Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Family Research Council response to SPLC charges still falls flat

As you read in the last post, the Family Research Council did in fact come up with a point by point refutation of the SPLC's charges. The link I received was a bad one.

However, based upon what I read, that bad link would have been just as good as  FRC's refutation. 

Let's look at what FRC said (along with my corrections):

In November 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing fundraising powerhouse, announced that it considers Family Research Council (FRC) to be an "anti-gay hate group"--lumping us together with neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Ever since, the charge that FRC is a "certified hate group" has been used by the SPLC and other groups--such as the Human Rights Campaign and Campus Pride--in an attempt to discredit FRC's work and cut us out of public policy debates and media coverage over homosexuality and same-sex "marriage." Ironically, the unfounded "hate group" label has deepened hatred toward FRC, which has now resulted in violence--a shooting in the lobby of our headquarters building on August 15, 2012, in which one of our employees was wounded while courageously defending his colleagues.

Instead of being chastened by these events, the SPLC has merely repeated its defamatory accusations against FRC. Here are brief answers to some of the distortions of our positions by the SPLC and those who have embraced the "hate group" charge:

Does FRC claim that "gay people are child molesters?"

FRC has never said, and does not believe, that most homosexuals are child molesters. However, it is undisputed that the percentage of child sex abuse cases that are male-on-male is far higher than the percentage of adult males who are homosexual. This suggests that male homosexuality is a risk factor for child sexual abuse. Homosexual activists argue that men who molest boys are not actually "homosexual;" but scholarly evidence undermines that claim. It also cannot be disputed that there is a sub-culture within the homosexual movement that advocates "intergenerational" sexual relationships. FRC's writings on this topic--unlike the SPLC's--have been carefully documented with references to the original scholarly literature.

FRC distortion - FRC will have you to believe that if a man molest a boy, then the man is automatically gay. This is not necessarily true. Please note that FRC said the following - Homosexual activists argue that men who molest boys are not actually "homosexual;" but scholarly evidence undermines that claim - but does not provide proof of this. SPLC, on the other hand, does provide proof:
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.

The Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends. Most child molesters, therefore, are not gay people lingering outside schools waiting to snatch children from the playground, as much religious-right rhetoric suggests.

Does FRC want to "criminalize" homosexuality?

FRC has made no effort to reinstate sodomy laws since the U.S. Supreme Court struck them down in the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas. In a 2010 interview on a different topic, the question of whether we should "outlaw gay behavior" in U.S. civil law was raised not by an FRC spokesman, but by MSNBC's Chris Matthews. The spokesman affirmed that FRC (like three Supreme Court justices) believed Lawrence was wrongly decided; but the interview left some viewers with the mistaken impression that "re-criminalizing" homosexuality is a policy goal for FRC. It is not.

FRC distortion - FRC conveniently omitted the fact that Chris Matthews pointedly asked the FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg does he think that "gay behavior" should be outlawed. Sprigg said yes:

Does FRC support the execution of homosexuals in Uganda

This charge was refuted as soon as it appeared in 2010. FRC has publicly opposed the much-publicized bill (never adopted) in Uganda that would have imposed criminal penalties for various offenses related to homosexual conduct, and the death penalty for something known as "aggravated homosexuality." We responded to requests from Congressional offices for advice on the wording of a resolution condemning the Uganda bill--then reported those contacts as "lobbying," as is required by law. FRC did not "lobby" against the resolution; our advice was limited to suggestions for language that would accurately describe the Uganda bill and the state of international law.  

FRC distortion - Nothing in the SPLC statement FRC linked to said a word about FRC and the Ugandan bill. However, it is worth noting that FRC did voice support for the bill, claiming that it "upholds moral conduct". The audio of this support was removed from FRC's webpage but was saved by Jeremy Hooper of Good As You.

Does FRC want to kick homosexuals out of the country?

Just days after an interview was posted online in 2008, an FRC spokesman publicly apologized on the FRC website for having used the words "import" and "export" as metaphors for voluntary immigration and emigration by homosexuals. The interview related to legislation which would grant special preference in immigration to foreign nationals who are the homosexual partners of American citizens.

FRC distortion - SPLC has never said that FRC as an organization want to kick gays out of the country. However, the organization has pointed out numerous times that it was a statement made by a member of FRC (i.e. Peter Sprigg).

Does FRC "hate" homosexuals? 

As a Christian organization, we have an obligation to love our neighbor--including our neighbors who experience same-sex attractions. However, we believe sexual acts between persons of the same sex are objectively harmful to those who choose to engage in them and to society at large, in addition to being forbidden by Scripture. Since the essence of love is to desire the best for a person and act to bring that about, we believe the most loving thing we can do is discourage such self-destructive conduct, rather than affirm it. We are happy to debate those who disagree with us regarding the harms of homosexual conduct, but there is no justification for anyone to impugn our motives with false labels such as "hate."

FRC distortion - The vast majority of the statement is a distortion. Here is what SPLC has accused FRC of:

 The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage . . . The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false.T\

In addition, SPLC has made a list of these distortions which it has accused FRC  - and other groups - of passing along, including:

Same-sex parents harm children.
People become homosexual because they were sexually abused as children or there was a deficiency in sex-role modeling by their parent .
LGBT people don't live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

Now whether or not FRC hates gays is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is in spite of all of its whining, the organization has YET to answer specific charges as to the claims it has made about the gay community.

Even after promising to do so in 2010, FRC has yet to come up with a detailed response to SPLC's charges. Instead, the organization continues to play hit-and-run with sad pieces which dances around the issue rather than address it.

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