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International Conference seeks traditional definition of family

In response to the United Nations backed conferences in Cairo, Beijing, and Istanbul a world-wide coalition of Christian and sociological organizations is planning a World Congress of Families conference in Prague, the Czech Republic in March of 1997.

Initially unprepared for the strongly anti-Christian U.N. conference agenda, several prominent individuals and organizations representing the United States, other large countries, and several developing nations have announced what may be defined as a counter-conference. The goal, according to The Rockford Institute, a U.S.-based group loosely associated with Trinity University in Deerfield, Illinois, is to "restore the family" under a traditional definition of that word, "as the first social institution and as the center of civilization in all places." During U.N. funded "Women's" conferences the United States and other large industrial nations sought to redefine "family." Under proposed language "family" would include any person or institution, such as government, which influences and expresses concern for children. Such language, it was felt, was intended to allow for greater legal influence in the lives of minors. Among many of the consequential abuses, a child's own family could find themselves legally defined out of existence if the child's welfare might be assumed to be better advanced by others.

The redefinition was part of efforts to impose new definitions and standards dealing with women's "reproductive rights." Under introduced language, any country that did not actively pursue the development of birth-control and abortion availability for women could be denied loan and grant funds. This would happen as the issue of "reproductive rights" became instituted globally as a "fundamental right" issue. Countries not cooperating in advancing the so-called right could be found to be in violation of human rights, and therefore disqualified from loans and grants. The World Congress of Families conference is slated for four days in March, between the 19th and 22nd. Among those sponsoring and speaking will be sociologists, theologians, lawyers, political and traditional scientists, and more traditional family interest groups like The Family Research Council headed by Gary Bauer. Representatives of institutions such as Moscow University, Civic Institute of the Czech Republic, and the German Ministry of Economics, as well as many others will participate as well.

A small sampling of conference topics includes the following:
Rebuilding a Culture of Marriage.
How Should We Define and Defend Parental Rights?
Reclaiming the Large Family Ideal.
How Do We Halt State Abuse of the Family?
How Do We Build a Family-Centered Economy? and
Male and Female He Created Them: What Are the Scientific and Metaphysical Bases for Marriage?

The conference fee is approximately $95.00, and The Rockford Institute has a list of resources for making travel and accommodation arrangements. In addition to a tremendously packed schedule of conference speakers, there are some suggested tours and activities to occupy young children. Separate youth conference activities are also offered. The Institute welcomes registration from groups and individuals who are able to agree upon the fundamental definition of family put forth by the conference:

The family is a man and a woman bound in a lifelong covenant of marriage for the purposes of:
the continuation of the human species,
the rearing of children,
the regulation of sexuality,
the provision of mutual support and protection,
the creation of an altruistic domestic economy, and
the maintenance of bonds between the generations.
For further information on attending the conference, fax a request to Sarah Trimble at (815) 965-1825 or (815) 964-9403.

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© 1997 Advocates for Life Ministries