Date: Thu, 4 Aug 94 15:00 CDT Subject: promise keepers I went to Northwestern Bookstores a

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Date: Thu, 4 Aug 94 15:00 CDT From: Johnson Subject: promise keepers 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. It is said that this would free their wives to fill their role. 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. On that same exhibit were a numoks in the same "genre", i.e. about (sorry, the computer just swallowed some letters: numoks= number of books) being Christian men. I did not peruse them. Overall, I think it is a good idea to foster masculine comraderie and accountability for men, as Promise Keepers also does, as well as positive feelings about one's gender role. That piece of it is likely to make men more stable, and thus less abusive, more likely to be constructive within their families. Having two boys, now in their twenties, I have also seen them often hurt by unfair accusations of patriarchy, not because of their behavior, but just because of their sex. This is as harmful as the prejudicial comments made to women. The appeal of a program like Promise Keepers resides in this kind of hurt, and the dislike of oneself it creates. So, I have mixed feelings about it. The Promise Keepers book is also not an analytic book. It is written (rather poorly) at a very simple level, for an audience who does not read that much. Whether the program has a good or bad effect will depend much on the character of the leaders, and their agenda. Lucie johluc@homer.acs.bethel.edu

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