Saturday, December 23, 2006
My last request in 2006 is that sleazy right wing preachers, especially in Colorado, will put aside their "Do Me," list so I can finish my "To Do" list. How many times will I have to blow off my busy work and write a press release about some homophobic holy man getting busy in search of a release? When will these men learn that their hypocritical happy endings with hookers will never end happily?
Mainstream Americans hopefully figured out in 2006 that the closet affects everyone. Evangelicals, in particular, must now come to grips with the fact they have no grip on reality. If the Village People ever reunited, they would add one more campy character to the line-up - a right wing preacher.
Much of the credit for discrediting the right wing goes to Mike Rogers
, who has done more outings than a summer camp counselor. The enterprising activist has been a one-man wrecking crew and single handedly brought the GOP to its knees. Well, many of its members were already in this position, but Mike has brightly shone a spotlight on such hypocrisy and for this we should be grateful.
What I like best about Mike
is his creativity and chutzpa. For example, this week he released a video
where he and another advocate walked into the Republican National Committee to confront Ken Mehlman, the RNC chief, about his alleged homosexuality. Not surprisingly, they had a door slammed in their faces and were escorted from the building.
Nonetheless, this has to keep creeps, like Mehlman, up at night and lets them know that they get no free pass for their self-loathing homophobia. The price for being a modern day Roy Cohn is confrontation and exposure.
Another hero of 2006 is Lane Hudson
, the former Human Rights Campaign staffer who posted the first set of Mark Foley emails on his blog. As a result, he lost his job, which is unfortunate, because our movement needs more bold and brave people, such as Hudson. While he may have lost his career, he did gain the admiration of countless people. More important, his contribution played a key role in returning Congress to the Democrats.
John Aravosis, the founder of Americablog
, deserves recognition as well. This year, he solidified himself as one of this nation's most prominent bloggers. He has now joined Andrew Sullivan
as an elite gay newsmaker who has crossed over to yield considerable influence in the debate over today's leading issues. Likewise, John Byrne, founder of Raw Story
, deserves our respect for his ascension into this pantheon of pundits.
The web has also led to the explosion of online entrepreneurs who have demonstrably strengthened the GLBT movement. Strong voices have emerged from blogs such as Pam's House Blend
, founded by Pam Spaulding, and Jeremy Hooper's humorous site, Good As You
In 2006, the web also fostered the rise of what I refer to as the Truth Movement, where fundamentalist propaganda is vociferously challenged. The right wing "God Squad" is finally being held accountable for their lies by gadflies who no longer let them dehumanize GLBT people without suffering the consequences. Truth Wins Out's
recent video of a scientist
refuting James Dobson's misuse of her research is just one example.
The Truth Movement includes Mike Airhart, founder of the site Ex-Gay Watch,
as well as Internet sleuths, such as Joe Brummer
and Jim Burroway
. While many people might not be familiar with these advocates, they are the movement's fact checkers who play this game as if it were chess.
In terms of establishment advocacy, the GLBT community has much to be proud of. Under the leadership of Joe Solmonese, the Human Rights Campaign
performed admirably in this year's elections. Matt Foreman, of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
, has established himself as a voice of passion and emerged as a formidable leader. His words reverberate, which is a refreshing change from the poll-tested pabulum we are too often spoon-fed from our political organizations.
Another advance in 2006 was the growth of gay spiritual groups that are working to wrest back control of the Bible from extremists. Furniture mogul Mitchell Gold is leading the way with his tremendous new organization Faith in America
. SoulForce's Jeff Lutes
also deserves credit for the highly successful Equality Ride.
Finally, philanthropists such as Tim Gill, the Gill Foundation
, and Jon Stryker, the Arcus Foundation
, are the engines behind much of the GLBT movement's recent progress. Through their incredible generosity many gay organizations are finally on equal footing with our opponents.
Well, 2007 is nearly here and it has to be better than 2006, if only, because we know that former Sens. Rick Santorum and George Allen are on Monster.com looking for new jobs. And, we are one year closer to the end of the Bush error, I mean era. Hold that pleasant thought and have a very happy new year!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
University lecturers left their classrooms this week to lecture Focus on the Family's James Dobson to tell him he has no class. The tenured were teed off and staged a revolt because they were revolted by how Dobson had perverted their work in TIME magazine. In a guest column
criticizing Mary Cheney, Dobson justified his trashing of gay families by citing the work of renowned researchers. But instead of allowing their work to be distorted, the scholars hollered and told Dobson to stop lying for the Lord.
The first professor to profess her displeasure was Dr. Carol Gilligan, a renowned psychologist and author of In a Different Voice. Gilligan has also taught at Harvard and University of Cambridge and has more degrees than a thermometer. She is so well-respected that Dobson tried to justify his argument against same-sex families in TIME by citing her work. The devious goal of Dobson was to force reasonable people to think, "If a learned scholar likes Gilligan says gay families are harmful, maybe Focus on the Family is right."
The problem was Dobson deliberately got it wrong. I contacted Gilligan and she was "stunned" and "mortified" by the way Dobson had manipulated her research. Indeed, she wrote a letter to Dobson demanding that he "cease and desist from quoting my research in the future."
"Not only did you take my research out of context, you did so without my knowledge to support discriminatory goals that I do not agree with," continued Gilligan in her letter
and reiterated in a video airing on You Tube
. "What you wrote was not truthful and I ask that you refrain from ever quoting me again and that you apologize for twisting my work."
A second researcher I contacted was Dr. Kyle Pruett
, professor at Yale University School of Medicine and the author of Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child." Pruett was also unaware that Dobson had butchered his scholarship.
"You cherry-picked a phrase to shore up highly, in my view, discriminatory purposes," wrote Pruett in a letter to Dobson. "This practice is condemned in real science, common though it may be in pseudo-science circles. There is nothing in my longitudinal research or any of my writings to support such conclusions (about same-gender families)."
If this wasn't embarrassing enough, this week, Angela Phillips, author of "The Trouble With Boys," and professor at Goldsmiths College in London, said she was "incensed"
to find she was misquoted in another Dobson article.
"It has come to my attention that my book 'The Trouble with Boys' has been seriously misrepresented in writings by James Dobson," she wrote to Focus on the Family. "I would be grateful if you could publish this letter prominently on your website."
Of course, Dobson will never apologize to Dr. Gilligan or stop using Dr. Pruett's research or place Professor Phillips' letter on his website. As long as his organization is raking in nearly $150 million a year and he is on the White House's speed dial, Dobson will mock the truth with mendacity. Bearing false witness is his modus operandi.
In June, Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, said Focus on the Family twisted her study
on lesbian teen suicide.
"The research has been hijacked for somebody's political purposes or ideological purposes and that's worrisome," Saewyc told CBC news. Focus on the Family justified its lie by misquoting the work of Columbia University's Dr. Robert Spitzer, who felt it necessary to respond.
"Unfortunately Focus on the Family has once again reported findings of my study out of context to support their fight against gay rights," said Dr. Spitzer
Feeling the heat of international condemnation, Dobson turned to character assassination on his webpage
this week, suggesting his accusers were hostage to "liberal groupthink." I suppose, as a group, these acclaimed scientists do think that misrepresenting science is wrong. And, of course, it is worth noting that Dobson respected these very researchers enough to quote them last week. He only changed his tune after they upbraided him for unethical and unprofessional conduct.
Focus on the Family's big "ah ha" moment was more like a "ha ha" moment, as it was quite laughable. They pointed out that I was the one who first contacted all of the professors. But, Focus neglected to say that if Dobson had been honest, I wouldn't have had to make these calls. Finally, Focus on the Family derided Dobson's detractors as name-callers. However, some of Dobson's fiercest critics have come from the far right.
In October, former ultraconservative Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) said that Dobson is a "real nasty bully" who commands a "gang of thugs."
I would agree that his organization more often acts like Crips than Christians. It is time to take the Dramamine, as Dobson is about to spin legitimate criticism in the same dishonest way he spun the actual studies he is being criticized for distorting.
Monday, December 18, 2006
JAMES DOBSON REBUKED BY ACCLAIMED PROFESSOR CAROL GILLIGAN FOR DISTORTING HER RESEARCHMiami Beach, FLA. -
Renowned Author/Researcher, England's Angela Phillips, Condemns Focus on the Family's Leader For 'Seriously Misrepresenting' Her Work
Truth Wins Out released an exclusive video
today featuring celebrated New York University educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, PhD
, who upbraided Focus on the Family leader, James C. Dobson, for misrepresenting her research in a guest column he wrote in last week's issue of Time Magazine.
Additionally, Angela Phillips, the renowned author of "The Trouble With Boys" also sent a pointed letter to Dobson today accusing him of "seriously misrepresenting" her work and asking him to publish her letter "prominently" on Focus on the Family's website. Last week, Kyle Pruett, M.D. of the Yale School of Medicine, also expressed concerns
that the Focus on the Family leader "cherry picked" his work.
"This is a revolt of serious scholars who are revolted by the way James Dobson has unethically incorporated their research to fit his political aims," said Truth Wins Out's
Executive Director Wayne Besen. "Three researchers have now come forward in just one week to take Dobson to task. The media should finally realize that Dobson lacks the academic integrity and moral authority to talk credibly on family issues."
In the video
, filmed for Truth Wins Out by videographer Lisa Darden, Dr. Gilligan expressed her extreme displeasure with Dobson and how she was "mortified" by his use of her work.
"I was stunned to hear that James Dobson had quoted me in TIME Magazine. I had no idea. I was mortified, frankly," Dr. Gilligan, author of several books including, In A Different Voice, said in the video. "It was a completely distorted and unfounded use of my work...it is such a simplification and caricature of my work...for someone who represents morality and the family it is disrespectful."
Earlier today, Professor Angela Phillips, author of "The Trouble With Boys," echoed Drs. Gilligan and Pruett in a letter to Dobson, obtained exclusively by Truth Wins Out. TWO received a tip that Phillips' work had been misquoted by Ray Foster, a concerned citizen who wanted the truth to be told. In her letter, Phillips, a journalist and professor at Goldsmiths College in London, asked that Dobson print the following letter "prominently" on his organization's website.Dear James Dobson:It has come to my attention that my book "The Trouble with Boys" has been seriously mis-represented in writings by James Dobson.Having read his newsletter; "How Boys Learn to Become Men" on the Focus on the Family web site I was incensed to find that I have been quoted as a source for suggesting that:"The high incidence of homosexuality occurring in Western nations is related, at least in part, to the absence of positive male influence when boys are moving through the first crisis of child development."I certainly agree that boys suffer from a lack of positive men in their lives but I am at pains to point out that positive men are often as much lacking in two parent households as they are in lone mother (or two mother) households. I do not suggest that lack of positive male role models leads to homosexuality (or indeed that it would be problematic if it did). My concern is that boys without positive men around them are more likely to be violent, angry and lacking in self control. I have never heard that these are characteristics that are associated with homosexuality.Dobson goes on to say: "One of the primary objectives of parents is to help boys identify their gender assignments and understand what it means to be a man.My concern is that boys are currently learning, either from their fathers, or in the absence of fathers, from the women who rear them, and the men they encounter, that the most important thing about being a man is being: "not gay", "not gentle" and not "girlie". While adult men are afraid to demonstrate that it's okay to be gentle and caring how are boys to learn anything positive about what it means to be a man?I would be grateful if you could publish this letter prominently on your website.I look forward to a swift acknowledgement.Yours sincerelyAngela PhillipsAuthor of The Trouble with Boys
"The media is the great enabler that continues to offer a platform to James Dobson to tell his lies, malign gay people and mock science," says Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "It is time the media be held accountable for journalistic standards, the same way Dobson is now finally answerable for his misleading propaganda."
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