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Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

"I expected people to take issue" - Schoenewolf

In light of Dr. Schoenewolf's accusations that Brentin Mock, reporter for the Southern Poverty Law Center twisted his words in the SPLC article, Mr. Mock wrote to tell a little more about his interview with Dr. Schoenewolf.

Mr. Mock asked Dr. Schoenewolf this question: "What exactly did you mean by the paragraph in which you say Africans were better off as slaves in America?"

Dr. Schoenewolf replied, "The point I made is what I was trying to say. I don't know that there's any other way to say it. I expected people to take issue."

Dr. Schoenewolf is welcome to come on here and dispute this. However, this exchange paints a somewhat different picture than Dr. Schoenewolf presents in his newest NARTH article.

Comments:
I must not be at Paiget's "fourth stage" either. Can someone help me? Is NARTH pulling the article, apologizing for it or defending it? I'm REALLY confused.
 
I find this issue annoying because I think some ex-gay-movement-antagonists (clumsy, but what else can we be called?) wish to try to discredit the ex-gay movement by painting it as "racist".

While there may very well be members of NARTH who are racist, I think the ex-gay movement should fail on its own lack of merit, not because some of its proponents are racists.

I will return here, Dr. Throckmorton, so that I may comment on what you are doing. Just so you know, I am a gay adoptive parent, and I consider the ex-gay movement to be the most significant ideologically-driven threat to my child. It is not just some ex-gays who are evil, but it is the movement itself which is evil.
 
Mr Gatt says: "While there may very well be members of NARTH who are racist, I think the ex-gay movement should fail on its own lack of merit, not because some of its proponents are racists."

I agree that the movement lacks merit on many levels (both Biblical and scientific) but as long as leaders of the ex-gay movement remain SILENT on THIS issue, it is fair to assume that they hold the same views as NARTH.

On this blog some weeks ago, EXODUS co-founder, Robbi Kenney, urged Alan Chambers and EXODUS to "get out of bed with NARTH". I whole-heartedly agree with her.

A wise person once said: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for people of good will to do (or say) NOTHING." So far, leaders of the ex-gay movement have said and done NOTHING. It makes one wonder who else they have an issue with besides "unrepentant gays".
 
"I expected people to take issue."

Then how come he and NARTH have their panties in a bunch that people are upset?
 
Off the blog some have written to ask why I am spending lots of time on this issue. I had let it go as indicated by my post regarding afterthoughts on the controversy. However, the new article on the NARTH website takes to task people who have found fault with the beliefs expressed by Dr. Schoenewolf. That would include me of course. I remain in disbelief that gay rights, woman's rights and racial civil rights can be reduced to Marxist thought, sub-adolescent thought and then further reduced to activist opportunism. I am not a gay activist and yet my objections to historical revisionism on a scientific website have been painted by that website admin as in cahoots with those who oppose dialogue. I have taken on ideas and writings on their substance, not the personality or source of their writings. I ask those who are uncomfortable with what I am saying to respond in kind. If I have made an incorrect criticism, then point out the error. I hope my detractors are not engaging in reverse political correctness.
 
From the "amok" article:

Besides the fact that their article erroneously labeled Schoenewolf as "ex-gay," the SPLC got it wrong that Schoenewolf said any person is "better off" overall because of a moral wrong done against him.

I've read through the SPLC article several times, and can't find any part where they make either of these claims.
 
Schoenewolf argues that human rights advocates have not reached Piaget's fourth stage of intellectual development (abstract reasoning). He and Nicolosi seem to be missing the point entirely. This dicussion is not about being "politcally correct". it's about being historically and morally correct. As things stand now, NARTH is neither.

I would like to suggest that Schoenewolf and Nicolosi have not reached Kohlber's SIXTH stage moral development:

Wikipedia says:

"In Stage six, moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and that a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws."

Since this requires abstract thinking and some sense of univeral ethical principles, how does one go about making tough moral and ethical decisions? How do we decide how to treat another person -- or what to print -- or what political/religious position to take?

From Wikipedia: "...This can be done by imagining what one would do being in anyone's shoes..."

Sadly, I do not think that NARTH has that kind of imagination.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development
 
I find this issue annoying because I think some ex-gay-movement-antagonists (clumsy, but what else can we be called?) wish to try to discredit the ex-gay movement by painting it as "racist".

As I've said on a couple of occasions, I don't think it's fair to hold the entire ex-gay movement accountable for the actions of Schoenewolf, but I think it is fair to paint as racist any NARTH members who refuse to dissasociate themselves from Schoenewolf's comments and/or apologize for them. I don't think it's necessarily fair to assume that Exodus is in agreement with everything NARTH says unless they specifically state otherwise, because they're different organizations, just as the exgaywatch writers shouldn't be held responsible for whoever was tearing up the "No Moo Lies" signs on that Colorado family's lawn.

If someone is complicit in racism, or defends racism, then it's fair to label them a racist. The only thing that annoys me about this brou-ha-ha is that there wasn't an equally big outcry over the "bullying-is-good-for-kids" article.
 
NARTH did come out much stronger against the Berger piece with an actual statement from its president. That is what keeps this going; there is no clear position that has been stated. The most recent post on the NARTH website is not much of an apology whereas the organization clearly rejected ridiculing kids. Now if you mean the Schoenewolf article that was unclear about bullying, then I see what you are saying. I think it just got lost in the other issue.
 
As of this point, Berger remains on the advisory committee. I work in a mental health clinic with adult clients in group homes who have SPMI, and if one of our staff made public statements advocating the ridiculing of the mentally ill, I'm pretty sure they'd be gone.

If two of them said that and then one said slavery wasn't all bad, we'd probably shut down for a day to have an organization-wide meeting or something.

If a person who was definitely affilated with our organization in some way made statements on our website defending those views, well, God knows what we'd do, but it wouldn't be pretty.
 
Boo Said:
"I don't think it's necessarily fair to assume that Exodus is in agreement with everything NARTH says unless they specifically state otherwise, because they're different organizations"

I disagree. It IS fair to assume that EXODUS agrees -- unless they CLEARLY state otherwise. EXODUS and NARTH stand side-by-side at the Focus on the Family "Love Won Out" events. They "co-star" with NARTH at these events. EXODUS will do it again in Novemeber.

So far, they have done NOTHING to distance themselves from NARTH. Silence either implies agreement -- or cowardice. Both are unacceptable for a "Christian" organization.
 
Anom- I'll meet you halfway. If Exodus continues to appear with NARTH before NARTH makes a complete and unreserved apology, then Exodus is complicit in racism.
 
"If Exodus continues to appear with NARTH before NARTH makes a complete and unreserved apology..." I fully agree.

EXODUS needs to do what Dr. Throckmorton and David Blakeslee did. Make it CLEAR that they do NOT agree and WHY -- and then pull away from NARTH completely if NARTH does not fully retract and apologize for the article.
 
It is NOT fair to tarnish the ex-gay movement or Exodus with racism because of the racist statements made by a member of NARTH. It is convenient and potentially powerful, given that the charge of "racism" is so powerful, but that does not make it honest or fair.

Allow me to argue by analogy. Harry Hay was a gay activist. In a gay pride parade, he marched with a sign that read, "NAMBLA marches with me."

If I, as a gay man, do not specifically repudiate his claims, then is it fair for someone to assume that I, as a gay man, endorse and support NAMBLA the same way that Harry Hay did?

This "let's tarnish the ex-gays as vile racists!" is stupid and wrong-headed. If they can't fail on their own lack of merits and you have to rely on charges of racism, then what does that say about you? It says that your refutation of the ex-gay movement is weak. Stay on task, stay on topic. The ex-gay movement is evil because the ideology and methods of "ex-gayness" are evil, not because some of the proponents are racist.
 
Well, I agree that the ex-gay movement cannot be branded as racist because of what Schoenewolf wrote and defended. I do not agree that people wanting to live by their beliefs is evil. Guess that goes without saying but I thought I would anyway.
 
If I, as a gay man, do not specifically repudiate his claims, then is it fair for someone to assume that I, as a gay man, endorse and support NAMBLA the same way that Harry Hay did?

If you, as a gay man, marched in a pride parade next to Harry Hay, who was carrying a sign that says "NAMBLA marches with me" then yes, you would be complicit. If Exodus shares a stage with NARTH before NARTH completely repudiates those of its membership who argue for racism and child bullying, then they are complicit. Those who embrace the stinky tend to get the stinky on themselves.

No one is suggesting tarnishing the entire exgay movement as racist, just the part the expresses racism and the part that enables, promotes, and stands by them.
 
And it's not just the racism. It's the historical revisionism and intellectual snobbery. As Dr. Throckmorton pointed oout so welll, the abolitionist movement was heavily Christian, not Marxist. And what kind of organization claims that members of any human rights movement are intellectually stunted?

Berger never offered a word of apology for his advice to "tease and ridicule" gender variant kids. He called his critics "busybodies".

Schoenewolf keeps on defending his piece and insists that all his critics are examples of "Political Correctness gone amok". Joseph Nicolosi seems to agree.

Alan Chambers has urged NARTh to "think long and hard about its mission" because "people's hearts and even lives are at stake". What does Alan Chambers have to gain by standing proudly alongside an organization that has "advisors" that even Alan says he would not tolerate on HIS own board?

Mr. Chambers needs to do what some of NARTH's own have done, and what EXODUS founders have and many other SANE voices have urged-- drop OUT.
 
boo wrote:

"No one is suggesting tarnishing the entire exgay movement as racist, just the part the expresses racism and the part that enables, promotes, and stands by them."

I disagree. After my first post, Michael Bussee wrote the following:

"I agree that the movement lacks merit on many levels (both Biblical and scientific) but as long as leaders of the ex-gay movement remain SILENT on THIS issue, it is fair to assume that they hold the same views as NARTH."

Michael is apparently willing to label every one of the "leaders of the ex-gay movement" as racist unless they specifically repudiate the beliefs of one ex-gay. I think that is unfair. I also think it is weak that we would have to resort to cheap accusations of "RACISM!!!" rather than continue to attack the ex-gay movement where it deserves to be attacked, and that is in the ways that it fails to live up to its promise, in the ways that it makes statements that are false and unscientific, and in the ways that it harms people. THAT is what this is about. This is NOT about racism!
 
throckmorton wrote:

"I do not agree that people wanting to live by their beliefs is evil."

I think that this is a very shallow statement about ethics. It implies that all "beliefs" are of equal value or are equally good. If beliefs are evil (and some beliefs are evil), then a person who wants to live by their evil beliefs is also evil.

I don't care if some "progressives" here think that my statements are not "nuanced" enough. The Nazis had evil beliefs and were evil people because they wanted to live by their beliefs. No, I am not saying that Christians are Nazis. I'm only giving the example that no one in their right mind would dispute.

The idea that gay men are disgusting and wicked is an evil idea, and the desire to do whatever it takes to "fix" them causes harm. It is evil. Period.
 
Michael is apparently willing to label every one of the "leaders of the ex-gay movement" as racist unless they specifically repudiate the beliefs of one ex-gay. I think that is unfair. I also think it is weak that we would have to resort to cheap accusations of "RACISM!!!" rather than continue to attack the ex-gay movement where it deserves to be attacked, and that is in the ways that it fails to live up to its promise, in the ways that it makes statements that are false and unscientific, and in the ways that it harms people. THAT is what this is about. This is NOT about racism!

From later context, it appears he's talking about the ones still willing to appear with NARTH, which is fair, but maybe he can clarify that.

This isn't a "cheap accusation." Schoenewolf clearly has some problems with assorted nonwhites, nonstraights, and women. Berger calls for what amounts to child abuse, and Breiner's... well, who knows what his problem is. If highlighting another ugly side of NARTH's behavior helps wake people up to what kind of organization this is, then I have no problem with that.
 
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