesday. The judge then sent Wagner to jail for an additional 92 days, added to 88 days already served prior to trial, after finding her guilty of mischief and two counts of failing to comply with probation orders.
“The charges related to Wagner’s November 8 arrest at the site of the Bloor West Village ‘Women’s Clinic.’ Wagner has been arrested on several occasions for peacefully entering abortion facilities in Toronto, where she presents women in the waiting room with a rose and offers them pro-life counseling.
“The remarkable scene played itself out after Crown attorney Derek Ishak and defense counsel Russell Browne made a joint submission to Mr. Justice S. Ford Clements for time served plus a three-year probationary term. But Clements emphatically rejected the submission. ‘She can sit in jail, if that’s the only way to protect people,’ he fulminated, calling Wagner ‘cowardly’ for ‘abusing other human beings’ and not having the courage to make her views known through other channels. ‘This is an extraordinary waste of resources. Get a grip!’
“‘You don’t get it, do you? What’s the rule of law? You’re required to abide by it … You’ve lost the right as a citizen to be anywhere near an abortion clinic or to speak to an employee,’ he said. ‘You’re wrong and your God’s wrong,’ he continued. ‘You have complete contempt … There is a right to (abortion) in this country … You don’t have a right to cause (abortion-seeking women) extra pain and grief the way you do.’
“‘[Abortion] is legal,’ he continued, ‘that’s all you have to understand … You start causing people emotional pain and harm, you think that’s okay?’ He then asked Wagner whether she would stay away from abortion sites for three years as required by the proposed terms of probation. ‘I will not,’ Wagner replied firmly. ‘Then you’re going to jail,’ said Clements.
“Earlier, one of Wagner’s supporters in the public gallery spoke up and was addressed by Clements. ‘These (life issues) are deeply held beliefs. We respect the rule of law. There are ways to change the law. The rule of law is absolutely fundamental. We see what happens in the streets when the rule of law is ignored,’ he said. ‘You wouldn’t like someone in your vestibule every night. People who can’t deal with that, we lock them up.’ When the man attempted to reply, he was ejected from the courtroom by Clements.”
Wow, that judge sure sounds like one ugly and diabolical dude. He obviously hates Christians and pro-lifers big time, and will use – or abuse – his position of power to persecute these folks all he can. Mary rightly points out that at times we must oppose unjust laws:
“Asked whether she had anything to say prior to sentencing, Wagner said she saw the rule of law as a guidepost, not an absolute. ‘The letter of the law does not always maintain justice … abortion is a short-term solution but causes long-term pain,’ she said.
“She added she never acts out of a lack of sensitivity, but rather attempts to love the women to whom she speaks. She also pointed to examples from history where people who were initially regarded as criminals were later found to be in the right.”
The rule of law is a fundamental part of Western democratic rule. But we know that there is a higher law which we all must ultimately appeal to. When human laws directly violate God’s laws, then Christians have an obligation to stand up and resist such unjust laws, and also be willing to face the consequences of such resistance.
As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”
I have spoken before about the topic of civil disobedience, especially in relation to the abortion issue: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/05/06/abortion-and-civil-disobedience/
Needless to say, Mary needs our prayers and our support. You can write to her in prison:
Vanier Centre for Women
655 Martin St., Box 1040
Milton, ON L9T 5E6
The other story is a bit closer to home. A pro-lifer who has a pro-life poster in a shop front window in NSW has been ordered to remove it by the local council. Even more alarming, this is a privately-owned Catholic bookstore! Yet they seem to be not allowed to promote their own material. The story goes like this:
“Unbelievable abuse of power by the Albury City Council to get me to take down the Life is Beautiful timeline of human development in a shop window. They have refused to specify how my display breaches the development consent approved by them almost five years ago. Now Albury City Council will have to decide whether to proceed with a letter issuing an order, or otherwise not to make the order. Orders that are made may be appealed to the Land and Environment court within 28 days of service of an order. An appeal against an order does not operate to stay the order. Penalties apply for failing to comply with an order. Which means, if they issue an order, I have to take it down, hire a barrister and appeal it. If I win, I can put it back up. Time for action.”
This seems to be a clear case of a local council overstepping the mark to censor points of view it is not happy with. This case is ongoing, and I will keep you abreast of developments. And there would be other examples of this sort of thing.
Increasingly it is getting more and more difficult to take a prolife stance in public. To do so is becoming ever more risky, especially when the powers that be are hostile to pro-life, pro-faith, and pro-family values. But we must continue to speak up and let our voices be heard.
We may have to take more flak for this in the future, and even face jail terms as Mary has. But we must never remain silent about gross injustice. And surely the killing of unborn babies is among the most unjust action there is. As Abraham Lincoln once said: “Silence makes cowards out of the best of men.”
Or as Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel had put it, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
That is most certainly true in the abortion debate.