Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On the Increasingly Wild Claims of Religious Right That It's Being Ghettoized by the Gays: Case of Mark Regnerus

Frank Strong on the absurd (and growing) meme of the anti-gay religious right, as it claims that bullying gays are ghettoizing "Christians":

This is not the ghetto. 
This is a historic home in the center of Austin, with a veranda and a leafy magnolia tree shading its eaves. It dates to the early 1900s; some of its neighbors are designated historical buildings, marked with handsome plaques. It is within walking distance of both the University of Texas and downtown; as you drive by it, you can see the dome of the state capitol peeking over the oak and elm trees that line its street. 
It is not the ghetto.

Frank is commenting on the photo at the head of the posting, a picture of the none too shabby headquarters of the Austin Institute for the Family and Culture, which houses thoroughly discredited University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus. As Nathaniel Frank recently noted, Regnerus continues without a whit of shame to peddle his junk-science claims that same-sex parental couples harm children, though Darren Sherkat, the designated reviewer of Regnerus's published study in an independent audit of the study, bluntly characterizes Regnerus's research in an interview with the Chronicle for Higher Education as "bullshit."

And though the flawed research Regnerus published in his study "proving" that gay parents are bad parents, and the mysterious way in which this study was rushed to publication in violation of the publication guidelines of Social Science Research, the journal that published the study, have resulted in critical investigations of the study by outside auditors. And though 200 of Regnerus's peers have signed a written statement noting that his study is seriously flawed.

And though his own academic department, the Sociology Department of University of Texas at Austin, released a statement last week noting that it agrees with the American Sociological Association when the latter body finds Regnerus's study "fundamentally flawed" and has been "cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families."

Despite all this, when Regnerus went to Michigan last week to testify in defense of the state ban on same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples, he depicted himself as a Christian martyr who is under attack by gays and supporters of gays who are out to silence him, as Frank notes.

People who spend their days in tastefully restored buttercream Victorians paid for by somebody with deep pockets--the kind of somebodies who paid for Regnerus's junk-science study attacking gay parents, and who rushed it to publication to influence the Supreme Court DOMA decision--just don't get to claim that they live in a ghetto, as Frank so rightly insists. The wild, baseless claims of "Christians" that they're being persecuted as increasing numbers of Americans reject the claim of religious conservatives to a special "right" to attack gays just don't hold water for many of us any longer.

Not when, as Governor Jan Brewer insisted in rejecting her state's legislation enshrining that special "right" to persecute a targeted minority, no one can point to any violations of the religious freedom of religious people to justify this kind of legislation. And not when the United States has long bent over backwards to accommodate the religious sensibilities of all kinds of groups, as long as those sensibilities are not being used to strip targeted others of rights, to demean targeted others in the name of God, and to discriminate against targeted others while claiming conscience as one's ground for indefensible discrimination.

Who ever told these fellows that they own Christianity and Jesus in the first place, I'd like to know?

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