Date: Fri, 5 Aug 94 11:04 CDT Subject: Promise Keepers At 4:26 PM 8/4/94 -0500, Wolf N. Pa

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Date: Fri, 5 Aug 94 11:04 CDT From: grasse@pobox.upenn.edu (Karen Grasse) Subject: Promise Keepers At 4:26 PM 8/4/94 -0500, Wolf N. Paul wrote: >in the context of a discussion of Promise Keepers is just as >inappropriate as Karen Grasse's references about wife abuse and rape. So maybe my comment was inappropriate, as I was "ranting" my immediate reaction to the attitudes I was getting from espousements of Promise Keeper philosophy. I was responding to David Alleman's quote of Evans as follows: An article in the Wash Post >for Aug 1 (p.11) about the Boulder meeting quotes a leader of the movement, >Tony Evans, as writing in his book: "I am not suggesting tht you ask [your >wife] for your role back; I am urging that you take it back... there can be no >compromise here. Treat the lady (sic) gently and lovingly. >But lead." This says to me "lead by taking something without asking and lead without compromising on anything." To not ask for something from another person and take it without their agreement sounds to me like using power to dominate another person. If there "can be no compromise" what kind of relationship is that between two people? It sounds to me like permission to use authoritative control to make a person do what you want, without any respect of that individual as a human being who has thoughts or feelings. This is not the way I would want to be treated by anybody, either male or female, and I don't know of anyone else who likes to be treated this way. Forget the gender issue for a moment -- these kind of teachings sound very innocent on the front end, but they preclude attitudes of doing things to other people without their permission, treating another person as an object , a "thing", using force to get what the other person won't give them, and yes, maybe using violence if they need to meet a teacher's command to "take it back". Biblical teaching has given males a position of leadership. However,that word "leadership" takes on many different connotations -- a guide, a teacher, a conductor, a chief, a president, a commander in the military, a dictator of a country -- all come under the role of leadership. In Christianity, I've experienced "leadership" attitudes from men that has been of the dominating perspective than of the understanding guidance perspective. I know many men who have taken "Christian" teachings and used them as their God-given authority to "keep a woman in her place" and maintain their male-leadership role. They refuse to let their wives get a job,to go to college, have her own friends, dress the way she wants to, etc. They want to control a person in order to be the "leader." And guess what a lot of Christian men do when their wives won't do what they tell them to -- a little verbal hollering, a few slaps, a little hitting, to show them who's in charge because God said so in the Bible. The Promise Keeper philosophy sounds harmless on the front end but indicates oppression of another person is okay in order to practice the teachings. As Lucie Johnson has pointed out, the teachings indicate "reclaim your leadership EVEN if the other person is opposed." At 3:00 PM 8/4/94 -0500, Johnson wrote: >I went to Northwestern Bookstores and looked at the Promise Keepers book. >The offending quotation is in the chapter on family. Unfortunately, the >context does not improve it. The idea presented is that men should go >home and reclaim leadership, even though their wives might be opposed >to this. > >In that section, leadership is not defined, examples of leadership are not >given, and techniques for conflict resolution are not alluded to. >This is unfortunate. >As someone who personally has had the experience of Bible verses mixed >with violence, I'd also say it is dangerous, and I hope it is corrected >in other parts of the book. Even though violence is not taught on the front end, a common human response to opposition is to use force, and eventaully comes violence. I mean after all, the goal is to obey God and some people go to great lengths to carry out their obedience. The words 'abuse' and 'rape' are strong words and often indicate something different that the physical realm. Appalachia was "raped" by the Money-Monger Leaders of America -- they took the wealth of the land and "abused" the people who lived there by keeping all the wealth to themselves. To dominate another person is a form of abuse. To me the teachings sound like they espouse dominating another person and they carry the lack of respect for another human being. I have nothing against gatherings of men only or women only , as long as they aren't intended (consciously or subconsciously) to discriminate against others. Robert Bly gets men together all the time. I hope that the men who attend Promise Keepers can learn about being a responsible person in any relationship. -- KAREN * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Karen Grasse Coordinator, Special Projects Office of CEO/Dean University of Pennsylvania Medical Center E-MAIL: grasse@pobox.upenn.edu TEL: (215)898-0748 FAX: (215)898-6599 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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