A Letter from Jail
Today I received a letter from an inmate of a Queensland jail. I have never met this man in person but it is probably the fourth or fifth time that he, Michael, has written to me during the last eight years that he has been in prison.
Michael first initiated contact when he read a newspaper article about me being in prison. (I was “inside” for engaging in non-violent sit-ins in front of the doors of abortion clinics.) Although each of us ended up in jail by way of very different routes we do share a common concern – we both believe that the deliberate taking of the life of a child in the womb is terribly wrong.
Unlike many, probably the large majority of pro-lifers, Michael does not profess to hold any Christian or religious beliefs – not that he is antagonistic to those who do oppose abortion based on Christian convictions. Rather, in his own words, he is motivated to oppose abortion because, “my memory of the time before my birth is something very, very strong and I recognise it has happened for a reason,” and, “It is not due to ‘conviction’ that I oppose abortion-on-demand, it is love.”
Michael’s long-term desire has been to raise many millions of dollars to fund a campaign against abortion. Now, while we would regard that goal as being highly commendable, probably few, if any, of us would be in agreement with him about the means that he chose to try to achieve that end. Michael personally likes to use marijuana so he decided to grow a massive crop of the plant to sell. When he was arrested there were tonnes of cannabis drying in sheds on his farm and he is now serving a 13 year jail term.
It would be easy at this point just to write him off as some crazed druggie: I for one certainly don’t support what he did. Nevertheless, his lengthy letters are calmly and thoughtfully written and part of this latest one contains a powerful challenge for the Christian community and I would like to cite it at some length:
. . . I am prepared to go to any peaceable lengths, within the ambit of my principles, in an attempt to confront society concerning abortion-on-demand.
I do not think that the use of the word ‘wicked’ is an inappropriate expression to use to describe it, and a society that condones it.
A society that accepts the free will killing of its own progeny as a FINAL SOLUTION option to perceived problems, is a ‘wicked’ culture in my estimation. . . .If you turn to Matthew 21 verse 12 you will see that the Christian deity himself overturns the officially-accepted norms of the day, this being the money-changers’ tables.
It is my belief that this is a salutary lesson for all persons who profess themselves to be Christian. There are times in life when one must decide one’s position in certain serious matters, sometimes with drastic measures needing to be taken.
If one perceives, but says or does nothing, then instead of helping to ameliorate any perceived wrong, then by doing nothing one can actually contribute to the wrong. . .
It would give me great pleasure to use my position as one of Australia’s larger cannabis farmers to highlight abortion. My aim being to stun the so-called ‘religious’ community into an abrupt awareness that a ‘druggie’ has put them all to shame concerning the wickedness that lies at the very heart of our culture.
That the Christian community in practice has done nothing to uphold probably the most central of their tenets, as told in Exodus chapter 20 verse 13, and Matthew chapter 22 verses 37, 38, 39 and 40.
Are not our unborn our ‘neighbours’?
Are we not commanded to love the Lord our God, whose will is clearly expressed in verse 39?
What is the point in going to church regularly, if we ignore the plight of our ‘neighbours’, of whose fate is in our hands?
We have been told that: “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets,” verse 40. Why therefore do they not listen and heed their own God?
While overstated in parts, this is perhaps too close to the mark to leave us feeling comfortable. In fact it is downright unpleasant to have an unbelieving drug criminal bluntly challenge the Christian community as to whether we are living up to our own professed theology.
It would be very easy to get annoyed with him and dismiss him; much harder to let his words speak to our hearts.
I would encourage us all to hear what needs to be said, even if it comes from a most unlikely source.
Addendum: The challenge to the Tasmanian 150m “bubble zone” legislation is continuing. My conviction is being appealed with the next step on the way to the High Court being a direction’s hearing to be held on October 10 in the Tasmanian Supreme Court. Contributions to the legal fund can be made through: http://ozcrowd.com/campaign/2730
For more information, please visit my website: Protect Life