UN secretary general Kofi Annan called the new International Criminal Court a “gift of hope to future generations, and a giant step forward in the march towards universal human rights and the rule of law.”

Campaign Life Coalition fears the ICC will be a “powerful instrument of forced social change by feminist, homosexual, and other radical groups.” Many pro-lifers also see the court as a crucial step in the abandonment of national sovereignty, and the establishment of a tyrannical world government.

The interpretation you accept depends on whether you understand the thinking of the political and cultural elites who designed, and will probably run, the ICC.

If you think the UN-types from Kofi Annan on down see human rights as stemming from the inherent dignity of each and every human being, simply because we are human beings, you’ll take the optimistic view.

And if you think the powers-that-be see the UN simply as an instrument of international cooperation and peace among governments accountable to their peoples, you’ll regard the ICC as a great step forward.

On the other hand, if you’re aware that the dominant view in UN circles is that human rights include things universally considered abominations in the very recent past, and that in some cases, human beings have absolutely no rights at all, you’ll be concerned.

And if you realize our Western political culture has shifted from recognizing the importance of national sovereignty to assuming the goodness and inevitability of global, but not necessarily democratic government, you’ll be alarmed indeed.

We believe our view of the ICC accurately reflects the views of most pro-lifers, who are typically idealistic and realistic at the same time. Precisely because we’re pro-life—because we believe that each and every human life is sacred—we long for the day when all those who violate our rights as creatures of God will be brought to full justice.

But precisely because of that commitment to the dignity of human life, we also see how our most basic human right, the right to life, is trampled on constantly by the very nations, like Canada, who speak loudest on “human rights” issues, and who have the greatest power to make their voices heard around the world.

We hate to sound cynical, but too many people are dangerously naive about Canada’s self-image as a modest but determined leader of peace and order in the world—a kind of international Dudley Do-Right. A leading U.S. pro-family lobbyist present at the Rome conference summed the reality up well, when he remarked that “all the bad stuff (at the conference) came from Canada.

Canada was the worst—it was beyond belief.” In that light, the media’s crowing about the key role Canada played in establishing the ICC would make a cynic out of anyone.

In its July 21 editorial, for example, The Toronto Star exclaimed breathlessly that “for the second time in less than a year (referring to the ICC agreement and the earlier worldwide land-mines treaty), Canada has played midwife to a historic global agreement” — an unfortunate metaphor indeed, considering Canada’s aggressive advocacy of the pro-abortion agenda throughout the ICC deliberations.

In our view, therefore, while an ICC could be a wonderful tool for building true justice and freedom everywhere, in the context in which the court has been established and will be used, we fear it will be an extremely powerful weapon in the hands of the international anti-life, anti-family movement.

Pro-lifers in Canada decry how similar instruments of “justice” in our country, such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the provincial human rights codes, are being used to destroy the beliefs and institutions this great country was founded on. Every one of us should get active right now to keep the ICC and similar emerging institutions from doing the same sort of thing on a global scale. The remarkable achievements of a handful of pro-life lobbyists at the ICC conference in Rome show that it isn’t necessarily too late.

Those few pro-lifers who object to the Charter and the human rights codes, but who are complacent about the threat the ICC poses, and who dismiss concerns about the court as nothing more than “conspiracy theories,” should stop and consider the following analogy. At the beginning of the twentieth century, people were horrified by the new destructive power of machine guns and tanks. By the middle of the century, our power to destroy and the terror it engenders increased exponentially, with the advent of nuclear weapons, and the use of such weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Pierre Trudeau’s Charter was the tank that plowed through what few restrictions Canada had on abortion, and the Charter is currently being used to mow down the Canadian family, with the help of machine-gun fire from the human rights commissions. Now the UN has come up with a bomb with the power to do the same kind of damage, but on a staggering, incalculable scale. Don’t think they won’t use it.