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 The Best & Worst Developments Affecting the Family 
 

  PDF Version

 

BEST of 2008

 

WORST of 2008

1. Vatican Panel Issues Instruction on Bioethics –

A Vatican document on bioethics, released last month, demands respect for the dignity of every human being, from conception to natural death. It rejects all methods of in vitro fertilization, which it says turns babies into “consumer commodities” and leads to the deliberate destruction of human embryos. It also opposes “designer babies,” in which healthy embryos are altered to enhance certain traits. As we move toward a Brave New World of genetic experimentation, the document is a welcome addition to the debate.

2. Pro-Life Woman Is Vice-Presidential Nominee –

For only the second time in U.S. history, a woman was the vice-presidential nominee of a major party. For the first time, that woman was staunchly pro-life and pro-family. The mother of five children, including one with Down Syndrome, Sarah Palin exemplifies family values. She drew larger and more enthusiastic crowds than the head of the ticket.

3. Lithuania Bill Would Protect Minors From Homosexual Agitation –

Lithuania’s legislators are expected to approve an amendment to their protection of minors statute that affirms “public information that agitates for homosexual relations” has “a detrimental effect on the development of minors” and “defies family values.” In the West, public schools indoctrinate students in the homosexual lifestyle. The Lithuanian move is a welcome change.

4. Honduran Family-Perspective Law –

A law introduced by Roberto Micheletti, President of the Honduran Congress, and expected to pass this year, requires that every government program and policy be evaluated for its impact on the family. The Law to Strengthen the Family also provides tax incentives for family formation, education policies which steer teens toward marriage, and family friendly public housing, including apartments with multiple bedrooms.

5. Proposition 8 Passes In California –

Despite massive opposition by the governor, legislature, courts and media, in November, voters in the largest state in the U.S. passed an amendment to the California constitution limiting marriage to “a man and a woman.” (See news story in this issue.)

6. Greater Awareness of Demographic Winter –

As well as the premiere of “Demographic Winter: the decline of the human family,” there is a growing awareness of the coming crisis produced by rapidly falling birth rates. In August, Eurostat, (the statistical office of the European Union) reported that by 2015, deaths will outnumber births in the EU. The largest business association in Japan is urging companies to give workers more time to spend with their families, to raise the nation’s well-below replacement birth rate. And the First European Catholic-Orthodox Forum produced a Statement which warned of the danger of “demographic trends,” brought about by neglect of the family. (See news story in this issue.)

7. UN Study Links Abstinence and Delayed Rates of AIDS/HIV in Africa –

Among other encouraging trends, the report notes that in Cameroon, children under 15 having sex declined from 35% to 14%. In Uganda, the HIV infection rate among pregnant women fell from 21% in 1991 to 6% in 2001. This runs counter to United Nations Population Fund propaganda, which urges condoms as the most effective way to combat STDs.

 

8. British Psychiatrists’ Group Says Abortion Can Cause Mental Problems –

The British Royal College of Psychiatrists wants professionals to warn women referred for an abortion that the procedure often leads to depression and substance abuse. An Australian study showed that women who have abortions are three times more likely to use hard drugs and twice as likely to engage in binge-drinking.

 

9. Family Advocate Becomes Senior Advisor To Canadian Prime Minister –

In July, Darrell Reid became director of policy for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Reid, who served as president of Focus On The Family, Canada (1998 to 2004), told World Congress of Families II (Geneva, 1999) “It is nothing less than a bald-faced lie to say it harms no one to bestow the privileges bestowed on legally married couples to other relationships.”

 

10. Anti-Human Trafficking Law Passed –

On December 10, the U.S. Congress passed The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Law, which requires the Secretary of State to establish an Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking. Each year, an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 women and children are trafficked across national borders, often for prostitution. (See news story in this issue.)

 

1. The Election of Barack Obama –

Along with Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton, expect a sea-change in U.S. policy regarding the family, both at home and internationally. The U.S. delegation to the United Nations, which has been resolutely prolife and pro-family under Bush, is expected to turn 180 degrees under Obama and Clinton (both dogmatically pro-abortion and anti- In place of our regular feature, “Family News From Around The Globe,” here is a special report on the Top Ten Best and Worst Developments Impacting on the Family in 2008. traditional marriage). Obama’s judicial appointments are expected to mirror his anti-family mentality.

2. Mexican Supreme Court Backs Mexico City Abortion Law –

Dismissing a suit brought by opponents, including the nation’s attorney general, the Mexican Supreme Court upheld a measure passed by the legislature of the Federal District legalizing abortion in Mexico City. In so doing, the court ignored a provision in the Mexican Constitution guaranteeing a right to life from fertilization.

3. Luxembourg and Washington State Legalize Assisted Suicide–

Luxembourg is poised to become the fourth country in Europe to legalize doctor-assisted suicide, over the protests of Grand Duke Henri. Voters in Washington State passed a referendum legalizing assisted suicide in the state. The march of death continues.

4. German Persecution of Home-Schooling Families —

Under a law passed by the Nazis, the German government continues to persecute parents who home-school their children. Children have been removed from parental homes and placed in foster care. (The state considers home-schooling a form of neglect.). Families have been forced to flee the country. There’s concern that Germany might be a trendsetter for other European states. In March, the California Second District Court of Appeal handed down a decision which would have effectively made home-schooling impossible in the state. The ruling was later overturned.

5. OAS Passes “Sexual-Orientation” Resolution --

At its June 3 session in Colombia, the Organization of American States passed a “Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” The resolution urges member states to take unspecified steps to end “violence and discrimination” based on sexual orientation and “gender identity” (men who think they’re women and vice versa). Does discrimination based on sexual orientation include opposition to “gay marriage” and lowering the age of consent? This is another effort to criminalize dissent from the homosexual agenda.

6. Brazilian President Calls Opposition to Homosexuality A “Perverse Disease” –

On September 17, Brazilian President Luiz Lula said ending the lives of unborn children should be a “public health issue” – in other words, abortion is a public good and health benefit to the nation. Speaking at Brazil’s First National Conference of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals this summer, Lula said that what he calls “homophobia” is “the most perverse disease impregnated in the human head” – apparently, worse than racism, anti-Semitism or an ingrained hatred of Christianity. That the leader of a nation as large as Brazil feels comfortable taking such extreme positions is an ominous sign of the times.

7. UNFPA Nigeria Meeting Pushes Abortion In the Guise of Women’s Health –

At a meeting in Sokoto, Nigeria (July 16-27) for 270 of the continent’s tribal and religious leaders, the United Nations Population Fund sought to enlist African leaders in its drive for universal abortion on demand. Under the deceptive slogan “No One Should Die Giving Life,” UNFPA equated pregnancy with a disease – in an effort to co-opt medical science for a political cause and foreclose a debate on the moral dimensions of abortion.

8. In France, Most Births Out-of-Wedlock –

Most births in France are now out-of-wedlock – 50.5%, up from 40% a decade ago. In Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Bulgaria, births to unmarried couples have also passed the 50% mark. At 44%, the United Kingdom isn’t far behind. Guy Desplanques, head of the French agency that compiles demographic data, comments, “Marriage is now seen more as a celebration held to bring together family and friends, and less a necessary institution, especially given the growth of civil unions.” There are now more civil unions than marriages registered in France each year. Where did young people get the idea that marriage is optional? – from the culture and the state.

9. Australian Prof Proposes “Baby Tax” –

As if government hasn’t made childrearing difficult enough, Barry Walters has proposed a one-time baby levy of $5,000 and an annual “carbon tax” of up to $800 for families with more than two children. Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Walters – a clinical professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia – explained that the taxes are based on projected lifetime energy use and are intended to counter global warming. (Many bad ideas originate in the minds of college professors.) Given the worldwide decline of birthrates – which could lead to severe population decline in this century – it’s hard to imagine a dumber proposal. Save the polar bears – to heck with the people.

10. Queen’s Representative In Canada Celebrates Androgyny –

Canada’s Governor General Michaelle Jean has hung a 20-ft. mural in Rideau Hall (where Canada’s prime minister and cabinet members are sworn in) celebrating androgyny -- the condition of having both male and female organs or characteristics. The mural supposedly represents the Okanagan tribe. According to the Governor General’s website, “In many native tribes, the order of life learning is that you are born without sex as a child; through learning, you move toward full capacity as either a male or female.” The Canadian gay lobbying group Eagle has pledged to fight “the discriminatory practice of labeling children male or female at birth.” Jean isn’t just another gender deconstructionist, but a gender deconstructionist who is the British monarch’s representative in Canada, as well as head of state and commander of the armed forces.

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