Saturday, January 06, 2007

Does Scientific and Medical Knowledge Need to be "Balanced" by Something Else?

David Fishback pointed this one out. The Examiner had a story this morning. Looks like the reporter went to the MCPS briefing Thursday. David focused on this part:
According to Betsy Brown, director of the county's curriculum department, the main factor that's different about these hot-button lessons is that they will be strictly scripted, and teachers will not be allowed to bring in their own information or materials.

"If kids ask a question that's outside the scope of what's taught, the teacher is encouraged to tell them to talk about it with a health professional," she said. Sex education to be voted on by school board next week

So ... say a kid in a class has some questions about homosexuality. Say it's something personal, the kid needs to know some stuff. Guess what -- he can ask, but the teacher can't answer.

The medical and mental health organizations -- American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others -- have web sites and brochures with lots of answers. The citizens advisory committee had recommended inclusion of some statements from those sites, as a handout at least, for both 8th and 10th grade classes.

But it appears the school district is afraid that giving out information by these groups will make them vulnerable to a lawsuit. As if scientific knowledge needed to be "balanced," in the classroom, with religion-based prejudice.

And look at what the teacher is supposed to do: tell them to talk about it with a health professional. Just great. I guess a kid wouldn't deduce that homosexuality is a sickness from that, would they?

As it is, there's nothing in the curricula that specifically says that homosexuality is not a disease, which is a very important point. It's not a disease, and it's not a choice; these are facts that students need to be told.

The school board can do the right thing on Tuesday, and add the "bullet points" that were strongly recommended by the citizens advisory committee, but rejected by the Superintendent's staff. We hope they do.

54 Comments:

Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

But it appears the school district is afraid that giving out information by these groups will make them vulnerable to a lawsuit. As if scientific knowledge needed to be "balanced," in the classroom, with religion-based prejudice.

Spare me your anti-religious bigotry Jim...really now, it is rather unattractive.

Jim writes,

The school board can do the right thing on Tuesday, and add the "bullet points" that were strongly recommended by the citizens advisory committee, but rejected by the Superintendent's staff. We hope they do.

Ok, ok, Jim, I think we get the point...that you are anxious that all of your wonderful ideas be accepted.

Face it though, the Supt.'s staff may know things you folks on the CAC do not. And they may be more concerned with avoiding litigation than with all those wonderful ideas that the CAC has in mind.

And yes...I know how "tolerant" the State of Maryland is...how it is mandated by law that "sexual variation" be taught (lest ANYONE'S feelings get hurt)...so, you do not need to blather on about all of that.

Please, keep in mind that even religiously conservative folks pay taxes, vote and have rights...and we are not going away anytime soon.

January 07, 2007 10:35 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

anti-religious bigotry Jim

Don't be absurd, Orin. It's prejudice, it's rationalized by religion. I'm against the prejudice, not the fact that people worship deity.

... and we are not going away anytime soon.

Weird thing to say Orin, since you don't even live here. These people make up the tiniest percentage of our county's population.

JimK

January 07, 2007 10:38 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

Don't be absurd, Orin. It's prejudice, it's rationalized by religion. I'm against the prejudice, not the fact that people worship deity.

Ok Jim...whatever you say.

... and we are not going away anytime soon.

Weird thing to say Orin, since you don't even live here.

Don't have to...ever heard of the Internet (you know, that thing Al Gore "invented")?

These people make up the tiniest percentage of our county's population.

"These people"?...yup, "these people" still vote, pay taxes, etc.
"These people"?...good grief, you should hear yourself talk.

January 08, 2007 10:46 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

(you know, that thing Al Gore "invented")?

Orin, do you really believe that Al Gore invented the Internet? Or do you actually believe he said he invented it?

This is one of those things that "conservatives" pass around among themselves, though it has no truth to it. Look HERE.

This kind of thing does not make the radical right any more persuasive. People are sick of this technique of simply asserting a lie, and repeating it over and over again, hoping that listeners will forget the truth. Al Gore was an important early proponent of the Internet, got the government online quickly, never said he invented it.

JimK

January 08, 2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin said "I know how "tolerant" the State of Maryland is...how it is mandated by law that "sexual variation" be taught (lest ANYONE'S feelings get hurt)...so, you do not need to blather on about all of that.

Please, keep in mind that even religiously conservative folks pay taxes, vote and have rights...and we are not going away anytime soon.
"

Typical Orin, its a joke to worry about people's feelings getting hurt when they're sexual minorities, but not if they're religious conservatives. People only matter if they share your bigotry. You hypocrite.

January 08, 2007 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So ... say a kid in a class has some questions about homosexuality. Say it's something personal, the kid needs to know some stuff. Guess what -- he can ask, but the teacher can't answer."

Unless the child is a ward of the state, his personal problems aren't the business of the state but his family. The school is there to provide education not personal counseling.

In the situation described above, the teacher should tell the child that different people disagree about these matters and he should talk to his parents. His parents will refer him to the appropriate place of counseling which could be his rabbi for a Jewish kid, for example, or, perhaps, a doctor for a kid from a humanist background, for another example.

The parents who know the child better and would be better equipped to point the child in the direction appropriate to the child's background.

January 08, 2007 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The medical and mental health organizations -- American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others -- have web sites and brochures with lots of answers."

They have lots of opinions not "lots of answers". Whether we choose and have responsibility for our inner life is an ancient question of destiny vs free will which is not in the realm of science but that of ethics, philosophy and religion. Similarly, what defines normalcy and what constitutes disfunction is not a scientific question.

Teaching tolerance of those who feel and act different does not necessitate that we settle these questions.

Superintendent Weast is correct.

January 08, 2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But it appears the school district is afraid that giving out information by these groups will make them vulnerable to a lawsuit."

No, they aren't. They are concerned that what they teach is truthful. These questions cannot be answered empirically. To imply that they have been is misleading.

"As if scientific knowledge needed to be "balanced," in the classroom, with religion-based prejudice."

What science knows should be taught. Non-factual opinion which conflicts with a child's moral upbringing should be avoided.

Balance is only sought as to opinion not factual statements.

January 08, 2007 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And look at what the teacher is supposed to do: tell them to talk about it with a health professional. Just great. I guess a kid wouldn't deduce that homosexuality is a sickness from that, would they?"

You're the one that wants to add it to the health curriculum and include statements from medical associations.

January 08, 2007 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As it is, there's nothing in the curricula that specifically says that homosexuality is not a disease,"

Which is as it should be since this is an ambiguous statement, requiring elaboration and ultimately requiring a value judgment.

January 08, 2007 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The school board can do the right thing on Tuesday, and add the "bullet points" that were strongly recommended by the citizens advisory committee, but rejected by the Superintendent's staff."

Supporting the Superintendent's position is the right thing to do.

January 08, 2007 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People are sick of this technique of simply asserting a lie,"

People are sick of hearing the radical left accuse everyone who disagrees with them of lying.

January 08, 2007 3:54 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

If by "people" you mean "people who tell lies," well, yes, I imagine they would prefer not to have the fact pointed out to everyone.

Al Gore didn't say he invented the Internet, and everybody knows that. To say it is to repeat a lie.

You guys are so backwards.

People are sick of it.

JimK

January 08, 2007 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, Jim. He didn't say he invented it. He say he "created" it. That's the precise word from the link you provided.

January 08, 2007 4:07 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

JimK said "So ... say a kid in a class has some questions about homosexuality. Say it's something personal, the kid needs to know some stuff. Guess what -- he can ask, but the teacher can't answer."

Anonymous said "Unless the child is a ward of the state, his personal problems aren't the business of the state but his family. The school is there to provide education not personal counseling."

Having questions about gayness is not a personal problem. In any event the school needs to teach about life, not just the 3 R's. And if a child is having problems with anti-gay bigots he needs to know the problem is with them, not him.

Anonymous said "In the situation described above, the teacher should tell the child that different people disagree about these matters and he should talk to his parents. His parents will refer him to the appropriate place of counseling which could be his rabbi for a Jewish kid, for example, or, perhaps, a doctor for a kid from a humanist background, for another example. The parents who know the child better and would be better equipped to point the child in the direction appropriate to the child's background."

Gay children need a place they can go and be assured it will be safe and supportive. They cannot count on their parents for this given the large percentage of the population that oppresses gays. Gay children should not risk comming out to parents who may be violent or throw them out of the house.

January 08, 2007 6:08 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

JimK said "The medical and mental health organizations -- American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others -- have web sites and brochures with lots of answers."

Anonyous responded "They have lots of opinions not "lots of answers". Whether we choose and have responsibility for our inner life is an ancient question of destiny vs free will which is not in the realm of science but that of ethics, philosophy and religion. Similarly, what defines normalcy and what constitutes disfunction is not a scientific question.".

Hogwash. What constitutes a dysfunction is that which interferes with the day to day living of life. Being gay is not a dysfunction. The overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that gay people are not mentally distinguishable from straight people. People do not choose their feelings as one chooses what clothes to wear in the morning. No one recalls a time when they had no attraction to either sex, they weighed the options, made a decision to be attracted to one or the other sex, and immediately became attracted to that sex. It just does not happen.

Anonymous said "Teaching tolerance of those who feel and act different does not necessitate that we settle these questions."

There never was any question about it. People do not choose whom they are attracted to. Even Peter Sprigg admits that when he's being honest. Morally we must tolerate any behavior that does not hurt others.

January 08, 2007 6:21 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Jimk said "But it appears the school district is afraid that giving out information by these groups will make them vulnerable to a lawsuit."

Anonymous replied "No, they aren't. They are concerned that what they teach is truthful. These questions cannot be answered empirically. To imply that they have been is misleading.".

Study after study has shown since 1957 that gay people are indistinguishable from straight people on common measures of mental health. The question HAS been answered and its a lie for you to suggest otherwise.

Jimk said "As if scientific knowledge needed to be "balanced," in the classroom, with religion-based prejudice."

Anonymous said "What science knows should be taught. Non-factual opinion which conflicts with a child's moral upbringing should be avoided.".

Science knows being gay is not an illness. What's moral is "Do whatever you want, but harm no one." What's moral is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". What's immoral is letting religionists teach gay kids there is something wrong with them when there is no evidence there is and plenty of evidence there isn't.

January 08, 2007 6:30 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Jim lamented "As it is, there's nothing in the curricula that specifically says that homosexuality is not a disease,"

Anonymous replied "Which is as it should be since this is an ambiguous statement, requiring elaboration and ultimately requiring a value judgment.".

Science is perfectly capable of making value judgements. For example, science can easily judge if changes to a car's mechanical systems result in a valuable increase in gas mileage.

Again, there is nothing ambiguous about the fact that being gay is not a disease.

The following represents the evidence that homosexuality is not pathological, and comes from studies that were primarily done in the 60's, 70's and 80's. There were a flurry of studies done after the classical study by Evelyn Hooker in 1957, which produced the large body of studies from the 60's -70's. Then the studies dwindle down as the 80's progress, and very few studies can be found in the 90's. This is because all of the evidence is convergent, so no further studies were warranted, and the conclusion was that homosexuality evidenced no pathological characteristics that were significantly different from heterosexuals.
a) MMPI data:

L Braaten-1965, Genetic Psychology Monographs 71:269-310
R Dean-1964, J of Consulting Psychology 28 483-86
W Horstman-1972, Homosexuality and Psychopathology(dissertation)
Adelman-1977, Arch of Sex Beh 6(3):193-201
Oberstone-1976, Psychology of Women Quarterly 1(2):172-86

b) Other tests (Eysenck's Personality Inventory, Cattel's 16PF, California Personality Inventory, etc)

R Evans-1970, J of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 34:212-15
R Turner-1974, Br J of Psychiatry 125:447-49
M Siegelman-1972, Br J of Psychiatry 120:477-481
M Siegelman-1972, Archives of Sexual Behavior 2:9-25
M Freedman-1971, Homosexuality and Psychological Functioning, Brooks/Cole Publ.
J Hopkins-1969, Br J of Psychiatry 115:1433-1436
M Wilson-1971, Psychological Reports 28:407-412
N Thompson-1971, J of Abnormal Psychology 78:237-40
E Ohlson-1974, J of Sex Research 10:308-315
D Christie-1986, Psychological Reports 59:1279-1282
H Carlson-1984, Sex Roles 10:457-67
T Clark-1975, Am J of Psychoanalysis 35:163-68
R LaTorre-1983, J of Homosexuality 9:87-97
P Nurius-1983, J of Sex Research 19:119-36
C Rand-1982, J of Homosexuality 8(1):27-39 J Harry-1983, Archives of Sexual Behavior 12:1-19
E Hooker-1957, J of Projective Techniques 21:18-31

c) Reviews

B Harris-1977, Bulletin of the Am Acad of Psychiatry and Law 5:75-89
J Gonsiorek-1977, Psychological Adjustment and Homosexuality, Select Press.
W Paul-1982, Homosexuality: Social, Psychological and Biological Issues; Sage Publ.
M Hart-1978, J of Clinical Psychiatry 39:604-608
R Meredith-1980, Professional Psychology 11:174-93
B Reiss-1974, J of Homosexuality 1:71-85
B Reiss-1980, Homosexual Behavior a modern reappraisal, Basic Books
P Falk-1989, Am Psychologist 44(6):941-947
Kingdon-1979, Counseling Psychologist 8(1):44-45
V Armon-1960, Journal of Projective Techniques 24:292-309
N Thompson-1971, J of Abnormal Psychology 78:237-40

d) Psychiatric Interviews
R Pillard-1988, Psychiatric Annals 18:51-56
M Saghir-1970, Am J of Psychiatry 126:1079-86

January 08, 2007 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Having questions about gayness is not a personal problem. In any event the school needs to teach about life,"

No, teaching about life is exactly what the role of religion is. You have simply substituted the state for religion. When people have done this in the past, the result has been massive suffering and the death of millions of innocent victims at the hands of Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al.

"not just the 3 R's. And if a child is having problems with anti-gay bigots he needs to know the problem is with them, not him."

And by anti-gay bigots, you've made clear you mean those who believe homosexuality is sinful. Therefore, you are suggesting again what we have already rejected as unconstitutional here in America: that the schools should teach that homosexuality is sinful.

Again, we have religious freedom in our country. You don't believe in it so you don't really belong in this conversation.

January 08, 2007 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gay children need a place they can go and be assured it will be safe and supportive. They cannot count on their parents for this given the large percentage of the population that oppresses gays. Gay children should not risk comming out to parents who may be violent or throw them out of the house."

What you don't understand is that they shouldn't be "comming out" at all until they have reached the age of consent. Society shouldn't encourage it and certainly the schools shouldn't be involved.

January 08, 2007 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hogwash. What constitutes a dysfunction is that which interferes with the day to day living of life. Being gay is not a dysfunction. The overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that gay people are not mentally distinguishable from straight people."

Well, your ideas are a hog in need of washing. Most people think the ability to function as a heterosexual constitutes "day to day living of life". Homosexuality, then, is intrinsically disfunctional if it is exclusive. Gay people are "mentally distinguishable" from straight people because of their irrational aversion to using their bodies as designed.

January 08, 2007 9:46 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

...they shouldn't be "comming out" at all until they have reached the age of consent...

That's ridiculous. "Consent" has nothing at all to do with "comming out."

JimK

January 08, 2007 9:52 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

...irrational aversion to using their bodies as designed...

Incredible, Anon. Did you design them? Cuz that's the only way you'd know what they were designed for.

If you're going to ponder the mysteries, why don't you go off and figure out why God created gay people, despite your preconceptions about what makes a good design?

JimK

January 08, 2007 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There never was any question about it. People do not choose whom they are attracted to. Even Peter Sprigg admits that when he's being honest."

What Mr. Sprigg said is that the statement is ambiguous. He didn't elaborate and the twisting of his statement by you and Dr Beyer shows how difficult it is to discuss anything rational with you.

No one thinks a person chooses a fleeting attraction. Ideas and temptations fly in and out of the minds of all persons. But a person who experiences these fleeting attractions always has the power to indulge and develop them or to resist them. The choice may, over the years, become ingrained and more and more difficult to resist but, at some point a choice was made, and depending how you define "choice", which is an intangible question rather an tangible one, you might be said to make that choice every day.

Science concerns itself with tangible questions.

"Morally we must tolerate any behavior that does not hurt others."

No man is an island. Yours is a self-centered definition of morality. Few ethical philosophers would agree with you.

January 08, 2007 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Incredible, Anon. Did you design them? Cuz that's the only way you'd know what they were designed for."

Personally, I think God designed them. From what I understand, you believe the forces of natural selection did.

In any case, the design is self-evident. It's obvious if they were designed to be used in a certain way, there wouldn't be a need for lubricants and pain-killers to perform it enjoyably.

"If you're going to ponder the mysteries, why don't you go off and figure out why God created gay people, despite your preconceptions about what makes a good design?"

That's the point. He didn't.

January 08, 2007 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Study after study has shown since 1957 that gay people are indistinguishable from straight people on common measures of mental health. The question HAS been answered and its a lie for you to suggest otherwise."

Back to the same radical left tactic. People's opinions can differ from yours without their opinion constituting a lie.

January 08, 2007 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What's immoral is letting religionists teach gay kids there is something wrong with them when there is no evidence there is and plenty of evidence there isn't."

So you believe any religion that believes in traditional morality is immmoral. It's quite a reversal of the facts and really irrational. The government has no place telling "religionists" what they can teach.

January 08, 2007 10:10 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

What Mr. Sprigg said is that the statement is ambiguous...

Here's what Sprigg said HERE: I do not believe, and I do not know anyone who believes, that same-gender sexual attractions or desires are a “choice.”

How ambiguous is that, exactly?

JimK

January 08, 2007 10:11 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

...why don't you go off and figure out why God created gay people, despite your preconceptions about what makes a good design?"

That's the point. He didn't.


Interesting. And so, who did?

JimK

January 08, 2007 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Science is perfectly capable of making value judgements. For example, science can easily judge if changes to a car's mechanical systems result in a valuable increase in gas mileage."

Fallacious example. Science can determine the level of gas mileage. Whether it is good for it to go up or down is a judgment that science receives from the part of society that makes judgements. One part of society may feel it is more important to preserve resources, anothe may feel it is more important to create jobs. Science provides the data, society makes the judgement.

January 08, 2007 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How ambiguous is that, exactly?"

Because he didn't say if these attractions were fleeting or innate. Because he didn't say if you have a choice to strengthen those feelings or if they become irresistable or can be subject to change by focus on different areas or by spiritual disciplines. He didn't say if the feelings were the result of other choices. He didn't say what he meant by "choice" or "attraction". He simply didn't elaborate.

As you know, his statement was part of his attempt to dialogue with one of the homosexuals on the CAC and was part of trying to explain why he thought statements about sexual orientation and choice are necessarily ambiguous.

In order to do the topic justice, more elaboration is necessary than there is time for. Ambiguous platitudes aren't what the students should be taught.

January 08, 2007 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Interesting. And so, who did?"

Actually, you're right. He created gay people. He just didn't create their gaiety.

Point well taken.

January 08, 2007 10:27 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

... one of the homosexuals on the CAC ...

Anon, give me an estimate: how many "homosexuals" do you figure there were on the CAC? Hint: it couldn't have been more than fifteen.

JimK

January 08, 2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The following represents the evidence that homosexuality is not pathological, and comes from studies that were primarily done in the 60's, 70's and 80's."

All dependent on a humanistic definition of pathological.

"This is because all of the evidence is convergent, so no further studies were warranted, and the conclusion was that homosexuality evidenced no pathological characteristics that were significantly different from heterosexuals."

They were significantly different mentally in that they couldn't enjoy a normal heterosexual role in society and sought others to also forsake their gender role and engage in same gender sexual relations.

January 08, 2007 10:33 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

All dependent on a humanistic definition of pathological.

Anon, "pathological" is a word. It's defined by humans. There is nowhere writ in heaven what is and isn't pathological.

JimK

January 08, 2007 10:38 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

We know all these guys have at least some homosexual tendencies themselves. There really can be no other explanation. When you just scan the Bibles, at least the Jewish one, you find page upon page of discourse and diatribe, exhortations and condemnations, carrots and sticks related to idolatry. It's clear that radical monotheism did not arrive easily in this world, and that the Jewish people were battling the concept at least until 2000 years ago. The Jewish Christians then picked it up.

But given just how potent the response was, you can recognize that it was a serious concern to generations of Jews. Given that there is one sentence related to male homosexuality, and none to female homosexuality, you can also infer that this wasn't a big issue. Uncovering one's sister-in-law's nakedness was a bigger issue to these guys. Yet the extremist right is focused solely on the male anus, to the exclusion of virutally all else. Not herterosexual promiscuity, adultery, plain old cheating, out-of-wedlock births, or any of a host of Biblical sins -- just homosexuality. Over and over and over again. And, of course, they attack transsexualism which isn't even mentioned in anyone's Bible.

So, please, explain to us, Anons, just why the obsession for you?

January 08, 2007 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, "pathological" is a word. It's defined by humans. There is nowhere writ in heaven what is and isn't pathological."

Not all humans are humanists. Different worldviews have different ideas what is normal and what is not.

January 09, 2007 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, "pathological" is a word. It's defined by humans. There is nowhere writ in heaven what is and isn't pathological."

Not all humans are humanists. Different worldviews have different ideas what is normal and what is not.

January 09, 2007 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dana

I think part of your ramble was that certain parties who oppose promoting homosexuality in schools don't also care about other forms of traditional morality. I think everyone realizes you are incorrect about this.

January 09, 2007 12:24 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I said "Having questions about gayness is not a personal problem. In any event the school needs to teach about life,"

Anonymous at January 08, 2007 9:35 PM said "No, teaching about life is exactly what the role of religion is."

Religion is not an apropriate source for teaching about life. For example, the bible has nothing of value to say about modern health care, health must be taught from the school, not the bible. The bible has nothing to say about modern principles of conflict resolution, the biblical solution is to kill those you are in conflict with.

Anonymous said "You have simply substituted the state for religion. When people have done this in the past, the result has been massive suffering and the death of millions of innocent victims at the hands of Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al.".

Don't forget Hitler was a Christian. The evidence shows that higher levels of religiosity are correlated with higher levels of social dysfunction.

http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

"In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9).

Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical “cultures of life” that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion. The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia have been most successful in these regards. The non-religious, pro-evolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator. The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted."


Anonymous said "Again, we have religious freedom in our country. You don't believe in it so you don't really belong in this conversation.".

You lie. I never said I don't believe in religious freedom, I do but that also means freedom from religion is a right as well. It is you who wans to take away people's right to be free from religion by trying to prevent schools from teaching kids about life and foolishly suggesting that this is the province of ill-equiped and bigoted religion.

January 09, 2007 6:24 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I said "Gay children need a place they can go and be assured it will be safe and supportive. They cannot count on their parents for this given the large percentage of the population that oppresses gays. Gay children should not risk comming out to parents who may be violent or throw them out of the house."

Anonymous at January 08, 2007 9:39 PM said "What you don't understand is that they shouldn't be "comming out" at all until they have reached the age of consent. Society shouldn't encourage it and certainly the schools shouldn't be involved."

This contradicts what you said at January 08, 2007 3:35 PM. There you were encouraging children who have questions about gayness to speak to their parents. In any event you're wrong on both counts. Children shouldn't have to bottle up their feelings, hide who they are and live in fear of inadvertently revealing they are gay, and they most certainly shouldn't risk telling their parents this and risking physical violence or being evicted from the home as all too frequently happens. Kid's need a safe place to be who they are without fear of anti-gay bias and the school is perfect for that.

January 09, 2007 6:35 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I said "What constitutes a dysfunction is that which interferes with the day to day living of life. Being gay is not a dysfunction. The overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that gay people are not mentally distinguishable from straight people."

Anonymous replied "Most people think the ability to function as a heterosexual constitutes "day to day living of life"."
I seriously doubt most people think you have to be having sex to be coping well with the day to day living of live. In any event most people aren't doctors who are the ones who decide what a disease is and the overwhelming majority of them agree that most gays aren't having any trouble with the living of day to day live and therefore aren't suffering from a disease.

Anonymous said "Homosexuality, then, is intrinsically disfunctional if it is exclusive.".
As I explained above, it is not, however it is interesting that you should say its intrinsic given that this means its inherent in the nature of the individual. That contradicts your previous statements about it being a choice. You know you haven't chosen your same sex attractions, as much as you're desperate to believe you can unchose them.

Anonymous said "Gay people are "mentally distinguishable" from straight people because of their irrational aversion to using their bodies as designed.".

You're a little dense so let me clarify. Gay people aren't mentally distinguishable from straight people on common measures of mental health. You also again contradict your statements that its a choice. An aversion is not a choice. And our bodies weren't designed, they evolved and its inherent in nature that bodies are used for whatever purpose is possible and useful. Sex brings pleasure and unites people in supportive couples. This works for gays just as well as for straights.

January 09, 2007 7:00 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at January 08, 2007 9:58 PM said "No one thinks a person chooses a fleeting attraction. Ideas and temptations fly in and out of the minds of all persons. But a person who experiences these fleeting attractions always has the power to indulge and develop them or to resist them. The choice may, over the years, become ingrained and more and more difficult to resist but, at some point a choice was made, and depending how you define "choice", which is an intangible question rather an tangible one, you might be said to make that choice every day.".

The trouble is anonymous, gay people (or straight people for that matter) don't report "fleeting" attractions that grow stronger as they are indulged. They report powerful attractions PRIOR to any sex, while they are still virgins. I myself experienced overwhelming desires while I was a virgin, desires that LESSENED after I had sex and found out it wasn't all I had made it out to be in my mind.

I said "Morally we must tolerate any behavior that does not hurt others."

Anonymous said "No man is an island. Yours is a self-centered definition of morality. Few ethical philosophers would agree with you.". Are you blind or just stupid? My morality emphasizes others, that others are not to be hurt. It is your philosophy that is self centered - rather than being content with living your own life as you choose you selfishly try to dictate to gays how they should live when they aren't harming you in any way. Any truly ethical philosopher has to agree with the idea that as long as you hurt no one any behavior is moral.

January 09, 2007 7:13 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at January 08, 2007 10:04 PM said "Personally, I think God designed [our bodies]. From what I understand, you believe the forces of natural selection did.

In any case, the design is self-evident. It's obvious if they were designed to be used in a certain way, there wouldn't be a need for lubricants and pain-killers to perform it enjoyably.".

Gay sex doesn't involve pain-killers and not necessarily lubricant either. Gays have been around since long before KY jelly. Our bodies are evolved to use in whatever way we see fit. As we look at nature and the archaeological evidence its clear our bodies weren't designed for wearing clothes to protect us from the cold, but I don't hear you campaigning against that either.

Jim said "If you're going to ponder the mysteries, why don't you go off and figure out why God created gay people, despite your preconceptions about what makes a good design?"

Anonymous replied "That's the point. He didn't.".

Anonyomous, if you believe in god and that being gay is a choice you must believe god created gay people. If god gave people the choice to be gay then he must have intended that some choose to do so. Clearly an omniscient god can't give people a choice without expecting some to make it.

January 09, 2007 7:30 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at
January 08, 2007 10:15 PM said "Science can determine the level of gas mileage. Whether it is good for it to go up or down is a judgment that science receives from the part of society that makes judgements. One part of society may feel it is more important to preserve resources, anothe may feel it is more important to create jobs. Science provides the data, society makes the judgement."

Oil conservation is universally recognized as a positive value.

Science is the province of scientists. Scientists are a part of society. Scientists judge the value of what they are doing, that is inherent in deciding what they are going to work on. You cannot seperate science from society and values anymore than you can seperate your thoughts from your mind.

January 09, 2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Peter Sprigg said "I do not believe, and I do not know anyone who believes, that same-gender sexual attractions or desires are a “choice.”"

Jim asked anonymous "How ambiguous is that, exactly?"

Anonymous replied "Because he didn't say if these attractions were fleeting or innate. Because he didn't say if you have a choice to strengthen those feelings or if they become irresistable or can be subject to change by focus on different areas or by spiritual disciplines. He didn't say if the feelings were the result of other choices. He didn't say what he meant by "choice" or "attraction". He simply didn't elaborate."

He didn't need to elaborate, he admitted what all people know, they didn't choose their attractions. If you choose your attractions you should be able to describe that process honestly step by step. Do so or admit you you didn't choose to have same sex attractions and there is no reason to believe anyone else has either.

January 09, 2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

I posted "The following represents the evidence that homosexuality is not pathological, and comes from studies that were primarily done in the 60's, 70's and 80's."

Anonymous at
January 08, 2007 10:33 PM responded "All dependent on a humanistic definition of pathological.".

No, all dependant on medical and mental heatlh professionals' definition of pathological, the only definition that counts. These people represent the best knowledge available and absent that you've got no experts to offer, only the irrelevant bigotry of bronze age tribes.

I posted "This is because all of the evidence is convergent, so no further studies were warranted, and the conclusion was that homosexuality evidenced no pathological characteristics that were significantly different from heterosexuals."

"They were significantly different mentally in that they couldn't enjoy a normal heterosexual role in society and sought others to also forsake their gender role and engage in same gender sexual relations.".

Anonymous, make a choice and stick to it. Stop claiming that on one hand being gay is a choice and on the other saying things like this which say it isn't. Obviously if as you say gays can't enjoy heterosexuality, they can't choose heterosexuality, or not to be gay either. In any event the point of the studies is that gays evidenced no pathological characteristics that were significantly different from heterosexuals, not that there aren't nonpathological differences.

January 09, 2007 8:05 PM  
Blogger digger said...

Anonymous said:

"I think God designed them."

One of the most wonderful men I ever met, a pastor I was see for reparative therapy, said to me,
"Robert, God made you the way you are, and God loves you the way you are." He had changed his mind, and changed my life.

Robert

January 11, 2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

You know, Anon, I can't enjoy a good Christian life either. Does that make me mentally ill?

January 12, 2007 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""""" Dana Beyer, M.D. said...
You know, Anon, I can't enjoy a good Christian life either. Does that make me mentally ill?

January 12, 2007 11:44 AM

Of all the reasons that Byer is mentally ill not being a Christian would not be a reason but it is good to see that Byer is finaly starting to relize that Byer is mentally ill.
ps if jimK delets this post forward it to Byer.

January 12, 2007 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You know, Anon, I can't enjoy a good Christian life either. Does that make me mentally ill?"

Why can't you, Dana?

January 12, 2007 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 12, 2007 3:35 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

What an asshole.

JimK

January 12, 2007 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 15, 2007 12:37 PM  

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