Dr Pollnitz’s Anti-Gay Submission. Part 2. An Unholy Association with Hate Mongers and Hypocrites.
A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.
(I repeat this introduction from Dr Pollnitz’s Anti-Gay Submission. Part 1. )
I don’t know Dr Robert Pollnitz. I have critiqued his submissions in the past and was initially very hard on a 2003 paper that he wrote on homosexuality. When I write critiques I try to go hard at the issue and not the person but, sometimes I may blur the line. I imagine Dr Pollnitz as a loving father, grandfather and husband and as a devoted pediatric doctor over many years saving lives and helping people. I know that he has also been nationally recognised for his long and faithful service to the church.
I mention all of this just to express my regret that I need to critique this submission so harshly. I do so because it has serious problems that really need to be shown for what they are. And I do it because, ultimately, this is not about Dr Pollnitz or me. It is about the LGBT members of the Lutheran Church of Australia and the campaign that the church is waging against their rights. It is about my friend who is called sinner because of his God-given sexuality and whose love is rejected as abomination. So, I go hard at the issue. Sometimes, I confess, the exercise of my sharp tongue gives me pleasure. This is not one of those times.
We now move on to the other two.
The sections in the box are from Dr Pollnitz’s Submission and my comments follow.
The full submission can be seen here. Just scroll down to No. 100 and press the PDF link.
The “American Study” refered to by Dr pollnitz was authored by anti-gay campaigner Paul Cameron. I have been actively researching homosexuality as it relates to the Christian Church only for the last 6 months. In that time, I quickly came across 3 names that stand out as an embarrassment to any fair-minded christian . One of those is George Rekers. We have heard his story in Part 1. The second name is Paul Cameron.
Where do I start with Paul Cameron? Perhaps the study that is quoted by Dr Pollnitz’s above is a good starting point. It is a “literature review emphasising the Golombok and Tasker longitudinal study of lesbian’s children. Psychological Reports. ” Sounds impressive doesn’t it. Yes, but it is an “American College of Pediatricians” type of impressive. Lets look under Paul’s academic gown, and see what we can uncover.
You will note, reader that, the 5 frightening findings above come from a “literature review”. The findings of that review are even more frightening than the points presented here. take, for example, point 3. Cameron’s review actually found that the figure of up to 50% of children raised by LGBT parents were likely to become gay. That is a rather astonishing figure. But not so astonishing when we look a little closer at Cameron’s “literary review”.
Cameron obtained 3 books from Amazon which, by their titles, appeared to speak about families with same-sex parents. He then went through those books and counted up the numbers of children mentioned who were straight and who were gay. In one of those books (Abigail Garner. Families Like mine. Children of gay parents tell it like it is.) He found that the figure was 50 percent. Garners book accounted for a full one half of Cameron’s entire study. There was only one problem with Cameron’s “genius” review. The writer, Abigail Garner, had actually, deliberately sought out gay children of LGBT parented families for the purposes of her study. In fact, Abigail said that her book was intentionally non-random: She states…
In fact, I had made a point of having a roughly even number of straight kids and second generation [gay, bisexual or transgender] kids so that both views would be evenly represented in the book. In other words, because of the goals of my book, I deliberately aimed to have 50% of the kids interviewed to be queer. Not because it is statistically reflective of the population, but to give it balance of perspective. (1)
So much for Cameron’s Literary review.
The following Fact Sheet on Paul Cameron was published by Dr Gregory Herek, Professor Of Psychology at the University of California at Davis.
- On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped from membership. Early in 1984, all members of the American Psychological Association received official written notice that “Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists” by the APA Board of Directors.
- At its membership meeting on October 19, 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that it “formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality.”6
- In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.”7… At its August, 1986 meeting, the ASA officially accepted the committee’s report and passed the following resolution: The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.
- In August, 1996, the Canadian Psychological Association adopted the following policy statement: The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally dissociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality.
- Cameron’s credibility was also questioned outside of academia. In his written opinion in Baker v. Wade (1985),Judge Buchmeyer of the U.S. District Court of Dallas referred to “Cameron’s sworn statement that ‘homosexuals abuse children at a proportionately greater incident than do heterosexuals,’” and concluded that“Dr. Paul Cameron…has himself made misrepresentations to this Court” and that “There has been no fraud or misrepresentations except by Dr. Cameron” (2)
The Southern Poverty Law Center in the US is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. The SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. They produce public facts sheets and, where possible and necessary, take legal action against such individuals and groups. In their sights are holocaust deniers, white supremacist, black separatists, KKK Leaders and the infamous Westborough Baptist Church.
Guess what! (OK, I know….you guessed already havent you.) Yes, The Southern Poverty Law Centre has its own page dedicated to anti-gay “researcher” and full-time hate monger, Paul Cameron.
Have a look Reader but, fair warning,… take an anti nausea tablet first.
Now we move to Dr Schumm. The third member of our “unholy trinity of hate”
Schumm is a close associate of Cameron. He took Cameron’s discredited research as his starting point and built on it with the same dodgy methodology. While Cameron looked at 3 books, Schumm took Cameron’s initial 3 and added 7 others. (Sigh…)
I will let some quotes from the Boxturtle Bullletin help paint the (Schumm) picture.
Back in 2007 when Cameron tried to launch an online “journal,” Schumm agreed to be part of Cameron’s editorial board. Cameron’s “journal” failed to get off the ground, but Schumm continues on. More recently he served as an “expert” witness alongside George “Rentboy” Rekers in Florida’s gay adoption trial. As far as I can tell, Schumm comes off appearing more “sciencey” than Cameron, but his methodology is exactly the same. And when you use the same methodology, you end up with the same result: junk science.
At the end of the Florida Gay Adoption Trial the Judge’s findings included the following comment.
When re-analyzing studies on outcomes of children raised by gay parents, he [Schumm] found some differences in outcomes as a factor of parental sexual orientation where the original researchers reported no differences (the null hypothesis). He suggests that his reanalysis, mostly unpublished, should be accepted over the analyses of well-respected researchers in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Schumm admitted that he applies statistical standards that depart from conventions in the field. In fact, Dr. [Susan] Cochran [of UCLA] and Dr. [Michael] Lamb [of Cambridge University] testified that Dr. Schumm’s statistical reanalysis contained a number of fundamental errors (3)
So, there we have it… The unholy trinity of Rekers, Cameron and Schumm, shamed and discredited by every reputable organisation in the field but quoted as authorities in consecutive paragraphs in a submission to the government by the head of the LCA’s Committee on Social and Bioethical Questions, a leading group in the LCA’s discussions on Homosexuality.
Reader, My concern doesn’t end there. The issue runs much deeper in the LCA than just this submission. I have been informed by a member of the Church’s Commission on Theology (CTICR. The major theological “think tank” of the LCA) that the work of Cameron and Schumm have been a part of that group’s consideration of the LCA’s review of its statement on homosexuality.
There is also a book by Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practise which has a large measure of acceptance within the Leadership of our Church. Another member of the Commission referred me to the book which I have studied extensively. I have profound reservations about Gagnon’s Biblical analysis but his investigation into the sociological issues are of equal concern. He relies heavily on the work of….(yup!, You guessed it!) Cameron and Schumm.
How is it that discredited researchers continue to be quoted and referenced as authoritative sources? Well, sadly, they are treated with the disdain they deserve ,everywhere, except in conservative Christian Churches. Now why is that? How is it that a man like Dr Robert Pollnitz who has dedicated his life to science and health can be so completely uncritical of such sources? Is it possible that, when it comes to the question of Homosexuality, the prejudice overrides the desire for substantiated facts?
When I critiqued a 2003 statement by Dr Pollnitz on homosexuality he wrote back to me to say that, 8 years on, he hopes that he is better informed. Well, sadly it appears as if he remains as uniformed as ever.
Dr Pollnitz, you have presented yourself as an authority on homosexuality in our church. You are the Chair of the LCA’s Committe on Social and Bioethical Questions. You have been and continue to be an influential figure in the debate. I’m sorry Dr Pollnitz but you appear to have one of two choices. Get informed. Or get out of the debate.
BTW. Reader, you may remember that in an earlier post I told you that had contacted the CTICR and asked for access to all their documentation so that I could publish them and allow all of us to see who and what is informing their deliberations. Well, The CTICR met a few weeks ago to consider my request. I still havent heard anything but, rest assured, I am on the case. I should be hearing something very soon.