|"Everything the government has told you about AIDS since 1981 is a lie, part of a plan to decrease population not only through abortion and birth control, but through disease." ---- Dr. Lorraine Day, Conference Speaker|
Concerned Women for America (CWA) held its 11th annual national convention in mid-September, just two weeks after the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory Conference.
The Christian Coalition conference garnered much more media coverage and was much better attended, drawing 3,000 attendees compared with Concerned Women for America's 800, but the CWA conference was noteworthy in a number of respects, perhaps especially for the ways in which it echoed the messages of several of the other Religious Right conferences held during the last year.
Concerned women for America "seeks to preserve Judeo-Christian Values in law and public policy, to protect family rights, and to provide a voice for women who feel unrepresented by the feminist movement." The group gave its America Patriot Award to Jesse Helms for his "fights against liberalism, abortion, and the homosexual agenda."
Some of the speakers at the CWA conference included:
* Governor George Allen * of Virginia, who pronounced his stand "against those who want to remake our children through such outrageous schemes as outcome-based education" and characterized welfare as "encouraging and promoting laziness and idleness."
* Oliver North * who proved to be an alarmingly good speaker capable of stating his beliefs in relatively moderate terms. While stating that "we need God in America" and "we know every word in the Bible is true," he categorically denied any intention of imposing his religious beliefs on others if he were elected to the United States Senate. Strong support for North (who has since been defeated by Democratic opponent Charles Robb) was evident throughout the conference.
* Wilma Leftwich * who apprised the audience of her physical ailments, which included respiratory problems, spurs on her heels, and the fact that she hears radio signals. She claimed that when she first discovered the international "one world government" plot, she became so sick she was flat on her back in the hospital. Leftwich revealed to her rapt audience that multicultural education, outcome-based education, and environmentalism were part of a worldwide plot which would abolish United States sovereignty and require Christians to renounce their faith in God. "They" (secular humanists, i.e., everyone who is not part of the Religious Right, including Christians who do not agree with the Religious Right's agenda) would reduce U.S. population by imposing a marriage tax and a child tax; implementing compulsory sterilization of all who have two children (except for a few who would be allowed to have three); requiring a certificate-type permit to have children; giving monetary compensation to encourage sterilization, abortion, and contraception; putting fertility control agents in the water supply; restructuring the family ("this is where the feminist/socialist movement comes in"); and encouraging increased homosexuality ("this is, of course, where the gay rights movement comes in").
* David Barton * who gave practically verbatim the same anti-separation of church and state speech he gave at the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory Conference. (He also wore the same stars and stripes tie.) Barton went to to recapitulate the Christian Reconstructionist theory that the basis of our laws should be "whatever is Christian is legal. Whatever isn't Christian is illegal."
* Dr. Lorraine Day * who claimed that "everything the government has told you about AIDS since 1981 is a lie, part of a plan to decrease population not only through abortion and birth control, but through disease." Day revealed that AIDS is transmitted through the air, in the course of casual contact (involving no exchange of bodily fluids), and even through contact with surfaces such as toilets for up to seven days after contamination. She went on to claim that HIV is a lot smaller than sperm and can permeate latex condoms. (The CDC has scientifically tested this possibility and refuted it, and the reduction in incidence of HIV among persons using condoms corroborates CDC findings. The possibility of condoms breaking is a different matter, and is the reason why the use of condoms is referred to as a safer sex, as opposed to safe sex, practice.) Dr. Day said that the only source of truth on this subject is "The Washington Times" (which is owned by the Unification Church, whose adherents are popularly known as "Moonies"). Day's campaign of misinformation appears to be aimed at developing support for future mandatory testing and quarantine initiatives.
* Dr. Richard Glasow * who extolled the evils of abortion generally, and of RU-486 in particular.
* Senator Jesse Helms * who declared that "the great overwhelming majority of American women don't believe in `secular' values. They believe the roles of mother and homemaker are important."
* Josh McDowell * director of Campus Crusade for Christ. The gist of his speech was that the secular humanist view that moral values are not necessarily absolute is responsible for virtually every gruesome event reported on the nightly news.
* Will Perkins * who organized Colorado's Amendment 2, which prohibits protecting gays, lesbians and bisexuals against discrimination in housing and employment. Perkins claimed that he has homosexual friends who full approve of his efforts.
* Jim Woodall * CWA's vice president of management, explained to his audience that there is a homosexual agenda and that the agenda is a conspiracy to lay siege on people of faith and to close all churches which condemn homosexuality. Woodall turned the majority of his speaking time over to Fred D. Vastine, "a scientist that's a believer" whose task was to convincingly refute the theory that homosexuality may be genetically determined. Vastine is a coal hydration specialist who works for ARCO.
* Dennis Prager * a Jewish radio talk-show host and author who served to demonstrate that it is not exclusively Christians who compose the Religious Right, but some conservative Jews as well. Prager proclaimed that the fact that he was invited to speak was "proof of the intellectual openness of the Religious Right."" (If intellectual openness is the reason CWA invited Prager to speak, I'm perplexed that they chose a Jewish presenter who, by Prager's own account, is believed by some of his radio talk-show audience to be a Christian. Prager describes the L.A. riots as evidence of "Post-Christian America," and claims that "the blacks who saved peoples' lives were overwhelmingly identified as Christians, and the blacks who killed people were overwhelmingly secular." He did not cite any study to support this "fact." It would seem to me to be more "open minded" to invite as a speaker any one of the thousands of Jews who are identifiable as such and who do not share part and parcel CWA's views).
The Concerned Women for America conference demonstrated what had become apparent from several other Religious Right conferences held in the past year: virtually all of the Religious Right organizations work to further the same agenda, regardless of their proclaimed emphasis. The ultimate goal of many of the most powerful leaders of the Religious Right is the "Christianization of America." That is precisely what makes the apparent willingness of some conservative and ultraconservative views to coalesce with the overwhelmingly Christian Religious Right so irrational.
Copyright © 1995 Institute for First Amendment Studies, PO Box 589, Great Barrington, MA 01230 (413) 2743786.