By: Mark den Hollander
The first meeting was held on June 17 at the Smoke Rise Inn in Kinnelon, New Jersey. A board of panelists, including Mr. Len Deo, Mrs. Aida Wahba, and Mr. David Berkenbush addressed specific questions provided by Mr. Riekelt Pasterkamp on the topic, “Business Relations in a Secular and Increasingly Sexualized world – from a Christian Perspective.” The panelists shared some of their personal experiences about how they have been dealing with numerous issues in their current workplace environment. Each panelist had a chance to respond to the questions that were asked. While many concerns were shared, there was a positive takeaway that many of the issues that are faced can be tackled from a legislative perspective to ensure that individual rights to freedom of speech and opinion are not lost.
Our second meeting, on June 20 at Falk Panel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was titled “War on Talent.” Mr. Pete Hoekstra, the former ambassador to the Netherlands, joined us for the evening as our keynote speaker and spoke about some of his experiences as being a conservative in the current political environment. One very interesting comment that he made was about how Europe and America are trying to get rid of Christianity and faith. He noted that the struggles we are facing as a society are a result of getting rid of Christianity because there is nothing else that can replace the traditional values that maintain society. Following the presentation, Mr. Henk Jan van Schothorst presented the work of CCI and how the political atmosphere is changing the business environment with one major issue being gender ideologies. The Q&A that followed the two presentations, led by Mr. Riekelt Pasterkamp, allowed the audience to ask questions and share personal concerns about how these issues are directly impacting individual lives on a daily basis.
These meetings have shown that the issues we face as a society are becoming an increasing reality. Large corporations, small businesses, and employees are being forced to conform to values that go against their personal beliefs. Many of the individuals that attended these meetings shared personal stories about how the current workplace environment is causing them to feel uneasy about conforming to secular values. From the LGBT movement to gender ideologies, increasing pressure is placed on Christians to give up their personal beliefs for the sake of unity.
Mark den Hollander is CCI Representative in the US
Photo below: Mark den Hollander while organizing the meeting in New Jersey