What kind of family value is lying? That’s the foremost question in my mind when I consider the family values organizations that use false research, lies and denialism to justify their agenda of disparaging contraception, sex education, homosexuality, and exaggerating the dangers of abortion.
In light of Falwell’s death, I thought it would be appropriate to advance the discussion of the use of denialist techniques to reinforce bigotry and an anti-feminist agenda in the name of family values.
I think a good starting point for the discussion of what a family values denialist looks like is Paul Cameron and his organization the Family Research Institute which has stooped as low as using memoirs of Nazi Rudolf Hoss to justify their theory of gay “recruitment”. Paul Cameron can only be described as a disgraced psychologist, the American Psychological Association has even taken the trouble to cancel his membership for violations of their code of ethics and the American Sociological Association followed suit. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently detailed his psuedoscientific crusade against gays. Cameron is a quack, who lies, cheats and misrepresents the science of others to try to prove that homosexuals have higher fatality rates and are more likely to abuse children in an attempt to scientifically justify homophobia. One of his only redeeming values is that he has no idea when he’s being made fun of, so every time the Daily Show needs to make someone look like an ass on gay issues they just call him up and he willingly embarrasses himself on national television. Here at scienceblogs, Ed Brayton has chronicled several instances of Cameron’s bigotry masquerading as science. Off the scienceblogs, the best resource is by far Box Turtle Bulletin which provides this list of people who promote Cameron’s bogus research and lies. Not surprisingly, those that use Cameron’s obviously bogus research are other denialist “family” organizations.
Take for example the The American Family Association’s repeated use of Cameron’s debunked research suggesting that homosexuals are child-molesting gay recruiters. Besides promoting anti-evolution denialism, and homophobia (too many instances to catalog), they also promote the debunked breast cancer/abortion link, fake breast cancer organizations (can you even believe it?), and other cranks who promote the abortion/cancer link. Quite simply, every single page you find on their website promotes lies about sexuality, contraception, abortion, stem cells, and women’s health. It’s simply stunning, that people who supposedly promote families are so willing to lie and deceive to acheive their goals.
But wait, there’s more.
No discussion of fake family organizations would be incomplete without a discussion of The Family Research Council, James Dobson’s “family” lobbying organization who recently misrepresented the science on emergency contraception as part of their continuing campaign against reproductive choices from abortion to contraception and promotion of abstinence education despite proof it doesn’t work. I’m sad to say that Charmaigne Yoest, their director of communications, has a position at my very own university.
In this category I also include the fake feminist organizations such as the Independent Women’s Forum and Concerned Women for America, who also routinely lie about sexuality, contraception, sex ed, etc., to advance a religious/political agenda under a pretense of representing women or feminism.
Family Research Institute – Paul Cameron’s denialist organization.
The American Family Association – A clearinghouse for lies about anything south of the belt buckle.
The Family Research Council – the most mainstream organization for liars about sexuality, sex education, contraception, etc.
Independent Women’s Forum
Concerned Women for America