Monday, August 17, 2009

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations - another group, another batch of lies

Via this blog entry, I am officially announcing a new undertaking. From time-to-time, I intend to look at the material of various "legitimate medical groups" affiliated with the religious right in order to see how they view lgbt issues. It's nothing big, just something worth knowin.

Last month, I took a look at a supposed legitimate medical group, the American College of Pediatricians, and made the case that the organization is a phony group which acts a conduit for laundered religious right inaccuracies about the lgbt community.

As my entry today will prove, the American College of Pediatricians isn't alone when it comes to smearing the lgbt community under the guise of concerned physicians.

The Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) claims to have been in existence since 1931. It is made up of two groups; the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

There is nothing wrong with a group of Christian medical professionals getting together and forming a group.

But there is something seriously wrong when these medical professionals put their beliefs above their work. And after reading the mission statement of this group, I can't help but to wonder about that:

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations exist to motivate, educate, and equip Christian physicians and dentists to glorify God by:

•living out the character of Christ in their homes, practices, communities and around the world;
•pursuing professional competence and Christ-like compassion in their daily work;
•influencing their families, colleagues, and patients toward a right relationship with Jesus Christ;
•advancing Biblical principles in bioethics and health to the Church and society.

Please note that there is nothing in this mission statement about fulfilling the needs of the patient.

It gets worse because now I get to the crux of why I have a blog entry on this group.

The Christian Medical and Dental Associations has a mission statement on homosexuality, addressing the sexual orientation on a Biblical, medical and social level.

I am going to skip the Biblical level because it is purely subjective. Religious beliefs are complex. However homosexuality on a medical and social level should be addressed using facts.

And the CMDA clearly does not use facts because its Biblical view has tainted any discussion of homosexuality on these levels.

According to the CMDA, homosexuality is not good on a medical or social level for several reasons, including:

•Some homosexual acts are physically harmful because they disregard normal human anatomy and function. These acts are associated with increased risks of tissue injury, organ malfunction, and infectious diseases. These and other factors result in a significantly shortened life expectancy.

On a social level:

•Homosexual relationships are typically brief in duration. Homosexual behavior is destructive to the structures necessary for healthy marriages, families and society. Men who commit homosexual acts have a high incidence of promiscuity, child molestation, and sexually transmitted infections. Homosexual behaviors burden society with increased medical costs, increased disability, and loss of productivity.

•Homosexual behavior can be self-propagating. Some homosexual groups and individuals engage in active recruitment. A child who is sexually molested has an increased likelihood of later engaging in homosexual acts. There is also an increased incidence of homosexual activity among children raised by same sex couples. Adoption into such environments puts children at risk.

You read that right. The CMDA is pushing the religious right line about the lgbt community (i.e. gay men have lots of ugly sex, get a lot of diseases, have a short life span, put children at risk.)

The CMDA has a lot of information regarding the lgbt community in its Issues and Ethics section.

And much of this information is highly suspect, including Homosexuality & Psychiatry: Testimony of Psychologist George Rekers.

Rekers, a former professor at the University of South Carolina and a founder of the Family Research Council, has testified against the lgbt community in adoption cases.

In 2004, he was an expert witness in a case involving gay adoption in Arkansas. The state had banned gays from adopting in 1999. In January 2005, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Timothy White ruled against the state of Arkansas. Furthermore, he called Rekers' testimony "extremely suspect." He also accused Rekers of testifying solely for promoting his "own personal agenda."

In 2008, Rekers was also an expert witness in a case defending Florida's gay adoption ban. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman ruled against the state. In her decision, she said "Dr. Rekers’ testimony was far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence. Dr. Rekers’ beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with the science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court can not consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy."

In addition, Rekers uses the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron in much of his data.

The CMDA also uses the work of Cameron, particularly in the piece, The facts about gay adoption: What you need to know.

In addition, the CMDA relies on the standard lies about the lgbt community which I have talked about in my blog entry, How religious right groups distort legitimate research to demonize the gay community, including the distortion of the 1997 Canadian study to claim that gay men have a short lifespan and the distortion of a book published in the late 70s to make judgements on present day sexual behavior of gay men.

But there are two final things you should know about the CMDA.

First, according to its webpage, the group has a voice in the media and in Washington:

CMDA experts have been featured in such national media as CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, Washington Post, Washington Times, LA Times, USA Today, Christianity Today, National Public Radio, Janet Parshall's America, Prime Time America, America's Health Network and The Odyssey Channel.

CMDA also represents its members as a trusted voice in the nation's capitol. Members interested in public policy have opportunity to provide bioethical expertise and testimony for legislators. CMDA experts testify before the US Congress, provide Supreme Court briefs on bioethical issues and conduct grassroots campaigns to promote life-honoring legislation at the state level.

Secondly, according to Ministry, CMDA has a total revenue of $9,973,611 with net assets of $12,261,643.

In addition:

CMDA sponsors student chapters at two-thirds of the nation's medical and dental school campuses. CMDA provides discipleship and outreach programs and assists students in integrating Christian principles with professional practice.

If none of this scares you, then you need to check your pulse.

It's relatively easy to have loud protests, but what can you do when those who lie about you make stealthy entries into circles of power and influence as well as equip future generations with more distortions?

Other related blog entries:

The American College of Pediatricians and the Laundering of Junk Science

Homophobic 'researcher' Paul Cameron in all of his repulsive glory

How religious right groups distort legitimate research to demonize the gay community

'Pro-family' phony would consider banning Native Americans from adopting children

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Buffy said...

I wholly distrust anybody who puts their personal religious beliefs ahead of their professional obligations to their patients/clients.

Kay & Sarah said...

Oh God!! What a bunch of lies from CDMA.

Thanks for shining a spotlight on this and other groups who put their religious beliefs ahead of good science and appropriate care for their patients.

I agree with Buffy.

Blogsy said...

I'm suprised they didn't try and say oral sex gives you bad teeth!

Anonymous said...

Alas, such an undertaking will require many years of research to cover just the conservative religous "science" groups that exist today.

Keep up the good work.

FrankProbst said...

I think you mean the American COLLEGE of Pediatricians in your second paragraph. The American ACADEMY of Pediatrics (not Pediatricians) is a different group (of which I am a member), and it does not have a habit of smearing the lbgt community.

BlackTsunami said...

Frank, that is true and I have made the correction.

Hopefully my error demonstrates my point about how hard it is to distinguish legitimate organizations from fake ones when both have "official sounding" names.

Unknown said...

I can understand your frustration, especially if you are coming from a lgtb background.

However you come at the CMDA because of their beliefs, and then state that you won't take the Bible into consideration due to the fact it is subjective. I would argue that a book that can stand for over 2000 years against the scrutiny of man has some validity, and thus falls into the category of objective truth. You could have stopped writing right there if that was the position you've decided to take. If you don't want to look at the beliefs of what their organization practices then what is the point of arguing with them. One truth the Bible point out is "whatever you do, do heartily as for the Lord and not for man." (Col.3:23) Thus they put in place a standard not of their own but one established before the dawn of man.
For Christians, the profession is secondary to our relationship with Christ. I don't believe a member of the CMDA would not treat an individual based on sexual choices, but they may speak to them about the lifestyle they choose to live. Members of the CMDA are human and as such "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"(Rom.3:23) that is why grace is extended to them, and I will continue to pray for their discernment in decisions making. Thank you for your writing and your thoughts on this issue. If I ever make it into CMDA I will most certainly try to remember what you've taken issue with.

P.S. If you take a look at their
'checks and balances' policy they do well as an organization to keep inline so far as house, trustees, presiden, vp, CEO are concerned.

BlackTsunami said...

I would suggest that the CMDA take a good look the Bible they claim is the foundation of their beliefs.

There are several passages in it regarding lying and misleading.

I stand by what I wrote and until the CMDA can address the inaccurate claims it made regarding the lgbt community, there is a serious problem with the group's integrity to medicine and Biblical belief.

Kay & Sarah said...

Sorry if this is too long, but there is some history to tell.

Jacob writes; ”One truth the Bible point out is "whatever you do, do heartily as for the Lord and not for man." (Col.3:23) Thus they put in place a standard not of their own but one established before the dawn of man.”

According to Helen Ellerbe, in her book The Dark Side of Christian History, she writes:

”Orthodox Christians assembled the Bible not to bring all the gospels together, but rather to encourage uniformity. ….By 393 and 397, Bishop Athanasius had a similar list ratified by the Church councils of Hippo and Carthage. By prohibiting and burning any other writings, the Catholic Church eventually gave the impression that this Bible and its four canonized Gospels represented the only original Christian view. And yet, as late as 450, Theodore of Cyrrhus said that there were at least 200 different gospels circulating in his own diocese. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia how admits that the ‘ idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning…has no foundation in history.”

She writes further,

“The Roman philosopher Celsus, witness to the falsification of Christian writings already in the second century, said of the revisionists., Some of them as it were in a drunken state producing self-induced visions, remodel their Gospel from it first written form, and reform it so that they may be able to refute the objections brought against it.
….Beyond choosing from the many gospels and writings to construct the Bible, the Church edited its message with each translation. …..Despite Church prohibitions against any further research into the origins of the Gospels, scholars have shown that all four canonized Gospels have been doctored and revised.”

And again;

“Once Christianity gained prominence, (in the Political Roman forum) the orthodox (Christians) allowed the roman emperor to directly influence Christian doctrine. To settle ideological disputes in the Church, Constantine introduced and presided over the first ecumenical council at Nicea in 325.”

For the Catholic Church to admit that they manipulated the gospels to encourage uniformity and stamp out the thinking of those considered to be heretics, is huge in itself. So the bible, as we know it today was codified in the year 397. Let us remember that even though emperor Constantine promoted Christianity through the empire during his reign, it was only on his death bed that he converted to Christianity.

So Jacob; the KJV translation of the bible that you adhere to was authorized by King James I in 1604 which itself was based on Tyndale’s translation work of 1539 from the Greek and Hebrew texts. Tyndale’s translations, before he was executed by King James, became the basis for what is known as the Matthew Bible, again which influenced the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible.

So we see that by the year 400 ad, the Catholic Church was actively promoting their canonized 4 Gospel Bible as the only texts to be read. And the fact that Mark’s Gospel was written first by the year 50 ad, there has been many translation and revisions before it was canonized into the Bible as we know it today. So that is some of the history of your KJV Bible.

Anonymous said...

Southern Poverty Law Center here we come. Everyone start making the petitions and get this Hate Group identified and that will bring a rapid halt to their ability to bear false witness against children of God with the God-given attribute of same sex attraction or gender expressions that are natural, divinely inspired and above reproach...,015.htm
This is a great tool and let's make use of it.

eeka said...

Any healthcare provider who is operating under a discriminatory belief system is already violating their respective codes of ethics and standards of practice -- both in terms of the discrimination piece and in terms of going against current medical evidence in making many of their statements.

The thing that sucks though is that the licensing boards (and hospital administrators) require that a provider has specifically said something inappropriate to a patient who found it inappropriate and was willing to complain. Otherwise, they just say that people are entitled to their religious beliefs.

The healthcare professions (and the government licensing boards) really need to just step up and state outright that licensed providers may not advocate for discrimination and may not advocate positions that go against medical science. It's pretty well established that people who hold these beliefs and belong to these organizations don't turn a 180 when they enter the clinic and suddenly treat people appropriately.

Oh, and what's the deal with anti-lgbt discrimination being so protected under "people are entitled to their beliefs"? If tomorrow I went to work and decided to start waving a wand over children instead of using established treatments, I don't think I'd get away with saying that it's my religious belief. Why does this crap get a free pass?

Anonymous said...

This entire blog appears to be based on which is more important--one's religion or one's profession. If one's religion (whatever it may be) is not the most important facet of one's life, then it is no religion at all. Why? Because religion involves the belief in a Being who is greater than mankind. If one is putting "political correctness" or "professionalism" ahead of that Being, then what's the point of the religion?

With specific regard to Christianity, homosexuality is CLEARLY condemned in the Bible in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament. There is nothing vague about, "the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful..." There is no other way to interpret that. Someone who has (a) read the Bible for himself, and (b) believes the Bible to be true has no logical choice other than to accept that, according to the Bible, homosexuality is forbidden (just like having sex with one's parent or offspring, regardless of the amount of love there is between the two people). Love does not equal sex. In the Old Testament, the Bible states that David (who would become King David) loved his friend Jonathan more than he loved women. But they did not have sex. Somehow along the way we have merged love and sex so closely that for a religious group to speak out against homosexuality is the same as their speaking out against love.

But back to the topic at hand. A group of Christian physicians (or lawyers, or mechanics, or anyone) SHOULD put Christ first, otherwise there's no point in calling themselves Christians--they're either deceived themselves, or are trying to deliberately deceive others. One cannot be a Christian without trying to be "Christ like," which means putting God above money, about comfort, and especially above what is considered morally correct or incorrect by the population.

Therefore, a Christ-like physician will certainly treat a patient with love and care, regardless of that's patient's preference is sexual partners. (If he refused to treat a homosexual, or was hateful toward them, then he would not be Christ-like at all.) However, a Christ-like physician will also make it clear that homosexuality is, according to the Bible, a forbidden. Christ made his beliefs clear, and went to his death. A Christ-like physician should also make his beliefs clear, even to the point of death (or even suffering criticism on an anti-Christian blog).

BlackTsunami said...

Actually, the Bible is not clear on homosexuality any more than it is clear on genocide or gender equality. The passages you cite never came from the mouth of God. The old testament talked about rules for behave, many which we don't follow now. The new testament verses have been constantly translated so much so that we are not aware of the original situations which caused them to be written. About your second point, a physicians first and only job is to cure the patient and not preach or exploit his or her position to get the patient to agree to his or her religious point of view. Lastly I would sincerely hope you are not implying that this blog is anti-Christian because it is not. But it does speak loudly and frequently against the people and groups who hide their hatred behind the Bible and especially against folks who are so lacking in Christian humility that they think only they know God.