A Time to Act for the Family
A Time to Act for the Family
By E. Douglas Clark
Executive Director of International Relations, Family First Foundation
In its monumental Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the United Nations declared: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and its entitled to protection by society and the State.” Never has such protection been more urgently needed, for the family is under attack as never before. Many are the forces arrayed against it, but one of the most troubling is the campaign at nearly every level of society to enact policies (usually in the name of “rights”) which are actually detrimental to the natural family.
Ironically, this is happening even—and especially—in the United Nations. “Few Americans are aware,” says Patrick Fagan of the Family Research Council, “that agencies within the United Nations system are involved in a campaign to undermine the foundations of society,” including “the two-parent married family, religions that espouse the primary importance of marriage and traditional sexual morality, and the legal and social structures that protect these institutions.”
This surprising development is a turn in the road for the UN, as noted by Richard G. Wilkins, Managing Director of the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development:
"During the last two decades the United Nations System has taken on a new role: that of world policymaker…. Widely adopted conventions are making rapid inroads into areas of family law that were once the sole concern of nation states…. International law has become hostile to long-standing notions of marriage, the natural family and the rearing of children."
Wendy Wright, former President of Concerned Women for America, explained:
"Liberal radicals hope to use the United Nations to impose their ideology on others. Their goal is to insert language in United Nations documents to promote such things as abortion on demand, sexual rights for children, and the autonomy of children to rule their lives apart from parents’ guidance."
No wonder that Howard Center president Allan C. Carlson has observed that “The natural family stands reviled and threatened in the 21st century.” And no wonder that Catherine Vierling, head of the European Forum for Human Rights and Family, has declared, “We are at war.”
The ramifications of this conflict are staggering, for an assault on the family is a self-destructive assault on civilization itself, whose fundamental unit has always been the natural family. The nations of the world have long known this, as memorialized in their constitutions which call the family society’s fundamental unit or its natural element, natural basis, basic cell, fundamental nucleus, natural foundation, or cornerstone, or sometimes by longer epithets like the “natural and moral foundation of the human community.”
All of which shows that the stakes could not be higher in the war against the family, for impairing the foundation jeopardizes the structure it supports. As one Latin American president told several of us in his office, all the major problems in his country arise directly from a breakdown of the family. It is the same story everywhere: the disintegration of the family is unleashing an avalanche of crime, chaos, and economic and social disaster. The ancient teaching of Confucius seems ever more relevant: You cannot put the world in order without first putting the family in order.
But we must act immediately. “Throughout history,” noted Haile Selassie, “it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
We invite all people everywhere to join hands in defending the natural family. Each person can begin at home and strengthen her or his own family, while also reaching out to defend the family against proposed policies dangerously masquerading under the banner of “rights.” We must act to preserve the sanctity of marriage and of the unborn, the right of children to grow up with both a father and a mother, and the right of parents to guide their children in matters of morality. We especially urge policymakers, legislators, judges, educators, and other leaders to evaluate proposed laws, policies, and curriculum in light of their impact on the family, and to take all necessary steps to preserve and protect the fundamental unit of society.
Now is the time to act for the family.