Czech Republic: International Day of families 2019
By Juraj Lajda, UPF Czech Republic
The Czech UPF chapter convenes every year on occasion of the Family Day a special event. On the 30th May 2019 together with the Civic Institute we convened a half day conference in the Cevro Institute University in Prague. There were two panels: Family and Media, and Why we need family.
In the first panel called “Family and Media” two known journalists spoke about the way how the family and family values are depicted in the media.
Mgr. Jan Gregor, vice president of the Alliance for family and media expert offered a detailed analysis what the mainstream media wrote about family and family values based on a research of about 20 most important printed, electronic and private media during the last several years.
According to the research the majority of articles on family in the mainstream media is negative (about 60%) the rest is positive or neutral. The media present the traditional family often as a social issue. Statistically this is not true. In reality traditional families are richer, more stable and more educated. This negative media picture destroys the ideal of a harmonized family, leads to doubts about marriage and redefinition of the family, concluded the speaker.
Mgr.Matyáš Zrno, editor in chief of the Conservative newspaper and also Psychology today monthly spoke from his experience. He said that the journalists usually stand politically elsewhere than the people in reality. As an example, he said that in Germany 40% journalists would be for the Green even though the reality among the population is 20%. Concerning the family in the conservative media, he said that it is more important to write about family positively – large families etc. than to focus and criticize the negative articles on family.
The second panel called “Why we need family” was opened by Dr. Juraj Lajda, president of the Czech UPF. He introduced the family as the primary social environment for human beings. The problems of the family influence the society. All world religions support and honour the family and family values, added the speaker. He introduced the vertical and horizontal structure of the family as far as the relationships are concerned and compared the family structure with the structure and order of the universe. The family external structure needs internal content which is love that we can experience in the family. The four great realms of love and heart are the core and each family should develop them. We need a new view on family. In order to build up good families and prevent the undesired results we need to start at home. Next the educational system should support strengthening of healthy families and the social policy of the state should create a good environment for the families. Finally, it is the culture, arts and last but not least media that can contribute to establishing of good families concluded his speech the speaker.
Next speaker Dr. Roman Joch, director of the Civic Institute and political scientist said that the family became a political question. Nobody in the USA would think some years ago that family can be something else than a man and a woman. According to the speaker the democracy has 3 ideals: freedom, equality and authority. The best unit that correspond to this political system is family because we have here freedom (man and woman marry out of free will), equality (the husband and wife are equal to each other) and authority (children are equal among themselves but not towards their parents – they respect the authority). A good functioning family is independent on the state and is the best prevention against the dictatorship and totality. The family breakdown strengthens the role of the state. People become more dependent on the state. That’s why the state should give the family more autonomy, concluded the speaker.
The last speaker was H. E. Nina Nováková, former MP and chairwoman of the Central European
Inspiration. To love somebody unconditionally is very difficult. Only the saints were able to love their enemies but, in the family, it is possible, introduced her speech N. Nováková. In the family we love each other even though somebody is ugly. The education of children is the right of the parents. Parents very often resign on the education of their own children and offer this role to the state. School should teach the ideals.
Today’s battle for family is the battle between good and evil said the speaker in conclusion.
The following discussion opened many questions concerning the family policy and trends that engender the family.
Among the people in the audience were academicians, religious representatives and general public.