What The World Congress Of Families' 'Natural Family' Means For Women

This is the third in a series of posts about the upcoming World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read our introduction to the World Congress of Families here and an exploration of WCF’s anti-LGBT politics here.

While the World Congress of Families has become well known in the U.S. for its anti-LGBT activism, that is just one part of its larger vision of promoting what it calls the “natural family” throughout the world. In fact, in keeping with the vision that Allan Carlson and Paul Mero laid out in their "natural family" manifesto, this year’s conference will feature not just anti-LGBT activists, but opponents of abortion rights, contraception, sex education and liberalized divorce laws.

These issues are closely intertwined in this worldview. One scheduled WCF speaker, Evan Lenow of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, explained it clearly in a 2011 lecture on “The Challenge of Homosexuality For Gender Roles.” Lenow laid out the argument that the Bible prescribes separate but equal roles for men and women in marriage, with women required to “submit themselves to the leadership of their husbands, just as the church submits to Christ.” Same-sex marriages, where gender roles are by necessity “egalitarian,” he said, “subvert” this biblically ordained relationship.

For many of these activists, all manner of evils date back to the “sexual revolution” and, in particular, the widespread availability and use of contraception.

Allan Carlson, WCF’s founder and a speaker at the Utah event, has been a strong critic of the role of contraception in changing the roles of women and families in society, including speaking at a 2006 anti-contraception conference and appearing in the anti-contraception film “Birth Control: How Did We Get Here?

A panel on “Understanding the Sexual and Cultural Revolution” will feature the Family Research Council’s Pat Fagan, who has argued that the Supreme Court decision ending bans on contraception for unmarried people was wrong because “functioning societies” ought to “punish” and “shame” people who have sex out of wedlock. Fagan links the “contraceptive mindset” to any number of social ills. “Since the introduction of contraception, everything else has fallen,” he has said.

Joining Fagan on the “sexual and cultural revolution” panel will be the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Katie McCoy, who has argued strongly against efforts to allow women to serve as Southern Baptist pastors.

A forum on “The Beneficial and Harmful Influences of Feminism,” moderated by WCF’s Larry Jacobs, will feature declared anti-feminist activists Babette Francis of the Australian Endeavor Forum and Gayle Ruzicka, the head of the Utah chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is also a radical anti-gay activist.

WCF has set aside time to showcase the latest round of attacks against Planned Parenthood, with a panel featuring Live Action’s Lila Rose, Americans United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest (who happens to be the daughter of WCF head Janice Shaw Crouse), and Priests for Life’s Alveda King. King has falsely claimed that hormonal birth control “exposes” women to breast cancer and insisted that this is part of an elaborate money-making scheme by Planned Parenthood. Moderating the panel will be a representative of Heartbeat International, a network of so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that claims it can replace Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that it does not prescribe birth control.

A discussion on “International Pro-Life Initiatives” will feature Keith Mason who, through his group Personhood USA, advocates fetal “personhood” initiatives that would outlaw all abortion and could even threaten legal contraception. Mason’s group has become active in fighting reproductive rights advances at the United Nations and has begun pouring money into unspecified projects in Europe.

The fight against legal abortion, contraception and egalitarian gender roles is tied in with a founding principle of the World Congress of Families: the fear that demographic change is dooming European and American culture.

A panel on “demography,” moderated by Personhood USA’s Keith Mason and notably consisting entirely of men, will likely address some of these fears, and in particular the idea that contraception is the root cause of a perceived cultural decline. The panel will include Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute, who has argued that “[i]n its own way, contraception is an even greater tragedy than abortion” because it “involves the deliberate rejection of God’s creative power.”

Also speaking on the panel will be WCF’s Don Feder, who told a WCF event in Belgrade earlier this year that contraception leads to “death” by “preventing life from happening,” and who warned at the Moscow conference last year that humanity is financing “ its own extinction” through birth control.

Joining them will be Igor Beloborodov, a Russian demographer who warned at a 2011 demographic forum featuring a number of American activists that birthrates were falling as a result of people who want to “push up sales of contraceptives, to increase the number of abortions, to make homosexuality more popular.” He presented this slide listing “global threats to family and life,” including “small families,” “homosexuality” and “feminism”:

The World Congress of Families will also include staunch opponents of comprehensive sex education in schools, including Dr. Miriam Grossman and the Eagle Forum’s Gayle Ruzicka, who have both supported instituting abstinence-only sex-ed in Utah. This is an especially interesting dynamic given that WCF extended an invitation to Elizabeth Smart, an abduction survivor turned anti-sex-trafficking advocate from Utah who has spoken about how the lessons she had learned in abstinence-only sex-ed contributed to her reluctance to flee her captor.

Also speaking at the event will be proponents of rolling back no-fault divorce laws, a little-noticed flip side to the conservative campaign against marriage equality for LGBT people. Repealing state no-fault divorce laws, which allow married couples to end their marriages without one party being found to be at fault, is a plank of Carlson and Mero’s “natural family” manifesto. A panel on divorce at the Utah summit will include Beverly Willett, the cofounder of the Coalition for Divorce Reform, which aims to make it more legally difficult for most couples to divorce and Michael McManus, who has also advocated against no-fault divorce laws.

Rand Paul: The Polls Are Skewed!

Sen. Rand Paul has been trailing in Republican presidential polls, with a new Quinnipiac poll in Iowa placing him with single-digit support, behind Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

But the Kentucky Republican isn’t giving up hope, telling Newsmax TV in an interview posted online yesterday that the polls have been “skewed” by the presence of “a celebrity reality TV star.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/21/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/21/15

  • Linda Harvey wants to take back the color pink: "Women, let’s rise up and tell these groups that pink is for real women, and real women do not help fund abortion."
  • Former Rep. Dan Burton is now lobbying for the Church of Scientology.
  • Glenn Beck is very sad that George W. Bush does not like Ted Cruz, but is not surprised since Bush is a total "progressive."
  • A new Ruth Institute brochure on same-sex parenting unsurprisingly leans heavily on a discredited study by Mark Regnerus.
  • Now you know: "There are no muddled lines or gray areas about it. A committed follower of Jesus Christ should not celebrate Halloween."

Ron Paul Warns Of Imminent Dictatorship In Alex Jones Interview

Republican politicians Rand and Ron Paul have long been big fans of radical conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, so it is no surprise that Ron Paul was a guest on Jones’ “InfoWars” program today, discussing renewed calls to pass gun restrictions following the recent string of mass shootings.

The elder Paul told Jones that eventually the people will be driven to violence, which would then lead to calls for authoritarian government and gun confiscation.

“If push comes to shove and there’s violence in the street, they’re going to look for a strongman, they’re going to look for somebody who is an authoritarian and said the violence in the cities won’t last, and then people will say, yeah, that’s right, we can’t have anarchy, and they will capitulate,” he said. “The day will come.”

The only form of gun control that’s appropriate, he said, “is taking the guns away from the bureaucrats, the government and taking the guns or restricting the guns use of the president starting wars.”

Right-Wing Pundits: Bernie Sanders' Popularity Is A Sign of The End Times

Rick Wiles invited climate change denier and End Times predictor Cliff Harris on his “TruNews” program last week to talk about the climate change debate, which they agreed was a “hoax” being used to grow the size of government.

Wiles warned that leaders like Pope Francis, Al Gore and Bernie Sanders are part of a plan to “use global warming to impose global socialism” during which they will “take control of property, eliminate private property rights take control of natural resources.” Wiles said the pupose of this plan is to impose “a centralized global government controlling the activities of every human being on the planet. That’s what Al Gore and all those socialists are after, and they’re using the climate as the justification.”

Wiles also proposed that this is a sign of the second coming of Christ, “this is evidence of Jesus Christ coming back.” Harris offered that mass support for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is also evidence that the second coming is imminent.

Harris warned that a leader like Sanders would be disastrous because he would allow ISIS to infiltrate the United States “in a big wave” with Syrian refugees. “If we do not elect, in this country, in 2016, elect somebody that’s strong, somebody that’s godly… I believe we are in for a horrendous time in this country,” Harris said. “If people think things are bad now, they haven’t seen anything, Rick.

Liberty Counsel Outraged It Was Called Out On Its Anti-LGBT Extremism

Liberty Counsel is incensed that the Associated Press noted in a recent article that its founder and chairman, Mat Staver, once threatened to sue a library for encouraging kids to read “Harry Potter” and that he recently falsely claimed that 100,000 people in Peru gathered to pray for Kim Davis. The AP also dared to note that Liberty Counsel has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

All three claims are true, but Staver insisted in a letter to the AP’s assistant general counsel on Monday that the article was “defamatory” because it delivered an “unmistakable message to a reasonable person” that “Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel are liars and haters.”

“At a minimum, AP should permanently remove the link and the cache,” Staver wrote.

The AP is, of course, correct in its report: Staver used a photo from an unrelated event in 2014 as supposed proof that there was recently a massive prayer rally in Peru for Davis; it is well documented that he threatened a Jacksonville library in 2000 for promoting “witchcraft” to kids through the Harry Potter series; and the SPLC does in fact list Liberty Counsel as a hate group.

While Staver claims that the SPLC only lists Liberty Counsel as a hate group due to its biblical beliefs, the SPLC makes clear that its listing of anti-LGBT hate groups is “based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.”

The AP included in its story a quote from Staver disputing Liberty Counsel’s hate group designation, but the designation was well-earned, as the right-wing legal group has a record of spreading misinformation about the LGBT community. Staver alone has:

  • Predicted that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”

Nonetheless, Staver would like everybody to believe that the SPLC labeled Liberty Counsel as a hate group because it had a religious disagreement with same-sex marriage.

And don’t get us started on Staver’s radio show co-host Matt Barber...

Ben Carson: 'The Power Of God' Is Behind My Presidential Campaign

Yesterday on Daystar’s “Marcus and Joni,” Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson lashed out at critics who said that he would never have a chance to win the presidency.

He said that instead of retiring, God opened the door for him to enter the presidential race “much to the consternation of all the professional class and all the pundits” who said it was “impossible” for a “political neophyte” like him to build a national campaign.

“And yet, you see, it’s happening,” Carson said. “They don’t understand the power of God.”

Pat Robertson: Leave Church That Favors Gay Marriage

Televangelist Pat Robertson advised a “700 Club” viewer today to leave his church if it approves of same-sex marriage, warning that such a church is satanic as homosexuality represents the “last phase in human rebellion against God.”

“You got two of these people and you’re going to marry them and you somehow going to think that’s in the church?” he asked. “If I were you, I’d complain bitterly and I’d get out of that church as fast as I could. I mean, what fellowship has Christ with Belial? You don’t want to have fellowship with those people.”

Barton: Teach Riflery In Public Schools To Eliminate Gun Violence And Accidents

In the wake of the Charleston church shooting earlier this year, David Barton appeared on the "Up For Debate" radio program to discuss the question of whether Christians should support gun control.

Given that Barton believes there should literally be no limits on the Second Amendment and that individual citizens have the right to own a tank or even a fighter jet, it was not a surprise to hear him argue that Christians should not, in fact, support any sort of gun control efforts.

In fact, Barton said that the only sort of change needed in America is to return to the days when public schools taught riflery in P.E. class because, he insisted, back then there were no gun accidents or violent crime.

"In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s," he said, "in the P.E. books in school, we had a chapter on riflery and we should students all about how to use guns, how to unload guns, how to shoot guns, how to create indoor ranges. We talked about gun safety, gun responsibility; we had such an emphasis on that aspect of training and education that you'll find in the '50s and '60s, gun accidents nearly never existed and violent crime, outside of organized crime, was just almost nonexistent."

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious