Pastor Jan-Aage Torp gave this speech at the public rally against the abuses of «Barnevernet» at Eidsvolls Plass in Oslo today:
I am speaking here today on PROTECTION OF THE CHILDREN. That is what 63 demonstrations in 20 nations and on 3 continents is all about today.
In spite of the fact that there are quite a few good workers in Barnevernet that do a lot of good, I have witnessed for many years that Barnevernet is in fundamental disagreement with the Bible´s Words on the family, as well as with the UN´s Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the foundation of Barnevernet that is wrong. That is why I am working for a full change of Barnevernet.
The Bible and the Convention on the Rights of the Child are in agreement
The fourth commandment says: «Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you» (Exodus 20:12).
The UN´s Convention on the Rights of the Child is actually in agreement with this, and has placed the care responsibilites and care rights first and foremost with the parents according to article 18. It states that: «both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.» Article 19 underscores that when parents are not willing or capable of giving needed protection and care, then all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures shall be taken to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation. Please note that the UN´s Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes that this comes as a last resort – not as the first solution.
The clarity of UN´s Convention on the Rights of the Child is reassuring for all religions and faiths. Hindus in India, muslims in Indonesia, buddhists in Thailand where I grew up, as well as shintos in Japan where I was born, are focused on the best of the child, and for that the family is the foundation!
Sadly, we do not have now a Norwegian Constitution, which otherwise esteems the Bible, that gives the needed, specific support of children and families, like the Bible and UN´s Convention on the Rights of the Child do.
Here I would like to use the opportunity, because we criticize the political parties in Parliament, to give praise to the Christian Democratic Party´s (Kristelig Folkeparti) work in Parliament: They almost succeeded in 2014 to include in the new Constitution´s paragraph 103 this clear wording: «families are a fundamental entity in society”. But Abid Raja of Venstre (the social-liberal party) prevented this during the final vote. So here we must learn to cooperate with the good forces.
We need to learn to work with a long-range perspective in the political arena, soberly and unbiased, and not just have strong wordings on a day like this, but even work on the small and important changes that comprise a whole which creates better conditions for children and families.
I want to fight for the unborn child, but then the logical consequence is that I also will fight for the born. If you are against abortion, but you permit that children are taken away from mom and dad, without great effort is made first to strengthen the family, then you are living inconsistently. We have got to protect the child, both in mother´s womb, and after the child is born.
There are certain things we need to be mindful of in Norway:
In a harmonious society, the parents give the children a safe and caring upbringing. But in the disintegration that has taken place of traditional family values in Norway, there has been a moving away from “the biological principle” as the ruling principle. That must be reinstated! We cannot have a barnevern which puts the state and the expertise of professionals over the responsibility, care and love of parents.
Parents must be notified first if Barnevernet wants to take action. It is not right to take the children away from mom and dad first, but they must come alongside mom and dad to find ways so the family may function well – for the best of the children.
God bless Norway! God bless everyone of us! Let us fight for the children and for the family in Norway and the world!