By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
January 17, 2020
Oddly enough, both liberal feminists and pro-family conservatives celebrated this week when Virginia voted on the Equal Rights Amendment — feminists, because the commonwealth became the 38th state to ratify the measure; and conservatives, because the vote came at least 38 years too late.
“The proper relationship between men and women, as defined by the Scriptures, does nothing to keep either one of them from becoming everything God intended them to be. Women are equal to men in creation, equal in salvation, equal in their accountability to God, but if you attempt to make them equal in everything, then you pervert the meaning of equal and rob both of them of their contentment and power,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
First proposed in 1923, the ERA was passed by Congress in 1972, pending ratification by at least 38 states. Congress set a seven-year time limit for that process and later extended the deadline to 1982. Even then, just 35 states had endorsed the amendment, and five of them withdrew their ratifications before the initial deadline. North Carolina is among 14 states that never ratified the ERA.
While “equal rights” sounds like a simple call for fair treatment to both genders, in truth, the amendment would have had many negative repercussions.
“The ERA would have considered all restrictions on abortions as sex discrimination and been used to overturn the partial-birth abortion ban, third-trimester abortion ban and parental notice of minors seeking an abortion. It would have also been used to mandate taxpayer funding of elective Medicaid abortions,” the Liberty Counsel reported this week.
The Christian advocacy group said the amendment would also compel females to compete against males in sports; abolish female privacy in prisons, locker rooms, women’s shelters, nursing homes and hospitals; subject women to selective service registration and front-line ground combat; end all incentives for women-owned businesses; end female scholarships; end women-only sports programs; abolish alimony guidelines; end lower auto and other insurance rates for women, and treat any legal distinction based on sex the same as racial discrimination.
Victoria Cobb, president of the Virginia chapter of The Family Foundation, told the media that when the ERA was first written, it referred to two sexes, male and female, but there is no longer a shared understanding of sex, which she believes could lead to the amendment being interpreted vaguely. Others agreed.
“The ERA does not put women in the Constitution,” Anne Schlafly Cori, chairman of Eagle Forum, told the media. “It puts sex in the Constitution, and sex has a lot of different definitions.”
Cori is the daughter of the late Phyllis Schlafly, the well-known lawyer and pro-family crusader who helped defeat the measure in the ’70s. An articulate opponent of the radical feminist movement, Schlafly debated on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative.
The Eagle Forum, which she started in 1972, offers these 10 reasons to oppose the ERA.
As Virginia’s Democratic-led legislature signaled that it would vote to pass the nearly four-decades-old amendment, the Department of Justice weighed in to clarify the futility of such a move.
“Congress may not revive a proposed amendment after a deadline for its ratification has expired,” the DOJ ruled. “Should Congress wish to propose the amendment anew, it may do so through the same procedures required to propose an amendment in the first instance, consistent with Article V of the Constitution.”
“Even though the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was never ratified and now officially dead, dramatic changes for women have occurred. Some good, while others not so good,” said the Rev. Creech. “Today, there are more women attorneys, corporate directors, doctors, college presidents, lawmakers, women in the Armed Forces, etc. One day we expect to have a woman president. But something, I think, women are learning is despite these many gains, none of these titles automatically bring inner peace, personal fulfillment or happiness. They just provide new dimensions of stress.”
Creech said that when women demand to be treated exactly like men, they stand to lose much of the joy that comes with the unique and exclusive capacities of womanhood.
“Gender-bending, the failure on the part of our culture to recognize God’s distinctive design for men and women, has escalated the abortion crisis and facilitated the false and destructive narratives of the LGBTQ,” he said.
Cobb said she does not need the ERA to define her status under the law.
“Today I am different than men and yet equal under the U.S. Constitution, and Virginia Constitution and Virginia laws,” Cobb said.
Most importantly, God’s word establishes equality based on our unified position as his children: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” — Galatians 3:28.