Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Next Time Tony Perkins Complains About FRC Being Deemed a Hate Group ...

An email and new web content highlight just why Family Research Council is deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Tony Perkins
Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins of Family Research Council continues to provide evidence that his organization is a hate group.
Thursday, Family Research Council sent an unsigned email to supporters titled: FRC Releases New Publication on Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality. The contacts per the email are J.P. Duffy and Joshua Arnold. Both people are unknown to me.

The email is subtitled:
Reaffirms that Christianity stands in direct opposition to the ideologies underlying the sexual revolution
“Sexual revolution” is a meaningless phrase and could be replaced with things we disapprove of. As stated, the topic is human sexuality. Claiming that human sexuality consists of “ideologies” is a form of the straw man argument which is a logical fallacy per se.

The straw man exists as a convenient reframing of an issue combined with the claim that an argument has been refuted when that argument has not been posed.

Human sexuality includes (but is not limited to) sexual orientation and gender identity. Those are not (at the risk of being redundant) ideologies, doctrines, dogmatic or philosophies.

In contrast our sexuality is part of how we experience life. It is not subject to debate because — if for no other reason — it is something that we have no control over. It makes no more sense to deliberate over sexuality than attempting to conceptualize eye color or height. That is why FRC's straw man exists in the first place. They have no intellectually honest alternative.

The use of a logical fallacy is only the introduction to FRC's intellectual dishonesty. Family Research Council is obsessed with, and heavily invested in, the roughly 5%+ of the population that consists of LGBTQ people.

Scripture, for the pious, might shape behavior. It is reasonable to hypothesize that Family Research Council uses scripture to excuse their aberrant behavior.

Were Family Research Council to accept the reality of human sexuality they would admit the futility of their enterprise. FRC cannot, and does not, alter the sexuality of LGBTQ people. Rather, it influences, or seeks to influence, the conduct of those who interact with LGBTQ people.

In addition, FRC, in concert with its right wing Christian allies, has had an influence on public policy. Those pressure groups make demands and they cause Republicans and the pandering, self-interested Donald Trump to attempt to satisfy those demands because those groups represent a reliable voting bloc — at least for now.

The folks at FRC are entitled to share their theological views. The profoundly bigoted Peter Sprigg is also an ordained minister. What is expected of theologians, however, is a discourse quoting passages from scripture and then offering an opinion assigning meaning to the passage.

Perkins et al are not content to abide by a sensible format. Divisive bombast is their currency, not theology.

Continuing with the email:
Family Research Council released a new publication today titled "Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality: Survey of Culture, Scripture, and Church History." The publication comes on the heels of the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which has accelerated the sexual revolution and empowered other activist judges to rule in ways that will have far-reaching effects throughout society.
Family Research Council does not speak for Christianity. Most Liturgical Protestant congregations, for example, are content to unite gay couples in wedded bliss. That bliss might end prematurely when the couple is denied service by some sanctimonious blowhard who believes that he has a religious duty to discriminate.

More importantly the ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which is cited in the email, should not affect biblical principles one way or the other. Those principles (which, again, are a matter of opinion) should be the same before and after the ruling. The ruling affects neither scripture nor church history as claimed in the quoted text.

Family Research Council, however, does seek to influence culture and the parents of LGBTQ youth. Since it has no effect on the sexuality of LGBTQ people, FRC desires a less tolerant society. Much like the Klan, FRC is exploiting Christianity to serve a malevolent purpose.

This becomes clearer with the next paragraph:
The booklet, part of FRC's Biblical Worldview Series, provides guidance and encouragement for Christians who desire to engage on issues related to human sexuality in a way that is both loving and faithful to Scripture. …
“Guidance” means training people how to be intolerant. “Encouragement” means offering support and comfort for bigotry.
Right wing Christians (and other conservatives) use the pejorative term “woke” to describe enlightenment. The truth is that social progress has a far more pragmatic energizer: Science.

As people accept the irrebuttable science they accept the fact that sexuality is neither a choice nor something that can be controlled. They then have no reason to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Therefore it is incumbent on groups like Family Research Council to insist that the science is wrong. They do so as “alternative facts” rather than providing additional evidence. Evidence in support of FRC's views does not exist.

Ultimately, “woke” really means educated.

It is the science which causes FRC to employ their “ideology” straw man. It is the science which causes rational people to react negatively to intolerance which is why FRC offers “encouragement” to bigots. People who rightfully correct others regarding human sexuality are now part of what they call “cancel culture.” The right have a cliche for every purpose.

Now let us explore the website. It includes the usual self-serving drivel:
We believe that every person, no matter who they are sexually attracted to, is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Therefore, all people are equal in dignity and value and must be treated with respect.
The above amounts to “We say we are respectful. Therefore, we are respectful.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
While it is certainly true that some people identify very strongly as “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” “transgender,” or another identity and act according to this identity, this behavior does not define them, just as a so-called “straight” person is not defined by their “straightness.”
Once again, FRC, in the above text, is attempting to dishonestly construe sexual orientation and gender identity as how people “identify” which suggests conscious choice. I do not identify as gay. Rather, I am a gay man.

FRC also merges sexuality with behavior in order to attack sexuality as chosen conduct. FRC claims, in the quoted text, that we not defined by our sexuality. Yet FRC does nothing but define us by our sexuality.

We are homosexuals or “transgendered.” Nothing else is relevant to FRC. Because we are LGBTQ people we offer no value according to FRC. Moreover, we should be discriminated against. Under Sexual Orientation:
Family Research Council does not believe that “sexual orientation” should be included as a protected category in non-discrimination laws or policies, as it is not comparable to inborn, immutable characteristics such as race or sex.
The above is most certainly disrespectful and conveys no dignity whatsoever. FRC demonstrates no respect by being dishonest. The above paragraph consists of two forms of dishonesty:
  1. According to the settled science, sexual orientation and gender identity are every bit as immutable and inborn as race or natal sex.
  2. Under federal law, religion is a protected class in spite of the fact that religion is neither inborn nor immutable. FRC offers no explanation for the obvious conflict because it cannot. That constitutes a lie of omission.
That section also includes:
Homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it as it is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects. Thus, it is also harmful to society at large.
Remind me. What did FRC offer regarding respect and dignity?

By asserting the above, Family Research Council will remain a certified hate group in perpetuity. The above quoted text is a lie. Being gay is neither harmful not unhealthy. Repression is harmful and unhealthy.

More self-serving nonsense follows as a massive prevarication:
Sympathy and compassion must be extended to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions, and every effort should be made to assist such persons in overcoming those feelings should they seek to do so. Many individuals have come to greater wholeness and wellness by seeking such help.
LGBTQ people neither warrant nor seek sympathy and compassion as a result of their sexuality. FRC personnel are sociopathic in their lack of empathy. The only reason that some people “struggle” with their sexual orientation is the kind of demagoguery that FRC seeks to instill in others.

I have often said that conversion therapy exists primarily to serve as a pretext for bigotry. The quoted text, above, serves as exhibit “A.” LGBTQ people do not become whole or well as a result of conversion therapy. We are not broken. Therefore, we do not need to be fixed.

Now let us explore the section on gender identity which includes:
Family Research Council does not believe that “gender identity” should be included as a protected category in non-discrimination laws or policies, as it is not comparable to inborn, immutable characteristics such as race or sex.
I need not repeat my reaction (above) to the same dishonest babble regarding sexual orientation.

More science denial:
We believe that objective, immutable, biological sex is a more fundamental way of determining an individual’s identity than subjective, changeable, psychological “gender identity,” and therefore, biological sex at birth should be the only such marker used by governments at any level for any purpose. There is no convincing evidence that “gender transition” improves the mental health and physical well-being of any individuals suffering from gender dysphoria in the long run. Therefore, providing gender transition medical procedures such as hormones or surgery to minors should be prohibited.
The above text offers more mendacity. There is considerable evidence that gender transition improves the quality of life for people who are gender incongruent.

There is also considerable evidence that preventing minors from transitioning is cruel and dangerous. To quote Dr. Jack Turban, a recognized expert in this field:
[Ten years ago] The hope was that early treatment would “diminish the risk of a continuation of gender identity disorder into adulthood” — in other words, make children stop being transgender. Transgender youth during this time suffered high rates of depression and anxiety. By young adulthood, nearly half had attempted suicide.
Dr. Turban recently accepted a prestigious fellowship at Stanford University. He is also a co-editor of the newly released Pediatric gender identity : gender-affirming care for transgender & gender diverse youth.

Returning to the above quote, the people at FRC know perfectly well that minors are not candidates for surgery. There is no one in the employ of Family Research Council who is qualified to assert that certain medical interventions should be prohibited.

FRC provides a slightly edited cut-and-paste from the sexual orientation section to promote toxic conversion therapy:
Sympathy and compassion must be extended to those who struggle with gender dysphoria, and every effort should be made to assist such persons in overcoming those feelings should they seek to do so. Many individuals have come to greater wholeness and wellness by seeking such help.
We do not even want FRC's sympathy. There is nothing about us that requires sympathy.
In summary
With respect to both sexual orientation and gender identity it is abundantly clear that Family Research Council continues to serve a poisonous stew of pseudoscience, intolerance, phony respect for sexual minorities and hateful rhetoric.

Should anyone inquire into why FRC is a designated hate group, the answers are readily available at FRC's own website. FRC does not have a legitimate complaint over the designation.

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