“[T]he cultural battle has gone international,” declared Allan Carlson, president of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. “The American religious right, instead of being isolationist, has in fact gone global.” Indeed, representatives from leading far-right groups – including American Family Association, Concerned Women For America, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation and the Discovery Institute (advocate of “Intelligent Design” creationism) – are taking a field trip to Poland this weekend for the Howard Center’s fourth World Congress of Families.
The conference is centered around a “manifesto” co-authored by Carlson outlining his model of “the natural family,” described by Salon.com as a combination of encouraging mothers to stay at home and have many children and fervent opposition to gays and abortion:
“It is not enough to stop public recognition of ‘gay marriage,’ nor to oppose ‘safe sex education’ in the public schools, nor to ban partial birth abortion, nor to create optional ‘covenant’ marriages,” it reads. “Victory for the natural family will come only as we change the terms of debate.”
Joining the jet-setting religious-right activists is Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey, and as we noted, members of the European parliament are not happy with this apparent “official U.S. government stamp of approval [on the] extremist and intolerant views” likely to come together in the conference as it battles “the secularists” (in the Howard Center’s words) and a conspiracy of world governments (as a papal representative warned at a previous Congress of Families) that are pushing the continent to a “demographic winter.” “If Europe succumbs to the modern, post-family, secular worldview completely, it’s like losing a great ally in a global contest,” warned Carlson.
The Right has also found a new hero in the conservative Polish government, which recently proposed firing teachers accused of promoting “homosexual culture” in schools. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute is circulating a petition in advance of the conference commending Poland’s fight against the “radical homosexual movement.” Poland’s president will be speaking at the World Congress of Families.