UN Day of Tolerance in Hamburg, Germany
UPF Germany, by Ulrich Ganz, November 15, 2014: Karl Christian Hausmann, our guest speaker from Stuttgart came on the invitation of UPF Hamburg to give a presentation entitled: ‘What is the Family Worth to us?’ to mark the UN day of Tolerance. According to a recent statement from Pope Francis, the family is coming more and more under attack world-wide. Thus we chose the topic ‘Family’, where more tolerance and understanding is needed.
Gerhard Toelke and I met Christian Hausmann at the station and brought him to the premises of UPF Hamburg. Already several participants had gathered; Ambassadors for Peace, guests and members, amongst them a group who had travelled from Hannover. A good third of all the participants were guests.
After opening remarks, Reinhold Merta entertained us with three songs to set the atmosphere. This was followed by Christian Hausmann’s speech. Christian is married with three adult children, and for many years has been politically active in the CDU Stuttgart. His experiences and knowledge in these areas undoubtedly contributed to the understanding of social developments that was demonstrated in his presentation.
To stress the importance of the family, Christian quoted the previous minister for employment, Norbert Blum (1982-1998): ‘The institution of marriage does not owe its existence to the state. It is older than this. There is a natural as well as a cultural origin to a mother and a father. Marriage and the family are the greatest forces that have historically brought stability and have survived all natural catastrophes, wars and floods’.
He went on to mention Frank Schirrmacher. The recently deceased editor of the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung-a daily newspaper), had advocated a renaissance for the family in his last book, ‘Minimum’. He described the family as a ‘survival factory’. He even called it the ‘the unequalled miracle’, ‘the production facility for trust’, ‘the community of destiny’ whose value is only really obvious when things become tight and serious. In times of emergency, as Frank Schirrmacher demonstrated with many examples: ‘it is not the state that provides the survival network, but the family’.
The essence of the presentation was to view the family as the school of love. And to this Christian had the following to say: ‘the family is an institution that ideally makes even the church dispensable, and enables one to experience the love of God. How is this possible? Firstly, man and woman are complementary in their ways of being. A whole person is a man and a woman together. In order to get to know God, we ought to get to know his ‘other essence’. Secondly: there is a plan in place for an integrated and happy life. If we miss our goal, our joy will be curtailed. The purpose of man and the purpose of woman is to serve the other and to complete one’s life. Woman’s privilege is that she can become a mother and thus give man the gift of fatherhood.’
At the end there was time for questions, and some comments were offered by the audience. In particular, the opinion was stated that the ideologically grounded model of life that questions the man-woman relationship and leaves each person’s gender as a matter of choice, detracts from the value of the family. Thus the family is to be seen as an outdated and obsolescent model. This may seem crazy to many, but the sad fact is that this concept is already anchored in law and is already, or soon will be, a part of the school timetable in many of the German ‘Bundesländer’ (or states). Here one can really no longer speak about tolerance regarding the natural emotional needs of children. Young people need a father and a mother and the protection offered by a family.
Happily there is already a growing resistance, and criticism of the so-called ‘gender ideology’ from prominent child educators and scientists is becoming louder. Afterwards coffee and cake and sausages and soup were served and we had a lot of opportunity for exchange and to better get to know each other.
On the following day we again had the opportunity to hear Christian Hausmann; he delivered a sermon in the house of the artist Manuel Gröning. This time most of the participants were young adults. The topic was ‘Facing the Future Courageously’. In this talk, Christian suggested how we can deal with rejection and urged us to follow the example of Dr. Moon and his wife, who is continuing the work of her deceased husband.
Powerful singing, a report of the events of the previous week and announcements about upcoming events, all made for an atmosphere where lively discussion could take place. A substantial buffet and the creative atmosphere of the artist’s house all contributed to the companionship that extended way into the late afternoon.
And when it was time to bring Christian back to Hamburg Central station, we were certain that he would take unforgettable impressions back to Stuttgart.