The LAF-ter Ladies (that name is courtesy of my good friend and genius, Brian) titled this one, Summit declaration affirms natural family. From that, we can imagine that the UN Human Rights Council, or some sort of ecumenical religious gathering, or even a consortium of countries with ambassadors from all walks of life, came to a much argued and oft debated, ground-breaking conclusion. But that is not the case.
The summit was the fourth annual summit put on by a group called The World Congress of Families. On their official website, they state their purpose, which, on many of the items listed, I agree with, as I also disagree with some. But, whether or not I agree with the Purpose Statement, this organization is very disingenuous by using terminology like:
"We assemble in this World Congress, from many national, ethnic, cultural, social and religious communities, to affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society."
We all know that, even in the Christian community, there are many viewpoints regarding the natural human family. Heck, even the "established by the Creator" part is debated by some. I won't argue the "essential to good society" part because, in many ways, I see a strong family household as essential to building good societies. But, to pair that with "God's purpose" is a bit of a stretch. I don't think He cares much about what your family unit looks like as long as you love Him and others with your whole heart.
I grew up in a single mother household. I turned out like a ball of chicken wire with spikes sticking out in all the wrong places and yet am a successful unit of society. All my six siblings are, as well. Some, VERY successful, and I am not necessarily talking about financial means here. Success to me is that they are loved by those they know well and that their wife or husband and kids, should they have them, think the world of them, despite all their faults.
I also know many people who grew up in "natural family" households (which mean father and mother and a new kid spit out every 9.5 months) that turned out deadbeats. A scourge on society. Bitter. Victimized. And yes, in need of someone to come alongside of them and pull them out of the elitist dust they were raised in, give them a swift kick where the light don't shine, and show them their true worth. Success and the general value of society is measured in the sum of all the good works and deeds each individual does for one another, including themselves, and I would argue, God.
You can read the Declaration that the World Congress of Families put out after this summit to see where they are coming from. Though they may try and pretend they are objective and weighing the evidence, it is quite obvious that are heavily biased towards their viewpoint and would as much allow a differing view as allow a Buddhist to join.
Before I go into a quick overview of the document, I must qualify something here. I am not against the "natural family" (when I agree with that term, I am not including the spitting out of children, though that can be included with no ill will directed toward those who practice it for the right reasons, from me), summits of Christians, or even documents that will be laughed at in most halls of governments throughout the world. In fact, I celebrate them.
As you now know my definition of a successful society, I can list those "family units" that I celebrate:
- A mother, father, and children
- A single mother with children
- A single father with children
- Children raised by their grandparents
- Children raised by uncles and aunts or uncles and uncles or second cousins, or fifth cousins thrice removed
- Two old bachelors buying TV dinners and never sweeping the floor, farming the same plot for 80 years
- A nursing home (ok, maybe I don't support that)
- Any combination of homosexual family units
- Polygamous relationships
- A guy and his dog (as a pet)
- A woman and her cat (yes, guy/dog and woman/cat is clearly sexist, but I can't get away from that reality)
- etc., etc.
Now that you clearly know where I stand, I can move on.
The WCF makes their sweeping conclusions with no related evidence (only indirect, hardly proving the point) whatsoever included in their Declaration. It doesn't do any good to list all the people that attended the summit to try and convince the reader that they are right. After all, we had "leading businessmen" and "people from responsible areas of society" here. That makes me wonder what their definition of "responsible areas" is. Could it be those that irresponsibly disagree with them?
They then tear into governments, including the United Nations for exacerbating the problem (we haven't gotten to what they view as the real problem yet). Then, without skipping a beat, they claim to stand on the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948". They blame the "crisis" on national governments' meddling in what should be the family's freedom to decide, and then they turn around and demand (or edict) that all governments should legislate against the naughty ways of having a family and toward the only good way. If you really read the document, you will note that it is very hypocritical, two-faced, disingenuous, and mostly, pretentious.
Now, to the problem they see at hand - the fact that the world population is falling. While I disagree with this "fact" I do not see that as a crisis. The world population fell during a few plagues in centuries past. Millions of men were lost in the two world wars. Populations were decimated by corrupt rulers like Hitler, Stalin, and the emperors of China. Hundreds of civil wars. Religious wars. The Crusades. Famine. Natural Disasters. All of these led to population declines and the human race bounced back, arguably healthier than ever. Now, there are less wars, plagues are almost eradicated, famine is a historical footnote in most of the world, most people in religion are finding common ground with their alternatively religious neighbors, and we can recover more quickly form natural disasters than ever before. The world population is higher than it has ever been and it is still growing - fast!
One final note about their premise before I conclude. Those areas where the "natural family" is burned into the culture, where birth control is either taboo or unavailable (India, Indonesia, Africa, South America), as well as all the other scourges on the human race this organization lists, are the poorest, most hygienic and technologically backward, and uneducated areas of the world.
For Ladies Against Free-Thinking to state that this organization, with less than zero credibility, has "affirmed" what they have always known, that the "natural family" is the reason for all good societies, is pretty much a lie. Nothing was affirmed. The LAF-ter Ladies just got their back scratched from people who agreed with them. People who make conclusions based on scant evidence or logic pulled from questionable sources.
In short, they care nothing for the individual person in society - only that the more babies squirted out between a man and a woman, the better, We all need to strive to make the collective society bigger and stronger or our human race will fail. I say, "Who cares! At least I'll love my kids, love my wife, all my friends and enemies, and God, even if all the zombies are biting everyone else's necks around me." I just need to go limber up.