Sunday, September 18, 2016

Witherspoon Institute's CanaVox back on the radar

CanaVox is Witherspoon Institute's project to reinforce the notion that the only true marriages are between opposite-sex spouses and that gay people should be chaste. It's the usual tripe about gays cannot marry but they deserve respect. Witherspoon is headed by an Opus Dei numerary. It is a reasonable certainty that everyone associated with Witherspoon believes that gay people are “objectively disordered” because some eunuch at the Vatican says so. One cannot logically argue that I deserve respect but that I am disordered.

The approach of CanaVox is to create reading groups which will read and then discuss selected texts. They also watch short films. It's all propaganda and a fair portion of it is anti-gay propaganda. Among “The Basics” is this bit of thought provoking prose:
We cheer for those who have same­sex attractions who recognize, respect and uphold sexual complementarity as the basis for all sexual relationships. We cheer for friendship as the true basis for same­sex intimacy.

The ultimate form of intimacy between two persons of the same gender is the love between true friends rather than sexual love. Every person has a profound need to be appreciated, known, and loved. However, our current culture confuses love with sex and not only promotes, but pressures, those who experience same­sex attractions (as well as those with opposite­sex attractions) to seek a sexualized love. This pressure sends the wrong message about the proper intimacy in friendships.
Yeah, well, the same theologian who said that gay people are objectively disordered also said that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered.” According to these folks gay people are “pressured” into having sex. Being naturally horny has nothing to do with it. In all seriousness this is extremely demeaning. They are claiming that gay people are unable to differentiate between love and sex according. CanaVox is resorting to the stereotype that gay men think with their peckers. This goes on and on. They want to have an open discussion with gay people — at least a few who have been ideologically castrated to their satisfaction.

On the surface this all might sound silly and harmless. It is silly but it is certainly not harmless. I do not want a gay teen to be told that he or she is somehow disordered. I do not want a gay teen to be told that superstition prevails over science and that is all that this is. These prohibitions come from two sources; Ancient chronicles of dubious provenance written by people who did not understand sexual orientation and; Theologians and catechists who have never developed their own sexuality and who arrogantly believe that they know more than medical science.

Digressing for a moment, sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends. Every place along the continuum is a natural variant of nature.  The currency of the Catholic Church is shame and that is what is shameful.

In session 3:
Family Watch International, Understanding Same Sex Attraction (Research about the causes that contribute to feelings of same-sex attraction with personal interviews.) (30-min video)

David Benkoff, “Nobody is Born that Way—Gay Historians Say.”
Family Watch International is a designated anti-gay hate group. The science denier, David Benkof (just one “f”), is gay. He claims to be a historian focused on Jewish, gay and lesbian history. He does not disclose his academic credentials and he is certainly neither a social nor medical scientist. Some of you may recall that Benkof had an interesting blog titled “Under the Rainbow.” Then he got religion. He claims to be celibate. Benkof was another gay crackpot opposed to marriage equality. Leave it to Witherspoon to find these people.

From there we get the usual batshit suspects with readings from people like Mark Regnerus, Robert Oscar Lopez, Ryan Anderson, and Janna Darnelle (Janna Finkbeiner Anderson).

Session 15 is rather special. It is about transgender people:
Paul McHugh, "Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme" (A Johns Hopkins psychiatrist explains why it was a mistake to allow sex reassignment surgery at his hospital.)

Lindsay Leigh Bentley, "I am Ryland: The Story of a Male-Identifying little Girl who Didn't Transition."

Walt Heyer, “Here’s What Parents of Transgender Kids Need to Know.”
McHugh is a dependable Defender of the Faith. He has prostituted his medical erudition to advance the theology of the Church. I have seen Bentley's sob story a couple of times. She is a victim — of terrible medical treatment. What we learn from Bentley is that transgender people need to seek out experience medical and counseling professionals who specialize in this area.

Walt Heyer transitioned to female and then reversed (perhaps some) of his gender reassignment. He probably had poor counseling but he claims that transgender people are very unhappy with their transitions. Nothing could be further from the truth. The last thing that transgender children need is anything from Mr. Heyer. Heyer is unhinged.

CanaVox was originally to be headed by Doug Mainwaring. Presumably the folks at Witherspoon concluded what we knew all along. Mainwaring isn't terribly bright and his only virtue for them was his renounced gayness. They discarded their house faggot.

April Readlinger
April Readlinger
CanaVox is now headed by April Readlinger. We are informed: “Prior to joining CanaVox in September 2014, April worked as an attorney in New York, where she focused on International Litigation.” Funny thing about that is I can only find one federal case that she was a named attorney on. She was third chair in 2008 in a civil action, a multiple employees dispute. Two years later it was settled out of court. Although it is not on her Martindale profile, Readlinger worked as an associate for a very good firm, Dewey & LeBoeuf. They were better lawyers than business managers and the firm folded in 2012 under a mountain of debt. Most of the big-name partners were long gone, taking associates and support staff with them. Ms. Readlinger was apparently not among them. She has given up her legal career to be a professional Catholic.

There are a couple of notable founding members. They seem to be reading circle leaders and content contributors. They are only listed by first name and locale. I know who two of them are. You may know more.

The first of these is Alana S. Newman. Newman is opposed to all forms of artificial reproduction technology and surrogacy. In 2012 she wrote a piece for Witherspoon's blog titled: “The New Sexual Predators.” She wrote: “Women have to defend themselves … from gay men who seek their eggs.” Damn. She caught us stealing those eggs again. We are nasty predators indeed. This had to be one of the all-time most idiotic things that I read that year.

And what would be complete without Katy Faust, professional victim of same-sex marriage in spite of all evidence to the contrary? Faust writes a blog titled “Ask the Bigot.” She is wed to the notion that by sarcastically calling herself a bigot she frees herself from its meaning. Faust signed onto an amicus brief for the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges opposing marriage equality. Her real problem was the divorce of her parents:
Katy Faust split time between the home of her father, and the home of her mother and mother’s partner, from the time she was 10 years old. While her mother and her mother’s partner offered her love and stability, her father had a distinct and irreplaceable impact on her development.
Later on:
My parents’ divorce was the beginning of several transitions in my life. Immediately following their announcement my mom moved to a rented room at a nearby house. My father then purchased his own place and my mother returned. She then fell in love with her first and only partner who moved in with us. My father also had a live-in girlfriend that came into their relationship with a child.
Somehow all of this turned into opposition to marriage equality. What makes Faust a bigot, and Faust is a bigot, is not that she opposes same-sex marriage but that she took action in the hopes of preventing gay couples from marrying.

It has been a couple of years since I last wrote about CanaVox. I really thought that it had died. It's alive and well and still offending gay people while claiming the usual bullshit that we are deserving of dignity and respect. They have rearranged the readings since then but it is clear that this is about imposing the teachings of the Catholic Church with hate towards, and lies about, gay people.

H/t: Chris DiRico

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