“Family” Research Council’s Peter Sprigg has a pretentious academic title of Senior Fellow for Policy Studies. Sprigg is a Baptist minister with an undergraduate degree in political science and economics. He also has a master of divinity degree.
What Sprigg is not is a scholar. Nor is he a scientist. Sprigg has never published anything in a recognized and peer reviewed scientific journal. Yet, Sprigg has written a new brochure titled Debating Homosexuality
It is easy to find sardonic merriment in Peter Sprigg’s fanatical, biblical bigotry. Frankly, I am not amused.
We need to remember that roughly 25% of gays and lesbians are people under the age of 18. Some of them have parents who actually buy into the nonsense propagated by people like Sprigg. No gay teen finds Marcus Bachmann and says “Fix me.” It is the parents of gay teens who march their children into quacks like Marcus and ask him to fix their children. The result is potentially irrevocable damage to already fragile psyches.
Of course, from our perspective, one does not debate homosexuality any more than one would debate blues eyes, blond hair or left handedness. One debates opinion
Sprigg starts out with the correct observation that most of us believe:
- Sexual orientation is an innate personal characteristic, like race.
- People are born gay.
- Gay people can never become heterosexual.
- Being gay is essentially no different from being straight, except for the gender to which one is sexually attracted.
Sprigg fails to mention that the above is also the consensus of medical and social science.
What is Sexual Orientation?
He then goes on to write:
As all serious researchers in human sexuality understand, “sexual orientation” is an umbrella term for three quite different things. The first of these is one’s sexual attractions—is a person sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex, the same sex, or both? The second element of sexual orientation is sexual conduct—what sex acts does an individual choose to engage in, and with whom? The third element of sexual orientation is sexual self-identification . . .
That is so astonishingly incorrect as to be dishonest. No. That is not the consensus of “serious researchers.” At least none whose research has been published and peer reviewed. What Sprigg is trying to do is to establish an introduction to the specious theory that gay people are those who choose to have sex with those of the same sex. It is a lie!
Sexual orientation is simply and solely defined as the attraction to men, women, neither or both. Sprigg later explains:
Social conservatives approach the topic of homosexuality using a completely different paradigm — one that is more sophisticated, and more consistent with the research on human sexuality and sexual orientation, than the “gay identity” paradigm. This paradigm is based on the reality that same-sex attractions, homosexual conduct, and self-identification as “gay” are three separate (although related) matters which must be addressed separately.
That is, indeed, the view of those struggling with the fact that science is not consistent with their interpretation of their bible. To suggest that this understanding is “more sophisticated” or “more consistent with the research on human sexuality” is dishonest. It is a lie!
Confronted with the prospect that, if sexual orientation is not innate then is must be mutable, Sprigg writes this about sexual reorientation “therapy.”
Much of this research and clinical experience has been reported in the peer-reviewed scholarly literature for decades.
Well, not exactly. To support this erroneous assertion, Sprigg’s footnote references “research” by NARTH that was published in the Journal of Human Sexuality. First of all, NARTH did no research. They selectively compiled material, some more than 100 years old. Secondly, the Journal of Human Sexuality is a vanity journal. It is certainly not a respected scholarly compilation.
The overwhelming current consensus of science is that sexual orientation is neither immutable nor a choice. That is the conclusion of the APA and every other medical organization that has researched the issue. There is a mountain of scientific evidence is support of that conclusion.
Sprigg has used selective observation of selective observation to make an intellectually dishonest conclusion. It is a lie! I note that NOM’s expensive name brand attorneys were unable to produce one qualified witness in the Proposition 8 trial who would testify that sexual orientation is mutable. They were going to use George Rekers. I think we all know how that worked out.
Sprigg goes on to dishonestly conflate sexual orientation with AIDS (I’ll spare my readers the lengthy polemic). He then goes on to assert that there are “mental health problems” caused by being gay.
Simply stated; Being gay is not harmful to one’s health. It is repression and oppression that is toxic. Spriggs arguments are not only dishonest but absurd.
Then comes, perhaps, the most offensive portion of this polemic:
We believe the evidence shows, however, that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men. It is neither reasonable nor responsible to simply dismiss this assertion — it is necessary to examine the evidence for and against it.
Nice job Peter. While he concedes that not all homosexuals are child molesters (gee – thanks), we all get the dog whistle. Sprigg’s observation is based on the incorrect notion that same-sex pedophilia is homosexual. Simply stated, people like Sandusky are not gay. They are pedophiles. Attempting to portray pedophiles as either heterosexual or homosexual is dishonest. It is a lie!
If anything should be clear from the information shared above, it is that there are legitimate grounds for debate on the origin, nature, and consequences of homosexuality. Let all people of goodwill — regardless of their politics, religion, or sexual orientation — agree that the debate should continue, with a respect for honest research and for the freedom of thought, speech, and religion.
With all of Sprigg’s lies it takes balls on skateboards to call for an honest debate. But, as I said, sexual orientation is not something that is subject to debate simply because their bible depicts gay sex as a sin. Their book is also at odds with science on matters such as gravity, the age of the earth, the origins of man, that the earth revolves around the sun and a host of other matters. If Sprigg wants to believe that gay sex is a sin then he is free not to engage in sex with another man. That’s fine with me. Attempting to impose those beliefs on society is another matter. Sprigg has no right, whatsoever, to do so.
My grandmother kept a kosher home. For some strange reason, I cannot recall that she ever organized protests and demonstrations against the pork store in her neighborhood. I also cannot recall that she ever hired lobbyists to make the sale and consumption of lobster illegal.
- De-constructing FRC’s Marriage Mythology (slowlyboiledfrog.com)
- New FRC Pamphlet Obsesses Over ‘Homosexual Conduct,’ Ignores Gay People (thinkprogress.org)
- Hate Group Leaders Fischer and Sprigg Confer, Agree That Gays are Not ‘Born That Way’: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Family Research Council’s Solution To AIDS Epidemic: Criminalize Gay Sex (thinkprogress.org)