April 3, 2012
From the Desk of Carol Soelberg:
A number of years ago, I flew to Kosovo with a small group of pro-family leaders who wanted to influence the constitution of that new land with laws that would protect their long standing tradition of family values and solidarity. As we met with the leaders of that fragile country, I was appalled and saddened by their seaming lack of understanding of the devastation that could occur by not carefully protecting the sovereignty the had just fought so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve.
The loss of our rights and freedoms--our sovereignty, can happen so subtly and slowing if we don't carefully understand and guard it. Tom Christensen helps to clarify in this article why United Families International fights relentlessly for the sovereignty of nations around the world. The strength of families depends on our winning this important battle.
Protecting National Sovereignty and Your Freedom
By Tom Christensen
As stated in its mission statement, United Families International ("UFI") is organized to educate the public and policymakers on the "five respects," namely respect for:
1) existing law, political structure, religion and cultural norms that preserve the family;
2) marriage between a man and a woman founded on chastity before marriage and fidelity in marriage;
3) the sanctity of human life including unborn children;
4) the right and obligation of parents to love, protect, provide for, and teach their children;
5) the sovereignty of each individual nation working in a world community.
Most appreciate UFI's focus on family, marriage, life, and parenting, but may not understand its stand on national sovereignty. National sovereignty, of course, refers to the right of a nation to run its own internal affairs. The concept of a powerful UN overseer that has authority to preempt national law has a certain appeal to groups who have been unsuccessful in pursuing legislative agendas at home or to citizens struggling under corrupt or inefficient national regimes, but not to UFI. The UN alternative to the nationalist model is typically a Marxist, utopian, centralized, anti-family regime.
The family is best protected under a stable federal system of representative government. Families prosper under limited, decentralized, constitutional government founded upon human agency and fixed natural rights and laws. Under the US Constitution, the government may enter into treaties with other nations but may not delegate legislative, executive or judicial sovereign powers to a foreign body.
What about the UN?
Despite the attacks on national sovereignty taking place at the UN (not to mention rampant waste and corruption), UFI does not ask countries to withdraw from the UN or defund it. Rather, UFI seeks to work within the system and encourage the UN to reform and do what it does best: provide a forum for member states to communicate in times of crisis, work cooperatively on common concerns, and coordinate peacekeeping and humanitarian relief services. As long as the UN convenes conferences, adopts standards, influences domestic policy, and invites NGO participation; UFI, as an accredited NGO, will be a positive influence in support of national sovereignty and the traditional family.
The problem for global industrialists (Ted Turner, Bill Gates, and the like) who subscribe to the more radical, expanded vision of the UN is that their vision lacks popular support. A government cannot function and will not endure without the loyalty and affection of its constituents. Few ideas are more repugnant to citizens living in a stable, free nation than that of ceding authority to an appointed foreign bureaucracy with power to tax them, redistribute their wealth, adopt or preempt domestic law, expand or modify constitutionally protected individual rights, deploy their military, sit in judgment on official or private actions, etc.
The bottom line is that ordinary people long to live in a state or nation they call home. They take pride in their heritage, history, laws, and traditions. They trust decentralized government, where they know and elect local officials who manage local issues, state officials who deal with state issues and national officials who handle uniquely national issues. They don't like it when the national government wastes their money or messes in their private or local affairs, and are even more annoyed when the UN undertakes to do the same. They are willing to sacrifice or even die for their homeland, but not for the UN and rarely for other nations.
No Place like Home
The Man Without a Country, a short story by Edward Everett Hale, first published during the Civil War in 1863 is the fictional account of army lieutenant Philip Nolan, who, in a moment of passion, renounces his country during a trial for treason and is consequently sentenced to spend the rest of his days at sea without so much as a word of news about his country.
Physically deprived of a homeland, Nolan slowly and painfully learns the true worth of his country. He misses it more than his friends or family, more than art or music or love or nature. Without it, he is nothing. Towards the end of his life, Nolan finally learns from an officer who shows compassion on him what has happened to his country since his sentence. Savoring every word, he finally dies content in the knowledge and love he has acquired for his beloved country.
The following excerpt by Sir Walter Scott, quoted in The Man Without a Country, expresses the wretched state of those who live as subjects of some vague global government, without a country:
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
As we protect the sovereignty of each country, we create the best possible environment for values and traditions to thrive that will in turn encourage and protect the family. Join with us as United Families International continues to work in the world community to protect the common good of individual families and the right of nations to determine their own destiny.
Tom Christensen, former CEO of United Families, is a successful father, attorney, and politician. He has written extensively on the natural family and has addressed UN delegations in behalf of UFI in Istanbul, New York, Nairobi, the Hague, Lisbon and Geneva.