While National Organization for Women (NOW) president Patricia Ireland harangued the Promise Keepers before its Stand in the Gap assembly in Washington (see p. 62), a group of tradition-minded women stood before the National Press Club to deliver a "radical feminist reality check."
The Ecumenical Coalition on Women and Society (ECWS), comprising women from Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches, has issued "A Christian Women's Declaration" (www.ChristianityToday.com/ct/archives) that challenges feminists who reject traditional Christian values. The document, a two-year effort, asserts that the "Bible is the most effective force in history for lifting women to higher levels of respect, dignity, and freedom."
ECWS project director Janice Shaw Crouse says few women disagreed with the feminist tenets in the beginning of the movement, such as equal pay for equal work. "But now, I think we've seen a real change in the feminist movement," Crouse says. "The brand that Patricia Ireland and some of the radical feminists are putting forward is not good for women."
ECWS AGENDA: Endorsers of the declaration pledge to help "reverse detrimental cultural trends," expose "the assumptions at the foundation of radical feminist philosophy," and "press for a renewal of biblical orthodoxy in the church and a more central role for faith in society."
ECWS began in response to the controversial Re-Imagining Conference, an ecumenical gathering of women that included goddess worship (CT, April 4, 1994, p. 74). Crouse says the 1994 United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing inspired the declaration. A team of nine coalition delegates to Beijing returned home resolved to counter the conference's caricature of Christian women. "There were so ...1
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