Jim Burroway over at the always informative Box Turtle Bulletin has recently posed an exposé of Family Research Institute founder, Paul Cameron (pictured below).
In reporting on the publishing of this exposé, David Shelton provides a concise summary of Paul Cameron:
“Cameron,” he notes, “is responsible for nearly all of the ‘statistics’ that anti-gay organizations use to demonize and marginalize homosexuals. One of the most often quoted stats is the alleged extreme shortened lifespan of gay men. [Cameron’s] ‘research’ led him to conclude that gays have an expected lifespan of a mere 43 years . . . if they DON’T have HIV or AIDS. [One of his] organization[s], NARTH (The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuals) is a sham organization of ‘therapists’ who believe that gay people can change their sexual orientation.”
As I noted in a commentary published in October 2005 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the quackery of NARTH lends itself to the Catholic Church’s scientifically uninformed teachings on homosexuality. Not surprisingly, some conservative elements within the Church frequently employ terminology and ‘statistics’ concocted by Paul Cameron and NARTH to bolster the institutional Church’s crude and erroneous “truth” about homosexuality.
For instance, “the Church’s official ‘support group’ for GLBT people, ‘Courage,’ often substitutes the word ‘homosexuality’ with the NARTH-coined phrase, ‘same-sex attraction disorder’ – a term unrecognized by any professional health association. Following NARTH’s lead, some members of Courage even consider their ‘disorder’ to be curable, and explain its origin using debunked theories of dominant mothers, distant fathers and abusive family relations.
“The quackery of NARTH is clearly endorsed and encouraged by some within the leadership of the Church . . .”
This is truly deplorable, for as David Shelton observes, “Anyone who uses [Paul Cameron’s] data to support their own anti-gay agenda is not only using sloppy logic, but shows that their agenda isn’t to spread the gospel, but rather to oppress.”
I think as Catholics we can do better than that, don’t you?
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Real Meaning of Courage
The Many Forms of Courage
The Dreaded “Same-Sex Attracted” View of Catholicism
Celebrating Our Sanctifying Truth
Our Catholic “Stonewall Moment”
Trusting God’s Generous Invitation
The Triumph of Love: An Easter Reflection
Truth Telling: The Greatest of Sins in a Dysfunctional Church