THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
By Wayne S. Walker
[Editor’s note: This article was originally written in 1981. The so-called Equal Rights Amendment never achieved the 38 states needed to ratify it by June 30, 1982, and in fact several states which ratified it rescinded their ratification, so it died. However, in every session of Congress since, some pro-feminist Congressperson has reintroduced the E. R. A. in Congress, so the spiritual issues that it raises are still important. I have inserted a few comments in brackets to update the information in the article. WSW.]
The proposed Equal Rights Amendment (E. R. A.) to the United States Constitution, passed by Congress on March 22, 1972, and ratified thus far by 35 states (38 needed by June 30, 1982), five of which have rescinded their approval, reads as follows:
“1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”
Many states have already enacted their own E. R. A. laws. The language is deceptively simple. No one opposes equal rights under the law for both men and women such as equal pay for equal work. But there is more to this than meets the eye.
Feminist organizations are working for “values clarification” in society’s attitudes towards women, and they seem to be having fair success. Work is now being done to eliminate all “sexist” language from the Bible (e.g., “Our Loving Parent who is in heaven…”). Girls are forcing their way onto boys’ athletic teams. Some are calling for women to be included in Selective Service registration. A few years ago, a bureaucrat tried to ban father-son and mother-daughter school functions as discriminatory [and some still are trying to do so.]
All-male schools and clubs are being pressured to admit women. It seems strange that the YMCA (Young MEN’S Christian Association) must accept women but the YWCA (Young WOMEN’S Christian Association) is not required to accept men. There is a report out of California, which has a state E. R. A. statute, that public restrooms are becoming co-ed—all in one room with separate booths for men and women [like co-ed dorms in colleges]. And it may be that if the E. R. A. is ratified, some judge might rule that it demands homosexual marriages be legalized.
[Added note: I do not claim to be a prophet or the son of a prophet, but thirty years ago some of us saw the signs of the times and were warning even then about the possible coming danger of homosexual marriage. And a lot of people responded, “Oh, no, that will never happen.” No, we did not get the E. R. A., but the same kind of liberal, leftist thinking that was behind it has gradually infected and influenced our society since then, especially the younger generation, largely through the entertainment and educational establishments, until we are now dealing with the very issue of homosexual marriage.]
If all these things are being done, tried, or suggested before the E. R. A. is the law, imagine what might take place afterward! Now it should be pointed out that the possible results of the E. R. A. which are currently being debated will not happen automatically or immediately. As a result many of the more “moderate” supporters of the E. R. A. claim that such things will never really come about because there are already laws on the books to avoid them. However, what so many fail to see is that if the E. R. A. is ratified, all other laws will have to be reinterpreted to conform with it or else be abolished. And many of the radical women’s groups supporting the E. R. A. say that they will push for such changes in the courts.
Who are some of the most zealous promoters of the E. R. A., and what are their ideals? Let me quote from the Humanist Manifesto which was signed by Betty Friedan, an ardent E. R. A. activist. “We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural. It is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.” There you have it. The leaders of women’s lib and the E. R. A. movement base their ideas on secular atheistic humanism. Paul describes the consequences of such in Romans chapter 1.
Certainly the church should not get involved in politics. Such does not fall into the scope of its Bible-revealed mission. Furthermore, God never intended that politics be the means for the moral persuasion of mankind. His method is preaching and teaching the gospel. No preacher or other Christian should get so involved in political movements that he fails to see the real needs of men. Yet, many so-called political issues are actually moral questions. And our traditional separation of church and state does not mean that religious people cannot seek to influence the government for good. Christians do have the right as individuals to make know their views to those in power to oppose such godless nonsense as the E. R. A. and to support legislation that is in harmony with the principles of morality in God’s word.
Another possible result of the E. R. A. would be to make both the husband and the wife equally responsible for the financial support of the family. Contrast that with what Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:8 and 14. The problem is not what some uninformed or prejudiced person says may or may not happen because of the E. R. A., but what legal experts say can happen if it becomes law. This is why Christians must oppose it.
—Taken from Torch; Mar., 1981; Vol. XVI, No. 3; pp. 13-14