15 Success Stories for 2012 – Thank You for Taking Action
Don’t believe people who suggest that Christian political action is a lost cause. Yes, it is very challenging to bring a faith-based perspective to a nation that has divorced its public institutions from God. But difficulty is not something any Christian should shy away from. Christ reminded us many times that we should expect hardship when being a faithful witness.
Far too many Christians have given up on our society, our communities, and our nation. These Christians conclude that politics is a distraction from the Great Commission. They argue that we should be focussing on the things that “really matter”, especially evangelism. Evangelism does matter. But it is wrong to suggest that we should be focussing on one example of discipleship over against another. A big reason for the success of secularism in the West has been Christians who divorced their private lives from their public life. The absence of Christians in public life left a vacuum that was quickly filled with worldviews that are hostile to Christ.
Christ is Lord of all of life, including the public realm. We are to be salt and light by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ while also explaining to our society how God’s way is for the good of all Canadians, publicly and privately.
The year 2012 saw many of our readers taking the time to be a “salt and light” in the places where God has put them. By God’s grace, we can see at least 15 tangible examples of how our faith-based political advocacy made a real difference for our communities and our nation:
1. Bill C-304, which would repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, passed through the House of Commons. This was a huge step in protecting freedom of speech and expression from the censorship powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Through our Stand Up for Freedom campaign that we launched in 2010, many of you have brought this issue to the attention of your MPs and communities. At an ARPA-sponsored event this summer, MP Brian Storseth, the MP behind this bill, thanked you, our readers, for helping him get this legislation passed.
2. In March, 50 representatives from 16 Local ARPA groups converged in Ottawa and met with over 50 MPs and Senators, and also sponsored a speech on multiculturalism, with over a dozen MPs in attendance. These grace-filled meetings, alongside the dozens of other visits to MLAs and MPs that are being conducted by the local ARPA groups through 2012, are softening the hearts of our leaders to the message we bring.
3. Albertans held off a very problematic Education Act, and a new government in the province heeded many of the concerns and introduced a new version that explicitly recognized parental rights. This matters because God entrusts parents, not the State, with the duty of raising children.
4. This fall, ARPA’s in Ontario and Alberta sponsored 12 high-impact billboards that reminded their cities that only China, North Korea, and Canada have no abortion laws.
5. Through the year our readers played a huge role in getting over 265 pro-life petitions read in Parliament. This caused a huge stir, including extensive media coverage. Even more important, it forced many MPs to search their hearts about where they stand on the issue. Even vocal pro-choice MPs read the petitions.
6. Local ARPA groups in Alberta were able to partner with MPs Brian Storseth and Stephen Woodworth in organizing public events in their community about free speech and legal protection for the unborn. This is yet another example of the positive relationship we can build with our public officials.
7. Shortly after our policy report on Aboriginal Affairs was sent to Parliament, we received news that the federal government is working on legislation that would allow private property on reserves.
8. ARPA’s Legal Counsel was asked to present his views before the Ontario Human Rights Commission. His submission on associational rights was also published in a legal journal from the commission.
9. The Reformed Prayer Service at the annual March for Life, co-sponsored this year by ARPA Canada, saw a 7-fold increase in participation.
10. State funded broadcaster CBC cancelled a pornographic show that they aired on their website in Quebec, after complaints from the public, including ARPA readers.
11. Over 9,000 personal letters, from our readers, have gone to Members of Parliament through the custom technology developed for ARPACanada and WeNEEDaLaw.ca. This does not include the CC’s to the appropriate cabinet ministers and party leaders.
12. New abortion memorials were constructed in Alberta and BC. Not only do they generate media coverage and thousands of conversations in passing vehicles, they also touch hearts and lives.
13. Our pro-life efforts resulted in very positive and respectful media coverage from Maclean’s Magazine, Canada’s largest news and politics publication with 2.4 million readers.
14. Through Motion 312, MP Stephen Woodworth earned the respect of Canada’s mainstream media, got the support of 20 cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and Parliamentary secretaries, and substantially increased public awareness of Canada’s lack of legal protection for the unborn.
15. A day after the M-312 vote, Member of Parliament Mark Warawa started a new national conversation, through his Motion 408, about the practice of gendercide – aborting girls just because they are girls.
You will have noticed that the majority of these success stories have to do with abortion. Through the efforts of MP Stephen Woodworth, tens of thousands of Canadians, and the new WeNEEDaLaw.ca campaign, we have seen the Overton Window shift in Canada in securing legal protection for preborn humans. For the first time in years it is the pro-life message that has the momentum. We are very optimistic that over the next ten years Canada will achieve a start, and increase, of legal protection for the unborn, step by step.
Because we know God has achieved the ultimate victory already, we have every reason to press on, work harder, and be confident that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”
We are excited to see what God will do in this nation through 2013. Thank you for letting us do this work alongside you.
The ARPA Canada Team