Arts & Culture News

An Expected 80,000 Christian Men Afraid of Men Wearing Dresses Will Gather in Dallas

They're coming. The Promise Keepers conference projects 80,000 Christian men will attend its July event in Dallas.
They're coming. The Promise Keepers conference projects 80,000 Christian men will attend its July event in Dallas. Geraint Rowland Photography/Getty
In a city like Dallas, once named "the most Bible-thumping city in Texas,” it’s perhaps not entirely surprising to expect 80,000 Christians in one big gathering. There is, after all, a CPAC convention scheduled in Dallas just next week, the QAnon conference that took place at the end of May, and there’s always the after-church Sunday crowd at IHOP, which seems just as populous.

On July 16 and 17, more conservatives will be descending en masse in Arlington when the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, hosts the Promise Keepers 2021 Men's Conference.

The conference’s website says those attending will learn the “tools that empower you to be the man Christ intended you to be,” and Promise Keepers chairman Ken Harrison said in a press release for the event that “the world is wondering what happened to American men.”

Harrison offered no context as to the nature of the world’s alleged concern for American men, but in an April 23 radio interview with Steve Bannon, Harrison, a former LAPD officer, was less vague about the organization's mission.
“If [the global media] can get Christians, especially Christian men, to sit down, be silent and be passive, then they can be effective, and it’s working," Harrison said. "Christian men are not standing up for what’s right. You think about how quickly we went from homosexual marriage to now men putting on dresses and being called women and playing on women’s basketball teams. And where are the Christian men?”


And here we thought this event was about men seeking self-improvement. Shockingly, the two-day conference has a throwback theme to the days it was frowned upon for men to wear long, fitted garments.

The men’s ministry was founded in 1990 by Bill McCartney and, according to its website, its goal is to teach men how to be better husbands, fathers and leaders. Their official mission statement is to “empower men to live out their God-given identity and purpose today and destiny tomorrow by serving their homes, workplaces and communities with integrity and influence.”

Women are not allowed at the conference, but children are — as long as they are male and ages 10 and up. The event's speakers, according to their bios, range from worship leaders to former CIA employees. Tickets cost upward of $92.

The official social media slogan for the event is #mantrip.

#adorable.

Event organizers are billing the conference as the “first mass Christian gathering since the pandemic,” completely forgetting about large conservative gatherings such as numerous nationwide “I need a haircut” lockdown protests and the January riots at the U.S. Capitol.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio