Concerned Women for America

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Concerned Women for America (CWA) is an interest group, formed in 1979, which states its mission is to bring Biblical values into all aspects of American life. It supports social conservative positions, as well as the national security conservatism principle "Let them Win". Its think tank arm is the Beverly Lahaye Institute. There is also a Concerned Women for America Education & Legal Defense Foundation and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC).

Beverly LaHaye, wife of Tim LaHaye of Tim LaHaye Ministries, is the founder and chair. Wendy Wright is president, although George Tryfiates is the most highly compensated employee, followed by Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Lee LaHaye (the son of Tim and Beverly), then Wright. [1] For the fiscal year ending on June 2008, its revenues were $10,580,290.

Counting the Chair, Executive Director, CFO, President, and the policy directors for lobbying (Shari Rendall) and for judicial review (Mario Diaz), three of the senior Concerned Women are men.

Before her campaign, Christine O'Donnell was a CWA activist.

Issues

It has six primary areas of concern:[2]

  • Family: "CWA believes that marriage consists of one man and one woman. We seek to protect and support the Biblical design of marriage and the gift of children." They oppose same-sex marriage.
  • Sanctity of Human Life: "CWA supports the protection of all innocent human life from conception until natural death. This includes the consequences resulting from abortion.
  • Education: "CWA supports reform of public education by returning authority to parents.
  • Pornography: "CWA endeavors to fight all pornography and obscenity.
  • Religious Liberty: "CWA supports the God-given rights of individuals in the United States and other nations to pray, worship and express their beliefs without fear of discrimination or persecution.
  • National sovereignty: CWA believes that neither the United Nations nor any other international organization should have authority over the United States in any area. We also believe the United States has the right and duty to protect and secure our national borders."

They are, however, involved with other issues.

Family

Life

Education

They argue that Harry Potter books promote witchcraft, and offer the video "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged: Making Evil Look Innocent," produced by Tim LaHaye, Beverly LaHaye's husband.[3]

CWA wants the Obama Administration Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, US Department of Education, Kevin Jennings fired. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow , who served with him on an earlier Surgeon General's task force, said that while he was charming and friendly, "During that time, she found Kevin to be charming and friendly, but his charm, she said "tends to obscure his total and overwhelming commitment and dedication to mainstreaming homosexual behavior, especially among student" She went on,
Kevin comes from a career of promoting dangerously violent homosexual activities among children in public schools. His life and career are proof that his whole raison d'être is to promote homosexuality among children and teens. There is something so fundamentally wrong with the President's appointment that parents and all adults who care about children's well-being must demand that Kevin Jennings be fired immediately. [4]

Pornography

They enthusiastically endorsed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) removing discussion of a possible .xxx Domain Name System top-level domain. Jan LaRue, CWA’s Chief Counsel, said “Creating a .xxx domain exclusively for pornographers would just be giving them a new platform to spread their smut...“Not only would smut-peddlers retain their current pornographic Web sites on all other domains, they would have been granted their own exclusive one...Porn site operators are the only ones who stand to gain from having a .xxx domain. Families across America realize that this outrageous scheme would only provide children with more opportunities to view hard-core porn images, and help legitimize an illegitimate industry.” [5] Of course, in the absence of an .xxx domain, there is just a bit of pornography on the Internet. The technical intent had been to allow simple filtering of pornographic content from vendors that chose to mark their sites as "adult-only"; the domain gave no additional capabilities. There are separate issues of whether governments might force other undesired content there, and also about monopolistic charges for .xxx domains.

Religious liberty

National sovereignty

CWA is alarmed by ratification of international treaties or the consideration, by courts, of international law, on the theory that such ratification or consideration would override the U.S. Constitution. They strongly opposed the Senate confirmation of Harold Koh as Legal Adviser to the U.S. State Department, who indeed does believe in consideration of international law. [6] CWA's positions, however, seem to equate advice and interpretation with transferring authority to the United Nations — which has no enforcement mechanism beyond those agreed-to by its sovereign member states. In the Korean War and Gulf War, there were UN resolutions supporting military action, but the forces remained under national command.

A matter of particular concern is the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to T. Jeremy Gunn, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and a Senior Fellow in Religion and Human Rights at Emory University School of Law, sees the opposition by CWA and others as not about human rights or constitutional law per se, but
a cultural war over the perceived role of parents. While we can question the

excessiveness of their rhetoric and the inconsistencies of their arguments, it is important also to try to identify the underlying values that prompt their war metaphors and battle imagery...First, they have in mind what we might call an “idealized, conventional family” that leads them to ignore almost completely the plight of children who do not fit within this traditional family. Second, there appears to be an underlying fear that if children are allowed rights of expression and access to information, that they, as parents, will lose their children. They thus approach the question not from the perspective of the world as it comes to vulnerable children, but as parents who are attempting to shore up an image of an idealized, conventional family where two heterosexual parents are raising children in conformity with the parental ideals of religion and right behavior. The CRC opponents are unconcerned that, for vast numbers of children in the world, the problem is not the threat that the United Nations will interfere in the relationship between

parent and child, but that children do"[7]

National security

The group appears to believe that once war has begun, it must be supported regardless of policy considerations. "No matter what one thinks of an administration or foreign policy, one must agree that the very least we can do is show our support by allowing our troops to do what they have volunteered and been trained to do. "Let them Win." Can you imagine if this was the battle cry of our media, rather than the doubt and accusation they spread? "Let them Win.""[8]

Health care

Wendy Wright, CWA President, spoke at a 15 December 2009 rally including the Tea Party Movement, Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) and Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and Laura Ingraham
"If Congress were held to the same standard as everyone else, they'd face charges of peddling a bait-and-switch scam. The senators pushing this health care take-over sell it with the bait that it will reduce health care costs and increase coverage. The switch comes in the bill itself which will increase health care costs and reduce access to health care. Instead of providing health care, it will fund abortion and ration care to patients."[9]

Wright, in 2005, originally opposed the human papilloma virus (HPV) immunization, thinking "it would seem to send a message that we're expecting the girls to be sexually active." When she learned its purpose was cancer prevention, she saw more of a need, obseving women who are abstinent until marriage could contract HPV from non-abstinent husbands.[10]

References

  1. Concerned Women for America, Charity Navigator
  2. Core Issues, Concerned Women for America
  3. Concerned Women for America, Right Wing Watch, People for the American Way
  4. Jake Jones (16 December 2009), "Concerned Women For America demands firing of 'Safe School Czar"", Boston Examiner
  5. CWA: .XXX Porn Domain Lost in Cyberspace, Concerned Women for America, 1 December 2005
  6. Senate Vote Threatens American Sovereignty: Concerned Women for America Urges Senate to Oppose Harold Koh, Concerned Women for America, 24 June 2009
  7. T. Jeremy Gunn (2006), The Religious Right and the Opposition to U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, vol. 20, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University, pp. 127-128
  8. Support Our Troops Signs and Bumper Stickers Now Available, Concerned Women for America, 29 November 2007
  9. Concerned Women for America Joins 'Code Red' Rally on Capitol Hill: Crowd filled the Senate Park, chanting "Kill the Bill", Christian Newswire, 15 December 2009
  10. Rita Rubin (19 October 2009), "Injected into a controversy", USA Today