Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Beverly Rice is the President of United Families International. In addition to the following interview, she has also provided a video addressed to the members of Smart Girl Politics, SGP. You can find the video here.
SGP: What is United Families International, UFI, and why was it started?
BR: United Families International was started thirty years ago in response to the pro-ERA forces. When the backers of the Equal Rights Amendment were not successful in getting the amendment ratified, they turned their focus to the United Nations with the thought that they would have better luck there. UFI leaders testified before Congress on the ERA and then began working at the UN to combat the anti-family voices there.
SGP: What are the primary issues that UFI currently stands for or against?
United Families International works on five issues which are the basic tenets of our orgniazation. They are: Traditional Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Parental Rights, Religious Liberty and National Sovereignty. These are the same tenets which are fought against us by the anti-family forces at the UN, in Congress, in State Legislatures and in governing bodies around the world.
SGP: What issue poses the single greatest threat to families under the new administration?
BR: We feel that the greatest threat to the family that the Obama administration brings is the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. If this is repealed, then all the marriage amendments and statutes that have been enacted by state and local governments will have no validity. Without this protection we feel that marriage will be undermined, religious liberty will be weakened, and parental rights will be diminished. The agenda of the radical gay movement is to take away many of the rights that currently protect families.
SGP: What are your organizations fears if the new administration loosens the controls on all forms of abortion?
BR: The problem with the administration loosening the controls on all forms of abortion is that is will have world-wide repercussions. While abortion is legal here in the US , there are many countries across the globe where it is not legal. These countries have been able to withstand the pressure of many organizations and countries to legalize abortion because of the support they have enjoyed from the US these past 8 years. However, with the new administration, that support will vanish and many countries will feel they have no choice but to embrace the culture of abortion.
Additionally, here in the US , doctors will be forced to perform abortions regardless of their religious beliefs and parents will lose the right to be informed when their child is seeking an abortion and finally, abortions will be allowed through the full pregnancy term. People will become desensitized to the destruction of life in the unborn.
SGP: United Families International is against same-sex marriage. However, does the organization support civil unions? Why or Why not?
BR: We are opposed to anything that causes damage to the family. There is a movement throughout the world to redefine "family". We support the definition of the "natural family". Social science research shows that children do best in families that have a father and a mother. One of the problems with supporting civil unions is that it is an attempt to redefine what a family is. When civil unions are accepted then other changes to family life begin to be accepted. Soon people are saying that any two people who live together, love each other and are committed to each other should be considered a family unit. It is a slippery slope and the opposition understands this better than our side does. Whenever society accepts counterfeits to the natural family, they then find themselves giving additional credence to the idea that family can mean many things.
SGP: UFI is an advocate for family issues at the United Nations. What do you believe is the biggest challenge families face from United Nation members and policies?
BR: The biggest challenge we face at the United Nations is the attempt to reinterpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document, which was adopted by the UN sixty years ago is an amazing document. In this document the countries of the United Nations agreed that the family is the fundamental unit of society; that marriage between a man and a woman should be protected; that motherhood and childhood should be protected; that parents have the right to raise and educate their children; and that all people have the right to practice their religious beliefs. It is an astounding document in its breadth and depth of addressing the human rights of families.
The forces at the UN would like to have that document reinterpreted to fit the times of today. They suggest that abortion, sexual orientation and gender identity should be human rights. They would like to have it be a criminal act to restrict anyone from enjoying these rights as human rights. If they are successful in persuading the UN countries to accept this reinterpretation then we will find that the protection that families currently enjoy will be severely curtailed.
SGP: What do you believe is the leading cause of the decline of the American Family today?
BR:I believe that many people are simply not educated on the issues. Many people are not aware of what is happening - not only in our own country - but also in countries and governing bodies around the world to destroy the family. There is an agenda out there that seeks to establish a genderless, parentless society. It will be a society where the state will have say over what children learn and believe. It is a society that wants to free all women to be able to work outside the home unencumbered with the responsibilities of rearing children. It is a society that seeks to curtail the old, tired verbiage of the religious organizations, in favor of new verbiage that talks about the secular nature of our world. It is a society where families, as we know them today, do not exist but have been replaced with varying forms of relationships that meet the physical needs of the adults involved.
There is an urgent need for people who believe in families to become educated on the issues and join with others to fight the creation of this society.
SGP: What can members of SGP do to support your organization?
BR: Members of SGP are welcome to visit our website, sign up for our weekly emails and learn all they can about the issues. We are currently in the process of setting up leadership in all 50 states and abroad. We are looking for people who are interested in helping to lead the efforts in their states. We would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in helping with this effort.
Most importantly, we want everyone to become educated on the issues affecting today's families. Societies are only as strong as the families within those societies. United Families International is dedicated to helping protect and defend strong families.
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Smart Girl Politics would like to thank Beverly Rice for her time and agreeing to be interviewed for our Profile in Conservatism series.
Posted by Stacy at 1:17 PM