Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peter Sprigg's continuing assault on intellect

Peter Sprigg is Family Research Council's go-to guy on all things gay.  Mr. Sprigg has never done any research, has no academic experience and has never published anything in a peer reviewed journal. Yet FRC     a designated hate group     holds Sprigg out to be an expert. One of the reasons that the SPLC has designated FRC as a hate group is because of their misleading spew about LGBT people. And the person responsible for most of that is none other than Mr. Sprigg.

Sprigg: I am increasingly convinced that some pro-homosexual activists never read anything more than headlines. For example, the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a headline on July 26 that said: “Controversial Gay-Parenting Study is Severely Flawed, Journal’s Audit Finds.”

I don't know what "pro-homosexual" even means. Personally, I am pro equal protection under the law. But I digress.  It looks like Mr. Sprigg has simply repeated an accurate headline. the Chronicle article went on to say:

The peer-review process failed to identify significant, disqualifying problems with a controversial and widely publicized study ... The highly critical audit, a draft of which was provided to The Chronicle by the journal’s editor, also cites conflicts of interest among the reviewers, and states that “scholars who should have known better failed to recuse themselves from the review process.”
Among the problems ... is the paper’s definition of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers”—an aspect that has been the focus of much of the public criticism. A woman could be identified as a “lesbian mother” in the study if she had had a relationship with another woman at any point after having a child, regardless of the brevity of that relationship and whether or not the two women raised the child as a couple.
Sprigg knows that his constituency is unlikely to read the Chronicle article or to even know how prestigious the Chronicle is. What is Mr. Sprigg's point in citing the headline?

Not mentioned in the Chronicle article is the fact that reviewers knew only that Witherspoon Institute funded the "study." What they did not know is that Witherspoon is an Opus Dei organization closely associated with National Organization for Marriage. Both were founded by Robert George and the President of Witherspoon, an Opus Dei numerary, is also on the board of NOM.

Sprigg: Here’s how those findings are summarized on the “Frequently Asked Questions” page of the study’s official website:

First, that "official website" as described by the same FAQ: "The Witherspoon Institute alone is responsible for the creation of this website." Thus Sprigg is repeating the opinion of Witherspoon about the "findings" of the study.

Sprigg: More precisely, he [Dr. Regnerus] says, the data show rather clearly that children raised by gay or lesbian parents on average are at a significant disadvantage when compared to children raised by the intact family of their married, biological mother and father.

Here is the actual quote: "More precisely, he says, the data suggest rather clearly that children who were raised by a parent who had a same-sex relationship were on average at a significant disadvantage when compared to children who were raised by their married, biological mother and father."

Again, Sprigg is confident that his readers won't go to the source. Nor will they appreciate the subtle differences between Sprigg's presentation and the actual quote.

In other words, Mr. Sprigg cannot even quote something without misleading.

Sprigg: In the debates over homosexuality in general, and over the intended homosexual redefinition of marriage in particular, a finding like this lands like a nuclear bomb. Pro-family activists have repeatedly claimed that children do best when raised by their own, married mother and father. Homosexual activists deny this–but Regnerus confirmed it.

There is no intellectually honest "debate over homosexuality." How would one "debate" a sexual orientation? As for gay marriage (marriage equality), it is irrelevant. We agree that children usually do best when raised by their birth parents. So what? Gay couples adopt children who otherwise have no birth parents. Those kids are made more secure by having married parents. Moreover, half the kids in "traditional" families are not being raised by their married parents. Exactly what is Mr. Sprigg's  point other than to give manna to his incurious constituency?

Mr. Sprigg has the temerity to suggest that we read only the headlines?
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