Christian Lepelletier

Christian and his wife Hiroko are serving as missionaries with the Unification Movement in Sao Paulo, Brazil, they are working with the small groups ministry - cell - home church - inter-faith harmony, Culture of Peace and Family Values, they were blessed in Holy Marriage by the Rev. and Mrs Moon in 1982, Seoul, Korea. Their son and daughter in law are serving the youth ministry in Brazil and their daughter and son in law are serving the youth ministry in Los Angeles.

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Born in France in 1951, met the Unification Movement in 1976, spent three years in the USA until 79. Attended the Holy Blessing Ceremony of Marriage in Korea, in 1982, with Hiroko from Japan. Lived and worked in Taiwan thirteen years (1981-94). Now living in Brazil since 1998.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Women and Mothers Rightful Place in the Family

Women’s Rightful Place in the Family

By Ellen Sauerbrey
At the second Global Women’s Peace Network Assembly 2013
February 22-25 – Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel SeoulKorea

Fundamental to peace is respect for women and their rightful place in the family. In most regions of the globe where there is continual aggression and conflict, women are denied basic human rights and are often treated as chattel.
The best defense against poverty, conflict, ignorance, child prostitution, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, etc. is a strong and healthy family structure.

The character of a nation begins in the home because it is stable families that produce good citizens and the virtues on which democracy depends. The family is the fundamental unit of society. Over the centuries, and supported by all major religions, the definition of the natural family has been two adults of the opposite sex, living together faithfully for life, while being responsible for each other and for the rearing of their children. It is the family that transmits cultural, moral and spiritual values down through the generations and that imparts personal responsibility, self discipline, intellectual curiosity and a strong work ethic to the young.

Children thrive within a loving family. Family life thrives when it is built on intact marriages, and intact marriages are most likely to survive when there is regular worship of God our Father.

Does empowerment of women help or hurt the family? I would suggest there is a big difference between empowerment and liberation. Empowerment equips women with the tools to be equal partners within a loving marriage and to help educate, support and impart strong moral values to their own children. Women's Liberation, promoted by radical feminists, sees marriage and children as oppressive and seeks to free women from the responsibilities of marriage and children.

In many countries, liberation has been winning out. As women become better educated and have more economic opportunities, they are indeed choosing not to marry at all or not to have children, threatening the very survival of some nations and cultures. This is a very serious problem for Korea and Japan. The marriage rates in both countries have plunged to record lows. Along with fewer marriages comes a lower fertility rate. In South Korea, the fertility rate is now one of the lowest on the entire globe. Japan is only slightly better. When new births are not replacing the loss of the elderly population, countries cannot long survive. Most western nations are suffering the same fate. The U.S. is one of the few western democracies that still has a healthy birthrate.

However, the U. S. is plagued by another ill that is just as devastating to the future of my nation—a growing number of women who have rejected marriage but have children outside of marriage. The rejection of fathers and mothers of each other and of their children has become an American crisis.

Forty percent of all American children are born to a single woman and are raised in a home without a father. Among blacks, that climbs to over 70 percent. In addition, a gay activist movement is working to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions, thus undermining the importance of traditional marriage, procreation and the security provided to children by a loving mother and father. This breakdown of the two-parent family is at the root of most of the social problems plaguing America.

Studies prove that children of unmarried parents are much more likely to live in poverty, to fail or drop out of school, abuse alcohol or drugs, and to end up in jail or as victims of sex trafficking. Welfare use is significantly higher for families with illegitimate children. Children of unmarried parents are themselves at higher risk of becoming unmarried parents when they reach adulthood, creating a cycle of poverty and dependency. Generous welfare handouts are making marriage unnecessary and fathers irrelevant.

But the problem of out-of-wedlock pregnancy goes far beyond that of the individual and the family. Nearly fifty years ago, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote, "There is one unmistakable lesson in American history... a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring rational expectations about the future—that community asks for and gets chaos." It's a statement even more true today than it was five decades ago.

When there is a concentration of broken families in a community, that community will disintegrate—the moral and social fabric of the community itself breaks down. When children are rejected and denied parental love, they are likely to seek it elsewhere, often inappropriately, such as in the acceptance of gangs as a replacement for the family. America's urban communities, like Detroit and Los Angeles, are plagued with violence, crime, drugs, gangs and chaos. When the family crumbles, it results in a host of social problems for the individuals, and destroys the peace of the community. When the family is weakened, the nation is weakened.

For the past forty to fifty years, the western world has been conducting a tragic experiment with liberation and the results are in—the decline of marriage and the two parent family, anti-social behavior, educational failure, and economic decline.

There is no more important mission for women than to provide leadership in reconstructing the family. That means women must be selfless, put their children ahead of their own selfish desires, and work hard to make their families strong and healthy. (It is encouraging that a whole generation of American professional women have recognized that there is greater personal satisfaction in being full-time mothers to young children and have chosen to put their careers on hold.) But, because too many women no longer perceive marriage as a necessity, first and foremost, women themselves must again become convinced that marriage and the opportunity to raise moral, spiritual and contributing citizens is the most extraordinary and satisfying life she can lead and the most honorable gift she can give.

Restoring the family will not be easy today. Our young are bombarded with the cultural bias against the traditional family and traditional values, delivered daily in music, art, movies, television and the internet. Making the task even more difficult is the glamorizing of movie stars, rock singers and other public figures who flaunt immoral behavior, especially out-of-wedlock births. Tragically even government and civil institutions undermine the family and corrupt the young. For example, in America today, public schools promote explicit sex education including homosexual behavior. Our children are taught that there are no moral absolutes—right and wrong depends on the situation. Governments give welfare checks to women who have children out of wedlock—the more children, the bigger the check. Courts rule that abortion and same-sex marriage are human rights and ban prayer in public schools. Television and movies promote promiscuity, pornography and have waged a veritable campaign to normalize gay relationships.

It is a daunting task for parents to overcome these outside pressures, but women must be in the forefront of the fight. A political solution is a vain effort without God's help. The future is still in his hands. If we obey his law and commandments then he will bless our families and our lands.

His promise to us is in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

None of us acting alone will reverse the tide, but we know that when moral and upright women band together, as you do in organizations like Women Federation for World Peace, God will multiply the impact we can have.

It is time for empowered women to demand that government leaders promote measures to protect and strengthen the intact Mom-and-Dad family. For example, many mothers are forced to work out of economic necessity. Laws that permit home-based employment and flexible working hours help families balance their need for income with the responsibilities of child rearing. The tax code must not penalize any mother that chooses to stay at home to raise her children or that wants to educate them in faith-based schools. Likewise, government agencies must stop promoting promiscuity, abortion and homosexuality.

In most homes, it is mothers who spend the most time with their children. They love, they nurture, they discipline and they teach values through instruction and example. Mothers teach children the importance of honor, personal responsibility and self respect; that there are right and wrong choices and that they are responsible for the choices they make.

Mothers must be able to talk to their children about sex and help them to understand why abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage are correct choices for a happy and successful life. Mothers must convince their daughters that having babies irresponsibly outside of marriage is wrong and their sons that failing to support children one has fathered is wrong.
In every home the pressures undermining family and morality can be neutralized if parents ensure that children become firmly connected to religious institutions and regular worship. Mothers need to introduce their young children to prayer and to building a solid relationship with God. A strong spiritual foundation will reinforce the moral teaching in the home and shield our children from evil influences. Each one of us— mothers, grandmothers, aunts or neighbors— should ask God to steer us toward young people in our life on whom we can have a personal impact.

Peace and freedom from strife is a national and worldwide goal and it all starts with inner peace and peace within a happy home. The greatest challenges we face are to strengthen the family and faith in God. That is also the greatest gift we can give to our troubled world.

With the grace of God many women have been empowered to be doctors, lawyers, business owners or whatever they want to be. But the good woman does not seek to be liberated from the most important role that only she can fill as mother and center of the family. The family is the cradle of the nation and women rock that cradle.

Ambassador Sauerbrey was the United States representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women and assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration.