Sign of the Apocalypse: Fox News makes fun of religious right over CPAC controversy

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

I loathe religious right groups for the lies they tell about the lgbt community. And I despise the Fox News channel for its constant mantra of distortions and propaganda.

So how the hell do I react when a Fox News program, Red Eye, makes fun of social conservatives, i.e. religious right groups over their decision to boycott the conservative CPAC conference simply because of the inclusion of a gay group, GoProud?

Just hold my nose and enjoy the show. As an extra attraction, Red Eye also makes fun of our “favorite homophobe,” Porno Pete LaBarbera:

Hat tip to Joe.My.God

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American Family Association Celebrates A Year Of Anti-Gay Religious Bigotry

Joe. My. God.

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Do not censor religious right groups. Demand that they answer questions

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

I am in TOTAL disagreement with other lgbt activists (such as Dan Savage) who think that the news media shouldn't have religious right organizations on their shows on the grounds that their opinions are akin to those of the Ku Klux Klan.

It's not that I don't agree with the root part of this argument. Just like the Klan demonizes African-Americans based on ignorance, fear, and (in some extreme cases) religion, religious right groups do the same to the lgbt community.

But I think veteran newscaster Tom Brokaw put it best:

Asked how antigay views should be presented, he said, “You just say that they’ve got strong opinions. You treat like them like anyone else. You cross-examine and ask them the right questions.”

That's the thing which as been solely missing from this controversy regarding the religious right and the lgbt community. No one in the lgbt community has issued a clear plan of attack. It has been a morass of words thrown around, such as “bigots” and “haters, and tangents devoted to the issue of gay marriage or sidetracked to the larger issue of condemnation  of the Christian religion.

And in the middle of  this complicated muddle, religious right groups zero in on one issue, i.e. censorship, and begin to control the debate.

This issue is not about gay marriage per se, nor is it about condemnation of religion. It's about the intentional propagation of falsehoods and junk science in order to smear a group of people.

Therefore demanding that the news media keep people like Tony Perkins or groups like the Family Research Council off television is extremely counterproductive. It gives the inaccurate notion that somehow their ideas are so truthful that the lgbt community is fearful of letting them be heard.

 

Instead, we need to demand that certain questions be asked. For example:

“Mr Perkins, why did your organization freely and unapologetically cite the work Paul Cameron, a discredited researcher who thinks that gay men stuff gerbils up their rectums?”


“Why do religious right groups continue to cite a 1997 study to claim that gays have a short lifespan when in 2001, the researchers of the study complained that you all were distorting their work?  To be more specific, why do religious right group ignore legitimate researchers who complain about how they distort their work?


“Mr. Perkins, why did your organization remove several anti-gay studies from your web page on the grounds that they used outdated studies? And this being the case, why did you cite those supposed “outdated” studies in works that do appear on your pages?”

Or even better, demand that the news media interview some of us on their shows when they have people like Perkins on. The lgbt community is a bit more intelligent and sophisticated than we were in the past in terms of calling attention to how religious right groups lie. We should be chomping at the bit to confront them on national television and making them spell out in exact terms why their distortions and junk science are accurate.

But instead of relishing the thought of a public feud, we seem to be backtracking from it or trying to sidestep it.

The lgbt community should take note of the recent hell President Obama has been getting from progressives about his need to compromise with the GOP. Just like it seems that President Obama has been reluctant to get into a war with the bullies of the GOP, the lgbt community seems to be reluctant to get into a needed fight with our bullies, i.e. the religious right.

But whereas as Obama tries to compromise with the GOP, the lgbt community seem to view the media as our parents and we run to them crying that they keep the big, bad bullies of the religious right from picking on us.

The media is not the parents of the lgbt community and it's not their job to stop the religious right from picking on us via their lies. It's our job to call them out and not just with words like “bigots,” but with demands that they either explain their propagation of lies (such as linking homosexuality to pedophilia or claiming that gays caused the Holocaust) or apologize for them.

But we can't do this adequately without calling them out.

Doesn't anyone think that it's time we started?
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Religious right doesn’t want lgbt children to have parental support

crosssposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

A new study has come out saying that lgbt youth who receive support from their parents are less likely to engage in destructive behaviors such as suicide or substance abuse.

According to U.S. News and World Reports, the study which appears in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing:

. . .also found that those adolescents with highly accepting families have much higher levels of self-esteem and social support when they're young adults.

The study included 245 white and Hispanic LGBT young adults, aged 21 to 25, in California who were open about their sexual orientation to at least one parent or caregiver during adolescence.

Examples of positive parental and caregiver support include supporting their gender expression or advocating for their children when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity.

However, leave it to the folks at the American Family Association's One News Now to object to the study. And what makes the phony news publication's objection more shameful is that it doesn't even try to refute what the study says.

 

Instead, it quotes Dr. Andre Van Mol, a private physician in California. Mol calls the study “indoctrination”:

“This is ideology and indoctrination in high gear, and it carries with it the implicit [threat] 'or else your kid will kill themselves,' which is ridiculous,” contends Dr. Andre Van Mol, a family physician in private practice in Redding, California.

. . . “Love is not the same as enablement and co-dependency,” counters Van Mol. “A parent can fully love and accept their [LGBT] teen, give them a safe home where they know that they as a person are accepted, and still have it be known that their parents feel that acting out on that sexual orientation will be an inherently negative thing,” he suggests. “I don't think that's contradictory.”

The family physician goes on to tell OneNewsNow the study pushes the fruits of a strategy to take over the medical field with the ideology and indoctrination of homosexuality.

I think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mol doesn't know what he is talking about.

Apparently One News Now isn't alone in raising an objection about the study:

In a November commentary, Christopher Doyle of the support group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)calls efforts to scare parents into embracing their children’s sexual behavior for fear of suicide “minority stress” theory propagated by gay activists.

Even in gay-tolerant cultures, the occurrence of suicidal behavior is much higher among homosexuals than heterosexuals,” he explained.

Doyle, an ex-gay and PFOX board member, cited a 2006 study of homosexuals in the Netherlands, which was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Gay men were five times and lesbian women were 10 times more likely to contemplate suicide than heterosexuals. Another study found that a lower level of social hostility toward homosexuals in the Netherlands and Denmark compared with the U.S. was not associated with a lower level of psychiatric problems among homosexuals in these European countries.

Of course Doyle is inaccurate. The “studies” (actually there weren't two different studies. The article in the Christian Post is inaccurate. There was only one study) Doyle referred to was the work of Dr. Theo Sandfort. In an email written last year, Sandfort objected to how his work has been distorted.

On the whole, this entire needless controversy is a perfect example of how religious right groups operate. Was it really necessary for them to object? Common sense tells one that children who receive love and support from their family tend to have less problems with self-esteem. And we all know that unfortunately in some homes, lgbt children are robbed of that crucial support system because of the real fear that they will be rejected by their parents or even worse, kicked out on the streets.

The study just affirms this. But leave it to the religious right to object solely on ground that the lgbt identity is involved. And according to them, the study has nothing to do with making sure that lgbt children are safe and sound, but some evil plan by “gay activists” to force acceptance of homosexuality.

Such an idea is devoid of not only common sense, but basic Christian decency and kindness.

The sad irony is that without parental support, lgbt children are more likely to engage in behaviors such as suicide and substance abuse, and thereby becoming a statistic eagerly cited by religious right figures such as Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg regarding the so-called “dangers of homosexuality.”

One can't help thinking that the only reason why the religious right objects to parents giving support to lgbt children is due to the cold fact that depressed, drug addicted lgbt youth are of more use to them than happy lgbt youth.

Related posts:

One News Now, Matt Barber dehumanizes recent suicide victims
 
Why can't the religious right stop denigrating gay suicide victims?

Phony Christians shedding crocodile tears over the bullying of lgbt teens

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More religious right attacks on SPLC fail to yield results

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

The attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center by religious right groups continue and like the others, the new attacks are not only pitiful, but give ammunition to the idea that the SPLC was correct in branding these organizations as anti-gay hate groups..

This time, the attacks are coming from Peter LaBarbera, head of the group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (surnamed Porno Pete by members of the lgbt community for his “penchant” of going to subcultural leather events, taking pictures, and describing in intimate details all of the “interesting” encounters he saw there between gay men while ignoring the heterosexuals attending said events) and Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute.

Conveniently, both groups have been profiled as anti-gay hate organizations by SPLC for their attempts to smear the lgbt community through junk science or outright lies.

LaBarbera said the following:

The leftist SPLC is now slandering conservative, Christian and Tea Party groups by mislabeling them as “hate groups” on a par with genuine, fringe hate groups like the KKK. American taxpayers should insist that the federal government have no role in legitimizing the SPLC, which has politicized “hate” and turned it into a fund-raising business to demonize conservatives – including mainstream pro-family groups that oppose homosexual activism.

 

Photobucket LaBarbera's whining about being unfairly smeared for supposedly simply standing against homosexuality is rather ironic. Days before, he published the following picture on his site.

The man in this doctored photo, for those who don't know, is openly gay Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA). LaBarbera put this awful thing on his page to illustrate a ridiculous phony panic he made earlier about gay TSA agents getting their “thrills” by feeling up men.

Seems to me that there is no difference between this picture and a photo of a black man with a toothy grin biting into a huge slab of watermelon.

For all of LaBarbera's posturing about being “persecuted due to his supposed Christian beliefs, it's things like this picture which more than makes the case for SPLC.

Higgins (Illinois Family Institute) took it upon herself to attempt to debunk SPLC's list of anti-gay myths in a piece below LaBarbera's whining. However, she doesn't seem to be familiar the rules of debunking claims, especially the first rule that if you debunking a claim, you simply must address the claim.

You read that right. She doesn't even try to debunk SPLC's anti-gay myths more than she offers a weak explanation as to why there is nothing wrong believing these myths.

For example:

SPLCMYTH # 1
Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.

According to the American Psychological Association, “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.” Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.


Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. But research by A. Nicholas Groth, a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse of children, shows that is not so. Groth found that there are two types of child molesters: fixated and regressive. The fixated child molester — the stereotypical pedophile — cannot be considered homosexual or heterosexual because “he often finds adults of either sex repulsive” and often molests children of both sexes. Regressive child molesters are generally attracted to other adults, but may “regress” to focusing on children when confronted with stressful situations. Groth found that the majority of regressed offenders were heterosexual in their adult relationships.

HigginsThe SPLC thinks that the belief that same sex parents harm children constitutes hatred. The first problem is that Schlatter and Steinback fail to define harm. If one believes that homosexuality is morally flawed, then a household centered on a morally flawed relationship cannot be beneficial.


It is entirely possible that a brother and sister in an incestuous relationship or that polyamorist parents could raise children, providing for their physical needs, comforting them, and teaching them their ABCs. But most of society believes that such relationships would harm children because they would teach children that incest or polyamory are morally permissible. Would Schlatter and Steinback include organizations on their “hate groups” list that propagate the belief that incestuous parents or poly-parents harm children?

As I pointed out in an earlier post, in its profiles and list of anti-gay myths, SPLC cited many sources including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, The Child Molestation and Research Institute, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Organization of Male Sexual Victimization, Nicholas Eberstadt, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, The Palm Center, and Richard J. Wolitski, an expert on minority status and public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For her supposed debunking, Higgins cited only one source (and it was the distortion of the 1997 Oxford study which supposedly said that gay men have a short life span. In an absolute bizarre move on her part, Higgins refutes her own point that gay men have a short life span by also citing the 2001 complaint of these researchers that religious right groups were distorting their work).

Higgins's entire argument seems to be “yes we say all of those awful things about lgbts .  . . but . . . but . . . “

At the end of the piece, LaBarbera and Higgins tries to shift the argument by providing links to article that supposedly demonize SPLC.

But I didn't bother to read those links. After seeing the depths of duplicity LaBarbera and Higgins sunk to in order to defend their own organizations, I have a problem with believing anything they say.

You see that's the problem of being caught in a lie. People have a problem with believing anything that you say.

And it's a much deserved denouement for LaBarbera, Higgins and the rest involved in anti-gay groups.

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American Family Association Not Thrilled Religious Hospitals Can No Longer Keep Gays In The Waiting Room

Any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid financing must allow LGBTs to see their loved ones just as they would for hetero visitors beginning Jan. 16, the Department of Health and Human Services announced, solidifying President Obama's April mandate. A written policy is required, stipulating legal relationships are no longer a factor in granting visitation. Guess who's less than thrilled?

CONTINUED »


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Gates caves to religious right, orders investigation of DADT Study leak

Let’s hope this isn’t a lesson about the Pentagon’s backbone when it’s up against foreign theocrats.

Wednesday night, we learned that the Pentagon DADT study showed “minimal” impact from ending the ban on open service.

The domestic theocrats, who over the past year or so seem to have choreographed a number of very anti-gay leaks from the Pentagon, went apoplectic. Yesterday, the Family Research Council asked for an investigation of that leak about the Pentagon’s DADT study:

So Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s supporters shouldn’t be too happy about the leak.

And Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, isn’t. Today he suggested the leak “gravely undermine[s]” the Comprehensive Review Working Group’s study and asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Defense Department’s inspector general to investigate.

Apparently, FRC holds great sway over the Pentagon, because, today, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell announced that there will indeed be an investigation:

“For nearly nine months the Working Group has operated in strict accordance to that mandate. Anonymous sources now risk undermining the integrity of this process.

“The Secretary strongly condemns the unauthorized release of information related to this report and has directed an investigation to establish who communicated with the Washington Post or any other news organization without authorization and in violation of Department policy and his specific instruction.

“The full report will be made public for all to review early next month. Until then, no one at the Pentagon will comment on its contents.”

Earlier today, by press release, HRC demanded that the Pentagon release the DADT study ASAP. Based on this statement, that ain’t happening. Not even close.

On the other hand, FRC demands an investigation and it happens, pronto. Shows who has influence, huh?

Who is running this administration anyway?




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Flattop Jesus divides religious community

Photograph: Lech Muszynski/EPA

First can I just say that the sight of Jesus missing the top slice of his head is grotesque and disturbing?  Of course once the statue is deployed, Christ’s brain case won’t be visible from below to the new source of revenue (pilgrims) that the Catholic priest Sylwester Zawadzki unabashedly hopes to lure to the deformed statue.  Pilgrims will be drawn, he hopes, to this particular statue in the Polish town of Swiebodzin because it will be the new tallest statue of Jesus found anywhere on Earth, outstripping the famous Cristo Redentor, in Rio de Janiero by 6 meters.

I don’t find religious statuary particularly interesting, especially when constructed from composites rather than artfully rendered from wood or stone, but I do find this story noteworthy because this project is not uniformly supported by local Catholics.

The project has split Polish society with some expressing pride, others derision, and with many practising Catholics calling for it to be abandoned. …

Waldemar Roszczuk, editor of the local newspaper Gazeta Swiebodzinska, has been leading a campaign against the structure, which has been compared to the type of communist-era icons that once commanded squares and public places.

“It’s a monster of a statue which has nothing to do with Christian teaching,” he said. “It’s making us a laughing stock in the whole country.”

The project has also been fraught with safety problems, charges of shoddy preparation of the foundation said to doom the statue within 20 years, and disturbing reports of convict labor organized by Zawadzki and a local prison warden.

This story so beautifully illustrates how religiosity or respect for people who are religious doesn’t necessitate withholding legitimate criticism of religious-based endeavors.  It is encouraging to see that the people of Swiebodzin, Catholics among them, understand this and aren’t afraid to express their opinions.
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Minnesota Archbishop: ‘There is no difference between the civil and religious definition of marriage…’

Minnesota Catholics’ aggressively anti-gay DVD campaign is currently traversing the state, mailbox to mailbox, marking the biggest waste of postage since the time its publishers mistakenly sent Guns & Ammo magazine to the Illiterate Pacifist Society’s entire mailing list. But regardless of how wasteful, cruel, unprovoked, and unnecessary this anti-civil rights campaign may be, it is now out of the proverbial barn, hoping to lay the same kind of groundwork that the Catholic community, egged on by the National Organization For Marriage, has built in several other states prior to putting gays’ basic equality to a public vote. So that means we have to deal with it.

That being the reality, we’re now going to ask you to listen to a man who’s already proving himself to be the Catholic figurehead of any potential anti-equality campaign that may arise, St. Paul Archbishop John Nienstedt. Here he walks to Minnesota Public Radio’s Tom Crann about why, exactly, he thinks that he and his fellow followers of the Catholic faith have a right to define the CIVIL marriage contract for everyone else:



*Full Transcript: Archbishop John Nienstedt on Catholic Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage [MPR]

No no — this attempt to stop civil marriage licensing based on the ancillary component of religious ceremony is not political. Except, of course, for the fact that it TOTALLY IS!

Seriously — How can this man sit here and act like this, a push for a referendum in a largely partisan fight that attempts to misguide citizens on the proper role of the legislature and/or judiciary and that always relies on political consultants and strategists for its fear-mongery “success” at the polls, is not a political action!? You don’t hear this writer, focused almost exclusively as I am on civil law and politics, trying to have it both ways by saying that I’m part of the Catholic Church, since every time I eat saltines with grape juice I take a de facto Holy Communion. If Nienstedt is gonna have his wafer and his conference calls with Maggie Gallagher too, then the least the Archbishop could do for all us gay folk is to honestly assess his own faith-based AND poll-based actions!

***

*This part, edited out of the above audio but included in the transcript, certainly piqued our interest:

Crann: Your position at the end of your statement on the DVD is remarkably like an email I received today telling me about an ad that’s been released by the National Organization for Marriage supporting Republican candidate Tom Emmer and his position. And so I’m wondering how is this position not partisan politics, especially timed as it is, six weeks before the election?

Nienstedt: Well, we, and I’m particularly, are very scrupulous about not endorsing any candidate of any party. That’s not our position. That’s not our right. We would certainly never tell people who to vote for, but the issues themselves are critical issues. And as a religious leader in this state, as a pastoral leader, I have a right to raise the issues and bring that to the attention of my people.

Interesting that Crann notes the similar language, because we’d be willing to bet considerable money that whatever “anonymous person” financed this DVD campaign has extremely cozy or even direct ties with NOM. We all know that NOM, already with a shocking number of ethics investigations surrounding them, will be nothing but cagey about whatever ties they might have. It’s up to us to pry.

***

*NOTE: If anyone has a connection to the Minnesota Catholic church, please get us a copy of the DVD, pronto!




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Religious right upset at Glenn Beck for being okay with gay marriage

Actually, true to form, they were much more vulgar about it. Wonder what Beck has to say about this?

Glenn, our “Divine Destiny” as a nation does not include societal approval for people who want to use the anus for sex. The “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” don’t endorse such behavior. And neither should you.

Funny, they used to be opposed to all sodomy, but now it’s just “us[ing] the anus for sex.” I guess BJs are back on God’s plan. Phew.

Not to mention, since when is this just a gay thing? And what about lesbians, does this mean they’re part of God’s plan?




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