Concerned Women for America|
Concerned Women for America is the fundamentalist Christian form of feminism. CWA was founded by Beverly LeHaye, wife of Tim LeHaye, best-selling author (and now multi-millionaire) of the "Left Behind" series. (It is less well-known that Tim LeHaye was also a co-founder, along with Jerry Falwell, of the original Moral Majority. Just another example of how inter-connected all these RRR groups truly are.) CWA was officially incorporated in 1979 in response to the Equal Rights Amendment: CWA campaigned against it since they believe that ERA breaks down the God-given roles in families. Mrs. LeHaye acted as president of CWA until 1998, when Carmen Pate took the reins for four years. She was followed by Sandy Rios, a popular Chicago-area radio talk-show hostess, who left CWA quite suddenly in March, 2004. Today, CWA is again headed by Mrs. LeHaye, although now she calls herself the chairman instead of the president of the organization.
The mission of CWA, according to their official website, is "...to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens [Author's Note: all citizens...even if they're not Christian]- first through prayer, then education, and finally by influencing our society - thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation." They quite plainly state that they seek to help "members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy." Apparently regardless of whether or not everyone ascribes to Biblical principals.
CWA focuses their attention on six core issues:
- definition of the family ("traditional" family of one man/one woman married with kids— there's that catch-all phrase for the radical religious right: "traditional")
- the sanctity of human life
- education (reform public education by "returning" authority to parents— even though they already have it and never lost it to begin with)
- pornography (they want it and all obscenity gone— and I'm pretty sure that homosexuality is considered an obscenity as well as not being "traditional")
- religious liberty (so they can pray and worship without fear of discrimination or persecution— even if it's on someone else's time or infringing on someone else's rights (no, they don't say that on their official website, but that's what they mean.))
- national sovereignty (they think the UN is bad and want us out of the UN or any other international organization that has any sort of "authority" over the US government.)
Not surprisingly, every elected politician profiled in this site received a 100% rating from CWA in 2003 for voting in line with CWA's position. Today, CWA claims 600,000 members— mostly women, although the simple act of contributing money to CWA makes one a "member" so those numbers may not accurately reflect the active membership (ie, those who do more than send money once a year.) However, it sure makes them look like a big organization with a lot of potential voters when they say they have more than half a million members.
These women, like the membership of the Christian Coaltion and Focus on the Family, are highly organized and appear to have very deep pockets. One of CWA's latest ventures is called Project 535, in which pairs of volunteers travel monthly to Washington, DC when Congress is in session. They then proceed to lobby all 535 members of Congress with their concerns and seek support for their agenda. These women, according to CWA's own numbers, can meet with 40-70 members of Congress daily!
Yet the agenda of the CWA goes beyond politics as is demonstrated by their lambasting of Republicans who do not adhere to CWA dogma. Early in Bush's first reign, CWA blasted him for his stand on gay rights issues, decrying his appointment of an openly gay man to be ambassador to Romania and his decision to not overturn the US State Department's domestic partnership policy.
The interconnectedness of all these radical religious right groups is no more evident than in the creation of a "new" arm of CWA called "The Culture and Family Institute." Robert Knight and Peter LaBarbara, formerly associated with the Family Research Council (which is/was associated with James Dobson's Focus on the Family), left FRC over doctrinal differences (FRC was apparently too liberal for them) and came to CWA where they helped form the Culture and Family Institute, which they now head. Yet for as conservative as this group, there is at least one group out there that believes that CWA is actually promoting the agenda of the Anti-Christ.
Here's just a small example of the extremism of the CWA. According to an audio interview posted on CWA's website on December 30, 2005, the Barbie website promotes "gender confusion", which they see as as part of the "homosexual agenda". Now, the audio, if you listen to it, says that the only options given for age are 4-8. However, after finding the page myself, when you click on the down arrow, you do only see ages 4-8, but you also see a scroll bar, although the coloring may make it hard for some to see or it may go unnoticed, and the age options go up to 70+.
The CWA's website also has a captured screen shot that shows the second "question" of the poll that says "I'm a..." and the answers CWA says children are being given. The screen shot seems to indicate that the answers say "I am a Boy" or "I am a Girl" or "I don't know." But the question says "I'm a..." and if combined with the answer, it would read "I'm a...I am a Boy". The poll on the site as of January 4, 2005 shows the drop down choices as "Boy", "Girl", "I don't want to say". Of course, there's the possibility that the "bad publicity" from CWA caused Mattel to redo the poll page, but even if Mattel did have an "I don't know" option, to suggest that that's promoting gender confusion is a huge leap of "logic" (twisted as it might be), especially if the age options were what CWA's site suggests: only 4-8. Some kids parents may have told them not to give out any information about themselves, including whether they were a girl or a boy. Or, like many kids, when asked a question, "I don't know" is often their first response. You see a cute kid in the mall and you say "How old are you, young man?" and the kid looks up and you and says, "I don't know" while hiding behind mom's leg.
But let's go one step further and say that that answer was for those who are gender confused. How is recognizing that fact and giving those kids who already feel so left out at least some semblance of being "normal" (by being able to put a definite answer down) a bad thing? And how is gender confusion related to orientation? Gender confusion affects both gay and straight individuals. In fact, the vast majority of transgendered people are straight. This is making a mountain out of a divot in the ground, but it's a common tactic by the RRR and a great example of fear-mongering and misinformation.
Groups like CWA are popping up all over the place— far faster and much more organized than their liberal counterparts. How do we stop these kinds of groups from having the excessive influence that they do? For that, please check The Solution section of this site.
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|Click on any of the links below to read more articles about the Concerned Women for America.|
||The Radical Religious Right:|
Concerned Women for America
|Synopsis: A list of older articles about Beveraly LeHaye and CWA. Some of the articles are no longer to be found at the links provided, but a websearch using the title may turn them up elsewhere. A valuable source of background information on the CWA and Mrs. LeHaye.|
Concerned Women for America
|Synopsis: A more detailed profile of the founding and mission of CWA.|
||They Won't Stand on Common Ground|
|Synopsis: This article details just how radical the policies of the CWA are and how uncompromising they are on achieving their agenda. For example, they see the use of the term "Happy Holidays" as an assault on religious freedom. No one is immune to their attack— if they believe one of their allies is not making enough effort to forward their agenda, they attack with the same force they would someone who opposes them. While sticking to your principles is a laudable thing, forcing others to live according to them is anti-American.|
||An Interview with Sandy Rios|
|Synopsis: In an interview done before her sudden departure, Sandy Rios discusses why the most important issue on the CWA agenda is protecting the institution of marriage from "homosexual activists". [Author's note: Take notice of the name of the publication this interview appears in. Human Rights Campaign is a GLBT rights organization. The use of the term "Human Events" is, in my humble opinion, a deliberate attempt to lure in the liberal reader much as the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice— the "legal arm" of the Christian Coalition) capitalizes on the familiarity of the ACLU.]|
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