Thaddeus Baklinski

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European convention defining gender as social construct condemned as “rape” of Polish society

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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WARSAW, July 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Poland’s Bishops’ Conference and numerous pro-life and pro-family groups have denounced a Council of Europe convention that purports to address violence against women but has been criticized as an ideological attack on religion, tradition and culture. The organizations are urging the Polish government not to ratify the convention.

“The Presidium of the Polish Episcopal Conference notes with great concern the announcement of the Prime Minister that the Polish government will sign without reservation the proposed Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. This is in contradiction to the earlier announcement of the Prime Minister, that a public debate is needed on the Convention and the consequences of its signature and ratification,” the Polish bishops said in a statement issued last week.

The convention redefines gender as a social construct, rather than as a distinction grounded in biology, and suggests violence towards women is systemic with roots in religion and culture.

According to the “Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” which was publicized in April, 2011, gender “shall mean the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men.”

This new “social construct” definition is at odds with the definition in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court - which this new convention cites.  The Rome Statute states that, “For the purposes of this Statute, it is understood that the term “gender” refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term ‘gender’ does not indicate any meaning different from the above.”

“The Polish Episcopal Conference supports the protection of women against violence, but does not agree with the ideological assumptions of the Council of Europe Convention,” the Polish bishops declared.

“It should be emphasized that the Convention, although it is devoted to the major issue of violence against women, is built on ideological and false assumptions that are in no way acceptable. It suggests that violence against women is systemic, and its source is religion, tradition and culture,” the bishops wrote, noting that Article 12 of the convention obliges signatories to “dismiss the achievements of civilization,” which are considered “as a threat and a source of violence.”

“A particular concern,” the bishops continued, “is the imposition of the signatories’ obligation to education (in Article 14) and promotion of “non-stereotypical gender roles,” meaning, therefore, homosexuality and transsexualism. Linking the legitimate principle of preventing violence with a dangerous attempt to interfere with the educational system, and the moral values professed by millions of parents in Poland, is a very worrying sign.”

The bishops also point out that Polish legislation already has sufficient tools to deal with violence, including violence against women, and that the government should focus on initiatives to “strengthen the role of families, improve health care for women and girls, support the professional education of women, to pursue educational programs, based on mutual respect and cooperation of both sexes, including the preparation for life in the family.”

“Undertaking such measures,” the bishops concluded, “rather than signing the controversial Convention, it can actually prevent and help combat all violence, even that against women.”

Pro-family groups in Poland have issued numerous statements calling on the government not to ratify the convention.

A spokeswoman for the right wing “Solidarity Poland” party, Marzena Wróbel, issued a statement saying, “The convention of the Council of Europe, which PM Donald Tusk and the Civic Platform party want to ratify, is yet another attack on family and its values.”

Wróbel equated the convention with the promotion of homosexuality and transsexuality, saying it makes the definition of manhood and womanhood relative and independent of biological facts.

“In the light of this convention, every person who wants to be a woman, can be a woman. This is against reality,” Wróbel stated.

She also pointed to Article 12 of the convention, which says that culture, heritage, religion, tradition or “so called honor” must not be “used as justification of any acts of violence as defined by this convention.”

“Poland’s tradition has always been that violence against women is unacceptable and, in accordance with our culture, a woman is always given special respect. Poland was, after all, one of the first countries in the world to give women the right to vote,” Wróbel said.

In an open letter to the government, the authorities of Centrum Służby by Rodzinie (Center for Service to the Family), an organization based in the city of Łódź that helps families and victims of domestic violence, and runs Poland’s largest non-state-funded home for single mothers, said, “The Convention would introduce into the Polish law a definition of sex based on the ideology of “gender”. The Convention has a characteristic pejorative attitude to culture, tradition and the heritage of nations. It seems that the authors of the convention must have realized that it would raise controversy.”

“Sadly, the Convention in its present form seems to be a social and political manifesto, and not an instrument for the protection of victims of violence. In this document, women have become a tool of hidden interests, once again they have been objectified and abused. Let us not connect the protection of abused women with the need to adopt the gender doctrine, or any other ideology.”

Mariusz Dzierżawski, founder of the Warsaw-based PRO foundation and one of Poland’s most prominent and active pro-life leaders, told LifeSiteNews he believes the Polish prime minister is being pressured by radical feminists to sign the convention.

“The feminists are pushing for a quick ratification of the convention by Poland. The Prime Minister is yielding to the pressure,” Dzierżawskii said.

“The convention itself contains articles suggesting that it is the traditional view on family and gender issues that actually causes violence against women. So, there are reasons to suspect that the convention will be used as a tool to deconstruct family and destroy moral norms.”

“The convention’s advocates are using moral blackmail,” Dzierżawski observed, “implying that if you are against the convention, then you must approve of violence against women. They can’t see (or maybe they just pretend no to see) that it’s the family and moral norms that really protect the dignity of women. A hundred years ago a similar kind of project was implemented in Bolshevik Russia. I haven’t heard about women being too happy about it.”

Joanna Najfeld, a Polish journalist and pro-life commentator, noted the complicity of the liberal mainstream media in Poland in promotion of the convention that she labelled “ridiculous beyond belief.”

“Nobody in this country, or in any other sane, democratic society, would agree to it if it was being introduced through democratic channels, like a popular vote or a referendum,” Najfeld told LifeSiteNews.

“The mainstream liberal media silence, downplay, or manipulate the subject totally, so it can be ratified quietly by those in power in Poland now, and soon used against the Polish nation. The European Union uses the back door to impose these absurd, and extremely dangerous ideas on us.”

“We are a traditional nation,” Najfeld declared. “Traditional, meaning sane, rational and conservative.”

Comparing the imposition on Poland of the Council of Europe’s gender ideology to Communist oppression, Najfeld said, “the liberal ‘elites’ use lies, coercion, and supranational powers to perform yet another - excuse my strong language - rape on our society. Communism oppressed us and now European institutions are a new oppressor.

“What they are doing is abuse on our nation. We are like a beaten woman, abused by somebody stronger, in her own home,” Najfeld asserted.

Contact information:

Polish President Bronis?aw Komorowski
E-mail: via website

Prime Minister Donald Tusk
E-mail: kontakt@kprm.gov.pl

The Polish Conference of Bishops
E-mail: skep@episkopat.pl

The Parliamentary Committee for Social Policy and Family
Online form

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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