And they know they lie.
And they don’t care.
And they’ve been doing it for twenty years.
And when I say “lie,” I dont’ mean the standard Washington, DC version of a “lie,” which is basically calling a lie anything you disagree with (aka, your facts hurt me so I’m simply going to call you a liar). I mean, an organization that decided early on that “the gay menace” was such a threat to American life that if it had to deceive the American people in order to convince them that gays were the anti-Christ, then so be it.
And for any journalist, like the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who claims otherwise, suggesting that the Family Research Council is simply a “mainstream conservative” group, I’d ask them to do some original research on the anti-gay literature that the Family Research Council publishes, and the anti-gay pseudo-science that FRC “cites” on TV, before weighing in on a topic about which they know very little.
I happen to like Dana Milbank, but I suspect he hasn’t done what I’ve done. At one point, I had the Congressional Research Service send me a copy of every single document the Family Research Council had written about gays, and then I had CRS get me every single document listed in the FRC doc’s footnotes. I.e., all the “original sources” for the Family Research Council’s anti-gay claims.
And there were a lot of them. At the time, FRC’s list of footnotes could be nearly as long as the written part of the document itself.
What did I find when I went through the original sources cited in the footnotes? I found that nearly every single footnote was a lie. Not a lie in the conventional sense – meaning, they didn’t make up a source that didn’t exist. Rather, they did things like quoting a damning opinion from a judge in a court case without mention that the judge was in the minority, that the gays had actually won the case they were citing.
Or they’d quote a study with a hideous conclusion about gays and lesbians, only for you to realize later that the actual quote in the study was rather benign – instead, FRC “forgot” to put and end-quotation mark on the quote, added an ellipse, and then put their own damning conclusion. Let me give you a made-up example of a quote about gays to who you how the family research council did this.
“This study looked at 45 gay men, and 35 lesbians. It was clear from the subjects that gay men and lesbians face greater societal pressures in their day to day lives… which makes gays and lesbians much more likely to rip the heads off small bunnies.
Wow, rip the heads off small bunnies – that’s pretty bad. But hey, it’s a real study in a real journal, so it has to be true. Except of course that the real quote from the actual study ends at the ellipse, while the FRC added its own opinion after the ellipse, while “forgetting” to put the end quote, so it looks like the FRC’s opinion is part of the official quote from the reputable study.
Gosh, I wonder how that happened?
It went on and on like this, through hundreds of footnotes. I went through the original research of the various studies they cited and found that the study reached no such conclusion like the FRC claimed it did. And on and on and on.
These are not honest people simply expressing a contrarian view of politics, like Democrats and Republicans do every day in Washington.
Tony Perkins, FRC’s head, got on TV a few months ago to debate whether gay parents were as good as straight parents. Perkins said “no,” and he had the study to prove it. Perkins explained how studies have proven that kids need a mom and a dad. What Perkins didn’t bother telling you was that those studies compared kids with a mom and a dad to kids with a single parent. The studies never looked at the relative merits of gay parents. Gay parents might have been just as good, or heck, even better than straight parents. The study didn’t even look at it. But Perkins cited the study as proof that straight parents were better than gay parents, when the study had nothing to do with it.
And again, Dana, if you actually go through the FRC’s “research,” you will find this kind of “mistake” happening again and again. It happens so often, it’s happened for twenty years now that I’ve been tracking them, that you come to realize that lying for the Family Research Council isn’t a flaw, it’s a feature.
Now, folks can debate all they like as to whether conservatives are simply liars at their core, and that all conservative groups lie like this on a regular basis. As critical as I am of conservatives, and their sometimes embrace of the big lie (death panels comes to mind), they don’t consistently lie about politics in general like the religious right does about gay rights in particular. You can find honest conservative bloggers (Krempasky and Captain Ed come to mind), conservative thinkers (Frum).
But I challenge you to find someone among the religious right who doesn’t still cite the research of debunked anti-gay “scientist” Paul Cameron, whose faux research is so evil it’s been called “Nazi science.” (Cameron thought that people with AIDS should be branded on their foreheads, quarantined, and possibly exterminated.) Courts of law have thrown Cameron out on his ass when he tried to show up as an expert witness. The national scientific associations have kicked him out for his phony science. But the FRC, the American Family Association of the rest of the religious right has been happy to continue promoting Cameron’s hateful fake research years after he was debunked.
So for Dana Milbank, and anyone else wanting to claim that the Family Research Council is just like every other mainstream conservative lobbying group, and/or that the reason gays don’t like the FRC is simply because of their Biblical stances on the issues, I challenge you to do a little research first. In fact, the Family Research Council is Washington at its worst, and most dishonest. And rather than focusing their dishonest on tax policy, or the offshore drilling, they’ve chosen to use their lies to defame and discriminate against an entire class of Americans.
And that is why the Family Research Council has earned the official designation as a hate group.
Now let me walk you through some more of the Family Research Council’s hateful lies, and then tell me that they’re just like every other mainstream group in DC.
How FRC quotes a religious right front g
roup in an effort to pretend that it’s an actual, respected pediatric association that’s “concluded” that gays are pedophiles. (Oh, and the group FRC cites just “happens” to have a similar name to the real nationally known pediatric group, I’m sure the confusion is unintentional – again.)
Part of the FRC’s recent strategy is to pound home the false claim that gays and lesbians are more likely to sexually abuse children. This is false. The American Psychological Association, among others, has concluded that “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.” That doesn’t matter to the FRC, though. Perkins defended the “gay men as pedophiles” claim yet again in a debate on the Nov. 30, 2010, edition of MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok. As the show ended, Perkins stated, “If you look at the American College of Pediatricians, they say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a danger to children. So Mark is wrong. He needs to go back and do his own research.”
In fact, the SPLC did. The college, despite its professional-sounding name, is a tiny, explicitly religious-right breakaway group from the similarly named American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the 60,000-member association of the profession. The American College of Pediatrics (ACP) splintered from the AAP because of the AAP’s support of gay and lesbian parents. Publications of the ACP, which has some 200 members, have been roundly attacked by leading scientific authorities who say they are baseless and who also accuse the college of distorting and misrepresenting their work. (Chris Matthews offered a clarification on a follow-up show to describe what the American College of Pediatricians is and separate it from the AAP.)
How FRC lied about local adoption agencies and lied about that parenting study I mentioned above, this one is a two-fer. (This one really is beautiful done by FRC – the number of lies, and nuanced half-truth, linked to other half-truths, are truly masterful in their deceit – please do read through the link.)
More “studies” from FRC that you shouldn’t believe until you read the original “study”:
“Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
— Tony Perkins, “Christian compassion requires the truth about the harms of homosexuality,” Washington Post, 10/25/2010
“We believe the evidence shows … that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men.”
— Peter Sprigg, “Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views.” 2011.
“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010
Other anti-gay propagandists at the FRC include Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies, who joined the organization in 2001. Sprigg authored a 2010 brochure touting “The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality.” In the brochure, Sprigg claimed that ex-gay therapy works, that sexual orientation can change, that gay people are mentally ill simply because homosexuality makes them that way, and that, “Sexual abuse of boys by adult men is many times more common than consensual sex between adult men, and most of those engaging in such molestation identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.” He also claimed that “homosexuals are less likely to enter into a committed relationship” and “less likely to be sexually faithful to a partner.” Sprigg’s sources are a mixture of junk science issued by groups that support ex-gay therapy and legitimate science quoted out of context or cherry-picked, a tactic long used by anti-gay groups to bolster their claims about gay people. Several legitimate researchers, like NYU’s Judith Stacey (a source Sprigg uses), have issued public statements condemning the practice and requesting that anti-gay groups stop misrepresenting their work.
In 2004, Sprigg and FRC Senior Research Fellow Timothy Dailey co-authored the 2004 book Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality. In it, they repeat claims that gay men “commit a disproportionate number of child sex abuse cases,” that homosexuals are promiscuous, and that lesbians exhibit “compulsive behavior.” Much of the book’s content can also be found in separate articles put out by the FRC.
In March 2008, Sprigg responded to a question about uniting gay partners during immigration by saying, “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than import them.” He later apologized, but in February 2009, he told Chris Matthews, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” “So we should outlaw gay behavior?” Matthews asked. “Yes,” Sprigg replied.
Then there’s Robert Knight, who was FRC’s chief homo-hater for a good number of years. Knight raises hate to an art form. Here’s Knight creating a damning anti-gay “fact” out of thin air, which is pretty standard practice.
So, to Dana Milbank, and anyone else in Washington or beyond, who’d like to claim that FRC is simply preaching the Bible, or bending the truth occasionally like everyone else in Washington, DC, imagine that I called you a pedophile every time you disagreed with me about any topic. Here’s an example:
Dana, you wrote a piece defending the Family Research Council the other day – that’s because you’re more likely to rape children. And beat your wife. And I’ve got studies from the America Medical Association proving you beat your wife, Dana. (What do you mean the American Medical Association has no studies about Dana Milbank beating his wife? When I mentioned the AMA, I was talking about the America Medical Association – not American, but America. They’re a small group of far-right nuts that noone’s ever heard of, and who aren’t respected by any mainstream medical group. Your confusion between the two organizations is surely just an unfortunate coincidence, Dana.)
Now, imagine me talking about the definitive studies that show that you beat your wife (when you’re not raping small boys, because studies show that Milbanks are responsible for 86% of all incidents of child abuse in America), every single time we discuss any issue, from Romney’s taxes to Obama’s health care reform. Then tell me that my arguments against you are just like any other mainstream political organization in Washington.
I hope you don’t take offense at me using you as my foil here, Dana. I have always had nothing but the greatest respect for you.
Now go back to tending to your STDs.
PS Here’s an “update” by email from the FRC today. It’s a classic.
First, FRC asks us to please STFU and stop calling them out for systematically labeling us as diseased pedophiles.
I am grateful that over two do
zen homosexual activist organizations released a joint statement expressing concern for Leo and condemning the attack, agreeing that such violence is unacceptable. I would ask them to take the next appropriate step and call on the SPLC to end the words and actions which foster the environment that breeds brutality like we saw on Wednesday morning. I also ask any who repeat SPLC’s false “hate group” label to stop.
Fat chance, hate group.
Then, after the FRC uses a brutal crime to try to intimidate the FRC’s own victims from responding to FRC’s defamatory hate, FRC extols the virtues of the First Amendment, but only in so far as it applies to the FRC continuing to lie in order to defame and discriminate against an entire class of American citizens.
Our First Freedoms of religion and speech are the cornerstone of our constitutional republic. If we lose or relinquish these liberties, we lose all others and our future.
Right. That’s why you get so upset every time someone tries to call you out on your hate.
Look, I’m sorry that some nut tried to go on a shooting rampage at FRC’s headquarters – violence is never the answer, even if you are an officially designated hate group that routinely defames millions of Americans in order to further the discrimination and suffering they face daily. But one shooter’s insanity doesn’t change who you are, what you’ve said, and what you’ve done for over two decades.
Contrary to what FRC likes to claim, we don’t think they’re a hate group because they’re Christians. We think they’re a hate group because of how un-Christian they really are.