In the Netherlands there is political support for the Nashville declaration, one of the few European countries where that happens. The text places women, lgbt and young people that sex before marriage want to be firmly on the defensive.
There is great anger arise in ‘a model country the Netherlands, now some very prominent people, the ultraconservatieve Declaration of Nashville have supported. Among them, four employees of the Free …
There is great anger arise in ‘a model country the Netherlands, now some very prominent people, the ultraconservatieve Declaration of Nashville have supported. Among them, four employees of the Free University of Amsterdam, more than 200 orthodox-protestant church leaders with much influence in the Dutch ‘Bible Belt’, and the politician Kees van der Staaij. He is the leader of the small Political Reformed Party (SGP) that a few seats in the parliament. The larger british national Party took away from the text. But in the meantime promises to the court to examine whether the Nashville-statement actionable. Minister of Education and Emancipation Ingrid van Engelshoven calls it a step back in time. Among the signatories is no woman.
What is in the text?
American Evangelical christians, in 2017 the Nashville declaration on ‘Biblical sexuality’. The English version (14 articles) has since been signed by 22,000 people. This is the first English translation.
The text is against the same-sex marriage (article 1). According to article 6 and 7, ‘for transgenders who are actively sex-want to change’, or ‘genderqueer’s that position themselves as lgbt, against the Divine order. Them is advised to ‘clean’ or ‘their biological gender to accept’. Because, as a Dutch pastoral ‘postscript’ in the original American text was missing: ‘the struggle against sin is always in self-denial.’
Only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the crosshairs?
No, any man who has sex, falls under the ecclesiastical dogmas. Article nine states that sex outside marriage is a sin. For strict christians is that a reason to be scientific, neutral information about sex in schools, to fire and to sword fight. Parents in Canada and the U.S. are very active in that struggle. However, it shows the scientific research that young people only about abstinence learn, not inclined to sex, let alone that they are safe choices.
Article 4 says that the differences between man and woman willed by God and unchangeable. What the original writers intend, is that women do not have the same roles as men have. According to that ‘Biblical’ interpretation, a woman should meekly to her father or husband listen to, she has no leadership record and hear them especially at home at the fireplace. However, according to Psychology Today, differences between the sexes often only scientifically to determine at group level. Men and women are not individually opposite to each other in all areas possible.
Dutch media call the text often homophobic and transfoob. That is not 100 percent correct. The text says explicitly that those people are part of the church and that God could save them. ‘Nashville’ is in fact particularly extensive antiseculier and antifeministisch. “Every man is God, perfect devotion is due,” says the statement. What it means to be a man or a woman is ‘individual choice’.
Makes this text something?
That a small party with unwavering views of Nashville is to promote, does not need to surprise. But a free gedachtenballonnetje isn’t this. The statement is construed as a turning point in a cultuurstrijd, in which christians themselves must arm themselves against the secular times. The time of discussion and dissent is past (‘article 10: WE DENY that the approval of homosexual impurity, or transgenderism is a morally neutral thing, that faithful christians among themselves of the opinion may differ’). A new militancy, so, even though it is in a minority.
“We see an increased activity of ultraconservatieven on social media,” says Neil Datta, director of the European Forum for Population and author of a report on ultrareactionair right in Europe. “In that way, even less conventional ideas more spread. The Dutch evangelical christians are also internationally very active.’
Last year was all of the fuss is because the Biblical Foundation ‘stichting Siriz’ government grants received for the provision of ‘zwangerschapsbegeleiding’. In fact, it is Siriz strict anti-abortion and gave the scientifically incorrect information. So it is not that strict christian views on sexuality is not to have practical consequences in the Netherlands.