Focus on the Family leader James Dobson released his attack dogs today, viciously smearing me because I have shown him to be dishonest and distort research. In a screed on the group's website it referred to me as an, "infamous homosexual activist" and urged his listeners to vote for him, so he could be in the Radio Hall of Fame:
"This attack is yet more evidence of why Dr. Dobson deserves a spot in the Radio Hall of Fame," said Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media and public relations at Focus on the Family.
"For 32 years, he has been willing to take the unfriendly fire of the Wayne Besens of the world because that is the price to be paid for championing family values and defending biblical principles in the public square."
What I found interesting is that Focus on the Family failed to mention the seven respected scientists who accused Dobson of distorting their work - which is the main reason Truth Wins Out launched its campaign in the first place. It seems that Dobson and his henchmen rather smear the messenger than legitimately answer why Dobson has distorted research and cherry picked the results to suit his political agenda.
Also please consider a tax-deductible contribution for Truth Wins Out. Help us fight right wing propaganda and the "ex-gay" myth. Our work - the research, media advocacy and videos below cost money. We can't do this without your help. We hope you will join our work by contributing today.
In just two days, hundreds of Americans have signed onto Truth Wins Out's letter to keep Focus on the Family leader James Dobson out of the Radio Hall of Fame. The Chicago Sun Times and Sirius Out Q has covered the story, as well as leading GLBT blogs and news sources:
Pam Spaulding - from the award-wining blog Pam’s House Blend - has revealed that Obama's faith-based initiative plan will bar reparative therapy and proselytizing.
A source with Senator Obama's campaign has now confirmed to Pam's House Blend that under no circumstances will funds from the program will be granted to faith-based organizations for proselytizing or reparative therapy. Under the Obama plan, MCC congregations, LGBT-welcoming Methodist and Unitarian congregations, and other affirming churches will have access to funds to do much-needed work in communities large and small of great importance -- HIV/AIDS education, for instance, relief efforts, etc.
An ex-diplomat convicted of having sex with teenage girls in the Congo and Brazil and taping the encounters is asking a judge for leniency, claiming that cultural differences in those countries make sex with girls more acceptable.
Gons G. Nachman, 42, pleaded guilty in April to possessing child pornography after admitting that he had sex with 14- to 17-year-old girls while serving as a consular officer in Brazil and Congo and documenting the encounters in pictures and videos.
What do you want to bet that lunatics like Peter LaBarbera, James Dobson and David Benkof won't tie this to the "heterosexual lifestyle?"
When a gay person behaves in such a way it somehow reflects the entire GLBT Community. But, when it is a straight person, it is only the fault of the individual. Clearly, if these fringe, nutjob activists don't comment on such a scandal, it means that they are hypocrites who push a double standard to support their bigotry.
In typical fashion, Exodus and Focus on the Family are fooling future victims with false advertising, pie-in-the-sky promises and semantic games. In hyping the Asheville event, Focus on the Family wrote an article that claimed the following:
** For 33 years, Exodus has been spreading a message of hope and freedom to a world impacted by homosexuality.
I would agree that Exodus is spreading a message of hope. Indeed, the entire organization is all about "messages" - even if their slick words conflict with the dark reality experienced by most of the people who will attend the group's conference. The sad truth is, anyone can offer "messages" - but are these messages backed by substance or simply empty promises that will cause needless pain and suffering? The statistic-free Exodus refuses to show whether its rhetoric matches reality - because it doesn't. In my view, the Exodus message machine borders on consumer fraud.
** Exodus President Alan Chambers said, "There is a biblical alternative, that we can find freedom from homosexuality."
Once again, Chambers is word-smithing to make it appear as if Exodus is offering a magical cure. Chambers pathologically denies this, but wide-eyed, new conference-goers will surely see Chambers' words as offering a new life as a heterosexual. After all, "freedom from homosexuality" implies that the alternative is heterosexuality. Anyone who says otherwise is flat out lying and exploiting people.
** Jeff Johnston, gender issues analyst at Focus on the Family, attended his first Exodus conference more than 20 years ago. It helped him gain victory over homosexuality, and he said he wants that message of freedom to spread. "You have some churches saying, 'Homosexuality is OK; that's how God made people,'" he said. "Exodus is proclaiming (the) truth and helping people find freedom."
Johnston is also guilty of manipulating words to make conference attendees believe they will become straight - which they won't. He is saying that people will "find freedom" and the text supports this by saying that Exodus helped him "gain victory." For the vast majority of people paying their hard earned money in Asheville, victory means an opposite-sex spouse that they are actually attracted to. It means that when they are at the gym and see an attractive person of the same-sex, they will feel nothing sexual.
Exodus cannot promise such a transformation, and is thus immorally preying on people by offering promises they can't deliver. Why doesn't Exodus simply tell people the truth. Here are few honest slogans:
1) "Marry someone you aren't attracted to and learn to have sex with them!" (Alan Chambers, Instructor)
2) "Improve your acting skills by playing straight! Free Haircuts!" (Melissa Fryrear, Instructor)
3) "Learn the Joys of Lifetime loneliness and Celibacy!" (Randy Thomas, Instructor)
One of my favorite bloggers, Pam Spaulding, was recognized in the Raleigh newspaper for her outstanding work. If you haven't checked out her blog, please do - you'll be hooked in an instant.
A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.
I think he has a case. When fundamentalists talk about the Bible as "God's Word" they are not being entirely truthful. The Bible was written by many men and from the very beginning the authors and church fathers fought like cats and dogs over what should be orthodoxy. The American Bible you now read reflects the winners of ancient political battles, not God's word. Today's Bibles are also incomplete and distorted as a result of various linguistic translations over the centuries.
When someone says they believe "The Holy Bible, my first reaction is, "which one"? There are so many versions of the Bible at outlet malls - and they are all heavily edited by modern man - and cultural prejudices are clearly reflected in the text. Instead of man being in the image of God, we have God in the image of man and his pet bigotries. Of course, the praying public is often not formed of these earthy revisions and take the new, hackneyed versions as "The Gospel."
If these two publishers edited on God's behalf and did not inform readers - thus causing harm for the man suing - the plaintiff should win. It is time that Bible companies let readers know the difference between "God's Word" and the editor's red pen. This would be the only moral and fair thing to do, now wouldn't it?
The Radio Hall of Fame Should Not Reward Intolerance and Lies, Says TWO
NEW YORK -- TruthWinsOut.org (TWO) launched a campaign today to keep Focus on the Family founder James Dobson out of the Radio Hall of Fame. The Museum of Broadcast Communications nominated the anti-gay leader even though Dobson has been accused of distorting research and smearing gay and lesbian people for political gain. For example, Dobson told The Daily Oklahoman on Oct. 23, 2004, "Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
"It is outrageous and insulting that James Dobson would be nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame," said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. "We believe that character counts and nominees should have careers based on honesty and integrity -- not discrimination, distorting research and outright lying."
"Incredibly, the Museum of Broadcast Communications has also nominated Dr." Laura Schlessinger to its Radio Hall of Fame and Rush Limbaugh was inducted in 1993. The pattern is clear."
To fight back against this offensive decision, TWO strongly urges fair-minded people to take three actions. First, sign TWO's formal request to have James Dobson removed from consideration. Second, contact Museum of Broadcast Communications CEO Bruce DuMont directly, email@example.com, to express your displeasure. Third, as an option, vote for nominees other than James Dobson or Laura Schlessinger (the general public may vote, and the other nominees are Bob Costas and Howard Stern). It is urgent to act now, as voting comes to a close on July 15.
In the past two years, at least seven researchers have accused Dobson of manipulating or cherry picking their results to back his anti-gay teachings. Letters and videos documenting the concerns of these respected professors can be viewed at TruthWinsOut.org. Dobson also profits from intolerance. He founded a ministry, Love Won Out, that promises to "cure" homosexuals -- even though the so-called "ex-gay" leader of Love Won Out, John Paulk, was photographed in a gay bar. Dobson also continues to promote dishonest psychological theories about gay people that are rejected by every respected medical and mental health association in America, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
To Contribute to the efforts of Truth Wins Out CLICK HERE.
The last few weeks have shown that so-called pro-family organizations are some of the most useless, money-sucking scams in the world. With real families suffering from economic hardship in America, a declining birthrate in Europe and Google doubling the price of daycare for employees, the only thing right wing family groups want to discuss is their bizarre and all-encompassing fagela fetish.
Recently, The Brooklyn Paper, had a huge headline, "SPLITSVILLE: Brooklyn divorces up 30%." The article cited a number of reasons including, "when the economy tanks, so do many marriages."
One would think this would alarm so-called pro-family organizations and they would be out in force repairing marriages -- or at least looking for economic solutions to take the stress off couples. Unfortunately, as I walked around my Brooklyn neighborhood, I saw not one representative from the American Family Association.
Well, I take that back. I did encounter one of the group's representatives on CNN Headline News as we debated a Heinz mayonnaise ad in the United Kingdom that featured two men kissing. I'm sure the children of these broken marriages in Brooklyn will feel much better knowing Heinz pulled the ad and they can have gay-free mayonnaise at both mommy and daddy's separate houses.
A new study by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University showed that in 2006, for the first time in U.S. history, a majority of births to women under 30 -- 50.4 percent -- were out of wedlock. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert points out that, "By comparison, when John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960, just 6 percent of all births were to unmarried women under 30.
One imagines that this report might have startled "pro-family" organizations and they would have put their millions of dollars towards stopping this trend. No such luck. Instead, they are investing huge piles of money and manpower to pass anti-gay marriage amendments in Florida, Arizona and California. The upshot for "pro-family" groups is that if heterosexuals keep screwing up marriage, by the time gay people finally win the right nationally, we won't want to use it.
"Evangelicals of the older generation have become obsessed in almost a technical psychological sense in opposing gay rights," David Weddle, a professor of religion at Colorado College told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "The irony is that homosexuality is not a biblical theme."
Right wing organizations and their flocks want to be taken seriously, but their priorities and actions are reprehensible. For example, a middle school teacher was fired in Mount Vernon, Ohio last month after preaching in the classroom, refusing to remove his Bible and burning crosses onto the arms of pupils. You read that correctly -- he seared crosses on the body parts of impressionable students, as if it were a gang ritual.
Surely, reasonable people can agree that such behavior is inappropriate in the classroom. But, oh no, some of the yahoos in Mount Vernon believe their religion places them above the Constitution - so they are holding demonstrations in the town square. I wonder if these zealots would have the same reaction if a teacher were burning a Stars of David or Muslim crescents on the forearms of students?
A recent New York Times magazine article, "Childless Europe," explored why certain countries in Europe are losing population. The hopelessly out of touch Pope Benedict chimed in with his typically sunny advice. "Europe is infected by a strange lack of desire for the future," the Pontiff said. "Children, our future, are perceived as a threat to the present."
Instead of selfishness, as the Pope implied, it was the traditional values of the Pope that contributed to the problem. In societies that either offered a safety net or where men shared the burdens of child rearing, women were having more babies. However, when educated women were stuck at home and forced to do all the work - such as in Italy - they chose to have less children. Will the Pope now call on men to help out more at home or for countries to ensure daycare for families?
Finally, the Wall Street Wonder, Google, plans to raise the amount it charged for in-house day care by 75 percent. Under the revised plan, parents with two children in Google day care could see their yearly bill increase to more than $57,000 from around $33,000. This crushing blow to the family drove a few employees to tears.
Was the American Family Association in Silicon Valley raising hell and standing up for families? No, they ignored grimacing parents, so they could punish Ronald and Grimace by launching a boycott against McDonald's for supposedly having a gay agenda. Maybe the delusional scolds at the AFA thought they saw rainbow color fries, in much the same way they once accused the cartoon character Mighty Mouse of snorting cocaine.
Right wing organizations can be considered many things - but certainly not advocates for the family. They inhale money, exhale anti-gay pollution and have done absolutely nothing for the traditional families they claim to represent. It seems the more such groups proliferate, the more the family deteriorates.
Our friends at Box Turtle Bulletin discovered a news story with an interesting headline: "Study links virus to rare cancer in heterosexual men." The article talks about how straight men are catching HPV - otherwise know as genital warts, which can lead to cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cancer risk to heterosexual men posed by HPV is low. Homosexual and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer as a result of HPV than heterosexual men are, according to the CDC's Web site.
But the UA's research appears to contradict those figures.
Conducted with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla., the UA study collected biological specimens from 253 men in Tucson and Florida who said they'd had sex with a woman in the last year. Of the 222 men in the survey who said they'd had sex only with women in their lives, roughly 25 percent had an anal HPV infection, according to the research. Of that group, one-third had a strain of HPV that could lead to anal cancer, a rare form of cancer unrelated to colon cancer, the study found.
I wonder where the right wing fanatics are who are always trumpeting headlines when a disease is linked to gay people?
The truth is, diseases do not discriminate. It is sickening when right wing lunatics try to link homosexuality to certain illnesses, rather than unsafe sexual practices. What do you want to bet that the fundamentalist lobby doesn't exploit this story to point out the danger of the "heterosexual lifestyle"? These people are such self-serving hypocrites.
I just wanted to let you all know that I am also blogging at The Huffington Post. My first column was on James Dobson of Focus on the Family distorting research. Please visit the site and post comments.
John McCain needs to decide who he wants to be. Two weeks ago, McCain met with gay Republican leaders (people his staff had met with repeatedly before). After the religious right flipped out, McCain then met with virulently anti-gay religious right leaders, and promised those leaders that he would be more vocally anti-gay in public in the future. Then one week after that, McCain outfoxed those same religious right leaders by hiring a gay man to one of the most senior positions in his campaign.