Family in the Spotlight
Scripps-Howard News Service 8.07.02
"I grew up the member of a large family, in a small house
that stood in the middle of a field. At one end of the field stood
the house of my grandmother; at the other, the home of my great-grandfather.
Little did I know then that, as I turn 50, I would commit my life
to a fight for the very survival of the family."
These were the words of Richard Wilkins, managing director of the
World Family Policy Center, as he closed its fourth annual meeting
in Provo, Utah. Brigham Young University's Law School has been the
moving force, organizer and host of the multinational effort.
This time, 107-degree temperatures surrounded the three days during
which delegates from every continent listened to a variety of presentations
and participated in lengthy debates. The ambassador from Kenya sat
next to the lady from Sweden's parliament, and the chief advisor
to Pakistan's supreme court neighbored the director of Argentina's
Yes, it looked like a mini-United Nations, where most of the conference
delegates actually work. Truly ironic if one considers that the
institution that has placed the family in its cross hairs is - the
For that is how the delegates see it.
There seemed to be broad agreement on some fundamental issues.
Among these was the recognition that the family, as the unit from
which larger entities grow, is the most commonly shared grouping
of humans - equally natural in tribal life as in the most advanced
and sophisticated societies. Among these was the assertion that
a family consists of a man and a woman, embarking on a shared existence
for the purpose of bringing forth and bringing up children. Among
these was the understanding that exceptions to the previous structure
do not change the rule.
What is fascinating is the incontrovertible fact that, when the
United Nations came into being, few if any would have argued with
the foregoing. What is even more fascinating is that we now live
among people who are totally convinced that the 100,000 years directly
preceding their emergence from puberty were one huge mistake, and
that they now have all the answers.
And they are loud - brother, are they loud!
They are loudest at the U.N. where sanity broke down in proportion
to the astronomic rise in member states. Being recognized as a country
used to carry certain common requirements, such as actually being
a country. Not any more. A dozen-or-so people can get together,
devise a uniform for the Olympic parade, assemble 2-3 colors of
fabric, and they are ready to apply for a loan to the World Bank
and the IMF.
Worse yet, they have the same vote at the U.N. as the United States
It has thus become easy as pie to build a majority for just about
any ludicrous idea, propelling the U.N. into the never-intended
position of a self-appointed legislature for the world. Funny?
No, not really.
The loud people can - and do - slip all sorts of language into
all sorts of U.N. resolutions, then turn around at the next "international"
conference and refer to it as "law."
But why would anyone assault the family if, as the U.N. Charter
itself recognized, "The family is the natural and fundamental
group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and
Because, delegates agreed, the family has come to stand in the
way of ambitious women whose "respect for Nature" might
defend a tree to the death, but who reject the idea of Nature's
role for them in the bearing and rearing of children.
Because, delegates agreed, homosexual activists are determined
to do away with the notion that union between a man and a woman
is in any way more natural than that of two men or two women. Such
an agenda cannot coexist with the bearing of children as a function,
much less purpose, of the family.
Because, delegates agreed, champions of very early daycare view
the family as the obstacle to placing children under the control
of the state.
That last point, I believe, may be crucial. The loud people need
to make sure that, eventually, no one is left to remember how history
actually unfolded. They realize - as did Hungary's Nazi and Communist
occupiers during their years of rewriting history - that the family
is the one place where truth and tradition ultimately triumph.
And, if you want to observe the benefits, take a trip around the
state of Utah.