Insure.com in gay lifespan dispute

Boxturtlebulletin is reporting a Cameron citing of some interest. Insure.com has an article on the company website which accepts the lifespan estimates of the Camerons.

We have covered this matter here in depth (e.g. here). To make it easier to follow that nine-part series, I have put it into one article – “Only the gay die young? An exchange between Warren Throckmorton, Morten Frisch, Paul Cameron and Kirk Cameron regarding the lifespan of homosexuals.” All of the posts are included with commentary regarding the arguments presented in that exchange.

As I look at the Insure.com article and the CEO response, I am puzzled why the company has not removed it from the website. I do not believe the Camerons made their case in that article. Also, the one other team which reports a more traditional methodology, Hogg et al, later made it clear that their estimates would be much more positive if current data were used. The author, Joe White, omits that information from his article.

Mr. White quotes the Cameron’s Eastern Psychological Association presentation but does not link to it. It is no longer on the Christian Newswire website but is stored here on the Lifesitenews website. The Cameron’s EPA report is extensively critiqued in my article above by Danish epidemiologist, Morten Frisch and me.

  • Dave G.

    Sorry, Warren, but I cannot totally dismiss Cameron’s observations, simply because as a pastor I have had too many funerals for friends, acquaintances, as well as strangers (to me) who have died too young because of homosexual involvement.

    After consulting with other pastors, I find that my experience is not unusual. The most for which I can accuse Cameron is his typical hyperbole, which is somewhat less than scientific. But on the whole, I don’t think he’s that far off, despite the anecdotal fliers that are often quoted to dispute his findings.

  • Nick R

    African Americans have shorter lifespans than European Americans. Should we therefore assume they are inherently immoral or should be denied health insurance?

    I would also like to see anyone be able to come up with a representative sample of gays – including the ones in the closet. It can’t be done.

  • Pathia

    Dave,

    I have to wonder what age group those are, and what generation. I pretty much associate exclusively with a GLBT crowd, and I don’t know a single person who’s died prematurely from associated medical conditions. I don’t even KNOW someone with HIV, I may, but they keep it private and I’m simply not aware of it. The only friends I have ever lost even somewhat closely related to the ‘lifestyle’ were murdered for being transsexual.

    Are you sure it is homosexual environment exclusively, or some level of lack of impulse control? Most of these ‘burnout’ stories I hear also involve rampant drug use, unprotected sex, alcoholism and other risky sorts of behavior, which suggests much more than it just being the homosexuality that ‘kills’ them. They seem to be suffering from impulse controls on all levels, not just sex.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Dave – I also wonder about sampling. I teach social psych and we talk frequently about correlations from experience. Intuition is sometimes correct but to call what we do research or science we need to quantify and use representative sampling.

    Just about everybody on my block is voting for McCain so Obama doesn’t have a chance would be an illustration of how contextual/experiential sampling can lead to a correlation which may or may not be accurate.

    I honestly do not know what the truth is but since no one can know for sure, it is best just to say engaging in risky sex leads to a greater chance of a fatal disease and leave it there. Whether one is gay straight or in between, this is an accurate statement.

  • Dave G.

    Nick: gays are no more “inherently immoral” than the rest of us “sinners” –but their sexual conduct is considered immoral by world cultures, and world religions are each culture’s conscience entrusted with historically accumulated wisdom from eons of human experience. “Thou shalt not”s are not arbitrary, but based on repetitive observation of negative consequences over extended periods of time.

    Pathia: Not all those for whom I have conducted funeral rites were self-proclaimed gays, but if they died of AIDS or some other medical complication attributed to MSM or WSW, that’s a clue. So also is a grieving same-sex partner. In the small town near us the AIDS Society holds an annual “Walk” which includes memorializing those of the area who have died of AIDS –and every year a few more names have been added. Incidentally, murder victims have never been among those for whom I have conducted funeral services.

    Your suggested “lack of impulse control” concept is interesting. But your list of “drug use, unprotected sex, alcoholism, and other risky…behavior” I have found to more often follow, not precede, initiation of homosexual involvement. –Perhaps because satisfaction and self-fulfillment fall far short of expectations, and even pleasure fades into disillusionment. despair, and suicidal thoughts.

  • Pathia

    Dave,

    Again, like I said above, I don’t know any gay people that act the way you’ve described as being common. Not a single one, do I know OF them? Sure, but they are not part of my social circle. Most gays I know are satisfied, content, not depressed and the majority have been in their current relationship for several years at least.

    I think we’re simply exposed to very different facets of the gay community. There might be a commonality in those that you know that causes them to be so self destructive, but I have never witnessed such an individual in my social groups. This to me tells me there is another common thread involved, not that the fact they are gay. What is it? I have no idea.

  • Nick R

    Dave,

    Lesbians have a much lower chance of getting AIDS than straight women. I guess that “proves” heterosexual women are more immoral than lesbians and should be denied rights.

    Buddhism doesn’t care about sexual orientation and the Hindu divinities take a more androgynous approach. Some Christians are ok with it (historically) and some aren’t (historically). Some Jews are ok with it (historically) and some aren’t. Some Muslims have even used it in Sufi literature to depict Allah’s relationship with people.

    Your problem is you think the world shares your bias.

    I repeat from above, African Americans have a shorter lifespan than European Americans. Based on how you used that against gays, we should assume what? Or are you just looking for any old excuse to justify your prejudice against another group of people?

  • Dave G.

    Warren, I’ll admit that my observations now are more casual than when I was in an academic setting. But I have been exposed to the darker side of this behavior simply by virtue of my profession as a clergyman. The sampling here is much different than it would be in a college, or even in any young adult setting. Nevertheless, even one death that could have not happened is one too many from my perspective. So are several among a population of a few thousand.

    Nick: First off, let’s get off this “immoral” person kick; it’s not the person that’s immoral. it’s the behavior! AIDS is predominately an MSM disease, yet spreads through “heterosexual” intercourse via “bisexual” conduct (or hyperdermic needle sharing, or any other exchange of bodily fluids). Lesbian conduct is quite unlike male sodomy.

    I imagine that within every religion, including Christianity, there are enclaves of those who accept homosexuality, but these do not represent the religion or the culture as a whole, even though they like to present themselves as such. Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus whom I have known tell me that my position as a Christian on this is similar to their own familiarity with their own faith, which eschews same-sex intercourse.

    And let’s be clear on this: Christianity teaches us to love one another. It also teaches that sex is reserved for only those man-woman couples who are in a marriage of life-commitment to one another. Sexual conduct, not relationship, is the issue here.

    Nor do I see what relevance African-American lifespan has to do with this issue. We’re discussing behavior, not race or any other innate, immutable human trait. Neither have I noted untimely deaths as being there to “use against” gays or anyone else. It’s an observation evaluating behavior.

  • Evan

    I have to say Dave G is probably right on this account.

    Anyone can check the Online First edition of the Archives of Sexual Behaviour and see how many studies focus on substance abuse, HIV spread and same-sex sexuality. Why would research focus on that if the problem is not prevalent, specific and serious?

    Just a few examples, but there are more:

    –Sexual Marathons and Methamphetamine Use among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex with Men (DOI 10.1007/s10508-007-9292-y),

    –Sexual Risk Behaviors of HIV-Positive, HIV-Negative, and Serostatus-Unknown Black Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women (DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9365-6),

    –Sexual Behaviors of Non-gay Identified Non-disclosing Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women (a study which talks about a “bisexual bridge” for HIV and STD acquisition and transmission) (DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9357-6),

    –Sexual Behavior, Sexual Identity, and Substance Abuse Among Low-Income Bisexual and Non-Gay-Identifying African American Men Who Have Sex with Men (DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9361-x),

    –Psychosocial Correlates of Unprotected Sex Without Disclosure of HIV-Positivity among African-American, Latino, and White Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women (DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9363-8),

    and so on.

    I don’t imply anything moralising here, I’m just pointing to what evidence there is on this issue. I have stated my opinion on the possible causes for this problem on the Savic & Lindstrom brain study topic (the messages related to vulnerability to stress and the link with reward compensation).

  • Nick R

    AIDS is predominately an MSM disease, yet spreads through “heterosexual” intercourse via “bisexual” conduct (or hyperdermic needle sharing, or any other exchange of bodily fluids).

    You are obviously unaware that AIDS worldwide is primarily a heterosexual disease spread by heterosexual contact. It started with heterosexuals and through them was passed on to homosexual males.

    Furthermore, what you are pointing at in reality is not homosexuality v heterosexuality, it is promiscuity v non-promiscuity. I know many gay Christian males who are at a very low risk for AIDS because they keep sex within committed relationships. That many/most gay males do not in my opinion is partially linked to how the church treats gay males – including through the use of propaganda such as Cameron’s debunked studies that got him repudiated or kicked out from the national scientific organizations for unethical behavior.

  • Ann

    That many/most gay males do not in my opinion is partially linked to how the church treats gay males – including through the use of propaganda

    Nick,

    Are you saying that the church is to be held partially accountable for promiscuous sexual behavior between men? Isn’t who we have sex with, how often, and the methods of behavior all personal choices? A church cannot make this decision, only an individual can.

  • ken

    Evan said in post 113202:

    Why would research focus on that if the problem is not prevalent, specific and serious?

    Because HIV and AIDS IS as serious problem. However, being gay is not. Most of the research you cited (and I suspect the rest you allude to) is HIV related research. Additionally, I suspect little to none of the research you cited talks about what percentage of the gay population is represented by the samples they used. I seriously doubt the problems with risky sex, drug abuse etc, could be extrapolated to the general gay population (as you are implying with your post). And more recent HIV/AIDS research is focusing on other groups as well, ex. inner city minority women, yet because you only grabbed the references dealing with gay men, you presented a skewed view of the focus of the research.

    I don’t imply anything moralising here, I’m just pointing to what evidence there is on this issue.

    Evidence of what exactly? That gays die younger than straight people?

    And why is it you are willing to simply stop at the correlation to gay men and not go any deeper than that?

    Ex. If I cited studies showing blacks do much worse educationally than whites, would you simply assume that blacks are less capable than whites? Or would you ask more detailed questions, like were the groups compared from the same economic level? did they live in the same settings (inner city, suburbs, country etc)? What other factors besides race could be contributing to the correlation?

  • Ann

    This is a recent article from the Center of Disease Control. I hope I did the link correctly.

  • Ann

    Well, I see I am still “link challenged” – here is the web site http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/

  • Ann

    Here is a more detailed article about this discussion.

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/index.htm

  • Evan

    Ken,

    I was casually browsing the Online First edition of the Archives of Sexual Behavior and found a great number of similar papers on the same subject: the link between same-sex behaviour, substance abuse and HIV infection. Why do researchers study so often this kind of topic? They are not studying gays, as you thought I implied, they are studying MSM or MSMW irrespective of their identification.

    The research comes from the number one journal of sex research, not from an HIV studies journal.

    I didn’t make a statistical analysis of the ratio between MSM-related research linked to HIV and research on non-same-sex behaviour and HIV. I simply found only MSM studies. Maybe 2008 was a good year for researchers in this field, I don’t know. Why don’t you check the journal and reply with contrary information?

  • Evan

    @Nick R

    Could you cite some references to support your statements?

  • ken

    Nick R said in post 113214:

    It started with heterosexuals and through them was passed on to homosexual males.

    I’m curious how you determined AIDS “started with heterosexuals.” As I recall, back in the early 80s the primary groups it was associated with were gays, IV drug abusers, an illegal haitian immigrants (the 3rd group quickly washed out as noise).

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Evan – the missing link is the link between HIV and mortality of same-sex attracted people as a group. That is what is at issue in the thread and with the article on the Insure.com website.

    None of these articles address that link that I can see. Nor can I see how these articles address what might selective sampling on Dave’s or Pathia’s part.

  • Ann

    the missing link is the link between HIV and mortality of same-sex attracted people as a group.

    I believe this might be addressed on the last link I sent. I am not sure about terminology but it does talk about statistics regarding HIV and the mortality rate.

  • ken

    Evan asked in post 113222 :

    Why don’t you check the journal and reply with contrary information?

    Contrary to what Evan? You never responded to my questions trying to clarify what you were saying in your initial post.

  • http://someguysarenormal.blogspot.com Brady

    Dave G.,

    Your opinions of homosexuality aside, I must say that I’m sad to see that as a Pastor, you put Paul Cameron’s claims as simple hyperbole and claim his critiques are just anecdotal fliers.

    Surely you’ve seen his history, but I would not consider someone being dropped from the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Sociological Association, and the Nebraska Pyschological Association “anecdotal fliers.”

    Furthermore, he is claiming to be a scientist. He is claiming to have done scientific studies, but even you admit these “studies” are less than scientific. I’m sorry to see that you’ve chosen to have such a soft heart for Mr. Cameron, especially considering the harm his studies have done to gay people. His studies are not just “hyperbole,” people take them seriously, use them against gay people, and he represents them as scientific fact, which they clearly are not. I’m surprised that you seem to give this sort of dishonesty a pass.

    A note about your experience with gay people dying. As noted by Dr. Throckmorton, your sample is not representative. I’d even go as far to say that it’s somewhat similar to the problems of Mr. Cameron’s obituary study. As you may know, he determined how long gay people lived simply by reading the obituaries of gay publications. Obviously, his numbers included only people that died (and only gay people that were out to everyone), and none that lived. Obviously, his life expectancy numbers were shorter.

    Your experience may be similar in that many gay people do not feel inclined to go to churches that aren’t gay-accepting. Many do not go to church at all. So, while the healthy gays live their lives and do not contact you or other pastors, the ones getting sick, or dying feel a need to contact you (or their families). What happens is that you, unfortunately, end up meeting gay people that have had tragedy in their lives and miss out, perhaps, of meeting the gay people that haven’t had the tragedy to seek you out.

  • Evan

    Warren,

    The studies I referred to were meant to indicate some specific greater mortality risks associated with same-sex behaviour. However, these are specific risks that do not necessarily fully translate into mortality rates, I agree. There can be other factors which may not be intrinsic to the behaviour, like homophobic violence, and which could also contribute to premature mortality risks for this category. I was making this argument after Dave G wrote this:

    AIDS is predominately an MSM disease, yet spreads through “heterosexual” intercourse via “bisexual” conduct (or hyperdermic needle sharing, or any other exchange of bodily fluids).

    Of course, that does not mean that the majority of premature deaths are caused by risks associated with same-sex behaviour. I was not addressing that issue directly, only Dave G’s reference to these specific problems, if it’s of any relevance to the subject.

  • Dave G.

    Brady

    Actually I’m more inclined to rely on CDC statistics, but I see Cameron’s claims do often parallel them, although I don’t necessarily buy into all his conclusions.

    Regarding the ASA, APA, CSA, NSA, etc. I am also familiar with the internal politics of these organizations. It doesn’t surprise me that they would oust a member who refused to comply with their P.C. positions.

    In post 113142 I admitted my data were skewed because of my profession. But that doesn’t negate my observation that the mortality was linked to homosexual behavior, and that even one such death is one too many.

  • http://someguysarenormal.blogspot.com Brady

    Dave G.,

    I’m sorry to hear we’re at such a crossroad. I understand your belief about homosexuality. However, I’m saddened that you can’t see the “link” you claim between homosexuality and mortality only applies to a subset of the population. It only serves to turn many gays that do not have these types of risks in their lives away from the Church. You can probably tell that I took (and take) offense to being told that being gay means people will live shorter lives, die of HIV or use drugs. Like most gay people, that’s not part of my life, and when I’m told so frequently how it’s part of gay life in general, it makes me wonder why I’d join arms with a group that tells me something I know now to be true in my life and my friend’s lives.

    I’m also saddened that you can’t see someone like Mr. Cameron for what he is. It’s not that his conclusions don’t always match the CDC, it’s that he actively decides on a conclusion and then tries to prove it, which in my book is straight dishonesty.

    For the record- getting ousted from organizations like the APA, ASA, the CPA and others is quite hard to do, even if you do disagree with the “politics” of these groups. There are plenty of people in these organizations that disagree on policy. He was ousted for his practices, not his beliefs. I really do encourage you to read more on Mr. Cameron before jumping so quickly to his defense or writing him off as someone just using hyperbole to make his points. There’s a reason even groups like Focus on the Family and Exodus no longer refer to his work, and it has way more to do with the quality of his work than some sort of political agenda.

  • jayhuck

    Dave G,

    I don’t think you’re listening to what Dr. Throckmorton and so many others on this thread are saying: that being gay in and of itself means a person will be living a shorter life than anyone else. The fact that so many gay people ARE living to very ripe old ages, that various towns are building gay retirement centers, is a testament to this fact. It all comes down to the choices we make – and living a life of “sex, drugs, etc..” is full of terrible risks, that sort of lifestyle shouldn’t be equated with gay people. Many gay people, gay couples and gay families make healthy lifestyle choices that don’t involve these things. I’m watching many of my older gay friends move into their 50′s and 60′s with few if any health problems.

  • Nick R

    Are you saying that the church is to be held partially accountable for promiscuous sexual behavior between men?

    Yes I am. Let me use myself as an example and then take it a step further. I am gay male. I was celibate. I was publicly humiliated in my church for being gay. I left church. I constantly hear the lies put forth by the religious right – and I mean lies. They regularly make statements that are known to be false, but they make them anyway. Now, I couldn’t help but notice that the people moralizing over my sexual orientation are blatant liars. I couldn’t help but ask the question, if these people are ambassadors of Christ, do I really want anything to do with Christ. Now, I have separated these blatant liars from my faith, but not everyone else does. Others throw the baby out with the bath water. They come to the decision that the religion and morality so vocally held by people who are blatant liars is not a religion and morality they want. So, they reject that religion and morality and do what they want.

    So yes, the blatant lies, prejudice, discrimination and rhetoric of some very prominent Christians and ones not so prominent is partly responsible for the choices people make. We do not live in complete isolation of each other – our thoughts and actions do impact others. We are our brother’s keeper.

    When I hear ignorant lies and propaganda like is appearing in this thread it pushes further away from a supposed God that values truth, love, and justice.

  • Nick R

    I’m curious how you determined AIDS “started with heterosexuals.” As I recall, back in the early 80s the primary groups it was associated with were gays, IV drug abusers, an illegal haitian immigrants (the 3rd group quickly washed out as noise).

    It might surprise you to learn that HIV/AIDS started in Africa, I think in the 1930s. The HIV virus came to humans through chimpanzees. It was started by gays. So, don’t blame us for the diseases that you gave to us.

  • Nick R

    Could you cite some references to support your statements?

    Which statement? Do a quick search on Wikipedia – even though it is not scholarly, it is usually accurate and usually presents many references that can be double checked.

    If you do a quick search on Cameron you will see he got repudiated and banned.

    If you do a quick search on HIV/AIDS you will see the history of it.

    Seriously, none of what I said is a relevation.

  • Nick R

    It was started by gays.

    Dang it, that’s what I get for not carefully proofreading. It should obviously read

    It was NOT started by gays.

  • Dave G.

    Nick

    I really appreciate your input, because as a Christian I deal with my own preconceptions of what is meant when you say “I am a gay male.” Please help me to understand precisely what is meant by this and how you came to this conclusion about yourself. What did/do you perceive in yourself? What did you hear/read/see that you could identify with? At what point did you decide to sexualize a male-male relationship?

    Also, if ex-gay is an option, why not?

  • Ann

    So, they reject that religion and morality and do what they want.

    Nick,

    Ok, then that does verify that they are doing what they want and are making a personal choice to be promiscuous – that has nothing to do with a church or anyone or anything else. It is a personal choice and the responsibility remains with the individual who has made it. We lose all personal power when we start to blame someone or something else for the choices we make. If we continue to do this we will always be at another’s mercy and unable to think independently about making the best choices and decision for ourselves.

    As far as organized religion – I do not like some of the hypocritical aspects of it and the exclusionary words and actions of the leaders and congregants.

  • Nick R

    I really appreciate your input, because as a Christian I deal with my own preconceptions of what is meant when you say “I am a gay male.” Please help me to understand precisely what is meant by this and how you came to this conclusion about yourself. What did/do you perceive in yourself? What did you hear/read/see that you could identify with? At what point did you decide to sexualize a male-male relationship?

    Also, if ex-gay is an option, why not?

    You mean after spending well over a decade in ex-gay ministries, with no change, because I believed people like James Dobson who say you can change your sexual orientation when there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE whatsoever it is possible? There is no such thing as “ex-gay”. When they talk about change, all they mean is changing how you feel about it, changing your behavior, not your orientation.

    Quite frankly, I’m fed up with having to justify my existence to people like you. I have never , ever been attracted to a female, I have never been sexually aroused by one, I have never had an erotic dream about one. If you don’t know what that means, then I am not the one to help you figure it out.

    Seriously, deal with reality for a change.

  • Nick R

    Yes Ann,

    Wash your hands completely of how your actions affect other people. After all, was Cain his brother’s keeper?

  • ken

    Nick R said in post 113394 :

    It might surprise you to learn that HIV/AIDS started in Africa, I think in the 1930s. The HIV virus came to humans through chimpanzees. It was started by gays. So, don’t blame us for the diseases that you gave to us.

    From The emergence of HIV/AIDS in the Americas and beyond (Wikipedia’s source for the claim HIV came from africa):

    HIV-1 group M subtype B was the first HIV discovered and is the predominant variant of AIDS virus in most countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa. However, the circumstances of its origin and emergence remain unresolved.

    From this (published in 2007) it appears there is no conclusive evidence as to the origins of HIV. And even if the most likely case is that it did start in Africa, there is no proof of the sexual orientation of those who 1st contracted HIV/AIDS. So I fail to see how you can reasonably claim it “started with heterosexuals.” or that it was “(not) started by gays.”

  • Dave G.

    Nick: –Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend; I was hoping for dialog. I guess I don’t believe there’s such a thing as an “ex-gay” either; but then, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a “gay” either, if by this is meant a person who is created to be only male-oriented for sexual purposes.

  • Nick R

    And even if the most likely case is that it did start in Africa, there is no proof of the sexual orientation of those who 1st contracted HIV/AIDS. So I fail to see how you can reasonably claim it “started with heterosexuals.” or that it was “(not) started by gays.”

    And you can hold accountable those who attribute it to homosexuals as well then, given that there is no evidence. Or is it only homosexuals who are to be corrected when they say things that apparently haven’t been fully demonstrated? You’ll note my sarcastic tone given how many indemonstrable claims have been made against homosexuals by the religious right and people in this thread – whether related to AIDS, lifespans, etc. Or, as I presume, are “Christians” given a carte blanche to say whatever they want, while homosexuals are challenged on every single thing?

  • Nick R

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend; I was hoping for dialog. I guess I don’t believe there’s such a thing as an “ex-gay” either; but then, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a “gay” either, if by this is meant a person who is created to be only male-oriented for sexual purposes.

    Well, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a straight person. Based on all the scandals of religious right pastors and politicians, it’s clear that you are all gay and living in denial. Try proving otherwise.

    And no, you weren’t hoping for dialog. You were hoping to impose your beliefs on me. I’ve enough experience with people like you to know that your predisposed bias overrules any evidence.

  • Ann

    Wash your hands completely of how your actions affect other people.

    Nick,

    I am not sure what you mean – what actions and what people are you referring to and how does it relate to me individually?

  • Nick R

    ken ~ Jul 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    113407

    It seems to me that you confused the arrival of AIDS in the Americas with the origin of HIV/AIDS. Those are two separate issues. I was speaking of the origin, not its arrival in the Americas. There are 2 strains of the virus – one that came from chimps and another apparently from monkeys. That is what Wikipedia states based on research. The selective quote you used deals solely with its introduction into the Americas, about which I couldn’t care less.

    What I find humorous are the bigoted individuals who try to use AIDS as a condemnation against homosexuality, all the while ignoring that lesbians are at the least risk for it.

  • Nick R

    I am not sure what you mean – what actions and what people are you referring to and how does it relate to me individually?

    OK, you’re right. A hypothetical group of “Christians” can kick, punch, dishonestly accuse, lie about, persecute, discriminate against a, let’s say Jew, and when the Jew decides he wants nothing to do with the Christian god, it’s all the Jews fault. You’re right. Your (the “Christians”) actions and behaviors have nothing to do with his decision – it is his fault.

    Here’s what strikes me, conservative “Christian” leaders can lie all they want about gays, they can spread malicious stereotypes, they can create organizations with “family” in the title, they can dishonestly manipulate research, they can do whatever they want, and not be held accountable for it. You’ll even find the supposedly “gay-friendlier” “Christians” who will say it is wrong to do that, but then allow themselves to be quoted by those “family” organizations knowing full well that what they say will be used in dishonest ways. You see, when gays sitting on the sidelines (having bottles hurled at them) see all this going on, they thing “yeah, that’s the God I want to serve – that’s the rule book I want to follow”. No, that’s not what they think. Think think, f*** off. Why do you think those “family” advocates still have such influence and power? It’s because “Christians” haven’t held them accountable for their blatant lies.

  • Ann

    Nick,

    Have you read the commenting guidelines to this blog?

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Nick – Please tone it down. You may not think Dave or other want to dialogue but that is what I want to have here. Commenters must allow other participants to feel safe to comment or I will moderate them. Your combative tone is not facilitating conversation. When you respond to that with which you disagree, then do so agreeably.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I’m a bit late to this conversation, but let me address a few points:

    Dave G – If you assume that all persons who die of AIDS are gay and make no assumptions about those who die of old age, you are going to have very skewed results. Neither of these are true, which is probably why you mistakenly think gays die younger.

    Perhaps 15% of gay men are living with HIV/AIDS. And accourding to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who receive treatment are now approaching the same life expectancy as those who are not HIV positive.

    Furthermore, while historically HIV has been primarily within the gay commuity, less than half of those who become HIV positive this year will contract the virus through same-sex activity.

    Ken, research in Africa reveals that the earliest cases were within communities on that continent. Heterosexual communities. Regardless of proof of “where it came from”, we do know of its evidence in heterosexual communities before it came to be present in the gay community in America.

    Incidentally, over 90% of worldwide sufferers are heterosexual.

    Ann - Without making wild accusations, I do want to suggest that you consider whether the church, with the help of the community, has discouraged behavior that would reduce promiscuity.

    Consider a person, same-sex attracted, who attends a church. Should his orientation be known, most tradtional churches demand that he “not act on it”.

    That may work for some. But anyone who has observed heterosexuals in church will know that condemnation of premarital sex is not particularly effective at stopping young adults from sexual behavior. It only leads to unprotected sex, quick marriages and miracle babies that somehow are born in less that 9 months but which are not premature. (Or that has been my experience in church in my youth… I think that now kids are more careful, but not much more pure.)

    So there will be some persons who will experience sexual outlets. But should they wish to remain in their community of faith, these outlets must be furtive, anonymous, and often without either knowledge or means of protection.

    Now to culture: Even those who are not particularly religious have historically suffered from community behavior that effectively guarantees that they not have responsible relationships.

    If bachelor Joe keeps a low profile, he won’t be bothered. But if Joe meets Fred and they move in together, they may well find their house vandalized and their businesses shunned (or so it was in recent history – it seems to be different now at least in urban settings).

    So If Joe wants to survive, his sexual expression is furtive, at night, and not designed for long-term commitment.

    Of course there are plenty of gay people who move to the big city, meet someone, commit to them, and don’t give a fig about church or society. And there are now plenty of churches and communities that encourage couples to stay together.

    Now a question for those who consider yourself religiously opposed to homosexuality -

    If a gay person in a relationship came to you for counsel, and if you knew that regardless of their intentions and hopes they would probably engage in sexual activity at some point in the future, would you:

    A) Advise him to stay in the relationship out of concern for his physical well being

    B) Advise him that their relationship is sinful and that he should leave the relationship, strive for a celibate (and/or ex-gay) life, and seek repentance for slips and errors out of concern for his spiritual well being – even if you knew that it significantly raises his physical risk

    C) Some other course of action

    I’m not really looking for written answers, but rather that this perhaps introduce some thinking about what the appropriate Christian action might be. Some might find Paul’s emphasis on sexual purity to be more compelling. Others might find Christ’s pragmaticism about The Law and his discussion about the two Commandments upon which all the Law and Prophets rest to be more compelling.

    But whichever way that your thinking goes, it is important that we consider this dilemma before we make statements and demands. Sadly, the Church has often been woefully ignorant and unwilling to accept its role in the situation that it has helped create.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G:

    I don’t know of any definition of gay that means “a person who is created to be only male-oriented for sexual purposes”. I’ve never used that language nor has anyone I’ve met.

    As to whether gay people exist, let’s step away from the word.

    I think we both agree that persons exist who, for whatever reason, are solely attracted to persons of the same sex.

    I think that if you read here at Warren’s site, you know by now that the direction of such attractions is generally set quite early (or is at least predictable) and that for at least some persons genetics play a part. You also know that there are at least some persons who will never ever ever ever – no matter what program they join, what group they follow, how hard they pray, or how devotedly they submit to God – EVER find themselves not attracted to the same sex or find that they have attraction to the opposite sex.

    Can we agree on that?

    If so, whenever you hear the word “gay”, think of this person who is same-sex attracted and who will always be so.

  • Nick R

    Thanks Timothy – I am too angry to respond cordially because I am fed up having to defend my existence.

    I will add from your boxturtlebulletin site the following about Cameron, so those who use his research against gays will know why they are inherently and dishonestly insulting us (and to explain why I get upset at those who let it pass – you cannot have a site that is “safe” if Cameron is allowed to be cited without explicit denunciation)

    * Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983 for ethical violations

    * Cameron was censured by the Nebraska Psychological Association (where he lived at the time) in 1984 for misrepresenting legitimate social science research.

    * U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer found that Cameron had committed “fraud or misrepresentations” in testimony before the court in 1986.

    * Cameron was censured by the American Sociological Association in 1985 and 1986 for misrepresenting himself as a sociologist (after having been kicked out of the APA), and for ethical violations.

    * Cameron was censured by the Canadian Psychological Association in 1996.

    * Cameron was censured by the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007 for misrepresenting his own research and participation at the group’s convention.

  • Ann

    Nick,

    I think I responded to your discontent regarding organized religion but I am not sure why you are connecting me to it. You don’t have to defend your existence to me and never had to – nor do I think you should have to defend your existence to anyone else.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Nick – You’ll get no argument from me on Dr. Cameron.

  • Dave G.

    I’m sorry about this “defending my existence” tack, which I never intended nor asked for. It’s just that I don’t observe any gender preference among children, unless they have had negative or positive experiences with one or the other. Nor do I observe sexual response prior to adolescence, and even here it’s a developed response as the body matures. Associating normal sexual desire with one or the other gender seems to be experience-based at some point along the line.

    Back to the insure.com & Cameron thread, I’m not aware that the inferred mortality is only from HIV/AIDS, but it does seem linked to homosexual behavior, as do a number of other tragic consequences.

    I enter this blog only to add a voice “from the trenches” as I encounter people from all walks of life. I don’t claim to know-it-all, but if my experience differs I want to share it. There is no animosity intended, nor do I subscribe to any group that proposes less love for any individuals.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    Question:If a gay person in a relationship came to you for counsel, and if you knew that regardless of their intentions and hopes they would probably engage in sexual activity at some point in the future, would you:

    A) Advise him to stay in the relationship out of concern for his physical well being

    B) Advise him that their relationship is sinful and that he should leave the relationship, strive for a celibate (and/or ex-gay) life, and seek repentance for slips and errors out of concern for his spiritual well being – even if you knew that it significantly raises his physical risk

    C) Some other course of action

    Answer: Take some other course of action. I would do A LOT of asking. What does he need from right now? A prayer? Some understanding? A hug? What kind of information does he want from me? A contact who has been through the same thing he is going through? My blessings? Or maybe just someone to talk to? Does he want a gay christian resource?

    You can’t just tell people things that they don’t need. First and foremost, I would listen.

  • Nick R

    Back to the insure.com & Cameron thread, I’m not aware that the inferred mortality is only from HIV/AIDS, but it does seem linked to homosexual behavior, as do a number of other tragic consequences.

    Let me try to cordially explain why the idea behind this argument is flawed.

    Lesbians as a group have a much lower rate of STDs than heterosexual women as a group. What does that imply about the sexual behavior of heterosexual women? Does it mean all heterosexual behavior is wrong? Now evaluate your arguments about gay males in light of those considerations.

    Regarding the ASA, APA, CSA, NSA, etc. I am also familiar with the internal politics of these organizations. It doesn’t surprise me that they would oust a member who refused to comply with their P.C. positions.

    Remember, you are defending someone who committed fraud/misrepresentations in a court of law. Those groups didn’t oust him simply because of “PC” positions. Many others who don’t follow their “PC” positions have never been censured, expelled, or repudiated. You have to do something pretty bad to merit that.

    Nor do I see what relevance African-American lifespan has to do with this issue. We’re discussing behavior, not race or any other innate, immutable human trait.

    Remember, you’re using life expectancy rates as an argument (I presume) that all homosexual male behavior should be discouraged. Gay males in a monogamous relationship are not subject to the issues you describe. Thus, the problem is not homosexuality, it is promiscuity. And, based on the evidence, sexual orientation appears innate and immutable.

    Back to the insure.com & Cameron thread, I’m not aware that the inferred mortality is only from HIV/AIDS, but it does seem linked to homosexual behavior, as do a number of other tragic consequences.

    I can think of some tragic consequences that result from heterosexual sex (HPV – gay men don’t worry about that one -, women dying during childbirth, 10-40% of adults in some African populations with HIV/AIDS), should I therefore assume all heterosexual sex should be discouraged and that people should not be straight? That appears to be the argument you are using against gay males.

    Dave, you can throw out all the discredited studies and data you want, you can even find legitimate ones, but here’s the rub – I have been and always will be gay. There is nothing I can do about it. Believe me, I tried – and I tried everything. Now, what do you prefer I do

    1) live a solitary life with no physical or emotional intimacy and no one to take care of me when I get older – basically go through my entire life never experiencing being loved or loving someone, fighting depression, loneliness, etc

    2) marry someone who I have no sexual interest in, no deep emotional connection to, and basically live a sham marriage because that’s what society wants me to do

    3) find someone I deeply love and am loved by, experiencing deep intimacy, companionship, and having someone to be with in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad, until death.

    What I keep hearing from anti-gay people, is that I should live options #1 or #2 to make them happy. No thank you – I’ve seen the fruits of those options and they are rotten to the core.

    Assuming you are married, do you view your wife as simply someone to have sex with, or do you receive from her other emotional and social benefits? If your god condemns me to hell because I experience deep and profound intimacy and love with another human, one who helped me get through life without having to fight all my battles alone, one who took care of me when I was sick, and I him, then so be it. If that is your god, than it is not a good worth honouring, it is not a god worth praising, it is not a god who is just, loving and merciful. I know what it is to go through life without love, without companionship, without support, without a sexual outlet. I know what it is to go through life where your closest friends abandon you because you couldn’t change your sexual orientation. I know what it is like to have your church reject you for being gay even though you were celibate. I know what it’s like to live the way anti-gay people tell me to live because it makes them happy – well, it’s hell for me and I reject it.

    My God knit me together in my mother’s womb, and I praise my God for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I thank my God that my God is not your god. I thank my God that my God is more concerned with how I treat my neighbor than the sex of the person my neighbor sleeps with. Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love (not faith, not hope, LOVE). I challenge you to picture a life completely devoid of knowing someone loves you deeply, intimately, profoundly. I challenge you to imagine what it is like to not be loved for who you are, to fear getting older because you are alone and always will be. Is that how you would want to live your life? Well, it’s not for me. All I ask, and it’s not much really, is for people like you to stop making my life harder than it already is. I have enough obstacles to face without having to deal with more. I don’t want your god, I reject your god, so there is no need to force your god’s opinion onto me. But please, don’t make my life harder. Don’t use discredited studies against me. Don’t use diseases I don’t have against me. And don’t keep asking me to explain my existence. I am gay and there is nothing I, you or anyone else can do about it. Deal with it and please don’t make my life more difficult than it already is.

    Thank you.

  • ken

    Timothy said in post

    Ken, research in Africa reveals that the earliest cases were within communities on that continent. Heterosexual communities. Regardless of proof of “where it came from”, we do know of its evidence in heterosexual communities before it came to be present in the gay community in America.

    And you can say for certain there were no gays in these “heterosexual communities”?

    Personally, I don’t care whether the 1st case of HIV was someone who was gay or straight, to me it is irrelevant.

    However, Nick R made a very specific and unprovable claim about the start of HIV/AIDS. And he did it based on his own personal biases and beliefs, not facts. Just as Dave G has done. And to me Nick R’s claim was no different than someone who claims AIDS was caused by gays.

  • Dave G.

    Ken:

    Hmmm. I don’t recall having made any claims about the origins of HIV/AIDS, just the fact that it is “a gay disease’ –as attested by Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, who told the organization’s national conference in February that HIV is “a gay disease:

    Here’s what he said: “Folks, with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bisexual, we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own that and face up to that.”

    Personally, I don’t think AIDS suddenly appeared on the scene this past century. It may have been identified and diagnosed, but not “originated.” My perception is that this is what St. Paul alludes to in Romans 1:27.

  • ken

    Dave G.

    To clarify my comment (in post 113573) Just as Dave G has done. is that you have made claims based on your own personal biases and beliefs, and not on facts. (ex. shorter lifespan of gays).

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G

    Let me explain to you why some of the things you say come off as offensive.

    Frequently “statistics” and “studies” are used by groups or individuals to bring harm to the lives of gay people. It may be testimony before some court to deny a parent access to their children. It may be propaganda to sway public opinion before an initiative. It may be lobbying efforts in a legislative body.

    Or it may be, as Dr. Paul Cameron (the guy you’re defending) has proposed, considering the eradication of gay people.

    No one much likes having their faults and flaws brought forward and broadcast out of context and without ballance. Blacks don’t like to be portrayed solely as criminals and crack addicts, though there are some black people who are both. Southerners don’t like being portrayed as racists and bigots, though there are some who are both.

    And we all know that the reasons motivating false characterizations are not noble. They are based in some form of animus, and often from downright hatred.

    But in the case of gays and Paul Cameron, it’s worse. Because what these “studies” say is untruthful. Bringing up negatives is one thing, lying is another.

    It is not up for debate whether Paul Cameron’s “studies” are accurate. He has been fully discredited. His “studies” have been evaluated time and again and each inspection from all reviewers – no matter where they fall on the political/religiuos spectrum – comes to the same conclusion. Cameron’s conclusions are not based on good science.

    So then, what does it mean when someone chooses to believe him though all evidence shows that his claims are not supported?

    Those of us who have looked into his claims are flabbergasted when someone says, “I don’t care. I believe this stuff anyway”. It makes us wonder at your motivation. We can’t help but question why you would choose to believe something untrue.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ken,

    I believe the dispute originated with

    It started with heterosexuals and through them was passed on to homosexual males.

    I’m curious how you determined AIDS “started with heterosexuals.” As I recall, back in the early 80s the primary groups it was associated with were gays, IV drug abusers, an illegal haitian immigrants (the 3rd group quickly washed out as noise).

    Much of the history of HIV is speculative. However, the facts, as we best know them are:

    1. HIV appears to have evolved from SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) though no one is exactly sure how the virus crossed species.

    2. HIV has been found in stored tissue samples which place human infection in remote parts of Africa as early as 1908 but certainly by the 30′s.

    3. HIV appears to be predominantly spread by heterosexual contact on the African continent.

    4. HIV in the US was first diagnosed in the 80′s and was experienced most visibly in the gay community.

    5. Although the strains that spread are different in various geographic areas, they likely all trace to those early African infections.

    Given the above, I think it is fair to say that HIV likely was first spread by heterosexual contact, though we can’t be absolutely certain. It is also fair to say that in the United States it was mostly spread in the 80′s by homosexual contact.

    Agreed?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G,

    Personally, I don’t think AIDS suddenly appeared on the scene this past century. It may have been identified and diagnosed, but not “originated.” My perception is that this is what St. Paul alludes to in Romans 1:27.

    In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    I do not rush to use the “B word”. And, please carefully note, I am not calling you a bigot.

    However, the above paragraph is bigoted. Let me explain.

    1. There is no evidence that HIV has existed prior to the past century. There are no historical reports of diseases with similar characteristics. Written records of gay persons prior to the 80′s do not reveal any hint that HIV, or any other specific malady, was particularly and disproportionately experienced among same-sex attracted persons.

    2. Sickness as a punishment for sin was repudiated by Jesus Christ. Those of us who have studied the meanings of scripture taking context, culture, and translation bias into consideration have quite a different take on this verse. But regardless of whether you think that Romans 1 refers to gay persons, Scripture is clear that disease is not an evidence of sin.

    Appealing to “perception” that is contrary to evidence in order to disparage a group of people is the very essence of bigotry.

    Having a safe space doesn’t mean you get to say and do anything you like. It means your opinion can be expressed, but not in a hostile and bigoted manner. If you have additional “perceptions” to make about gay persons, please support them with evidence. It appears to me that you are solely here to try and hurt others and to wage culture war. Comments about “it’s a gay disease” and support for claims that have been proven wrong do not contribute to discourse and shared ideas; they only are weapons to slash and cut others. Such behavior is not, in my opinion, an indication of a heart that is set on Christ.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I forgot to put point 3

    3. Worldwide, about 90% of HIV/AIDS cases are in heterosexuals. To believe that God is punishing heterosexuals – and their children – in Africa and Asia because of gay persons in America is inconsistent with a loving and just God.

  • Dave G.

    Nick:

    THANK YOU for a very thoughtful and thought-provoking response. You do help me to understand better. Please let me respond to some of your statements from my perspective in honest and open sharing, as you have done. (I wish I knew how to box the quotes as you do; it’s much neater.)

    “Lesbians as a group have a much lower rate of STDs than heterosexual women as a group. What does that imply about the sexual behavior of heterosexual women? Does it mean all heterosexual behavior is wrong?”

    You’re right. It implies there is too much promiscuity among hetero women with infected men. We can agree that all promiscuity is wrong.

    It also implies that WSW do not exchange body fluids to the extent that WSM do.

    All heterosexual behavior is not wrong –only that which is undertaken outside of a loving marriage which is a sacred man/woman commitment to one another and to the family they form and the families they join.

    …”And based on the evidence, sexual orientation appears innate and immutable.”

    What evidence? Nothing reliably scientific. Your statement seems to appeal only to those who want to believe it.

    “I can think of some tragic consequences that result from heterosexual sex (HPV – gay men don’t worry about that one -, women dying during childbirth, 10-40% of adults in some African populations with HIV/AIDS)”

    The ABc program in Uganda has proven to greatly reduce HIV/AIDS especially among hetero couples. The latest report is that a pandemic among heteros is no longer a threat, but it still is among MSM. (ABc = Abstinence outside of man/woman marriage, Be faithful within marriage (both of you), condoms to be always used by those incapable of A or B.)

    “… here’s the rub – I have been and always will be gay. There is nothing I can do about it. Believe me, I tried – and I tried everything. Now, what do you prefer I do

    1) live a solitary life…

    2) marry someone…

    3) find someone I deeply love and am loved by…

    “What I keep hearing from anti-gay people, is that I should live options #1 or #2 to make them happy. No thank you – I’ve seen the fruits of those options and they are rotten to the core.”

    1. No one is meant to be alone. My God teaches that we are to love one another. I have known a number of same-sex couples who have lived together, maintained a household, and truly cared for each other. However, they were neither lesbian nor gay, since sex was not part of their relationship.

    2. I’ve done years of pre-marital counseling for couples who planned on a wedding. But when certain ones discovered their’s was to be merely a marriage of obligation, they usually opted out, with my blessing, before taking such a foolish step. On the other hand, some among those who completed the pre-marital sessions and married are now celebrating their 40th anniversaries! Marriage is a serious commitment and a sacred covenant for a life-long adventure.

    3. Some years ago I wrote the following to a child questioning the public’s opposition to homosexuality:

    “Homosexuals are human beings just like the rest of us. They are also often talented, sensitive, thoughtful persons with a number of personal gifts we can all respect and admire. We are not mad at them or hate them for who they are.

    They can also be very loving persons. All of us need to love and be loved, God made us this way. Everyone needs to have at least one person they can trust, rely on, and share all the good things in life together; someone who can be there for you, and can count on you to be there for them.

    Actually, my child, beyond family members, we do make choices as to whom we shall fall in love. Life partners are usually carefully chosen, and should be. We fall in love with them because they come so close to what we have already decided would make a perfect partner. They make us feel special, too, beyond what we might normally feel by ourselves alone. Human love shared makes us willing to meet all the challenges and struggles life may direct toward us, as well as the fun and happiness and good times to be experienced together.”

    I have come to realize that the gay lifestyle can become addictive and totally integrated into one’s own sense of identity and perception of self. But even some of the most hard-core, totally immersed individuals in the homosexual lifestyle have been able to step beyond it and gone on with their lives in much more fulfilling and happy relationships. The secret is in finding a community in which they are truly accepted for who they are in God’s eyes; having at least one (or more) primary relationship on which they can rely unconditionally, with persons who are trusting and trustworthy; and realizing that the love shared in that whole community is blessed by the Eternal Love in whom we all “live and move and have our being.”

    Among all those I know of who have successfully left the homosexual lifestyle, it was not a pastor, counselor, friend, or even themselves who brought about this change. They all attest to the transforming power of a loving God to whom they turned, the God revealed in Scripture and in Christ Jesus, and leaving behind the gay community and all its self-perpetuating reinforcements of their former lifestyle. I don’t ask you to justify your existence, I only ask that you think beyond the box of gay rhetoric.

    May God bless your future endeavors.

  • Dave G.

    Tim:

    “Appealing to “perception” that is contrary to evidence in order to disparage a group of people is the very essence of bigotry.”

    When I speak of “my perception” it is not a dictum “contrary to evidence,” but an educated hypothesis for where there is NO evidence. Nor is there an attempt to “disparage a group of people;” simply an attempt to understand what’s going on. Why are my observations taken to be disparaging? Is there an underlying reason for this?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I have come to realize that the gay lifestyle can become addictive and totally integrated into one’s own sense of identity and perception of self.

    No, Dave G. You have not come to realize that. You have come to believe it based on your own biases and contrary to any scientific evidence.

    You ask that Nick think beyond the box of “gay rhetoric”. I would request that you think outside the box of “homophobic talking points”.

    As I’ve requested before, please provide evidence of your claims. Your saying them does not magically make them true.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    When I speak of “my perception” it is not a dictum “contrary to evidence,” but an educated hypothesis for where there is NO evidence. Nor is there an attempt to “disparage a group of people;” simply an attempt to understand what’s going on. Why are my observations taken to be disparaging? Is there an underlying reason for this?

    Really?

    You honestly didn’t read why your comments are offensive?

    Are you truly incapable of recognizing that “My perception is that this is what St. Paul alludes to in Romans 1:27″ in reference to HIV is disparaging? You don’t see that declaring sexual orientation to be an addiction is disparaging?

    Would it be responsible of me to declare

    It is my perception that Dave G beats his wife and molests his children!!

    Clearly not. I have no evidence of this. And as much as I may think you are living a sinful lifestyle, I still am not entitled to make up lies about you.

    Yet somehow you think it is acceptable to believe and repeat to most vile things about me and the ones I love. You have been provided with evidence that these things are not supported and are not true. But you don’t seem to care about that.

    You probably have even convinced yourself that you are doing it lovingly.

    It is neither love nor morality nor righteousness to make claims about the lives of others that you cannot substantiate. In scripture this is called “bearing false witness” and is one of the Big Ten. If there is some heirarchy of sins, that one is far worse than homosexuality. It made it onto the list physically written into stone by the hand of God.

    So let me say this plainly.

    What you are doing is not love. It is not moral. It is sin.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Nick,

    Dave G was VERY careful not to really answer you. But from what I can tell, his answer is

    1) live a solitary life…

    With of course some community of persons – perhaps like spinsters – but certainly not with a soulmate.

    Of course that isn’t what he would want for himself or his children. But for you… a community of spinsters. Perhaps with cats.

  • Ann

    Dave G.

    You are not the first one to be attacked verbally and I am sure won’t be the last. It is an ongoing tactic used only by some here on this blog. It makes it very difficult to have safe dialogue when the worst is being assumed of you just because you have a different perspective. You know what is in your heart and I doubt it is what you are being accused of. Clarify what you feel needs to be clarified but please don’t feel obligated to defend yourself against cruel and unjust criticism.

  • http://someguysarenormal.blogspot.com Brady

    Ann- you’re right–I think some of these responses to Dave G are overly harsh. However, I can tell you that I’ve found many of Dave G’s comments overly harsh as well. What is going on (unfortunately) is people are reacting to their emotions. It’s often quite hard to continue being polite when you feel attacked by someone else.

    Whether Dave G means to attack or not, his words are very strong. It appears that nearly every gay person that has commented in this thread so far has taken some sort of offense. I don’t think it’s because they’re gay as much it is because the comments and claims come off as offensive.

    I’m sure you can see, as a woman, how you would find it offensive it someone told you that women are incapable of the intelligence of men and should not own companies or be able to vote (this once was the sentiment). This conversation is somewhat similar- a group is being told they are diseased, drug addicts that will die younger. It’s just hard to swallow and unfortunately, the conversation has gotten a bit over the top.

  • Ann

    Brady,

    Thank you – I appreciate what you said and especially the way you said it. I know most people on this blog are trying to build bridges and transcend anything that burns them with thoughtful and spirited dialogue that advance knowledge and understanding. The ones that are only interested in pernicious comments that are meant to attack and shut down conversation seem to be getting further and farther apart which is very encouraging.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    You must understand that a “safe dialogue” is not one in which Party A gets to lie about Party B without being called out on it. That may feel all safe to those who agree with Party A, but what about Party B?

    Dave G had ran on and on and on making outrageous claims and statements. For quite some time I simply asked for his backup, his substantiation. I politely explained that making claims about gay persons and their lives was a hurtful practice. When he continued with his defamatory remarks and pretended not to know that he was being disparaging, I rebuked him for bringing false witness.

    This is not a matter of “different perspective”. I’m happy to talk with those who have different perspectives.

    But it is not acceptable to bring false witness. Don’t you agree?

    Dave can believe that homosexuality is sinful. He can believe that gays should be celibate. He can believe that some folks live lives that overcome homosexuality.

    What he cannot do is come into a safe space and support claims that gays die 20 years younger or claim that HIV has been around and God’s punishment for homosexuality for the past 2,000 years or claim that homosexuality is an addiction.

    These are not perspectives. They are claims. And, Ann, you have been in the discussion long enough to know that they are not truthful claims.

    These are not things you would state to be true.

    Let’s remember the topic of this thread: someone spreading lies about gay people under the guise of providing insurance information. Dave is just doing it under the guise of spreading spiritual information.

    I certainly don’t wish to shut down the conversation. I just wish Dave to recognize and acknowledge that he’s saying false and hurtful things, or at least that he has no outside basis for making these claims. If he wishes to say vile things, then they should at least be true.

    Then we will all be safe again.

  • Dave G.

    OK, I’m backing off, lest just another post become offensive to someone. I am opposed to smoking, also, because cdc statistics indicate smoking can shorten your lifespan. I’ve had funerals for chain-smokers also. I hope I haven’t offended them.

    Tim, what do you have against spinsters?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave,

    Spinsters are often lovely people (except for their propensity to own too many cats). I just don’t want to be one.

    I’m not trying to shut you up… just keep you within the realms of accuracy. For example, cdc statistics indicate smoking can shorten your life. This is traceable to the CDC. Good source.

    Let’s just not claim that second hand smoke takes on average 20 years off your life or that moving out of the way of smokers is addictive. Let’s keep it to claims for which we have some evidence.

    Fair enough?

  • Dave G.

    OK.

    Fact: I have conducted funerals for gays/lesbians who have died young from conditions attributable to their sexual behavior. (“Young” is fifteen years or more under the average lifespan for American men or women.)

    Fact: I do keep up with CDC statistics in several areas, including STDs/AIDS.

    e.g. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/index.htm

    Fact: CDC (as well as Matt Foreman) states that HIV/AIDS is prevalent among MSM, along with other STDs.

    Fact: I have been told by former gays that the behavior is addictive.

    Christian truth: Lives have been transformed by faith to correspond with the love and righteousness (doing God’s will) revealed in Christ Jesus.

    Opinion: When personally accepted identity is questioned, one is offended.

    Perhaps there needs to be research on why this defensive behavior occurs.

  • Dave G.

    –An interesting news item about those quick to take offense:

    “California’s San Jose City College biology professor was fired after answering a student’s question about heredity and homosexuality.

    “During a human heredity course, a student asked June Sheldon to explain how heredity affects homosexual behavior. Sheldon said that while one theory in the nature-versus-nurture debate mentions a correlation between maternal stress and homosexual behavior in males, the textbook also says homosexual behavior may be influenced by both genes and the environment.

    “The school launched an investigation after a student complained that Sheldon’s comments were “offensive and unscientific.”

    “College officials have stripped a professor of the right to discuss competing theories and ideas in the classroom, something which represents the foundation of higher education,” said David Hacker, ADF litigation staff counsel. “The textbook itself points out that the causes of homosexual behavior are a subject of debate in the scientific community. This teacher did nothing more than explain this fact.”

    OK, so what’s really happening here?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    @Dave G.:

    I would quibble a bit on the word “fact.” Observation might be more what I would call what you described from your experiences. We make attributions about cause based on experiences, which are often incorrect. CDC stats would be facts, the rest observations in my opinion.

    RE: addictive behavior. I suppose I would say that I am addicted to people, as an extravert. Can’t get enough of them. And I suppose someone who thought of themselves as heterosexual would desire regular intimacy as an aspect of human nature. To someone who has no shame, it is not an addiction but normal life. In all of the counseling I have done in this arena, I would say I have worked with people with sexual compulsions but these have been both gay and straight.

    I do have the same observation about the transformation by faith thing. I am constantly thankful for that.

    If my private behavior were called an addiction or a sin, I might get defensive too. I remember getting defensive when my youth pastor said my hair length and choice in music was sinful. I left a denomination over it and like where I am much better.

    I do however think that people should not have to quiet their moral convictions, just to make someone else happy. However, I should not be surprised that those with whom I disagree defend their moral position. My preference is to make my best case and move on to something else.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    @Dave G.:

    I am looking into that case. If this is all she said then she should be collecting damages. I know the research she is referring to and it is mainstream.

  • concerned

    Dave G.

    These kinds of stats are very important and as long as some wish to ignore these consequences to behaviour that is extremely destructive then I would suspect we will only see more of it. I have seen young people who end up with HIV because of the liberal attitudes they have toward sexuality and in many of these cases religion is the farthest thing from their life so I guess that target of blame is not useful in those cases, as I feel it rarely should be.

  • http://someguysarenormal.blogspot.com Brady

    Thanks, for your kind response, Ann, much appreciated.

  • http://someguysarenormal.blogspot.com Brady

    Warren- I found a link mentioning the Biology Professor Dave G brought up. It’s a blog, but it looks to be pretty thorough on the story.

    The student’s complaint lists a few other things the Professor brought up, such as saying there really weren’t any lesbians, and claiming there were very few gay men in the Middle East because of the way husbands treated their wives. Apparently she also said that the men in the class could have a “sensitive son” by beating their wives.

    That’s the complaining student’s claim, at least. Another note is that the professor was an adjunct professor, and the University appears to have decided not to renew her, and did not cite the complaint as the reason. The professor has filed a legal claim.

    I’m with you- I think (even with the added detail), that it’s pretty sketchy of the University to let her go for this. Although, I’d appreciate hearing the full story from all sources, rather than just the ones that make the case seem as horrible as possible (I’m assuming Dave G’s source chose to leave out the additional details that tamed the story down a bit, not Dave G himself–not accusing him of anything at all).

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dave G.

    Let’s take a look at your facts (and a few of my own):

    Fact 1 – I don’t dispute that you’ve been to a funeral of a gay person. I have as well. Three, actually, in the past twenty years.

    Additionally, I know that many gay people died before their time in the 80′s and early 90′s due to a reduced imune system resulting from infection with the HIV virus. I also know that the Journal of the American Medical Association had an article recently in which they postulate that those currently infected may have nearly the same life expectancies as someone not infected.

    Fact 2 – Undoubtedly you keep up with those CDC statistics that you think support your idealogy. I wish you were less selective in your understanding of them.

    Fact 3 – Matt Foreman has many opinions. We very seldom agree.

    However, to the extent that nearly half of all new infections each year occur within the greater gay community (including those who do not so identify), HIV is still to some extents a “gay disease” in the United States.

    However, and this is the important part that you are not acknowledging, virtually no lesbians are infected and less than 15% of those who DO identify as gay or bisexual are living with HIV/AIDS. Incidentally, this number includes those who have been infected since the onset of the epidemic.

    So in your assumptions about gay persons, you ignore 100% of lesbians and 85% of gay men.

    Fact 4 – I’m sure you have been told by “former gays” that homosexuality is addictive. You’ve probably also been told a number of things I could predict. The ex-gay community has a certain selection of myths that are learned and repeated. That isn’t surprising.

    But logically that claim just doesn’t stand up to evidence. Virtually all gay persons will tell you that they experienced same-sex attraction long before they experienced same-sex behavior. This is not true of any other addictions, so it seems that if homosexuality is an “addiction”, it is one entirely unlike any other addiction that exists.

    Christian truth: I agree that lives have been transformed by faith to correspond with the love and righteousness (doing God’s will) revealed in Christ Jesus.

    I’ve seen many lives change, including my own. I’ve seen legalism and bigotry and self-righteousness washed away. I’ve seen arrogance and condemnation and a willful desire to believe The Truth over the evidence melt under God’s grace. I’ve seen the desire to Rule and Reign in God’s Kingdom replaced by a desire to be a servant. I’m not particularly proud of how I used to think about my faith.

    Opinion – It is my observation that when faced with evidence people will do one of two things. Either they will inspect the evidence and see whether their own preconceptions should be adjusted or they will ignore the evidence and cling desperately to their own bigotries and biases.

    This is especially true of those who so very stongly have animus towards others. Perhaps we should pray about why this happens. I believe that God can open eyes and let even the most homophobic of persons come to recognize that no one gains by making false claims. I believe God can let his “culture warriors” know that he doesn’t need liars for His cause if only they will listen. I believe that even Paul Cameron can be touched by the hand of God if only he would be willing.

    And you, Dave, are no Paul Cameron. I suspect that God’s already talking to you. I am hopeful that God will wash away the need to believe evil and untrue things about gay people and will allow your opinions (whatever they may be or become) to rest solely on that which is true and evidential and honest and factual.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    concerned:

    I have seen young people who end up with HIV because of the liberal attitudes they have toward sexuality and in many of these cases religion is the farthest thing from their life so I guess that target of blame is not useful in those cases, as I feel it rarely should be.

    Some might suggest that religion is the farthest thing from their life because they have been driven away from church and God. I think that we all know that this does occur.

    Some might further suggest that this rejection plays a part in behaviors of promiscuity and self esteem issues that result in self destructive behavior. No doubt some young men have been lead to think that their God and their family can’t love them. How then can they love themselves?

    It is my opinion that if the church taught monogamy and encouraged gay youth to wait for the right person, and then honored a committed relationship – in much the same way that they do with heterosexual youth – then many of the youth raised in such churches would be less likely to behave irresponsibly and less likely to be exposed to this virus.

    The problem, of course, is that many churches have a scriptural understanding that makes the cultivation of committed monogamous relationships for gay persons impossible. The church is caught in a catch 22; according to their doctrines, if they encourage a gay couple they are encouraging sin and spiritual destruction, but if they discourage gay monogamy and committed coupledom they are playing a part in encouraging promiscuity and physical destruction.

    This is undoubtedly (along with slavery and women’s equality) one of the most challenging issues the modern Christian Church has faced.


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