When the Church and other pro-family groups first raised alarm over the possible abortion and homosexuality agenda at the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD 25), we were vilified for crying wolf. The organisers and their sympathisers were categorical that the conference had no such issues on its agenda. In fact, one Twitter user responded to my tweet, “Unless @doginde included this agenda or commitment in the summit's programme himself, no plans have been made for this, the @citamke Bishop should stop lying to the President and people.” Well, the jury is out there for anyone willing to return an objective verdict. All indications are that the real agenda of the ICPD25 was always twofold – Abortion and LGBTQI rights, period. If you dissect the Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) – which was the central agenda – it breaks neatly into two sets of rights: Sexuality rights (read homosexuality rights) and reproductive health rights (read abortion rights). Indeed, this was the bone of contention between the big-league nations.
The US was categorical that the 1994 Cairo agenda had been hijacked. “The term SRHR has been used to aggressively promote practices like abortion. There is no international right to abortion,” said Huber Valerie, the head of the US delegation. It is therefore clear that a global showdown over the ICPD25 summit outcomes is brewing.
The reality is that every once in a while, a line gets drawn in the sand, signalling a moment for tough choices – a time to take an unequivocal stand on difficult issues. During the Jewish Exodus, when the people went amok with ridiculous demands, Moses drew a line. He challenged the people, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” In Canaan, when Joshua similarly faced an apostate crowd, he too was forced to draw a line. “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” In the days of Elijah, when King Ahab and First Lady Jezebel led the people headlong into idol worship, Elijah drew a line. “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is god, follow him,” he challenged to them.
It is evident that with the end of the ICPD25 summit, a line has been drawn for the nations – to choose between destroying and preserving the lives of the unborn. Leaders also have to choose whether or not to legalise homosexual relationships and allow same-sex marriages. Each of these choices comes with consequences. Developing countries are particularly faced with a real dilemma, especially because of their over-reliance on donor-funding for their national budgets. These will now come with serious conditionalities.
Interestingly, whenever such lines have been drawn, it is always a small minority that chooses to go north. The majority always heads south. In the days of Moses, only the sons of Levi joined Moses. In Joshua’s time, only his leadership team stood with him. Upon their departure, people did what they had always wanted to do. Elijah found himself all alone when he challenged Baal. Likewise, at the ICPD, only the US, Brazil, Belarus, Egypt, Haiti, Hungary, Libya, Poland, Senegal, St. Lucia, and Uganda openly stood for life and the family. In contrast, more than 160 states made commitments to the ICPD agenda.
The EU was particularly vocal on their stand. They openly pledged greater inclusion of LGBTIQs “to ensure these groups enjoy full and equal rights.” Furthermore, this was backed by a strong financial might. Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK, together with the European Commission, committed around US$1 billion (over a hundred billion shillings) in support of the ICPD agenda. What is clear is that the pro-life and pro-family groups must now strategise how to deal with legitimate issues that have been the railroad for sinister agenda. We must enhance our current solutions to birth control, teenage pregnancies, FGM, and other negative cultural practices. We must increase family counselling programmes, pregnancy rescue centres, and adoption services. Furthermore, we need to develop a Comprehensive Family Education (CFE) curriculum for our schools to replace the CSE that is being used to sexualise our children.
However, these must not be driven by fear. In spite of apparently mighty forces, darkness can never overcome light – no matter how weak or small the light. Throughout history, righteousness has always triumphed over evil, albeit too slowly at times. The builders of the Titanic once boasted, “Even God cannot sink it.” The great ship was wrecked by an iceberg.
- The writer is the presiding bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries. [email protected]