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Center for Global Justice Intern – Carter Budwell

Carter Budwell, 2L
National Legal Foundation, Virginia

It’s hard to believe that I only have three days left of my internship at the National Legal Foundation! Time really went by fast this summer, and I am looking forward to starting my 2L year here soon. But I will miss my time at the NLF for a number of reasons. 
The NLF was not my original choice for internships this summer – I was planning on working with the Department of the Public Prosecutor in Uganda. Unfortunately, those plans fell through. However, as I was praying about what to do this summer, the NLF came to mind, and through the blessings of God I have been able to work there.
As part of my work at the NLF, I was blessed to be able to help in researching and writing Amicus Briefs in several of the same-sex marriage cases that are raging in the federal Circuit Courts, including one that was filed in the Seventh Circuit last week. As one who believes that the family is one of the pillars of our nation, I was extremely blessed to be  a small part of its defense.
While I was blessed to be able to write these briefs, the research that I did could also be very discouraging, because part of my job was to research the support that the LGBTQ community has throughout America, and through this research it became more clear just how serious of a problem the same-sex marriage debate has become, and what an uphill battle those who defend traditional marriage face.
 The work can also be discouraging due to the knowledge that, throughout our country and indeed within the Christian community are those who see the defenders of traditional marriage as hateful, intolerant, and unloving. As a Christian, these are traits that I hope are never displayed in me.
 In spite of these discouragements, I must remind myself and others who experience such discouragements that those of us who are followers of Christ have been called to defend His Word in a world that is fallen. It brings to mind verses like Matthew 5:11 – “”Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Those of us who believe in the Biblical foundations of our freedom must be prepared to face all kinds of insults and persecutions for defending the Word, remembering well the words of our Savior, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” – John 15:18.
Through getting a fresh glimpse of how far our country has fallen, I am reminded that we who practice law must remember that our hope lies not in legal victories, but in the ultimate victory that was won by Jesus Christ on the cross. It is imperative that our professions be dedicated to building His Kingdom, through His power. This means covering our work with prayer, both for those we fight for and those we fight against, remembering that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. It means seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, asking Him to guide us into what area of law we will best serve the Kingdom. And finally, it means that, when we have done all we can, trusting that God will be God. His Kingdom will come, and pray that all of experience the joy of participating in it.