Some 250 preachers, politicians and other Dutch Orthodox Calvinist citizens, have signed this weekend a manifesto against homosexuality, gay marriage and transgender people, which he describes as "sin to accept homosexual filth and transsexuality". It is the local version of the Nashville Declaration, presented in 2017 in the United States by the Evangelical Council of the Teachings of the Bible on the Sexuality of Man and Woman. In the Netherlands, one of the signatories is Kees van der Staaij, leader of the Calvinist party (SGP, in its acronym in Dutch) with three seats in Congress and two in the Senate. It has been criticized by the center-right government and the prosecution will investigate the writing.
Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education and Culture, has verbalized the official rejection with these words: "Sexual liberation is far from being achieved". At the same time, the State Attorney General's Office announced on Monday the opening of an investigation, "to assess the possible illegality of the text," as indicated by its spokespersons. The manifesto states, among other things, that "our identity as men and women is determined by the divine plan on Creation and Redemption, as He reveals in the Bible." "Those who present themselves consciously as homosexuals or transsexuals, deny these sacred teachings." Both the City Hall of Amsterdam and the Free University of the city, of Christian inspiration, have raised rainbow flags, representing the LGTBIQ community. Four members of the Faculty of Religion and Theology appear among the signatories of the controversial text.
In a statement, Van der Staaij has said he finds "appropriate biblical notions about marriage, family and sexuality of the Nashville Declaration." However, the Protestant Church of the Netherlands has described the manifesto as irresponsible. On the other hand, some Calvinist pastors, like Willem Smouter, have made their rejection public from their Twitter account. "Before they said you could be [gay] as long as you did not do anything. Now it's worse: you can not even be it. You can not present yourself as a person with a homosexual identity. Do not believe it. Anyone: man or woman, Jew or Gentile, homo or heterosexual, is welcomed by God, "he says.
Liberals on the left, one of the four parties of the ruling coalition, have accused Van der Staaij of "Deny your fundamental rights to thousands of citizens." The Christian Union, a Protestant group also in the Executive, has distanced itself from the manifesto because "a rubric of this kind does not contribute to the debate on faith and homosexuality; The essential message of Jesus is not a list of good or bad things, but an invitation to all, "said Gert-Jan Segers, its leader and Secretary of State for Education. The Christian Democrats, equally in power, have rejected the narrowness of view of the Calvinists, "because where God is there is love and care, and Nashville's statement is the opposite," in the words of Ruth Peetoom, president of the party.
Dedicated to human sexuality and gender roles, the Nashville Declaration It is a "document of faith" emanating from the Evangelical Council of the Teachings of the Bible on the sexuality of Man and Woman, of that city in Tennessee (United States). In essence, it supports "heterosexual marriage, marital fidelity, chastity before marriage and the concept of man and woman defined by biological sex". Consequently, "it is against the sexuality represented by the LGTBIQ collective, homosexual unions, polygamy, polyamory, adultery and fornication. " It was published in 2017 during the annual Conference of the Commission on Ethics and Religious Liberty of the Southern Baptist Convention, an American Christian denomination that dates back to 1845.