Beverly LaHaye is the founder of Concerned Women for America, and a rabidly insane author of books (several of them with Terri Blackstock) attacking gay rights and the feminist movement – according to Lahaye “[f]eminism is more than an illness. It is a philosophy of death.”. She is, for instance, a vocal critic of the Committee for Eliminating Discrimination Against Women, since she believes the committee is heading a super-secred conspiracy to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and give equal rights to gay people, which I am not sure would count as a secret conspiracy even if it were true. LaHaye was as such in the vanguard in the (successful) fight against US ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, making the point that ratifying the convention would mean that a “twisted ideology of extremist feminism rebelling against God and His law” would allow communist China and North Korea to dominate American society and that communists would raise your children. Furthermore, the convention is not sufficiently Biblical, and what women really need is more Jesus.
Beverly LaHaye is married to certified madman Tim LaHaye, and they sometimes appear together to do or say silly but predictably wingnutty things.
Her organization, Concerned Women for America (CWA), is a wingnut extremist organization opposed to anything that smacks of sympathy with, well, anyone, really. Especially homosexuals, but also in general members of what they deem to be our “sex-saturated culture.” Their mission statement is “to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens – first through prayer, then education, and finally by influencing our society – thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation,” where “moral values” of course means anything the organization’s members don’t fancy because they are hateful bigots, regardless of whether it has anything to do with morality or not. And since their fight against contraception, say, won’t fly particularly well, they have also taken the fights to third-world countries where success is more likely (also here).
The CWA is explicitly opposed to freedom of choice, Muslims, non-Americans and non-Christians, and more or less anything having to do with women’s rights, including equal pay, birth control, abortion, maternity leave (well – real women would of course leave the workforce for good, regardless of pregnancy) and Obamacare with its "super-death-panels", as well as anything that resembles pornography or gambling. They donated $409,000 in support of Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California, and opposed the 1988 Act for Better Child Care, which would have provided government-sponsored child care for families in which both parents are working, since that would not, apparently, support a Biblical design of families. As for hate crimes, CWA apparently thinks that the very existence of hate crimes against gays and lesbians is doubtful and that false reports of ha hate crimes have been used to push legislation supporting the same-sex agenda (the conspiracy is apparently everywhere). Similarly with anti-bullying efforts – according to the CWA “the radical homosexual lobby has done a masterful job of infiltrating our government schools to gain control of the minds of America’s youth. Their propaganda tactics are time-tested. With liberal school officials in tow, they brazenly circumvent and abuse parental authority to use good-hearted but misguided children as pawns to further their deceptive agenda,” repeating the claims that homosexuals do not suffer from a history of discrimination, that reports of bias crimes against LGBT people are typically fabricated, and that such protections against discrimination would violate the religious liberties of Christians (i.e. restrict Christians’ (the CWA’s) right to violate the religious liberties of others). LaHaye has repeatedly called for more God in politics, and the group’s understanding of “freedom” is predictably Orwellian.
In fact, according to themselves, the CWA is not opposed to feminism at all. Indeed, they are taking it back. According to senior fellow and director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute Janice Crouse, feminism was initially a Christian movement until it “was taken over by lesbians” (she didn’t back the claim up with evidence). Real feminism, you see, is serving your husband and fulfill your God-ordained role as his servant.
The CWA has furthermore claimed that publicly funded HIV screening and publicly funded STD treatment are objectionable programs, apparently since such programs may save the life or happiness of people who live in sin and deserve to die. They also describe embryonic stem cell research as “deadly” but display no sign of comprehension of what stem cell research is.
Another one of their favorite issues is pushing religion and pseudoscience in public schools, including school prayer and Intelligent Design (because “courses only teaching evolution fail to give students a well-rounded view of the universe's creation,” which happened in accordance with the Bible). As for sex education their position is of course “abstinence only” (apparently other forms of sex education just “furthers the homosexual agenda”). The fact that it has been repeatedly shown that abstinence only programs are ineffective is dismissed as a liberal, economically motivated conspiracy.
Michele Bachmann has cited LaHaye as one of her political heroes, and the admiration is apparently mutual. There is a good CWA resource here.
Other central figures of CWA include:
- Penny Young Nance, the group’s CEO and president, and a notoriously unsympathetic person who e.g. claimed that if Sandra Fluke spent less money on beer she would be able to afford her own birth control, which is a rather irrelevant point but apparently a pretty accurate display of Nance’s personality.
- Shari Rendall, Director of Legislation and Public Policy
- Mario Diaz, the group’s Legal Counsel, who is definitely not opposed to using deception to further the group’s goals.
- Matt Barber, CWA’s Director of Cultural and Social Policy.
Diagnosis: A thoroughly repugnant person, LaHaye and her Taliban satellite group have actually managed to cause quite a bit of pain and damage during their existence, and they remain frighteningly influential. A serious threat to liberty, reason, freedom, and happiness.