Last month the World Congress of Families (WCF), an international conservative network, met at the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid to share tactics in defense of the “natural family.” For its participants the natural family is a standard for social values that harkens back to a mythical era when men headed the household, women tended the kitchen and children, and sex was for procreation only.
Because these ideals don’t line up with the way many people live and think about their lives, it’s tempting to dismiss the WCF as a gathering of out-of-touch extremists. Scratch the surface, though, and what you find are well-connected and well-funded groups hard at work codifying their “traditional values” through national and regional legislatures and judiciaries.
The conference theme, “Marriage and Family, the Future of Society,” echoed many of the concerns of conservative religious organizations here in the U.S. (the WCF, unsurprisingly, is headquartered in Rockford, Illinois). While drolly retrograde panels like “Authentic Women and Rediscovering Homemaking” and “Solutions to Homosexual Behavior” featured prominently, embedded in these and most other panels were serious themes articulating a conservative worldview and strategies for protecting and promoting them in the public sphere.
The rest of the article may be found on Religion Dispatch where it was originally posted.