16 Dec Media and Governments Seek to Curtail Religious Liberty
December 16, 2008
Media and Governments Seek to Curtail Religious Liberty
Bev Rice.jpgDear ~Contact.FirstName~,
Please read our revised and corrected version of the December 16th alert. Due to a computer glitch we are resending you this alert.
Merry Christmas!! Happy Hanukkah! Isn’t it wonderful to be able to say that to each other? As much as we enjoy hearing and saying those phrases, we must realize that right now, during this holiday season, there are those who are working to take it away. In this season of religious holidays, it is important for us to stop and consider what must be done to preserve our religious freedom. We must be more cognizant of the forces that seek to strip us of our religious liberty.
Voices in the media and governments are trying desperately to convince us that giving up this freedom will, in fact, make us happier. Many have tried to suggest that we are living in the past, relying on old books that have no meaning in today’s world. Governments and world bodies are also trying to convince us to shed our religious beliefs.
Recently, we have seen what happens when people of Hanukkah-Image.jpgfaith choose to exercise their religious liberty. With the passage of Proposition 8, a flood of protests have shown that what the opposition really wants is to limit religious freedom to include only those ideas they see as relevant to today’s world.
The December 5, Newsweek article, “Our Mutual Joy” by religion editor, Lisa Miller, seeks to convince readers that “The Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history. In that light, Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married – and a number of excellent reasons why they should.”
The author also tells us that “No matter what one thinks about gay rights – for, against or somewhere in between – this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism.”
She continues by saying, “Biblical literalists will disagree, but the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history.”
It is this type of rhetoric that allows us a window into what others really think of those who believe in God. They believe that we embrace the “worst kind of fundamentalism”. They think that the Holy Scriptures which are the basis of religious beliefs for millions around the world “give us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be married”.
Last week United Families International was in New York for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We were there to call upon the General Assembly of the United Nations to reinforce the original intent of the document.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
christmastree.jpgThis week, France is collecting more signatures for its own declaration that calls for recognition of “sexual orientation or gender identity” as a protected human rights category on par with race and sex.
If the United Nations begins using sexual orientation or gender identity as protected categories we will see our religious liberties severely curtailed. Once those categories become protected human rights, governments and courts around the world will begin enacting laws to protect those human rights. Those laws will have severe consequences for people of faith and their religious freedom.
This is a season of gratitude. It is a season when we give pause in our busy lives to stop, remember, and worship according to our religious beliefs. This year, it is also a season to remember that freedom is not won by standing still. Freedom – religious freedom – is won and will be maintained by recognizing the enemy and choosing to engage in the battle.
United Families International has been engaged in the battle for 30 years. We urge you to join us today. Make a contribution so that we can continue fighting for what we all believe in. Help us keep this season a season where we can wish each other “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy Hanukkah!”
United Families International
OVER 400,000 PETITION SIGNATURES TURNED IN AT UDHR 60 ANNIVERSARY
Over 400,000 signatures and more to come! Last Wednesday, December 10, 2008 marked the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR). It also marked the day UFI united with an international pro-life and pro-family coalition that presented the Right to Life and Recognition of the Family Petition signed by over 400,000 citizens of over 168 member states requesting that the General Assembly of the UN honor its commitment to the original intent of the UDHR.
Those that attended and spoke at the press conference included Beverly Rice, president of United Families International, Laura Knaperek, International Policy Director of United Families International, Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM, Martha de Casco, member of the Honduran Congress, Pawel Wosicki, president of the Polish Federation of Pro-life Movements, Leszek Bosek, president of Academia Iuris Foundation in Poland, Noelia Garcia Ayuyela, communications director for the Institute for Family Policy in Madrid, and Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.
The overwhelming support of the petition by pro-life, pro-family supporters prompted a call to continue gathering signatures throughout the next year until we have reached the 1 million mark. This was announced at the press conference held in the official United Nations press room in New York. Press conference photo2.jpgAt the press conference held by the coalition and broadcast by the United Nations television station, we addressed six topics highlighted in four of the UDHR articles. Also stated was the importance of properly interpreting the UDHR document. Attempts continue to be made by anti-family UN forces to re-interpret the UDHR to meet the agenda of pro-abortion, same-sex marriage and unilateralists through the UN process. Life, marriage, parental rights, religious liberty and national sovereignty will continue to be at risk internationally until UN documents, such as the UDHR are interpreted correctly and upheld through other documents that follow.
The highlighted UDHR articles from the press conference include:
Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 16: Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 25: Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
Article 26: Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
The attack by the European Union headed by the French on Article 16, where it states: Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family, is important to note. Through a non-negotiated “statement” that has been signed by 52 member states as of today, they re-interpret this article of the UDHR to include new rights on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
United Families International and the pro-life pro-family delegation are working to head off the French Statement on Sexual Orientation through educating the heads of UN missions and their staff. While at the United Nations, our coalition met and discussed the importance of the UDHR and how re-interpreting it perverses the original intent and will eventually harm all society. We met with the missions of Belize, the Czech Republic, Fiji, the Philippines, Poland, Uganda, and the United States.
Please join United Families International in its continuing battle to protect life, families, marriage, and religious freedom by respecting the national sovereignty of nations. Join us as we uphold the basic fundamental international human rights as outlined by visionaries 60 years ago through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
hollyandberries.jpgUnited Families Offers Christmas Gifts To All Donors!
United Families cannot protect a future for the family without YOUR help! To show our thanks for your support we will send you your choice of the following fantastic gifts:
Everyday Traditions – By Nava Atlas
The Christmas Box Miracle – By Richard Paul Evans
A One Year Subscription to Seeing the Everyday Magazine
Jon Schmidt’s Christmas CD
Demographic Winter DVD
For Your $50 Donation: Choose ONE gift
For Your $100 Donation: Choose TWO Gifts
For Your $150 Donation: Choose THREE GIFTS!