The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Some family values organisations alerted about next week’s EU Parliament voting. EEA’s Christel Lamère comments on the background of the text.
The European Union Parliament will meet in Strasbourg for four days next week (7-10 September) to discuss and vote several relevant European issues. Highlights will be the refugee crisis, financial help for entrepreneurs and the prohibition of animal cloning.
The schedule of these days will also include the discussion of a ‘Resolution on empowering girls through education in the EU’, also known as the Rodrigues report, named after its promoter, Portuguese socialist MEP Liliana Rodrigues.
The report mainly calls al national EU governments to “ensure that the goals of their education systems include education in respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and in equal rights and opportunities for women and men and that their systems’ quality principles include the elimination of the obstacles to genuine equality between women and men and the promotion of full equality between them.”
A WAY TO PROMOTE GENDER IDEOLOGY?
But several organisations have pointed out several recommendations which promote the implementation of gender ideology in public education institutions.
For instance, recommendation 45 of the Rodrigues report stresses the “need to organise awareness-raising initiatives, training and integration of the gender perspective, for all involved in education policy and also for parents and employers”
Recommendation 35 urges the Commission to “support the inclusion of objective information on LGBTI issues in school curricula.” Several other parts of the text follow similar lines.
Alarmed by the content of the report, more than 90,000 people have already expressed their concern in one of several online petitions.
EEA: ‘CHRISTIANS SHOULD ENGAGE IN DEBATE’
Evangelical Focus contacted the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) to know their perspective on Tuesdays’ vote.
“Our biblical Christian worldview is irreconcileable with many of the affirmations of Gender Ideology. However, in political circles this ideology is also used to denounce certain injustices endured especially by girls and women (e.g. diminishing them or their nature, violence, etc.), and rightly so”, commented Christel Lamère Ngnambi, EEA’s representative in Brussels.
“Chistians, we believe, should redeem the battle against gender-based injustice out of a biblical view of who humans are (sinful, yet equally created after God's likeness as male and female) by engaging the debate, through word and deed”.
Lamère pointed out that “there are several of these reports every year. They are like bushfires, with the potential of distracting those of us who wish to promote biblical values in policymaking (because we spent most of our energy and time being reactive). The Socio-political Team of the EEA made the strategic choice to invest resources in prayerful reflection, strategy and work with our members in order to become much more pro-active and long-term change agents”.
REPORT IS “LEGALLY WEAK”
The Rodrigues report, is “legally weak”, thinks Lamère. “A European Parliament Resolution is addressed to the EU institutions and includes 'general recommendations' which are legally binding for no-one (some may even say, 'wishful thinking')”.
“The most ironic thing is that Education is not even an area that the EU wants to legislate on. Even if it wanted to, that would be illegal”.
DANGERS: “FASHIONED TO GIVE CREDIBILITY TO CERTAIN THEORIES”
This being said, there are some dangers, from a Christian perspective. “These reports are fashioned to give political credibility to certain theories. The rule of the game is this: have a handful of reports saying more or less the same thing, start quoting them in as many political circles as you can, local, national or international. Then, develop a media campaign to garner popular support, and politicians and decision-makers will ultimately believe that your theory is true.”
Lamère encourages all Christians in Europe to “join” such European debates with a “constructive” attitude.