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Posted on: Tuesday, January 16, 2018
by John Stossel; originally published at Creators.com on January 16, 2018.
Who will warn Americans about hate groups? The media know: the Southern Poverty Law Center.
SPLC, based in Alabama, calls itself "the premier" group monitoring hate. Give us money, they say, and they will "fight the hate that thrives in our country."
I once believed in the center's mission. Well-meaning people still do. Apple just gave them a million dollars. So did actor George Clooney.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up in Somalia, where she suffered female genital mutilation. So now she speaks out against radical Islam. For that, SPLC put her on its list of dangerous "extremists."
Maajid Nawaz was once an Islamic extremist. Then he started criticizing the radicals. SPLC labels him an "anti-Muslim extremist," too.
While launching hateful smears like these, SPLC invites you to donate to them to "join the fight against hatred and bigotry."
SPLC once fought useful fights. They took on the Ku Klux Klan. But now they go after people on the right with whom they disagree.
They call the Family Research Council a hate group because it says gay men are more likely to sexually abuse children.
That's their belief. There is some evidence that supports it. Do they belong on a "hate map," like the Ku Klux Klan, because they believe that evidence and worry about it?
I often disagree with the council, but calling them a hate group is unfair. In my YouTube video this week, the group's vice president, Jerry Boykin, tells me, "I don't hate gay people. And I know gay people, and I have worked with gay people."
But once you're labeled a hate group, you are a target.
One man went to the Family Research Council headquarters to kill people, shooting a security guard in the arm before he was stopped.
The shooter told investigators that he attacked the FRC because he found them on SPLC's hate list.
Calling the council a "hate group" made its employees the target of real hate.
SPLC also smears the Ruth Institute, a Christian group that believes gays should not have an equal right to adopt children. The institute's president,
Jennifer Roback Morse, says they're not haters.
"I like gay people. I have no problem with gay people. That's not the issue. The issue is, what are we doing with kids and the definition of who counts as a parent."
The institute doesn't argue that gays should never adopt. "There could be cases where the best person for a particular child would be their Uncle Harry and his boyfriend," Morse told me. But the institute wants preference given to "a married mother and father."
For that, SPLC put the Ruth Institute on its hate map. That led the institute's credit card processor to stop working with them. In a letter to the institute, the processor company said that it had learned that the "Ruth Institute ... promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse."
"We went and checked our website," Morse told me, "and we were already down."
I suspect SPLC labels lots of groups "haters" because crying "hate" brings in money.
Years ago, Harper's Magazine reported that SPLC was "the wealthiest civil rights group in America, one that now spend most of its time — and money — on a fund-raising campaign." People in Montgomery, Alabama, where SPLC is based, call its elegant new headquarters "the Poverty Palace."
"Morris Dees' salary is more than my entire annual budget," says Morse. "Whatever they're doing, it pays."
Dees, SPLC's co-founder, promised to stop fundraising once his endowment hit $55 million. But when he reached $55 million, he upped the bar to $100 million, saying that would allow them "to cease costly fundraising."
But again, when they reached $100 million, they didn't stop. Now they have $320 million — a large chunk of which is kept in offshore accounts. Really. It's on their tax forms.
In return for those donations to SPLC, the world gets a group that now lists people like Ben Carson and Fox commentators Laura Ingraham, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Jeanine Pirro as extremists — but doesn't list the leftist militant hate groups known as antifa.
SPLC is now a hate group itself. It's a money-grabbing slander machine.
John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed."
Posted on: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
by Doug Mainwaring at publicdiscourse.com on March 2017.
This world does not need men to selfishly take whatever we want, especially if the price is the welfare of our children. Our children don’t need superheroes—just quiet, unsung, ordinary, everyday heroes who answer to the name “Daddy.”
When I was taking my first few steps out of the closet in the late 1990s, a guy who called himself Tex offered me a short version of his life story over drinks at a Dupont Circle bar. The conversation took an unanticipated turn: he explained that his current partner had moved halfway across the country, leaving behind an ex-wife and kids. Tex would sometimes answer the house phone (this was before cell phones) and would hear a small voice cautiously ask, “May I please speak to my Daddy?” This was his partner’s eight-year-old daughter calling from somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Tex said that it troubled him deeply that his partner’s daughter had to ask permission of a stranger in order to speak with her daddy.
When I think of this little girl, my thoughts drift to folks like Alana Newman and others who have anonymous sperm donors for fathers, many of whom have daily asked that same question in their hearts. May I please speak to my Daddy?
When I started speaking out about the dangers of same-sex marriage for children, I found it difficult to get proponents of genderless marriage to engage in intellectually honest one-on-one discussions. Then I realized: at least half the people who wanted to clobber me with bumper sticker slogans were products of broken marriages.
In early 2013, following my participation in a panel discussion, a young man accused me of being unfair to gays, lesbians, and their children. So I took a chance and asked him point blank: “Did your parents divorce when you were a child?”
He was a little stunned by the personal question, but he answered, “Yes.” The smugness left his face.
“Did you live with your mother?”
“Did you see much of your father?”
“No. I almost never saw him.”
“Did you miss him? Did you wish you could be around him more?”
“Yes. Of course,” he answered, with a bit of wistfulness.
“Did your parents’ divorce increase your happiness—or your sadness?”
“So your parents dismantled your home and set up two new structures that put their needs first, not yours. In fact, they were structures guaranteeing your continued unhappiness. You learned to live with it, because as a child you had no control whatsoever over their actions, but these new structures weren’t necessarily built with your best interest in mind.”
“Well, no. I didn’t get to vote on the matter. I was a kid.”
“Exactly. So why would it be different for children of gays and lesbians who are denied either their father or mother? Do you really think two moms or two dads is exactly the same as having both mom and dad around to love and care for you? Seriously? Would having an extra mom around the house really have satisfied you, or would you still have an unanswered yearning in your heart for your Dad?”
“Then why would you want to condemn other children to be fatherless? Or motherless?”
He got it. He didn’t like it, but he got it—and then he walked away. I have no idea if he changed his mind, but at least he had finally actually heard and listened to an opposing point of view—one that resonated with him.
As I walked away, I thought to myself, “To be intellectually honest, I can’t keep speaking publicly against the dangers of genderless marriage without also simultaneously speaking about the objective evil of divorce for kids.” Divorce is an exponentially larger, far more pervasive threat to children than the prospect of gays raising children without moms and lesbians raising children without dads. I sighed. There is a lot to undo and set straight.
The Prodigal Dad
After my wife and I had been divorced for a few years, it was not unusual for her to call and ask me to drive to her house because our youngest son was out of control. When I would arrive, I found turmoil. He had gotten angry about something, and that had triggered a rage completely disproportionate to the issue. He would yell and scream and kick, then isolate himself in his bedroom. No trespassers allowed. It was gut-wrenching to witness this. Thankfully, he would calm down after a while and return to normal.
His rage would, in turn, trigger discussions with my ex-wife. What were we going to do about his behavioral problem? Did he require medication? Did he need to be spanked? Did he need psychological help?
After this happened a few times it became abundantly clear to me exactly what he needed. Our son did not have a behavioral problem. He needed just one thing: he needed his parents to get back together and to love each other. The slicing and dicing of our family had thrust unbearable stress on this four-year-old’s tender psyche. His Dad and Mom were the culprits responsible for this, yet we were approaching this as if it were his problem.
Our little boy bore no blame, but I sure did.
Posted on: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
My friend Daniel Mattson hits it out of the park today, "Why Homosexuality is a Natural Law Issue." I'm thinking pretty much every moral issue can be framed as a natural law issue, but that's just me. Dan has had great succes talking with young people about sexual morality using this approach. Must read for everyone who knows someone struggling with sexual morality issues with someone in their family.
It is simply wrong to say the natural law is ineffective concerning homosexuality and evangelization. During a three-day period a few years back in the Diocese of Wichita I spoke to over 3,000 high school students. After one of my talks, a theology teacher at one of the high schools shared with me what one of his students said to him: “You know, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this guy, but now, it all makes sense to me—all of the Church’s teaching. This isn’t just about the stuff he has to deal with. What he said helps me make sense of what the Church has to say about sex, all of it.” And no wonder it made sense to him: the natural law makes sense because it’s true, for its truth comes from being rooted in reality.
Read it all here:
Posted on: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
This looks like a good book, and a good resource for our Gay Lifestyle Refugees.
Jeremy Bell was in a long term, same-sex relationship and had not yet met his now-friend and co-author John McCaughan when he began, six years ago, to think seriously about the meaning of marriage.
John, on the other hand, had been raised in a traditional Catholic family, but was going through a spiritually gruelling time, some years later, when he began thinking about the issue.
Becoming firm friends, the two Sydney men – Jeremy, a philosopher who converted to Catholicism in 2012, and John, a professional writer – decided to undertake that search together.
This book will be published by an Australian publisher, Connor Court. It will be launched at Parramatta Cathedral Hall on 14 July. I hope some of our Australian friends will attend and give us a report,
Posted on: Saturday, April 02, 2016
The headline over at LifeSiteNews says this is a story out of the gay lifestyle. And so it it. But it is first and foremost an inspiring story of forgiveness and repentance. Any Survivor of the Sexual Revolution, any person seeking peace, can benefit from this article.
I embarked upon an incredible journey of forgiveness, having many people from my past, and especially men, that I needed to forgive. The therapy and prayer sessions I now regularly engaged in never focused solely on my being sexually attracted to men, but I was encouraged to look every aspect of my present and past in the eye. This included the painful process of accepting that I had been consistently sexually abused by a number of men as a child over a three-year period.
Much of my spiritual journey became concerned with recognizing where, during my infancy and childhood, my little soul had chosen to build walls within myself against significant others in my life, especially against my parents, siblings and other prominent people from my past.
He faced the wrong that was done to him (child sexual abuse) and at the same time took responsibility for the ways he had built walls around himself. Eventually, he became able to forgive those who had wronged him.
Survivors of all sorts: please study this!
Posted on: Monday, February 22, 2016
After crunching census data, a Canadian economist has found that children in same-sex homes are worse off educationally.
This article was first published at Mercatornet.com.
Douglas W. Allen, an economist at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, has just published a highly controversial study in the journal Review of Economics of the Household. It breaks with the conventional wisdom that there is no difference between parenting by a mother and a father and parenting by a same-sex couple.
MercatorNet interviewed Professor Allen about his findings.
* * * * * *
MercatorNet: What has your research found about educational outcomes for children of same-sex couples versus children of opposite sex couples?
Doug Allen: There have been about 60 studies over the past 15 years or so that have asked “do child outcomes differ when the child is raised in a same-sex household." Almost all of this literature has the following characteristics: the samples are tiny and biased, the outcome measures are subjective and difficult to replicate, and the finding is always one of "no difference."
Despite the limited scientific validity of these studies, they all end with sweeping policy recommendations. It really is not a scientific literature, but rather a political literature targeted at judges, lawyers, and politicians.
Then came a paper by Michael Rosenfeld, published in Demography 2010. This paper had a large random sample and looked at normal progression though schools in the US. It was, in my opinion, the first solid piece of statistical work done on the question, and he confirmed the "no difference" finding. Later, Joe Price, Catherine Pakaluk, and myself replicated his study and found two problems.
First, he didn't find "no difference". What he found was a lot of noise, and so he was unable to statistically distinguish children in same-sex households from children in any other type of household - including ones we know are not good for children.
Second, the lack of precision in his estimates came from a decision he made to throw out children from the sample who had not lived in the same location for five years. This turned out to be heavily correlated with same-sex households. Hence, he inadvertently threw away most of the same-sex households from the sample. Without that information, he did not have the statistical power to distinguish between family types.
So, the three of us restored the sample and used the statistical technique of controlling for household stability. What we found was that children of same-sex households were about 35 percent more likely to fail a grade.
While this was going on, I was using the Canada census to look at some other questions. I noticed several things about the census that differed from the US. one. First, unlike in the US, the Canada census actually identifies same-sex couples. This solves a big measurement problem with the US census, which could include room mates, family members, and opposite sex couples as same-sex ones.
Second, the Canada census had a nice link between the children and the parents, so I was able to control for the education of the parents and their marital status. Poor performance in school is correlated with marital disruptions of parents, so this is an important control. In many ways then, the Canada census is a much better data set for addressing this question, and I decided to simply redo the Rosenfeld study using this data. (The census does not record progress through school, so I examined high school graduation rates instead).
So, what did I find? First, I simply looked at how any child in a gay or lesbian home did compared to children from married, cohabiting, and single parent homes. Most of the discussion in the paper compares children in same-sex homes to those in opposite sex married homes, but a reader can do all of the comparisons by looking at the tables.
I found that on average, children in same-sex homes were about 65 percent as likely to graduate from high school, compared to similar children in married opposite sex homes. That finding seems very similar to the one we found in the US regarding normal progress. Next, I wondered if the gender composition mattered at all, so I separated out the boys and girls. I was very surprised by the results.
On the boy side, I just found a lot of noise. Some boys do well in same-sex households; some do quite poorly. I cannot statistically determine the effect.
Just looking at the point estimates, boys in lesbian homes are about 76 percent as likely to graduate, in gay homes they are about 60 percent more likely to graduate. But neither of these are statistically significant, meaning they cannot be distinguished from zero.
Girls are another story. First, the estimates are very precise. Second, they are low. A girl in a gay household is only 15 percent as likely to graduate, in a lesbian household about 45 percent as likely. The result found by lumping all of the children together is being driven by this girl effect. This result is very robust, I tried many specifications, sample restrictions, and estimation techniques, but it always remained.
So, my paper no only rejects the "no difference" consensus, it points to a finding -- that if upheld by other studies -- seems incredibly important.
It's particularly hard on girls, isn't it? Why is that?
Allen: It is important to point out that I make no theoretical claims in the paper. I'm simply pointing out an empirical finding that is based on a high quality large random sample, and which is inconsistent with almost everything that has come before.
Having said that, as an economist, I would make the following speculation: specialization. It makes sense to me that fathers and mothers are not perfect substitutes. Indeed, mothers may provide some parenting services that a father cannot provide, and fathers may provide parenting services that mothers cannot. These services may be necessary for girls but not necessary for boys.
For example, I've been told by medical people that when a biological father is present in the home, daughters begin menstruation at an older age. Later menstruation is likely correlated with delayed sexual activity, etc., and this may lead to a better likelihood of high school completion.
It seems to me there could be dozens of channels this could work. As a father of two girls and one boy, I've often had discussions with other parents noting that with boys you just have to keep them fed and away from explosives, but with girls rearing is a little more complicated. That's a poor attempt at humour, but the bottom line is, this is an interesting question that deserves to be looked at.
One explanation of poor school performance in general is that children of same-sex couples may be discriminated against at school. This seems less likely given the different finding between boys or girls. Or at least one would have to come up with a different more complicated story of discrimination.
This turns the conventional wisdom on its head, doesn't it? Most people think that there is no difference. Was there anything wrong with the quality of previous research?
Allen: I think I've answered this above. I should point out one other thing, however. I've read just about every paper on this subject that has been published since 1995. Although many of them claim to find "no difference", they often do find something. Again, the finding is coming from a biased small sample, but differences are found. For example, children growing up in same-sex homes are more likely to experiment with alternative sexual lifestyles, etc.
I should also point out that not all studies are created equal. For example, an Australian sociologist named Sotirios Sarantakos has done considerable work in the 1990s that (though not random) uses large longitudinal studies of objective, verifiable, and hard measures of performance. He finds many differences with children in same-sex households in terms of mathematics, language and other school performance measures. Interestingly, his work is never referenced in most literature surveys. Again, this points to the political nature of this literature.
Your conclusions are based on Canadian census data. Why is that better than US data?
Allen: I've mentioned this above, but let me give more detail. The US census does not identify same-sex cohabiting or married couples. So how did Rosenfeld and others find them? They looked at a series of questions: for example, what is your sex, are you married, what is the sex of your spouse? If someone answered male / yes / male, then this would be considered a gay couple.
The problem with this is that it can lead to a number of measurement issues. Suppose I'm a married man, bunking with another man in a work camp (this may seem far fetched, but it is a real example). When I answer the survey I say I'm male, I'm married, and I'm currently living with a male. I may get counted as a same-sex couple even though I'm not. This can happen with same-sex family members who live together, room mates, and others.
There is also the problem of random mistakes. No one fills out a form perfectly, and sometimes the wrong box is ticked off. Because there are so many heterosexuals compared to gays and lesbians, it only takes a small fraction of seniors to tick off the wrong sex box and it can swamp the same-sex sample. The Canada census avoids these problems. It not only identifies same-sex couples, but they must be in a cohabiting or marriage relationship.
Canada has also had legal same-sex marriage before the census was taken. Many have argued that Canada is more open and accepting of same-sex marriage. As a result, the reporting bias is likely lower in Canada than in the US.
Finally, as mentioned above, I was able to control for the marital history of the parents. This also turns out to be statistically important, and in the paper I show what happens when this is not controlled for. Children in same-sex households are much more likely to come from a previous heterosexual marriage than from adoption or other means. Divorce, however, reduces the likelihood of graduation. If you don't control for this effect, children of same-sex households look like they do even worse at graduation. So this is an important variable to consider.
Does your study prove conclusively that there is no difference? What questions does it raise?
Allen: Assuming there are no mistakes in the study, it rejects the claim that there is "no difference." I personally think that in social science we should never place too much weight on a given study. It is important that we look at evidence from different countries, etc. I would say this study builds on a few others that are questioning the long held consensus. An examination of the literature shows that the consensus is built on only a series of preliminary work. Now that people have started looking at this more seriously, we're finding no evidence for that conclusion.
In such a contentious field, will your study make an impact upon the public debate?
Allen: I don't know, but I suspect it will have little impact. The debate seems to have shifted from the statistical lab to the bumper sticker. The concept of "marriage equality" and the alignment of same-sex marriage rights with the civil rights movement seems so powerful that I doubt one little study will matter much.
If there is merit to the study, and if there really is a difference that matters, I think it is much more likely that 20 years from now we'll be asking "how did we get here and how can we clean up the mess" -- in much the way we now wonder how we ended up in a world where so many children are raised by single parents.
Sociologist Mark Regnerus published a paper which came to a similar conclusion last year and was all but crucified by his colleagues and activists. Do you expect a similar reaction?
Allen: Prior to the publication of his paper I was unaware of Professor Regnerus' existence. Because I was working in this area I saw what immediately happened. I was struck by the hypocrisy of those who attacked him.
Here was someone who had looked at the literature and decided to do something better. There were tiny samples, so he went and found a large sample. There was nothing but bias and snowballing (the procedure of asking friends to join a study), so he did a random procedure. There was way too much soft-balling of questions, so he asked a series of quantifiable ones. He was trying to improve the work, and that is commendable.
Was his study perfect? No, but a study never is. His great error, of course, was that he found the wrong answer. Those who came later and complained about the things he did should have been equally outraged by what had come before. Had Regnerus found otherwise, they would have lauded his work as path-breaking.
I rather suspect this will not happen to me for a number of reasons. First, after the Demography comment came out last year, my university received several letters (sent to the president, various other administrators, and many of my colleagues) demanding that I be fired. These were the same tactics that were used against Professor Regnerus.
Fortunately for me, I'm well known and respected at my institution and we have a strong sense of academic freedom. Indeed, Simon Fraser University has recently been ranked as one of the safest universities to express ideas that may be politically incorrect.
Second, my study only looks at one margin of child performance: high school graduation. Professor Regnerus looked at many and in many ways he found more problems than I found.
Third, my sample is a 20 percent sample of the Canada census. No one can claim I have a small biased sample or that the agency in charge of collecting it is not trustworthy. Fourth, Professor Regnerus was first, and I think being first is much more likely to come under fire. Fifth, the US Supreme Court has already made a decision on Prop 8 and DOMA, so much of the incentive to attack has passed.
Having said that, I have come under some attack, and I would like to relay one incident that has happened.
Last week I received an email from David Badash, the editor of The New Civil Rights Movement, a prominent gay rights website. In it he said he'd heard about the study, wasn't happy about it, but wanted to talk to me before he wrote about it. I emailed back, sent him a copy, and invited him to ask me any questions about the work.
On Monday, when I arrived at work, there were a number of colourful emails waiting for me, calling me all kinds of four-letter words. I soon realized that these were coming from people who had read Mr Badash's blog page.
So I went to have a look myself. What I found was a mixture of personal attacks, misunderstandings and misrepresentations of my work, and a general meanspiritedness. Just the opposite of what I've always believed a public discussion should be.
So, maybe I'm naive, maybe the attacks will come. I hope not. Anyone who wants to read my work is welcome, and I'm willing to have a reasonable discussion about it with anyone.
Douglas W. Allen is the Burnaby Mountain Professor of economics at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Washington, and is the author of four books and numerous articles.
Posted on: Sunday, October 04, 2015
This article on same sex parenting by Michael Cook appeared at Mercatornet.com on September 23, 2015.
Australian research from the 1990s has emerged as key evidence in the debate about same-sex parenting.
The constant refrain from supporters has been that there is no difference in outcomes for children in traditional marriages or same-sex couples. In 2010 Judge Vaughn Walker struck down a voter-approved constitutional referendum in California, partly because he found no sociological evidence of a difference. He put the conventional wisdom in a nutshell:
“Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”
And a brief sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2005 asserted baldly that “none of the published research suggests conclusions different from” the “no difference” hypothesis.
This is simply not true. There was a study. It showed disadvantage. And it was ignored. Why?
Perhaps because it came from Australia, far from the bright lights of San Francisco or New York.
In the latest issue of the journal Comprehensive Psychology, Walter R. Schumm, Professor of Family Studies at Kansas State University, investigates why a 1996 article by Sotirios Sarantakos at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, a city in country New South Wales, has sunk into obscurity.
Sarantakos’s article, “Children in three contexts: Family, education, and social development” was published in a small journal called Children Australia. It dealt with 58 children of heterosexual married parents, 58 children of cohabiting heterosexual parents, and 58 children of 11 gay and 47 lesbian parents. It has some limitations but Schumm believes that it is “comparable or better than much research of the same time period, even better than some that has been done since 2001”. Sarantakos followed it up with other studies of homosexual parenting.
Sarantakos was favourably disposed toward gays and lesbians and even appears to have supported the idea of same-sex marriage. He was by no means a conservative ideologue.
What did he find about the children?
And the parents? Same-sex parents appeared to have different and not necessarily better parenting styles.
These findings are based on 20-year-old research. Since then, the debate has moved on and many more studies have been done. However, Dr Schumm says that several articles in recent research have confirmed what Sarantakos found. It is still a valuable contribution to a controversial field.
So why has Sarantakos been overlooked?
Essentially because its data is a bright red pimple on the heavily powdered face of same-sex parenting. This pioneering look at how children fare in same-sex unions gave them a big thumbs-down. It has been a mortification for labourers in the vineyard of activist scholarship ever since.
It’s not quite true that the APA brief – which is cited as gospel writ in today’s debates – overlooked the Sarantakos study. It states confidently that “none of the published research” contradicts its rosy picture of same-sex parenting. But then it devotes a gigantic footnote – its only footnote! -- to the Australian study, rubbishing it as anomalous, idiosyncratic, unreliable, skewed and invalid.
A more candid text would have read: “ … none of the published research (except that embarrassing Sarantakos stuff which threatens to wreck our happy snapshot of unanimity which is why we have left it out)”.
Dr Schumm’s closer reading of Sarantakos suggests that this dismissive attitude is driven by bias – “the political success of false negatives, in which positive results are overlooked systematically or heavily criticized when reported”.
By coincidence, a new website was launched this week called Heterodox Academy with the backing of some of the biggest names in progressive social science, including luminaries like Jonathan Haidt and Steven Pinker. Its purpose is to highlight the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity” in universities. “In most academic fields, progressives outnumber conservatives by ratios that often exceed ten to one,” they point out. Can there be a better demonstration of this than the reception given to the family research of Sotirios Sarantakos?
Posted on: Monday, September 28, 2015
A powerful moving speech by a *sperm donor child* of two lesbians who talks about her upbringing (starting at 2:12 in this video).