Monday, May 05, 2014

Family Research Council gets worst person in the world to refute 'hate group' designation

Robert Knight
Robert Knight, formerly of the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, wrote an interesting piece about the Southern Poverty Law Center. It's the usual " SPLC is unfairly picking on Christian groups" meme that we have been hearing ever since the organization declared several anti-gay groups - including FRC - to be hate groups:

If you want to know where the left is taking the country, a quick trip to the Southern Poverty Law Center's website is instructive. There you will find a "hate map," on which the precise locations of reputable Christian organizations are listed, along with skinheads, Nazis and other actually disreputable groups. Above the map is a photo of what appear to be storm troopers, none of whom resembles Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, but that's beside the point. On Aug. 15, 2012, the hate map was used by would-be mass murderer Floyd Lee Corkins II, who walked into the Family Research Council lobby in Washington, DC, with a loaded gun and a backpack full of 80 more rounds of ammo and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Convicted on Feb. 6, 2013, under the District's domestic terrorism law and sentenced to 25 years in prison, Corkins told investigators that he was inspired by the SPLC hate map to target the Family Research Council, and that he had planned to murder as many people as possible and stuff chicken sandwiches into their faces. Chick-fil-A's owners and the Family Research Council support natural marriage. 

First of all, Knight is lying. It's something he does quite well. SPLC's map does not contain "precise locations" of the organizations they designate as hate groups. The map only shows the states where they are located.

And with regards to Corkins, he did not say that SPLC's map inspired him to do anything. It was  determined that Corkins was already mentally ill and had been thinking about a way to carry out his plan for years.

But that's not the subject of my post. The subject is Knight's audacity in attacking SPLC . As I indicated before and Knight does in his column, he used to work for the Family Research Council.

And during his time there, it was Knight who pushed a lot of the junk science and lies (such as connecting homosexuality to pedophilia) about the lgbt community which eventually led SPLC to designate the Family Research Council to be a hate group. The following is from SPLC's webpage:

Robert Knight, a longtime conservative writer and journalist and major anti-gay propagandist, served as the FRC’s director of cultural affairs from 1992 until 2002, when he went to Concerned Women for America (CWA). Knight later moved on to be a senior writer at Coral Ridge Ministries, now Truth in Action Ministries. He is currently a senior fellow at the right-wing American Civil Rights Union. During his years at the FRC, Knight penned anti-gay tracts that used the research of thoroughly discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, head of the Colorado-based hate group the Family Research Institute.

 Knight authored numerous anti-gay papers, and even used Cameron’s infamous “gay obituary” study in testimony he offered before Congress to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 1994. In his prepared statement on that topic, he said, “A study of more than 6,400 obituaries in homosexual publications reveals that homosexuals typically have far shorter life spans than the general population.” Cameron’s study has been thoroughly discredited for several reasons, one of which is its deeply flawed methodology. When asked in 2004 about using Cameron’s work, Knight, by then with CWA, responded, “Yes, we have used his research. So what?”
While at the FRC, Knight also co-wrote (with Robert York, a former editor at Focus on the Family) a 1999 booklet with the attention-getting title of Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia. Among its more remarkable claims was the baseless assertion that “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.” The same publication argued that the “homosexual rights movement has tried to distance itself from pedophilia, but only for public relations purposes.” The booklet has since disappeared from the FRC’s website, but the organization has not withdrawn the claims it made.

For the sake of disclosure, I happen to know that Knight did freely admit to using the discredited information of Paul Cameron via that 2004 incident.  I was the person to whom he gave the flippant response during a visit he made to the University of South Carolina. And I repeatedly talked about the incident on this blog and in my first book on anti-gay propaganda.

Basically, if it weren't for Knight's influence in FRC information gathering, perhaps the organization wouldn't be attempting to live down the "hate group" designation.

No doubt, unfortunately, this irony will escape Knight and especially FRC.

'George Takei, 'Orange is the New Black' among honorees at GLAAD Awards' & other Monday midday news briefs

George Takei, "Orange is the New Black," "Concussion" among #GLAADAwards recipients in New York City - Congratulations to George Takei, the television series 'Orange is the New Black,' and the motion picture 'Philomena' for their victories at the Glaad Awards Saturday night. A special congratulations goes to The New Civil Rights Movement which was chosen as 'Outstanding Blog.' By the way, I should mention my proficiency in voodoo - hehehehe (just kidding folks). 

'You Are You,' Lindsay Morris Photography Book, Documents Camp For Gender-Nonconforming Kids - I love this camp and the pictures are so awesome. All children should have some type of safe space like this.

 Salvation Army Refuses Housing Shelter To Transgender Woman - This is wrong. They could have helped her out.  

Former Bush Administration Official Explains How Gays Are Worse Than Murderers - Same old mindless homophobia wrapped in a new package. It's like wrapping month old fish in a newly store-bought box.

Pasadena health director suspended after clips found of homophobic sermon

A college who uninvited screenwriter Dustin Lance Black from being its commencement speaker due to some pornographic pictures from years ago has found itself in the center of a controversy regarding its new speaker.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Pasadena city officials placed Public Health Director Eric Walsh on temporary paid administrative leave Thursday after they learned of controversial statements he had made about homosexuality and evolution in online videos and audio clips.

In sermons uploaded to various websites, Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist preacher, calls evolution "a religion created by Satan," compares Disney to a "dark empire" of superstition and witchcraft, and criticizes homosexuality.

Walsh's comments came to the city's attention after he replaced Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black as Pasadena City College's commencement speaker, said city spokesman William Boyer. College officials said they replaced Black because they found stolen photographs of him and an ex-boyfriend engaged in sexual acts on Internet gossip sites, according to the school newspaper, the PCC Courier.
 . . . In a letter to the school newspaper, Black accused college administrators of attempting to shame him for his sexuality. He urged students to speak out, and soon a member of the group Students for Social Justice found some of Walsh's videos online. . . .The group compiled a list of Walsh's controversial public statements, then published excerpts on Facebook and emailed them to media outlets.

Walsh has stepped down from being the commencement speaker due to a "scheduling conflict" but already, an anti-gay site defending him on "religious liberty" grounds. However, I would remind these folks that Walsh has not been fired, but put on temporary leave in which he is still receiving a paycheck.

In lieu of his comments, an investigation at the very least is definitely in order to see if his views on the lgbt community has tainted his work. If not, then he should keep his job.

If, on the other hand, there is a problem, then it's obviously time for a new public health director.