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Promise Keepers Hold No Promise for Women

Feminist Majority President, Eleanor Smeal, warned: Don't be fooled by their 'touchy-feely' outward appearances; The Promise Keepers are preaching that men are ordained to lead - women to submit or follow. We have been there, done that. These out-moded attitudes have led time and time again to low pay, low status, and the abuse of women.

The submission of women has been the core of all anti-women's rights campaigns. The bible has been used to justify witch burnings, slavery, the defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, and to condemn gay men and lesbians.

What is new about the modern day Promise Keepers is that they have the audacity to advocate male-only gatherings or gender apartheid and male domination in the United States at the turn of the 21st Century.

The shocking tenets of some of PK's leaders set up Uncle Tom as a role model for racial reconciliation today. Gone from their vocabulary are the words equality and social justice. Here are two quotes from Promise Keepers Conference speaker, Bishop Wellington Boone:

"I want to boldly affirm Uncle Tom ... he is a role model."

"I believe that slavery, and the understanding of it when you see it God's way, was redemptive."
We join other national organizations and religious groups such as the National Organization for Women, People for the American Way, and the Unitarian Universalists, in seeking to expose the hidden political agenda of the Promise Keepers. This group's leadership has a clear record of support for anti-abortion, anti-affirmative action, and anti-lesbian and gay legislation.

Serving as one of the Promise Keepers Spokespeople is Mark DeMoss of the DeMoss family, whose foundation pours millions of dollars into religious right causes including the anti-abortion Life, What a Beautiful Choice advertisements against abortion and family planning. McCartney is militantly opposed to women's reproductive freedom, and has been a featured speaker at events of the anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue. During an Operation Rescue rally, which was trying to close a local women's clinic, McCartney declared that abortion had become "a second Civil War."

While in their official speeches, materials and publications, the Promise Keepers avoid explicit anti-abortion statements, further examination uncovers anti-abortion sentiments. Incorporated in their New Man magazine are advertisements for pro-life bank checks and commentary on the guilt and pain of "male post-abortion syndrome." Additionally, some state Promise Keepers' World Wide Web sites include anti-abortion links, revealing their true position on abortion.

Media Resources: FMF Press Release - October 2, 1997

© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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