When Prime Minister Harper announced that abortion funding would not be included in his health initiative for the upcoming G8 Summit in June, the enraged liberal opposition determined to squash him and all the other conservatives. Under normal circumstance, they WOULD have…
by Dean Smith
Special to ASSIST News Service
OTTAWA, ONTARIO (ANS) — Canada is run by a minority government. The ruling Conservative party holds 144 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons and must rely on support from at least one opposition party (Liberal, Bloc or NDP) to govern.
Since the combined opposition holds the balance of power they can, if agreed, pass motions forcing the government to take certain actions.
The G8 summit
This June (2010), Canada is hosting the G8 summit -– representing the eight wealthiest nations. As host, Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to encourage G8 nations to provide financial support to women and children in impoverished nations.
When Harper -– an openly evangelical Christian — announced abortion funding was not included in this initiative, the Liberals took action. They initiated a motion requiring Harper to include a “full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options” in his proposal. Though, it purposefully avoided mentioning abortion, it was clearly the underlining message.
Strategically, the Liberals hoped to drive a wedge between Conservatives opposing abortion and those supporting it. On her blog, Liberal MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett penned the vote would be a “day of reckoning” for the Conservative party.
Call to pray and FAST
When the Liberals announced their plan to implement the vote on March 23, 2010, a number of national prayer groups sprung into action. In particular, 4myCanada initiated an urgent call to supporters. 4MyCanada is a Christian activist group that combines intensive prayer initiatives with political activism.
On March 20, they sent their first e-email which said: “We are calling an EMERGENCY 3 Day Fast Re-Global Abortion Motion.”
It went on to say,
“In Canada we have seen tangible and notable shifts in our nation through massive prayer and fasting. These are times to use the powerful tool of prayer and fasting – now is one of those times.
“We encourage you to consider a water only fast and to set aside times to pray fervently for this in the next 3 days. (Note: if you are not used to fasting we encourage you to perhaps do a liquids only fast and consult a doctor before you do a full fast (water only).”
Over the next three days, email alerts urged supporters to continue their prayer and fasting vigil.
A March 23, 2010, e-mail read,
“We want to let you know this: your prayers are working and our MPs are hearing the voice of Canadians as we are bringing it. There has already been a shift this morning … Pray that many Liberals and NDP feel the heat today and change their minds. Again, let’s pray that their eyes would be opened to understand what they are truly pushing when they push abortion (it looks like we need about 10 – 15 NDPers, Bloc or Liberals to vote against the motion for it to fail).”
Voting day – confusion reigns
With opposition parties firmly onside, the Liberals marched into the Canadian House of Commons on March 23 fully anticipating victory.
Despite Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff stating earlier his MPs were free to vote according to their conscience, behind closed doors it was a whipped vote. This meant all Liberals were expected to be in the House to support the motion -– even those opposing abortion, which was why the word abortion was purposefully omitted.
But instead of solidarity, confusion reigned. While many Liberal MPs were told it was a whipped vote, a significant number hadn’t received the message. Thirteen Liberal MPs were missing, including some anti-abortion MPs who were told to stay away if they couldn’t support the motion. Others simply abstained.
Meanwhile, three Liberal MPs -– who opposed abortion and weren’t told it was a whipped vote -– took their Liberal leader at his word, and voted according to their conscience.
In a stunning upset, the motion was defeated 144 to 138.
A MP Blackberried 4myCanada from the floor of the House of Commons immediately after the vote stating, “You guys did it! This is an Act of God before our eyes!”
There was so much confusion on the Liberal bench, it carried over to the next motion presented by the Conservative party. Chronicle Herald reporter Stephen Maher described the chaos: “To make matters worse, in the confusion after the lost vote, Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua misunderstood Cuzner’s [the Liberal whip] shouted instructions and stood to vote for a budget bill the Liberals opposed. Several other MPs followed.”
One Liberal MP portrayed the bedlam as “Clown city,” another said, “We look like fools.”
National Post columnist Don Martin depicted the debacle as
“A needlessly provocative Liberal move to sneak abortion back on the agenda, aimed at dividing the Conservatives, actually drove a wedge deep into the official opposition.” He described the unexpected Liberal defeat as “jaw-dropping.”
The power of fasting
The apostle Paul exhorts Christians to pray for government (1 Tim 2:1, 2). But there is an important element that needs to be included — fasting. As we pray God’s will in a situation, fasting works along side disrupting satanic strategies, attacks and loosening its grip on a situation.
Isaiah 58:6 outlines the power behind a true fast:
“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?”
In the Book of Esther – which records the Jewish captivity in Persia — we witness first hand the power of fasting. The Jewish presence was not universally accepted and Haman, a senior Persian bureaucrat, hatched a plot to massacre the Jews on a single day and plunder their wealth (Esther 3:13-15).
Curiously, a few thousand years later, the Nazis orchestrated a similar one-day persecution of the Jews referred to as Reichskristallnacht, the night of the broken glass. On November 17, 1938, 7,000 Jewish businesses were plundered and 1,668 synagogues were vandalized with many destroyed. Ninety Jews were reportedly killed but the actual number was much higher and 30,000 Jews were sent to temporary concentration camps – an omen of what was to come.
In Persia, Haman even planned his own personal vendetta, constructing a gallows to kill Mordecai, a Jew who hung around the palace because a relative in his care – Esther – was chosen as the new Queen for King Ahasuerus.
Esther’s heritage was unknown to everyone, including Haman and her husband. As word trickled out on the planned massacre, Mordecai urged Esther to use her influence to change the King’s mind. But even her privileged position didn’t allow an unsummoned approach of her husband. If the King didn’t receive her, she would be executed.
Initially resistant, Esther finally agreed, but with one provision:
“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me,” Esther said. “Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the King, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16 NASV)
The wording implies the fast actually involved two full days, and on the third day Esther approached and was received by her husband (Esther 5:1, 2). Haman’s plot was exposed. The plan to kill the Jews was stopped and Haman hung on the very gallows he built for Mordecai (Esther 7:9, 10).
God sends confusion
But confusion surrounding the abortion initiative was also significant as confusion was a signature of God’s intervention on behalf of Israel. During their journey to the Promised Land, God promised,
“I will send My terror ahead of you, and then throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their back to you.” (Exodus 23:27 NASV)
And confusion proved an effective weapon. In one instance, the Philistines were so confused they ended up attacking each other (1 Samuel 14:20). In 1 Samuel 7, the Israelites again under Philistine attack, entered a one day fast and prayer (v 6). In response, “the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so they were routed before Israel.” (v 10 NASV)
But the G8 battle continues
The defeat of the abortion motion was noticed around the world. On March 30, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an Ottawa news conference to attack Canada’s Prime Minister for not including abortion in his motion. She was in Ottawa for preparatory meetings for the G8 summit.
Clinton said, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception, family planning and access to legal, safe abortions.”
Then the UN World Health Organization (WHO) stepped in to criticize, while at the same time back-slapping the US position. WHO Director General Margaret Chan made the comment at an April 14th news conference where she was introducing WHO’s latest initiative to improve maternal and child health. There was a bit of damage control involved as WHO was embarrassed when Lancet, a British Medical Journal, released a report stating women deaths during child birth had dropped sharply from 526,300 in 1980 to 342,900 in 2008. This contradicted WHO’s recent report there had been no improvement. This is not the first time, a UN report has been severely undermined by outside — and some suggest unbiased – research.
Dean Smith works in the communications field. Visit his website at www.opentheword.org
Wow. What happened in Canada is Awesome. Our strength truly is in the Lord. We can fight the present US Administration – and Win….Yes We Can!!
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14