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'Phobewatch- CUB Phobe Log Week 1

Thu 24 Jun 2004 In: Comment

In this article, I'll investigate what local and imported phobes have been saying or doing about the impending Civil Union Bill over the last week or so. On Friday 18 June, there were two significant items of interest. Granny Herald printed an irritating article from one Neil Whitehead. Who is Neil Whitehead? Well, he's a fundamentalist Baptist who used to be associated with the defunct Wellington New Image/Lion of Judah Ministries/Immaculate Heart of Mary community down there. Granny didn't tell you that his book, "My Genes Made Me Do It," is printed by Lafayette, Louisiana's "Huntington House," a dumping group for Christian Right conspiratorial fare and junk scientists like Paul Cameron and Judith Reisman, whose work they also published. If his perspectives are academically credible, then why hasn't he submitted it to a proper peer-reviewed publication? And why is he publishing unrefereed research papers on NARTH, the Christian Right "reparative therapy"/"gay conversion" outfit? He doesn't have qualifications in that area. In the evening, Maxim Institute Director Bruce Logan made a rather silly speech at the Society for Promotion of Community Standards about the "good old days" of the 1950s. At that time, abortion was unknown, except to women who died from backstreet abortions or post-operative surgical complications from childbirth induced through residual infections. At that time, Maori kids got belted for speaking te reo in the schools. At that time, gay men could get queerbashed to death, and acquittal would follow for the attackers. Logan made a predictable litany of complaint about the alleged evils of multiculturalism, and stated that marriage wasn't a human rights issue. Excuse me? If we're going to start romanticising the fifties, then could we please remember that the US Deep South and apartheid-era South Africa banned black-white interracial marriages during that period. Try telling them that marriage wasn't a human rights issue, Bruce. Finally, Logan ended with his usual distortion of natural law theory. On his Institute for Liberal Values website, Jim Peron has written an excellent article on alternative liberal versions of natural law theory as a basis for secular and universal human rights that argue that all humans have natural rights and human dignity, not just allegedly "normal" templates, as opposed to alleged "aberrations" like slaves, women and currently, lesbians and gay men. Once again, too, I'd note that conservative Catholic versions of natural law theory are based on Aristotle and Plato's premises that presuppose a discriminatory human norm, although these are deformed and twisted to meet archaic Catholic requirements of compliance within institutional boundaries. Happily, modern experimental medical science and social scientific research is on our side, and the Christian Right can do nothing but distort that to meet their arguments. As for Logan's cavalier treatment of natural law, one Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute appeared in Granny's opinion page on Monday, 21 June. What is the Acton Institute? It's a conservative Catholic free-market institute which has usually defended the business community and New Right against welfare statist elements within Catholicism, back in the United States. Every so often, the NZ Business Roundtable imports Father James Sirocco from that quarter to denounce Catholic mainstream views on social and welfare policy. Is this the best that they can do? I'm beginning to wonder if someone shouldn't set up a rote response and information website on matters Christian Right. They're getting seriously predictable. Perhaps our friends in the NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists, Russell Brown, or other benevolent souls would help out? Recommended Reading: Acton Institute: [Conservative Catholic US think-tank. Associated with New Zealand Business Roundtable.] Neil Whitehead: "My Genes Made Me Do It:" Neil Whitehead: "My Genes Made Me Do It:" Lafayette: Huntington House: 1995 [Why couldn't he get a mainstream publisher? Why does the same outlet publish Reisman and Cameron?] NARTH: National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality [Repository of dissident Christian Right pseudo-psychologists and psychiatrists who believe in reparative/"gay cure" therapy, including some Whitehead papers, which don't seem to have been published in peer-reviewed journals elsewhere.] Society for Promotion of Community Standards [Late Pat Bartlett's pro-censorship/anti-sex work Christian Right group. Hosted Logan last Friday.] Rebuttals: Wayne Besen: Anything But Straight: Exposing the Ex-Gay Myths: Harrington Publishing: 2003. [While journalistic in places, does contain some good factual rebuttals of Nicolosi et al.] Vernon Rosario (ed) Science and Homosexualities: Routledge: New York: 1996. [Excellent work on lesbian and gay intervention and misrepresentation in a range of scientific debates, including genetics. Ideal to rebut Whitehead.] Craig Young - 24th June 2004    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Thursday, 24th June 2004 - 12:00pm

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