I believe abortion, pornography, premarital sex, and homosexuality are schemes of the devil."
- Beverly LaHaye, CWA Founder and Board Chair, in an interview for Women's Touch magazine
Founder Beverly LaHaye created Concerned Women for America in 1979 to oppose feminism and promote Christian values, specifically in a fight against the Equal Rights Amendment. No stranger to the Conservative Christian movement, LaHaye's husband is a co-founder of the Moral Majority and co-author of the best-selling Christian book series, Left Behind. With a budget of nearly $8.5 million, the group claims 500,000 members whom it encourages to use prayer to impart its message to the nation. Through its delegates to the United Nations, CWA hopes to impose its beliefs worldwide.
Concerned Women for America-
Supports teaching Christian ideas such as creationism and abstinence-only sex education in our schools: "parents must remain vigilant to efforts in the school that, in the name of 'tolerance', promote a sexual behavior that Scriptures and traditional morality regard as deviant." - statement on CWA website, 3/2/2000
Opposes freer access to emergency contraception: "please pray that FDA officials will reject demands to make Plan B [emergency contraception] easily available." - Wendy Wright, CWA Executive Vice President, 11/10/2005
Thinks Rick Santorum is right about homosexuality: "Because sex outside marriage is so harmful and destructive, particularly homosexual sex, it is the state's business to lay down markers based on public health and morality- Volumes of medical data support a public health argument against same-sex sodomy." - Robert Knight, Director of the Culture and Family Institute (CFI), an affiliate of CWA, "How to Answer Liberals on the Rick Santorum Controversy," 5/1/2003
Decries daycare and working mothers: "Psychologist Dr. Ken Madig also notes that 'an increasing number of children [in daycare] suffer a 'character disturbance' called Antisocial Personality Disorder (APDP). The symptoms of ADP include 'emotional detachment and uncontrollable inner rage, and its origins can be traced to disruptions in parent-infant bonding.' Children in day care are not taught social skills or education." - Rachel Mahaffey, "The Symptoms of Parent Withdrawal," 12/17/2004
Continues to propagate the false link between abortion and breast cancer: "Because more than 1 million abortions take place in this country each year, Dr. Brind estimates an additional 40,000 cases of breast cancer will result annually by the year 2020. This is a 21 percent increase! An abortion does not guarantee that a woman will develop breast cancer, but it does significantly increase her risk" - CAW brochure, "A Painful Choice: Abortion's Link to Breast Cancer," 6/4/2004
Equates proponents of comprehensive sex ed with pedophiles: "The FBI publishes A Parent's Guide to the Internet. Note well how it describes the modus operandi of pedophiles: 'These individuals attempt to gradually lower children's inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations.' And millions of parents are letting so-called sex-education experts do exactly this to their children in the classroom without raising any objection. Unbelievable!" -Janice Shaw Crouse, "Saran Wrap for 'Safe' Teen Sex?" 5/20/2005
Background / Major Programs and Core Issues / Strategy and Tactics / Board and Allies
In their own words: Gender Roles and Feminism, Homosexuality, Contraception and Abortion, Education and Childcare, Christianity and Public Policy / Footnotes / CWA Website
CWA held its first meeting in 1978 and officially incorporated in January of 1979. The organization was founded by Beverly LaHaye to oppose feminism and the Equal Rights Amendment. According to CWA's website, LaHaye founded the organization after watching Betty Friedan "claim to speak for the women of America- [LaHaye] knew the feminists' anti-God, anti-family rhetoric did not represent her beliefs, nor those of the vast majority of women." CWA's website explains that the organization began with a meeting hosted by LaHaye to "educate and alert Christian women on the Equal Rights Amendment" and went on to spur "Prayer/Action Chapters" in 14 different states. From those original 14 chapters CWA now boasts that it has grown to have "well over 500,000 members spread across all 50 states".
"The mission of CWA 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."2
$8,484,108 (FY 2005)3
Family Voice (published monthly, has 200,000 subscribers) and Issues at a Glance (monthly). Family Watch reaches 500,000 people in churches across the country. CWA also sells books, cassettes, and videotapes on various subjects.
Concerned Women for America's major programs-
promote a narrow definition of family based on conservative interpretations of the Bible
"CWA believes the traditional family consists of one man and one woman joined in marriage, along with any children they may have. We seek to protect traditional values that support the Biblical design of the family."5
CWA has actively opposed gay civil rights, including measures to protect gays and lesbians from employment discrimination.6 The group supports the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay participants. It also speaks out against the appointment of openly gay people to the Bush administration.7 CWA supports the "Truth in Love" campaign, "which spoke of God's power to deliver homosexuals".8
oppose the authority and legitimacy of the United Nations
Despite sending delegates to the UN to represent CWA, the group believes that "neither the United Nations nor any other international organization should have authority over the United States in any area, including economics, social policy, military, and land ownership."9 It also touts the notion that the United Nations is a tool for spreading feminism and immorality throughout the world and opposes such international instruments to promote women's rights as CEDAW, UNFPA, Cairo+5, and Beijing+5.10
advocate an extreme anti-abortion stance that includes opposition to birth control and comprehensive sex education
"CWA supports the protection of all life from conception until natural death. This includes the consequences resulting from abortion."11
CWA weighed into the debate over the FDA's consideration of whether to allow emergency contraception to be granted over the counter status with a 37-page report. Among the points highlighted in the report are: "Courts have recognized the safety risks of oral contraceptives- FDA has no authority to create a third class of drugs - "behind-the-counter."- This would create a huge burden on pharmacists, who would need training in patient counseling and lose time for dispensing drugs. The costs would be borne by all patients."12 On its website CWA asks readers to, "please pray that FDA officials will reject demands to make Plan B easily available."13
CWA is opposed to most contraceptives, RU-486, emergency contraception, abortion, and stem cell research. The group inaccurately exaggerates risks associated with RU-486 and Ortho-Evra.14
campaign for teaching Christian ideas in public schools
CWA fights to bring Christian ideas such as creationism and abstinence-only until marriage sex education into public schools. CWA supports teaching creationism and "intelligent design theory".15 On its website, CWA insists that "parents must remain vigilant to efforts in the school that, in the name of 'tolerance', promote a sexual behavior that Scriptures and traditional morality regard as deviant."16
The group warns of the dangers of the popular Harry Potter book series for children. Martha Kleder writes in the Nov/Dec 2001 issue of CWA publication Family Voice, that "Harry Potter is part of a larger trend to bring occult themes to younger children- Rev. McGee points out that the Potter craze has a particular danger. 'With Harry Potter children are for the first time seeing other children, step by step, learning to access demonic power to get what they want,' he said."
fight against federal funding of the arts
Citing their belief that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funds pornography, CWA advocates for de-funding the program. In 1991, Beverly LaHaye testified against NEA funding before the Committee on Appropriations, Interior Subcommittee, of the House of Representatives. CWA claims, "While the liberals are accusing Congress of "censorship" the real censorship occurs when the government subsidizes bizarre and patently offensive art at the expense of exceptional, more traditional art."17
Publications and Radio: In addition to Family Voice, Issues at a Glance, and Family Watch, CWA's daily radio show, "Concerned Women Today," is available online, broadcast on 75 stations nationwide, and has an estimated weekly audience of over 1 million.18 In 2003, CWA spent over $6.2 million on publications and more than $1.4 million on radio production.19
Think Tank: The Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI): A center for studies in women's issues, the organization publishes articles from a conservative Christian perspective on various issues such as abortion, sex education and sex-trafficking. BLI Senior Fellow Dr. Janice Crouse frequently speaks at colleges, conferences, and churches.
Lobbying: CWA Legislative Action Committee's "Project 535" is a group of volunteers who meet with members of Congress to lobby for CWA's issues. CWA's website explains that "these ladies fearlessly speak with the member or his staff to discuss a particular piece of pro-family legislation."20
Board of Directors21
Beverly LaHaye, Founder and Board Chair
Serves on the boards of Liberty University (founded by Jerry Falwell), Childcare International, and the International Right to Life Federation. Serves on the Board of Directors of the Patrick Henry Center, along with Bob Barr, Ed Meese, Oliver North, Paul Weyrich.22 In February 2005, she was chosen as one of Time Magazine's Twenty-five Most Influential Evangelists. Her husband, Tim LaHaye is the influential Evangelical co-author of Left Behind book series. Founder of the anti-evolution Institute for Creation Research and co-founder of the Moral Majority (along with Jerry Falwell). In 1980, he organized the Council for National Policy, an organization for wealthy fundamentalist religious leaders and politicians. Beverly LaHaye is a member of the Council along with: Dick Armey, John Ashcroft, Pete du Pont, Jesse Helms, Jack Kemp, Trent Lott, Don Nickles, Oliver North, Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlafly, Frank Shakespeare, John H. Sununu, Tommy Thompson.23 In 1984, Tim LaHaye founded the American Coalition for Traditional Values. In the 1988 presidential campaign, Tim LaHaye was named national co-chair of Jack Kemp's presidential campaign, but was fired one week later after an article appeared in the Baltimore Sun in which Tim LaHaye said that Roman Catholicism was "a false religion." Reverend Sun Myung Moon employed LaHaye as chairman of Moon's Coalition for Religious Freedom.24
Principal/charter Developer, Literacy First Charter School
Hayes is also Director of Concerned Women for America's Illinois chapter. Hayes is listed as a supporter of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State, whose proclamation reads: "I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education."25
Lee LaHaye, C.F.O.
Son of Beverly and Tim LaHaye.
Southern California area director for Concerned Women for America. Member of National Federation of Republican Women. Their national conference has featured important Republican power players such as President George W. Bush, Elizabeth Dole, and Steve Forbes.26
Linda Murphy, Vice-Chairman
Daughter of Tim and Beverly LaHaye.
President of the Kids First Coalition, writes freelance articles for The National Review, she and staff of Kids First Coalition frequently comment on news programs.
Reverend Jim Woodall, Treasurer
Vice President of Management for the CWA
Staff (34 total)27
Wendy Wright, President:
Touted by CWA as an expert on "Abortion, Morning-After Pill, RU-486, Embryonic Stem Cells, Cloning, United Nations, Religious Freedom and National Sovereignty."28 She is credited by some as being responsible for coordinating the right-wing efforts to prevent the FDA from making emergency contraception more widely available. She has lobbied at and reported on UN conferences and her articles have appeared in USA Today, Washington Post, Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Wall Street Journal, National Review Online.
Robert H. Knight, Director of Culture and Family Institute
Helped draft the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for all federal purposes. Knight previously worked at the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation. He has testified before the U.S. Senate's Labor and Human Resources Committee, the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Services, the House Committee on Governmental Affairs regarding the Family Privacy Protection Act, a House Appropriations subcommittee concerning the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a CPB public hearing in Washington, and before several state legislatures.
Lanier Swann, Director of Governmental Relations
Formerly principal speechwriter for Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and Communications Director for Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC).
Michael Bowman, Director of State Legislative Relations
Background in the California Legislature.
Dr. Janice Crouse, Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute
In 2002, she was appointed as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Children's Summit. Appointed by President Bush to the U.S. delegation to the 2003 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The Heritage Foundation nominated her for the 2003 Bradley Prize for her influence on contemporary issues. During the first Bush Administration, she was a Presidential Speech Writer, authoring major presidential policy addresses as well as drafting and editing the Presidential White Paper on Welfare Reform. She has authored scholarly and think-tank publications and congressional testimony. Prior to the White House, Dr. Crouse wrote for the Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel
From 1998-2002, she served as Senior Director of Legal Studies for the Family Research Council. From 1992-1998, Ms. LaRue was Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families in the California office, focusing entirely on pornography law.
"'Several historians have connected the rise of intense domesticity to the growth of democratic governmental forms,' writes Mendelson. 'Thus it follows that as home life declines, so do the values that underpin the larger society'.30 Preserving our God-given identities as men and women and protecting the traditional family are essential to ensuring the future strength of our society." - CWA report, "The Second Wave's Last Hurrah"31
"[The ERA would] suppress true femininity and womanhood. The fight for 'comparable worth'-or equal pay for similar work-resulted in shaming many women into the proverbial closet. Feminists fought to get all women into the labor force-never mind that not all wanted to join them. As a result, those who preferred part-time work, home-based business or stay-at-home motherhood were ridiculed." - CWA report, "The Second Wave's Last Hurrah"32
"The feminist movement is beginning to re-evaluate its presumptions and its hard-core self-centeredness. Some are awakening to the reality that children are what God always said they were: 'a heritage of the Lord,' a delight and a blessing." - P. George Tryfiates, former CWA Executive Director, "Why Children Need Fathers: Five Critical Trends"33
"They do not have a vow before God to hold them together. 'Unmarried cohabitation' grows out of selfish convenience." - P. George Tryfiates, former CWA Executive Director, "Why Children Need Fathers: Five Critical Trends"34
"Homosexuals want their depraved 'values' to become our children's values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!" - Beverly LaHaye35
"Because sex outside marriage is so harmful and destructive, particularly homosexual sex, it is the state's business to lay down markers based on public health and morality- The medical data are clear: homosexual sex is profoundly unhealthy, leading to an increased risk of AIDS, human papillomavirus, hepatitis A, B, and C, syphilis, gonorrhea, 'gay bowel syndrome,' tearing of the rectum, substance abuse, domestic violence and emotional, psychological and social consequences. Volumes of medical data support a public health argument against same-sex sodomy." - Robert Knight, "How to Answer Liberals on the Rick Santorum Controversy"36
Contraception and abortion
Claims that an IUD causes "an early abortion"; in the third to fifth years of Norplant use, "abortion of early pregnancy is the major effect"; Depo-Provera "can irritate the lining of the uterus so that the one-week-old embryo cannot implant and, thus, is aborted"; oral contraceptives do not always prevent ovulation "even in women who never miss a pill" and can result in a "chemical abortion"; emergency contraception's "main function is to abort a living human embryo" - CWA report, "High-Tech 'Birth Control': Health Care or Health Risk?"37
On doctors' advice to women to continue using the Ortho Evra birth control patch, despite a recent death: "'This unbelievable admission reveals a disturbing view within the medical community - that it is worse to be pregnant than dead,' said Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America's senior policy director." - CWA report, "Deaths Attributed to Birth Control Patch Increase"38
Education and childcare
"Psychologist Dr. Ken Madig also notes that 'an increasing number of children [in daycare] suffer a 'character disturbance' called Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). The symptoms of APD include 'emotional detachment and uncontrollable inner rage, and its origins can be traced to disruptions in parent-infant bonding.' Children in day care are not taught social skills or education. Children are often put into 'overcrowded or otherwise unloving child care situations in which they have been forced as an infant to fight for attention and form behavior based on the contradictory messages about acceptable behavior that they have received from parents and daytime caregivers.'" - Rachel Mahaffey, "The Symptoms of Parent Withdrawal"39
"Harry Potter is part of a larger trend to bring occult themes to younger children. Just as the seemingly innocent Sabrina the Teenage Witch is followed by darker, teen-themed Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so Potter is followed by darker and more ominous books like the Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. But Rev. McGee points out that the Potter craze has a particular danger. 'With Harry Potter children are for the first time seeing other children, step by step, learning to access demonic power to get what they want,' he said." - Martha Kleder, "Harry Potter: Seduction of the Occult"40
"Why talk about oral and anal sex to children, period? The unspoken purpose is clear and has the fingerprints of the gay lobby and NAMBLA all over it. The FBI publishes A Parent's Guide to the Internet. Note well how it describes the modus operandi of pedophiles: 'These individuals attempt to gradually lower children's inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations.' And millions of parents are letting so-called sex-education experts do exactly this to their children in the classroom without raising any objection. Unbelievable!" - Janice Shaw Crouse, "Saran Wrap for 'Safe' Teen Sex?"41
Christianity and public policy
"'Sometimes we have coordinated attacks,' said Michael Bowman, the director of state legislative relations for Concerned Women for America, a public policy organization based on biblical principles that was founded by Beverly LaHaye, who is married to the best-selling Christian writer Tim LaHaye. 'Our local person will be in touch with the Catholic Conference person or with Focus on the Family. They'll create e-mail loops, decide when to hit the pavement.'" - The New York Times42
"Christian values should dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office." - Beverly LaHaye 43
"Please pray for me and my pro-family colleagues here [at the UN], as we work to expose the evil works of darkness and promote- the belief that each person has dignity as a human being made in God's image." - Wendy Wright, CWA's President and representative to the United Nations, 4/13/2005
1. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/history.asp
2. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/about.asp
3. From 990 FY 2005, http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2005/953/580/2005-953580834-01d64a04-9.pdf
4. From PFAW, http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=3151#3
5. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/coreissues.asp
7. From CWA, http://www.cultureandfamily.org/articledisplay.asp?id=576&department=CFI&categoryid=cfreport posted 4/3/2002
8. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/about.asp
9. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/coreissues.asp
10. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/library.asp?category=nation
11. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/coreissues.asp
12. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/images/content/planbfiling_CWA_%20FRC_e_%20al_11-01-2005.pdf
13. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=9437&department=CWA&categoryid=life
14. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/library.asp?category=life
15. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/library.asp?category=education
16. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=902&department=CWA&categoryid=education
17. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=1998&department=CWA&categoryid=pornography
19. CWA 990, FY 2003
20. From CWA, http://www.cwfa.org/535.asp
21. CWA 990, FY 2005
25. From PFAW, www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=11417
27. Names and biographical information from CWA, http://gideon.cwfa.org/leadership.asp
28. From CWA, www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=2107&department=CWA&categoryid=
29. Beverly LaHaye, http://www.tfn.org/religiousright/organizations/index.php
30.Talk, October 1999
31. "The 'Second Wave's' Last Hurrah" http://www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=1068&department=CWA&categoryid=family
32. "The 'Second Wave's' Last Hurrah" http://www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=1068&department=CWA&categoryid=family
33. P. George Tryfiates, http://www.cwfa.org/brochures/fathers.pdf
34. P. George Tryfiates, http://www.cwfa.org/brochures/fathers.pdf
35. Beverly LaHaye, http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=3151, originally in CWA direct mail, 5/92
36. Robert Knight, "How to Answer Liberals on the Rick Santorum Controversy," 5/1/2003
37. High-Tech "Birth Control": Health Care or Health Risk?
38. "Deaths Attributed to Birth Control Patch Increase"
39. Rachel Mahaffey, "The Symptoms of Parent Withdrawal," 12/17/2004
40. Martha Kleder, "Harry Potter: Seduction of the Occult", Family Voice Nov/Dec 2001
41. Janice Shaw Crouse, "Saran Wrap for 'Safe' Teen Sex?"
42. The New York Times June 19, 2005 Sunday / Section 6; Column 1; Magazine Desk; Pg. 34 / What's Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage? It's the Gay Part / Russell Shorto
43. Beverly LaHaye, originally in "Ms." magazine, 2/87