Danger or Opportunity?

On Saturday, October 4, a mass gathering of Christian men will assemble on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Their theme, "Stand in the Gap," is taken from Ezekiel 22:30: "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land." The organizers hope it will be a day of prayer, repentance, and reconciliation on behalf of the church and the country.

This assembly is being organized by Promise Keepers. Founded by former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, the movement has grown from a small gathering in Colorado Springs in 1990 to one capable of filling stadiums around the country. Its focus on men-only gatherings has drawn heavy criticism.

The National Organization of Women recently called Promise Keepers "the greatest danger to women’s rights." An article in The Nation magazine called them "one of the most sophisticated creations of the Religious Right." Other critics have claimed that the organization is simply an attempt to assert male dominance over women, that its talk of racial reconciliation is a cynical ploy to win minorities for the Republican Party, and that the organization is a stalking horse for the political Far Right who dream of a theocratic, Christian nation.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1997
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