09 Mar Who Has Your Back
Some people have your back
When it comes to protecting the integrity of the family and traditional values, one entity at the United Nations stands out, and that is the Holy See. “Holy See” comes from the Latin Sancta Sedes, which means “Holy Chair” and refers to the seat of government of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has a unique standing in international relations in that it is a sovereign juridical entity under international law, and as such, has held the status of a “permanent observer state” at the United Nations since 1964.
The Holy See maintains a permanent mission at the UN and may participate in all meetings open to member states. Because the Holy See is not a member-state of the UN, it is not allowed to co-sponsor draft decisions or resolutions. However, it does work to influence family-friendly policy and speak out against UN recommendations and practices that harm the family. At the UN, when it comes to the family, the Holy See has your back.
A cultural war
At the recent Commission on Social Development, the Holy See Mission co-sponsored an event at which Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, First Counselor of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, made some remarks on behalf of Archbishop Auza criticizing some UN agendas which are “manipulated in order to push radical social policy with regard to human sexuality, abortion, family structure and even basic anthropology in exchange for providing development assistance.” Pope Francis has called this practice “ideological colonization”.
Traditional family values, which include such things as marriage between a man and a woman, abstinence before marriage, and protection for the unborn are under assault by powerful, wealthy western countries. Pope Francis has spoken out against what he terns a “global war” against traditional marriage and the family, which are under attack from gender theory and divorce.
UFI is grateful for the Holy See’s long-standing, fearless defense of the family at the UN and the many Catholic-based pro-family NGOs that we join with in protecting and promoting the well being of the family on the international level.
Others harm you behind your back
How can a poor country defend itself when it doesn’t even realize it is being manipulated? When international agencies and western countries demand compliance on explicit Comprehensive Sexuality Education, abortion and gender identity policy in return for humanitarian aid, they are rarely up-front about it. Now opponents of the family have taken it a step further and use pretense and deception to advance their agenda.
During last year’s Commission on the Status of Women, United Families International learned of a new practice being used and promoted that circumvents parental authority and sabotages cultural self-determination. On March 20, 2017 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) co-hosted a side event with the Permanent Mission of Denmark entitled “Addressing Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Emergency Response.” Panelists Jane Kiragu, Senior Advisor to the Kenyan First Lady; Arthur Erken, Director of the Division of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at UNFPA; Edwidge Mutale, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Republic of Zambia; and Kesaya Baba of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights led a discussion about providing and protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women living in emergency situations such as war, natural disaster and resettlement.
The SRHR services discussion consisted of clinical and psychosocial care for rape survivors, but also included access to condoms, contraception, and abortion, with efforts especially geared towards adolescents. Things got interesting, however, when Patrick Rose, a representative from UNICEF Africa who was attending the event, asked what efforts UNFPA undertakes to communicate these various and sensitive issues in these contexts, what channels agencies use to reach youth and give them access to services, and what attempts are made to change resistant community leaders and elders. In other words, how do you facilitate youth accessing contraceptives and abortion when parents, elders and leaders have cultural values that include sexual abstinence and respect for life?
While Mr. Erken joked about never letting “a crisis go to waste,” Ms. Baba elaborated on ways agencies can disguise their services through the practice of “stacking.” Ms. Baba explained that “where traditional culture and some of these things may be unacceptable to discuss” agencies can “stack services together, so having contraception and sexual and reproductive rights and services available with other things so you’re not walking into necessarily a UNFPA branded tent to get access to the pill or something like this. You’re walking into maybe a UNICEF tent to get whatever services are there so that the community is not, um, that stigma is not so much a barrier for young people.” Ms. Baba was acknowledging the fact that in traditional communities, UNFPA is often viewed with distrust and skepticism, but UNICEF is not, so activists could use UNICEF as a front for dispensing the morning-after pill and other population-control devices. When asked further about this practice, Ms. Baba shared that some women’s advocacy groups working in foreign countries will hide objectionable medications in humanitarian kits and SRHR services inside of youth recreation centers.
These practices are not limited to developing countries, however. At a separate event held that same day and sponsored by International Partnership for Microbicides, panelists discussed ways to desensitize communities regarding explicit Comprehensive Sex Ed and the promotion of teen contraceptive use that included ideas for stacking, such as slipping objectionable topics into innocuous classes and classroom activities like resumé building in a Life Skills class, or even just changing the name of a class or subject where abortion is encouraged so girls can achieve career objectives to something harmless-sounding like “aspirational goals.”
Protecting our children
How do we combat such unethical behavior? All the content filters on televisions and computers in the world can’t protect our children from powerful interests determined to expose them to harmful practices and ideologies through willful deceit. The only way to safeguard your children is to inoculate them. Do not fear-monger, but do prepare children for the anti-family doctrine they will surely encounter despite our best efforts.
UN experts have identified your children as “soft entry points” for indoctrination, but you can build a strong resistance to these diseased tactics by teaching your children the truth before others work to lead them astray. Given the fact that not a single powerfully-placed panelist called the practice of stacking into question, we can expect that this is the new normal. Fortunately for us, loving and concerned parents still have more influence with their children than agencies and activists.
You can do this. Your family depends on it.