Senator to speak at pro-life event
Busy mother of three, Amanda Stoker, left behind a successful career as a barrister to enter the Australian Parliament last year because of her growing concern that freedom of speech was increasingly under threat in the country she loves.
The Liberal Senator from Queensland says she was particularly concerned that Christians and other people with conservative views were being pushed out of the public square.
“I had this frustration that the public space was becoming a place that was hostile for people who had traditional values, people who were Christians or people who had similar world views,” Senator Stoker said.
“I couldn’t stand by and allow that to continue because to do that would mean I was living in a country where my children wouldn’t have fundamental freedoms to pursue a whole range of things, most importantly their faith. So that was one of the motivations that I stepped up when the opportunity arose.”
As Anglicans, she and husband Adam, are raising their three girls – Mary, aged five, Jane, three and Emma, one and-a –half – in the faith.
“It’s a big part of our lives,” she said.
“I feel like somehow in the twisted name of tolerance, many traditional and Christian voices have been shamed or shut out of the public space. I think that is something deeply harmful to us in the long term.”
“Building an Australian culture where we genuinely live and let live, where people are truly free to pursue their own passions and their own definition of the perfect life, that’s what I’m really passionate about.”
Senator Stoker is also passionately pro-life and she addressed Parliament in August last year in opposition to a bill seeking to allow the Northern Territory to enact Assisted Suicide legislation.
“Not everyone is a Christian but I think everyone should be able to understand that the practice of euthanasia being permitted would harm our culture in a way that creates a subtle pressure for people regarded as resource intensive or a bit of a burden to voluntarily exit lest they become a hassle for others,” she said.
“I think that would be a really sad shift in our culture and one that you could not protect against with any number of technical ‘safeguards’.”
Senator Stoker said it was her husband who “prodded” her at the critical moment to enter politics and continues to be “wonderfully supportive” of her life as a Senator.
Although too young to comprehend exactly what she does, she loves the fact her three girls don’t think it strange their mother is a politician.
“They think it’s entirely normal and the kind of thing that any person who loves their country should be able to do.”
While the recent election win for the Morrison government was not expected, Senator Stoker said she was not surprised that Australians voted in his favour.
“I knew we were always the underdogs but everywhere we went and with every group we spoke to, the Prime Minister made a great impression. He had a great way of connecting with people and of understanding what matters to Australians.
“I never gave up hope and I’m really delighted to see the Australian people were willing to give him and the team the trust and the opportunity to govern for three years.”
Having been in the Senate now for just over 12 months, Senator Stoker said she would like to see more topics on the parliamentary agenda that are relevant to the everyday concerns of Australians.
“It’s the kind of place, that if you ever start to feel comfortable in it, it’s time to go,” she laughed.
“The things that get talked about in that building are often so far from what is on the hearts and minds of the Australians I represent.”
“I think that shows how important it is to have people who are connected to their homes represented in the Parliament but also I think it’s really important to have families [represented] because it’s my life experience that you become a lot less willing to compromise on key issues when there’s something bigger than yourself at stake.”
Senator Stoker will be speaking on current pro-life issues, in particular the push for euthanasia, at Holy Trinity Parish, Curtin, on Sunday 30 June at 2pm. More info: 02 6281 2365
Senator Stoker on…
Political correctness and identity politics are toxic to the health of society because they silence free speech and they turn our society tribal in a way that tears us apart.
It’s the kind of empty gesture that characterising the hard left at the moment when anybody who is really serious about virtue, is hands-on helping their neighbours and community.
It is a fundamental individual right and it is absolutely vital that all Australians are able to practice their faith unthreatened by fashionable causes.
It’s the first human right. If we don’t protect the right to life then none of the other things we associate with being human are truly safe. The measure of a society is the way it treats those who can’t speak for themselves. That has to include he elderly, those struggling with illness or disability, and those children who are not yet born. If we don’t speak up for and protect their first and most fundamental human right, then we’re not a very humane society at all.
I think it’s the kind of threshold that you can’t come back from. It is truly a slippery slope kind of case and you can look to any number of cases like Holland that show people who have in fact been not provided with good mental health management or management of pain being pushed down this path. If we just got the health care right, properly resourced and respectfully delivered, there would be less attractiveness for this kind of a course and there would I think be more understanding of the fact that one can have a dignified death without having to kill themselves.
It is the greatest privilege. It’s the biggest joy and you think you know how good it will be and it exceeds all expectations.
The Catholic Church:
I hope I can provide some encouragement to Catholics and all Christians to more bravely and publicly proclaim their faith because in doing so they empower and encourage other Christians.
Women in politics:
I think women in politics make a great contribution but the best contributions I see in the Parliament are from parents of both sexes. The experience of being a parent is extremely important to the ability to formulate policy that reflects the lives that most Australians are leading.
“Having it all”:
Anyone who pretends they have it all is a liar. There’s nothing wrong with doing a few things well or doing all things across your lifetime, but not at once. I think sometimes we overwhelm and unnecessarily stress young women in particular with the lie that says you can have all things at once and it will be easy when the truth is there’s a season for everything and that’s ok.
I think most Australians accept that there is a section of our community for which same-sex marriage is important but that right can’t trump the rights of others who think differently. That’s why religious freedom in this country needs to be protected.
Transgender rights and Safe Schools:
We can’t let leftist ideology trump biology. We can’t let the State take away a parent’s right to educate their child or children according to their own faith and their own values.
Israel Folau’s experience shows us that it has now become political and controversial to express, albeit inarticulately, a biblical truth because it has the potential to offend a small segment of our community. What is lost in the media coverage is that he was trying to send a positive message about the availability of salvation for all of us. And the fact that doesn’t get covered says a lot about the agenda our press is intent on prosecuting.