Feminist Warns against Plans for `Theocracy'

Article excerpt

Feminist Eleanor Smeal said yesterday that conservative groups have "whipped around" liberal groups and are working to change America into a "theocracy."

Liberal organizations must regroup, join forces and defeat this threat, Ms. Smeal, leader of the group Feminist Majority Foundation, told a seminar on "Countering the Religious Right."

The religious right is "neither religious or right," she added. Their leaders are "theocrats" or, at the extreme, "fascists," she said, noting that at least one Christian group would like to see more crimes punishable by capital punishment, and to execute people by stoning.

"Stones are cheap" and it's in the Bible, Ms. Smeal explained.

Spokeswomen for conservative groups called such comments typical liberal extremism.

"This really was a seminar in deception, lies and untruths," said Andrea Sheldon, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition.

When liberal groups "have no facts, no evidence, no statistics and no proof, the only thing they can do is lob bombs of hate words, and what they did today is practice a kind of fear-mongering," said Janet Parshall, national advocate for the Family Research Council.

Carmen Pate, president of Concerned Women for America, said she was not surprised by such comments. But if they "feel we are a group to be dealt with," she said, "we'll take that as a compliment."

Yesterday's event, held in the House Rayburn building, was sponsored by the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP) and the People for the American Way (PAW). …