Robert O'Brien Nominee: David Barton

Robert O'Brien Nominee: David Barton August 10, 2011

David Barton routinely says crazy things on the Wallbuilders daily radio show. But in a show last week he actually claimed that schools are forcing students to become gay. Seriously. In discussing anti-bullying rules that help protect gay kids from harassment, he and co-host had this appalling exchange:

Barton: The American College of Pediatricians is cautioning educators about what they do with same-sex attraction or symptoms of gender identity or gender confusion in schools.

Green: You’re kidding, this is the Pediatric Association?

Barton: Got it, get this. The letter reminds school superintends that it is ‘not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient,’ that’s a big word, ‘transient confusion about their sexual orientation,’ and is telling 14,800 superintendents that ‘most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged.’ And they’re saying, guys, back off. This indoctrination you’re doing—

Green: You plan that stuff in their minds your leading them down that path

Barton: If you’ll just let this develop naturally, they’ll end up being heterosexual unless you force them to be homosexual. Well that’s a remarkable letter coming from the leading pediatric association in America. And this is what it says, ‘for this reason schools should avoid developing policies that encourage non-heterosexual attractions among students who may be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion.’ The discouraging program, so all this bullying stuff–

Green: Forcing stuff into classroom—

Barton: All the NEA [National Education Association] nonsense. The ’docs are saying, leave it alone. Back off. Let it run its course. If you let it run its course it’s gonna turn out normal and natural unless you guys intervene and make the unnatural stuff natural, it’s gonna run its course. And by the way, as the ’docs point out, there is no scientific evidence that anyone is born homosexual. You have to force them to accept that position.

Green: That’s big man. And I remember Dobson saying years ago talking about how you’re gonna have an increase in the number of people that identify themselves as homosexuals simply because we’re putting out there in all the television programs, in all the movies now that’s the funny person, that’s the acceptable person. So naturally, when they’re in that state just as pediatricians are talking about, of confusion or temptation or whatever, if society’s saying ‘yeah yeah yeah, go down that road’ obviously you’re gonna have more go down that road.

First, it’s important to note that the American College of Pediatricians is not the “leading pediatric association in America.” It is, in fact, the religious right alternative to the American Academy of Pediatricians, which actually is the leading pediatric association. The ACP split off from the AAP because they regarded the AAP as not being Biblically correct.. Only in Wingnuttia is it the “leading” anything.

Second, the notion that students are being “encouraged” to be gay and that, absent such encouragement, they’d end up straight, is patently ridiculous. The average gay kid still faces enormous persecution for being gay in this country. If discouragement or encouragement could make them be straight, there would be precious few gays and lesbians.

If it only happens because it’s being “encouraged” then surely we would have had far fewer gay people when you could still be thrown in jail for it, when there were no support systems for gays at all, when they were forced into sham marriages to hide their sexuality because they literally risked life, limb and career by coming out. It is only recently that even a moderate level of acceptance for gay people has arisen.

What you have here is the logical conclusion of the “people choose to be gay” position. If people choose to be gay then, according to them, society should discourage that bad choice by making the lives of those who choose it as miserable as possible in order to keep others from walking down that same path. And yet, despite centuries of such efforts, gay people have always existed. Not because anyone “encouraged” them to be gay, but despite the massive efforts of society to discourage them from doing so.

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