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 Newsletter: August 2007  Vol. 1  No. 1   
 

  PDF VERSION

 

World Congress of Families IV – Follow-Up on Warsaw 2007

It’s now almost three months since World Congress of Families IV (Warsaw, May 11-13), our most successful Congress to date.

Here’s an overview of World Congress of Families IV, by the numbers:

• Participants – 3,900

• Registered – 3,300

• Countries Represented – 64

Plenary Session Speakers and Panelists – 150 (Click here for a complete list)

• International Journalists Covering The Congress – 140

• Exhibitors – 50

Co-sponsors – 45 (Click here for a list of co-sponsors)

• Languages – simultaneous translations in Polish, English, Russian, Spanish, French and German

It’s difficult to capture the electricity of the Warsaw Congress in a few paragraphs. But we believe these comments from participants will give you some idea of what our fourth Congress meant to the international pro-family movement.

“Before the recent World Congress of Families fades any further in memory, I want to take a moment to tell you that I thought you did an outstanding job in organizing the event in Warsaw.”   ~Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President, Focus On The Family

“I feel so blessed thinking about the Congress in Warsaw. Thank you for giving me the possibility to be there.”
~
Inese Slesere, Member of the Latvian Parliament

“I must say that attendance at this Warsaw Congress, a truly momentous mega-event, is something I shall always cherish.” 
~
Dr. Farooq Hassan, Barrister and Professor of Law, Pakistan

“Congratulations over and over on what you pulled off in Warsaw. It was high-wire walking and balancing, but it came off well.”
~  Dr. Patrick Fagan, The Heritage Foundation

“The number of people who attended was exceptional and the enthusiasm for the effort to strengthen and defend families was contagious.”  ~Lynn D. Wardle, Professor of Law, Brigham Young University

“Thank you, World Congress of Families, for asking me to speak and proclaim a message that is being heard and changing families literally all around the world.”  ~Don Schmierer, president of His Servants

For an electronic version of our special 13-page Warsaw Report,  Click here

To read The Warsaw Declaration, adopted by World Congress of Families IV, Click here.

 

 Pro-Family News From Around the World

Mexico – After legalizing abortion, leftists who control the legislature of the Federal District of Mexico City are now moving to allow so-called passive euthanasia. If adopted, terminal patients could refuse medical care. Family members would be allowed to decide for those who can’t communicate. Two years ago, a brain-damaged Florida woman named Terri Schiavo was starved to death because a judge accepted her husband’s claim that she would have wanted to die rather than live with her disability. Her parents hotly disputed this. If the legislation passes, how many Mexicans will suffer a similar fate? How long before passive euthanasia becomes active euthanasia, as it has in the Netherlands, where patients are being killed to conserve medical resources?

 

United States – In a recently decided case, the U.S. 9th Circuit Appeals Court agreed with the City of Oakland, Calif. that the term “natural family” was “homophobic,” “disruptive,” and intended to “create a hostile environment.” Thus, the court ruled, the City could deny municipal employees access to its electronic bulletin board to discuss pro-family views, while allowing others to use the system to promote gay-pride events. Presumably, the 9th Circuit Court believes Article 16 (3) of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights engages in hate speech by defining the family as society’s “natural and fundamental group unit.”

Click here to read the WCF press release of June 29 on the Oakland decision.

 

Ireland – Dublin’s largest pro-life rally in 15 years was held on July 7. Organized by Youth Defence, the Pro-Life Campaign and the Mother and Child Campaign, the rally brought thousands to the Irish parliament. Demonstrators sought to keep the current government true to its campaign promise not to legislate for abortion or embryonic stem-cell research. Ireland’s 1983 constitution bans abortion, but a 1992 high-court decision calls the prohibition into question. (The pro-life provision is also under attack by the European Union and the European Court for Human Rights.) The week before the pro-life rally, only 80 people showed up at a pro-abortion demonstration. The anti-family agenda is driven by elites, not the masses.

To read our press release of July 14, commending organizers of Dublin’s pro-life rally, Click here

 

United Kingdom – The Optimum Population Trust wants Brits to limit family size to save the planet. If parents refuse to do so voluntarily, the group demands government coercion. In China, coercive population control has led to forced abortion and sterilization, and infanticide. The Trust is responding to the recent blip in childbearing in the U.K., from 1.8 children per woman in 2005 to 1.87 in 2006. (Demographers believe the trend, due to career women having children later in life, is temporary.) The current birthrate is still below the 1964 high of 2.93 children per woman, and well below replacement level (2.11).  The Optimum Population Trust claims the lifetime energy consumption of a child born in Britain today is the equivalent of 620 round-trip, trans-Atlantic flights. However, besides an “energy footprint,” a child born in Britain today could develop a new energy source or make a significant contribution to cleaning up environment. The Trust’s position is a prescription for national suicide. Even with the current birthrate, absent massive immigration, Britain’s population will decline with each succeeding generation.

Click here to read the WCF press release of July 18.

Send us news of pro-family developments in your country and around the world.
We’re particularly interested in the activities of pro-life and pro-family groups outside the U.S.  

Click here to reach the editor of the World Congress of Families Newsletter.

 

“The Natural Family: A Manifesto” by Allan Carlson and Paul Mero

A Featured Book Club Selection

The new book by WCF International Secretary and Howard Center on Family, Religion & Society President Allan C. Carlson and Paul T. Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute (a WCF IV co-sponsor), continues to receive critical acclaim. The Natural Family: A Manifesto was the Editor’s Choice in the July bulletin of American Compass, a conservative book club associated with the Book-of-The-Month Club.

Editor Brad Miner notes: “Allan Carlson and Paul Mero frankly admit that those who should have defended marriage were AWOL when the full-scale assault on the family began in the Sixties. More seriously, many of them joined the assault by adopting the very assumptions – philosophical, social and economic – which have almost extinguished the family’s traditional legal and social privileges.”

Miner concludes: “The authors explain why the family is in crisis, the ways in which the natural family is the source of culture and freedom, and what we can do to preserve the most fundamental and wholesome relationship on earth. Assured that human nature is on their side, Carlson and Mero can be both realistic about the family’s plight and relentlessly optimistic about its future.”

To order The Natural Family: A Manifesto Click here.


 

Spotlight On Phillip Longman’s WCF IV Speech

In this and future issues of the World Congress of Families Newsletter, we’ll highlight a speech from the Warsaw Congress.

A Senior Fellow at the New American Foundation, Philip Longman, Ph.D. is the author of “The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity.” Here are a few excerpts from his remarks, “Falling Human Fertility And The Future Of The Family.”

“The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st century.”

“Today in Europe, there are 36% fewer children under age 5 than there were in 1960. … For the world as a whole, the absolute number of children aged 0-4 is actually 6 million lower today than it was in 1990.”

“By 2050, according to one United Nations projection, there will be 248 million fewer children under 5 in the world than there are today, and that’s after assuming birthrates rise in the developed world.”

“A variety of other modern attitudes also go hand-in-hand with low fertility. In Brazil, for example, birthrates have dropped, province by province, coincident with the introduction of television. Today, the number of hours that a Brazilian woman spends watching television strongly predicts how many children she will have.”

“What’s on Brazilian television? Mostly domestically produced soap operas, called telenovelas. These soaps rarely address reproductive issues directly. Instead, they typically depict wealthy individuals living the high life in big cities. The men are dashing, lustful, power-hungry and unattached. The women are lithesome, manipulative, independent and in control of their own bodies. The few who have young children delegate their care to nannies. The telenovelas thus reinforce a cultural message that is conveyed as well by many North American and European cultural exports: that people with wealth and sophistication are the people who have at most one or two children.”

Click here for the full text of Longman’s speech.


 

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