It's not every day that you find a high-ranking Catholic prelate standing with a bullhorn on the steps of a state capital building, leading the public in prayer for the defense and protection of pre-born life.
But that's exactly what happened earlier this week as Denver's Archbishop Samuel Aquila rallied the faithful and denounced Senate Bill 175.
The bill would have enshrined abortion in law and prohibited any incremental pro-life laws from being passed in the state of Colorado.
Thankfully, the bill never made it for a vote. The very legislators who introduced the measure decided last evening to spike it.
Because pro-life supporters turned out in force and opposed the measure. Our friends stood on the steps in the cold and prayed. They wrote emails. They called - so much, in fact, that several legislators took their phones off the hook.
Ironically, the bill was called the "Reproductive Health Freedom Act." But the measure would have enslaved the most vulnerable. If passed, common-sense restrictions on abortion, such as late-term abortion bans or safety standards for the abortion industry, could not have become law in Colorado. It was also have threatened Colorado's existing parental notification law for abortions for minors.
I was up at the state capital yesterday afternoon, and I saw firsthand the fervor and passion of those who support life.
I was moved. I was encouraged. I was inspired.
Our culture has grown increasingly cynical and jaded when it comes to the power of one voice. We often hear about how government is broken, how it's deaf to the will of the people, how our interests are marginalized and made meaningless in the face of the powerful and well-funded.
Sadly, some of those stereotypes are true.
But last evening, life won in the state of Colorado.
It won because people turned out and showed up.
Life won because the Lord still hears and answers the prayers of His people.
All of this unfolded, of course, in the midst of Holy Week, the most sobering and sacred time on the Christian calendar. Many expressed outrage at the timing, some calling it akin to a poke in the eye to people of faith.
But I think there is some symmetry to this now, as believers prepare to gather tonight to remember and celebrate the Lord's Last Supper and turn their attention to the Passion of Good Friday. From the cross on Golgatha, Jesus forgave those very men who drove the nails into his hands, feet and side.
"Father, forgive them," He cried, "for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
In much the same way, I'm inclined to think that many who support abortion, including those in the Colorado state legislature, don't know what they're doing. They don't see it the way you and I do. Believe it or not, they think they're helping women. They think they're helping children.
They're wrong. You and I know they're blinded to the truth. In many ways we can't understand it.
But if Jesus could forgive those who crucified Him, then I must pray for those with whom I vehemently disagree, even legislators who would brazenly attempt to take away my freedoms with the simple passage of a bad bill.
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