Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Robert Knight uses biased work in attack on Vermont

Phony culture expert (and present writer for Coral Ridge Ministries) Robert Knight is definitely back.

Knight (who has on occasion used the discredited work of Paul Cameron as well as verbally attacked physicians who complain about how religious right groups distort their work) was in rare form when he criticized the Vermont legislature for overturning the state governor’s veto of its gay marriage bill:

In its unanimous opinion in Varnum v. Brien, the Iowa Supreme Court says that real marriage is merely a form of “prejudice” (using that word 21 times) and hints that homosexuals might be better parents than the mother-father variety. The seven justices cite junk science from gay-dominated guilds (the American Psychological Assn., etc.) to float the idea that kids are no better off in a normal home:

“Almost every professional group that has studied the issue indicates children are not harmed when raised by same-sex couples, but to the contrary, benefit from them. …we acknowledge the existence of reasoned opinions that dual-gender parenting is the optimal environment for children. These opinions, while thoughtful and sincere, were largely unsupported by reliable scientific studies.”

Say what? They have it exactly backwards. It’s the “gay parenting” studies that are deeply flawed, as Drs. Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai demonstrate thoroughly in their devastating book No Basis: What the studies Don’t tell us about same-sex parenting.

So by his name calling of the American Psychological Association and other groups (without proof by the way), Knight is inferring that they have a bias and ergo their work is not credible.

How ironic that he should cite Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai’s book.

Lerner was appointed by the former President Bush as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics. However before that time, he and Nagai, his wife, ran a consulting firm where they conducted research.

Their clients included:

the Center for Equal Opportunity, a Sterling Va.-based think tank headed by Linda Chavez, briefly President Bush's choice for secretary of labor and a leading opponent of affirmative action.


the Princeton, N.J.- based National Association of Scholars, a faculty organization that believes race-based admissions policies are divisive.

It gets better:

In the area of K-12 education, Mr. Lerner in 1995 co-wrote a review of history textbooks for Lynne V. Cheney, then chairwoman of the Committee to Review National Standards, a private group of scholars. Ms. Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, used the study, which was later published as a book, in her efforts to scuttle the voluntary national history standards underwritten by the federal government.

In that book, Mr. Lerner found that race, ethnicity, and gender got three times as much emphasis as political freedom in contemporary textbooks and that the latest wave of history texts used what he termed "filler feminism" to inappropriately insert female historical figures into texts in lieu of purportedly more significant males.

According to the Partners Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples, one study conducted by Lerner and Nagai on African-Americans and rape caused their credibility to come under question:

Lerner and Nagai are not credible; they are researchers-for-hire who make their living writing studies for conservative organizations and finding results that support conservative social policies. One such organization funded a Lerner study that found African Americans were over three times more likely to be acquitted of rape charges than whites. To reach this conclusion Lerner looked at a mere five jury trials involving black defendants. (Roger Parloff, “Speaking of Junk Science,” The American Lawyer, January 1997.)

The book in question that Knight referred to, No Basis, was commissioned by the Marriage Law Project, a Washington-based group against gay marriage.

The point here is clear. Knight recklessly accuses legitimate medical organizations of having a bias but then thinks nothing of citing two researchers who are paid to conduct research for conservative groups - something that shows an actual bias.

That’s bold faced duplicity.

But for those who know of his tactics, that’s Robert Knight to a tee.
One News Now commentators get in on the religious right freak out over Vermont

As to be expected, the religious right is freaking out over the news that Vermont has become the fourth state to offer gay marriage via the legislature overturning the Governor's veto.

And I want to bring it all to you but one of the biggest disadvantages of blogging part time is that sometimes the good stuff is covered before I get home from work.

But luckily for me, One News Now and its commentators are there to make sure I get a good foot into this fight:

Vermont legalizes same-sex 'marriage' with veto override

With a headline like that, you just know One News Now won't be wishing us any congratulations on our victory.

But check out the comments.

Now to be fair, some of them are supportive:

Well, for years we have been saying that this issue should be decided by legislatures. Now it has. Not all even Christians buy the notion that, in the civil union sphere, our respective beliefs must be reflected in civil law. Churches can still decide for themselves whether to participate in any marriage. What's all the shouting about? Everyone's rights are protected.

Wow Fanatastic. Just to allay your fears, God does not punish states that provide equal rights to homosexuals. I think he's more concerned about real sin not ones made up by fear mongering preachers How do I know? Here in Canada we've had gay marriage for almost a decade. What happened? Nothing! No Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Floods, and our economy is doing better than the US. God punishes those that discriminate. Your bad to gays, God punishes you. Expect bad times in California. They'll be punishment for Prop 8.

I understand this is a "Christian" website, but I am Christian and I am offended by your tactics to villify others, such as Muslims and queer folk. Why can't you just report on "Same-Sex Marriage" instead of reporting on "Homosexual 'Marriage'" (always putting it in quotes) that "Mock God"? Just report and let us decide. I wish there was a Christian website that wasn't so hateful. My relationship with Christ is about hope and love -- not about judging other people. I think God calls us to love not only those who look/act like us (which is relatively easy), but also those who do NOT look/act like that. And by "love" I do not mean "try to make them look/act like us".

Just love it!!! California, what's wrong with? Thess so called "San-Francisco values" are being adopted everywhere but in California??? Wake up!

Those darn activist legislatures. Decisions this important should never be left to the elected representatives of the people. Where are the courts to step in on this!?!?!

And then there are comments such as these:

I do not believe God will punish the USA directly for its moral decline so much as we will punish ourselves with the natural consequences of our own actions. This cancerous plague of Homosexuality has already metastasized, and it is only a matter of time before the affects take over. We are in the throes of economic crisis precisely because the level of greed has surpassed sustainable levels. What will happen when a majority of people's feelings about others turn completely inward, as the Homosexual movement is aimed exactly at doing (and seems to be succeeding for the most part)? What will the world look like at that point? I know. It'll look exactly like Hell.

It's a shame that these people who are supposed to work for the people ignore the will of the people for their own monitary and political gains. Just keep ignoring the majority for a very small minority of pervered people.

Traditional marriage is vital for long-term reasons of pro-creation, child rearing and social & economic stability – it is not just a “gay” issue. Places like Sweden (where traditional marriage is no longer sacred) (Editor's note - This has been proven to be false) already experience high out-of-wedlock childbirths. Other nations that have weakened their marriage laws have also seen others' rights taken away in terms of parental rights and freedom of conscience. I believe that we should show compassion and respect to those dealing with same-sex attraction, but we should not endorse harmful, immoral sexual conduct with law (even though people are still free to choose such conduct privately). Of course, unmarried heterosexuals are not always immune from sexual sin either.

Ok followers of Christ. It is time to get from behind the computer and go outside to let america know how angry we are. We have strength in numbers, time to put our numbers to use. if we don't, america will be completely lost to abomination and the smell of our country will stink in God's nostril.

A continuation of immorality in motion - what a STATE. In their case, however, the people voted for it via their legislature.

God will not be mocked but that is not the only law of God that we of these Uited States are breaking. We will pay the price someday and we have started with our current President. God caused him to become President because we - God's own are not standing firm and following Him as we should.

Firstly they should have used the proper term "sodomite" instead of homosexual. And yes, that term should make you feel uneasy. It's certainly not "gay" to be against God in your conduct. I'll even approach this from an evolutionary standpoint - "gay" behavior is maladaptive, because it does not perpetuate dna into successive generations. That behavior should have been vetted out millions of years ago. So this goes not only against the supernatural, it goes against the natural. The Bible does say that prior to Christ's return it will be as in the days of Lot. I guess we're getting close folks.

Two thumbs down for Vermont. Shame on you.

Unfortuneately this is paving the way for all states to adopt same sex marriage. I dread the day that I have to watch men, or women, hold hands and kiss openly in the street. We are considered "haters" for opposing this. Maybe it is time we hold to our beliefs but be Christlike examples in the way we live so that our lifestyle is attractive to these lost individuals. They cannot comprehend why we want this banned. They cannot fathom hell and eternal damnation. They don't get it ! Us Christians are way to late to do the picket and protest thing. It would have worked better 10 years ago, but now we are seen as haters. I think it is hurting the cause rather then helping.

Though we joke about religious right reactions, let's not get too lighthearted. We all know that religious right organizations are planning a comeback to all of this good lgbt news.

And we had better be ready to defend every success we get.
Tuesday mid day news briefs

In contrast to yesterday, there is sooooo much stuff going on today

Vermont legalizes gay marriage with veto override - We win again!!!!

Rick Warren lies about his homobigotry on Larry King Live - Unbelievable. You gotta see this. On Larry King Live, Warren says he never endorsed Proposition 8. However, he is on tape doing such. I guess he will fit in well with the rest of the religious right. He certainly has lying through his teeth down pat.

We're giving you a mission - From goodasyou.org comes a productive mission. I've already done my part and I can't wait to see the response.

Obama appoints open homosexual to faith-based office - Yep. Right on time. One News Now weighs in on President Obama appointing HRC's Harry Knox to his faith based council. The phony news service even gets a quote from Peter LaBarbera. And as always, One News Now's comments section is a hoot. Eat your heart out, Free Republic!!
I get letters!

I got an interesting letter this morning on my post about the upcoming Day of Silence and the walk out plans that religious right organizations are trying to push:

I have to wonder how you would feel about a day of silence for pro-heterosexual family or pro-Christian family or pro-straight orientation, etc. It's sad that we want to bring such politics into the public school classroom for introctination. I have gay friends (have for decades) and love them no differently than I do my straight friends, but as a Christian I am not supposed to pick and choose which of God's tough teachings I support. I love sinners (for I am one like everyone else), but I do not support sin. God's teachings may not always be easy or popular, but they are what they are. It is amazing that "hate" is so quickly used to attack an opponent when s/he says something with which we fallible humans do not agree. God bless you, but I have to wonder if you do not see your own blanket prejudices against those who don't support your opinion.

This was my answer. It wasn't long (I have to get ready for work) but I think I got my point across:

It's sadder that lgbt children feel so threatened that they can't function to their full potential in America's schools. I noticed that in your ramblings, you didn't have anything to say about that. While I respect your opinion, you take too much upon yourself. Your definition of sin and God is just that - YOUR definition.Lastly, when you use words like indoctrination (as to infer that gays indoctrinate children) then yes, you deserve to be called haters. It's one thing to disagree with homosexuality but when you add an inaccurate inference that gays are somehow engaging in secret conspiracies to politicize children, you are not different than a racist in my book.

To those who have something to add to this exchange, all I ask is that you be nice.