Family in the Spotlight
Scripps-Howard News Service 8.07.02
"I grew up the member of a large family, in a small house that stood in the middle of a field. At one end of the field stood the house of my grandmother; at the other, the home of my great-grandfather. Little did I know then that, as I turn 50, I would commit my life to a fight for the very survival of the family."
These were the words of Richard Wilkins, managing director of the World Family Policy Center, as he closed its fourth annual meeting in Provo, Utah. Brigham Young University's Law School has been the moving force, organizer and host of the multinational effort.
This time, 107-degree temperatures surrounded the three days during which delegates from every continent listened to a variety of presentations and participated in lengthy debates. The ambassador from Kenya sat next to the lady from Sweden's parliament, and the chief advisor to Pakistan's supreme court neighbored the director of Argentina's Family Council.
Yes, it looked like a mini-United Nations, where most of the conference delegates actually work. Truly ironic if one considers that the institution that has placed the family in its cross hairs is - the United Nations.
For that is how the delegates see it.
There seemed to be broad agreement on some fundamental issues. Among these was the recognition that the family, as the unit from which larger entities grow, is the most commonly shared grouping of humans - equally natural in tribal life as in the most advanced and sophisticated societies. Among these was the assertion that a family consists of a man and a woman, embarking on a shared existence for the purpose of bringing forth and bringing up children. Among these was the understanding that exceptions to the previous structure do not change the rule.
What is fascinating is the incontrovertible fact that, when the United Nations came into being, few if any would have argued with the foregoing. What is even more fascinating is that we now live among people who are totally convinced that the 100,000 years directly preceding their emergence from puberty were one huge mistake, and that they now have all the answers.
And they are loud - brother, are they loud!
They are loudest at the U.N. where sanity broke down in proportion to the astronomic rise in member states. Being recognized as a country used to carry certain common requirements, such as actually being a country. Not any more. A dozen-or-so people can get together, devise a uniform for the Olympic parade, assemble 2-3 colors of fabric, and they are ready to apply for a loan to the World Bank and the IMF.
Worse yet, they have the same vote at the U.N. as the United States of America.
It has thus become easy as pie to build a majority for just about any ludicrous idea, propelling the U.N. into the never-intended position of a self-appointed legislature for the world. Funny?
No, not really.
The loud people can - and do - slip all sorts of language into all sorts of U.N. resolutions, then turn around at the next "international" conference and refer to it as "law."
But why would anyone assault the family if, as the U.N. Charter itself recognized, "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State"?
Because, delegates agreed, the family has come to stand in the way of ambitious women whose "respect for Nature" might defend a tree to the death, but who reject the idea of Nature's role for them in the bearing and rearing of children.
Because, delegates agreed, homosexual activists are determined to do away with the notion that union between a man and a woman is in any way more natural than that of two men or two women. Such an agenda cannot coexist with the bearing of children as a function, much less purpose, of the family.
Because, delegates agreed, champions of very early daycare view the family as the obstacle to placing children under the control of the state.
That last point, I believe, may be crucial. The loud people need to make sure that, eventually, no one is left to remember how history actually unfolded. They realize - as did Hungary's Nazi and Communist occupiers during their years of rewriting history - that the family is the one place where truth and tradition ultimately triumph.
And, if you want to observe the benefits, take a trip around the state of Utah.