Not anyone I have written about before…
The rhetoric is getting so outrageous that I didn’t think any more societal ills could be blamed on gays but I was wrong. But Robert Peters of Morality in Media (Can the irony get any thicker?), put out a news release just now with this headline:
“Connecting the Dots: The Link Between Gay Marriage and Mass Murders”
His news hook is the horrific shootings in Binghamton, NY where 14 people were killed, including the perpetrator of the crime. In the release, he says mass murderers and gay marriage stem from the same source – a post-Christian society. He says near the end of the release that he isn’t blaming the murders on gays:
It most certainly is not my intention to blame the epidemic of mass murders on the gay rights movement! It is my intention to point out that the success of the sexual revolution is inversely proportional to the decline in morality; and it is the decline of morality (and the faith that so often under girds it) that is the underlying cause of our modern day epidemic of mass murders.
So why bring gays into it?
Most mass killings, as in this case, relate to mental illness, notably that involving thought disorders. His thesis is tired and in this release without a shred of substantiation. And then to use that awful situation in New York to bash gays takes it to a new level of immorality in media.
UPDATE: David Corn at Mother Jones weighs in…
38 thoughts on “And the award for the most extreme, outrageous headline goes to…”
the comparison is not the gay activists and absurd assertions; it is with other religious bigots (white, Muslim and fundamentalist).
We are members of a troubled community.
Somehow I feel that before electricity, before telegraphs, etc. there were same sex relationships, there were mass murders, and there were people who tried to connect two things that happened at the same time in history but had no common factor. This is nothing new. If the opinions of this person had the coercive force of law behind them, that would be something to fight against. Hopefully most people will simply ignore such talk. The people to be most wary of are Pharisees. The external Law and Letter may fall to pieces, but the work of the Spirit cannot be deterred one way or the other. Law, as good as it is, is used by sin to promote rebellion (i.e. “wet paint, do not touch”).
I posted this because I am stunned by the lengths people will go to promote their views. I do not know any comparable rhetoric from gay groups but I assume there is some.
What actually happens however, is that the position becomes less persuasive. I cannot imagine anyone reading that news release on gay marriage and mass murder and thinking, ‘hey he has a point there.’
I show these kind of things in my classes to students and they generally tear these things apart we use them as indicators of how not to engage in rhetoric. I do not know the person who did this; he may be a nice guy. But the rhetoric and logic here is troubling at best. The only relief is that the purported “connection” is so absurd that I suspect very few people will be swayed by it.
That’s not to say that some bigoted people, and I’m not including you in this David B., don’t use excuses like this to rationalize their bigotry – if that makes sense. It eases some people’s guilt to say, well, its only rational to be cautious, etc, etc….
Regardless, though, civil marriage is a right that should be made available to gay couples. Keeping gay couples from such a right can only, in my opinion, hurt gay people, gay families and societies in the long run – because gay couples and gay families are not going away. And the number of gay couples raising children is only likely to grow.
Tim, Dave G and Jayhuck,
I assume the studies you cite, in part have to do with comparing single heterosexual mothers (divorced) with single (SSA) mothers…and that there is no significant difference between these two groups.
These groups were measured, as I recall, using self-reports; a not very accurate means of assessment (cf. HRC criticism of Spitzer).
As this topic has been incredibly politicized in the last 5 years, I am doubting that a reasonable study will be done using more objective tools and a longitudinal analysis (the most accurate, which exposed the pervasive risks posed to children of divorce).
It is reasonable, and certainly not bigoted, given the track record of the last 40 years to be cautious about broadening the definition of marriage.
Serial monogamy in multiple heterosexual unions has not been good for children.
Maybe the Catholics had it right (with their own flaws of course), having a strict definition of marriage that was difficult for even heterosexuals to keep.
We have firm evidence that kids raised in “mom and dad” families do better than those raised in single-parent families. This is not in dispute.
We have some evidence that kids raised in same-sex families may do as well as (in some ways better than) kids raised in opposite-sex families.
We have no credible evidence (much less “numerous studies” or “the science”) that kids raised in same-sex families “are more likely to encounter troubled lives” than those raised in opposite-sex families. Or none that I’ve seen.
And you are right Dave – those other studies you speak about are NOT gay-related. The four studies done show that those studies do not apply necessarily to gay families.
They were not “carefully selected from the pro-gay” community Dave G – as much as you would probably like to believe. There have been at leas four studies on this so far and all four have come up with the same results.
I can give you any number of my friends as evidence of gross dissatisfaction among children raised in opposite-sex “parent” homesteads – as well as books and articles to support that as well.
The fact remains that the studies show that kids growing up in same-sex households are no better and no worse than those growing up in opposite-sex households.
I think you know, Jayhuck, that those several studies showing “no appreciable difference” were (carefully) selected from within the pro-gay community, and they do not outweigh the many studies –not necessarily gay-related, but from motherless or fatherless or disfunctional families –which present a statistically significant difference in school achievement, graduation, and successful living.
There are also books and/or articles written which provide anecdotal evidence of gross dissatisfaction among grown children raised in same-sex “parent” homesteads.
As I said – we can only surmise. And that was my point. No one can say for certain.
Regarding Jesus’s brothers and sisters, it depends on what Christian group you speak with. The two largest Christian denominations in the world – Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox, say that the words we see in the Bible today talking about his brother and sister, actually mean close relative – there is evidence they might be right. Its all very involved and really outside my ability to speak to, but thought you might like to know this anyway.
Dave G –
Actually Dave, you’re wrong. Several studies that have been done comparing kids that grew up with gay parents with those that grew up with straight parents showed that there was no appreciable difference in the development of the two groups – meaning that the kids from straight households grew up no better and no worse than those in gay households.
MiM’s press release is, in a kind of perverse sense, hilarious. Look at how it’s constructed. He works up to a connection between gay marriage and mass murder; then he states that he didn’t intend to connect gay marriage and mass murder; then he finishes up by (you guessed it!) connecting gay marriage to mass murder.
It’s almost as though Peters is parodying himself and the rest of the Religious Right, by putting out something that no sane person would put out.
I almost feel like checking Snopes to see if he actually put it out … and am wondering if it might not turn out to be somebody’s April Fool’s joke or a copy-&-paste from The Onion. Then again, it’s nothing I don’t exactly expect from the Religious Right …
Check out FRC’s “Mapping America” on family structure and children’s behavior.
Exactly my point. We can only surmise whilst we try to mandate exactly what a family should look like in our society.
It seems Mary told Jesus from the beginning that God was His Father, especially if His peers taunted him that Joseph was not. With this assurance, Jesus was well on His way to fulfilling His Father’s will as the Messiah. He knew who he was. And so do we; so the existence of an earthly father, if there was one, is irrelevant.
Brothers & sisters mentioned later in the Gospels may have been Joseph’s from an earlier marriage, as some scholars surmise, or they may be Mary & Joseph’s, coming along after her “first born.” The fact is, we don’t have enough facts to know for sure.
Does anyone know the exact makeup of Jesus’ family. How many brothers and sisters? Were they all from the same father. What happened to his earthly father? Etc…..
Let’s not assume all blame is on homosexuals or same-sex marriages. The article points to a correlation, not causation. But the gay movement is a part of the problem, and it ought not be given carte blanc to be enforced by law while other immorality is discouraged by law –like murder.
The science, Jen, is that kids raised in other than happily-married Mom & Dad homes are more likely to encounter troubled lives; numerous studies have demonstrated this. Statistical studies recognize exceptions in either direction, that why an error factor is always present. But valid studies minimize this factor.
No way this headline would be written without a gross misunderstanding of the Biblical story of S and G.
Starting with the truth, leads to better extrapolations.
Starting with a lie…all is lost.
The nuclear family is losing ground with or without same-sex marriages. There doesn’t seem to be any direct causal relationship between these two. Even if the number of SS marriages is increasing, it’s still very small to have any influence on the bigger number of heterosexual marriages.
Wait a minute… now the point you are making Dave is that children born into or adopted into homosexual families are more likely to join gangs or do drugs? Where is the science to back up that assessment?
A child that is brought up in a loving home with attentive parents would seem more likely to avoid such trouble as gangs or drugs than one who is not… no matter the sexual orientation of the parents involved.
Dr T – sometimes I wonder at your innocence. In some ways it’s touching. But I don’t think you realise the extent of the hatred out there. For gays, and even more for transpeople.
OK, so the next generation of children have no sure paired segment of the gene pool they can identify with, they have either no father or no mother to complement the one parent they do have (if they do) –hence an unbalanced home environment to belong to, and a culture that offers them nothing but “whatever.” Why shouldn’t we expect them to cling to whatever gives them a sure sense of identity –gangs, drugs, the “glory” of venting their frustration, anger and resentment as a media-identified mass murderer. Or maybe this won’t come until the third generation, or the fourth, etc. The point is, the culture becomes unraveled without its basic foundation of intact families as building blocks.
*ethic minority = ethnic minority
Complicated question. Do you have a short explanation for the different population dynamics from each country? For instance, if you check Denmark’s national statistics institute site, the number of childless married couples has been on the rise since 1980, while the number of marriages that begot children decreased. Registered partnerships going up, but very small numbers… More and more people are living in consensual unions and cohabiting couples, especially childless ones. Where does same-sex marriage fit in these trends? Do they make people live in less committed, childless unions than before? Similar trends can be observed in countries without same-sex marriages. It seems to be a more general problem in the developed world.
No idea what happened in France. But France is a special case in Europe, they don’t recognise any ethic minority, for instance.
No one can predict the future with a good degree of precision, but some of the following could happen:
– an increase in the number of stable couples among lesbian women
– initial increase in the number of married gay men couples, followed by rather high rates of divorce
– a reduction/moderation of mental health problems among members of SS couples with at least 8 years of marriage
– a decline in the number of other-sex marriages that produce children, accompanied by an increase in other forms of unions without children, etc.
Honestly, Warren…. all I could think to say while I read that was….. “Warren! You’re starting to sound like a gay activist! You’d better rein it in!
Well, Rome did not accept gay marriages and it still fell!
Actually Dave G – nothing bad at all has happened to those countries that accepted same-sex marriage. That you can take to the bank! Almost all arguments otherwise have proven untrue.
What is happening to marriage in those European countries that accepted same-sex marriage?
Why has France outlawed same-sex marriage?
Native Americans look forward to the 7th generation. What would you say we have to look forward to with same-sex marriage?
THere are countries that accepted same-sex marriage in Europe and are not particularly plagued by mass murder.
Also, China had some problems with mass murderers, but they don’t have same-sex marriages.
However, it could be argued that it depends on each cultural model, how that shaped the community.
Outrageous in a reversed way…
What if both are true? Gays should be entitled to … and that will lead to …
One big dilemma. How you take sides will tip the balance and you might get your cake without being able to eat it. It can only be solved when each side sees the necessity to support the other side against one’s own conviction. Conflict makes life possible but it can destroy it too, so we better learn this new logic of life that keeps opposites in conflict and balance or we’re going to keep repeating past mistakes. We’re still stuck in the old logic that one side will win because we’re on that side. If we do that, it’s stupidity that’s going to win. The brute and immanent view on life.
The Romans collapsed because they didn’t know how to deal with inflation.
The Western world might repeat history in a different way, because we don’t know how to deal with sexual identity without losing transcendence.
I find it more than ironic that two people in a committed, monogomous, long term relationship can be considered a sign of moral decline.
You make a good point; Jesus himself discriminated amonf moral laws, ritual laws and dietary laws. The Bible is not infallible. But when history, science, medicine and social science statistics agree with the warnings of scripture, there’s got to be something to it.
It’s not really a connection, is it. Just a correlation. But both are connected to moral decline, along with the rest of society’s ills. At least that seems to be what he’s saying.
Dave G – When the Bible says, don’t bear false witness, what do you think it means?
The fuss is that there is no relationship between gay marriage and mass murders. No dots to connect. Why imply there is?
Congratulations Dave, that is as specious an argument as the original article. Hey look kids…! Mass Murder and homosexual behavior are the same…!
Before you get all Biblical on me, let me point out that many, many parts of the Bible are taken with a grain of salt… such as wearing clothing of different threads and selling your daughters into slavery… Slavery itself is condoned in the Bible for crying out loud! It seems to only be the parts that relate to homosexuality that are taken as Gospel.
This is extreme! whoa…
but I have to say, it’s just about the same as those new fear-based commercials by the national organization for marriage saying “the storm is coming.”
They crack me up. It’s just ridiculous.
What’s the fuss? Mass murder is a sin; homosexual conduct is a sin. Both reflect the decline of morality and religion, which is his point. Why name gay marriage -a legal justification for homosexual conduct –instead of any other sin? Because homosexuality is the “sin du juor” getting legal backing via politics, as in Vermont.
It would seem that justification for any sin tends to weaken justification for any and all others.
I am amazed at the way people connect these dots. I have no doubt that lack of familial attachment and other close social supports contribute to such behaviors but to blame it on gay marriage??? WOW!!!
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