The first part of the conference dealt with Moral Relativism and Genderism.
The first speaker was Frank Simon, a forestry engineer who worked for several years as a Christian foreign aid assistant in South America. He lives with his family in the south of Germany and does voluntary work with the management team of a Protestant Free Church. In his presentation: The Sex Education Plan and Gender Madness, he spoke about attempts by gender activists to make sexual diversity a topic in the school curriculum, and highlighted the ideological background behind efforts to change the idea that mankind consists of two sexes.
He stressed that in contrast, especially in the first years, healthy family relationships are of vital importance to children. Not the education received in school, but the bonds experienced in the home, are crucial for a healthy emotional and intellectual development. Divorce is a traumatic experience for children and damages their self-confidence.
Under the topic From Familism to Myrdalism the social scientist Dr. Stefan Fuchs, referring to the results of many statistically supported investigations, explained the social and political contrasts between ‘familyists’ and ‘myrdalists’ (named after Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, who masterminded the Swedish welfare state). Signs of ‘defamilisation’ are a loss of an ability to ‘bond’ in so-called post- modern lifestyles and ‘singularisation!, a massive drop in the birth rate in industrialized countries (which has in the meanwhile also reached the new industrial nations in Asia), as well as giving preference to state over family responsibility in education. The way out of the destabilizing ‘de-familisation’ that has only one family member in its field of vision, is to a ‘re-familisation’ which encourages the whole family system.
The UPF chairman Karl-Christian Hausmann spoke about The Ideological Vacuum and the Foundation for a Culture of Peace. After WW II, a great desire for lasting peace prevailed in the Western world with a longing to avoid such a catastrophe in the future. The preamble to the constitutions of several of the German states includes a reference to God. Thus the constitution of Bavaria begins with the words: ‘in view of the ruins which were the result of a world without God and without conscience..’ and the German constitution with: ‘in awareness of its responsibility before God and mankind…’
The movements to unite Europe had a goal of reconciliation and the thinking of the United Nations was influenced by a desire to return to God. Seventy years later, however, the Christian view of man is ‘evaporating’. But neither God nor the goal of history has changed; it lies in the fulfilment of the three great blessings (Genesis 1:28): incorruptible people, love in the family and preservation of the creation. Therefore, the foundations for a culture of peace are: God as loving parents and the origin of value and dignity, the family as the first school of love, a responsibility to serve and overcome barriers as well an awareness of man’s eternal existence.
Jack Corley leader of the European Unification Movement and former Vice- President of the International Educational Foundation gave a lecture on Three Life Goals and Education in Values. He reported about IEF’s character building program which he worked with in the 1990’s in Russian schools after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and later also in China. It is derived from the three basic life goals stated in Genesis 1:28 which offer a standard for norms and values. In his personal development, man needs a spiritual standard to guide his physical instincts. The development of social abilities takes place on the foundation of heart which is developed in the family. In school, along with the transfer of specific knowledge, the meaning of love, sexuality and marriage should also be taught. A balanced education can be represented as a pyramid of education of heart, norms and expertise.
Nina Nováková, Member of Parliament of the Czech Republic, spoke on The Situation of the Family in Current Politics. Her concern is the transmission of European culture in the field of education. The basic elements of European culture come from pre-Christian Greek philosophy as well as Christianity with the 10 commandments and the commandment to love one’s neighbor. Today, as once in the late Roman Empire, there are increasing signs of decay: a marked tendency to selfishness (growing individuality), the relativisation of human dignity, overemphasis on sensual pleasure, cowardice and a lack of willingness to make sacrifices. Areas where education takes place are the family, schools and the media. The family as the smallest unit of society secures the ongoing propagation of tradition and values. It is in the family that firm and unconditional relationships are found. It is more than an association or sports club. An assessment program should take into account the effects that laws have on the family as a fundamental social ecosystem.
Anna Zaborská, member of the European parliament for Slovakia, dealt with The Family in the European Parliament. She lays emphasis on women’s rights and family-friendly politics. In this connection, she demands a ‘family- mainstreaming’ as opposed to ‘gender-mainstreaming’, since the decline in marriage in Europe leads to poverty for many women and children. Children who grow up in one- parent families have a seven-fold risk of poverty compared to those who grow up in a traditional family. Motherhood has become a mere medical diagnosis, children are not any more seen as important investments and parents are just perceived as tax payers and contributors to the work force. Because the role of women as mothers has been neglected, pensions and health care for women as they age are no longer adequate. Mrs. Zaborská gave very competent answers to questions about her work, the influence of lobbies, fear of discrimination and voting behavior. She also explained how lobby groups manage to get their ‘reports’ voted for (example: the Lunacek and Estella reports). She referred to the responsibility that every citizen has to vote.