left biblioblography: The Roots of Risibility - Cameron's Hotly Contested Concept

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Roots of Risibility - Cameron's Hotly Contested Concept

(Cross-posted at God is for Suckers)

I have encountered all sorts of varied nonsense when debating theists about gay rights. From accusations of pedophilia to bestiality to outright criminality.

I've discussed this elsewhere, but since then, have run into more than a few people who have accused the APA of being a left-wing organization, due to the fact that they removed homosexuality from the DSM as a result of political pressure (which seems to be okay for THEM to exercise, but no one else is allowed - how typical).

One of these ubiquitous Urban Legend propagandists is Paul Cameron. The Wiki entry shows that he has a wealth of degrees:

"Paul Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), on November 9, 1939. He received a BA from Los Angeles Pacific College in 1961, an MA from California State University in Los Angeles the following year and a PhD from the University of Colorado in 1966. He has been associated with various schools including Wayne State University (1967-68), University of Louisville (1970-73), Fuller Graduate School of Psychology (part of the Fuller Theological Seminary) (1976-79), and the University of Nebraska (1979-80)."

That second to last association makes me extremely queasy: it seems that, whenever I run into some wack-a-do, they seem to be extremely well-educated, and an appeal to authority is well-suited. But that...word. Theological. It smacks of confirmation bias. And every time I encounter it in someone's credentials, sure enough, the 'uh-oh!' is duly warranted.

"Dr. Cameron is currently the chairperson of the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cameron's research is controversial as its detractors claim that it casts homosexuals as criminals, killers, deviants, and perverts. Cameron's work receives criticism from other researchers and organizations over what are seen as questionable methodologies. Nonetheless, his publications continue to be cited as support by some groups who oppose same-sex marriage and foster or adoptive parents privileges for homosexuals."

And here's why he shouldn't be listened to:

"The American Psychological Association (APA) expelled Cameron on December 2, 1983 for allegedly refusing to cooperate with their investigation of a complaint filed by psychologists at the University of Nebraska, which is a violation of the Preamble of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists[1]. However, Cameron has responded that he had already resigned, and did so without protest from the organization[2], citing letters he sent to the APA resigning his membership as well as the APA president's letter accepting his resignation, which were both apparently sent before his formal expulsion[3]. In his resignation letter published in the March 1983 edition of the APA Monitor[4], Cameron stated that his reasons for leaving included his opinion that the organization was becoming more of a "liberal political action committee" than a professional society[5].

"The American Sociological Association has also strongly criticized Dr. Cameron stating that "Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism."

Here's one letter published in the APA Monitor. Note that he was increasingly agitated about the ERA, then abortion, and then sexual orientation was the proverbial straw.

Here's an interesting little faux pas:

"Court testimony

Paul Cameron testified in the case Baker v. Wade (1985). Judge Buchmeyer of the U.S. District Court of Dallas accused Dr. Cameron of making incorrect statements in his affidavits submitted to the Court. (Donald F. BAKER, Plaintiff v. Henry WADE, Defendant. Retrieved on March 03, 2005.(p.536).9.) Dr. Cameron has disputed Judge Buchmeyer's findings and placed the relevant portions of his affidavits on the web. Cameron's rebuttal Judge Buchmeyer's decision was later overturned by the Fifth Circuit sitting en banc. Baker v. Wade, 769 F.2d 289 (5th Cir. 1985)."

Read Cameron's rebuttal. Here's the gap I can find in the logic: are the statistics in question from a specific timeline, and/or are they from states where homosexual behavior is a punishable crime, either back in the day, or today? I trust the reader follows my logic, and I need not hammer the point home.

"Paul Cameron was the chief witness in favor of the failed Virginia Anti-Gay Adoption Bill in 2005. He claims that gay people are predominantly drug users and prostitutes, "disrupt society," and have a much lower life expectancy (he claims that it can be scientifically proven that the average homosexual only lives to be 42). The methodology of his 1994 study of obituaries in gay newspapers is criticized for using data from a convenience sample (which uses whatever individuals are available) to generalize to an entire population."

Chances are, he's right in the second sentence. When you deprive a select group of people of their rights, treat them as mentally defective, lock the closet door (so to speak), based on any of their tendencies (sex, race, gender, etc.), we're talking a massive impact on both the individual's as well as the collective's morale. It doesn't take a sociology degree to figure that one out. And what are we looking at here? Say, 1700 to 1800 years of executions, exiles, therapies that have never worked, the list, it do go on.

For more on this, read here - it's a veritable cornucopia of contestable (and contemptible) concepts.

And as the founder of the Family Research Institute, he of course indulges in the same sort of behavior we've all come to expect from the hairy-eyed fanatic - more sputter and spittle than sense.

"That's only the beginning. In a 1981 debate, Cameron claimed a 4-year-old boy had been sexually mutilated in a Lincoln, Neb., mall rest room as part of a "homosexual act" — but police in Lincoln said no such crime had occurred.

"He told the 1985 Conservative Political Action Committee conference that "extermination of homosexuals" might be needed in the next three to four years. He has advocated tattooing AIDS patients in the face, and banishment to a former leper colony for any patient who resisted. He has called for gay bars to be closed and gays to be registered with the government."

[Note that he claims that the 'extermination' quote was lifted out of context - standard fare. Said that it was only a 'suggestion'. Helluva 'suggestion'.]

This fellow is just one of a long, long list of Christians that just turn my stomach. They lie to suit their agendas (all for the 'common good', I suspect), they violate major rules of their belief system with such regularity, and it's not so much that they lie, but it's compounded by the fact that they've agreed to a set of rules that they only play by as convenience permits (and nobody other than their clique can hold them accountable).

And of course, this has given rise to NARTH - a failed organization specializing in 'reparative therapy' - with a successful track record of exactly ZERO.

These are the people I rage against - not for their belief, but for the imposition of their rules on the rest of us. And the means they use to deploy them. By hook or by crook - all is done in the name of that great cosmic baby-sitter in the sky.

And - I'm sorry (not really) - 'God said NO!' doesn't cut it for those of us who don't believe.

Gunter Eich - "Be uncomfortable; be sand, not oil, in the machinery of the world."

Till the next post, then.

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Sadie Lou said...

I want to tell my fellow Christians that when it comes to homosexuality--no stone has been left unturned. What I mean is: Homosexuals know what Christians think of them. Now is the time Christians need to step up and undo all the damage our 'brothers' have caused trying to "witness" to the gay community by harassing them, judging them, passing laws against their lifestyle choices and basically robbing them of their humanity. If Christians spent half the time and energy turning the spotlight of righteousness on divorce in the church instead of denying homosexuals the right to marry each other, we might even start making good examples of ourselves. Perhaps Christians can turn their focus inward once in awhile? I'm pretty sure the gay community gets the whole "God hates gays" lie by now.
It's time to reform the church.

karen said...

I'm sorry that this incredible bastard hails from Pittsburgh. You must know, the air was very foul from the steel mills back in 1939;perhaps the pregnancy was ill-affected by the noxious fumes. Every great city has its bad apples, I suppose.

He seems to suffer from an hysterical fear of homosexuality. It is people like him who instead should be feared.

Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie - please proceed to do so.

karen - what makes him frightening, is that people listen to him.

remy said...

Of the thousands and thousands of words in the Buybull there are only very few which even tangentially refer to homosexuality. So, which came first, the hatred and repudiation of homosexuality, or the Buybull justfication?

Why does sex threaten them so?

I seem, lately to be living in a perpetual state of, Huh? I think soon I will be wandering about muttering to myself: but, but, what can..., how can they..., they think THAT"S true!!?

Nemesis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
remy said...

How is that you know me so well? Or is that supposed to be a criticism?

Krystalline Apostate said...

& the comment moderation is back on.
Sorry, troops. This little eggsucker nemesis thinks posting little swear words is such a huge victory.
Which means he needs a hobby - DESPERATELY.

ted said...

It seems to me sometimes, cynic that I am, that the more adamant they are in their rhetoric, the more likely they are to be hiding something. I wonder...

Krystalline Apostate said...

red - 'Hmmmm....some homosexual must have hurt you in the past...'

beepbeepitsme said...

Oh, he doesn't sound like a nice chappy at all.

Rabid fundamentalists will nearly always use their god belief as a means to justify atrocities.

I am beginning to think that they need to masturbate more often. Except that some of them are so racked with guilt about sexual pleasure, that they would probably feel compelled to chop their pee pee off.

(Yes, I am in a "pee pee" frame of mind. Probably something to do with my last post.)

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM - no, Cameron doesn't sound very pleasant at all.
Except that some of them are so racked with guilt about sexual pleasure, that they would probably feel compelled to chop their pee pee off.
...And the involuntary wince just happened.
That reminds me of Origen, who took a piece of scripture so literally, he chopped his own off.

beepbeepitsme said...

Lucky for Van Gogh that his arms were very short.

(Yes, I made that up...)