Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lying in God's name

As the nation is in the grips of a cold wave, California is a bask in warmth and sunlight. Evidently, even the sun in California is subject to darkening by “Yes on Prop 8” lawyers who have successfully, delayed the television broadcast of the Federal trial regarding Prop 8. It seems that they fear the light of day being cast on the deceptive campaign which they ran in California (and mirrored in Maine) to strip same sex couples of their right to a civil marriage. Why should the “Yes on Prop 8” forces go to such lengths to prevent you from seeing the evidence presented in a U.S. Federal court of law?

Part of the answer is found in Anita Bryant’s successful campaign to stop anti-bias laws in the 1970’s. Yale professor George Chauncey said the following on the witness stand. Statements which the “Yes on Prop 8” side do not want you to hear. Chauncey testified in the witness stand .

“The initial polling data showed there was actually a margin of support for anti-bias ordinances,” said Chauncey. So Bryant and her campaign, he said, “decided to focus on the consequences of allowing such laws –the effects on children.”

“They made two arguments,” he said, during his appearance as an expert in gay history on the witness stand in the Proposition 8 trial Tuesday. “That simple tolerance of gays would mean they’ll become role models so kids would become gay,” and that gays are child molesters.

Psychology has already debunked the myth of homosexuals as pedophiles.

Homosexuals Are No More Likely to Sexually Abuse Children Than Heterosexuals.

· In fact, gays and lesbians may be less likely than heterosexuals to sexually abuse children.
Two studies that examined the sexual orientation of child molesters found that less than
one percent, in one study, and zero percent, in the other, were lesbian or gay.
· About four of every five cases of child sexual abuse reported to child protection
authorities involve a girl who is abused. But because sexual abuse of boys is less likely to
be reported, it is estimated that 1/4 to 1/3 of all sexually abused children are boys, while
2/3 to 3/4 are girls.1 Because most child molesters are men, (90 percent2), some have
argued that “homosexual” child abuse is widespread and that homosexuals abuse children
at a rate higher than their proportion of the general population, which is somewhere
around 3 to 8 percent of the population. Such claims are based on the false belief that
men who sexually abuse boys are homosexual. In fact, the overwhelming majority of men
who sexually abuse children live their lives as heterosexual men.

1 Finkelhor, 1994, pp. 46-47; Stevenson, 2000, p. 8.
2 Finkelhor, p. 31.

Finkelhor, D. (1994). Current information on the scope and nature of child sexual abuse. T he
Future of Children: Sexual Abuse of Children, 4(2) , 31-53.

Stevenson, M. R. (2000). Public policy, homosexuality, and the sexual coercion of children.
Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 12(4) , 1-19.

In testimony today and Monday, witnesses for the plaintiffs discussed a number of “Yes on 8” television ads and fliers which underscored the campaign slogan “Protect your children.”

Even though both the California Teacher’s Association and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction made public statements that made it clear that these allegations by the “yes on Prop 8” forces, were untrue. My own bishop, John Steinbock, in his “pastoral letter” to the people of our dioceses falsely claimed that “children would be brainwashed.” These deliberate perpetuation of grossly untrue myths and stereotypes by the “yes on Prop 8” side were and are a lie. A lie which they, like Bryant before them, successfully used to deceive and cause unfounded fears in voters. Lies and fears which were used to strip countless same sex couples of the right to a civil marriage. The Los Angeles Times reported the following:

“They were able to focus the debate on their assertion that without the ban, public school children would be indoctrinated into accepting gay marriage against their parents' wishes, churches would be sanctioned for not performing same-sex weddings and the institution of marriage would be irreparably harmed.

Supporters of gay marriage, along with political leaders including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-San Francisco) and the state's superintendent of public instruction, denounced those messages as scare tactics, but they were not able to sway voters. Preliminary returns showed Proposition 8 passing 52% to 48%.

"It was masterful of the campaign to raise the implications of what it could mean in terms of the school system," said Republican political consultant Wayne Johnson. He said voters may have started out "thinking that as long as it doesn't affect me, do what you want" but the supporters shifted the focus to children.”

Even though the truth was publicly announced in a “No on Prop 8” commercial, the damage was done and countless voters believed the “Yes on Prop 8” lie. They lied. They deceived voters and they do not want voters to now realize that they were manipulated with carefully crafted lies.

Far more nuance are the U.S. Catholic hierarchy in promoting such myths and stereotypes. With the Catholic priest sexual scandals, you would think they would avoid this subject altogether. Therein lies the twisted appeal of the false claim that homosexuals are pedophiles. Vatican renews ban on gay priests

Even though this action by the Vatican is very vague and fails to define what is “deep seated homosexuality.” It creates the false impression that the Pope is “acting” to stop pedophile abuse in the Church. In fact, the Pope is cleverly sidestepping the real issue with the pedophilia scandal, specifically that the hierarchy covered up the abuse and transferred known offenders from assignment to assignment. In doing this they knowingly exposed innocent children to sexual abuse in an attempt to protect the Church’s material assets and PR reputation. To scapegoat gays is far easier than accepting personal responsibility. If using pseudo scientific terminology and issuing vague/ineffectual “bans” serves in redirecting outraged people away from the hierarchy, then so be it.

Thus far, the Prop 8 trial has revealed that the “yes on Prop 8” side was more than willing to lie in the name of God. It has also begun to reveal their motives. No wonder they are so desperate to hide the truth from the general public and why they have gone to such legal lengths to forbid you to see the evidence revealed in the trial. St. John gives a theological explanation in JOHN 20-21. For a more secular explanation I encourage you to read the testimony for yourself.


Joe said...

I have seen many times on TV where the host has on a gay advocate and a anti-gay advocate. Without fail, the anti-gay advocate always interrupts the gay advocate when the latter is about to expose the former's lies. It seems like they know they're lying. It makes me wonder if they really believe in God - you'd think that they'd know that God won't be very pleased with them. Ditto goes for the church hierarchy.

Doug Workman said...

California’s Prop 8 proponent’s rhetoric seems particularly cruel to me because I heard it all 30+ years ago, growing up in Florida, in the rhetoric of Anita Bryant. The problem was (and, unfortunately, still is to some extent) that back then I thought there might be a shred of truth to it. This left me alienated, ignorant and in denial of my homosexuality for many years. My thoughts then were: “I not a weak, effeminate man who has no self control and certainly not someone who will molests children -- so I’m not a homosexual.” Now I am a proud gay man who is still haunted by this rhetoric and the lies it contains. Thanks for setting the record straight, so to speak.

Unknown said...

From the AP: "The pope, whose own presence on the Web has heavily grown in recent years, urged priests on Saturday to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures.

"And just using e-mail or surfing the Web is often not enough: Priests should use cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities, Benedict said in a message released by the Vatican.

"The spread of multimedia communications and its rich 'menu of options' might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web," but priests are "challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources," he said."

Thank you Father, for following the Holy Father's wishes. Now if we could only get the heirarchy to realize that hate is NOT part of the Christian message...

Frank said...

Fr. Geoff, it's been a while, hope all is well.