By Wayne Besen
I have finally developed a grudging respect for Focus on the Family. The ease in which they lie is so remarkably breathtaking, all one can do is applaud in wondrous awe.
What amazes me is that Focus on the Family raises approximately $200 million a year but produces virtually nothing. It’s the empire built on bunk and a monstrous Machiavellian monstrosity that manipulates and vituperates but doesn’t generate. Indeed, the organization’s “scientific” apparatus consists of a few fundamentalist flunkies who couldn’t tell a research trial from the Anna Nicole Smith trial.
For example, Gay.com reported on an obscure new study that found 16% of same sex relationships in China suffer from domestic abuse, while only 9% of opposite sex couples do. The study, reportedly conducted by GLBT civil rights groups, found that the most common form of abuse followed threats of outing a partner to employers or family members. In other words, the blackmail situations the closet creates, leads to an increase in domestic violence. Without the closet factor, such violence would likely decrease.
This would be common sense to any reasonably intelligent person analyzing such a study. It is even more obvious to anyone remotely familiar with conservative Asian culture and the consequences one faces if outed. Of course, the “geniuses” at Focus on the Family had their own “brilliant” take on the situation.
“Rather than use the research to point out a basic flaw with homosexuality, activists are attacking social service agencies in China with not being equipped to deal with gay violence issues,” wrote a Focus on the Family employee in Family News in Focus.
His article went on to quote a few wing nuts that drew some interesting assumptions.
“It reinforces the fact that same-sex relationships do not work and that you cannot substitute the love and interaction that you need from same-sex parents and peers by getting involved in a same-sex relationship,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays.
“I think these are folks with issues that are unresolved and part of that is going to come out in anger and it’s going to be directed at the people closest to you,” said Linda Harvey with Mission America. (Because, of course, there are no angry heterosexuals – like Osama or Mike Tyson)
“Often times, especially in the male community, drugs and alcohol play a factor because there are high rates of depression among homosexual men and women,” said Matt Barber with Concerned Women for America.
It is incomprehensible that these luminaries extrapolated such conclusions from a shaky study reportedly conducted by activists. This was hardly the kind of research where one can draw such sweeping, broad deductions about an entire class of people.
Even if the statistics are completely accurate, it still means that 84% of gay couples, vs. 91% of heterosexual couples do not engage in domestic violence – an overwhelming majority in both communities. (Did these 84% of gay people have their needs met and issues resolved? Maybe Griggs’ gay son can answer that question?)
More surreal is that Matt Barber gratuitously throws drugs into the mix while commenting on the Chinese study. Perhaps he is aware of ecstasy-fueled gay raves in Beijing that the rest of us in the GLBT community are not privy to. Or, maybe he has just added the “Year of the Ass” to the Chinese animal zodiac chart. It is abundantly clear that his comments were a cheap smear. Kind of like the gay community saying the NASA chick in the diapers represents heterosexuality.
This diabolical discourse is not surprising. What is a bit shocking, however, is that the “Focus on the Fallacies” article came out on a day when the gay rights organizations Truth Wins Out and SoulForce held a joint-media conference to highlight right wing distortions of legitimate research.
Yet, even as we set the record straight on old studies, Focus on the Family twisted and mangled new ones. Batting down lies against this group is like swatting flies in a manure field. To fight back, Truth Wins Out unveiled its new website www.RespectMyResearch.org.
The site offers scientists a place to report right wing misrepresentations of their work. Hopefully, we can embarrass the truth challenged and make a powerful case to the so-called liberal media to stop liberally quoting serial shredders of the truth.
Still, it remains to be seen if the media is willing to kick its habit of providing a Volkswagen for the very entertaining right wing clowns who boost their cable television ratings. Or, is it possible to shame a group as astonishingly shameless as Focus on the Family?