Every few years, right-wingers from all over the globe gather for the World Congress of Families in order to “affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society,” share strategy, and urge their governments to adopt policies that “protect and support the family, and not usurp the vital roles it plays in society.” Not surprisingly, high on their list of priorities is the protection of marriage and families against “pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality”:
The complementary natures of men and women are physically and psychologically self-evident. These differences are created and natural, not primarily socially constructed. Sexuality is ordered for the procreation of children and the expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union. Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit. They lead to obsession, remorse, alienation, and disease. Child molesters harm children and no valid legal, psychological or moral justification can be offered for the odious crime of pedophilia. Culture and society should encourage standards of sexual morality that support and enhance family life.
So where is the next World Congress of Families going to be held, you ask? Of all places, Amsterdam:
Last week, the Selection Committee for World Congress of Families V met in Washington, D.C. and unanimously recommended Amsterdam as the site for the next Congress. Their recommendation was accepted by the WCF Management Committee.
If the World Congress of Families sounds like some sort of international version of the sorts of “values voters” events put on in this country by right-wing political groups, that probably has something to do with the fact that many of those same groups are members of the WCF’s various steering committees, with groups like Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America all playing a role:
The 16-member Selection Committee was composed of: Ignacio Arsuaga (HazteOir.org, Spain), Chuck Donovan (Family Research Council), Don Feder (World Congress of Families), Farooq Hassan (Pakistan Family Forum), Jesus Hernandez (The Family Network, Mexico), Marie-Claire Hernandez (Family & Society, Mexico), Randy Hicks (Georgia Family Council), Robert Knight (Culture and Media Institute, Media Research Center), Ewa Kowalewska (Human Life International, Europe), Gwendolyn Landolt (REAL Women of Canada), Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family), Dorothy Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), Austin Ruse (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), Mary Ellen Smoot, Jennifer Swim (GFC Foundation) and Father Jaroslaw Szymczak (Institute of Family Studies, Poland). The meeting was chaired by Gwen Landolt (Real Women of Canada).
The Management Committee, which has ultimate oversight of the Congress, consists of Carlson, Janice Crouse (Senior Fellow, Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America), Paul Mero (President, Sutherland Institute), William Saunders (Senior Fellow & Human Rights Counsel, Family Research Council) and Christine Vollmer (President, Latin American Alliance for Families).
When the event was held last year in Poland, members of the European Parliamentary Working Group on Separation of Religion and Politics were not particularly jazzed that right-wing advocates were preparing to use the nation as a staging ground for saving Europe and the rest of the world from the “demographic winter and … the secularists.”
But the group soldiered on, despite the opposition. As Robert Knight of the Media Research Center put it:
This is a nation that has suffered enormously over many decades. First from Nazism and then communism. They’re a tough bunch of people who appear to have the strength to resist especially the homosexual agenda. If you’ve been victim of communists and Nazis, you’re not going to run in fright from the forces from San Francisco.