Have you heard of "the Elders?" They are a group of international big names who have been selected for their self-proclaimed "collective wisdom." Among them are former Secretary General of the U.N. Kofi Annon, former president Jimmy Carter, former Irish president Mary Robinson, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and a handful of others. According to their website they were convened in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to "offer their experience and support for peace building and collaborative approaches to addressing major causes of human suffering."
How do they work? "The Elders are committed to listening to the views of all groups and individuals – and especially women and young people....The Elders amplify the voices of those who work hard to be heard, challenge injustice, stimulate dialogue and debate and help others to work for positive change in their societies."
In their website video Kofi Annon says of the elders (including himself), "They do not have careers to build, elections to wins, constituents to please. They can talk to anyone they please and are free to follow any paths they deem right." The elders then, are being promoted as an independent group of wise leaders able to advise the global village to solve the problems of mankind. Religion has little role in this enterprise. In fact, the elders see it as a primary oppressor of women and a source of many of mankind's problems.
This is particularly evident in the discussion of one of the main issues listed on the website, "equality of women and girls." The page addressing the issue specifically targets religion as a source of discrimination. Jimmy Carter, writing in his role as an elder, elaborated on this recently when he quit the Southern Baptist Convention because of their position against ordaining women as deacons and pastors. In a commentary article in The Age, an Australian Newspaper, he made it clear that religions that will not ordain women are antiquated and discriminatory. "The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men," Carter wrote, "owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths." This was clearly a swipe at all faiths, including the Catholic Church, that do not ordain women. It is the same language adopted by feminist groups advocating women priests.
Carter also used not so coded language to attack the Church for its opposition to abortion. "The belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives." While the Elders' website carries nothing about abortion, the language that fills U.N. documents about women "controlling their bodies" and women's reproductive rights should concern anyone about the ultimate goals of this group, especially since many are well known for their abortion advocacy. Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson, Kofi Annon, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela all have extreme pro-abortion backgrounds.
In fact, the Elders looks like one more group of elitist ideologues who believe that human effort can bring about Utopia. Their cumulutive record of pro-abortion and pro-population control politics makes it questionable whether they really have the interests of individual people at heart. As Screwtape, C.S. Lewis' senior devil, always advised his nephew Wormwood, keep man's attention on humanity as a whole and he'll overlook the hungry man next door.
For more on The Elders:
Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, and Other Global Council of Elders Slam Christian Churches for Not Ordaining Women
Nelson Mandela's Group of Global "Elders" a Who's Who of Pro-Abortion, Pro-Population Control Movement
The Elders a group of eminent global leaders say Religious and traditional practices discriminate against women and girls