15 February, 2010

Church Teaching on homosexuality: Wisdom or Bigotry?

Sonya Corbitt posts on "Catholic Online" an article in which she argues for the position of the Catholic Church on the subject of the gay agenda (or gay advances if you wish). Drawing upon the findings of research, (developed using the tools of modern social science) she offers a persuasive argument that there is a statistically great risk to the psychological well being of children when raised in a male same-sex union. The argument that demands the elimination of "heterosexualism" from modern society is shown in a comprehensive study published by Dr. George A. Rekers, Ph.D., Professor of Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, to offer a "unique danger" to children raised within a gay male led family.

"Rekers cites numerous national and international studies that revealed:

• Households with a homosexually-behaving adult uniquely endanger children.
• Households with a homosexually-behaving adult expose children to significantly higher rates of psychological disorder, (particularly depression), suicide, and substance abuse in homosexually-behaving adults, which results in higher rates of child depression, child maltreatment and neglect.
• Households with a resident homosexually-behaving adult are substantially less capable of providing the best psychologically stable and secure home.
• Households with a homosexually-behaving male contribute to a potentially higher risk of removal due to the sexual abuse.
• A husband/wife relationship is significantly healthier and substantially more stable socially and psychologically.
• The best child adjustment results from living with a married man and woman compared to other family structures.
• Compared to a family without a homosexually behaving adult, empirical evidence and 30 years of Rekers´s own clinical experience with children strongly support the conclusion that a home with a homosexual-behaving individual subjects a child to a set of disadvantages, stresses, and other harms that are seriously detrimental to a child´s psychological and social development.

This review is an extensive survey of many, many studies and their research; the science behind it was used at state levels to guide public policy regarding child custody decisions, adoption, and foster parenting, as well as to defend and uphold laws to this effect in other states and on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America. These laws were upheld by the US Supreme Court.

It lays out the empirical evidence regarding the higher frequency of domestic violence, pedophilia, and sexual disease transmission by homosexual adults to children compared to married couples with children, among other scientific findings."

These conclusions are hardly considered "correct" or proper in today's marriage debates. Is it possible that "common knowledge" on this question, just like the public consensus regarding of the safety of children with priests, has turned against the proponents of the gay rights movement?

What's your opinion folks, Wisdom or Bigotry?

Read and sound off.

Fr. Tim

12 comments:

  1. From the catechism...just so we all start on the same page as it were...

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,[140] tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."[141] They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of the difficulties with this subject is that one cannot pull out one thread from the church's teaching without finding several more attached. Leaving aside the question of homosexuality, we can draw back to look at the nature of marriage and sexuality itself. The linchpin of this discussion is whether you can isolate the various aspects of sexual behavior from one another without doing violence to the whole.

    What I am speaking of here is pleasure, reproduction, bonding, love and so on. Human sexuality is meant to be a holistic whole. Taking any aspect of it apart from the others leads to serious difficulties.

    Now you may ask why it matters... why not just stay out of other people's bedrooms and be done with it? Most of the time I would agree but in many cases the adults are not the only ones involved. From a societal point of view, what is best for children needs to trump any right of two adults to do whatever they wish in private.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tim,

    The author of the study referred to in your article is George Alan Reker. His bio is available here on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Alan_Rekers

    Wikipedia raises the question of whether Dr. Reker is a biased source. Dr. Reker's research goes against the usual findings on the question of whether or not homosexuals provide good parenting to children.

    I also find it laughable that even Reker notes that general anti-gay bigotry is a stressor for adopted children. Bit of a circular argument don't you think? Essentially, gays are not good parents becasue society discriminates against them so much, so society should continue to continue to discriminate against gays.

    If you were truly interested in exploring this question, I would suggest you find a mainstream study by a mainstream researcher. Someone affiliated with Dobson or NARTH is an absolute non-starter as far as I am concerned.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  4. Martin: Let's look at what the article actually says about the good Dr. Reker.

    "George Alan Rekers is a Distinguished Professor of Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science Emeritus at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in human developmental psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, his Th.D. from the University of South Africa, and his MBA from Southern Wesleyan University.

    In 1983 Rekers was on the founding board of the Family Research Council, a non-profit Christian lobbying organization, along with James Dobson and Armand Nicholi Jr."

    Then we get to the offensive part (at least I assume from your perspective:

    "George Alan Rekers is an officer of NARTH, the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality.[2] Despite NARTH's position as a secular organization, Rekers has testified in court that he believes the Bible is the infallible word of God, and that homosexuality is a sin.[3] His personal beliefs regarding homosexuality, according to the ACLU, interferes with his being able to give an unbiased professional opinion on LGBT topics, including gay adoption.[4] Rekers was an expert witness in a 2004 case involving gay adoption in Arkansas, which had banned LGBT people from adopting in 1999. In January 2005, Timothy White, Pulaski County's circuit court judge 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."[5]

    In 2008, Rekers was also an expert witness in In re: Gill, 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."

    So the fact that he is a Christian, and holds to traditional Christian interpretation of the Bible, this invalids his opinion? If, as the story states has validated his findings with those of conducted by others, does his religious belief invalidate all of these other studies?

    If the story was based solely upon his opinion, I would agree with your objection. However the reference to the accumulation and assessment of other studies may point to the existence of bias not on his part, but by those who entered the Wikapedia information.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Tim,

    If you are truly interested in truth, you go to objective sources. Enough said.

    I do not have the time or the patience to refute each and every line of his 80 page study. In the 2 minutes that I did take, I was able to point out one glaring piece of his circular argumentation. Such reasoning is not credible and not worthy of my time.

    I simply state that Dr. Reker's work is the outlier in this area of research. The public record of Dobson and NARTH speak for themselves. They have both shown themselves to be ideologically and theologically driven.

    Cheers...Martin

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  6. Martin: My apologies if you found my response either insulting or demanding. It was not my intention. I was sitting in the comfort of my cottage with a hot cup of coffee at hand. I doubt the same was the same for you.

    Whenever I find myself guilty of such an offense, it's often my pride leading me forward in the belief that I know everything.

    This is a quiz for people me who think they know everything! I found out in a hurry that I didn't. These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers. It is an intellectual reminder that I'm not always the 'genius' I might think I am.

    Tim

    1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

    2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

    3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

    4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

    5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle.. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

    6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ' dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

    7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar.
    Can you name at least half of them?

    8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

    9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.'
    Answers To Quiz:

    1... The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends: Boxing.

    2. North American landmark constantly moving backward: Niagara Falls ..
    (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

    3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

    4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry.

    5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle.
    The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

    6. Three English words beginning with dw: Dwarf, dwell and dwindle...

    7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar: Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe,question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

    8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce.

    9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S': Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

    ISSUED ON NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH DAY

    ReplyDelete
  7. Even if one gives credence to your rediculous thesis that being raised by homosexuals is damaging to children, society allows children to be raised by parental figures with much worse character defects, even to the point of being preferential in awarding them custody.

    No doubt about it. You're a bigot and Catholicism is the hive from which you swarm.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What exactly, Mr Tim, is the right way to raise a child. One of my favorite people, David Farragut, stepped abpoard a US Naval vessel at eight years old and was rarely off one for the next sixty years.

    He did OK.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tim,

    Here is an excerpt from the American Psychological Association's Amicus Brief on Gay Parenting:

    "In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth."

    A link to the full report may be found here:

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx

    No one (myself included) has a problem with research conducted by Christians (or other religious believers) - provided that this research is conducted without bias. That you suggest otherwise is offensive.

    Given that the APA finds absolutely no credible evidence to support Dr. Reker's conclusions, why should we take Dr. Reker seriously? This is particularly relevant when the court has also ruled that Dr. Reker is a biased source.

    If any of the statements in the Wikipedia article are false, you can damn well bet that Dr. Reker's attorneys would be on it like a cougar on a crippled chicken!

    My big problem with Catholic Online, NARTH, Dobson et al. (and others who I will gently label as the "religious right"), is their misuse of science to give a veneer of respectability to anti-gay bigotry.

    Many U.S. anti-gay bigots produce tomes of "research" to support their vile points of view. By and large none of it is real science. It is not peer reviewed. I note that Reker's study is not peer reviewed. That should be warning bell number one for you about its validity!

    IMHO anti-gay "research" has two primary purposes:

    a) To preach to the choir;
    b) To provide the choir with plausible cover when they are accused of holding views that are bigoted.

    Unlike reddog, I will not accuse you of being an anti-gay bigot, but I will state that the views contained in your blog article are anti-gay bigotry - pure and simple.

    To the extent that Catholics and the Catholic Church repeat this kind of propaganda, then they too are guilty of anti-gay bigotry and all of the harm that flows from it. Such bigotry gives the true haters all of the ammunition they need to justify their vile agendas (please refer to the Anti-Gay Bill in Unganda which is calling for the death of homosexuals and imposes other horrendous penalties related to being gay).

    Words matter Tim. Ideas matter. You have a right to your opinions, but you also have an obligation to speak and promote the truth....not shameless anti-gay propaganda. You are responsible for the outcomes of your words.

    The blood of homosexuals is on your hands. The blood of homosexuals is on the hands of your Church. Shame!

    Uncheerfully...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  10. For those readers who are curious as to what Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill is all about, here is a link to this heinous legislation:

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/btb/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Bill-No-18-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009.pdf

    For those curious about the truth, please read page 6 under "Aggravated Homosexuality": For the crime of being a 'serial homosexual' (i.e. someone who has engaged in a homosexual act more than once) they will be put to death.

    For those of you who do not understand how this proposed bill relates to US anti-gay propaganda, I refer you to box turtle bulletin blog:

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/slouching-toward-kampala

    ...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  11. Martin & Reddog: Thank you for your posts in this thread. I had never heard of Dr. Reker before I read the news story about his study (I think I provided a link as well as publishing the summary).

    You each raise a central point of this blog that I would like to address, namely what articles I publish on the blog. I'd like to address that here, and I will copy this same text (although maybe with a bit of editing to clean up the grammar) into a posting in its own right.

    Yours are not the only criticism that I get about the variety of topics that I post on the blog. In fact I catch more flack from fellow Christians who object to the fact that I post comments such as your with argue the opposite to Dr. Reker's study (they often think that I am harming the Christian position by exposing readers to anti-life or other positions contrary to traditional Christian stands on moral issues).

    I also freely admit that some of what I post is politically incorrect - at least as that term has come to be understood as saying something that one group or another might find offensive (as you both did with this article).

    Yet that is exactly what I intend to continuing doing! No where in my the initial post did I give my opinion - and I clearly stated that I was throwing it out there for discussion. Please don't draw some conclusion as to my intent in posting any article other than to accomplish that which I repeatedly stated: to foster discussion of important topic of faith, morals and societal life. Wherever "the rubber hits the road", there are bound to be heat, conflict, dirt and noise. But these are necessary consequences of making progress in understanding these issues.

    Some of what I post will generate discussion or rancor from one group while another causes the same for others. It is my firm conviction that we should not shy away from these discussions just because people might get upset, and that each time something like our exchanges on this topic occurs, it serves to shine a light on a subject to bring clarity and knowledge to those who read it.

    One final point: in the face of allegations of "bloody hands" and the occasional questioning of my head, heart or charity, I have never responded with accusation or acrimony. I assume the best of intentions on everyone's part and do my best to follow the same route in my postings. I try to be humble and charitable in all that I write. All that I ask of you is only what I demand of myself - that we be truthful, charitable and open to each others arguments. There is no attempt on my part to use these pages to "convert" anyone or coerce people into believing the same as I do. I do not believe that it is your intention to convert me either!

    I trust that you will in the future comprehend this a little better and will continue to join in the no-holds barred dialogue and debate as you have done previously.

    Fr. Tim

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous04 May, 2010

    Hi Tim,

    I thought I would provide your readers with a brief update on Dr. Rekers. In addition to enabling anti-gay propaganda, he seems to have found the time demonstrate a certain 'inconsistency' with his stated principles.

    I know I should not be amazed to find a self-loathing homosexual under the skin of so many anti-gay bigots - yet strangley, I am. Oh well. I have my weaknesses like everyone else.

    Enjoy: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2010-05-06/news/christian-right-leader-george-rekers-takes-vacation-with-rent-boy/

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete

Followers of this blog:

Blog Archive

Google Analytics