Thursday, April 28, 2005

Arkansas IMC: "Promise Keepers Are Coming To Fayetteville! A Counter-Event Planning Session" by Reposted

From Arkansas IMC, we're going to highlight this. As with the highlight from Richmond IMC in the previous post, neither is the only thing posted, so visit the sites and see what else is there. You may find something that would have spoken more to you than what I highlighted.
The piece I picked is in the public domain. So we will highlight it in full tonight.
But that's not why I selected it. I actually was on a college campus when Promise Keepers "visited." (That's the topic of the post we're highlighting.) The weather went bad and the smiles turned sour. The words became curses. I was visiting a friend and we were walking around the campus. When the weather went bad, campus security attempted to keep the crowd calm as they crossed a major street to exit the stadium. A lot of "Godd--ns," a lot of "F--k you"s aimed at the campus security (who were attempting to get them to use the crosswalk as they were stopping traffic to allow the people to cross). By apparent Promise Keepers. As one campus security guard joked after, "I hope they didn't promise to give up swearing because if they did, they didn't keep that!"


Here's the article in full:

Promise Keepers Are Coming To Fayetteville! A Counter-Event Planning Session
by Reposted by AR-IMC

On June 10 and 11, the male-dominated fundalmentalist Christian group, The Promise Keepers, will be holding a convention at Razorback Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. The group, which operates under the banner of restoring godly values to families, is in actuality, a part of the movement to return the United States to so called "godly values." Below is a letter which Arkansas Indymedia is reposting in order to both inform the reader about this extremist group, and announce a call to action for those who wish to counter its presence here.
On June 10-11, the Promise Keepers, a religious men's organization will hold a national rally inRazorback Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus.
While the Promise Keepers have received an enthusiastic welcome from Athletic Director FrankBroyles, others in the community are very concerned about the presence of the Promise Keepers at the University of Arkansas.Founded in 1990 by Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, the leaders of the Promise Keepersdeclare an agenda of "taking the nation back for Christ."
While on the surface, they promotethemselves as men seeking to be better husbands and fathers, they preach a doctrine ofpatriarchal control and homophobia. Their backers are members of the Christian religious rightincluding Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson.
While the Promise Keepers certainly have a right to profess their religious beliefs, their rally inthe stadium of a state university with the support of the university's athletic director seems inappropriate. The goal of a university is to teach critical thinking. Having an organization which promotes a patriarchal system that opposes two adults standing as equals and peers taking responsibility for their family seems to insult every woman faculty member, staff and student on this campus.
Chancellor John White has initiated a broad program encouraging diversity on the U of Acampus. The Promise Keepers' outspoken stand against homosexuals as well as theirconservative Christian evangelism seems antithetical to promoting respect for diversity ofindividuals working at or attending the University. Founder Bill McCartney served on the boardof Colorado for Family Values, which sponsored the anti-gay Amendment 2 in Colorado. That amendment barred local laws in the state of Colorado that guaranteed equal rights for gays andlesbians. (It was later declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
On April 27 at 7:00 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, there will be a planning session onhow to educate the public about the Promise Keepers, and to consider an alternative eventcelebrating equality and diversity. If you are interested in learning more about the PromiseKeepers or want to be part of a coalition to educate others, please join us on Wednesday, April 27.

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