No matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, the Koch brothers and their defenders continue to argue that the billionaire Republican kingmakers are singly focused on expanding our economic freedoms. Many believe that their efforts are entirely disconnected from movements of social conservatives and that the Kochs can thus help expand the Republican tent.
Well, maybe this latest incident will help some who subscribe to that theory finally…Let It Go.
Penny Nance, the head of Concerned Women For America — a group that, according to the Washington Post, received $8 million from the Kochs’ bank to run “social-media campaign and get-out-the-vote effort aimed at young women in 2012.” — was on Fox News this week bemoaning the degree to which the movie “Frozen” empowered women. She went on to clarify that it’s not just “Frozen” that is problematic, but indeed Hollywood as a whole, which “has often sent the message that men are superfluous, that they’re stupid, that they’re in the way.” With hot takes from the Koch brothers’ women’s group like that, the GOP gender gap should be gone in no time!
Of course, this is the same group that once attacked Harry Potter for indoctrinating children with witchcraft, so perhaps their “Frozen” frustrations are not all that surprising.
But beyond the utter outlandishness of these grievances, there lies a very serious point. Concerned Women For America isn’t, in fact, the modern women’s outreach group you might expect. They are a group whose self-declared mission is to “protect and promote Biblical values” and whose vision is to “restore the family to its traditional purpose.”
Concerned Women For America supported the infamous Blunt Amendment which would have allowed employers to deny contraceptive health coverage to female employees based on their own moral objections. They have posts on their site like this one opposing same-sex marriage, which begins, “Homosexuals are seeking a special right. They already have the same right to marry the rest of us have-the right to marry a person of the opposite sex.”
So next time somebody says that Koch brothers are libertarians who stay out of social issues, keep in mind that their network is financing some of America’s most extreme social conservative advocacy groups.
Concerned Women for America Supported Passage of Blunt Amendment. According to the Concerned Women of America: “In August, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed an interim rule that required virtually all private health care plans, except those that met a very narrowly tailored religious exemption, to cover sterilization and all FDA-approved contraception, including abortifacients ella and Plan B. HHS reaffirmed the rule on January 20 but delayed implementation for one year for non-exempt religious organizations to change their moral or religious convictions President Barack Obama tried unsuccessfully to alleviate the religious liberty issues raised by this rule. However, his compromise does not fix the underlying issues, because it still forces religious employers and employees, who have moral objections to sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception, to subsidize them.” [Concerned Women for America, Letter: Urge Your Senator to Vote for the Blunt Amendment, 2/15/12]
Concerned Women for America Rated Support for Blunt Amendment as Key Vote. [Concerned Women for America, Senate Scorecard, 112th Congress]
Blunt Amendment Would Have Allowed Employers to Deny Contraceptive Health Coverage Based on Religious or Moral Objections. According to CBS News: The Senate on Thursday struck down a controversial amendment that would allow any U.S. employer, not just those affiliated with a religious institution, to deny contraceptive health coverage to its employees based on religious or moral objections. [CBS News, 3/1/12]
CWA Article Attacked Harry Potter For Indoctrinating Children With “Witchcraft.” According to an article published in the Family Voice, a CWA publication, parents “are now trying to protect their children from classroom discussions about paganism and the occult” when Harry Potter is read in classrooms. The article argues that “Harry Potter is part of a larger trend to bring occult themes to younger children.” [Family Voice, November/December 2001]
CWA Article Quoted Reverend Who Said Harry Potter Would Let Children Learn “To Access Demonic Power to Get What They Want.” According to The Concerned Women of America’s Family Voice: 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. Marcia Montenegro, occult expert and founder of the ministry Christian Answers for the New Age, disputes claims that the books center on the theme of good versus evil. ‘There is no moral center in Harry Potter,’ said Montenegro. ‘Good and evil are depicted as being two sides of the same coin, which is an occult worldview. ‘Why is Harry considered good? He breaks the rules, gets away with it, and is even rewarded for it. As one of Harry’s professors says in book three, ‘Harry is a law unto himself.’ From a Christian perspective, this cannot be.’” [Concerned Women of America: Family Voice, “Harry Potter: Seduction of the Occult,” November/December 2001, November/December 2001]
CWA Article Criticized Scholastic for Harry Potter Discussion Guides, Quoted ‘Christian Anti-Cult Expert’ Who Attacked Guides as “Indoctrination,” that Would Lead Children to Access “Genuine Witchcraft Training Classes Right In His Home or Classroom.” According to The Concerned Women of America’s Family Voice: “Scholastic, the American distributors of the Harry Potter series, also offers online teacher discussion guides written by Kylene Beers, assistant professor of reading at the University of Houston, Texas. ‘The following discussion guide … features summaries of the plot, theme, conflict, setting and characterization, as well as a number of questions designed to encourage conversation,” writes Beers on the Scholastic Web site. Discussion questions include comparing various Potter characters to those in ancient mythology. Another asks about similarities between the masked wizards that torment ‘muggles’ (normal humans) and real group members who have worn hoods when tormenting others. Still other questions ask students to ponder moral themes, like self-sacrifice, choosing what is right over what is easy, and free will versus preordination—themes better left to parents, since they will likely lose their value under the morally relativistic constraints of today’s public school system. Christian anti-cult expert Caryl Matrisciana finds this intrusion into classrooms disturbing. ‘This is a complete indoctrination program in the schools,’ Matrisciana says in the Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged video. ‘First they interest children in the occult with delightful fantasy literature, then they bring the books into the schools, along with teacher’s guides to fuel the interest in exploration of the occult. Now with this Beecham’s Sourcebook, any computer-literate child can access genuine witchcraft training classes right in his home or classroom.’ [Concerned Women of America: Family Voice, “Harry Potter: Seduction of the Occult,” November/December 2001, November/December 2001]