Thursday, October 18, 2018

Ryan T. Anderson combines his two favorite anti-LGBT hobbies

“Anderson is going to tell them what they want to hear. Therefore, his audience will learn nothing.”
2015 Image via Heritage Foundation
Thursday evening, Ryan T. Anderson will be giving one of his lectures at St. John Lutheran Church in Roanoke, VA. The topic tonight is: “Male & Female He Created Them: Marriage and the Transgender Moment.

Anderson sports a doctorate from Notre Dame. However, his opinions are not the product of some sort of cerebral examination. Not at all. Intellectual endeavors are supposed to start with a question, then an hypothesis and then a search for truth; all of which leads to an evidentiary conclusion. The accuracy of that conclusion is predicated upon the critical thinking skills of the investigator and the absence of bias. Proving an hypothesis wrong is as valuable as proving it to be correct.

Anderson does everything backwards. He starts with a conclusion which is based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church (no hypothesis required). Then, rather than search for truth, Anderson employs selective observation to make a case for why the Church dogma is correct (no critical thinking required). Confirmation bias is used to torture non-compliant evidence which cannot be avoided. The intellectual dishonesty is nothing short of appalling.

According to the title of tonight's little chat-up, Anderson has combined his two favorite hobbies: Opposing marriage equality and contending that transgender people do not really exist. Anderson, I will remind readers, promised us a parade of horribles if gay couples could wed. None of those awful things have come to pass. Nevertheless, Anderson seems to be obsessed with how we live our lives. Thank you very much Ryan. We appreciate your concern.

I am of the opinion that marriage is a settled issue; in law and society. Marriage equality plays an important role in child development because gay kids today can be optimistic about their future. Their parents are not ashamed of them. They can live openly as gay people. They can marry, raise children and contribute to their community. I envy them. I truly do. Had I been born a few decades later, I would be a much happier person today.

It is the topic of transgender people where Anderson does the most damage. I get faith. I truly do. But I also know a few things about humility. When medical science conflicts with religious dogma a parent is morally obligated to accept the science which is based on evidence rather than faith.

Anderson's goal is to prevent people with gender dysphoria from transitioning. His is a philosophical approach to a mental health condition. I wonder if he has developed a philosophy regarding strep throat, acne or more serious conditions that children encounter. Anderson has found a handful of cranks, two or three doctors at the fringe who are defenders of the faith. They concur with Anderson. The fact that none of these people ever treated a child with gender dysphoria is irrelevant to Anderson. The fact that they don't publish related articles to academic journals is meaningless to Anderson.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, 60,000 members strong, disagrees with Anderson. Citing nearly 100 peer-reviewed studies it is the official position of the AAP that best practice is the “gender-affirmative care model.”

Anderson will do his level best to say that the AAP strives for political correctness or that they are “pro-LGBT.” That is a lie. The American Academy of Pediatrics is pro-children. Anderson may try to muddy the waters by citing the authoritative sounding American College of Pediatricians. In point of fact ACPeds is a 200 member Christian organization which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems an anti-LGBT hate group:

Anderson will also refer to gender ideology in an attempt to assert that gender is a doctrine or philosophy. It's just propaganda. Another Anderson favorite is to refer to gender confusion to suggest that a person needs talk therapy to become unconfused. Where is the peer-reviewed study of people who have been unconfused?

Fact: There is no intervention, known to medical science, to cure or moderate gender dysphoria!

I have often stated that I have learned the most in life from people who disagree with me. In the corporate world my best managers, the people who would get promotions, were those who would put up a good fight when they thought I was wrong. The only thing that I demand from people who disagree with me is intellectual honesty.

St. John Lutheran Church appears to be quite conservative. If that is true then Anderson is going to tell them what they want to hear. Therefore, his audience will learn nothing. Some of his audience might have LGBT children which means that Anderson has the potential to do considerable damage. Doing so on behalf of the Church makes his persuasions even more pernicious. Using religion to promote a falsehood can be persuasive; but still false.

Fighting medical science in order to conform one's world to religious dogma is spectacularly stupid and a huge waste of time. Folks like Anderson are more apt to engage in behavioral health issues because there is less physical evidence. In their minds this permits a philosopher to play psychiatrist without any of the required training.

I am certainly not a religious scholar but I suspect that I could make a persuasive case that scripture does not condone chemotherapy which involves the consumption of poisons. Would Anderson's audience give me even two minutes of their time?

What makes them think that the scientists and medical professionals who have formed evidence-based conclusions about LGBT people are any less qualified than oncologists?

Oh, but sometimes science is wrong. That is true, Yet it is usually correct because it is based on evidence and it provides the sanest and safest choices. Furthermore science improves over time.

Dr. Paul R. McHugh, previously with Johns Hopkins, could be right and everyone else could be wrong. That is also true. However, McHugh has not defended his views in papers published to peer-reviewed academic journals.

Ryan T. Anderson is a persuasive promoter of religious theory regarding LGBT people. He knows his material and he knows how to address his audience. Nevertheless he remains unqualified (untrained and inexperienced) in these matters. If he reads the research it is to figure out how to refute it in order to maintain order according to the Catholic Church.

When I was shot the .45 rattled around, obliterating my right hip. Eventually I had a total hip replacement which enables me to function quite normally. At some point in the very near future I am going to require a revision (probably a new socket). Perhaps I should send my scan and x-rays to the Vatican. Ryan, do you have any orthopedic advice?

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