(en) Promise-keepers 'Stand in the Gap' rally

Claustrophobia (claustro@charm.net)
Sun, 07 Sep 1997 15:16:01 -0400

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The Promise-keepers, the Christian fascist Right, and patriarchy

On October 4th, the Promise Keepers, a men-only “spiritual renewal” movement will be holding its largest public gathering to date. The “Stand in the Gap” rally, which organizers are estimating will attract close to 300,000 men is something like the white response to the Million Man March - but without any of the good politics that had along with it.

The Promise Keepers have ties to all sorts of Christian right organizations, from the Christian Coalition to the Word of God to Operation Rescue and related groups. However, far beyond these fringe elements involved in the movement, the central theme of the Promise Keepers movement - capitalizing on the male backlash that has been building ever since the 1970’s feminist movement by calling on men to “reclaim” the authority supposedly taken from them by wives and children - is one that needs to be closely monitored and opposed. Since the group’s founding in Colorado in 1990, they have held rallies in football stadiums across the country filling stadiums with as many as 50-60,000 Christian men, roughly half of whom are organized into cells of 3-5 members within local churches, strictly accountable to the national hierarchy in all of their decisions.

Another main theme of the Promise Keepers, which ties in with a number of other developments in the Christian RIght today, is the theme of “racial reconciliation”; like ‘maybe we don’t plan on doing anything to end oppression, but why don’t we at least make ourselves look like we’re trying to get along?’ Part of the official literature distributed to attendees of the “Stand in the Gap” rally calls on men to “reach across racial lines in faith,” and “Be One Who Brings One.” (huh?) For a few years, PK members have showed up to meetings in communities and on campuses against the Christian Identity movement, the KKK, and other religious racialist groups, to put out their line of ‘reconciliation’ and, presumably, to try and recuperate the anti-racist movement into a framework that is tolerant of patriarchy and theocratic fascism...

For information directly from the PKs, their web site at www.promisekeepers.org has material from their manifesto, The Seven Promises of a Promise-Keeper, as well as updates on the Stand in the Gap rally. One of many groups planning on coordinating resistance to the rally is Bisexual and Radical Feminists (BARF), who can be reached at www.barf.org or through email: sabina@barf.org.

In struggle, the Claustrophobia collective Baltimore, MD

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