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Life, Family and Freedom

The Regional Event of the World Congress of Families which Endeavour Forum Inc. together with other WCF partners is convening on 30th August 2014 is the biggest venture we have been involved in since we were founded 35 years ago, and we are blessed to have as keynote speaker His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. We are also privileged to have as Speakers and Chairs leading Ausralian pro-life and pro-family politicians as well as eminent international speakers. The full program of the Regional Event is on the enclosed flyer, together with the list of co-sponsoring organisations from all over Australia.

Our objective is to inform all people of good will so they can make moral decisions when they vote, a point stressed by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life in his message "Voting with a clear conscience" (p. 4), and to encourage people to be involved in political parties so you can have influence on party policies, resolutions, and a vote at the pre-selection of candidates. Attendance at political party branch meetings can be tedious, especially it you are not interested in some of the issues being discussed, but if pro-life and profamily citizens want their concerns to be taken seriously, they need to make time to take an interest in the concerns of other voters.

We would also like to dispel the myth that there is some dichotomy between social issues and fiscal issues. So much of the media, especially newspapers, deal in depth with economic issues while ignoring the fact that stable families comprising husband, wife and children, are the underpinnings of a prosperous nation. We can see the consequences of a low marriage rate, the absence of fathers, and a high incidence of out-of wedlock births in the African-American community in the US; in an otherwise wealthy nation, this community is bedeviled by high rates of crime and imprisonment of young males, relatively low academic achievement and other signs of dysfunction.

While Australian Treasurer, Joe Hockey, warns of belt tightening and that we are going to "feel the pain" so that Australia can live within its means, it should be noted that the situation would be far worse if all couples were divorced or never married, if all children were born out of wedlock, if all mothers were "single mothers" and if all fathers were mostly absent from the daily lives of their children. And what if all mothers exercised the "choice" to abort every time they became pregnant and all unborn babies were aborted? Maybe the Greens would rejoice at the prospect of a land unspoiled by human presence, but our other political leaders and economic experts need to acknowledge that besides sound fiscal policies, the prosperity of a nation depends on the majority of men and women being responsible parents.

Phyllis Schlafly, founder and President of Eagle Forum, our counterpart in the US, wrote in The Phyllis Schlafly Report, March 2012, that the "massive national problem of having babies without marriage started with Lyndon Johnson's 'War on Poverty' in the 1960s. LBJ Welfare channeled all the money and benefits to the women, making the husband and father unnecessary. US political scientist and writer Charles Murray laid this all out more than 20 years ago. He said 'Illegitimacy is the single most important social problem of our time ....because it drives everything else' imposing gigantic costs on the taxpayers."

Meantime Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey are encouraging more mothers to leave their pre-school children in long day care and enter the paid workforce, no doubt hoping to enlarge the tax base. This encouragement includes Abbott's extravagant Paid Parent Leave policy and child care subsidies but no equivalent payments to full-time mothers who care for their children themselves.

There is a salutary warning to these politicians - and their equivalents in the Labor and Green parties who are not any more supportive of full-time homemakers. An Australian National University study based on four waves of longitudinal data over six years, found significant negative academic outcomes for preschoolers who spent more than four hours a day at child care centres. Once they crossed the 21 hours a week threshold, children were found to have more trouble adjusting to school later on and had poorer marks on a key questionnaire rating strengths and difficulties. These children were at greater risk of performing below average in maths, literacy and academic achievement.

Come and here these and other issues discussed at the Melbourne Regional Event of the World Congress of Families on 30th August 2014. It is free, but seating is strictly limited so register early.

*Click HERE for updated program

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