Monday, October 08, 2007

Ignorant people are aggravating the hell out of me

I apologize for the length of this post but I am aggravated.

No matter how I try to be calm over the situation, I never fail to get angry and exasperated when I see an ignorant Christian spouting anti-gay industry lies about lgbts.

I get angry because I hate when my people are lied on and I get exasperated because I really wonder when oh when will they ever learn?

So what got me upset today?

A piece on the site Virtue Online called 20 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality.

The author of the piece, John F. McKenna, is described as a member of St. Paul's Church in Darien, Connecticut, one of the "Connecticut Six" churches that oppose their bishop's stand in favor of a non-celibate gay bishop consecrated as bishop of New Hampshire.

To me he is a classic case of what is wrong with Chrisitianity in this country - someone so caught up in ego regarding his relationship with God that he allows himself to be used in order to spread lies and propaganda.

Let's take this piece apart bit by bit:

2. Who is harmed by supporting such relationships?

Most importantly, those who are inclined toward homosexuality are harmed if they act on those impulses. A widespread myth is that AIDS is the main danger, but AIDS is actually just a small part of the health hazard. Consider some of the others:

They include 26 types of diseases other than AIDS (Journal of Adolescent Medicine); a life expectancy equal to that experienced in 1871 (Oxford University's International Journal of Epidemiology); high risk of three types of hepatitis (Centers for Disease Control); proctitis associated with the gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, & syphilis widespread among homosexuals (Journal of the American Medical Association); an incidence of anal cancer 35 times higher than usual (Dr. Joel Palefsky, an expert in that field); among lesbians, a higher prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and hepatitis C (Sexually Transmitted Infections, a journal).

Some of the health hazards exist even in the extremely unusual situations in which there is complete faithfulness with neither of the partners having had prior relationships. The inherent weakness of the body results in its inability to withstand gay sex without a serious risk of damage, including tearing of the sphincter, fistular infections of the rectum, and incontinence. Support for physical relationships among members of the same sex is a false benevolence, a well-meant gesture that is very often a death sentence .

There are so many things wrong with this passage. Let's take that part about the supposed gay life span. McKenna is distorting a 1997 Canadian study to claim that gays have a short life span? And how do I know that he is distorting this study? Because in 2001, the creators of the study went on record complaining about how the religious right were misusing their work in the exact way McKenna was. Their letter is here.

As for the rest of McKenna's claims regarding diseases, please note that he does not give an exact notation of the studies he got the information from. Given how he distorted the 1997 Canadian study, his vague citations have no credibility.

But the most grevious error McKenna makes in this section is inferring that anal sex is "homosexual behavior. Not only does he make the mistake of thinking that anal sex is a fixture in gay sexual intercourse (which it is not) but he omits the fact that many heterosexuals have an interest in the sexual act.

16. Isn't it obvious that in raising children, all that matters is love, regardless of gender? Why not two mommies?The fact remains that gender matters--perhaps nowhere more than in regard to child rearing.

The unique value of fathers has been explained by Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale Medical School in his book Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child. Pruett says dads are critically important simply because "fathers do not mother."

Psychology Today explained in 1996 that "fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children."

A father, as a male parent, makes unique contributions to the task of parenting that a mother cannot emulate, and vice versa. According to Harvard educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, mothers tend to stress sympathy, grace and care to their children, while fathers accent justice, fairness and duty.

Moms give a child a sense of hopefulness; dads provide a sense of right and wrong and its consequences. Other researchers have determined that boys are not born with an understanding of "maleness." They have to learn it, ideally from their fathers. (Research done by Focus on the Family)

I purposely bolded the names of Kyle Pruett and Carol Gilligan. I think many reading this blog knows why. Last year, they both went on record complaining how Focus on the Family distorted their work to make the claims that McKenna is now alluding to in his piece. Their complaints are here.

17. But supporting gay rights in the church and in general is really very benign. Where's the real harm?

Let's say there are six million American gays dying at the usual American death rate of .8%, and so 48,000 are dying each year. According to the official Danish statistical agency, 80% of married gays do not reach old age, and if that applies to the U.S., then 38,400 American gays are dying young each year. (Compared to fewer than 4000 Americans over the entire history of the Iraq war.)

Now that is untrue. That citation comes from yet another bad study from our friend the discredited Paul Cameron. In this particular case, not only did Cameron distort his findings, but he also distorted how and where he presented them. That is here.

19. But won't same-sex marriage alter the whole social pattern of homosexuality?

According to researchers studying same-sex marriage in Scandinavia over the past 15 years, marriage has had no discernible impact on homosexual patterns of instability. The rapid breakup of same-sex marriages is parallel to the rapid breakup of same-sex couples who haven't been married. Very few avail themselves of same-sex marriage to begin with, and of those who do, the liaisons have usually been quite short-lived.

Now that is a bold-faced lie. The fact of the matter is that no one was married in the study McKenna was talking about. I go into more detail about this in my book, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.

The study in question looked at casual gay partnerships. It was conducted between the years 1984 and 2000. Same sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands (i.e. Scandinavia) in 2001.

I apologize for not having blog links for it but I have the information available for anyone who wants to know more or wants to challenge me.

The fact of the matter is that McKenna does not know what the heck he is talking about. It is apparent that he shopped for data that enhanced his beliefs. He did not even attempt to see about the legitimacy of the so-called facts he was citing.

And I don't think he cared. As long as it enhanced his belief that homosexuality is a sin, then the data he found is correct, according to him at least.

Not very Christian, is it?