Detroiters to rally Aug. 5 to shut down Church Militant anti-woman conference; July 28 press conference to announce plans. Photo courtesy of Michigan Peoples Defense Network

Anti-Racist, Anti-Facist Group to Take Action

Michigan Peoples Defense Network Will Protest Church Militant's "Strength and Honor" Conference for Men

BY BTL STAFF

Updated on July 25 to include Church Militant's response to MPDN.

The Michigan Peoples Defense Network, an anti-racist, anti-fascist action group dedicated to fighting all forms of oppression, has called a press conference at 5 p.m. on July 28 to announce an action countering the "Strength and Honor" conference for men by the radical Christian news organization Church Militant.

Detroiters and activist organizations - MPDN and Workers World Party - will gather on the sidewalk in front of Church Militant, 2840 Hilton Road in Ferndale to organize a picket and protest of the "Strength and Honor" Conference on Aug. 5 at 8:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Sterling Heights. The goal is to "shut down the hateful messages spread at this conference," according to a press release.

MPDN said the Church Militant is a radical religious hate group working to suppress women's rights and LGBTQ rights and promote a theocratic Christian agenda.

The "Strength and Honor" conference website states the event is "for men who want to take back their country and their Catholic faith, who would love to be a part of the growing momentum leading back to a life that just makes sense, a movement towards restoring sanity in their country, love for Holy Mother Church, and finally, a government that will begin to reflect that."

MPDN said many of the church's points are lifted from or are identical to "men's rights" discourse, which focuses on reducing women's agency and reproductive rights. MPDN also said "men's rights" is a thinly veiled defense of rape culture.

The organization points to the church's racist anti-Muslim rhetoric, painting Muslim migrants and refugees as sexual predators.

MPDN said, "As the radical Christian right rises in America, having supported Donald Trump's campaign of hatred against the most marginalized, it is more vital than ever that the community stands against hate draped in a cross."

In response to the planned demonstration, Church Militant issued a press release titled, "Theological Conference Targeted by Antifa Allies," which states the claim that the conference is about "men's rights" is a deliberate distortion. The conference is about men's obligations, not "rights."

The conference, according to Church Militant, is entirely theological in nature, offering talks on the essential role of sacrificial masculinity required of Catholic men to be good husbands and fathers.

The press release reads: "Church Militant is not a hate group; MPDN is the real hate group, trying to intimidate religious organizations into silence...MPDN is anti-religion when that religion promotes theologically grounded teachings like the sacredness of life from its first beginnings to its natural end, and the sanctity of traditional marriage between one man and one woman...Church Militant is proudly pro-woman, pro-life and pro-immigrant."

BTL previously reported on Church Militant's anti-LGBT views. Read the story online.

See what the Michigan Peoples Defense Network is up to on Facebook.
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