Love your enemy. It’s a Biblical admonition that is often much easier said than done.
But Ashley and Joe Garecht, the parents of the pro-life teenagers who were harassed and bullied by pro-abortion Democrat state representative Brian Sims, are putting that Biblical principle into practice. They are praying that representative Sims will accept Christ and allow God to bless his life and overcome the evil in his heart with good.
In a new interview with a local Catholic newspaper, the parents of the pro-life teens say the incident where the pro-abortion politician bullied and doxxed their daughters was intense and worrisome for them but they said they were ultimately unfazed by it primarily because they had prayed to God for peace and protection.
Garecht noted that she and her family “were grateful to have a prayer foundation in place” prior to their interaction with Sims.
“It was a challenging situation when it happened,” said Garecht, who along with her husband Joe filed a police report regarding Sims’ attempts to identify their daughters and their friend. “It’s been very intense, and we are doing the best we can to make sure we’re staying centered and focused as a family, and asking the guardian angels to surround us.”
Garecht, who had previously witnessed in front of the abortion facility alone, brought her daughters and their friend to the location on Holy Thursday of this year “to put ourselves out there in service, in an uncomfortable position that required a bit of suffering.”
“Holy Thursday leads to Good Friday, when Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf,” Garecht said. “Look at what he endured to bring us back into full relationship with our Father.”
When Sims initially approached the group that afternoon, Garecht encouraged the teens to view the encounter as a way of sharing in Christ’s passion.
“I said to them, ‘Jesus suffered so greatly for us, and this is the tiniest thing,’” Garecht said. “I invited them to offer it up in union with his sacrifice.”
And even though they have filed a police report with a Criminal complaint and support Sims resigning from office, the couple is continuing that pro-life mission of prayer with prayer for Sims himself.
Garecht, who plans to resume her pro-life witness, also believes that Sims can be transformed by divine grace.
“My prayer for Brian Sims is that the ugliness that is happening would be turned away, and that God would bless him and come into his heart and life,” she said.
Unfortunately, it appears Sims is now blocking any pro-life person from speaking with him. He is now prohibiting pro-life advocates from going to his office to confront him about his bullying and harassing of pro-life women and teenagers.
Hundreds of pro-life people gathered outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood abortion clinic Friday to rally in condemnation of Democrat state representative Brian Sims and his behavior.
The mother of teenage girls who Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims offered money to identify earlier this spring said she filed a police report against the Democratic politician.
Ashley Garecht told CBS Philadelphia that Sims’ aggressive behavior had her concerned for her daughters’ and their friend’s safety. The girls are ages 13 and 15.
“Absent the pro-life issue, this was about an adult interacting with minors in an aggressive manner and an adult infringing on minors’ speech,” she told the news station. “I don’t need an apology from him. I’m an adult. I’ve already forgiven him.”
She said she would like Sims to apologize to her daughters and their friend.
Sims posted a video of himself berating a pro-life sidewalk counselor in Philadelphia. A second video that he posted earlier in April showed him offering $100 for the identities of three pro-life teenage girls who were praying peacefully outside the abortion facility with Garecht.
His requests suggest that the state representative may have been trying to intimidate the 13- and 15-year-old girls through doxxing, a practice where a person’s name and contact information are posted publicly online usually to encourage harassment.
Garecht said she did not realize that Sims was a state representative until earlier this week when the videos went viral.
Lawmaker or not, “no grown man should act that way toward any minor under any situation,” she told NBC 10. Asked if she felt in danger, she said Sims had “an imposing physical presence.” Garecht repeatedly has said her biggest concern was for her daughters and their friend.
A video that Sims posted online showed part of his interaction with Garecht and the girls, who were praying outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on the Thursday before Easter. In the video, Sims offered viewers $100 to identify the teenage girls.
“What we’ve got here is a bunch of … pseudo Christian protesters who’ve been out here shaming young girls for being here. So, here’s the deal, I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify these three, and I will donate to Planned Parenthood,” Sims said in the video.
His actions may have violated consent and cyberbullying laws. The Philadelphia police and district attorney’s office said they are looking into the incident.
Metro Weekly reports state lawmakers spoke out against Sims’ behavior on the House floor this week.
According to the report:
Sims’ behavior — as well as that of several other elected officials mired in their own controversies — drew an unofficial rebuke from both the Pennsylvania House Majority and Minority Leaders, who, without naming anyone, urged lawmakers to tone down their rhetoric and be more respectful of each other.
“There is no room for hate in any form in this chamber or in our own lives,” Majority Leader Bryan Cutler said in a speech on the House floor. “The people of Pennsylvania expect better from us, and we all promised to serve the people of our commonwealth to best of each of our abilities.”
Neither Cutler nor House Minority leader Frank Dermody indicated whether any further action would be taken against Sims or other members.
Sims released a statement late Tuesday where he did not apologize for his behavior. Instead, he chose to attack pro-life advocates even more by claiming they “slur” and “attack” Planned Parenthood patients – without providing any evidence to support his claims.
In the first video, Sims also appeared to be attempting to doxx another pro-life woman – he called her an “old white lady” – by asking his viewers for her name and address.
“Shame on you!” Sims said as the woman asked him to get his camera out of her face. “You have a problem protesting in public? Don’t protest in public!
“If you know who this woman is and you can give me her address, we’ll protest out in front of her home. Let’s go protest out of her house and tell her what’s right for her body,” he continued.
For most of the video, the woman silently bore Sims’ bullying. The exception was when he got his camera close to her face and she told him not to.
Sims also repeatedly exerted his power and privilege by mentioning that he is a state representative, including when the woman appeared to be calling police.
His bullying continued for more than eight minutes, the length of the video.
A rally against Sims is slated for 11 a.m. Friday outside of the Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia.
A LifeNews petition calling for Sims’ resignation has nearly 30,000 signatures. And a fundraiser started by the Garecht family earlier this week already raised more than $110,000 for a pro-life charity that supports mothers and babies in the city.
The Planned Parenthood abortion clinic where Sims harassed the women has failed 13 of its 23 safety inspections.