ALIANTA FAMILIILOR DIN ROMANIA
Str. Zmeica nr. 12, sector 4, Bucuresti
Tel. 0741.103.025 Fax 0318.153.082
www.alianta-familiilor.ro
office@alianta-familiilor.ro
8 iunie 2017

RAZBOIUL PSIHOLOGIC IMPOTRIVA ARTICOLULUI 48

Validarea de catre Camera Deputatilor, pe 9 mai, a amendamentului constitutional de protejare a casatoriei naturale in Articolul 48 din Constitutie, a facut valuri in Europa si America de Nord. In cele 30 de zile care s-au scurs de atunci, reactiile presei interne si externe au fost numeroase, unele pozitive, dar majoritatea negative. Incepem, de fapt, sa fim contactati si de ziaristi ai unor ziare de larga circulatie din Occident care vor sa scrie despre amendament si despre cei care il promoveaza. E de inteles. Subiectul e de actualitate si suscita mult interes. Intre timp, Parlamentul European a luat si el nota de posibilitatea tot mai reala ca probabil romanilor li se va ingaduit sa voteze casatoria naturala prin referend chiar anul acesta. Iar daca referendul va trece, si nadajduim sa treaca, el va complica lucrurile in Europa si chiar la nivel mondial. Marsul spre europenizarea ori globalizarea casatoriilor homosexuale va incetini ori va fi stopat, chiar daca pentru o vreme. Miza e mare, iar dusmanii nostri din strainatate o inteleg chiar mai bine decit cetatenii de rind ai Romaniei. Agresivitatea cu care se scrie, atit in Romania cit si in afara ei, privind amendamenul dovedeste concret ca realmente ne confruntam cu inceputul unui razboi psihologic impotriva Romaniei, a clasei politice din Romania, si a tuturor cetatenilor tarii care doresc binele familiei si protejarea casatoriei naturale.

Parlamentul European

In martie v-am informat ca la sfartitul lui februarie 38 de congressmeni americani, toti democrati, au remis o nota Guvernului Romaniei, liderilor Parlamentului si liderilor partidelor politice din Romania cerind ca ei sa blocheze proiectul. Presiunile Ambasadorului american de la Bucuresti, dl Klem, sunt si ele deja bine cunoscute. Ceea ce presa din Romania insa nu mentioneaza este ca dl Klem isi pierde prietenii de la Washington, iar Administratia Trump ii este ostila. Din nefericire, rechemarea dlui Klem va lua ceva efort si timp, deoarece dinsul e diplomat de cariera si din acest motiv e mai greu de demis din functie decit alti diplomati cu rang inferior.

Pe 17 mai, un grup de 28 de membri ai Parlamentului European au lansat si ei o Scrisoare Deschisa adresata Guvernului Romaniei si liderilor politici din Romania, cerind, la fel ca si colegii lor democrati americani, sa „nu sprijine referendul pentru definirea familiei”. [Textul Scrisorii Deschise: http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/intergroup-documents/open-letter-to-romanian-parliamentarians-do-not-support-the-proposed-referendum-on-the-definition-of-the-family/] Scrisoarea e semnata de unii dintre cei mai extremisti europarlamentari. Unele nume ne sunt deja foarte bine cunoscute dupa rezolutiile care le-au propus de-a lungul anilor si asupra carora v-am informat la vremea potrivita: Ulrike Lunacek, Maria Noichl, si Sophie in ‘t Velt. Scrisoarea are un ton agresiv si iereverent la adresa Romaniei si a romanilor, acuzindu-ne pe toti de discriminare, incitare le violenta impotriva homosexualilor, ca nu suntem in pas cu valorile europene, si ca incercam sa impunem in Romania o definitie a familiei si casatoriei care nu e in pas cu lumea post-moderna si care vatama „minoritatile sexuale”.

Pe 29 mai Asociatia Europeana pentru Apararea Drepturilor Omului („ADEH”) a facut la fel. A emis un comunicat de presa care critica foarte aspru Romania si Europa de Est pentru pozitiilor lor pro-familie. [Textul comunicatului poate fi citit aici: http://www.aedh.eu/A-European-call-for-the-respect.html] Obiectul principal al atacurilor virulente din comunicatul de presa e Romania si noi, cei 3 milioane de cetateni responsabili care am semnat pentru amendamentul constitutional. Spre deosebire de Scrisoarea Deschisa a celor 28 de europarlamentari, insa, comunicatul ADEH e mult mai vitriolic si, am indrazni sa spunem, nesimtit. Cei 3 milioane de semnatari sunt numiti, in grup, „ultra conservatori”, „militanti religiosi”, „incitatori la ura”, care nu au nimic mai bun de facut cu timpul lor decit sa incite la ura intreaga populatie a tarii impotriva femeielor, a homosexualilor, si impotriva tuturor celorlati cetateni ai Romaniei care sprijina drepturile civile si politice. Si asta ca si cind cei 3 milioane de semnatari care isi exercita drepturile constitutionale, politice si civile nu sprijina drepturile civile ori politice. Ba mai mult, comunicatul ADEH afirma ca, datorita celor 3 milioane de semnaturi si a amendamentului cerut de ei, Europa e la o incrucisare de drumuri. Adica, miza e mare: fie ca cei 3 milioane de semnatari si amendamentul vor duce Europa in urma si chiar vor distruge „proiectul european,” fie ca restul Europei se va ralia impotriva acestor romani „ingusti la minte” sa-si salveze civilizatia. Redam cuvintele exacte ale comunicatului: „The ADEH calls on the European institutions to question the political actors in Romania and the region regarding their democratic commitments. The ADEH considers that the European project is at crossroads and that we must reaffirm the commitment to its vitality and foundations, to democracy, solidarity and human rights”. („ADEH solicita institutiilor europene sa traga la raspundere factorii politici din Romania si din regiune privind loialitatea lor fata de democratie. ADEH considera ca proiectul european se afla la o incrucisare de drumuri si ca e nevoie sa reafirmam loialitate fata de vitalitatea si fundatiile lui, democratiei, solidaritatii si drepturilor omului”)

Frontul mediatic intern anti-familie

Frontul mediatic intern ne este cunoscut tutuor. Nu trece o zi fara ca ceva sa nu fie mentionat in presa, dezbateri televizate ori bloguri sau care sa nu discute Coalitia pentru Familie si amendamentul constitutional. Majoritatea comentatiilor ne sunt ostile. Curios, comentatorii vorbesc despre noi, dar nu cu noi. Impartasesc comentarii ieftine, puerile, baliverne, fac afirmatii doar de dragul de a face afirmatii, scriu fara a fi in tema. Pe scurt, isi expun ignoranta in publicatiile de larga circulatie ale Romaniei privind subiectul casatoriei, familiei, de ce proiectul acesta a pornit si care sunt obiectivele lui adevarate. Atacurile la adresa Bisericii, a cultelor religioase, si, in special, a Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, sunt frecvente si virulente. Atacuri similare sunt facute si la adresa persoanelor mai cunoscute care sunt asociate ori atasate proiectului constitutional. Spicuirea presei ne indica ca in capul publicatiilor ostile proiectului constitutional se afla ziarele de mare circulatie. [Detalii: http://adevarul.ro/news/politica/cum-distruge-coalitia-familie-psd-Si-noi-alaturi-ei-1_593105f55ab6550cb8b18118/index.html] E practic imposibil sa citesti in aceste ziare, incepind din anul acesta, ceva pozitiv la adresa Coalitiei pentru Familie si a amendamentului. Se pare ca principiul impartialitatii presei nu se aplica celor 3 milioane de semnatari ori la miscarea pentru viata ori pro-familie. Citeva exemple.

Pe 31 mai dl Catalin Prisacaru a publicat comentariul Coalitia pentru famiglie | Opinie, in Romania Libera. [Detalii: http://romanialibera.ro/opinii/editorial/coalitia-pentru-famiglie—opinie-452008] Un comentariu de jumatate de pagina. Scurt, pentru ca autorul dovedeste ca nu se pricepe la subiect decit sa critice 3 milioane de cetateni responsabili. El da doua motive pentru care e impotriva amendamentului. El numeste proiectul pro-familie un „populism inutil”. Aici comentatorul imprumuta o idee ieftina din presa occidentala: tot ce cetatenii Europei demareaza spre binele lor, e numit, denigrant, „populism.” El pune aceasta ethicheta pe intreaga miscare pro-familie si pro-viata din Romania care, dupa cum se vede, are peste 3 milioane de fani. Mai multi decit are Romania Libera ori dl Prisacaru. Aici dl Prisacaru, si cei care gandesc ca el, isi dovedesc ignoranta. Proiectul constituional aprobat de Camera Deputatilor pe 9 mai 2017 a inceput in 2006, acum 11 ani, cind in Europa inca nici nu se vantura notiunea de populism asa cum e la moda astazi in presa noastra si cea occidentala.

Dl Prisacaru si cei care gandesc ca el dovedesc chiar si mai multa ingnoranta cind vorbesc despre familia naturala ca despre o institutie ostila copiilor si femeilor. E evident ca nici dl Prisacaru nici comentatorii care scriu ca el nu citesc literatura de specialitate. Cel putin de 2 sau 3 ori pe an AFR a dedicat editii saptaminale speciale ultimelor studii sociologice care dovedesc fara indoiala toxicitatea casatoriilor homosexuale. Ele sunt nocive in primul rind pentru copiii care sunt fortati sa traiasca in ele cit si pentru parteneri. Doar luna trecuta am comentat privind cartea lui Messinger, un autor care simpatizeaza cu miscarea homosexuala, in care el discuta flagelul violentei domestice la homosexuali, cu mult mai ridicat ca in familiile naturale unde exista compatibilitate intre parteneri.

Incercan din nou astazi. Oferim comentatorilor presei din Romania care scriu despre proiectul constitutional cartea No Differences? How Children in Same-Sex Households Fare – Studies from Social Sciences („Nicio diferenta? Cum de bine traiesc copiii din caminele cu parteneri de acelasi sex”?) Ea a fost publicata in 2014 de Witherspoon Institute. [Detalii: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/10/18033/] Ar fi util, in spiritul informarii publicului larg din Romania, ca ziarele si comentatorii sa citeze si aceste studii si date statistice.

Dl Prisacaru da inca un motiv pentru care se impotriveste amendamentului – a devenit un act politic. Demersurile Coalitie, zice el, „sunt politizate cu foarte mult succes”. „Pericolul inventat de Coalitie, adauga el, este, pur si simplu, o manipulare politica de manual”. Ne intrebam, cind citim astfel de afirmatii ieftine, daca comentatorii isi dau seama ce zic. Caci vorbesc fara a fi in tema. Coalitia, zice dinsul, a „inventat” un „pericol”.

Daca comentatorii ar studia Constitutia Romaniei, asa cum au studiat-o juristii care sprijina Coalitia pentru Familie, ar intelege ca in Romania o initiativa constitutionala cetateneasca nu poate merge inainte fara avizul Parlamentului. [In acest sens, AFR va recomanda articolul lui Ana Corina Sacrieru: https://www.juridice.ro/512824/aspecte-juridice-privind-modificarea-art-48-alin-1-din-constitutie.html] Si asta spre deosebire de initiativele constitutionale din alte tari. Constitutia Romaniei este foarte rigida in acest sens si face aproape imposibila revizuirea Constitutiei prin initiativa legislativa cetateneasca. In majoritatea tarilor lumii, guvernele au obligatia sa supuna la referend, ipso facto, un proiect constitutional initiat de cetateni daca el implineste conditii minime: (1) un numar de semnaturi minime valabile; si (2) avizul favorabil al curtii constitutionale din tara respectiva. Romania, insa, e o exceptie anti-democratie. Pe linga cei doi factori intilniti in toata lumea, Romania cere ca oricare amendament sa fie aprobat, in plus, si de ambele camere ale Parlamentului cu o majoritate covarsitoare de voturi. Daca dl Prisacaru ar fi comentat asupra proiectului constituional din aceasta perspectiva, am fi fost de acord cu dinsul si ar fi meritat aplauzele noastre. Politizare revizuirii constitutiei prin initiativa cetateneasca poate fi usor remediata prin eliminarea din Constitutie a articolelor care aloca Parlamentului un rol in initiativele cetatenesti de revizuire a Constitutiei.

Revolutia sexuala scindeaza USR

Revolutia sexuala scindeaza peste tot unde ea este institutionalizata. A divizat chiar si biserica, in special bisericile occidentale. Biserica Anglicana e si ea pe pragul de a fi divizata, la fel ca Biserica Episcopala din America. Revolutia sexuala a divizat politica americana, democratii avind in platforma lor casatoriile homosexuale si avortul, pe cind republicanii casatoria naturala si dreptul la viata al copiilor nenascuti.

Mai devreme in an s-a produs si in Romania prima fracturare politica cauzata de revolutia sexuala, cind PNL era pe cale sa se scindeze din cauza amendamentului constitutional. Ramine de vazut ce se va intimpla la congresul PNL din vara. Iar pe 31 mai, dupa cum se stie deja, Biroul National a Uniunii Salvati Romania, a votat, cu 11 la 8 si 2 abtineri, ca USR sa se opuna, in mod oficial, amendamentului 48. In urma acestui act, pe care noi il sacotim negandit, dl Nicusor Dan a demisionat din functia de Presedinte al USR cit si ca membru al partidului. Dl Dan si-a afirmat pozitia in favoarea amendamentului constitutional si ii apreciem integritatea morala. Privind USR, repetam astazi ce am mai scris cu citeva saptamini in urma: acest partid nu isi are radacinile infipte in traditia romanesca, credinta crestina, ori valorile traditionale ori moral crestine. E un partid de stanga, plamadit dupa chipul si asemanarea partidelor seculare de stanga occidentale. Intelegem ca USR incepe sa isi pozitioneze candidati pentru alegeri la nivel local in diferite orase si municipii din Romania. Sugeram intregii miscari pro-familie si pro-viata din Romania, si tuturor celor 3 milioane de cetateni care au semnat pentru initiativa cetateneasca sa NU voteze candidatii USR la aceste alegeri, ori la alegerile viitoare.

Andrei Plesu

Ne apropiem acum de un subiect mai delicat – miscarea intelectuala conservatoare din Romania si absenta ei mai totala din proiectul constitutional. Intelectualii conservatori din Romania au dovedit timiditate privind articolul 48. Doar dupa 9 mai incepem sa dibuim isi ci colo citiva intelectuali conservatori care fac afirmatii, inca timide, in sprijinul revizuirii Constitutiei. Cita vreme miscarea autentic conservatoare din Romania, adica pro-viata si pro-familie, din 2006 pina 2017, a muncit din greu sa asigure protejarea casatoriei in Constitutie, ei au tacut chitic. E greu de gasit comentarii ori afirmatii publice venite din partea intelectualilor conservatori din Romania dinainte de 2017 in sprijinul protejarii casatoriei in Constitutie ori in apararea Bisericii ori a persoanelor care au muncit de ani de zile, si continua sa mumceasca, zi si noapte, la acest proiect. Acesti intelectuali nu pot fi numiti dcit oportunisti.

Ceea ce aduce in discutie comentariul lui Andrei Plesu facut in ultima saptamina a lunii mai la emisiunea Cooltura. Conform ActiveNews, dinsul sprijina din plin casatoria naturala, dar e si de acord cu „parteneriatul civil”. [Articol: http://www.activenews.ro/stiri-social/Andrei-Plesu-mesaj-radical-pentru-homosexuali-%C2%A0Stai-in-statutul-pe-care-l-ai-ales.-Nu-incerca-sa-te-faci-%E2%80%9Emamica-143576#.WSr1iIxbS5E.email] („Sunt de acord cu parteneriatul civil. Este vorba de solutii de viata pragmatica. Oamenii se imbolnavesc, mor. … E o diferenta intre casatorie si parteneriat civil”) Daca ar fi asa cum zice dl Plesu ar fi bine. Dar din nefericire nu e asa. Intelectualii nu sunt juristi, nici nu gandec cum gandesc juristii ori judecatorii, mai ales cei de la Curtea Europeana a Drepturilor Omului. Intelectualii care gandesc ca dl Plesu, bine intentionati, dovedesc si ei ca nu sunt in tema. Ei ignora toxicitatea parteneriatelor civile pentru copii si parteneri, si faptul ca submineaza demnitatea si integritatea casatoriei naturale ca institutie in societate. Motivul principal pentru care pozitia dlui Pleu e gresita, si suntem convinsi ca nici el nici intelectualii care sunt de acord cu el nu il stiu, este ca, dupa Curtea Europeana a Drepturilor Omului si a deciziilor decretate deja de mai multe ori, tarile care instituie parteneriatele civile pentru homosexuali trebuie sa le echivaleze cu casatoria naturala intre persoane de sex opus. In alte cuvinte, statul nu poate diferentia ori discrimina intre familia naturala si parteneriatele homosexuale. Toate drepturile si beneficiile acordate de catre stat casatoriei naturale si familiei naturale trebuie conferite si parteneriatelor homosexuale. Cee ce inseamna, in final si la nivel practic, ca toata truda celor 3 milioane de semnatari, va fi in zadar.

Ce trebuie noi sa facem?

Ce trebuie noi sa facem? Sa stam linistiti. Dar nu nepasatori. Sa ne rugam. Sa stam la carma. Perseverenti, determinati, convinsi ca ceea ce facem e bine pentru noi, copiii nostri, viitorul lor, si viitorul Romaniei. Si chiar al Europei. Romania s-a nascut in familia si casatoria naturala. Fara ele Romania nu ar exista azi si fara ele Romania nu va exista maine. Severa criza demografica si emigrarea masiva a romanilor in strainatate cu care ne confruntam nu ne permit sa ne jucam cu casatoria naturala ca institutie. Nu e vremea sa experimentam cu institutii sociale paralele care vatama copiii si subrezesc familia. Europa occidentala a facut-o si continua sa o faca. Consecintele sunt evidente peste tot si nu sunt bune. Dimpotriva familia si casatoria naturala trebuie sprijinite si intarite. Va incurajam sa ramineti convinsi ca semnaturile voastre nu au fost date in zadar ci pentru o cauza buna. Caci intr-o buna zi istoria ne va cere socoteala pentru pozitiile care le-am avut in vremurile acesta de care depinde chiar supravietuirea noastra ca natiune.

UNDER SIEGE, ROMANIA’S CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FORGES AHEAD, ALIVE AND WELL

As we frequently mention, we have many English speaking readers or young Romanians living abroad who understand and read English much better than Romanian. They also need to be informed about developments related to the marriage amendment in Romania. For which reason, we periodically add a few English paragraphs to our newsletter to keep them informed as well. A few week ago we provided an update and promised to revert with subsequent updates as warranted. This week we have written a commentary in English related to recent developments related to the constitutional amendment. We are offering an abridged version, and those wishing to read it in full can do so by following this link: http://www.culturavietii.ro/2017/06/06/siege-romanias-constitutional-amendment-forges-ahead-alive-well/

Wide International Interest

Romania’s proposed marriage amendment has received a lot of attention internationally, some good but mostly bad. The amendment has friends and foes. The foes have been more vociferous. It inflamed the passions of Europe’s left and has rallied against it the Western media, extremist members of the European Parliament, and various NGOs. The sudden and vociferous campaign can only be qualified as the start of what we expect to be psychological warfare against the overwhelming majority of Romania’s population which insists that marriage in their country remain as nature has designed it – a man and a woman. The abrupt interest in the marriage amendment was precipitated by its approval, with a vote of 232 to 22, by Romania’s Chamber of Deputies on May 9, 2017. The approval sent shock waves throughout the European Union and its leaders are beginning to pay close attention. Concerned that the referendum might, after all, take place, or even worse, succeed, Europe’s elites are doing their best to ensure its defeat.

The European Parliament

On May 17, 2017, 28 Members of the European Parliament („MEPs”) tendered an Open Letter to the Romanian Government and Romania’s major political parties, urging them „to not support the proposed referendum on the definition of the family.” [The Open Letter can be read here: http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/intergroup-documents/open-letter-to-romanian-parliamentarians-do-not-support-the-proposed-referendum-on-the-definition-of-the-family/] Collectively, they represent the most extreme, eccentric, and antidemocratic fringe of the European Parliament. The list contains the who’s who of the European Parliament’s most bizarre members.

The fist name that strikes the eye is Ulrike Lunacek, whose name tops the list. An Austrian and a member of the European Parliament’s Greens Group, she is the author of proposed European Parliament resolutions which promote anti-family views. She gained notoriety on October 14, 2013 when she authored a Motion for a Resolution, urging the European Parliament to adopt its mostly anti-family positions.

Another radical MEP who signed the anti-Romanian marriage amendment letter is Sophie in ‘t Veld. I had the opportunity to personally view Ms. in ‘t Veld in action in 2009. Her anti-family, anti-Christian bigoted views became obvious as soon as she started to address an audience at the European Parliament. During the open forum she angrily disrespected the media representative of a pro-family organization who attended the conference. Her disdain for pro-family groups is well known. Not only is she anti-family and anti-Christian, but also anti-democratic. Irritated by the resurgence of conservative politics in Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, in 2015 she recommended the European Union create a supervisory body to monitor „anti-democratic” politicians, politics, and civic organizations in the European Union. According to her vision, the supervisory board would have the authority to recommend discipline against state-members of the European Union which, in the opinion of the supervisory board, do not conform to the board’s expectations of what a genuine democracy is. The board would consist of appointed, unelected „experts” authorized to suggest punitive actions against disloyal members of the European Union. Ms. in ‘t Veld was also behind the group of MEPs which last year pushed for formal censorship of MEPs’ speeches which could be construed to be hateful, discriminatory or contrary to „European values.”

Given the peculiar views held by the MEPs which signed the May 17, 2017 letter, it is no wonder that its content and concepts are so radical and off the grid. In addition to its glacial tone, the letter is a garbled mix of poorly structured concepts. For instance, the MEPs opined that the proposed marriage amendment would „incite discrimination against families in their various forms,” claiming that such discrimination „already exists in Romanian society.”

European Association for the Defense of Human Rights

The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights, known by its acronym „AEDH,” joined the fray twelve (12) days later, on May 29, 2017, when it ratcheted up Western attacks on the marriage amendment in a press release. AEDH claims to follow „with great concern the violations of civil and political rights in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.” It says it is disturbed by recent trends there and, particularly, in Romania, where an „increasing number” of „well-organized groups erode the democratic foundations of the societies.” The AEDH’s media release virulently attacks the Coalition for the Family which is behind the marriage amendment, alleging that „its supporters rally on hate speech against LGBT and feminist groups, and against all people and entities that support civil and political rights, fundamental principles such as equality, the rule of law and the European values.” The press release additionally comments, without explaining, that „Romania is already one of the countries in the EU with worst records (sic!) on violence against LGBT people.” Worse, it claims the „referendum is a catalyst for radical religious and ultra conservative groups against minorities and women but also defying human rights and instilling mistrust of rationality and scientific knowledge, the foundation of modern and democratic society.”

AEDH calls for action „at European level to limit the effects of ultraconservative religious militants” in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Its press release culminates with the alarmist claim that Romania’s marriage amendment puts „the European project … at crossroads.” [You can read the press release here: http://www.aedh.eu/A-European-call-for-the-respect.html]

So, there you have it. Europe’s extremist voices, couched in the language of human rights and alleged concern for democracy, attack 3 million responsible citizens who launched the constitutional amendment. According to these sinister voices, Romania is home to at least 3 million bigots, narrow minded individuals, extremists, religious fanatics, militants, ultra-religious and ultraconservative adults who are eroding the foundations of Europe, its commitment to human rights, and are pushing Europe toward collapse. Really?

A Few Observations

The threatening notes addressed to Romania’s political parties and public fall short in several respects. First, the lecturing in civics coming from Europe’s fringe does not help and is counterproductive. The notes are highly inappropriate and read more into what is actually taken place than is warranted. The bother is not that prominent personalities and organizations outside of Romania express positions on a matter of internal concern to the people of Romania. It is that their authors have a hidden agenda of their own and are using the Romanian marriage amendment to promote it. The agenda is the radical secularization of the European Union with all of its consequences. To their disappointment, Romanians have not embraced secularism, have not cast off Christianity, but have remained very traditional and committed to their Christian roots and faith in spite of 45 years of communism and forced atheism. A major resurgence of faith and religiousness has been underway in Eastern Europe for many years as shown by a major, 176-page Report published in May by Pew Research Center in the United States. [Details: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/may/pew-atheism-failed-central-eastern-europe-orthodox-identity.html] This resurgence of faith is at loggerheads with Western Europe’s grand secularization project, a project it seeks to extend and enforce on all citizens of the European Union, whether willing or unwilling, and on all member states. Seen from their perspective, Romania’s marriage amendment is another bump in the road, although a major one.

Second, the written commentaries evidence the MEPs’ fear and distrust of democracy, citizens, and of the democratic process. This is serious because a persistent criticism of the European Union is its severe democratic deficit. The notes go a long way to support this criticism. In recent years much ink has been spilled over „populism” as a threat to democracy, both in Europe and the United States. Romania’s proposed marriage amendment is viewed by Europe’s secularists from a populist angle. Erroneously, though. Romania’s marriage amendment is not an exercise in populism, originated in 2006 well before populism became fashionable, is not a populist project, and was never intended to be one. From the beginning it was an exercise in democracy, conceived out of concerns for the welfare of the oldest institution in human history, marriage and the family, the institution which brought about the Romanian nation and without which it will cease to exist. It would be highly unrealistic to expect that efforts by the European Union to force them to secularize and abandon faith in God and loyalty to the natural family would go unchallenged. The citizens’ initiative is an exercise in common sense, in survival. One must also consider Romania’s severe demographic decline which is threatening its very existence. It would seem unwise, from their perspective, to undermine the only social institution which can rectify this serious problem: the natural family and marriage.

Third, Europe’s politicians should view the citizen’s initiative not with suspicion or as a threat to democracy or human rights but as a healthy expression of the maturing Romanian democracy. They seem annoyed by citizens exercising their constitutional rights in a democratic manner. The threatening notes have a chilling effect on the democratic process. Romania’s Constitution offers citizens a mechanism to initiate constitutional amendments, just like the constitutions of most countries. Romania’s citizens took advantage of this mechanism and followed its requirements to the letter. The fact that Europe’s fringe politicians and NGOs disagree with the anticipated outcome of the referendum does not give them the right or authority to try to block it. Nor to malign the people of Romania or of Eastern Europe and label them in all sorts of demeaning and inappropriate ways.

Fourth, it is high time for politicians to get used to listen to the voice of citizens even if they do not like what they hear. To learn to live with the lawfully enacted decisions made by citizens. Citizens have long become used to live with the consequences of the politicians’ decisions, disastrous as they often are. It’s time politicians understand that’s the way a democracy works. On this point, one of secularism’s most influential voices has spoken forcefully and politicians would do well to hear his words again and heed them. John Rawls was one of the most influential political philosophers of the second half of the last century. He passed away in 2002 but has remained very influential to this day, mapping the road for the radical jurisprudential thinking which dominates the world of human rights today and which we see displayed in the human rights courts and rulings of the European Union and North America. In 1993 he published his very influential Political Liberalism. On page 137 he writes: „(O)ur exercise of political power is fully proper only when it is exercised in accordance with a constitution the essentials of which all citizens as free and equal may reasonably be expected to endorse in the light of principles and ideals acceptable to their common human reason.”

Rawls’ striking comments should be the ending point of the debate. Politicians only exercise political power with the consent of the citizens and are mandated to implement the principles and ideals, including institutions, which correspond to their common human reason. If the people of Ireland, in accordance with their „common human reason” decided to adopt a definition and vision for marriage which departs from its natural meaning, Romanians are likewise to be allowed to make their decision, democratically, without outside interference, and according to their „common human reason,” as to whether or not to keep or discard the natural meaning of marriage.

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