A glance through any news feed will show the prevalence of bullying in our society—and not just on school playgrounds. We can find bullies in nearly all walks of life. They intimidate, they instill fear, and they even gather others to join them in their bullying tactics. That’s why standing up to a bully takes courage.
However, standing up to an immoral bully in the form of a government official takes even more courage. We see an example of moral courage this week in a story out of Illinois. Sandra Mendoza Rojas is a nurse who was fired in 2015 for refusing to refer mothers for abortions. She took her case to court and this week has found victory, as an Illinois court ruled in her favor, saying she should not have been fired from her job because of her actions.
According to the court report: “The health department improperly discriminated against (Rojas) by refusing to accommodate her objections of conscience in her existing job at the clinic. . . . The court has concluded that the Health Department could have reasonably accommodated (Rojas’) objections without removing her from her job.”
In a world where organizations like Planned Parenthood are held in high regard, where secular media rules, where morality is often cast aside, and where children value the opinions of Hollywood stars more than the opinions of their parents, it’s not only refreshing but uplifting to read about a ruling that upholds someone’s right to their religious beliefs.
Our society needs more people like Rojas. Her actions serve as a strong and bold example for how we can overcome fear and stand up to the bullies in our lives, no matter how small or inconsequential we feel.
In the book of Joshua, we read these comforting words: “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.”
Indeed, God is with us, and that truth should give us solace, but that doesn’t mean that following His laws will be easy. In fact, Christ told us that we would be hated for our beliefs—and oftentimes we are hated and even condemned.
That’s why we must thank God for courageous people like Rojas and for the saints in heaven who guide us. We understand that it’s not easy to stand up for our faith and that the world does not look kindly on people who stand up for vulnerable babies, for the sick, or for the elderly. Many saints lost their lives or their livelihoods doing so. Rojas lost her job. Other pro-life leaders are ostracized and called extremists for their work. But these people refuse to stay beaten down by bullies. Instead, they trust that Christ will lift them up and help them stay strong as they fight the Goliaths of this world. We know that we never fight alone; God will fight for us and with us.
Let us remember this as Lent begins next week and we contemplate how we will prepare for Easter. As Catholics, we often make sacrifices and give up things we enjoy—such as sweets, TV, or social media. But Lent is also a time to look to Christ crucified and ask Him how we can grow closer to Him. It’s a time to increase our prayer life, to assess our actions, and to resolve to become holier and grow in faith.
So, as you think about Lent and what you can do to strengthen your relationship with God, I encourage you to do something that will build your moral courage and to pray daily for God’s guidance in doing so.
Life is difficult, and standing up for the vulnerable in our midst is not easy. It takes effort, determination, and moral courage. Seeking God in prayer, in daily Mass, in a retreat, or with this downloadable daily Lenten reflection book will help you on your Lenten journey so that you, too, can be like David and slay any Goliath who comes your way.
This article first appeared on LifeSiteNews and can be found at lifesitenews.com/opinion/it-takes-courage-to-stand-up-to-pro-abortion-bullies-but-god-is-always-with-us-when-we-do.