Get Religion discusses media coverage of the APA report

The Get Religion blog has two entries up today discussing media coverage of the APA sexual orientation and therapy report. The first one deals with the articles by the Associated Press, Washington Times, and Baptist Press.

The second one hearts the Wall Street Journal article by Stephanie Simon which discusses the sexual identity therapy framework and the APA report.

FYI

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  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    This comes under the heading of Unfinished Business, which is why I am taking a moment to raise the question again before taking off for a while. Warren, if you responded to my earlier question about the composition of the APA’s task force and I missed it, forgive me. I do not recall a response from you.

    Clinton Anderson, an APA spokesman, did not deny NARTH’s charges.

    “I think that we had a very open process where we put out a call for nominations,” he said. “We evaluated the nominees based on their qualifications. I don’t feel we have any apologies to make for how we appointed that task force.”

    I know you have thoughts about this. I know you had a role to play in seeking a more balanced task force. The above quote was in a section from the Washington Times coverage of the APA task force report, which was also mentioned on GetReligion.

    So, how intellectually honest was Clinton Anderson being?

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

    Clinton was being honest I believe, although I mildly disagree with him. I do think the task force was very well qualified by scholarship and life experience. However, given that the charge was to explore how conservatively religious people deal with SSA, it would have been good to add someone from that community to the group assembled. I wouldn’t have replaced anyone but rather added.

    As the process went along however, I must say that the task force was very open to input.

  • Mary

    Well, the task force, shile seemingly tried to be balanced certainly overlooked many opportunites to see the glass half full for people like myself. They did not have the input from another perspective and it is obvious.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Have a response floating around somewhere. This is a test.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Tried posting this yesterday, but it didn’t go through. Problem with the links, I think. Hope I fixed that.

    So, Warren, you think the APA has grown more balanced and fair since you gave this assessment a year ago about their Abortion and Mental Health task force. And this one.

    Is it just that abortion is a more heinous act than homosexual sex in the eyes of conservative psychologists? The politics isn’t the same? The same dirty games are not going on somewhere behind the scenes? Interesting. The story within the story is yet to unfold. It’s always there.

    You said this about the composition of the sexual orientation task force back in 2007, Warren:

    The diversity that may be overlooked is religious and viewpoint diversity. Any judgments made about what the desire to change means is a value based one and not one based on science. Given the task force’s charge and most of its members now, I wonder if viewpoint diversity will be respected.

    I will point out that Lee Beckstead has endorsed the sexual identity therapy framework and is presenting with Mark Yarhouse and me in a symposium in August at the APA convention.

    David Blakeslee said this, among other things:

    Regarding Beckstead…

    we’ll see. He certianly appears at least outnumbered. The Shidlo and Schroder study, incredibly flawed and biased in its recruitment of participants and its goal is the reason why the task force is being organized. Again I restate, it appears that the task force is populated by members who believe that adopting a gay or lesbian identity is the optimal response to experiencing same-sex attractions.

    Those comments are in this thread.

    This post on the blog talked about the “external organizations” that pressured APA into forming the task force:

    Our man Clinton Anderson was interviewed by CitizenLink, and “identified PFLAG and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force as two groups who recommended that the APA review their policies.”

    You said, Warren:

    As any regular reader of this blog will know, I am not an apologist for reparative therapy but I am concerned that advocacy groups can move the APA to form a task force to craft scientific policy for political use.

    I think my time would be better served researching what has been said before on this blog by the usual suspects than in reading the Blog 3.0 (or whatever the current) version. The only significant shift in tone and content (not necessarily principle) has been in Michael. Hope he stays on that track.

    Warren, you have shifted toward a more neutral stance over the course of the past few years, it seems to me. Yet you teach at an evangelical institution (is it still?). The delicate dance continues. Others I know in the Church are doing a different dance, trying hard not to even address the issues. Thank you for not doing that.

    I was trying to get you to give us a glimpse of the history I have now just provided.

    Adios.

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

      Debbie – Initially, I was concerned about the scope of the APA’s charge to the Task Force. I was concerned that the initial call for participants on the subject sounded like it was a response to advocacy groups. All I can say is that my views have changed based on the actions and responses of the APA. They clearly opened up the process is ways that the Abortion and Mental Health task force did not. The APA staff met with a group of us from evangelical groups regarding sexual orientation but refused to do so on abortion (different offices – different results).

      When things change, I try to change with them. The APA task force on sexual orientation produced a good paper which respects religion and worked hard to incorporate the work of evangelical and other religious scholars in a way that provides better guidance than we had before.

      I am not sure why you would question the nature of GCC or my commitments to evangelicalism. I certainly am not shy about it.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I am breaking my vacation rule momentarily because the timing of my comments above was crummy, and it would be uncouth to leave Warren or anyone hanging on this.

    I agree that changing times may require changing attitudes … to a point. We serve a changeless God, so we must be ready to draw the line in accordance with our faith where required. I do not wish to imply or allow others to infer that your evangelicalism is incomplete, Warren. We can only observe what we can see, and there are times I would like you to take a more clear position that delineates your faith. Maybe that’s just me.

    I did surmise that the APA was trying to be somewhat more open with the process in the sexual orientation task force than in the abortion one. But there is still a pro-gay advocacy bent there that ought to be troubling. Maybe they can only move by degrees in a more balanced direction. I guess we are to be satisfied with that.

    FWIW, I could not find anything in what you said in your assessment of the Reorientation Wars that I disagree with. Well said, at least at first blush. I may have time to look at it more later.

  • Ann

    Debbie,

    Just wanted to wish you and your family a restful and fun vacation.