Home > Faith, Washington Post > At Least they Separate It…

At Least they Separate It…

How does bigotry like this find mainstream publication?

Some homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal–yet they have been told by the homosexual movement, and their allies in the media and the educational establishment, that they are “born gay” and can never change. This–and not society’s disapproval–may create a sense of despair that can lead to suicide.

Unsurprisingly, it was found in the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post. I’m starting to notice a trend that nonsense – no matter how appalling – can be published in the faith sections of newspapers. Part of me is amazed that wickedness, pseudoscience, and shameful backwardness finds a place in these newspapers; another part of me is thankful it is properly labeled and segregated off in the religion section.

I am still disappointed that these sections’ editors allow such egregious deception. Tony Perkins, the homophobic author of the column, writes,

There is an abundance of evidence that homosexuals experience higher rates of mental health problems in general, including depression. However, there is no empirical evidence to link this with society’s general disapproval of homosexual conduct.

Most people that actually think believe the faith section is reliable will no doubt skip right over checking Perkins’ own linked source, but incredulous readers (the few that bother to read the section at all) will notice that the American Psychological Association’s report finds this (my emphasis),

  • Several studies suggest that gay men, lesbians and bisexuals appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared with heterosexuals, although not to the level of a serious pathology. Discrimination may help fuel these higher rates.
  • A study found lesbians reported equally strong levels of mental health as their heterosexual sisters and higher self-esteem.

So, when Perkins claims in the next sentence that “there is no empirical evidence to link this with society’s general disapproval of homosexual conduct” what are we to think? I’m guessing the editors just assumed the readers aren’t going to think. It’s the Faith section.

Luckily, good people still exist in the world.

[Update: Obama, who should know better, isn’t helping.]

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Categories: Faith, Washington Post
  1. Bill Sowka
    October 14, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Dan- I truly believe that it is intuitive to most people that the stress of discrimination and bullying of glb individuals would cause overwhelming anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts in this population, especially amongst the young and defenseless. Yes, it is disturbing that fundamentalist ideas make their way into mainstream media, but honestly, as you said, good people still do exist in the world,they are the overwhelming majority and they believe intuitively what is right and what is wrong-more than they believe in a newspaper article. Take faith in that and that alone.

  2. DaveH
    October 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Bill- I’m not sure if I feel as confident as you. Even if you are correct in assuming most people intuitively realize mental health problems are over-present among homosexuals because of discrimination, this silent majority is not nearly as energetic or vocal as the fundamentalists.
    And while it is awful that bigoted thoughts can be preached to flocks every Sunday, published in major newspapers, and expressed by state gubernatorial candidates, tolerant majority you refer to bears a certain degree of blame, as well. It’s not enough to silently disagree with bigotry you can read in the Post every morning. Such intolerance has to be vocally and energetically opposed. It is the lack of faith in the tolerance of others that led to the rash of suicides we’re reading about lately. And while these kids may have been wrong about the degree to which they were accepted by those around them, they had no way of knowing that in the absence of something visible. This is the reasoning behind Dan Savage’s new “It Gets Better,” campaign on YouTube: People need to KNOW the discrimination they face isn’t the be all and end all- it’s not enough to just assume it.

  3. October 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I hope you’re right about that. Too many vulnerable children are subjected to horrible harassment just because they’re different in some way. Sadly, for gay kids the intolerance is fostered by campaigns by politicians and religious figures that demonize them for wanting to destroy America and the family, and even threaten eternal souls. Too many well-meaning people aid this bigotry in their quest against gay marriage. Saying the homosexuals can’t marry contradicts anyone’s claim that they are entitled to equal rights and are equally worthy human beings.

    I didn’t want to go on too much about Perkins’ hatred – there is just too much wrong with the piece. He also claims that “Within the homosexual population, such mental health problems are higher among those who “come out of the closet” at an earlier age. Yet GLSEN’s approach is to encourage teens to “come out” when younger and younger–thus likely exacerbating the very problem they claim they want to solve.” While that APA study reports, “two large-scale studies of lesbians and bisexual women report good news about lesbians’ mental health, particularly if the women are “out.”” And also writes, “The findings support the idea that therapy that facilitates the coming-out process is good for lesbians’ mental health. “Such affirmative psychotherapy, provided during the coming out process, may prevent or buffer against subsequent mental health problems.”

    His piece is just full of errors like that and while one newspaper article isn’t going to make much of a difference, the continued campaign to make homosexuals out to be wrong morally, biologically, and civilly can’t help but have an effect on how children (never mind adults) treat one another.

  4. Bill Sowka
    October 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Dave-

    Appreciate your argument very much. You are right on many levels. However, don’t assume that the “silent” majority is always silent. They may not have a pulpit, they may not have a column in the paper, they may not have a public office, but they have something much stronger.

    Look around. People aren’t buying all that religious bigotry and its manifested in our emerging cultural norms. Churchgoing is at an all time low, people aren’t buying newspapers, aren’t buying politicians, homosexuals are “coming out” earlier and thriving in much greater numbers than ever before, schools (schools!) have healthy gay-lesbian alliance groups, homosexual celebrities are embraced. So much has changed in the last decade. In my personal life I work with several homosexuals who are extremely well respected, extremely well-liked, extremely well-adjusted, and guess what? Extremely well defended by those of us who love them.

    I have hope in our not so silent majority. The power is there. Sometimes it takes people like you to bring it out. But its there. And were moving into a brave new world.

    • October 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      Bill,

      Again, I hope you’re right. I do agree that there is no doubt that progress is being made on these fronts. We just have to remember to never get complacent and make sure we continue to promote the good voices while criticizing the bad.

  5. Bill Sowka
    October 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Absolutely Dan!

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