Down-shifting GEAR

"Down-shifting GEAR" Continued...

Issue: "Cities of God and Man," March 27, 2010

Tearfund has developed a program that uses the language of healthy relationships to fight violence, emphasizing love instead of control and selfish power. Tearfund starts with teaching healthy relationships-what Marshall says the church does best-and then teaches that when institutions formally acknowledge rights, they acknowledge the need for relationships based on human dignity. Marshall said Tearfund tested the program in an African village, where the village chief and church members saw the transformation of a man named Amos-once an abusive drunkard but now a man who loves his wife and teaches others to do the same.

Another panel, sponsored by Family Watch International, emphasized the importance of motherhood in cultures where traditional values are under assault. African women who have just given birth go to the "fattening room" where they can be pampered, since motherhood deserves to be rewarded-an honoring that the panelists urged the audience to support. Alveda King, niece to Martin Luther King Jr. and a vocal pro-life advocate, gave the most explicit pro-life plea, echoing the themes of maternal mortality and calling for basic prenatal care instead of abortion advocacy: "Reproductive health should be viewed as procreative health. Pregnancy is a unique, life-giving capability of women that should be affirmed by governments and not treated as a disease to be eliminated."


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