Open letter to the people of God in Victoria
Open letter to the people of God in Victoria. June 2010.
A state election is due in Victoria in November this year. Will you vote for good or for evil?
Now I know some of you will be bristling already
How dare you label our potential voting evil. Who do you think you are putting our needed decisions into those categories. Anyway, you must not mix politics with religion.
OK, you can stop reading at this point but I hope you will reason this through with me. We need to look at which party or individual policies and standards are more honouring to God and which are outright opposed. I am well aware this is a contentious subject.
This Victorian government has done some extraordinary things in recent years. It passed the Victorian Charter of Rights – a charter or “bill of rights” based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But even though the latter speaks of the inherent dignity and rights of all human life, reinforced by the 1959 UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child that spells out the rights of the child before and after birth, the Victorian charter has included the end-note that none of it will apply to abortion. This explicit exclusion from the protection of the charter of that stage of human life that should have our utmost protection – the child before birth – would be like excluding groups based on ethnicity or disability.
But wait, there’s more. Two years ago Victoria passed the most liberal abortion laws in Australia permitting abortion through to 24 weeks for any reason without any approval except finding someone to do it and over 24 weeks it only requires the approval of two doctors for any reason that those doctors may approve. No counselling is required, nor is there any “cooling-off” period. There is no restriction as to method of abortion including the horrific partial birth abortion, nor are there any guidelines re abortion for foetal abnormality. Abortions for minor correctable abnormalities such as cleft lip have crept in under the radar in Victoria and now have legal sanction.
There is now implicit state approval of eugenic selection – for even minor imperfections – in Victoria.
How did we get this far?
Because you, the people of Victoria either did not vote for good candidates or there weren’t enough of them to vote for – and if not, why not? Did you not realise that Christians need to stand up in our society for that which is right? Or was it because the issues were so muddied that you could not separate good from evil? Or was it because you were tired of debate and you thought “I’m just going to vote for that which is significant to me”?
So are there candidates standing for Christian principles and values in this next election in November? If not, is God calling you??
But wait, there’s more. In that abortion legislation is the provision to force doctors – even when such is against their deeply held convictions and conscience – to participate in the process of referral for abortion when asked by a patient.
Now it is one thing to pass a law that permits evil but it is something more to pass a law that compels evil.
Do you see that there are two levels of evil here? One is to permit killing of the unborn child for no other reason than that the mother-to-be chooses not to be pregnant and for uncontrolled eugenic selection in our society – yes, state approval of this should shock us out of all complacency – but the other, more sinister and greater, evil is to compel medical participation in this process. Medicine, justly, has the highest level of ethics in the world. It must. And yet, here we have a government that has – quite unnecessarily in fact because there is no restriction on a pregnant mother going straight to abortion providers that advertise widely – punitively forcing doctors to act against their conscience and participate in this process. Why?? As Emily’s List website shamelessly proclaims, so that women will be “free from persecution… free from harassment” when they go to a doctor.
Now your reaction to this may be that it cannot be this bad. I can assure you that it is. It is the first time in the Western world since Hitler’s Germany that doctors have been forced by government legislation to participate in evil. If we refuse then we are breaking the law. Please let that sink in…
For the coming election candidates will be asked whether they will support a move to repeal this part of the Victorian abortion law. Will you vote for those who say yes?
But we mustn’t mix religion with politics you say? Well, this isn’t just religion. The Hippocratic Oath, from which the ethical base of medicine comes, is not Christian anyway and your action in voting is a clear choice between good and evil that affect the whole of society’s future. You cannot escape your individual responsibility in the cultural direction that our society takes.
Can you not see where this takes us? The votes against euthanasia recently in our parliaments have been very close. Can you not see that one day in the future palliative care will be limited as it is in societies that have approved of euthanasia and as it is in Oregon where health benefits are restricted for cancer treatment but allowed for the cheaper physician-assisted suicide? Can you not see that such medical participation may also be made compulsory particularly for the doctor who has been caring for the patient during their last illness? Can you not see the consequences for medicine?
This is not just an issue for Victoria but an issue for each state and the nation. Indeed it is a world issue
and one of the most significant of our time. Christian institutions in Victoria are also under threat with the recently introduced changes in equal opportunity laws.
We will seek to ensure that religious liberty and freedom of conscience are unequivocally protected against interference by the state and other threats… We call upon all those in UK positions of leadership, responsibility and influence to pledge to respect, uphold and protect the right of Christians to hold these beliefs and to act according to Christian conscience.
These issues are extremely serious and the decisions we make now will affect the future of our nation.
For the coming state election in Victoria candidates will be asked whether they will support a move to repeal this part – section 8 – of the Victorian abortion law and voters will need to decide very clearly whether they regard this matter – the compelling of evil – something that they should support or vote against. Each person has a clear choice. Each person must make a decision for good or evil. It will be very clear cut. The warning is clear – if doctors can be compelled to participate in the process of abortion through to term for any reason then they can be compelled to participate in other processes against their conscience.
Now, a practical matter: please remember when voting for a minor party candidate to put that person or party first on your voting slip and your major party of choice second. Should your minor candidate not win your vote goes on at full value and becomes very significant in who then gets elected. Major parties know this and will sometimes change policy or select candidates that represent similar values in order to gain these preferences.
In Western Australia the distribution of preferences from Christian parties resulted in the election of five new MPs with values supporting the intrinsic value of all human life and has changed the direction of government.
So in this coming election you have the opportunity and responsibility to elect candidates with values that espouse good and not evil – and who will support the overthrow of section 8 of the abortion law reform legislation that compels evil in medicine.
There is no higher responsibility.
Apart from this very specific choice the most helpful decision-making aid is the Christian Values Checklist. Use this for both state and federal elections. Also see previous lists and watch as we come up to election time for a new list.
For the federal election watch Australia Votes with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott answering questions from church leaders. This is a web-feed on June 21 from Old Parliament House in Canberra.
(Dr) Lachlan Dunjey. May 2010.
Convenor Medicine With Morality: defending human life; defending liberty of conscience www.medicinewithmorality.org.au
Conscience Laws and Healthcare – The Coercion of Doctors Melbourne Conference July 2009 http://vimeo.com/7809169.
The Ethical Crisis in our Parliaments http://www.chooselifeaustralia.org.au/
Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
The UN General Assembly Declaration of the Rights of the Child November 20, 1959 Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/k1drc.htm
Partial Birth Abortion (warning: disturbing) http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/diagram.html
Emily’s List editorial http://www.emilyslist.org.au/news/editorial.asp?id=257
The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience 2009 http://manhattandeclaration.org/the-declaration/read.aspx
Westminster Declaration 2010 http://www.westminster2010.org.uk/declaration/
Repeal Section 8 http://www.repealsection8.net.au/
Christian Values Checklist http://www.christianvalues.org.au/check_list.html
Australia Votes http://webcast.australiavotes.org/