Friday, August 26, 2011

The right pushes sad new homosexuality = pedophilia angle

Matt Barber tries to smear the gay community again.
 A few weeks ago, members of the religious right was attempting to connect a polygamy court case to the gay community and marriage equality. Now it's pedophilia. Next month, it will probably be bestiality

While the gay community have been busy with other matters, members of the religious right are perpetrating a slow but consistent march to a claim that acceptance of homosexuality will soon lead to the acceptance of pedophilia.

The key here is that these folks are not saying that pedophilia and homosexuality are connected, but rather are using a faulty "slippery slope" argument, i.e. - "just like the gay community is receiving more acceptance, pretty soon the pedophiles will be getting more acceptance."

It began when the Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber and a researcher by the name of Judith Reisman attended a recent symposium of a group - B4U-Act - who is seeking to  reduce "stigmatization and stereotyping of people who are attracted to children."

Barber is no stranger to the gay community for his offensive anti-gay comments, but Reisman is not that widely known.

All you need to know about her is that she is a former songwriter for the show "Captain Kangaroo" who suddenly became a researcher (she does have a doctorate, but it's in communications). According to writer Terry Krepel, she was given a federal grant of more than $784,000 to study 30 years worth of Playboy magazines. Her findings were dismissed as "paranoid pseudoscientific hyperbole."

Reisman later wrote a silly book accusing sex researcher Alfred Kinsey of child abuse. When the Kinsey Institute easily batted down her charges, she sued it for defamation and emotional distress, claiming that it tried to censor her book. Not only was the case dismissed, but it was dismissed with prejudice, which means Reisman could not re-file it.

One shouldn't worry too much about Reisman, however, because she has made a name for herself in right-wing circles not only through her anti-Kinsey nonsense but also by claiming that gays are recruiting children:

At a May, 1994 conference of Christian right leadership in Colorado Springs described by the Washington Times as "top secret," Reisman introduced her theory of a proselytizing homosexual movement. "I would suggest to you," she told the conference, "that while the homosexual population may right now be one to two percent, hold your breath, people, because the recruitment is loud; it is clear; it is everywhere. You'll be seeing, I would say, 20 percent or more, probably 30 percent, or even more than that, of the young population will be moving into homosexual activity."

Anyway, Reisman and Barber attended this ridiculous symposium of this virtually unknown group and reported on what was said there. Their report was pretty much ignored by folks with common sense.

Naturally this means that the religious right, including the National Organization for Marriage, and other right-wing sources welcomed the report with open arms and publicized it as legitimate.

And now, according to Equality Matters, this now includes Fox News. Apparently publicizing Barber and Reisman's sojourn is the latest in the "slippery slope" angle Fox is trying to push to connect the gay community to pedophilia:

On August 11, the website posted a column by Fox News contributor and anti-gay pseudoscientist Dr. Keith Ablow, in which he compared homosexuality to pedophilia and asserted that both gays and pedophiles could alter their sexual orientations as a result of environmental factors.

On August 25, posted yet another Ablow column  -- "Paving the Way for Condoning Child Rape” -- in which the “Fox News Medical A-Team” member lamented a recent symposium put together by B4U-Act, a group that seeks to reduce the stigmatization and stereotyping of people who are attracted to children:
But, now, there should be no doubt that our culture is poised to begin embracing pedophilia as a lifestyle choice, just like homosexuality. A group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals called B4U-Act, which has representatives from Harvard and Johns Hopkins, gathered recently in Baltimore to organize their push to change the negative perception of pedophiles and encourage them to get help in a nonjudgmental environment.
While B4U-Act is not representative of mainstream psychiatry, and while the American Psychiatric Association (APA) did not participate in the group’s meeting, psychiatry has a history of caving into cultural pressure to stop defining controversial illnesses as pathological. You won’t even find ego-dystonic homosexuality—meaning, homosexual impulses that cause an individual to feel distressed and which that individual does not want to give into—in the DSM, anymore. [emphasis added]

Take note of the highlighted parts of Ablow's column - B4U-Act is not in the mainstream of psychiatry nor did the American Psychiatric Association participate in the group's symposium. Those are facts.

Ablow's sad speculation about the field of psychiatry is merely a poor job of trying to deflect from those facts.

Equality Matters goes on to say that also published an article - on the front page - about the B4U-Act symposium and made a dubious claim:

Critics of the effort also note that the movement likens its fight for pedophilia acceptance to society's more recent embrace of homosexuality. They warn of a slippery slope to a time when pedophilia is "just another lifestyle choice" that won't warrant criminal charges—and will leave young children at risk.

Equality Matters said that the article did not identify the "critics."

Followers of Fox News - most specifically the televised shows - know that when hosts, such as Megyn Kelly or Gretchen Carlson, say things like critics say or some folks claim, it's usually an introduction for them to sneak in a talking point.

And now  Peter LaBarbera and his hate group, Americans for Truth, is involved. He will be featuring an interview with Barber on the symposium. My guess is that we will be hearing less about the unknown group and more about the so-called "evils of homosexuality."

So it appears that there is an abandoning claiming that gays are pedophiles in lieu of the false claim that "if America accepts homosexuality, pretty soon it will accept pedophilia."

It's a ridiculous claim. A few weeks ago, members of the religious right was attempting to connect a polygamy court case to the gay community and marriage equality. Now it's pedophilia.

Next month, it will probably be bestiality.

It's always amazing to me how people whose goals are always destructive can think of so many avenues to  pursue them.

The right's attempt to connect an unknown group's desire to push pedophilia to the very real legitimacy of same-sex relationships and families says less about homosexuality and more about their desperation to smear the gay community.

It's hilarious on one point because it's doomed to fail. However, it's sad on two other points.

The first point is how the gay community yet again has to endure the pedophile smear. The second point is personal. It just pains me to realize that folks like Barber and Reisman are making gobs of money by appealing to the ignorance of the mysterious, but much-moneyed folks who fund their mess.

Oh well. That adage of  "God generally shows what he thinks about money but whom he gives lots of it to" definitely applies here.

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Mykelb said...

Anyone who throw that old canard, gay=pedophile needs to be shown this video:

Then they need to be shown to the door.

John B. said...

Nothing "new" about it, the right and in particular the religious right have been pushing this angle for decades. But attitudes are changing rapidly as people get to know more gay people, and come to know first-hand that this stereotype is malicious and simply false. Our opponents know they're losing and as they get desperate we can expect their rhetoric to get nastier, uglier, and ever more strident.

ACH said...

Reisman and Barber attended this ridiculous symposium of this virtually unknown group and reported on what was said there.
On what grounds are you calling the symposium "ridiculous"? I do hope it's not because you're taking Barber and Reisman's account of it at face value? If you're interested: B4U-ACT's news release about the symposium.

BlackTsunami said...

If this group seeks to lessen the problem of pedophilia, then perhaps I stand corrected. However, in my defense, the group has been silent while Barber and Reisman have maligned it left and right.

Wade MacMorrighan said...

Hey, I was able to tip off the SPLC to NOM's allegations linking the acceptance of homosexuality and even marriage equality to pedophilia! Hopefully it's just another nail in their coffin. :o)

Shawna said...

If I weren't laughing at the over-the-top ridiculousness of this shit, I'd be sobbing into my ice cream over the way these folks just. keep. digging. themselves. deeper.

BlackTsunami said...

Hopefully it will be ;p

Anonymous said...

The worst part about this story for me is finding out that this fake scientist Reisman used to write for Captain Kangaroo. I grew up watching that show. The Captain taught me to treat EVERYBODY with kindness and gentleness (the occasional ping-pong ball attack notwithstanding). I feel sorry for you, "Dr." Reisman. You had a precious opportunity to learn a valuable lesson and you seem to have thrown it away.

Anonymous said...

To be perfectly fair, I think one has to recognize that Judith Reisman is very likely mentally-ill. Her obsession with Kinsey has been ongoing for at least 3 decades now.

It would appear that Reisman has long considered her opinions superior to anyone else's. When she worked as a songwriter/performer for Captain Kangaroo, the producers urged her to perform with a faster tempo, as their studies showed that children preferred a faster-pace, similar to what they were exposed to in cartoons which were Captain Kangaroo's main competition at the time. Reisman refused to go along with this, and eventually left the show--the royalties from which paid for her university education, leading up to her PhD in Communications.

Reisman's 10-year-old daughter was raped/sexually assaulted by a neighbor boy. The boy stated that he based his behavior on the pornographic magazines that his father had collected. This was the start of Reisman's crusade against pornography. Her daughter Jennie, died of a brain aneurysm about a dozen years after the rape/sexual assault. Reisman blames the assault for her daughter's aneurysm and eventual death.

She has invented any number of similar crackpot theories, such as exposure to pornography produces "erototoxins" that change the brain in a negative way.

I daresay in her 30+ year career, she has been exposed to more pornography than most people would see in a lifetime; yet, somehow, she manages to escape the ravages of these supposed "erototoxins".

The woman is a mentally-ill crank, deserving of our pity.

Anonymous said...

Judith Reisman is an IDIOT who believes that the nazis during World War II were gay therefore homosexuals couln't have been killed during the war.

She also claims that homosexuals molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals and points to work done by Dr. Gene Abel as proof. In his study, Dr. Abel found that nonincestuous offenders against boys have many more victims than nonincestuous offenders against girls; specifically, offenders against males averaged approximately 150 victims, while offenders against females averaged only 20 victims. This has been used by Reisman to paint homosexuals as a serious threat.

What Reisman doesn't want anyone to know is that Dr. Abel actually argued against such a statement that homosexuals were more likley to molest children than heterosexuals. He explicitly states that most cases of boy molestation cannot be attributed to homosexuals:

"Most men who molest little boys are not gay. Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual. Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own."

Based on Abel’s statistics, if approximately 33 percent of all molestations are male-on-male, and 21 percent of these cases are committed by homosexuals, the actual percentage of molesters who are homosexual is 21% x 33% = 6.9%. Keeping in mind that even the best surveys have a margin of error of a few percentage points, this figure is pretty close to the figures usually given for the total percentage of homosexuals in the overall population, which is about five percent. In other words, homosexual males are not a significantly greater threat to children proportionately than straight males.

It's clear that Reisman has chosen to lie about Dr. Abel's work in order to support her bigotry to spread hatred among homosexuals. It's no wonder the Southen Poverty Law Center is listing such "Christian" pro-family groups who make claims about homosexuals molesting children at higher rates than heterosexuals like Reisman on their list of hate groups.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe you people are so blind! This article did nothing to disprove Reismans claim. It offered no evidence, just rambled on about how sick and ridiculous it was. You are the ones who are sick! Talking about this woman who went through a horrific ordeal over the assault and death of her daughter. And she absolutely 100% correct about the dangers of pornography and homosexuality! Google "Nambla" and "push to lower age of consent if you dont believe me!" Pedophilia is also being pushed in popular media at the moment to normalise it. A film example being the twilight movie.

BlackTsunami said...

Are you kidding? Reisman is a piss poor pathetic "researcher" who has been laughed out of court and various other circles.

SHE is the one who has provided no proof of her claim. I am sorry about her daughter but I didn't bring that up. YOU did.

Furthermore, you need to be specific about Nambia. It is a country which unfortunately targets gays, no doubt using that paltry "age of consent" thing as a dodge. Your comment is hysterical and pathetic. It can't even be seen as entertaining.