Why I went to the freedom rally
Eternity has run stories talking to Christians taking part in demonstrations for refugees and climate change, so fair’s fair – we should give space for the views of those who took part in the rallies concerned with lockdowns and vaccine mandates and other issues on the weekend. We ran a story reporting that only a minority of Christians are against vaccine mandates, but we want to be respectful of those sisters and brothers who protested on the weekend.
“Kate” is a Queenslander who has us asked her not to use her real name. She is active in Christian ministry.
1) What was it like to be at the March – which city?
I went to the Brisbane March for Freedom. I’m not sure of the total numbers, but one policeman I passed said more than 50 000. Other estimates I have seen since have said 100 000. It was festive but orderly and peaceful. It was also very moving to hear snippets of people’s stories or to read them on their scrubs, t-shirts or placards.
I was very encouraged by the number of extended families walking together, with grandparents pushing grandkids and sometimes grandkids pushing grandparents! People were warm and friendly – there was a real sense of camaraderie despite the wide range of people from different backgrounds and beliefs about the vaccines themselves.
2) What were your main reasons for going?
I have never done a protest march like this before yesterday. I went for the sake of many of my friends and their families who have lost their jobs or years of study or future opportunities because they can’t or won’t succumb to a medical procedure that they are entirely within their human rights and responsibility not to accept.
And I went for those who have already been coerced into making a medical decision they were not comfortable with. I went because so many of them cannot get a valid exemption because their GPs feel muzzled by AHPRA’s (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) directions. These friends are doctors, dentists, receptionists, teachers, students, chaplains, café owners or simply folk who just want to keep visiting their aging parents.
I went because I personally know vaccine-injured people and have read [about] testimonies of thousands of others and seen the data on the variety of international adverse event reporting systems.
I went because I recently learned that statistically, it takes a peaceful protest of only 3.5% of an impacted population to affect change according to western history. I went because it is a lawful way to contribute to the shaping of our democracy.
I went because getting a vaccine is no longer about protecting your neighbour since the data is clear that no matter our vaccination status we are all equally able to transmit the virus. (See editors note*) I went because I want Australia to be investigating and implementing far better ways of tackling Covid than this “all eggs in the vaccine basket” approach. I went because I have felt more and more convicted that evil prospers when good people do nothing. I’m tired of doing nothing.
*(Editors Note: Eternity asks that medical assertions be backed up with a peer-reviewed study. “Kate” has not provided one but there is a recent study reported in Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study shows that vaccinated household contacts were better protected than unvaccinated ones, and breakthrough infections were mild. “Peak viral loads showed a faster decline in vaccinated compared with unvaccinated people, although peak viral loads were similar for unvaccinated and vaccinated people.” It also found that vaccines continue to reduce the chances of infection from Delta, but have much less effect in fact “minimal” on transmission.)
3) What gave you hope (maybe the Christian presence) and was there something challenging?
I was greatly encouraged by the Christian presence there. Numbers of Christians carried banners with gospel messages and many were handing out gospel tracts. Their placard messages were ones of hope and love for the world. I was also encouraged by a complete absence of ridicule of those who have chosen to be vaccinated.
While there were signs questioning the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and plenty of signs expressing unhappiness with our political leaders, I could not see a single reprimand or ridicule of vaccinated individuals. There was only great concern for their safety and freedoms.
4) What sort of church do you go to?
I am a member of the Presbyterian Church in Queensland.
David gives his perspective on the Sydney rally
My wife & I attended the rally in Sydney yesterday.
The crowd was very eclectic.
We live in [North West Sydney] and attend St Pauls Anglican Church Castle Hill.
We have both had 2 Covid vaccine shots, but are upset for many of our friends & colleagues, who for various reasons have declined to take the vaccine at this time.
We took the vaccine after much research and decided overall it was good for us to do so. When we took the vaccine there was no hint of vaccine mandates or vaccine passports.
As a business owner with 15 staff, I will, to the best of my ability not discriminate against those who choose not to Covid vaccinate.
As much as is practical, I personally will hold off attending places until after 15.12.2021, when vax papers are no longer required.
I do not want to live in a society where medicine is mandated and/or a society that actively discriminates on those grounds.
I am shocked at how righteous some act towards those who chosen to remain unvaccinated.