After a 20-year gap, Promise Keepers is making a comeback with a July rally in Arlington, Texas, that will call Christian men to fight against the LGBTQ agenda, its leader said.
Ken Harrison, new president of the parachurch organization that was popular in the 1990s, appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast on “Real America’s Voice” to promote the summer rally at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Sandwiched between ads for Vitamin D to promote natural immunity against coronavirus and Bannon’s insistence that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election — along with all manner of conspiracy theories and tirades against the mainstream media — Harrison made his pitch for the rally that he says will draw 80,000 Christian men.
Liberals and the LGBTQ community are “destroying the identity of the American people,” Harrison lamented in one segment. “Christian men are not standing up for what’s right.”
“There’s such an undercurrent who are sick and tired of the evil in this country,” he added, citing perceived threats from the press, public education and “the nonsense the leftists are trying to tell us we’re bad people, we’re racists, we’re misogynists.”
In another segment posted to Twitter by Bannon critic Ron Filipkowski, Harrison said: “You think about how quickly we went from homosexual marriage to, now, men putting on dresses and being called women and playing on women’s basketball teams, and where are the Christian men? So what we need to do is call men back and remind us of who we are in Christ.”
Because Bannon, a former senior adviser to Trump, has been banned from some social media sites, finding his podcast requires knowing where to look. In August 2020, he and three others were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering in connection to the We Build the Wall campaign. Bannon pleaded not guilty and was pardoned by Trump before the trial could be held. In November 2020, Bannon’s Twitter account was permanently suspended after he said Anthony Fauci and Christopher Wray should be beheaded.
On the podcast with Harrison, Bannon spoke of Promise Keepers as being part of a “warrior men idea.” He expressed amazement that in July 2020 Promise Keepers came back to life with an online event that drew 1.2 million participants worldwide. That global turnout is proof yet again, Bannon said, that Trump actually won the election and that Trump supporters “have the votes.”
On Twitter, Harrison and Promise Keepers were ridiculed for their alliance with Bannon, who is not perceived as a symbol of Christian virtue or fidelity. Bannon’s shows often feature other fringe religious figures as well.
On Twitter, Harrison and Promise Keepers were ridiculed for their alliance with Bannon, who is not perceived as a symbol of Christian virtue or fidelity.
Promise Keepers began in 1990 as the passion of Bill McCartney, then head football coach at the University of Colorado Boulder. The organization gained international attention in October 1997 with a “Stand in the Gap” assembly on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., that drew about 800,000 people.
The organization continued to offer rallies and other events after that but fell out of public awareness after McCartney resigned as president in October 2003 to care for his ailing wife.
Harrison was named president of Promise Keepers in April 2018. He is CEO of WaterStone Foundation, a Christian donor-advised fund, and is a former officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The Promise Keepers website offers an announcement about the July event in Texas, along with advance registration. “Join us to gain biblical and spiritual tools that will empower you to be the man Christ intended you to be,” it says. “The past year has been isolating for millions of men, and our culture’s brokenness has left millions more confused about what godly manhood looks like.”
The publicity promises: “We’ll enter the gates of AT&T Stadium with a shared feeling of purpose, shields locked in a bond of brotherhood no one can break. By God’s grace, we will return home as changed men, ready to lead our families, communities, and country.”
“By God’s grace, we will return home as changed men, ready to lead our families, communities, and country.”
News of the return of Promise Keepers was hailed at Charisma News by Larry Tomczak as an answer to “America’s cultural depravity and decline” with God’s “design for true manhood.”
Eight keynote speakers have been announced:
- Jonathan Evans, former NFL fullback and chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks. He is the son of Dallas pastor and author Tony Evans.
- Les Parrott, author and marriage counselor, who is a professor at Northwest University.
- Sam Rodriguez, pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, Calif., and president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
- Bernard, pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Nick Vujicic, founder of the nonprofit Life Without Limbs and author of the book Life Without Limits.
- Carter Conlon, pastor of Times Square Church in New York.
- Donald Burgs Jr., pastor of Alief Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, and president of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas.
- Jerry Boykin, retired Army lieutenant general and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence in the George W. Bush administration. He now serves as executive vice president of the Family Research Council, a far-right faith-based nonprofit.
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