2009: Top ten stories

In the past, I have done a lengthly review. No time for that this year, so here goes…

1. Uganda‘s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – What else? Click the link to read all of the posts on the top two stories, including several exclusive stories and interviews. This guest post by author Jeff Sharlet is one of the most visited posts ever. This story may be the #1 story in 2010 as well. Check out the Facebook group, now with nearly 14,000 members.

2. Uganda’s ex-gay conference – The March conference did not create the Anti-homosexuality Bill but it seems to have been a strategic move by organizers to create  a perception that the bill was needed.

3. APA Task Force report – The American Psychological Association released the long awaited report on therapeutic responses involving sexual orientation. The report recognized the difference between sexual orientation and sexual orientation identity, noted the importance of religious congruence in therapy and cited the sexual identity therapy framework favorably. A nice Wall Street Journal article featuring my work on sexual identity therapy was one result.

4. Kevin Jennings controversy – What goes around comes around. At least in the case of my reporting on Obama’s Department of Education appointee, Kevin Jennings, the old saying seems true. An audio mp3 of Mr. Jennings in 2000 disclosing a meeting with who he said at the time was a 15 year old student was on my website long before he was appointed to the administration.  The matter became a major political story which continues to the present and led to a statement from Mr. Jennings that he should have handled the situation with Brewster/Robertson (his student) differently.

5. Golden Rule Pledge – Another issue, another Facebook group. The annual Day of Silence brought another call from far right social conservative groups to boycott schools. Some evangelical students chose to participate in the Golden Rule Pledge or join with same-sex attracted students in pledging a safe school.

6. The Pink Swastika – An offshoot of reporting on the Uganda ex-gay conference was an exploration of the claims of Scott Lively that homosexuality animated the German Nazi party during WWII. Aided by Grove City College historian, J.D. Wynekin, I did multiple posts exposing the factual errors and misleading aspects of the book, The Pink Swastika. In the process, NARTH, Exodus, and Campus Crusade for Christ pulled web references to The Pink Swastika and Mr. Lively’s theories.

7. Change versus congruence – A repeated discussion on the blog relates to useful paradigm’s in sexual identity ministry. Should change of orientation be the focus of a Christian approach or should congruence of behavior with chosen beliefs be the focus? A popular post which triggered much conversation was a reflection on the APA sexual orientation report, “Thoughts on the status of the Reorientation Wars.”

8. The brief love affair of the Christian right with Carrie Prejean – I had a hard time understanding it and said so.

9. Mankind Project goes transparent – As the result of reporting by the Houston Press and here and elsewhere, the Mankind Project decided to reveal more of what takes place during the New Warriors Training Adventure. The info is still buried deeply on their website but there has been some movement toward letting people know what they are getting into before they attend.

10. Research reports- This is a category which acknowledges that when research comes along, I try to get a closer look with occasional interviews which feature prominent researchers (e.g., J. Michael Bailey). Also, important to me is an ongoing focus on reparative drive theory and the problems with it.

There were other popular posts including David Blakeslee’s “What Happened Yesterday” (about the Fort Hood shootings) that don’t rise to the level of these stories for this blog either because I didn’t cover it or because it was an isolated post. I considered the Ohio voter fraud story for the top ten since I broke a lot of that material in 2008 but there was little interest in it when the convictions came down.

So what did I miss? Happy 2010!

7 thoughts on “2009: Top ten stories”

  1. It is true there have been some doosies over the years, but it’s hard to imagine which Exodus blunders are bigger than this one.

    Yes, it is hard to imagine but this one looms so large due to it’s potential implications and the fact that it’s rather current. As time and history play out, it will be better measured in true perspective. Again, just an opinion.

  2. I can think of bigger blunders over the years…

    It is true there have been some doosies over the years, but it’s hard to imagine which Exodus blunders are bigger than this one.

  3. Surely, at least a tip of the hat needs to be extended to ‘The Thread That Will Not Die’…’Berg vs Obama:Response due to Supreme Court by Dec. 10.’

    Although that was December 10, 2008, the thread originated in November 2008 and has garnered well over 2000 comments. My guess is that more than half of those comments came in during 2009. And, believe it or not, there were even a few already this year.

    I disagree with the assessment that #2 was Exodus’ biggest blunder ever and also with the conclusion that it may never recover. I can think of bigger blunders over the years and I actually see that Exodus’ response to this issue has MORE people, while still viewing them critically, understanding them a bit more. But, neither my value judgement or Michael’s can be objectively evaluated…at least not at this time. And the discussion would detour seriously from “did I miss anything?”

  4. a. mcewen – Where was I dishonest? I could say the same thing about your comment. Jennings did say the boy was 15. No one made that up, Jennings said it. And Jennings thought he was having sex and said he made a mistake in his handling of the situation. I think he saved his job by admitting the obvious. Why do you think he admitted he made a mistake?

  5. Warren, please be a bit more honest. The student was 16, which was of legal age and said that he did not have sex. It was for that reason that the story fizzled.

    Also, Fox’s claim that there was no coverage on Kevin Jennings is belied by the stories it did, including a clarification about the incident with the student.

  6. It has been an incredible year. Thanks for keeping us on top of it. Regarding number 7 —

    Should change of orientation be the focus of a Christian approach or should congruence of behavior with chosen beliefs be the focus?

    I vote for the latter.

    Regarding #2 — the single biggest blunder in the history of the ex-gay movement. Exodus may never fully recover.

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