On Tuesday 11th August, things were happening in our parliament.
The Senate (Upper House) were supposed to debate the Bill put forward a couple of months ago on same -sex marriage. Following Ireland, many MP’s, media and others in society were eager to get on the bandwagon.
Our bishops fought a good fight. ACL (Australian Christian Lobby, and Citizen Go (a purely secular organization) joined in the fight, gathering many on-line petitions.
This was it. The day had come! The governing party was a coalition of Liberal and National Party members. Unlike the Labor Party, the Liberal Party could follow party lines and insist that their members voted according to party policy, but the Prime MInister was considering letting his MP’s have a conscience vote.
Everyone thought the result would be a foregone conclusion.
Tony Abbot (our PM) decided that morning to have a meeting with his party and included the Nationals as they were part of the coalition. The result was that there would be no conscience vote. Many MP’s, the media and many others were furious. This was a great risk for the PM as he has always been unpopular with the media.
Was this a victory or just a reprieve? We like to see it as a small victory and an answer to the many, many prayers we have been offering up for the last 2 months. The same on-line petitions are back, urging us to congratulate our MP’s and PM on their decision – to thank them in standing up for the family.
We will not stop praying – we all know the power of prayer. Wherever you live – never give up. We must fight the fight till the end.
At the end of our prayer group meeting today we sang a hymn as usual . As it was the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady in 2 days, and because of this small victory we sang a hymn to Australia’s patroness – Mary, Help of Christians :
Help of Christians, guard this land,
From assault or inward stain;
let it be what Christ has planned,
His new Eden where you reign.
Teach us that in Christ your Son
Lies the wisdom to be free;
For the Cross, which we would shun,
Is man’s Tree of Liberty.
Should the powers of hell arise,
And our peace be trampled down,
In that night of blood and lies
Show us still your twelve-starred crown.
Take from us the coward heart,
Fleeting will, divided mind,
Give us sight to play our part,
Though the world around is blind.
Image of the risen life
Shining in eternity
Glimmer through our earthly strife,
Draw us to your victory.
Editor’s note: This hymn is an old one but it seems to be written for our day.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Amen!