Tuesday, July 05, 2005

PFOX Wants Peter Sprigg on the Committee

It's not very often that one newspaper article gives us two items to blog about, but this morning's Washington Times piece does. Not only are CRC/PFOX trying to renege on their legal agreement, but they have announced who they intend to nominate for the citizens advisory committee that will help develop the new sex-ed curriculum. And it is quite interesting.

PFOX wants to nominate Peter Sprigg as their representative on the committee. We had heard a rumor to this effect, and now it's confirmed.

You need to know a little bit about Peter Sprigg. He's not just any local-yokel nut; he's a big-time, dyed-in-the-wool nut. Here's the opening of his bio at the Family Research Council web site:
Peter S. Sprigg was appointed Senior Director of Policy Studies at the Family Research Council on March 1, 2004. In June 2005, Mr. Sprigg was promoted to Vice President for Policy. He also continues to direct FRC's Center for Marriage and Family Studies, a role he assumed in April 2003, after having served as Senior Director of Culture Studies for two years. He oversees FRC's efforts to analyze and influence our culture as it relates to: marriage and family structure; education; human sexuality and the homosexual agenda; religion in public life; and the arts and entertainment.

We encountered this guy several months ago, when the CRC had their town hall meeting. Yes, some of us went, and sat through four hours of distilled hatred. Do you remember that meeting, and how afterwards the groups putting on the event tried to tell the press that they didn't really agree with the speakers' extreme positions?

Do you remember that?

Funny, then, that they would nominate one of those extremists to represent them on this committee.

Of all the speakers that day, Sprigg worried me the most. He is a well-spoken man, articulate (at least when he's following a script), and his talk was sprinkled with references to other people's work -- I cannot bring myself to call it "research," but that is what he calls it. It sounds like he's quoting scientific research and stuff, but when you go look it up you discover that hardly any of it comes from respectable journals or authorities.

The theme of his talk that day was that he was going to dispel some "myths" about homosexuality. And it was the weirdest thing, every "myth" had a kind of rationale that followed it, which justified discrimination against gays. Here were the "myths" he sought to dispel that day, the outline of that talk:
  • Homosexuality is genetic, inborn. ("research show no convincing evidence that anyone is born gay and suggest instead that homosxuality results from a complex mix of developmental factors." [It would be naive to insist that homosexuality is purely genetic; to imply that it is learned, or that it is a choice, as Sprigg does, is even more naive.])
  • Ten percent of the population is gay ("research clearly shows that a very small percentage of the popluation, less than 3 percent, identify themselves as homosexuals." [Nobody know the real percentage, and why would it matter?])
  • Homosexuals are seriously disadvantaged by discrimination in our society. ("research shows that homosexuals actually have significantly higher levels of educational attainment than the general public while their findings on homosexual incomes are at worst mixed." [Sleight-of-hand. Education and finances are one thing, bigotry and anti-gay violence are the issue.])
  • Homosexuality is harmless ("research clearly shows that homosexual behavior specifically and the homosexual lifestyle generally are associated with serious threats to the physical and mental health of those who engage in them" [and goes on to cite ONE Canadian study where life expectancy of gays was 8-20 years less than heterosexuals])
  • Children raised by gays suffer no harm. ("research shows clearly that children do best when raised by a married mother and father and that the homosexual lifestyle is unstable." [here he ignored Lerner and Nagai's meta-analysis of the literature showing that it is inconclusive])
  • Homosexuals are more likely to molest children than heterosexuals. ("research clearly shows that same-sex child sexual abuse, mostly men molesting boys, occurs at rates far higher than adult homosexual behavior and it strongly suggests that many of those abusers are homosexual in their adult orientation as well." [For the real story, look at this page at UC Davis psychology department])
  • People cannot change their sexual orientation. ("tens of thousands of former homosexuals around this country uh, who will testify to the possibliity of change in their sexual orientation..."[Who do you know who "used to be" gay?])

We have already dissected Sprigg's March 19th speech somewhere else, and I won't go through it here. Suffice it to say, he goes against the scientific evidence on every count, often simply arguing against a case that nobody makes.

But the thing that struck you, as he went on and on, was -- what motivates this guy? He spends his whole life thinking of ways to make gay people sound bad. I mean, really, he goes to work at the Family Research Council, and that's what he does. They must have meetings, where they take any tidbit of information and discuss how to spin it so that gay people look bad. They figure out how to twist arguments so their lobbyists can go into the halls of the Capitol Building and persuade our leaders to pass laws that make life harder for gay people. And why? Why not fight real bad guys, robbers and rapists and murderers and terrorists? Why gay people, of all things?

Sprigg was one of the spokesmen in the big SpongeBob SquarePants controversy last year. In fact, he was the one who got off the most memorable quote of the whole campaign against that cartoon character. Listen to this, from the Christian Post:
"If you look at the Web site, it becomes pretty clear that a part of the agenda is to change the definition of family to include virtually anyone who chooses to be called a family, including homosexual couples and homosexual couples raising children," said Sprigg. "Much of what they have is coded language that is regularly used by the pro homosexual movement such as 'tolerance' and 'diversity.'

On the Foundation's website, there are links to organizations that promote the gay and lesbian lifestyle.

"Ultimately we feel that this is being used as propaganda to indoctrinate very small children to accept a different definition of family," said Sprigg. Evangelicals Warn Parents of Pro-Gay SpongeBob Video.

In this brief paragraph, Peter Sprigg sets the standard for everything that is despicable. Tolerance and diversity, the very backbone of civilized behavior, the font of personal liberty, are, to him, part of the "gay agenda." Peter Sprigg reveals himself to be opposed to straightforward, simple decency.

Well, people, we live in a diverse county. And so people like Peter Sprigg get to express their opinion in the public debate, same as you and me. If various positions are represented on the committee in the proportion that they exist in the community, we're ok.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Washington Times on 3/19- on the hatefest- "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum members distanced themselves from such statements.
"We do not go to the extremes that some of the speakers went to," said Steve Fisher, a group spokesman.
Said Mrs. Turner: "This was not about promoting hate or intolerance."

Of course, Sprigg's level of hatred and his extremes must be A-OK since PFOX and CRC work hand in hand.


July 05, 2005 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Alex K. said...

Next they'll say stick figures are erotic because their phallic lines are representative of "boy-parts".

These guys need a proper hobby, rather than try to slander innocent cartoon characters.

Rather than digressing and trying to censor everything, out of fear, they should better educate the youth so that their fears could be minimized.

It's easier to tell the truth than live a lie.

July 05, 2005 3:16 PM  
Blogger Kay2898 said...

Alex K said: It's easier to tell the truth than live a lie.

Well it seems from this latest in a string of Recall/PFOX whinings they would rather do the reverse.

Kay R

July 05, 2005 5:14 PM  

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