Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Brazilian Government Abuse Against the Family

The Brazilian Government Abuse Against the Family

More Rights to the Government, Less Rights to the Family

Julio Severo

A woman comes up to a hospital. She claims that she was raped. She wants an abortion, and according to the Brazilian law her request should be attended, whether she was really raped or not, because there is not any kind of legal requirement of evidence of a rape. What will happen then is a “medical” procedure where instruments will be used to touch, mutilate, lacerate and destroy an innocent child’s life. It is an extremely cowardly and violent act, and many people don’t have any difficulty to see correctly that act as absolute cruelty.

However, the Brazilian government is changing, and it wants all the citizens to follow also its changes. What used to be considered as violence now is becoming… a right. The government does not want abortion anymore to be seen as a violent act of murder and destruction, and it is investing a lot in efforts to make the Brazilian population conscious that abortion is a right of every woman. For the government, there is not anything wrong and inhuman in the mutilation, laceration and destruction of a child in gestation. So what used to be violence has now received the government label of right — and the government is working step by step so that that label of “right” may be affixed not only on the cases of supposed rape, but on all the circumstances.

The same government that knows how to transform violence in a right also knows how to transform a legitimate right in violence. Representative Maria do Rosário, from the Workers’ Party, presented in the National Congress a bill “prohibiting parents from spanking, giving slaps, and using a slipper to discipline children, in all situations”.[1] For the leftist representative, every slapping and spanking is equal to aggression, and she wants the law to prohibit parents from using corporal punishment to educate their children. “Corporal punishment forced on a child, even mild punishment, is a violent act, provoking significant traumas”, declared Representative Sandra Rosado, from the Brazilian Socialist Party, who agrees with the bill.[2] She also declared, in a radical way, “Corporal punishment of a child, as an educational way, shall be abolished completely from the Brazilian legislation.”[3] The bill has already been approved by a committee from the Chamber of the Deputies (the Brazilian counterpart of the House of Representatives) on late February 2006, needing only the Senate approval to become law. With such a bill transformed in law, the government will effect campaigns to make the population conscious that corporal discipline is not a right, but violence. As in the case of abortion itself, the government took on itself the responsibility to decide and determine what is or not violence and right. And the consequences may be alarming, as CongressoEmFoco informs:

“If the bill becomes in law, complaints may be made in the Guardianship Councils of the Child and Youth Courts. In cities where there is no Council, one should look for prosecutors, police stations or schools, which already have the legal power to refer those complaints. According to the bill, any neighbor, friend, relative and anybody else may denounce, according to one’s personal conviction and sense of limits, what they consider to be abuse in the punishments imposed on a child or adolescent”.[4]

However, even if that bill does not become law, no family will be free from threats and intimidations, because thStatute of the Child and Adolescent (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente: ECA) may easily be interpreted against the parents’ rights to apply corporal discipline to their children. Many Brazilians don’t notice, but ECA is a land mine that eventually will mutilate the parents’ rights, leaving them without freedom to act against their children’s bad behavior. CongressoEmFoco reveals that the bill against corporal discipline in Brazil “is backed by the Brazilian legislation and international laws. ECA warns, in the article 5, that boys and girls cannot be victims of any kind of violence. And the Convention on the Children’s Rights, international treaty Brazil undersigned on September 1990, also demands, in the article 19, that State-members of the United Nations are to be committed to protect children and adolescents against aggressions of all nature”.[5] The Socialist bill was also backed by Swedish experts, who have visited Brazil and testified in the National Congress.[6]

The ECA threat

Therefore, together with the weight of the Convention on the Children’s Rights, the declaration of ECA saying “boys and girls cannot be victims of any kind of violence” may be used by the Brazilian government to prohibit all and any kind of corporal discipline ministered at the home. The main tactics of the state agencies “protecting the children’s rights” is to classify all discipline with the label of “violence” and “abuse”. There is real violence and abuse, but the government doesn’t intend to make a difference, seeking to outlaw and punish everything in the same way. So, what used to be a family right is now receiving the state label of “violence”, with the total support of UN in its pretension to the world government. Perhaps then the Socialist bill prohibiting Brazilian parents from disciplining is unnecessary, because ECA already has the potential of reaching that aim.

Although it is being used more and more to inhibit families, ECA doesn’t represent any threat to men in homosexuality interested in children. A gay group comments:

“The Statute of the Child and Adolescent authorizes the adoption by one individual, making no restriction concerning sexual orientation. Therefore, it is not difficult to foresee the hypothesis of a homosexual who, hiding his sexual orientation, comes to plead and obtain adoption, bringing a baby to live together with the partner whom he maintains a stable affective bond with”.[7]

Therefore, ECA fails to protect children where it should by obligation act. Tradition and the human experience over thousands of years have contended that children and youths are always at risk when those who practice homosexuality are allowed close interaction with them. What is strange is that the same ECA that is unfairly invoked to persecute families exercising their right to educate their children by corporal discipline is not invoked to hinder those who practice homosexuality from approaching children. In addition, ECA is never mentioned or used to stop the government in its efforts to guarantee to men in homosexuality a supposed right to adopt children. ECA is also never mentioned against the state measures to indoctrinate public-school children into homosexuality. In fact, in the gay issue it is the government’s goal “to develop, starting from the public school books, the youths’ conscience concerning sexual diversity”.[8]

Favoring homosexuality among children and young

If a boy has doubts and problems about his sexual condition, the government will be ready “to help him” develop his “conscience” concerning “sexual diversity.” Instead of collaborating with families in the elimination of sexually harmful influences and behaviors for their children, the government intends to encourage and strengthen them, so that children and adolescents who have gay tendencies may never leave their condition. As it was to be expected, the Brazilian government relies on ECA for its goal.

The government also leans on ECA in its objective and goal “to rescue, value and recognize Afro-Brazilian religions”[9], coming to the point of using public schools to coercively expose children and adolescents to candomblé and other African witchcraft religions whose teachings and practices are an insult to Christian families who send their children to school to learn only academic disciplines, not to receive spiritual influence from African religions. For the Brazilian State, such measures are neither psychological abuse nor violence. Before the legal and state privileges granted to homosexuality and to Afro-Brazilian religions for the sake of a supposed sexual and racial equality, the children’s best interests preached by ECA disappear, prevailing the ideology over the children’s well-being.

Behind those measures, there are powerful ideological interests involved. On a side, it is the State — pressed by radical gay groups — hungry for implanting their diversity politics, ready for all sacrifice — that is, ready to sacrifice all the opposing views. On the other side, it is the family, desirous to help their sexually needy children, but without knowing how to do and impotent before the smashing state power.

And what is the state answer to cope with a great part of the Brazilian population who is not ready to accept its diversity politics to children and youths? The government has the following goals to weaken the opinions different from its state positions:

  • To combat all discrimination.
  • To value and build a culture of peace throughout the whole society in order to condemn all kind of prejudice, educating the society by all possible ways (school, media, etc).[10]

The cost for that peace and peaceful coexistence is not only other people’s acceptance, but also the acceptance of their behaviors and actions, no matter how unnatural they are. It is the acceptance of the determinations of the State. If, for instance, the government declares that homosexuality and abortion are rights, and the family thinks that those “rights” are actually perversion and violence, then “for the sake of peace” the family should be silent and submissive to the state impositions — progressively losing their right to freely expressing that abortion and homosexuality are violence and abuse. Any “unsubmissive” attitude would suffer the compulsory label of discrimination, prejudice and disturbance of peace — and it is not necessary to mention who will be in charge “to combat all discrimination”.

Therefore, ECA is never used to protect children against homosexuality and abortion. Nevertheless, it is used to guarantee that children and adolescents may have free access to “reproductive rights” and “reproductive health”— terms suggesting not only birth control, but also abortion procedures.

Abuses against children and their families

It is said that ECA is a First World legislation in a Third World country. To a certain extent, such declaration should be distrusted, because legitimate family practices as homeschooling — that are legally respected and protected in the United States, Canada, England, Australia and other First World countries —receive in Brazil the vilest treatment and prohibition, with the help of ECA.

Of course, if ECA were really a legitimate document defending children, who would be in trouble is the government, not families: the government would be totally hindered in its efforts to promote abortion laws — because abortion kills children and represents the worst abuse against children. The government would also be hindered to expose children to an immoral sexual education in the public schools. However, the reality is different. Instead of protecting the children's best interests, what ECA does is to protect the best interests of the Brazilian State. Instead of intimidating the government in its pro-abortion initiatives, ECA inhibits and terrifies families in their responsibility to educate and correct their children. Even international organizations reveal that ECA is open to interpretations that are much different from the parents’ values. The Center for Population Options, an American group dedicated to promote abortion, homosexuality and family planning politics among Third World youths, recommended to the family planning experts in the 1990s:

“Use Existing Legal Avenues to Expand Adolescent Access to Contraception and Abortion While Pressing for Better Laws. The Conventions on the Rights of the Child and the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women should be exploited to their fullest extent to provide adolescents with information and family planning services and, where possible, safe abortion. In addition, at the local level in countries with laws providing limited access to abortion (in case of rape or incest or with a parental or judicial approval process), [children’s rights] advocates should take advantage of these provisions to promote increased access to safe abortion. In other cases, national legislation on children’s or young people’s rights, such as the Statute on the Adolescent and child in Brazil, may provide avenues to increasing adolescents’ access to health services, including family planning”.[11]

Such recommendation — that is in harmony with the “best” state interests —represents real aggression to the family role in their children’s protection. Such recommendation exposing sinister actions in the back stages to manipulate manipulable laws should not be disregarded as a simple exaggeration or mere absurd pretensions of foreign groups seeking to interfere in the national affairs of Brazil, because in early 2005 the — so anti-American! — Lula administration itself eventually implemented the sinister American recommendation, carrying out its distribution of condoms program for 10 year-old school children.

The government’s role in the children’s abuse

In its article entitled “Aluno de 10 anos receberá educação sexual, afirma nova política federal” (10-years old students will receive sexual education, a new federal politics affirms), newspaper Folha Online announced: “In the public health services, the government commands adolescents to be guaranteed the access of contraceptives and health services in case of violence and legal abortion... The Code of Ethics prohibits physicians from violating the professional confidentiality if the underage girl or boy may evaluate and solve her or his problem… The Statute of the Child and Adolescent also guarantees the right to the physical, psychic and moral integrity”.[12]

Then, according to federal determination, Brazilian schools will work united to the health “services”, with the due ECA assistance. Schools became state instruments to cope with the youths’ and children’s sexual issues and the government is determined to protect them from the “interference” from their parents. To guarantee that no family disturbs, the Code of “Ethics” prohibits physicians and school authorities from revealing to parents that a male student is receiving condoms or that a female student is receiving contraceptives or abortion “services”. According to the government’s ethics, parents having Christian or moral values should be kept totally out from those government “cares” to children.

So, instead of educating children for marriage and for avoiding sex out of marriage, the government prefers to encourage sex without marriage and teach children to avoid pregnancy, as if pregnancy were a disease or problem and as if sex without marriage were not any problem — and as if “legal abortion” didn’t involve any mutilation, laceration and death of children. Therefore, the government fails to see violence and abuse where real violence and abuse exist. In fact, where families see violence and abuse, the government sees just “rights.”

From the family’s point of view, the State became the Great Abuser of children and families. But such shameful and fair title is never applied to it, especially by the liberal media.

From the government’s point of view, the distribution of condoms, contraceptives and legal abortion “services” is to take care of children and adolescents. From the point of view of the families (and of the good sense), that is abuse. But considering that who is in charge is the State, the government’s point of view wins — prevailing the law of the strongest. Only the State has the “right” to define what abuse is and what is better for children and adolescents.

The moral opinion of the families doesn’t represent any threat to the government, which is not afraid of what parents define as abuse. But the family has every reason to fear when the government defines a legitimate practice as abuse, because the state opinions bring with itself the “gentle” touch from the law — gentle only while the family “collaborates with the State”.

Who should collaborate with whom: the government decides

It is worthwhile to remember that the efforts to weaken the rights of the families began in the Brazilian Constitution of 1988. In the past constitutions, the law made clear that the responsibility of the State was to collaborate with the family in the children’s education. The State was not the center of everything. The center was the family. Today, with the Constitution of 1988 and with ECA (both documents created by the direct participation of many totalitarian leftist parliamentarians), the State usurped the central role of the family, and now the law declares that is the family that should collaborate with the State in the children’s education! Brazilian judges have themselves been interpreting the law favorably to the state desires and contrarily to the real needs of the families, and in a decision against a family that wanted to recover their natural right to educate their children home the Superior Tribunal of Justice (STJ) declared, “Children don't belong to their parents”.[13]

In that decision, STJ defended the central role of the State, and the decision was based exactly on the Constitution of 1988 and on ECA, documents that give to the State all power and authority and marginalize the family to an insignificant role of mere servant of the State! Therefore the government knows how to act forcefully against the families who want to exercise their natural right to give to their children school education home, but it doesn’t have any disposition to use the same force and authority to rescue the hundreds of thousands of abandoned children in the Brazilian streets and give them a place where to live and a school. For those children, that are many, the government does very little, but it does much when a family commits the “crime” of educating their children home. With all that the current Brazilian law says, leaving for the family only the option “to collaborate” (that is, to obey unconditionally) with the government’s mission of molding the new generation, nobody should have doubt of what the State means with the declaration “children don’t belong to their parents.”

So the State is in a privileged, arrogant and imposing position, entirely protected in its intentions and wicked intentions, while the families, in all their fragility, are more and more abandoned in their most basic rights — and totally dependent of the state whims.

The families need to act now, before it is too late

A morally disoriented or ill-guided government seeks to invert and subvert the natural order, removing legitimate rights where they always existed and creating rights where they should never exist. Such a government wants to impose, by laws and other penalties, that everyone are to follow it in its disorientation. Fortunately, evangelical parliamentarians in the National Congress and many other groups concerned with the children’s and families’ well-being are acting so that the violent act of abortion may not be treated legally as a right and so that the right of the families to corporal discipline may not be treated legally as violence.

Those actions are very important, because many Christian parents follow the orientation from the book of Proverbs, in the Bible, that teaches the use of rod in the children’s discipline. The Word of God declares, He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him”. (Proverbs 13:24 NIV) And there are many other passages in Proverbs on children’s discipline with the use of a rod. That use has a purely educational purpose and effect, but the government's attempt to reinterpret discipline as violence is a serious threat not only to the religious rights of the families, but also to their natural right to educate their children.

If the bill from the Workers’ Party becomes law and if ECA continues its course of promotion of the state interests in the name of the children’s rights, the corporal discipline that the book of Proverbs teaches parents to use will be treated as a crime and disciplinarian parents will be judged as criminals, by will and imposition of leftist concepts introduced in the laws of Brazil. In addition, books like Dare to Discipline, by Dr. James Dobson, that guide parents in the discipline issues, will be banished.

With the stridently leftist politics of the Brazilian government and with national documents like the Constitution of 1988 and ECA that favor the best Socialist interests in important family issues, it is very easy to prove that children don’t belong to their parents. What is not easy to do it is to prove that children don’t belong to the government.

It is strange that the same government so determined to stigmatize as violence the orientations of the book of Proverbs is equally determined to laud and support a supposed “right” of gay “couples” to adopt and educate children. In the children and adolescents issues, the government’s official politics is “to create police stations specialized in crimes against homosexuals”.[14] Then will a father and a mother who make an effort to help their child be delivered from homosexuality be under risk of being denounced by crime against homosexuality? In this way the secular State acts: between the best interests of the families and children and the homosexual perversion, the trendy political preference is granted to measures that prioritize the respect to sexual orientation — a very innocent term invented to cover a behavior that is not innocent. Such attitude should be classified as prejudice against the families and children, but as now the gay behavior is receiving legal and state privileges in Brazil, the definition of prejudice has changed, and it may at last be applied on behalf of the homosexual interests and against the family values that protect children against homosexuality.

It is ironically tragic that a government that doesn’t see any violence and cruelty in legal abortion now sees violence in the corporal discipline that healthy family provide for their children. It is sad that a government that doesn’t see any psychological aggression against children in its pro-homosexuality educational politics and distribution of condoms in the schools now wants to outlaw and punish families that educate their children according to Christian principles. It is unfair that a government that is hardly able to arrest (not mentioning to punish) murderous criminals now wants to use all of its state power and weight to victimize and do violence to the families that do not obey its commandment prohibiting parents from disciplining their children.

Which commandment is more important: government’s or God’s?

Will the evangelical families in Brazil need to renounce to their right to live according to biblical principles because of the pressures of a State that demands total submission, that transforms injustice and sanguinary cowardice — abortion — in right, but treats the natural rights of the family as crime? When a government and its laws make us question us God and his commandments, it is time for us to question seriously the government and its laws.

When the commandment of a man or a government comes up against the commandments of the Word of God, it is time for us to open our eyes — and to look upward. The obedience of a Christian to God should prevail even when the government tries to impose its own commandments. When confronted with authorities and their unjust commandments, the apostles of the Lord Jesus gave the example:

Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not men”. (Acts 5:29 GNB)

Therefore, Brazilians need to give their support to the Evangelical Parliamentary Front and other groups struggling in defense of the families in the National Congress. After all, it is not right of the government to interfere in the people’s lives, nor to sustain abortion laws that destroy children, nor to sustain laws that destroy of their parents the right to educate and discipline their children.


[8] Comissão Especial Destinada a Acompanhar e Estudar Propostas de Políticas Públicas para a Juventude, Relatório Final, Câmara dos Deputados, Brasília, 2004, p. 151.
[9] Comissão Especial Destinada a Acompanhar e Estudar Propostas de Políticas Públicas para a Juventude, Relatório Final, Câmara dos Deputados, Brasília, 2004, p. 146.
[10] Comissão Especial Destinada a Acompanhar e Estudar Propostas de Políticas Públicas para a Juventude, Relatório Final, Câmara dos Deputados, Brasília, 2004, p. 138.
[11] Adolescents and Unsafe Abortion in Developing Countries, Center for Population Options. Washington, DC, EUA, 1992.
[14] Comissão Especial Destinada a Acompanhar e Estudar Propostas de Políticas Públicas para a Juventude, Relatório Final, Câmara dos Deputados, Brasília, 2004, p. 151.

Other articles by Julio Severo:

The right to choose home education in Brazil
What every Christian should know about Israel
Abortion: Is the solution not only abuse, but kill?
Targeted By Bias: Evangelicals Who Voted for Bush
The Great Gaffe of Lula Against Israel
The Mark of the Beast: The Tomorrow’s Education
Helping Take Care of the Social Health
Message to President Lula on Israel
Message to President Lula on homosexuality

No comments :