By Tony Perkins
Family Research Council — You can’t put a price tag on women’s contributions to America — but Congress is trying. For almost 20 years, liberals have batted around the idea of building a National Women’s History Museum in D.C. as a way to draw attention to the untold stories and accomplishments of America’s daughters. Who could be opposed to that?
Plenty of people, once they see who’s being honored and how much it could cost. Right now, the House is considering a bill (H.R. 863) that many believe is the first step to making that museum a reality. If it passes, Congress would create a special task force (four Republicans and four Democrats) to analyze possible fundraising options and building sites. For now, the museum exists as an online organization whose current roster of “heroes” raises plenty of questions about the kind of women its Board would push to include. If the website is any indication, the half-million dollar venture has the potential to be a permanent monument to radical feminism and abortion.
Perusing the pages of the National Women’s History Museum website is a biased trip through the “progressive era,” including a glowing tribute to Margaret Sanger, whom no one would mistake for the racist founder of Planned Parenthood that she was. Thanks to a Board of pro-abortion activists, Sanger’s hideous legacy of eugenics is replaced with her remarkable “contributions” to the birth control movement.
The woman who once wrote, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” and whose organization is responsible for the abortion of millions of future women, is celebrated as a champion of U.S. history. Other pages pay homage to Georgetown Law’s Sandra Fluke, who made it her personal crusade to destroy religious liberty through the HHS mandate. NWHM.org even highlights Victoria Woodhull, who equated marriage with “forced prostitution.” Imagine the students who will dutifully march past these displays and mistake these women for heroes.
Do we honestly believe that this same Board would give pro-life trailblazers like Susan B. Anthony the same treatment? Americans are right to be concerned that this museum would be just another platform for liberals to rewrite history. Name one D.C. monument from the last 50 years that hasn’t become a victim of political correctness! The government edited President Franklin Roosevelt’s prayer, chiseled away Rev. Martin Luther King’s God, and Congress thinks this museum would offer a fair and honest picture of women?
On RedState, David Horowitz is equally frustrated by the idea. “[The Left’s] monopoly on media, entertainment, and education has given radicals the opportunity to slowly, yet relentlessly, introduce extreme ideas into the mainstream with a high degree of success. The least we can do as conservatives is not use our majority to gratuitously grant the feminist movement more leverage to promote leftwing propaganda in our nation’s capital under the guise of celebrating famous women.”
To be clear: no one is suggesting that women don’t deserve to be recognized. They do — and are, thanks to 19 other Smithsonian museums that feature women’s achievements in everything from science to sports. But conservatives are concerned — and rightly so — that the GOP’s short-term goal of pushing back on the “war on women” will lead to long-term cultural consequences.
Although supporters claim the project would be funded by private dollars, it hasn’t exactly been a financial barn-burner, raising just under $15 million in the last several years. When pressed, proponents admit that they’d like the museum to be built as part of the Smithsonian (which, Heritage points out, raked in $805 million in taxpayer funds in FY 2014). If you want to know why America is $17 trillion in debt, look no further than politically-motivated projects like this one. Regardless of what some Republicans say, the one thing that will be on display at this museum is the GOP’s misplaced priorities.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.