09 Nov Hanging with the Haters: Four Days at the World Congress of Families IX
Haters are gonna hate, and there I was, unbeknownst to me, smack dab in the middle of “them.”
When I took the single seat a few rows back from the rope and just to the right of the camera/sound booth, I had no idea who I was sitting with. The day’s opening session was about to begin, the theme: “The Natural Family.” I was looking forward to hearing the latest legal issues, research, social science and commentary on an incredibly important topic.
In between announcements and presentations, I started visiting with the man sitting next to me. He was friendly, soft-spoken and kind. Throughout the session we shared thoughts about the presentations and talked about our lives. We exchanged business cards. At one point, he asked if I was part of “the group.” Not knowing what he meant, he told me the name of the group he was with, explained a little bit about them, and pointed out that pretty much everyone sitting around me were part of this little group. I still didn’t think much of it.
But when one speaker, the most bold I heard the entire conference, went on with his presentation about traditional marriage and why kids need a mom and a dad, those around me became increasingly agitated. They weren’t clapping at all. Instead, they were furiously taking notes, texting, tweeting, blogging and chatting non-stop. It started to become very clear who “the group” was and they definitely seemed angry—really angry. I think it’s fair to say they hated what they were hearing from that stage.
Later that night I read some of the articles and posts they had written about their day at the World Congress of Families; their time “deep in the belly … of the anti-gay conference.” By those accounts, had I not sat there, right in the midst of them, I would not have believed we were at the same conference. Not from the speakers or in any hallway conversation did I even once hear an expression of hate for people of the LGBT community. But I kept reading about the haters. One angry, bitter, insulting, demeaning, slanted, sexist, bigoted article, post, and tweet, after another.
So I concede – the conference had plenty of haters.
And since I was there for all four days, not just the one day that was themed “The Natural Family” (like most from “the group” who had only bought a single day ticket, for that particular day – wow, what a coincidence), I can speak from a broader perspective and experience. Because I was there and heard for myself hours upon hours and days upon days of presentations, I can speak to their claims of “hate”. So yes, 3,000+ World Congress of Families pro-life, pro-family attendees hate that there are:
- 58 million babies killed through abortion since 1973 (in the U.S. alone)
- 24 million children growing up without a father in the home (fathers in the home are one of the best deterrents to violent behavior)
- 2 million children held in captivity, victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation fueled by the porn industry
- 78 million Chinese men who will never be able to marry because of anti-growth “One Child Policy” (these men referred to as “Broken Branches”)
- 47% of U.S. high school students report to have had sexual intercourse
- An estimated 420 million porn web pages are online
- American teens consume 7.5 hours/day of media
- One in five teens do not graduate with their peers
- 1.3 million homeless youth in the U.S.
- 1.2 million “Street Children” in Brazil, most addicted to cocaine
- The average homosexual relationship lasts 18 months, by comparison more than 2/3 of heterosexual marriages in the US last longer than ten years.
- 43% of male homosexuals have over 500 sexual partners, 28% have 1,000 or more
- 16 million children in the U.S. living in families below the poverty level, more than 56% of these children are being raised by single mothers.
- Afternoon hours are the peak time for juvenile crime, with an increase of 48% over the last decade
- Women are four times more likely to be victims of domestic violence in a lesbian household, (married women in traditional families experience the lowest rate of violence compared with women in other types of relationships)
- Comprehensive sex ed curriculum being introduced that teaches that children are sexual beings from birth.
I don’t see a lot there to fall in love with. Haters are gonna hate.
So I guess I’m going to hang with the hated. And I’m okay with it.
Used with permission: Family Storytelling