Former graduate student suing Purdue over religious views

Jeffrey Ford, now a graduate of Purdue University Calumet, is suing his alma mater with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund. The school’s news service has this report.

Mike Adams, columnist and criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, has a six part series on this story as well. Read them in order: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part V, and today’s installment, Part 6.

Some readers here might question the facts and I certainly have no first hand knowledge of the events. I can say however, that I have observed just this kind of activity in graduate programs. I knew of one student in a grad programs who was told to keep his ex-gay status to himself lest he jeopardize his degree. I saw the email from an out of state professor with this threat. I would publish it but I do not have his permission. I have personally been the subject of namecalling and lies among colleagues who only had the barest knowledge of me or what I believed. So this sounds credible to me, although I should hasten to add that we have not yet heard all sides. If this goes to trial, no doubt we will hear from the professors and classmates of Mr. Ford.

All of which leads me to cheerlead again for the sexual identity therapy framework. If trainers had guidance from professional associations, we might not agree but we could co-exist.

UPDATE – 9/5/07 – Mike Adams concluding article is now available.

83 thoughts on “Former graduate student suing Purdue over religious views”

  1. Eddy –

    “First year, it’ll be a table in the middle. But every year, the middle will grow–and the sides will decrease.”

    I hope you are right.

  2. Jag,

    Thank you so very much for saying this “My point is despite all the straight encouragement in the world, some people just don’t seem to have it in them. I would expect the same in reverse…that despite your implied attempts by the gay community to “make” someone gay, they will not be gay unless that is somewhat congruent to their nature.”

    You said in a paragraph what it took me several paragraphs to say to Mary – which may be why she still doesn’t understand me – I realize I can ramble incoherently sometimes. I think you nutshelled it well though.


    I agree – as Jag said – that there may be SOME gay therapists that steer their clients in a particular direction, but I’ve never met them. For example, when I was young and in therapy I had a gay affirming therapist who knew I was gay, but I didn’t go to therapy to discuss my sexuality – I went for depression. My sexuality only rarely became a topic of discussion for me. And as for gay groups and the community as a whole, *I* and my friends went to them to seek help in understanding our homosexuality, they didn’t come to us.

    I’m not sure where the idea of “poor me” came in Mary, but what I was trying to suggest is that we don’t blame the groups that provide guidance, blame the individuals. Isn’t one of your foundational arguments that people take responsibility for their own lives – and yet in those paragraphs a few posts back you blamed everyone BUT the individual – you blamed the gay affirming therapists the individual saw, you blamed the gay groups and gay communities the individual sought out for guidance. What I’m suggesting here, is that that basic argument, that individuals can and should be responsible for their selves, has some merit – I’m still not discounting the forces of socialization, by any means, but I think we need to also allow the individual to have some responsibility in these instances.

    And I think its important to reiterate this again regarding the forces of socialization – when we talk about forces shaping our sexuality, Jag has it right. This world, and especially our American culture – despite a few exceptions – is still LARGELY based around the idea of heterosexuality. When I was growing up, all I saw were heterosexual images – it seemed that the news, movies, TV, magazines, people – everything around me was trying to make me straight – yet, as Jag said, it didn’t take. Gay affirming therapists and gay affirming groups don’t make people gay – they help gay people who are confused and lost in a world that still revolves around heterosexuality.

  3. JAG-

    I do agree with you. I think pretty much all the way.

    I’m a tad distracted (see Music City post) and didn’t notice who was commenting but found myself nodding in agreement. We’ve really got to get to that table in them middle.

    First year, it’ll be a table in the middle. But every year, the middle will grow–and the sides will decrease.

  4. Mary,

    I have no idea what you mean by my opinion is skewed toward “poor me”. Would you mind elaborating?

  5. Eddy –

    I have to say that I disagree with you on the point that I commented on above with Mary. As to not rehash that, I wanted to address something you specifically stated in reference to it:

    “My first wager is that more than a few gay-affirming therapists would do a little well-intended steering… LOL! And if the therapist would suggest that attending a group might help them decide… I’m sorry. The group’s moderator may do their best to be fair but I believe we can safely predict that the group itself would say something like “Honey, if you’re here, you must be!”

    Firstly, I suppose that I would say that I am “gay affirming” as a therapist myself…but saying that, I am also “bisexual affirming, straight affirming, muslim affirming, christian affirming, etc…” I don’t judge, and it’s not my place. I don’t care if you’re gay, ex-gay, bisexual, etc. I wear a wedding band, and most clients likely assume that I’m straight. I’m of the school that I don’t have photos, and I don’t talk about my own life…I see my job as a consultant, and to be the quintessential “blank slate”. Anything I put out there about myself could bias the person’s experience, so I put as little as possible and I let them be themselves.

    I would hope that you would consider that just as all straight therapists don’t try to make their clients straight, that all gay ones don’t attempt to make their clients gay.

    I’m sure that there are some “gay affirming” therapists out there who “steer” their clients…but do you suppose there are many christian therapists who “steer” their clients away from their same-sex attractions – even if this is a part of their life that they do not report conflict in? Unfortunately, I’ve heard more than one christian therapist who has told clients that they have problems with anxiety or depression simply because of the “sin” of their homosexuality – even when the sexuality was not an issue of internal conflict for the client themselves.

    While some people might experience depression “secondary” to the stressors of being “out,” etc…good scientists understand that sexuality in and of itself is usually not the “cause” of such things if not a source of internal conflict.

    I hope that we can agree on this.

    As for the groups about questioning your sexuality. The moderator’s place is to, again, be kind of an invisible keeper of “rules” of behavior (if you follow a rogerian model – which I tend to…no cross-talking, putting other people down, etc..). That goes with sexuality or just depression.

    People hopefully discover their own insights, move toward growth and understanding and come away feeling more settled in who they are. I wouldn’t make the assumption that groups formed around “questioning” would necessarily imply that you are gay to the therapist. Everyone is on a different place on the spectrum of sexuality, and if you don’t have a therapist insightful enough to understand that (and keep their personal life and perspectives out of it), then you don’t have a good therapist.

    The same could be said for groups run about questioning whether you want to change your orientation, etc…are the representatives really invested in honesty? I would say at least for those run by a psychologist, they should be. The thing that often causes me to pause is that so many groups around change are not run by therapists, but by “counselors” with little to no true psychological training but a lot of personal “experience.” As we all know, personal experience doesn’t make you an expert in objectivity. They are also usually run by those who have an investment in you wanting to change – for example, being hosted by those from “exodus.” To be frank, they may be out there, but I have yet to see a group honestly discussing change without the bias of a larger organization invested in getting you to believe in the outcome going in one specific direction.

    I would hope both types of groups are run by accomplished professionals, who have the training and expertise to at least attempt objectivity from an informed perspective. That let you leave with yourself, not a biased or pressured imposed opinion of who you should be. It should be self-discovery and congruence – in my opinion.

  6. Mary –

    “We do make people gay. If they have a fleeting feeling of homosexuality the gay community is encouraging a person to fully express that as homosexuality.”

    Wow, under that logic, everybody is really “made” straight – I wonder why it doesn’t “take” for everyone? From the youngest of playdates when parents remark of “crushes,” to the older years of adolescence where peers encourage (and tease regarding) opposite-sexed “crushes” and admirations, you would think that everyone would come out straight – but they don’t.

    My point is despite all the straight encouragement in the world, some people just don’t seem to have it in them. I would expect the same in reverse…that despite your implied attempts by the gay community to “make” someone gay, they will not be gay unless that is somewhat congruent to their nature.

  7. “The gay-affirming therapists and groups you spoke about above do not attempt to make people gay”

    Logic error: writer presumes to know the therapists and groups Mary spoke of. writer is stating opinion as fact.

    “I am of the mind that most people, even youth, know who they are primarily attracted to, and that that is a good indicator of where their orientation lies.”

    Clear statement: I like it. And it bridges. It’s true that most people do know their primary attraction BUT we shouldn’t automatically assume that the attraction is fixed or that the direction hasn’t been influenced. The norm is that the influencing is generally in the straight direction but it DOES happen the other way.

    Ramblings: my own: A few examples that don’t fit the mold.

    1) I have had, at best, a few fleeting moments in my life of sexual attraction to a woman. Yet, I remember having an intense ‘crush’ on a girl back in high school. I’d walk back and forth down her street for hours (singing “Cherish”–The Association) hoping to bump into her. But I can swear to you that there was never any sexual thought whatsoever. In retrospect, I think I was responding to that straight influence and jumped on the part of the ride I could handle. (Yeah, I even took her to the prom! She was a few years younger but was allowed to go on her first unescorted date with me simply because her parents knew there was zero risk!)

    2) The club where I sing karaoke is an incredible MIX of ‘working class’ people. Varieties in age, gender, sexuality, race, musical tastes, wardrobe, political views. We like to say the one thing we all have in common is Respect! Anyway, a guy who likes some of the same singers that I do joined me, my best friend and his partner at our table. I always assumed the guy was gay and my friends were sure of it. So, we asked him and he said he ‘gets that all the time’. Later, my early 20’s duet partner and her straight friends joined us. We continued the conversation and they thought he was too. He quipped “Even my mother wonders.”

    Ultimately, out of a group of about a dozen people, only 2 were persuaded that he wasn’t gay (him and me), 2 were tentative and the rest were convinced he was kidding himself. He has amazing ego-strength and has learned to laugh at these wacked out judgements rather than internalize them.

    So, to Mary’s point, I’m willing to wager that there’s been a time or two when a person in my friend’s predicament–minus the ego strength–has begun to question their sexuality. There’s a mindset that says ‘With all the crap that society throws against a gay person, if you question whether you’re gay or not, you probably are.” Let’s suppose that that mindset survives through college. My first wager is that more than a few gay-affirming therapists would do a little well-intended steering. LOL! And if the therapist would suggest that attending a group might help them decide… I’m sorry. The group’s moderator may do their best to be fair but I believe we can safely predict that the group itself would say something like “Honey, if you’re here, you must be!”

  8. Mary,

    But how do you define sin? Your definition of sin is going to be different than someone else’s. I suppose that’s pretty obvious, but to say we legislate sin begs the question – whose definition of sin???

  9. Jayhuck,

    We do not agree on very much. You perspective is very skewed towards “poor me”. Sorry.

    If I propose that we do make people gay (encourage them and what not) then instead of talking about that you talk about making people straight as if it is an accusation. Guess what – we do make people straight. And we do make people gay. Sexuality is (from my perspective as I have always said) is part environment and part biological.

    I am ending any further discussion on this thread unless it specifically has to do with the Purdue graduate.

  10. Ah but we do legislate sin.

    No sex or drinking before a certain age.

    No partying past a certain time (curfew, were parents present, life guard, sponsor chaperone)

    No public sex of any kind (private sex is okay if it is heterosexual, not between parent and child – sibling, mentor, psycotherapist, etc…)

    And the list goes on.

  11. Mary et al,

    I know I’ve said many times I’m working on not leaving multiple posts, and I really am. I posted my last few messages without giving them more thought or making them more clear because I was working on the fly, so I have to apologize for that – but I’m hoping to make a difference with this one.


    You claim that we make people gay – I’m not sure that that is the truth. Do we make people gay anymore than we make them straight? What about those people, who are mostly gay, who have to grow up in environments (which includes most of society even today) where they are taught being gay is bad, or that its simply not right, or against nature – these kinds of messages and images can be found all around our culture – in religious and non-religious settings. How many stories have we heard of gay people getting married and having children because they were made to feel that was the right thing to do or because they felt they didn’t have an alternative – only to have to get a divorce later and explain to their kids what was going on? We don’t make people GAY anymore than we attempt to make them straight – and we do the latter a great deal more than the former.

    The gay-affirming therapists and groups you spoke about above do not attempt to make people gay – you can’t make most people gay – these groups and people are refuges where gay kids or adults can go to get information that lets them know that not all people consider them ill, diseased, sinful or wrong. These groups helped me so much when I was growing up. I never felt compelled to be gay because of them, I went to them because I WAS a gay youth – because they offered me safety and security and the knowledge that I didn’t need to constantly feel bad for having the feelings that I did. They supported me, they didn’t brainwash me.

    I mentioned this above in other posts, but these groups are there because our society is still not very inclusive of gays, and because often our society creates hostile environments for gay people.

    If that argument is true at all (that we make people gay), then the reverse is true, and we often, unintentionally, make people straight, and I don’t mean through ex-gay therapy.

    I am of the mind that most people, even youth, know who they are primarily attracted to, and that that is a good indicator of where their orientation lies. I am somewhat attracted to women, but most of my attraction is for men – does that make me straight – not at all. As far as I’m concerned, I’m gay – but I equate the word Gay with homosexual – other conservative Christians try and define the words separately – having the word gay mean something more like a “lifestyle”.

    So YOU say, Mary, that “we” make people gay, and I say “we” help gay people feel better about themselves. Maybe you and I will have to agree to disagree on this too.

    The APA, I believe, says what it says because it cannot cater to every religious whim and fancy. I think the APA can and should refer people to SIT therapists only after a thorough assessment is done as to why they want this – I believe we’ve already had this discussion and I think, if I remember correctly, that Warren agrees with this. Religious people of all faiths would like science, including psychology, to cater to them and their beliefs but that is something that cannot and should not be done. But I DO agree that people should be able to seek out that help that allows them to live within their belief system, as long as they enter into that journey knowing ALL the information that is out there, including the fact that there are others, even of their own faith, who will support them as they are and not tell them they are sinful.

  12. Eddy,

    You didn’t waste your time on that discussion some threads back – I don’t think you finished reading it though. I think we came to an understanding that “change” can mean different things to different people

    I DO agree with you on one statement you made however – and that is that you cannot and should not try to make someone a Christian through legislation – that has been MY point on several other threads. Trying to do that, IMHO, will drive more people away from you than bring people to you. So thanks for saying that!!!

  13. Mary,

    What I was trying to say to Jag about some Ex-Gay people, is that many ex-gays think that because they are married or because they have newfound attractions for the OS, that they are no longer homosexual – and while this may be the case for some – although personally I doubt it – I think our interactions with Ex-Ex Gay people should have at least taught us that it is not true for all. Being married, even feelings as if you’ve changed internally, doesn’t always mean you have – That was my only point – and its not just my experience, but the experience of many, many Ex-Ex Gay people.

  14. Mary,

    You said “We do make people gay. If they have a fleeting feeling of homosexuality the gay community is encouraging a person to fully express that as homosexuality.” – I’m sorry, but this has never been my experience. And even if there is some truth to it, we can easily turn it around and say the same thing about the straight community – there if there are OSA, the straight community encourages people to act and be straight. Please Mary, it is FAR FAR easier to be straight in this country than it is to be gay – even if there are kids to are gay, its not easy for them to come out or to act on their feelings. Gay kids have almost no role models, they have no one except the gay community to provide them help – Almost everything in this culture tries to teach kids to be straight. I, for one, am amazed anytime someone does come out as gay, as many hurdles as they have to jump over to become ok with themselves. Surely you remember this Mary. Our society does its best to try and teach people NOT to be gay – even though its gotten better for today’s youth, almost everywhere you look from TV, to advertisements, to magazines, etc – people, especially guys, are taught that being gay is wrong, isn’t masculine, and is dangerous.

    For all the problems that the gay community has with diversity – and I agree it sometimes does – I grew up in a religiously conservative family and community, and let me tell you, that is the most diversity-free environment I’ve ever expereienced in my life.

    Honestly Marry, can you blame gay people for feelings some of the ways they do when an ex-gay person confronts them. The vasts majority of the bigotry that gay people have to face comes from the conservative religious community – the same one that created and sustains the ex-gay movement – Should gay people be more sensitive to their ex-gay brothers and sisters – yes they should – but is it understandable they react as they do – ABSOLUTELY.

    I”m not sure what you mean by the fact that gays are overstepping or overassuming – the issue is they shouldn’t have to be doing any of this – these rights they are asking for should be available to them without question – and I think you agree with this, but I’d still like to know what you mean by “overassuming”

  15. We do make people gay. If they have a fleeting feeling of homosexuality the gay community is encouraging a person to fully express that as homosexuality. If they go to a gay affirming therapist – that therapist will encourage them to play out those feelings to be happy. If they decide that being gay does not fit them or feel right – they are intimidated into staying gay because they will lose theuir friends, or called a homophobe or brainwashed (thus using perr presure- and yes it does exist in adults) And if the APA does not allow a therapist to talk about living within your belief system – then we have legalized social intimidation. Unfortunately, gays don’t see it that way because they want to have their legal rights and only by pushing the idea that being homosexual is all genetic and that no one can change then they get to their goal of legal rights faster.

    So for the purpose of getting civil rights gays are overlooking, overstepping, over assuming, just as much as anyone else. It really is a shame. I remember when I was gay – I really believed in diversity. But it does not exist in the gay community. Many of my friends laughed at me, stonewalled me, belittled me etc… All the same things that the so called christian community had done. I really thought people were opned minded – but that has not been my experience.

  16. Jag produced another gem: “I am not always convinced that we are seeking the answers to change simply for the higher ideals of knowledge, but rather to support specific political and moral perspectives that don’t matter anyway…..we are not a theocracy, and their should be equal rights and equal treatment regardless. Yet, origin and change are used repeatedly to deny rights, or to persecute others who may not fit into a moral ideal of a specific faith-belief.”

    JAG, Mary: That was a great little chat you guys (sorry, I’m from Pennsylvania) had going. What leapt out at me was JAG’s statement ‘we are not a theocracy’ and they’re should be ‘equal rights and equal treatment regardless’. I’m in total agreement with that and, from what Mary has said in the past, I believe she is too.

    If only we could have a discussion around that kernel of truth and simply leave the change debate out of it. I do realize how intertwined they have become but I wonder if the intertwining is irreversible. Can we somehow focus on a way to convince people that this nation is not a theocracy…that no group has the right to dictate the moral decisions of others (except in those cases where it impedes on the rights of others)? LOL! Most of the discussion (if we didn’t derail into defining change or what either side is currently up to politically), would be on how we interpret and apply the exceptions. Well, that, and how to convince the majority of Americans that American and Christian are not synonymous terms.

    I recall one evangelist telling a crowd ‘If you want America to be a Christian nation, you do it by sharing your faith with every person you meet; you don’t make laws to make them act LIKE a Christian…you try to make them a Christian.’ (LOL! I know no one relishes the idea of being ‘witnessed to’ a million times…we’d have to work some protective provisions into those exceptions above.)

    My favorite quip when asked by conservative Christians how they should respond politically is “I believe that homosexuals should have the same rights as any other sinner.” (Don’t trip out on ‘sinner’ please…consider the context of the conversation.) Are we legislating partying? promiscuity? premarital sex? gambling (betting and wagering)? To what extent? Are we legislating pride? hypocrisy? envy? greed? self-centeredness?

    If we somehow got that point across, maybe we could leave the interminable ‘change debate’ behind us. (LOL! Was it just yesterday that I saw Jayhuck make the famous “‘change’ whatever that is” statement again? I sure did waste a lot of time in that discussion a few weeks back. Oh well.)

  17. I think the reason for the importance to change is that some people have religious believes that are not yours and they want to experience love and marriage in the man/woman sense.

    It is not your desire to change. That desire belongs to other people for their reasons that are just as valid as yours are for not desiring to change.

    (of course there are also the politics behind it – which I personally abhor)

  18. Jag,

    You are absolutely right – we don’t ask the right questions about why we care about change – and the people who are change advocates often do use change to justify not allowing others to have equal rights – the best example is the Ex-Gay Mother-ship org. – Exodus International

  19. Jag,

    THANK YOU for saying that. I’ve wondered that since these types of studies began. There is no study I know of that studies sexual identity change in the other direction – where self-avowed straight people choose to identify as gay. THAT would be an interesting addition to these discussions

  20. Mary –

    We agree that research should be conducted…rigorous, thoughtful, peer-reviewed research from multiple samples, replicated multiple times if we want to know the truth.

    My frustration is that many studies just lack intellectual honesty – wanting to get some specific “message” out without putting it to the real tests of scientific verifiability…or creating theories, and not acknowledging that these are untested theories that may not apply to everyone, may do damage to others, and may not even be true.

    Acknowledging what we DON’T know, is as important as stating firmly what we do. In the case of sexual orientation we need to have an honest dialogue about this.

    We don’t know the exact origin or the ability of people to willfully change their current orientation, so we need to stop the banter that we do know these things, and stop claiming them with authority.

    The thing that truly inspires ire in me, is why it is important whether someone can change or not. Why does it matter?

    In other words, I am not always convinced that we are seeking the answers to change simply for the higher ideals of knowledge, but rather to support specific political and moral perspectives that don’t matter anyway…..we are not a theocracy, and their should be equal rights and equal treatment regardless. Yet, origin and change are used repeatedly to deny rights, or to persecute others who may not fit into a moral ideal of a specific faith-belief.

    We don’t study heterosexual men who want to be gay to see if we can make them gay…do we? If not, why not?

    If we are truly interested in sexual plasticity, we should be looking at it both ways. Why are people heterosexual? Why are most reporting that they are “exclusively” attracted to the opposite sex? Why are more people not bisexual? Can we make someone bisexual who might prefer this?

    We almost exclusively study orientation change unidirectionally…that is, seeing if we can make gays turn straight. Why might this be? If we were truly interested in it intellectually, we’d want to know it all….from every angle.

  21. Sorry about this – and the research has to be allowed to be conducted. Stifling one over the other on such a little understood subject is not good science either – do you think?

  22. Jag,

    I am informed on others. Not everyone makes change in the same way. If you read the posts carefully you will note that Jayhuck kept saying that no internal shift or change happened for him and that “we” had to be honest and that orientation never shifts. I disagreed with him on the definition of orientation and asked that he not be so narrow in his definition of others – ie: me.

    I accept that not everyone can change no matter how hard they tried. Sometimes it is just beyond the experience of some. Others don’t care to change nor even give it a second thought – which is absolutely fine. And still others are somewhere in between with a wide variety of expressions of change and what it means and what it looks like to them in their own life.

    So I really don’t understand your point? But I do agree with you that a narrow definition of homosexuality or sexuality at all is not a best bet.

  23. Mary –

    I’ve been following the discussion between you and Jayhuck, and if I’m right, I don’t think that Jayhuck is really speaking against your experience…but on definition of what it means to “be” ex-gay. If I am reading him correctly, it seems that what he is saying is that a simple change of behavior (getting married to someone of the opposite sex, etc..) doesn’t make you ex-gay…but there has to be an internal change of attractions, feelings, etc…that he, personally, has not experienced despite his attempts to do so.

    Personally, I don’t think we should judge orientation as shifting by behavioral markers alone. Heck, I could stop having any type of same-sex behaviors tomorrow…but that would not change me internally at all in my inclinations, it would only leave me frustrated.

    I think what we keep coming back to, is that change is different for different people. Some feel as though they have been able to shift internally, others do not feel that they have despite attempts, and some (like myself) never attempt at all and are content with themselves and have reconciled that with their faith.

    The fact that such variety exists demonstrates, I think, that (bringing it around to the point of the post) holding firm to one narrow perspective of homosexuality and not being informed on others is likely going to make you an inadequate practitioner to some….and most certainly, an inadequate scholar.

    People have a right to believe what they wish in their personal thoughts, but they need to know the research to be of any use to the field overall.

  24. Mary,

    I am sorry – I will not try to impose my experience onto yours – and you’re right, we will just have to agree to disagree.

  25. Ann–

    I’m waiting to hear back from one of my brother’s. He e-mailed last night telling me ‘hospice’ is now involved and that I need to get home. It’s only just beginning to sink in. (BTW: When looking for the thread where you had inquired re mom’s health, I came back here–to a discussion I announced I was leaving. I found it very amusing that there are several posts addressed to me afterwards. TO THE POSTERS: I left that discussion. I do not feel inclined to read or respond to your follow-up comments.)

  26. Jayhuck,

    I guess I have a different meaning than you for orientation. For me orientation is/was not fixed in a position that cannot be moved. Let’s agree to disagree on this??

    I don’t think my decisions about my sexuality make me more holy. I do believe that my sexuality was lesbian and now it is not. You can’t make people want to be with the same sex and call them homosexual just because they were at one time. And just because change could happen again (no one knows the future) doesn’t trivialize where they are at today.

    Essentially when I read that you were just repressing your feelings and that honestly you never changed and then you write that just because others do change feelings/behavior etc… that they are not ex homosexual makes me feel cheapened by your need to impose your experience onto me.

    I’m sorry you cannot accept that some people really do change. You may say that you respect me …but you keep saying that I am not what I SAY I am. Kind of strange don’t you think? Would you feel respected if someone said that to you?

  27. My apologies for all the posts, and because I mistakenly addressed my post on “change” to Eddy when it should have been addressed to Mary!!!! Oy

  28. Eddy,

    My mantra has always been that saying you’re ex-gay, being married or in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, having sex with someone of the opposite sex, even saying you’ve changed – none of these things make people holy, and they don’t make them ex-homosexual – I do respect your feelings and experiences, and I think we agree that certain things do change, but we have to disagree on what that change actually means in the end.

  29. Eddy,

    What I was trying to say earlier is that for awhile I did experience change in my feelings, and I believed I was moving in a different direction sexually. Then I came to realize that what I was doing was subconsciously suppressing my desires – not getting rid of them. I accept that feelings change, but that doesn’t mean, again, that one’s orientation is changing – and as of right now, we simply have no proof that it does. Behavior changes, feelings change – these are the only things we know for sure – but we dont’ really know about orientation yet.

  30. Eddy,

    I’m sorry, but Ex-Gay Watch is NOTHING like Townhall. Ex-gay watch, like Timothy said, has a bias, but they allow all people to comment as long as they are being civil – they are the flipside of Warren’s blog if you will. I don’t agree with Warren, he has an obvious bias, but I would never compare him to Townhall, or claim he is being unfair or untruthful. There’s a big difference there. Townhall serves to do nothing but bash liberals and moderates who don’t agree with them – they don’t mind twisting or omitting facts, and they have no one to hold them accountable – unlike with Ex-Gay Watch and Warren’s blog.

  31. LOL! EVERYbody totally missed my point…but, in missing it, proved it! I used Ex-Gay Watch as an example precisely because it does do a fair job of reporting news…but, hello, the name is Ex-Gay Watch.

    (“We’ve got an EX–I mean AX–to grind.”) Sorry, that JUST came to me and it DOES fit. Ex-Gay Watch does have an admitted bias.

    I merely used it as an example of a news source–with an admitted bias against ex-gays–that brought us a topic and we had no trouble focussing on the story rather than on the bias. It was a simple answer to Jayhuck’s question.

    And it also explains why I’m out of this particular discussion; I give it zero hope of sustaining any meaningful dialogue on the actual original topic.

    Catch you on another thread.

  32. Mary,

    Bias does not create lies. Liars create lies.

    Credibility is earned over time, whether or not one has bias. Warren – truthful; David Roberts – truthful; Regina Griggs – not so much; Mike Adams – I don’t know; but ADF – less honest and truthful than most attorneys, and that’s saying something.

  33. From CitizenLink []:

    “They told us that we had no right to be there. That we were nothing but a group of religious bigots,” Griggs told Family News in Focus.

    And in their lies, that is just what they have shown themselves to be. Read the PFOX press release:

    Nothing must have gone right for PFOX at the fair. They sure don’t mention that they had any success with the general public, it was nothing but their own vicitimization. However, no policing authority has a memory about anything remotely like what PFOX alleges. PFOX lied in a press release to get donaions, because they knew the report would not reach any press beyond that of the anti-gay establishment. And we know from before that CitizenLink doesn’t check its sources or facts and then will go on to further their mistakes with lies [see: & Lying for dollars in the pursuit of a certain “god’s work” (antigay, especially) does not seem to matter to some people.

  34. Comparing PFOX to the Purdue story and saying that bias creates lies is not accurate – do you think?

    First you have two different people at issue – The journalist and Regina Griggs . Secondly, although XGW may document facts and events – some gay journalists put such a spin on stories that you can hardly tell the facts from the accusations anymore. Sort of like what you Timothy are saying about Mark Adams. To you his spin is unsubstantiated accusation. To me it looks a lot like what myself and others have experienced. We will only know when we here all sides of the story or read legal transcripts or something of that sort.

    So there is bias – yes, but as readers we have to really discern what is being said and how facts/events are being reported.

  35. I wish PFOX would answer some of those questions. They have been asked by me and others but PFOX has provided no detail. I have asked for the facts and none have been given.

  36. For PFOX’s story – it may be that the police were called but no record or action was taken – thereby just nulling any record. And called? Does that mean by telephone, in person were they asked to step in?? I just don’t think we have all the facts. Did it happen at the event – was someone followed to a nearby but off site property??? I can see how this story can take all sorts of forms.

  37. You said “if we can’t trust the source, what is the use of discussing the story”…I don’t know. It seems we’ve had a few stories that originated on Ex-Gay Watch. And it’s quite clear that a few people don’t trust that to be an unbiased news source. Yet, somehow we managed to go on.

    The difference is that while XGW is biased, they don’t lie.

    I know the people at that site and I can assure you that they do not write a single word that they do not believe to be true and they will not put put anything up if it does not have a credible source. They may possible have a take on something that you disagree with, but very very few facts are inaccurate in the postings. Even the commentors are required to substantiate their claims.

    However, to the embarassment of my faith, I cannot say the same for the pro-family press. Quite often I read things that are factually incorrect.

    So for me, if XGW tells me something happened I can generally believe that every evidence points towards it happening. If I have questions, I can usually link to their source. If someone finds an error, comments that contradict them are welcome. This is not the case with Townhall or most pro-family sources.

  38. To me, the story is credible but may not be factual. Time will tell. I am willing to believe there could be some middle ground.

    RE: PFOX, it was credible to me that an altercation took place. I have been in enough of those kind of situations to know tempers can flare. However, with the investigation by David Roberts and my own phone calls to the Arlington Police, I can find no evidence that any kind of attack took place. Certainly nothing worth a national news story. So again, being credible (believeable) in the abstract and credible after an investigation are too different things. We will have to wait and see on Purdue. With PFOX, unless PFOX comes out with some evidence or witnesses, I now don’t find it to a credible story.

  39. Eddy,

    My problem with commenting on the story is that we really don’t know any facts at all. If the source is not credible, then all we have is accusation. And what is the point of getting upset about something that may not have happened at all?

    Let me give you a comparison example from last week.

    PFOX reported that some gay people came up to them at a fair in Arlington (FOTF claimed it was a gay organization) and threw their material on the floor and physically attacked an ex-gay because he wouldn’t recant. They had to be escorted out and the police recommended that the ex-gay press charges, but he decided to turn the other cheek.

    What sort of response is appropriate? My initial response was to want to condemn the behavior of the gay group and express sympathy with PFOX. But knowing PFOX is not credible, I hesitated.

    ExGayWatch was proactive and started asking questions. As it turns out, the police, the fair security, the fair managment, another gay organization within eyesight, and some woman selling insurance across the row from PFOX all say that this simply didn’t occur.

    They did observe a heated discussion for about 10 minutes when someone came up to the PFOX table, but there is NO ONE who corroborates stuff being thrown on the ground.

    And the police and the fair both state that there was no one escorted out. They spent days checking into it and took PFOX’s claim quite seriously. But it was all just a lie.

    PFOX took a minor dispute with a gay individual and, knowing that wasn’t newsworthy, fabricated violence and police involvement all for the purpose of demonizing gays and eliciting sympathy (and money – the story was a request for funds).

    So now what is my response? Contempt for PFOX and their willingness to lie in order to try and appear a victim.

    So it’s hard for me to have some response to this story about Purdue. I don’t trust Adams’ “facts” and I don’t believe that ADF has a history of strict honesty. So there’s nothing possible for me to say other than that. I can’t form an opinion based on what I’ve read. It simply isn’t credible.

  40. Eddy says, “..but if a story favors the conservative POV, the source gets questioned repeatedly and discussion of any real facts becomes impossible.”

    Here’s something from Part 6:

    During the ethics class, Professor Hecker spent six class hours discussing an article she had co-authored with Ms. Duffy-Greslo, which consistently portrayed nonreligious individuals as tolerant, healthy, mature, and well-developed. In contrast, it portrayed religiously orthodox people as stunted, immature, and less developed.

    My search has not uncovered such a publication (assumption this is in a proper, peer-reviewed academic journal). I do not question that such a publication exists; I have found publication titles that suggest this is an area of interest for Dr. Hecker. My reason for bringing this up is that it could be read by anyone to see if such a bias appears in the published literature. It may provide an interesting view into the litigants (Dr. Hecker in her own words and Mr. Ford as he may have seen the data).

  41. Eddy said:

    I hear you, you don’t trust the news source.

    Do you trust Adams as a news source?

    As far as getting information from more reputable sources, I doubt that will happen. Quite likely, Ford has been told by his attorney’s not to talk to the press (I suspect Adams didn’t even interview Ford for his articles) and the ADF seems to be only interested in talking to people who are willing to support them. Likewise, I’m sure Purdue’s lawyers have told the faculty not to talk to anyone about the case either.

  42. Jayhuck,

    You said “if we can’t trust the source, what is the use of discussing the story”…I don’t know. It seems we’ve had a few stories that originated on Ex-Gay Watch. And it’s quite clear that a few people don’t trust that to be an unbiased news source. Yet, somehow we managed to go on.

    The difference seems to be that we might state our qualms about the source once but then find actual comments from the story to flesh out and discuss…but if a story favors the conservative POV, the source gets questioned repeatedly and discussion of any real facts becomes impossible.


    Thanks for asking. It’s still pretty scary with mom. My brothers have been excellent about keeping me informed and I also spoke with mom’s nurse by phone last evening. She’s been in the hospital since last Friday…pneumonia, lung infection, back and stomach problems (that they think are related).

    It’s one of those things where she could rally…but given her age and her low weight, it’s also a real possibility that she could go. The nurse said that mom isn’t ‘following the pattern’–lol, maybe that’s where I get it–anyway, they anticipated more negative results than they are having. She’s got some fire left in her and she continues to eat. As to the serious side, she’s actually too weak to talk on the phone.

    I appreciate the prayers and concern. Thanks.

  43. Eddy,

    Sorry for the stray. It is just that I believe the science is there and students ought to be given the opportunity to explore more topics of sexuality without being selected out for having a different view. And we need more research in the topic of sexuality. Did I say that already – how about one more time?? LOL!!

  44. Jayhuck,

    You and I may define orientation differently and though my behavior has changed so have my feelings.

    There was a time when I could not understnad why any woman would want to be with a man. I had no inkling that I would change perspectives and heart as well. So, we still do disagree. I don’t want to argue – I just want to be clear. Yes, people do change and not just the way they act/behave. Again, the research is there – just not in the way everyone wants it – in fact I would like better interviewing methods – but I do know changed people. And women are different than men – women seem to change easier or more often.

    Thank you for responding. I respect that you do not see change in your feelings towards men/women and that is your experience. I do not beleive that everyone can change no matter the amount of talking and exercise. For some – it works. For some it just does not. I do know – don’t try to force anything.

    And I cannot say that for the rest of my life I will be who I am today – only time will tell.

  45. Eddy,

    I’m with you though – if we can find the story being discussed by a more reputable source, I’d be more inclined to discuss it as well – and I promise to make a concerted effort to stay on topic

  46. Eddy,

    With all due repsect, if we can’t trust the source, what use is their in discussing the story they published?

  47. I’ll say it more plainly. There is an actual topic and I happen to be interested in it. I feel we barely discussed the topic at all before we detoured into discussing the style and history of the website and the agenda of the writer (not to mention, ‘how Christians are impinging on the rights of gay people’. It’s been AGES since we discussed that). My query re a reputable news source was my way of saying: I hear you, you don’t trust the news source. But, hey, that story is one I want to understand better. All you’ve done is said ‘we can’t trust this source’. What about the story itself? Is it true? Are there areas of the story that were ‘enhanced’ or ‘distorted’? How can we get one of the reputable news sources to explore this story–so that I can actually discuss it with somebody instead of wandering down these side avenues with you? (BTW: The questions ARE rhetorical. WHEN we get a reputable version of this story, I’ll rejoin the conversation minus the detour.)


    Bless you a thousand times! I have been noticing your efforts to stay on topic and/or to take us back to topic. Appreciate it immensely! Most of the time, I find that I’m in total agreement with you. It helps that you speak without bias better than most of us.

  48. Mary,

    Oh wow – I just realized I probably opened a can of worms with that last post – and I really didn’t want to do that. We can agree to disagree Mary – that is fine – but I want you to know, that I DO agree with you that people can change. I’ll never question or disagree with you there. That is one of the good things about humanity – we can change and better ourselves (of course, everyone will have different ideas about what that means).

  49. Mary,

    I am sorry I haven’t made myself clear to you at this point – but I never, ever said that people can’t change. People change all the time – But this has nothing to do with science. Changing behaviors is something that people have done – well – since there have been people I suppose – I will never dispute that. The only thing that isn’t true, is that sexual orientations changes – that I don’t believe – and as far as it goes right now, there is no scientific proof to back that up. Yes, behaviors definitely change – that’s a fact. Changing one’s inherent sexual orientation is not proven, and just because someone says they’ve done it doesn’t make that science! Does that make sense?

    This is a much more involved discussion that we probably don’t want to get into – because what I wrote above really isn’t everything I believe – I just had to nutshell it so that I didn’t run so long. I believe that, for all his faults, Kinsey was probably right about people – There are very few real homosexuals and there are few true heterosexuals – most people fall into a spectrum somewhere in between – this goes a long way in explaining the “fluidity of sexuality” that everyone, especially ex-gays, always seem to be talking about.

    Wow – sorry – I really went off topic there didn’t I. The main point of my message, Mary, is that I agree with you wholeheartedly – people do change, but they don’t always change in the way they say/believe they have changed.

  50. Timothy,

    You are absolutely right – And I definitely wouldn’t say that there is a liberal bias with the Wall Street Journal – I’d have much more faith and trust in the article if it came from a reputable source – Everyone thinks that they can be a journalist nowadays, but the kicker is, most of these “news sites” and blogs don’t have to abide by any ethical standards – that goes for both liberal and conservative sites., again, has NEVER, EVER posted an article that comes anywhere close to showing gays in a positive light – their agenda is not just conservative, but religious, and they twist and omit facts, and use inflammatory language, to further their own particular agenda. Now, is this something that some liberal sites do – of course – but I don’t trust them anymore than I do

    To be fair, there are a great number of online sites that strive to be objective and to speak to what we actually do know – not to what we don’t. But they are rare!!!

  51. Timothy,

    Of course it is going to bias. As well, when I tell the story of my life I am going to bias it through my own lense. It’s just that – maybe you don’t see it – but as an ex gay I certainly do feel the stigma from “liberals” even though I am politically liberal. I often get the rhetoric that I must be less intelligent, less understanding of the scientific data being presented, and obviously brain washed. And I do feel it when I am in public and around others. So the bias really does exist from both sides. And yep – christians (on the whole) have been getting the backlash from years of political/religious evangelizing done by some very misguided people. Whenever I read the Journal or regular paper – I read a lot of bias against people such as myself.

    I don’t think we can eliminate bias but it would be nice if both sides began to open discussion instead accusation.

  52. Eddy,

    Ken, Timothy, Jayhuck? Who would you trust to report on this situation fairly?

    Well, I’d be more inclined to believe the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times, etc. etc. Yes, they might all have “liberal media bias” but at least they would make an attempt to balance the story. And they wouldn’t use inflamatory language.

    If there is even a lingering doubt as to the intent of the Mike Adams, let me present his agenda in his own words:

    Author’s note: I want to thank the Alliance Defense Fund ( for giving me the information necessary to defend Mr. Ford in the court of public opinion as they prepare to defend him in a court of law.

  53. Ed asked:

    Ken, Timothy, Jayhuck? Who would you trust to report on this situation fairly?

    I would trust somebody who at least attempted to follow basic rules of journalism and tried to maintain some level of integrity in his/her reporting. Keep in mind, I had never heard of Mike Adams before reading this series of articles. However, it didn’t take me long to realize he clearly has an ax to grind, not sure if it is specifically with Purdue or “liberal” colleges in general – although I suspect the latter, and he is willing to use Jeffrey Ford’s story to do it.

    Keep in mind that Timothy was just pointing out one of several examples of distortions that Adams gave in his series of articles. This bias goes beyond just telling one side of the story

  54. Ah, Science! Yesterday I heard they discovered that the fumes from buttered microwave popcorn were a potential health risk. I appreciate their insight…I never could handle the smell of that stuff…but was mildly tickled that it’s taken them several decades to make the discovery.

    Seems like it should be an easy discovery to make and to support. Analyze the chemical makeup of the popcorn and seasoning ingredients; combine that with the chemical makeup of people and see if it all meshes. Oh, wait, I think I get it. They didn’t see a problem because they weren’t looking for one. Just one of the limitations of science.

  55. Jayhuck,

    I sincerely disagree with you. There is science and research and people. It is just not what you accept. For me – who has changed – I do accept it. That’s the difference – I guess – not really sure. I don’t buy the idea that people cannot change and have seen too many instances where change has occurred – maybe not in the way that gay activists would like. Again – it is hard to define and document. But your personal experience is very different from mine. Let’s agree to disagree on this??

  56. Mary,

    To be fair, there is a good deal of science surrounding gay people and gay issues – the problem comes when we are talking about science regarding people who identify as ex-gay. Comparatively, there is very little research for this group.


    I think you said it best when you wrote: “However, Mary, the point of this particular thread is not about the origins or about ex-gays, but about this person’s religious affiliation and how that did interact or should interact with his education. My post above goes into far more detail on my thoughts there…but I was trying to get us back on track.”

    There are so many different religions and different religious views – we should be able to respect all religious viewpoints without allowing those many and varied beliefs interfere with the education of others.

  57. Eddy,

    I do hope you understand that even though I couldn’t speak to the authenticity of the story, or even the story itself, I could speak to its source and to the other issues that were brought up because of it.

    If you were just trying to be humorous – my apologies for not taking it as such 🙂

  58. Jag,

    The student was quite obvious that if presented with a client who had SSA – he would refer the client elsewhere.

    As far as the science goes, we have varying reports. I accept that you see it your way. And the reports on women are different than for men.

    Personally, I don’t think my view on my sexuality should be the same for others. I assume they have their own views on their sexuality. And that should be as it is. I have never to the best of my knowledge made a claim about my views on another person’s homosexuality being a sin. I have said that being gay is not for me and does not sit well with my belief and value system.

    I don’t know if gay parents have it easier or harder than straight parents. From all accounts, raising kids is a difficult job in the best of circumstances. They (kids) will all tell you at one time or another that they hate you or can’t stand you or that you embarrass them etc…etc.. etc… (it is rare if you don’t get that) I don’t know if the teacher made that claim about parenting or the student – from that article.

  59. Mary –

    I respect your thoughts here, and I don’t think anyone has disagreed with your stance that if you are ex-gay, you have a right to be and to believe in the process of change, whatever that is for you.

    I do think, however, in academics that we have a responsibility to look at this matter through the lens of science – realizing that the religious interpretation of what it means to be gay, a gay parent, etc…must remain with the individual. It is not the schools place to give you a value system, but for you to know the facts…for example, even if you may personally believe homosexuality to be a sin, you must know (as a grad student) that if a client is in a same-sex parenting relationship that the children of that family has no inherent ill effects due to this and that also they will not necessarily grow up to be gay. These are not value judgments, they are the research at this time.

    As for where orientation originates, it is the scholar’s obligation to present the most recent theories of this.

    However, Mary, the point of this particular thread is not about the origins or about ex-gays, but about this person’s religious affiliation and how that did interact or should interact with his education. My post above goes into far more detail on my thoughts there…but I was trying to get us back on track.

    Jayhuck –

    Thank you again for your thoughts. I agree that we have to be “honest about the science” in everything we present – even when the honesty is difficult or does not support the position we want it to. Bending the science to suit any particular affiliation or political gain usually results in a degredation of that person’s position. James Dobson is a great example of this. Misusing the research, and getting called on it by the authors of the studies themselves. It was shameful, and personally I thought it made him look like a sleazy used car salesman. There are better ways to argue your point than to distort the truth.

  60. LOL! Jayhuck begins post 45731 with “I can’t speak to this story” and then comments 5 times. Sorry, couldn’t let that slip by….

    The story seems to be that SOMETIMES, despite challenges to the contrary, Christians DO suffer from the effects of discrimination and its ugly cousins. It certainly seems to be more rare than anti-gay discrimination but some would argue that anti-gay discrimination, though still prevalent, is waning and that anti-Christian (conservative) discrimination is on the rise. Since my dream is to see an end to ALL discrimination; I am pleased by the waning and disturbed by the rise.

    Several have questioned the story (the topic story) for its likely bias. In a nation of ‘free press’ that problem is easily solved. Some more reliable news service needs to pursue the story as well. Ken, Timothy, Jayhuck? Who would you trust to report on this situation fairly? Heck, it could be fun for us here to compare the two and learn a thing or two about bias and how it distorts even facts.


    I recall that one of the most exhausting parts of being in the ministry was the public forum. It seems there was no word choice I could make that would satisfy. In the situation described several times above, if he said simply ‘gay couple’ or ‘partners’ some would rail ‘you’re such a bigot that you think our kids could be damaged simply by watching us eat breakfast’. So, he chooses a term that implies the visible sexuality to avoid the aforementioned problem and gets railed on for a presumed motive.

    I do agree that there may have been a word switch, I just see more than one possible explanation. (I’m not saying mine is correct, either, I just see it as a possibility.) I also have to admit that I took the word ‘supposedly’ different than you. In the context, I thought he was questioning whether there were any real consequences at all. (i.e. “You’ve heard it argued that gay marriage is harmful to the children; let’s examine that and see if there’s any truth to it.”

  61. Mary,

    In the end, I suppose, the courts will probably get to decide whose rights stop where. Just as in the recent decision by the courts to stop teens from wearing anti-gay T-shirts, even though their religion teaches them to be anti-gay. The courts said that doesn’t give them the right to harass other students with their beliefs by wearing them on a piece of clothing.

  62. Mary,

    I agree, but we also have to be honest about the science surrounding “change” and we have to be honest about what change means – often it just means celibacy. We also have to be honest that the science is lacking in regards to this issue, and we have to acknowledge that this is not a scientific or academic, but really, primarily, a religious issue.

  63. Jayhuck,

    Being ex gay – I think is a personal matter and a person should have a right to attend therapy to help him/her deal with it. Some say that change doesn’t work. Well, I disagree. Some say it is easier for women than men – I don’t know. Some say that science does not support change – I think it does to some extent. And these “some say” situations get in the way of what others say. That’s all.

    We really cannot prove that gayness is all genes or all environment. I personally would love to map my genes as well as the genes of my grandparents, parents and siblings just to get an idea of what is what. But until we have definitive answers ( and anyone who says that we do right now – well – you can guess my thoughts about them) then we all need to respect eachother and respect our varying perspectives on self. And this student (although I think by the circumstances or the way the story is being told he had a pretty good idea of what he was getting into) should have every right to opine his ideas and perspectvies on sexual/relational/social development. If we had all the thoughts and ideas we need today to make it through and help everyone solve all their problems we would not encourage graduate students to develop their thesis. We would really just stop trying to understand anything further.

    And you ask an old question – your rights stop where another person’s rights begin. But where is that exactly? Well, it’s a long debate. “All part of the democratic experience” they say.

  64. Wow – sorry for all the posts Warren. I was thinking about this and wondered when religious freedom begins impinging on other people’s rights to live free of harassment, fear and in a state of equality with others. We’ve talked about this in regards to gay marriage. Jag mentioned above that some religious people believe that gay people should be killed – others simply believe they shouldn’t have any rights. Most of these feelings are born out of religious feelings/beliefs – so when does their freedom of expression end and the rights of the gay person begin? Should religious people who are anti-gay be allowed to wear T-shirts that express their religious viewpoints, even if those viewpoints involve murder? Should a graduate student get to speak on a matter that has no real scientific basis? Being Ex-gay, by and large, is a religious matter – should academia be made to cater to every person’s religious belief?

    Personally, I don’t feel that this person – if this story is true, was treated properly, but I’m not sure how *I* would have dealt with this situation either. Just because someone believes something, just because they have a deeply felt religious belief, doesn’t mean that it can be adopted as Truth by an academic institution – at the same time, though, there needs to be some sensitivity to those feelings and to all religious perspectives – not just Christianity

  65. Jag –

    Once again – thank you. You addressed this issue in the way I wish I could have. I appreciated your message above.

  66. I can’t speak to this story, but I can and will say that has a clear and blatant conservative agenda. They constantly publish articles that are anti-gay or ex-gay – there has never been anything resembling a pro-gay article on that sight (except for some ex-gays saying that gays are people too) – nothing I’ve seen that even comes close. So the news there is most definitely one-sided. This leads me to at least believe that they haven’t told us the whole truth – even if they have given us some of it – and I’m not quite even willing to believe they’ve done that yet.

  67. Not going to get off on a tangent of whether Mike Adams is acceptable to you Ken. My statement about his articles stand; he clearly has a view of how this went down from his interviews with the two students. If the students didn’t tell him everything, this will come out eventually. I do not believe Mike changed what he was told but he apparently did not interview the professors so more will come out I assume. Whether you believe they acted appropriately or not remains to be seen.

  68. Mary said:

    Are you saying that homosexual parents do not have difficulties in raising children? Is engaging in homosexual conduct the same thing as same sex parents or gay parents?

    No, what Timothy is saying is that Mike Adams is engaged in deceitful reporting. I’m pretty sure (and I’d be willing to put a significant amount of money on it) that Prof. Wetchler didn’t talk about “parents who engage in homosexual conduct.” I’d bet she talked about gay (or same-sex/gender) parents. However, Mike Adams didn’t want his readers just thinking about a same-gendered couple sitting together at the school play or at the dinner table. Adams wanted his readers thinking about sexual practices that may make them feel uncomfortable when they think of these parents. Adams’ articles are full of this kind of manipulative language.

  69. Timothy,

    Are you saying that homosexual parents do not have difficulties in raising children? Is engaging in homosexual conduct the same thing as same sex parents or gay parents? I mean do we not assume that heterosexual parents are engaging in sexual conduct, too? Some gays would take offense to even using such a term as same sex or gay – Why not just parents? – who by the way engage in homosexual conduct. I can see it both ways – being offensive no matter what word choice was used.

  70. You didn’t answer the 2nd question Warren.

    Do you consider Mike Adam’s articles a reliable source of information?

  71. “…Mr. West consulted with one Professor Byrd…”

    i.e. Mr. West called NARTH

    “Professor Wetchler opened an Advanced Child Development class by discussing the supposed difficulties faced by parents who engage in homosexual conduct.”

    Are we pretending that this is reporting? The supposed difficulties? “Parents who engage in homosexual conduct” instead of “same-sex parents” or “gay parents”?

    I’m sorry but I give no credibility to articles written in this manner. This isn’t reporting, this is scare mongering.

  72. When should science be subordinate to one’s religion?

    There is a lawsuit in California instituted by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) against the University of California system (UC). It is over what ACSI calls “viewpoint discrimination.” California Christian schools have been using textbooks for biology which state: “Biology for Christian Schools is a textbook for Bible-believing high-school students. Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling. This book was not written for them.” And also: “The people who prepared this book have tried consistently to put the Word of God first and science second…If…at any point God’s Word is not put first, the authors apologize. .” The UC system has said that biology classes which use these texts are unacceptable as core classes in high school for universities in the UC system.

    ACSI calls this “viewpoint discrimination. This seems to be the same problem Mr Ford has run into. The point being however, how can a professor come to deny what he understands that science to be?

    Understandably, it is a “softer science” in the counselling fields than biology, or even my speciality, geology. If there was a Christian earth science text which held to the Biblical flood to being the cause of most all of the geologic rock column, I’d be calling the classes unacceptable also for core classed for a university.

    How much less so are Ford’s professors allowed to support their scientific understandings?

    Lastly, I wonder what was in Ford’s letter to the editor. As it was in Indiana, it might have been discussed on our local boards. I am wondering if Ford supported the work of the Cameron’s for one.

    And dangit!! Number VI was anticlimatical! I expected to hear the end of it….

  73. Mike Adams columns give a level of context that nothing else available does. He apparently intereviewed Ford and has presented his side of the story. Perhaps someone else will intereview the professors and other students. Eventually, if it gets to court a judge or jury will decide.

  74. I’m curious Warren, why did you feel the need to reference Adam’s articles on this matter? Do you consider it a reliable source of information?

    Those articles are clearly biased in favor of Ford. So much so, I’d think they were written by his attorney in the lawsuit. I suspect there is a lot of information being deliberately omitted from that series of articles.

  75. This is an interesting article. I would really question a few things on both sides….

    1. All personal backgrounds are to be respected. If, as alleged, professors attempted to have him abandon his religious beliefs – they should be held accountable for this type of discriminatory, intolerant, behavior. I think it would be wonderful to have an open seventh day adventist in class to discuss multiple perspectives on current issues (if he was willing to share). In a marriage and family program, that’s real life. All your clients aren’t bastions of liberal thought.

    2.. All viewpoints are to be respected – religious, nonreligious, etc..but, in grad school, it is not your job to conform to anyone’s “opinions” or “beliefs” but to know the research and current thought. Did he refuse to acknowledge certain aspects of the research? For example, research demonstrates children raised by same-sex parents do not show detrimental effect…did he insist that it did?

    As a professor (I teach in an inner city college), I know that I have Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc…students. Some of my students have vocalized they believe people who are gay should be put to death according to their religion. As disgusting as this is to me personally, they have every right to believe that; but when asked about current research – they need to know it. How they put their faith together with research is their own business.

    The other factor here, is whether his beliefs fostered an intolerance of certain factors and contributed to a “hostile” classroom environment…we don’t know. It could be hostile *toward* him, or hostile *because* of him. It’s hard to say at this point.

    3. He didn’t like that he wasn’t given letters of recommendation? As a professional, you are under no obligation to support a candidate for further education or study if you do not see them as fit or any other reason. I have refused to write letters before for many reasons…some as trivial as the fact the deadline was too soon.

    4. We haven’t heard from the professors or the program itself. The APA has a lot of intolerance in its past regarding the contributions of many ethnic groups, inclusion of racial minorities in studies, etc…but has worked hard to attempt to be a model of inclusion. They would not look fondly upon any program that was discriminatory on the basis of religion.

    We’ll see what happens…

  76. Correction – Mike Adams is not a “former college professor”, but a current criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

  77. Yes, for professional (and some personal) reasons, I keep my anonymity. It’s too bad that this is happening. Thank you for this series. I will be passing it on. Maybe more will open up with their stories.

  78. Although I find his religious views wrong-headed (at best), he has a clear right to them. If the facts hold, then the professors need to be held accountable.

    Creating a safe environment for discussion, dissent and exploration is at the very heart of the academy. Attaining safety is clearly more difficult when someone is espousing views such as Mr. Ford, but more speech is the best approach.

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