By: Meskerem Ritmeester and Henk Jan van Schothorst
Especially Western countries, driven by woke elites, want the woman's right to life and her choice to be of decisive importance here. Supporters of the 'pro-life' ideology (mostly conservatives and Christians) and supporters of the 'pro-abortion' ideology (mostly left-wing progressives) are diametrically opposed to each other.
As Christian Council International (CCI), formerly called Transatlantic Christian Council, we try to make the Dutch public and beyond aware of the international threat to Christian values in the areas of Life, Family, and Freedom of Religion and Education. You may think: “But I live in the Netherlands, why is it important for me to know what is happening internationally?” Because in today's globalizing world everything is connected. Therefore, international developments and policies have a direct and often negative impact on the right and freedom to design your family life based on biblical moral values.
These international developments are heavily influenced by international institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). For years they have been injecting billions into spreading their progressive ideology that not only promotes abortion, but also LGBT+, and free sexual rights as a human right and in the name of individual freedom. In this article, two concrete examples in our field of work show how this progressive ideology is rolled out: 1) progressive imagery fed by the "woke" movement, and 2) the unsolicited enshrinement of abortion rights, among others, in international treaties with non-Western countries.
The "woke" movement as a dominant imaging factor within our Western society
The "woke" movement has rapidly developed itself from a critical voice against exploitation in society to an extreme form of political correctness of progressive politicians, academics and media actors. Within the prevailing idea of the Western "woke" movement, anyone with conservative and/or Christian values is a threat to their progressive agenda. Even in the Netherlands, anyone who publicly stands for pro-life issues can expect to be harshly attacked by the "woke" activists. For example, CCI was recently accused in the NRC newspaper by the pro-abortion movement "Baas in Eigen Buik (literally translated: Boss in Own Stomach)" of running a hate campaign because we stand up for the rights of the unborn child. These kinds of attacks make any kind of discussion on pro-life issues impossible, while the progressive "woke" movement has a free pass and can often use lots of money to push their progressive ideology deep inside the blood veins of Western society. The media (which especially values progressive perspectives on abortion rights, among other things), public education (steeped in progressive ideology), and health care (which promotes abortion as a quick and easy procedure) are the most obvious channels used to slowly change the perception of our children and teenagers.
Progressive ideology enshrined in international trade agreements with non-Western countries
But with the spreading of a progressive image within the Western world, the progressive wind of the "woke" movement does not stop. In our work as lobbyist and observer at the UN and EU institutions, we see more and more international trade agreements errupting between, for example, the EU and non-Western countries whereby issues such as abortion, sexual orientation and gender identity are added as human rights without the often much more conservative and religious non-Western countries asking for it or being aware of it. Beyond that, one has to wonder if these kinds of medical-ethical issues belong in trade treaties that should be purely about trade and development cooperation. Our organization tries to protect the sovereignty of non-Western countries and to make them aware and supportive of not accepting these kinds of Western-imposed medical-ethical topics; especially if it is not in line with their national legislation. Unfortunately, these trade agreements are accompanied by large flows of money from the EU and every time it appears to be a serious challenge, especially for developing countries in e.g. Africa or South America, to stand strong against the coercive nature of the EU.
The above examples show that protecting Christian values internationally is more needed than ever. Fortunately, in our work we may experience God's guidance and support and also be hopeful by the sometimes small but important victories. A great example is that the U.S. Senate was able to stop the introduction of the Federal Pro-Abortion law in America. We also hope that the Supreme Court will end the nationwide right to abortion in the US. This has given the pro-life movement in both the US and the EU a boost to reopen the public discussion and continue the fight for the rights of the unborn child. In our work, we also try to make an important contribution to these discussions by identifying threats around international regulations on Life, Family, and Freedom and protecting our Christian values.
Meskerem Ritmeester, Policy & Advocacy Director Africa and Henk Jan van Schothorst, Executive Director Christian Council International