Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tony Perkins deceives with such ease

Tony Perkins
YouTube/Fox News
Hate group leader Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) is a pathological liar. People who dishonestly argue in support of a point of view are often mendacious because they are incapable of constructing a truthful argument. Sometimes it depicts an intellectual deficit and sometimes it is because the individual knows that the truth is contrary to his narrative. Sometimes it is both.

There is a cynical element to this. Perkins knows that a portion of the citizenry will believe just about anything Perkins says due to confirmation bias. Compounding this dynamic is the fact that once a lie is promoted by, and to, the right — it never dies. There might be better examples but “death panels” comes immediately to mind.

Paul Krugman has an interesting piece in Tuesday's New York Times titled: The Power of Petty Personal Rage — Straw police, hamburger paranoia and the state of the right. Tony Perkins' constituency is just chock full of people with petty personal grievances.

Among those grievances is the very existence of transgender people.
As a teen my father impressed upon me the need to pay attention to what people say rather than why they are saying it. That advice has served me well. Whether Tony Perkins is inflaming his base, is upset due to a contradiction in scripture or both is irrelevant. The expression of hate is more important than its cause. We cannot allow irrational contempt to be excused by motives.

This brings me to something I wrote about yesterday, the anti-transgender treatise by “ex-trans” Jamie Shupe.

According to Tony Perkins, weighing in on the same piece that Shupe published to the blog of Heritage Foundation (I have numbered most of the sentences for reference):
“I should have been treated,” he shakes his head. [1] But that’s becoming more impossible by the day, thanks to a fierce campaign against counseling for people like Jamie. [2] The unforgiving Left has made the medical community -- like the education, sports, and business fields -- terrified to embrace the truth and stop people from making a mess of their lives. [3] Their stories are ones of “crippling levels of depression” and suicidal thoughts -- even after getting the bodies they think they want. [4] Ask surgeon Miroslav Djordjevic. [5] Behind the transgender flag-waving and pride-marching are real people in real pain. [6] And like Jamie, they’re the puppets of a radical movement that doesn’t care about anything but advancing their agenda.

Some people are fortunate enough to find their way out. [7] But, as Walt Heyer pointed out a wistful USA Today op-ed, it’s time they’ll never get back. [8] As for Jamie, he’ll live with those wounds forever. But don’t feel sorry for him, he says. Learn from him. “Two fake gender identities couldn’t hide the truth of my biological reality. There is no third gender or third sex… I played my part in pushing forward this grand illusion. I’m not the victim here. My wife, daughter, and the American taxpayers are. They are the real victims.”
There is scarcely a sentence in the above diatribe that is truthful.
  1. That is a bald face lie. There is no campaign against counseling which, in Shupe's case, should have started with a proper evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified practitioner. There do not exist any bans on treating people with gender dysphoria.

    What is banned in some locales is thoroughly discredited adolescent conversion therapy which is based on religion inspired pseudoscience.
  2. Another lie absent evidence. Truth means what can be supported through evidence. Truth, as scientific fact, is that some people have gender dysphoria for which there is no known medical intervention. Truth, as scientific fact, is that, for some people, gender affirmation relieves the extreme distress that the condition causes.
  3. Outright lie. It is a scientific fact that gender affirmation allows many people who have gender dysphoria to function normally or close to normally.

    Being transgender is not easy. Minority stress takes a toll on transgender people. Mr. Perkins promotes the intolerance that causes minority stress and then has the chutzpah to claim that people are in misery because of who they are.
  4. A half-truth misrepresentation. The absence of specifics highlights the fact that Perkins knows that it is a misrepresentation. Miroslav Djordjevic, a Serbian surgeon, likes ink. His anecdote is meaningless and is contradicted by recent research.
  5. Another lie assigning false blame. Transgender people are real and some are in pain. The anti-transgender bigotry that Perkins promotes is a leading cause of that pain. None of this has anything to do — even remotely — with LGBT Pride. We want people to be proud of who they are. There is nothing sinister about pride.
  6. Lie and distortion. There is nothing radical about the science. At least nothing that Tony Perkins can debate honestly. He is not qualified to do so. Perkins knows that “agenda” is a loaded word but he is correct. There is an agenda for all LGBT people to enjoy equal protection and due process. Nothing less and nothing more. What evil agenda is Perkins implying exists? What is its purpose? Why does it exist? Perkins cannot answer those questions. At least not honestly.
  7. Lie of distortion and selective observation. Walt Heyer's experience is unique to him. Aside from the fact that Heyer's surgery was about 36 years ago, Mr. Heyer is a professional transgender regretter. Driven by personal experience, a personality disorder and religion he is on tour to promote the notion that no one should transition. That is contrary to the overwhelming consensus of medical science. Heyer is representative of nothing.
  8. Similarly, Jamie Shupe is not representative of anything relevant. He transitioned late in life and received substandard medical care from the VA. Perkins never mentions the fact that Shupe is unique by virtue of the fact that he is intersex. It is a lie of omission.
A lie is not an opinion subject to agreement or disagreement. Deceptions deny people the right to arrive at informed opinions; to make decisions for themselves. Tony Perkins is terrified of scientific facts supported by evidence. He does not want people to examine the evidence.

Perkins is incurious and he demonstrates no signs of critical thinking. His campaign is aimed at causing others to be incurious and to prevent them from rational analyses of facts.

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