Skip to main content

The religious right is disputing the report by Politico (using a nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute poll) that young evangelicals are beginning to embrace marriage equality. That poll indicated that just under a majority of young evangelicals under 35 supported marriage equality. Overall, the report indicated that support for marriage equality had more than doubled among evengelicals over the past decade. The religious rights says, "No, because Regnerus." Yes, Mark Regnerus (of the infamous gay parenting study that has been widely criticized) will release results of a new study in September which calls into questions these results reported in the Politico article.

The New Civil Rights Movement describes it this way:

To refute a claim by Politico that evangelical Christians are slowly embracing same-sex marriage, the religious right trots out the author of the most widely excoriated anti-gay parenting study in history: Mark Regnerus.

Of course, actual science -- especially science with which Evangelical leaders disagree -- is anathema to the entrenched religious right.

Enter Russell D. Moore and Andrew Walker, leaders among the southern Baptist convention. In the National Review (Maggie Gallagher's online home,) early this morning, the pair published a defiant refutation of Politico's report.

"A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No," the op-ed insists. "Defying the secular culture, churchgoing Christians are sticking to Biblical teaching," they claim.

To prove their point, the Southern Baptists trot out none other than Mark Regnerus, author of the most widely-discredited "study" -- purportedly, but almost totally not -- of gay parents. They also posted a video of Regnerus explaining his most-recent claims.

When Regnerus testified in a federal court case on same-sex marriage the judge in his ruling called Regnerus' testimony before the court, "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration."

Moore and Walker in their National Review op-ed, point to "research, to be fully released in September," that was, they say, "introduced in Mark Regnerus’s presentation 'Sex in America: Sociological Trends in American Sexuality,' unveiled at a recent gathering of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s leadership summit. According to Regnerus, when compared with the general population and with their non-observant peers, churchgoing Evangelical Christians are retaining orthodox views on Biblical sexuality, despite the shifts in broader American culture."

polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute," which finds "among young evangelicals under age 35, a near majority ... now support same-sex marriage."

Moore and Walker write that Regnerus' research finds "only 11 percent of young Evangelicals actively expressed support for same-sex marriage."

Whose science should we believe?

Indeed, which study should we believe is more accurate? I think I'll go with the polling done by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Speaking of Maggie Gallagher, she has responded (sarcastically) to the recent study out of Australia which indicates that the children of same-sex couples are happier and more well-adjusted/healthy than those of opposite sex couples. Her response follows:
The New York Times and the media are widely reporting the results of a new study of 500 children raised by same-sex couples. Researchers are aghast that such a shoddy piece of work, which is based on a convenience sample of parents who volunteered to be surveyed, and which relies solely on these parents’ reports to determine child well-being, should have been published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. The author is facing a petition and statement signed by hundreds of reputable academics, questioning his moral character and scientific integrity, and the editor of the journal who published such a thing faces similar attacks and enquiries about whether the peer-review process was compromised. Oh wait, the study shows children of same-sex parents do better than the average child, after adjusting for income. Never mind. - Maggie Gallagher, writing for the National Review.
via JMG and Good As You

And, the Aussie authors of the study have responded to some of their critics (on the right):

In reality, the only objections to the University of Melbourne study appear to be coming from the right, including Gallagher, the Red State blog, and The Christian Post in the U.S., plus some right-wing groups in Australia. Lead investigator Simon Crouch addresses the critics on the blog Research Connect.

On the fact that the study looked at families who volunteered to participate, Crouch writes, “The volunteer sample is the only option” in Australia, which has “no population datasets that capture parent sexual orientation.” He notes, “It is argued that only parents with a vested interest in promoting positive health outcomes will volunteer. While this cannot be discounted as a possibility there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case.”

He continues, “There has also been an unfortunate focus on more personal aspects of the research. Some groups have highlighted the fact that I, the lead author on the paper, am a gay man raising children, suggesting that this is a conflict of interest and introduces inappropriate bias.” He points out that the research team has a range of family backgrounds and that “all published papers go through a rigorous peer review process that is blind to such things, assessing work on its methodological merits alone.”

“To suggest that my family situation is of relevance implies that no heterosexual researcher can produce unbiased work on heterosexual families,” he adds. “Or that any non-Caucasian researcher would be able to objectively conduct research on racial discrimination and child health.”

via The Advicate
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  they'll cheerfully claim (5+ / 0-)

    it's becoming less popular and will go away. They can't actually provide anything to back up that claim, but it Must! Be! True! because Jeebus!

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:51:44 PM PDT

  •  You know, (9+ / 0-)

    maybe those kids in Australia are happier and more well-adjusted because they don't have people yelling at them that they're going to burn in hell for their parents' evil lifestyles? Or claiming that they'd be better off in shelters than in loving families with a pair of same sex parents? Just saying...

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:37:39 PM PDT

  •  Here is some data from an (9+ / 0-)

    Evangelical polling company that actually deals in facts. I know, I know, but really.

    Barna Group: America’s Change of Mind on Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTQ Rights

    In 2003        In 2013

    Practicing Christians under 40
      34%               46%

    Practicing Christians over 40
      23%               34%

    This suggests that Christians in their sample over 40 are ten years behind the under-40s. If we conjecture that both groups will continue to evolve at slightly over 1% annually (including having some under-40s reach 40 each year), it will take about 15 years for even the over-40s to come around, or possibly for enough of them to be replaced.

    I am preparing a Diary on Cognitive Dissonance, as explained in the book When Prophecy Fails, for the Writers and Book Lovers group. Denial on many aspects of LGBTQ rights will be one of my case studies.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:38:31 PM PDT

  •  SBC is herding cats since each individual church (4+ / 0-)

    is free to set its own doctrine.  Therefore individual churches continue their annual "mission trips" to various areas with populations with high Jewish population, such as Charlotte or Atlanta around here so they can proselytize the Jews as they read the Gospels as requiring them to do.  This is in spite of SBC hierarchy's promises to stop such proselytization  some years ago.

    I note a Baptist church has already scheduled an LGBT wedding.

    So times are a-changing despite what the elders claim (and since their paycheck depends upon the status quo, they will defend their status quo to the last dollar...........err man.)  I would point to the 1950s when divorces were illegal in many states (Mexico was really popular for the well heeled) and a divorcee was viewed as little above a prostitute and referred to as damaged goods.  Now, over 50% of fundamentalist marriages end in divorce and even ministers divorce and remarry.  Society has moved on and few churches retain the old prohibition.

    By the same token, some local churches require the woman to be a virgin at the time of marriage but that is becoming harder and harder to enforce since men are free to include their kids in the ceremony and more and more influential people in the church want their daughters to have church weddings for second and third marriages.  Expect this to change church by church as time passes.

    Interracial marriages were once banned by state law (Loving vs VA) but now hardly raises an eyebrow.  Some church leaders inveigh against interracial marriages but really enjoy little traction as more and more people divorce, remarry and intermarry.  Reality is overtaking religion and sooner or later, religion must cave in order to keep the coffers full.

    So it is with LGBT marriage.  The guys mentioned are trying to hold back the sea with their hands and face either dealing with modern realities or becoming even more irrelevant  

  •  Maggie Gallagher has no formal scientific training (4+ / 0-)

    that I can find.  She has a BA in Religious Studies.  Yet she thinks that she has the expertise to try to find phoney flaws in research conducted by doctoral-level researchers.  The sites she uses for her "information" seem to lack people who have a working knowledge of sociological, anthropological, and psychological research, specialists in child development, biostaticians and others experienced in their fields who might actually KNOW something about research in general and, more specifically, THIS research.   She and the sites she references don't have much of a case.  It's so weakened that, if it were a ship, the name "Titanic" should be painted on it's sides.  Essentially what we have here are talking empty heads.  Maggie has her opinions, the opinions of others, limited real facts and she just constructs a wall of noise and attacks with it.  Her audience loves it, immediately believes it, remembers it and shouts it out when ever triggered.  Of course, since they don't pay much attention to science, they may have missed the several other studies, other than this Australian one, where Regnerus' ideas got shot time time after time, by various groups of authors.  No, the cons don't want that to get through the dream bubble that surrounds them.

    I find these right-wing groups' responses'  stereotyped.  If researchers come out with a paper that says there is an effective HIV vaccine comes out with a statement that says, for example, we have a vaccine that will prevent AIDS.  Immediately the right begins:
    First they simply deny the science "It's not true, too early to be sure.  Needs years more of work.  Based on bad science.  Some of the investigators are male homosexuals, they would have corrupted the data to fit in with the GAY AGENDA. And this vaccine will promote promiscuity, Gays will be humping everywhere, holding hands, kissing, wearing odd clothes, etc. will promote promiscuity.

    When that doesn't work they move to the next stage.  Well, what did you expect the study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.  You know, that's OBAMA and he works with Muslim terrorists and gays from the Gay Agenda.  What kind of "research" can you expect from them?  This vaccine can't work cause none of the previous vaccines worked.  Big waste of money and time.  It will fail anyway.  And it will promote more promiscuity.  You know more people will voluntarily would become gay and Christian marriage will die off (actually neither case is true.)

    Fail.  Then they come out with personal attacks against the researchers, universities, government agencies, sources of funding, etc.  Well, they had to make a functional vaccine after what they spent to develop it!  It's being made by Bluestone Pharmaceuticals a pharma giant.  "Bluestone?  BLUESTONE?  STONE?  That's it, stone the abomination company that made this to help save horrible gays!  They support the gay agenda, they want our kids to get AIDS so they can sell more drugs.  They're the ANTICHRIST!

    Then as other research papers come out in support of this, they get ripped using the same tactics.

    So the cons try to absolutely DESTROY any science that they can't ignore or dismiss, using the above methods and more.  In general they trash science, don't want to read it/learn about it unless a talking head gives him a 45 second "burst" of science.

    However, should some science come out that supports conservative ideas, WOOOO HOOOO, suddenly they're all members of I F8ckin love science, Crime Scene Investigation and MythBusters (though the cons prefer to think of their actions as "Dirty Jobs.")  Even if it's the deeply flawed "Regnerus" brand of "science", (actually more like a form of) pseudoscience, if it looks like it might make a case against teh Gay.

    Regnerus' study has been attacked by a number of individuals and groups for a number of flaws: poor definition of who were listed as same-sex parents (not clear) and the tiny number of same "sex parents", virtually reduces this paper from a document to an anecdote.  The university where Regnerus works has criticized his methods and research.  The Chair of the Department of Sociology tore him a new one (politely, but coldly), the American Sociological Association attacked his work and, to a lesser degree, him.  Other groups have done the same.  Some groups from as far away as Europe and Australia.  And all of these individuals and groups are trained, educated sociologists who should have valuable comments.  They are valuable comments and most of them shred Regnerus' "work."  

    It's noteworthy to understand that his study was funded by a group that is biased against homosexuals.  No surprise there.  I wonder if Regnerus didn't get sent a message about how he should conduct this study.  Even if it weren't conscious, I'll bet he got a strong subliminal manner.

    While the right only resorts to science rarely and in limited amounts, the left takes a look at the results, gathers some additional information and gets rolling.  What the conservatives manage to do to and with science is pretty damned amazing.  

    A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

    by d3clark on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 02:39:30 AM PDT

    •  Regnerus and Single Parents (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One finding that Regnerus did confirm is that single parents and broken homes tend to have children with poorer outcomes than hetero parents who stay married. Ms. Gallagher, as we all know, is a single mother who did manage to convince her second baby daddy to marry her (allegedly - she doesn't use his name or wear a wedding ring, w/out a license, how can we really know?).

      So, which civil rights should Ms. Gallagher lose? Should we downgrade her marriage to a domestic partnership or civil union because she's failed to create an ideal family?

      "There is no crack in our pies." - Michelle Obama 6/30/2014

      by CPT Doom on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 11:40:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Since of course the moral character (3+ / 0-)

    of the author is a good criterion on which to judge the validity of the science.

  •  The panic sets in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Young evangelicals may well be conflicted because they have come to know more gays and lesbians than their older counterparts and may therefore find it harder to broadly dismiss them and their desire to make a formal commitment to one another. Instead of just acknowledging that reality,  the knee-jerk reaction of the critics is to say it just isn't true.

    It's sad that there are these various litmus tests to be considered a "real" Christian, but I'm afraid young evangelicals are finding that out.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site