Promise Keeper `Cult of the Year Award' is Well Deserved

Fredric Rice:
FR> The Promise Keeper cult has been making further noises about getting
FR> women out of the workplace -- all for their own good, of course.
FR> The resent comments haven't escaped attention by the media.

Sue Michaud:
I know little to nothing about "The Promise Keepers." What is so dangerous about them?

Fredric Rice:
For the most part they publicly advocate "being of service" to their wives -- which is a noble ideal and one worthy of some degree of honor.

What the leaders and followers consider "being of service" constitutes, however, is the anti-thesis of all the progress women have made in making the Patriarch accept and treat them as equals -- equals in law, economics, and social statures.

"I am not suggesting that you ask [your wife] for your role back; I am urging that you take it back... there can be no compromise here. Treat the lady gently and lovingly. But lead." - Tony Evans

Evans is one of the cult's most vocal leaders. He has been learning to veil his rhetoric since his ideologies are extremist and verge upon the fascist (Fascism is earmarked by the demonization of a group -- usually racial or economic -- yet it may be predicated upon the suppression of any segment of the populace identifiable through some means.)

The "promise" in the Promise Keeper cult is a one-way street: the women ask for no promises other than what is in their marriage contracts and marriage vows. The Promise Keeper cult seeks to supplant those by insisting that women have been given the short straw and the only way to reconcile women's lot in life (as their Christian bibles define it, any way, based upon 4,000 years of male rule and stereotypical absurdities) is to force women to return to their stereotypical roles.

Always without exception when I've asked Promise Keeper cultists (and a few of their wives) how they can justify making their wives subservient to themselves and -- in their own words -- "take back authority" over the little women, the response has been quoting of the Christian mythologies -- selective quoting, as is expected.

Since it sells so well, the cult also is vocally (and violently) hopping onto the homophobic rhetoric bandwagon and demonizing homosexuals -- again using the Christian mythologies as though it excuses their hatred.

Most disturbing is the fact that the cult leaders have been learning to curb their extremist, racist, homophobic, anti-women rhetoric over the past year in direct response to the sharp decline in followers (and thus in revenues.) The cult leaders recognize the need to attempt to appeal to a larger section of the male Christian populace which are insecure about their sexuality and wish to "regain" their roles of authority over the household.

To do that the cult's leaders have softened their rhetoric for the most part. Their eventual aims, goals, and desires of returning women to the subservient roles of some 100 years ago still come out in speeches where it is assumed everyone present is a staunch believer. In this regard they match the pattern of Holocaust Revisionists / Deniers which seek to make their hate-based ideologies marginally detectable under a thin veil of desired respectability.

I was finally able to attend a cult gathering in Colorado. I have also written notes during radio interviews with cult leaders. The mistaken belief that one could leave one's wife and daughters behind and run off with a bunch of men to pray at deity constructs in a vain attempt to solve marriage problems is a typically lazy and stupid belief.

Several of the cult followers I have talked with mention how the cult strengthens marriages some how. They've never been able to explain how it does, however. A few try to claim that praying at deity constructs helps yet when it's pointed out that husband and wife may do so together so that both may hear the concerns and desires expressed by the other, the response has always been sullen silence or the threat "I'll pray for you!" uttered as a curse and then sullen silence.

And of course I've always suggested to the cultist that if they are having marriage difficulties, the solution is to get with their Priest, Minister, Bishop, Rabbi, or a marriage counselor -- someone who is at any rate professionally trained -- to solve whatever problems they might be experiencing. The alternative of running off with a bunch of men to a football stadium, leaving their wives behind, to think at deity constructs does nothing to salve a marriage having difficulties.

The response to such suggestions -- even as I offer to assist the cultist in finding a professional marriage counselor in his area -- is a profound silence or, as is common, the threat "I'll pray for you!" uttered as a curse.

I'm not a psychologist. I see, however, a growing insecurity among males as they continue to get displaced from their favored position in Western society. Equality in the workplace has been slow and tiresome yet it is eventually going to happen. The rights of women to chose to control their own bodies is a fundamental right of self which seems to frighten the Religious Right terribly. For good or bad, women are willing the right to be recognized as equals.

It was only ten years ago that female police officers were allowed to carry firearms to the field. The days of Dirty Harry -- when a woman with a gun was considered by all of society to be a danger to both herself and to others -- are over. Women are proving themselves the equal to anything men can do and I think the pathetic neanderthals among us are scared shitless.

The response? Shove women back down to their subservient roles and use the best tool yet created to do so: The Christian mythologies.


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