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Globalizing Family Values: The Christian Right in International Politics

Doris Buss
Didi Herman
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Globalizing Family Values
    Book Description:

    Globalizing Family Values is the first comprehensive study of the Christian Right’s global reach and its impact on international law and politics. Doris Buss and Didi Herman explore tensions, contradictions, victories, and defeats for the Christian Right’s global project, particularly in the United Nations; the result is a detailed look at a new global player.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9517-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxxviii)

    In the final days of the twentieth century, a remarkable conference took place in Geneva, Switzerland. The opening event, a plenary gathering in the imposing United Nations Palais, was addressed by, among others, Raymonde Martineau, the United Nations Head of Non-Governmental Organization Relations; Jehan Sadat, the wife of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat; and George Haley, the American ambassador to Gambia. Among the conference’s sessions were “A Life-long Covenant of Marriage,” “The Needs of Children,” and “The Family at the UN.” This conference, World Congress of Families II (WCFII), brought together conservative religious activists representing the three monotheistic faiths from...

  2. 1. Divinity, Data, Destruction: Theological Foundations to Christian Right International Activism
    (pp. 1-18)

    This chapter assesses the role of religious belief in CR global politics. While much of the material we refer to in subsequent chapters is secular in tone, the CR’s secular-sounding analysis and rhetoric has only limited meaning without an understanding of its theological foundations and raison d’être. We use the wordtheologyto mean, simply, a set of religious beliefs. We see theology as the religious form ofideologyor worldview, containing a set of both ontological and epistemological foundational “truths” premised on a notion of the divine. While it is possible to explore CR theology on any number of...

  3. 2. Constructing the Global: The United Nations in Protestant Thought and Prophecy
    (pp. 19-32)

    To develop our analysis of the CR UN’s global vision, we will explore how the most predominant sector of the CR, the domestic Protestant Right (PR), constructs its most important international, institutional enemy: the United Nations. We focus on the Protestant Right for several reasons. It has produced the most voluminous amount of material on the United Nations, and the predominance of PR thinking in CR domestic politics is very significant. Particularly relevant to our project are the ways that domestic PR understandings of the UN have evolved, are contested, and are reshaped by both Catholic and Protestant UN activists....

  4. 3. Nation, Church, Family: The Christian Right Global Mission
    (pp. 33-55)

    In the previous two chapters, we traced Christian Right constructions of the international order and the role of prophecy belief in animating an anti–United Nations stance among CR activists. Our analysis demonstrated that for the CR, the UN figures prominently as an agent of the Antichrist, playing an important role in the consolidation of world power into a single, global government, leading to the apocalypse. We now turn to look at CR activism with this very same UN. Starting around 1994 , the CR began to establish a more permanent presence at the UN. Organizations such as Concerned Women...

  5. 4. The Death Culture Goes Global: International Population Policy and Christian Right Politics in Action
    (pp. 56-79)

    Population policy, more than any other issue, symbolizes for the CR UN the threat to family, nation, and church. Defined broadly as the amalgam of programs, institutions, and agreements governing efforts to limit population growth,¹ this area of international law and policy has raised the ire of religious conservatives opposed to abortion, contraception, women’s rights, and environmental protection. International measures to address reproduction and reproductive health are seen by the CR UN as part of a global “death culture,” which seeks to undermine the “natural family,” the sovereign realm of the state, and the future of Christianity. In the area...

  6. 5. In Defense of the Natural Family: Doctrine, Disputes, and Devotion at the World Congress of Families II Conference
    (pp. 80-99)

    The previous chapters have responded to the question, how does the CR understand the world, international policy and events, and global institutions? We now open the discussion to consider wider questions of policy, strategy, and alliance building in relation to CR UN international activity. In this chapter, we take the World Congress of Families II (WCFII), a conference held in Geneva in 1999 , as a case study to examine CR UN coalition-and alliance-building initiatives in the global arena and the tensions and possibilities these might provoke.

    The WCF forum is an unprecedented development; it constitutes the first sustained attempt...

  7. 6. The Gender Agenda: Women’s Rights, Radical Feminism, and Homosexuality
    (pp. 100-128)

    In the spring of 2000, under the auspices of the General Assembly Special Session “Women 2000,” government delegates and nongovernmental organizations met to negotiate an agreement on progress made since the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women. This conference, known as “Beijing +5,” was the site of a pitched confrontation between the Christian Right and feminist and women’s groups. The final UN General Assembly Special Session, and the preparatory meetings leading to it, have been described as “one of the most difficult UN negotiating sessions in recent years,” with a “climate of hostility” characterized by “rancorous debate” (Barnes et al. 2000)....

  8. Conclusion
    (pp. 129-144)

    The events of September 11, 2001, are widely known: four passenger planes were hijacked within the United States, the pilots overpowered, and the jets flown into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington (a fourth crashed in a field), to devastating effect. The two towers of the World Trade Center collapsed, and nearly three thousand people are estimated to have lost their lives in the crashes and resulting destruction. The hijackers, all allegedly men of Middle Eastern origin, appear to have been acting in the name of Islam, and with the expectation of divine reward...