Friday, October 14, 2011

If you play with canons, you may get burnt

It is good to know that the Diocese of South Carolina is in good hands, legally speaking.

As the Diocese is being pursued from on high in respect of whether they have been keeping the canons of TEC or not, it is intriguing to notice that those pursuing them seem to lack the very highest and best understanding of the canons with which they pursue the Diocese. [See UPDATE below] (H/T Titus One Nine, Stand firm).

Here is the Chancellor of the Diocese of South Carolina in a letter dated 7 October 2011 querying whether the Church Attorney representing TEC is also on the Disciplinary Board for Bishops of TEC, since that is not allowed by TEC's own canons.

And here is a comparative list of membership of the Disciplinary Board as posted on 8 October 2011 and 13 October 2011. The Church Attorney, Josephine Hicks, has dropped off the membership list.

If TEC is going to play with their canons as a means to bring order to their church, then they will need to be at the top of their game.

Of course there is another way to order the church, and that is by communication, dialogue, conversation, also known as 'talking to each other.'

In this case my humble suggestion, based on the experience of the two Down Under Anglican churches in Australia, and Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, is that the presupposition of the talking is the intention to hold together despite great diversity. If Australia can hold the Diocese of Sydney in its midst, surely TEC can retain South Carolina ...

UPDATE: The Living Church has a report in which Bishop Henderson says that it was a mistake that Church Attorney Hicks' name was listed on the Disciplinary Board for Bishops (as well as a mistake that one bishop was listed who is not a membr). So that's all right then ... justice is in the hands of people who make simple mistakes with lists!

UPDATED UPDATE: The Living Church now has a report in which Bishop Henderson says that Hicks has recused herself from the role of Church Attorney to the Board because of a potential conflict of interest in respect of her law firm and the process of discipline involving +Lawrence and the Diocese. This is all working out rather well for those who remain cool, calm and collected, and could end badly for those who cannot escape shambolic process.

75 comments:

carl jacobs said...

TEC is a lawless church that conforms Canon Law to fit its immediate purpose. Yet this will have limited impact on those conservatives whom TEC seeks to cast out. The people who will get burned by this lawlessnes are the progressives who desire to remain in the church. The powers being accumulated by the Executive are not going to disappear once TEC has been rendered free of the conservative menace. Those powers are going to be exercised in creative and unique ways as 815 lives into the context of its newly found might.

Coming soon to a GC near you - Presiding Bishop for Life Katharine Jefferts Schori.

carl

Father Ron Smith said...

I find Carl Jabobs Asserttion that: "TEC is a lawless Church that conforms Canon Law to fit its immediate purpose" - just a little oxymoronic, to say the least.

What is Canon Law for - except to achieve the Church's "immediate purpose". That is how Canon Law first came into being - to suit the ethos of the particular governing body.

As the Church sees the need for further implementation of justice in accordance with the Gospel ethos of the Kingdom of God; so it needs to alter Canon Law to meet the circumstances. Both Canon Law and the Bible are not gods in them-selves, they are agencies of progress towards further enlightenment.

Jacqueline Jenkins Keenan said...

Father Ron,

There is a difference between creating well thought our canons for the good of the church and creating canons to exterminate those who disagree with you without bothering to dialogue. I tried to dialogue with the leaders of TEC about the serious errors in their theology statement, "To Set Our Hope on Christ", but instead of answering reasonable questions, they evaded and covered up their mistakes. Although some of that appeared in my public conversation with the PB, "Where's the Science? A Conversation with the Presiding Bishop." A much larger cover up appears in my book, "And the Spirit Led Me: Walking with God through a Church Disaster." This book is available on many websites in Australia, and it is a true story with real emails exposing their evasiveness and cover ups. If you google the full name of the book and my name, it will be easy to find. These people play at diversity, but they want no such thing, nor will they brook any discussion about their political position.

Yours in Christ, Jacqueline Jenkins Keenan

carl jacobs said...

Fr Ron Smith

I don't think you quite grasped the concept behind my comment. I wasn't talking about TECs ability to make its own laws. I was referring to TECs ability to ignore its current Canon Law at will. When I said "TEC is a lawless church," I meant that TEC is not bound to act within the constraints of its own Canon Law. Instead, it shapes Canon Law into whatever convenient weapon it requires at the moment. TEC Lex as it were. Or better yet, 815 Lex. Is there a troublesome bishop who needs deposing? Is there an ersatz diocese that needs creating to act as the vehicle for a lawsuit? It causes no difficulty when the Canon Laws means precisely what the powers that be say they mean. Nor does it matter much what the Canon Laws meant on Tuesday last. It only matters what they mean today. Thus does Canon law suit the ethos of the particular governing body.

Progressives will run conservatives out, and then celebrate the achievement of one more step on the road to 'enlightenment' - like for example, the destruction of due process. Then they will wake up with a hangover and discover that their Presiding Bishop rather likes the idea of 815 Lex. It's so much more efficient and satisfying to simply issue commands. You know, like "Off with their heads!"

carl

Brother David said...

It is a bit obvious that Ms Keenan has an agenda here, selling her books. If you have the truth about what is really going on you should be disseminating it freely to all of us. Thanks for dropping by ma'am.

Peter Carrell said...

ADU promotes learning through reading, David, so promotion of edifying books is fine by me!

Mark Baddeley said...

I'm not sure that you're right Peter with your analogy between TEC and South Carolina and Australia and Sydney.

As Andrew Reid has pointed out, Australia as a whole is far, far less liberal than TEC. So while Sydney is arguably more theologically 'conservative' than South Carolina, it is much less so relative to the overarching body. (Australian liberals appreciate Bishop Spong, for example, but they've produced few like him, and most wouldn't see him as reflecting their own views.)

Second, Sydney has far more clout in the broader denomination than South Carolina. It is based in the most important city, is the largest, wealthiest, and strongest Diocese with the healthiest demographics. Up until relatively recently the Primate of Australia was automatically the Archbishop of Sydney. The Archbishop of Sydney is a Metropolitan, with a certain amount of authority over some surrounding Dioceses. State funerals of a religious nature are always (I think) done by the Dean of Anglican cathedral in Sydney. It fields a huge, and growing, proportion of the delegates to national synod. I think that Sydney, plus conservative delegates from other dioceses (if they all agree), now have the numbers to stop any motion they disagree with. By contrast South Carolina stopped going to General Convention because involvement was a waste of time and is, in Kurt's immortal words a "southern backwater" (heh, gotta love the beltway condescension).

Third, the Australian church is very unlike TEC. It is a federation of, on the whole, fairly monochrome dioceses in terms of churchmanship. Most dioceses are basically one flavor with a few pockets of a different approach. The constitution and the ethos reflects this - it's designed to hold things together, to stop precipitous action, to stop the majority dictating things to the minority unless they have an overwhelming majority (2/3 I think). It's set up to give the space that allows each Diocese to get along by just getting on and doing its thing.

My impression is that TEC isn't like that - who controls the centre gets to dictate to everyone else (or at least they think they can). So TEC is trying to make the ordination of women obligatory for all dioceses, and will probably do the same for open active homosexuals.

By contrast Australian liberals simply fought for the freedom to ordain women (and then have women bishops), likewise Sydney argued for the freedom for lay administration - not to make it obligatory for all dioceses.

I actually think would be very hard for TEC to keep South Carolina in its midst. TEC is intolerant of genuine diversity (diversity here being defined along the lines of: "I utterly oppose your views, but I'll die for your right to hold to them", not TEC's faux 'diversity' of 'those fashionable causes that we embrace'). And its approach to governance encourages that - its view that it is a hierarchical church (laughable as that is, given it doesn't even have an Archbishop, merely a Presiding Bishop) means that it ultimately has to work towards creating a pure church. Now that the liberals have one the 'big tent' is quickly downsizing.

Jacqueline Jenkins Keenan said...

Brother David,

I would love to give my book away to everyone, but my publisher will not allow that. Also, people of other denominations, who have read it, found it "excellent and informative", so it is not just for Anglicans. But it has an Anglican glossary in the back. However, I try to tell people the least expensive place to buy it. In the United States that is Amazon.com. It is also available on Kindle in some places for $7.99. If you google the full title and my name, perhaps you could find the least expensive place that sells it in Australia. Whatever you pay, I get about a dollar. It cost me $10,000 to produce it. I don't expect to ever recoup the money, because I am an unknown author, but God called me to write it, so I did.

Jackie

Brother David said...

As my avatar shows Jackie, I am Mexican.

My point about your books is that I truly fail to see their promotion in this topical thread as relevant, it was a backdoor approach to mention them as they have no real baring on this subject.

Be careful here of spouting that God has lead you into doing something, Señora, many folks here find that claim questionable. BTW, how did God lead you, did you hear a voice or feel a burning in the bosom?

carl jacobs said...

Brother David write...

Be careful here of spouting that God has lead you into doing something, Señora, many folks here find that claim questionable.

Unless of course you are called to assert (say) that homosexual behavior is not actually a sin, but is in fact blest of God, because that would be the Spirit leading you into a new understanding. To recognize which claims are questionable spoutings and which claims are enlightened actions based new understandings, you have to ask a Certified Progressive, because they are the only ones who can actually tell the difference.

carl

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Brother David,

You presume that the book is irrelevant to the present situation in the church. I think it is relevant or I would not have mentioned it. But you can actually read a lot of it for free on Amazon and Google. Further, it is for sale on Iguama.com, so it is not just in Australia. It is available to Mexicans too, if that was your point. And although I feel certain God called me to write it, I cannot tell you why. I wonder why you are so upset that I mentioned it.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Mark, for you exhaustive description of the Anglican Church in Australia's origins and polity, As a near neighbour of that provincial city known as Sydney, I am very much aware that is contains the largest population of LGBT people - which probably reflects the size of Sydney. This seems to contrast greatly with the militant opposition of the local Anglican Church to such people - as vibrant, responsible citizens within it's boundaries. These fellow human beings (surely, some of them Church members?) deserve better treatment from diocesan Head Office.

I'm afraid that Carl Jacobs latest assertion - that homosexuals are more sinful than heterosexuals - hardly needs a response. A little education in human biology would not go amiss here.

Peter Carrell said...

I would have thought, Ron, that Sydney rejecting the Covenant, which in your view exists only to drive the LGBT community out of the Communion, might merit a few words of praise ...

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Father Ron,

If you think that biology supports the fixed and genetic stereotype of homosexuality, then you need to read my book. Even homosexual researchers have shown that attractions change over time, and that such attractions change quite often in women and young adults. It sounds like you need to be educated in biology, because there is no definitive evidence for biology as a cause of homosexuality, and there is quite a bit of evidence against it. But as long as Division 44 of the American Psychological Association controls what science the public sees, you will remain ignorant. They are all gay affirming and as a political group should have no control over who evaluates science. The level of ignorance regarding what science says on this subject is appalling, and you are a good example of that. Jesus said to take the plank out of our own eye before worrying about the speck in our brother's eye.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

carl jacobs said...

Fr Ron Smith

I'm afraid that Carl Jacobs latest assertion - that homosexuals are more sinful than heterosexuals - hardly needs a response. A little education in human biology would not go amiss here.

That's a curious statement since I made no such assertion. My comment was about homosexual behavior. In addition, my comment about homosexual behavior was peripheral to my main point. That point simply recognized the irony of a Liberal criticizing someone else's subjective impression when the entire Liberal religious enterprise is justified by subjective impression.

carl

Roland Cartwright said...

I'm afraid that Carl Jacobs latest assertion - that homosexuals are more sinful than heterosexuals - hardly needs a response. A little education in human biology would not go amiss here.

Father Ron Smith, just where does Carl Jacobs make this assertion? All I see him writing is that homosexual acts are sinful, without any comment on homosexual persons. In making this comment he is affirming nothing more than the consensus amongst Christians, across time and across denominations. A little education in Christian theology and morality would not go amiss here.

Lucy said...

Brother David said: “Be careful here of spouting that God has led you into doing something, Señora, many folks here find that claim questionable”.

Well David, here’s another Señora who’s going to drive a hole through your day. You didn’t enjoy reading about God leading Jackie, you even felt compelled to advise care when telling us about it ... well that’s just tough for you! I was REALLY glad to read what she wrote here and also glad to track some of her other pieces down.

I wonder why you attributed base motives to your sister in Christ? I also wonder why you chose to describe her simple sentence ‘God called me to write it’ as ‘spouting’?

Why do you find the claim so questionable? After all, over and over again I have been told that the Spirit is leading the church into fresh, liberating truth concerning same sex relationships ... why is it ok for the Spirit to lead KJS,and TEC, and some of you posting on this site ... and not Jackie? You’ve never complained about Fr Ron (for example ... not singling you out here Fr Ron) proclaiming at regular and frequent intervals that very same thing.

No! It couldn’t be ...don’t tell me! It’s not the IDEA of the Spirit leading someone that has you all hot and bothered, it’s WHO made the claim and WHAT she said.

Engage with the issue David, and try showing some hospitality to visitors.

Lucy Eban

Brother David said...

Lucy, when those of us who disagree with your stance against GLBT Christians mention that we feel that the Spirit (God) has lead us down this path of inclusion, you lot question and make light of the claim, do you not?

Hence my calling out that this behavior occurs on this blog to someone making a similar claim. Period.

I have never felt hospitality from you Lucy. Period.

Jackie Keenan said...

One of the things that I learned from spending six years at Virginia Theological Seminary and 5 1/2 years in the Episcopal Church is that liberals think that they can argue away what Scripture says about homosexuality, because they have a different interpretation. Then they take passages and read into them quite a bit that is not there, and they ignore that their reading is refuted by the rest of Scripture. But if one argues with them based on Scripture, they smugly claim that they have a different interpretation. However, their motivation for misinterpreting Scripture is that science shows that homosexuality is like being black or a woman. Pointing out that this is not so really upsets them, and one is likely to be called a bigot and hateful. But there is nothing hateful about being truthful as long as one speaks the truth in love.

I do not think that anyone is opposed to people with homosexual attractions, as Father Ron claims. And one must love people first to have any hope of speaking the truth in love. So I have less trouble speaking with homosexuals than I do with heterosexuals who presume that I am ignorant and hateful, because I believe that blessing homosexual behavior is wrong.

IT said...

The biology is clear that there is a strong genetic component to homosexuality. But, of course, genetics is not destiny-- as we see with any complex human behaviors or traits. Genetics gives a palette on which our real lives are painted.

Still, to deny the biology is to deny science, and the only way to get around it is to accuse the scientists of conspiracy, as we see here. Pretty pathetic.

For those who are interested in actual science as opposed to religion based "natural theology" there are a number of resources here and on genetics here.


Now, you may decide that homosexuality is "natural" but "pathological", the same way that people used to view red hair or left handedness. While I disagree, at least that is consistent with fact.

Or you may choose to deny biology.

If you do the latter, however, you really need to come up with a compelling explanation of why anyone would choose to be gay, given the violence and abuse they suffer at the hands of so-called "Christians".

Meanwhile, wouldn't it be more productive to find common ground in helping a hurting world, than playing at petty politics of puritanism?

carl jacobs said...

Brother David

when those of us who disagree with your stance against GLBT Christians mention that we feel that the Spirit (God) has lead us down this path of inclusion, you lot question and make light of the claim, do you not?

No, we don't make light of it. We ask you for a standard that identifies the origin of your subjective leading as divine. Why should your subjective leading be more authoritative than the subjective leading of anyone else? You are making a claim of divine revelation and asking us to give assent to it. On what basis do you make this claim? What authority undergirds it? How do I test it? The mere fact that you say you have been led means nothing in and of itself. You have to prove who it is that leads you. You have to establish your claims in some divine authority that binds my conscience against my will.

In fact the mechanism of establishing divine authority is reversed. Certain subjective leadings are presumed to be divine in origin because they agree with the presuppositions of the one supposedly being led. 'Enlightenment' precedes and therefore determines the judgment of divine leading. But how does one recognize 'enlightenment?' This question is never answered because the answer is nothing other than the presupposition of the 'enlightened' self. God is not leading this enlightenment. Man is declaring himself enlightened according to his own light. God is attached after the fact to add a veneer of divine sanction. Of course, you could effectively silence me and all these charges. All you have to do is name the standard.

carl

Father Ron Smith said...

I've just discovered something quite important; if one is writing a piece on this thread, it can get high-jacked without any warning if one moves from the presenting page.

However, not to be deterred, I'll have another go:

Thanks, IT, for your thoughtful contribution to this thread. I'm afraid that the anti-gay bloggers, though, are very unlikely to take up your invitation to read some of the literature to which you have given us entree. I have already recommended the excellent book by Fr. tobias Haller: 'Reasonable and holy', which explores the issue of homosexuality in a Christian context; but I suspect few will bother to read it, as it does not conform to their already made-up-mind on such issues. One can take a horse to the water, but one one cannot make him/her drink!

However, if you name is Jacqueline, whose output against the phenomenon of homosexuality has been advertised on this thread several times, our Host advises that she is one of the authors one ought to lap up as part of the 'authentic' dialogue going on. You can't win!

Anonymous said...

"The mere fact that you say you have been led means nothing in and of itself. You have to prove who it is that leads you. You have to establish your claims in some divine authority that binds my conscience against my will."

Carl, you are correct in identifying the subjective, solipsistic beliefs of Brother David and those who share his method. Essentially they claim to be *directly and immediately led by the Holy Spirit* in their beliefs about the moral character of homosexuality - despite the fact that Scripture and church tradition are unanimously against this, and any reflection on the structure of the human body and the mechanics of reproduction leads to the same conclusion. Scripture, tradition and reason are all against this new un-gospel. So they must claim direct inspiration by the Holy Spirit instead to trump these three. This is not historic Anglicanism. It is parasitic postmodern Gnosticism (just as Spong played it), a travesty (note the Italian!) of the language and images of the Christian faith. Sexual and theological revisionism go hand in hand.
Martin

Mark Baddeley said...

IT:

The biology is clear that there is a strong genetic component to homosexuality. But, of course, genetics is not destiny-- as we see with any complex human behaviors or traits. Genetics gives a palette on which our real lives are painted.

I agree with the second sentence, I'm not sure how clear it is yet that there is a 'strong' genetic component. My impression of the twin registry studies is that neither genes not environment are the strongest component; individual factors are the single strongest factor.

Still, to deny the biology is to deny science, and the only way to get around it is to accuse the scientists of conspiracy, as we see here. Pretty pathetic.

I think it was said that homosexuality and genes is not like gender or race (women and being black, IIRC) - it's not genetically determined the way they are. As you've said that yourself, how is it 'denying science' to assert that? And to argue that there are a lot of politics and advocacy going on in the American Psychological Association over the definition of sexuality (not just homosexuality, but certainly including it) is hardly 'pathetic' - it is a position on which reasonable people can take different positions and interpret the facts in question differently. You think the APA on this is as pure as the driven snow, CSI scientists simply following the evidence, someone else thinks that they are being pushed by groups wanting to use them to help advocate for greater approval of homosexuality in society. Both interpretations can point to evidence for support.

Now, you may decide that homosexuality is "natural" but "pathological", the same way that people used to view red hair or left handedness. While I disagree, at least that is consistent with fact.

?? From the same guy who began by saying 'genetics is not destiny', you now compare homosexuality to handedness and hair color?

Why didn't you pick alcoholism, drug addiction, pedophilia, or any of the other of the vast number of 'complex human behaviours' that are considered to be 'natural but pathological' for your examples?

Oh. That's right. It wouldn't have supported your argument much.

Or you may choose to deny biology.
hmmn. Pots and kettles by this stage? Or have you already forgotten 'homosexuality is like having red hair' from the previous paragraph?

If you do the latter, however, you really need to come up with a compelling explanation of why anyone would choose to be gay, given the violence and abuse they suffer at the hands of so-called "Christians".

Again, take out 'would choose to be gay' and put in any pathological kind of behavior that has some genetic basis, but isn't determined by either genes or environment, and the answer you give for those might just make do for self-identifying as 'gay' as well.

Why do people get addicted to drugs? overeat? become alcoholics? Especially given the abuse and violence they'll experience? I hope you've got a really compelling argument there, IT, or I'm just gonna have force myself to do something really bad and, you know, accuse you of denying science or something. They're all like having red hair or being left-handed.

Anonymous said...

"natural" can mean two different things: "found in nature" (from Latin "natus", 'born') or "according to a given telos" (following the Gk. "phusis"). On the first definition, just about anything is "natural" that doesn't defy the laws of physics - then we are in the realm of the "supernatural" (like the classical gods). The second usage implies a given, intended order to the world, which is really theological in character, but overlaps with Aristotle, as Thomism recognizes. This linguistic confusion lies at the heart of the mistake that David and Ron Smith keep repeating. Secular people don't believe there is any telos in human existence beyond what we choose, individually or collectively, to give it. To paraphrase a character from Shakespeare, 'There is nothing good nor bad but thinking maketh it so."
Martin

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear IT,

You are dead wrong about the biology indicating genetics. The twin studies have shown that there could be at best very little genetics, if any. Frankly, well educated homosexuals are not making claims of genetics at this time. Here is the science regarding twin studes.

The 1991 Bailey and Pillard twin study on men looked at identical twins, fraternal twins, siblings that were not twins, and adopted siblings. Seeing traits significantly more often in pairs of identical twins than in the general population suggests heritability of the trait. The authors found that 52% of homosexual identical twins had a homosexual co- twin. Since that was much higher than the 2% rate of homosexuality in the general population at that time, such a large increase would indicate that genetic factors were highly likely. However, the subjects for this study were individuals recruited through gay publications. Besides the obvious problem of who would be likely to respond to such a solicitation, the data itself showed that even the adopted children in the study had five times the normal rate of homosexuality. A high rate in unrelated children indicates that the families of respondents were not typical of the general population.

In 1992 King and McDonald did a twin study using an unbiased sample. It showed only about 25% of homosexual identical twins had a co-twin who was homosexual. This is still higher than the general population so it could indicate some heritability, but King and McDonald also looked into the possibility that there might be environmental factors causing even this relatively low rate of concordance. They found that "genetic factors are insufficient explanation of the development of sexual orientation" because of social factors, including "a relatively high likelihood of sexual relations occurring with same sex co-twins at some time, particularly in monozygotic [identical] pairs." The identical twins were having a strong influence on each other.

In 2000 Bailey published a new study, this time co-authored by Kirk. This new study drew on a twin registry for the subject population instead of recruiting participants through gay publications. This new study also reported a much lower heritability rate for men than had the 1991 report, which Bailey had co-authored. This time heritability was only 30%. Yet a close look at the study shows that even this lower rate is subject to question. Once environmental factors have been described that interfere with results on heritability, they must be addressed in all later research. For some reason, however, the Kirk and Bailey study asked no questions about the social issues that King and McDonald found. As a result the study is fundamentally flawed in design.

Yet environmental effects became clear when the results of this same study were used in an article produced by Savin-Williams in 2006 ("Who's Gay? Does it Matter?" Current Directions in Psychological Science 15.) Savin-Williams produced a chart of prevalence rates of homosexuality in many countries and covering many age groups. The groups from Australia had markedly higher prevalence rates than any age groups in any other country. That seemed baffling until one noticed that the Australian population came from Kirk and Bailey's twin study. Now heredity does not increase prevalence. It only determines whether twins are concordant or discordant for the trait, but it does not cause an overall increase in the trait in the population. The greatly increased prevalence in the twins in the Kirk and Bailey study indicates a strong environmental influence, since prevalence is increased by environmental factors, not heredity."


The idea that this is a genetic issue was debunked in the Anglican Listeing Process's book too. You need to keep up.

Jackie

Father Ron Smith said...

Jackie: I'm with the author who said "Methinks thou protesteth too much!"

So your evaluation of the complex phenomenon of homosexuality is the right one? I wonder if you actually know any LGB or T person? Or are they, for you, taboo? We're talking about fellow human beings lives here, not just the subjects of some atheistic cult.

This thread is meant to be dialogical not the preserve of your monological $10,000 book - marvellous though I'm sure it must be. Do Read Tobias Haller, if you get the time. It may help you to understand the contrary view - from the point of view of a scholar-priest.

Roland Cartwright said...

IT & Fr Ron,

The science doesn't support a view that people are either straight or gay in a way that a standard light switch is on or off. In terms of sexuality, we seem to be more akin to a dimmer switch, that can dial all the way to fully on, or fully off, becoming less bright as the dial moves across the range. So comparisons of homosexuality to being left vs right-handed, or black vs white, don't stand.

BTW - I have read some of Tobias Haller's work, but it is, in the words of Ephraim Radner, a "tissue of maybe", which is not suprising given that it is just a compilation of blog postings. If you want a well argued revisionist case you're much better off with the likes of Luke Timothy Johnson or Jeffrey John. Better still to read Richard B. Hays but I suspect that you too can only be led to water.

Peter Carrell said...

This discussion is very helpful, not least because in a few days time I go to another diocese to take part in a video presentation on the issues which are coming to dominate this thread.

I wonder if it might be helpful if the thread continues to observe the following protocols/presuppositions:

(1) That we all know people in the LGBT community so the issues and questions being explored are not dealt with by assuming a lack of such knowledge on the part of commenters here.

(2) That Tobias Haller's book has arguments which need to be cited rather than the book itself being cited as a whole as if it is the last word on the matter. (My own reading thus far has highlighted its "tissue of maybe" character).

(3) That biological arguments are not that helpful to the debate. While we might reasonably presume that a self-identifying 'bisexual' person has some flexible character to their sexuality, there are plenty of stories of gay and lesbian people whose sexual identity is as fixed as my own is, whether or not that is a factor dependent on 'biology' or 'social construction' or otherwise.

(3) That it is a very, very important question for any community of Christians how we know what the Spirit is saying to the church. If I may be so bold as to comment upon claims to know the Spirit's leading when made by learned commenters here, there seems to be a tendency to make the claim that the Spirit has spoken,and not to offer supportive reasoning for how we know that it is the Spirit of God and not the spirit of the age which has spoken.

Brother David said...

How about one more Peter;

(4) Jacqueline Jenkins Keenan's book has arguments which need to be cited rather than the book itself being self promoted as a whole as if it is the last word on the matter.

Brother David said...

I see now Peter that you have two number 3s, so my suggestion should be number 5.

However, I think that number 3 pretty much takes the wind out of Jacqueline Jenkins Keenan's sails. I was looking forward for a response from IT if she has the time and opportunity, a genetic scientist with her own lab in California, a lesbian and an online friend who I invited to respond to Ms Keenan's assertions.

I also think that what should be number 4 very much includes Ms Keenan's assertions here and in her very subjective writings elsewhere that she is lead by God in her quest here.

Father Ron Smith said...

Good to learn, Peter, of your openness to ALL arguments. Hope the video presentation is not too one-sided. Agape.

Jackie Keenan said...

Father Ron,

I have two good friends who are homosexuals. One is an atheist, and I love him very much. He is also a person who knows science and medicine. I have explained to him that Christians do not have the right to judge others, although we do have the right and responsibility to determine what we believe is right and wrong. But we pray for mercy for those who we think are sinning, because we want mercy for our own sins.

Once my friend looked at the science, he realized that homosexuality is not a one size fits all issue and that people do change, especially young people and women. He decided that he wanted the right to make a contract, but he did not need marriage. The details of that discussion are in the book.

Also, the thing that made me realize that the book was not just something for myself, but something that would be published was meeting by accident a gay person, who wanted to help with the book, because it seemed important. This gay person did not expect to change, but realized that a false fixed and genetic stereotype of homosexuality was ripping our culture and church apart, because it led to a dishonest discussion, or no discussion. We really do have a right to say for the sake of our adolescents and young women, whose attractions are so mutable, and for those men and women who do change, that homosexual behavior is not another good choice, and the Bible supports that in all of its statements about homosexuality.

Another issue that is also not a one size fits all issue is obesity. In that case we know that it is a mixture of behavioral choices, social issues, hormones, and probably genetics. But, as much as we love overweight people, we do not bless obesity. And it is not bigotry to say that diet and exercise are a good thing. Since many people have chosen to overeat, gluttony is a sin. And society does well by avoiding the ditch of blessing on one side and the ditch of persecution on the other side. I think we realize that screaming at overweight people will not help, but because so many have persecuted homosexuals, people are pulling us out of one ditch by running us into the other. But it is possible to love people and not bless their behavior. However, judgment is up to God.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

Peter Carrell said...

Yes, got confused re my own numbering, David.

Jackie Keenan is engaging here, I presume what she is bringing out in her engagement are arguments in her book.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I would imagine that there would be some concern in the diocese concerned if the video presentation was not balanced!

I am invited specifically to express a 'conservative' viewpoint. I must leave it to others to represent other viewpoints, as entrusted to do so by the organisers who have chosen them.

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Brother David,

Although I have been citing arguments from my book in this post, I cannot make complete arguments in a lot of places because I am limited in the number of charaters in a post. The book is more complete, and the main emphasis is on dialogue. I spent a lot of time talking across the divide in TEC.

But the travesty in TEC is that they did not have the theological discussion before they made decisions destructive to themselves and the Anglican Communion. When their theology statement relied on old and refuted information, instead of continuing the discussion, they hid their mistakes from the people of the church and then played politics. They should have carried on the theological discussion. As Rowan Williams has noted, they have not presented any coherent theology for what they did. I have a personal letter from him saying the he hoped the Anglican Theological Review would print my original article. At that time he actually expected them to step back and dialogue, or I would not have his letter hanging on my wall. But that never happened.

So whatever I say here is far from complete, but it seems to have given Peter some food for thought.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

carl jacobs said...

I thought it might be helpful to summarize the liberal argumentation presented on this thread.

1. Liberals are right because they have been personally enlightened by the Spirit.

2. The fact that conservatives keep asking for proof of this enlightenment only proves that they don't get it.

3. Homosexual desire is a product of nature and therefore morally justified.

4. Conservatives are too (choose from) [intolerant / narrow-minded / uneducated] to understand any of this.

The careful reader will note the complete absence of any justification for any of these assertions.

Consider just the third assertion. Authentic desire is never a justification for immoral behavior. You can't just say "My genes made me do it." There are behaviors that would never be justified on the basis of biology. [Note. In what follows I am not equating homosexuality to pedophilia.] Imagine the man who says "I am by nature a pedophile." Does it matter? Would he be vindicated? No, he would be put in jail. In fact, he would be put in jail even if his claim was true. So we are left with two possible conclusions.

1. Immoral behavior by definition has no genetic component. Too convenient by half.

2. A sifting function is being applied to behavior before any given behavior can be justified on the basis of nature.

What is that sifting function? It's the question that occurs over and over and over again with liberals. How do they decide right from wrong? They never say.

carl

Brother David said...

I would differ with you Carl. Very little by way of argument has been presented here. What has occurred is that our host has allowed Jacqueline Jenkins Keenan to use her self promotion of her books to high-jack a thread whose topic is actually whether the TEC disciplinary board has correctly followed the new canons with regard to complaints lodged with the board by members of his diocese against the bishop ordinary of the diocese of South Carolina.

I believe that she has falsely tried to use the hook that this is somehow similar to TEC's behavior in presenting its case to the Anglican Communion Consultative Council regarding the consecration of a man as bishop who is in a committed same sex relationship to turn the topic to an obvious hobby horse of hers.

I warned that she had an agenda in this in my first comment and in spite of that Father Peter has facilitated her mission to do so. Peter, she nor her books, nor her "Mission from God" is no stranger to me, which is why I made the warning. She has a one act dog & pony show that I have heard so repeatedly since 2006 -07 as to grow completely bored with it.

Peter Carrell said...

For the time being, David, while there are multiple commenters involved in the debate here, I am happy to have you all contributing.

While the thread has moved from its starting point, some good points are being made, on all sides; even as there is a case being made that the points lack supportive argumentation; and the points being made are not completely irrelevant to the starting point of the thread, that there is a controversy within TEC which is of high interest to the Communion which among other catalysts includes the catalyst of debate about same sex partnerships.

Let's see how this thread runs ... it may reduce to just one or two commenters going ... it may stop, having run out of steam ... it may take yet another twist or turn.

You will appreciate that it is strange to be moderator of such a wide ranging discussion even as within that discussion I am tarred with the brush that I am not open to other points of view. C'est la vie!

IT said...

Blogger appears to have eaten my comment so I will try again:

Actually, Jackie, YOU need to keep up. No professional geneticist would consider it likely to be an absolute correlation in twin studies for a complex, almost certainly multi-genic trait such as sexuality. 30% is very high correlation.

There is a genetic component to sexuality; but as with anything else, genetics is not absolute. Mendel's laws are accurate regarding the heritability of different, individual and unlinked genes (ie., genotype) but expression and penetrance can vary enormously (ie, phenotype).

As well as stochastic (e.g., by chance) variation, there is also epigenetic modification that can reflect environmental cues. For example, if you take genetically identical rat pulps and have them raised by foster mothers who provide different degrees of care, you can change the expression of stress genes in the pups depending on the degree of care they received. (See here. However, if the pups already had a particular allele, or genetic variant in that gene, that could supersede the effects of the nurture: to be, in a sense, epistatic over the epigenetic.

Complex traits are a mixture of genetics, environment, and chance. Only a very naive person would believe there needs to be a single "gay gene" to associate with such a complex behavioral trait.

Now, @Mark, I knew someone would bring up alcoholism. Isn't the question really one of where we draw the line between a normal human variant, and a pathology? We would not today try to "cure" left-handedness, although at one time we did, with awful effects. If you look at the Deaf culture, many Deaf people do not consider themselves in need of a cure, but rather see themselves as a normal variant. Yet most of us who hear, would think that being Deaf is a defect. Still, while we might concede that, we would all agree that alcoholism is a pathology. However, you cannot call being gay a "pathology" just because it is a variant, any more than a red-head is a pathology just because they have a variant allele in the melanocortinin receptor.

Can you say being gay is "harmful"? Not really. Most studies that claim that gay people die young are out-dated or inaccurate. To go on and claim it is, is also to deny the witness and experience of many healthy and happy LGBT people. I have a strong suspicion that most of those railing about being gay being a "choice" do not actually know --really KNOW-- any gay people.

Medical and psychological experts agree . Chalk it all up to politics you may, but that seems to be the fundamentalist view. Denying the consensus of science and medicine on this is about as accurate as denying heliocentrism.

I must break this comment as it exceeds Blogger's maximum.

IT said...

(cont'd)

@ Roland, you are right that it isn't a defined "light switch". Indeed, almost no human traits are. Even something as apparently simple as ABO bloodtype is modified by other genes (see, for example, the Bombay Phenotype). Sexuality is complex, probably expressed on a gradient in keeping with the complexity of its causes. Many gay people knew themselves to be gay very young. Others are more fluid in their sexuality. However, it's not an absolute: to say that traits are complex, and not simply "on/off" is not to say there is no genetic component.

Take, for example, domestic sheep, in which about 5-8% of rams are homosexual, and 5-8% are asexual. (aside, no one has addressed the fact that some people are asexual too!) Despite years of effort in trying to "breed out" those traits, they yet persist.

Genetics is like a palette that sets the stage. My genes may give me the potential to be tall. However, if I am not fed properly as a youth, I will not be tall regardless of my genes. And incidentally, although we would surely agree that height has a genetic component, there is no single "Tall" gene. Why would we expect any different from sexuality?

@Peter: willfully ignoring the facts of biology is IMHO more unhelpful to the debate. Significantly, it also denies and disrespects the experience of individual gay people, many of whom knew very young that they were gay, just as you at some point knew for sure that you wouldn't.

To me, it's far more productive to discuss why a complex, variant human behavior is viewed by some as a normal variant and others as a pathology. It would be helpful if people did not resort to pseudo-science to obfuscate that discussion, and to dehumanize and devalue the individuals who have that trait.

IT, PhD
Professor of Genetics

IT said...

Please forgive the typos, it's late in CA.

Thanks to Brother David for his kind words.

What you do with the spiritual issues is not my interest. I am only interested in being accurate with respect to the science.

Anonymous said...

IT's postings simply support what many of us have been saying for a long time, that there is no simple correlation between genes and homosexual feelings and behavior but that environmental factors play a great role. Jeffrey Satinover said this years ago, so did Charles Socarides. Hamer's and LeVay's work didn't establish at all what was claimed at the time; indeed, Canadain attempts to replicate Hamer's claim with a larger sample failed. A propensity to SSA can express itself given a number of factors, including seduction or inducement ot "experiment".

Actually, vlassical scholars have *always known that a homosexual sub-culture could be created because homsexual affairs with older men were central to the education of young men in ancient Sparta and Athens.

Whether a homosexual lifestyle is "pathological" is more difficult to establish but one would look at levels of depression, suicide, alcohol consumption, smoking and other stress related factors.

Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks a million, IT, for the reality of objective science in your contributions on this thread. Sadly, some people imagine that spirituality in some way 'trumps' truly objective science - forgetting that God - if God is indeed Almighty as most of us religionists claim - is also the Master of Science because of God;s implied Omni-Science.

It matter not, after all, whether IT is a believer or not - in this discussion. What does matter is his knowledge of the scientific process which informs his objective findings.

However, there are specifically Christian scientists who are keen on connecting their objectivity on what has been discovered in the area of sexual differentiation, to their experience of those parts of the scriptures that support the idea of a God who might have had the intention of creating sexual differentiation in precisely the way it has been discovered to exist in reality.

Thanks again, IT, for you valuable contribution to this vexed area of human reality seemingly at odds with received morality.

Anonymous said...

@IT, I don't deny the genetic component, but only highlight the complexity, with which you agree.

@ Father Ron Smith, you persist with false dichotomies. It is not that spirituality "trumps" science, or vice versa, but that the science isn't determinative in the way you infer and the contrast between is actually irrelevant to this debate.

Canon Jeffrey John, in his book, "Permanent, Faithful, Stable" (DLT, 1993) has this to say on page 22:

It is worth noting here that the long and unresolved 'nature versus nurture' debate as to the cause of homosexuality has no proper bearing on discussion of the morality of homosexual practice. Campaigners for the acceptance of gay relationships have tended to insist on a genetic origin, on the grounds that it would seem to confirm that homosexuality is a 'given' of creation, and therefore 'natural' and willed by God. Thinking along the same lines of a false natural law agrument, opponents have tended to see it as a psychological disorder, due to parental or other 'mistakes', and therefor attributable to human failure and not the will of God. However, even if the origin of homosexuality could be shown to be genetic or psychological (and it is just as likely to be both), that would not tell us whether the phenomenon of homosexuality is good or bad, willed by God or not. Genetic conditioning produces good things and bad things, things like the wonderful diversity of races and features and capacities, which we believe is part of God's will in creation, and things like congential disease, which we believe is not. Equally our pyschological conditioning can work for good or ill. What matters morally for all of us is not so much how we come to be what we are, but what we do with it.

Add to the above the impact of the Fall, and for the Christian you obtain a more complex position than either science or tradition alone can resolve.

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear It,

I stopped with the flawed Bailey study of 2000, because there was not space. There were later studies showing a drop of "heritability" to 20%, but all of these studies have a major flaw. They ignore an important counfounding factor noted in the King and McDonald study. For lay people, a confounding factor is an unnoticed factor that is actually causing an effect that is believed to be caused by something else. Notice that there is an assumption in twin studies that the trait cannot be influenced by the other twin. But King and McDonald found that the twins were having sex with each other and identical twins were doing that more often than non-identical twins. Since one assumes that something occurring more often in identical twins than non-identical twins indicates genetics, there is an environmental factor that mimics genetics. Once a confounding factor has been noticed, future studies must look into whether that factor could be interfering with results, but no twin studies were done for seven years after the King and McDonald study, and Bailey, who knew about this factor but had already cheated with a biased sample in 1991, decided to ignore it. He did that despite that abnormally high prevalence rate in his twins. All subsequent researchers followed suit. They did not ask questions to see how the twins affected each other. Also, in his discussion Bailey talked about what might have made his results more to his liking, but did not mention those deficiencies that might have made his results less valid. I have never seen a study where a researcher did not talk about both the pros and cons of the conclusions.

Also, as a veterinarian, I would like to know what criteria you use to claim 5-8% of domestic sheep are homosexual. One does not see sheep engage in anal sex, but one often sees riding behavior in many species and with males and females. Animal behaviorists will tell you that such behavior is about dominance. True homosexual behavior in the sense of having homosexual sex is very rare in animals and has not been shown to be normal. There are many examples of clearly abnormal behavior in nature, and normal behavior in one species is often very abnormal in another.

If brother David had not engaged me on this issue, this thread would have died. Instead people are learning.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

Roland Cartwright said...

Apologies, I did not mean to be Anonymous in the above post that quotes Canon Jeffrey John. I simply hit publish when I meant to hit preview.

Brother David said...

If brother David had not engaged me on this issue, this thread would have died. Instead people are learning.

I think rather had you not shown up to highjack the topic to your self-promotion we would have had a proper discussion about the new TEC Title 4 canons and how they are panning out in regard to charges leveled against +South Carolina.

As it is, I am not sure what anyone really learned, because I am not sure what your point was. That sexual orientation/gender attraction is not fixed? Not even heterosexuals would agree with you on that.

Father Ron Smith said...

IT, I'm sorry I inadvertently referred to you as related to the possessive pronoun as 'his'. Why should I have presumed that a knowledgeable scientific contribution could only have been authored by a male contributor. Mea Culpa! After all, the distinguished Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church is none other than Katherine Schori, a marine biologist and woman bishop.

Jackie Keenan said...

Actually Lisa Diamond, a gay reasearcher, followed young women 16 to 23 over time. After 8 years she found that 58% of them had changed attractions during the study. The study published in 2005 was “A New View of Lesbian Subtypes: Stable Versus Fluid Identity Trajectories Over an Eight-year Period,” Psychology of Women Quarterly p. 29. Although these women started as lesbians, only 42 percent stayed lesbians for the entire eight years; therefore, 58 percent changed. Diamond included a typical example of a lesbian who changed over time. At the first interview, the lesbian reported a 100 percent attraction to women. By two years she reported a 90 percent attraction. At five years she reported a 70 percent attraction. Finally, at eight years she reported a 50 percent attraction to women. In her interview at that time, the young woman said that “currently I’m in a long-term relationship with a man that I find very, very, very enjoyable and, um, fulfilling, so it’s hard for me to identify, so therefore I kind of prefer not to identify.” Diamond could not predict which women would change over time, but clearly a number did change spontaneously. Ritch Savin Williams, also gay, noted the instability problem in "Who's Gay? Does it matter?" He cited Diamond and reported that in one group of adolescent boys who participated in a CDC health study most boys who reported exclusive same-sex attractions in one interview, reported a change in attitude by the time of a follow-up interview a year later, including 48 percent who reported exclusive opposite-sex attractions.

In a Washington Post interview on Jan. 4, 2004 Diamond said, “As gays, we have predicated our acceptance by the culture on something we can’t change. We say ‘Oh look at us! We can’t help it! That’s what the straights want to hear.’”

Mark Baddeley said...

IT,

Now, @Mark, I knew someone would bring up alcoholism. Isn't the question really one of where we draw the line between a normal human variant, and a pathology? We would not today try to "cure" left-handedness, although at one time we did, with awful effects. If you look at the Deaf culture, many Deaf people do not consider themselves in need of a cure, but rather see themselves as a normal variant. Yet most of us who hear, would think that being Deaf is a defect. Still, while we might concede that, we would all agree that alcoholism is a pathology. However, you cannot call being gay a "pathology" just because it is a variant, any more than a red-head is a pathology just because they have a variant allele in the melanocortinin receptor.

Sure, no argument with anything you've said here. My point was that
you began by stating that 'genes isn't destiny' and then used left-handedness and red hair as the analogy for 'natural and used to be thought pathological'. And the analogies were utterly hopeless. You needed to find something that is a complex behavior and is a variant and over which there is debate over whether it is pathological.

Even pedophilia would have been a better example than the ones you chose - I understand that there are moves to remove it as a pathology from the next DMV on the grounds that judgements on it are really moral in nature, not psychological.

Obviously not a good choice rhetorically for your basic case, but you needed to pick something that involved complex human behaviors.

Can you say being gay is "harmful"? Not really. Most studies that claim that gay people die young are out-dated or inaccurate. To go on and claim it is, is also to deny the witness and experience of many healthy and happy LGBT people. I have a strong suspicion that most of those railing about being gay being a "choice" do not actually know --really KNOW-- any gay people.

? I have no idea where you've gotten these 'scientific facts' from. Last time I checked, actively homosexual people had far higher rates of depression at suicide attempts than actively heterosexual people - a point that the homosexual lobby pushes hard in its offense on all forms of disagreement with same gender sex. So worse outcomes are associated with active homosexuality.

Now, a reasonable debate can be had as to the causes of that correlation. Those campaigning for greater acceptance of active homosexuality will argue that the cause is due to legal and social rejection. Those (like me) who disagree will point to the fact that even in countries with the greatest approval of active homosexuality in law and in society, rates of depression are still markedly higher for people who are actively homosexual. An example is found here: http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/58/1/85

To put it bluntly, you seem to be asserting things in a dogmatic way that does not reflect the actual science. There are bad outcomes associated with active homosexuality. There is no scientific evidence to say that this is simply due to disapproval, and there is some counter-evidence to suggest that it is not.

By all means hold that that is all that is going on if that's what you want, but possibly you could be a little bit more scientific about the way you push the idea. As you said to Peter, misrepresenting the science isn't helpful.

Brother David said...

So what, Veterinarian Keenan, are you saying are the conclusions that Dr Diamond's research supports? BTW did you finish your MTS at Virginia Theological Seminary?

Mark, is that the only research that supports your idea that actively homosexual people are more prone to psychopathology? Has the research been replicated? Is there research that contradicts the findings?

Mark Baddeley said...

Brother David,

I'm not aware of anyone who claims that mental health outcomes, particularly depression and suicide attempts, are the same for active homosexuals and active heterosexuals. My impression is that the debate is over causality. If you know something to the contrary please feel free to contribute it to the thread.

And there my impression is that the evidence is mixed. When I said "a reasonable debate can be had as to the causes" I was trying to flag that. I think that the case of the Netherlands is important counter-evidence to the thesis that the cause is opposition: because it is one of the lead countries for removing that opposition and yet still observes elevated rates.

Because of how I evaluate a thesis (I place a lot of weight on counter-evidence) that's fairly decisive for me. There's other things that I'd add, but that one is the clearest and easiest to grasp.

But I understand that there's other data out there - not least people's own perceptions that their problems are caused by the intolerance of others; their self-reporting. My hunch is that, given that IT seems to put a lot of weight on the opinion held by most experts in the field, as what it means for something to be 'scientific', such testimony would be more important for IT.

That's part of what it means for reasonable people to disagree - there's different evidence and different people will weight different studies differently.

What's unacceptable is for someone to just handwave those issues as though the 'science' position is just obviously that there is no inherent connection between active homosexuality and bad outcomes.

That's a reasonable view, in my opinion, but it needs to be argued. I think it's wrong, and I think that's another reasonable view that also needs to be argued.

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Brother David,

You stated that no one would argue that that sexual attraction/gender attraction is not fixed. Diamond and Savin-Williams make that claim and back it up with research. Diamond said she did her research, because “Previous research suggests that the sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors of sexual-minority (e.g., non-heterosexual) women change over time, yet there have been few longitudinal studies addressing this question, and no longitudinal studies of sexual-minority youths.” Even Bailey noted little research had been done on women in his 2002 review article. It turns out that homosexuality is more about social relationships in women. Also, longitudinal studies in general show instability of attractions, but I covered that in my book.

If you google my full name, my two published articles should come up. They are free. Also, there is more info in the book. I really cannot reproduce it in this space.

I did get my MTS from VTS in 2008 despite having been thrown out of school in 2004 for talking about issues in the church, but that really is OK at VTS. Still, it took a while for the dean to figure things out and put me back in school. I graduated with a 3.66 and an honors thesis in Bowen Theory. Of course, I am much better at science than humanities. I graduated with a 3.98 and a BA in math and chemistry from UVA, and got into Harvard, Cal Tech, MIT, and Berkeley to study quantum chemistry before deciding to be vet.

Although it is not in any of my writing, the Washington Post reported in Aug. 2009 that the CDC said that homosexual men account for over half of all new HIV cases a year in the US. Also,an article by Scott James, "Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret", published in the NY Times in 2010 said that in a study of 556 male couples, half had sex outside of their relationships with the knowledge and approval of their partners. That looks like a dangerous practice and hardly a marriage, which is supposed to be monogamous.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

Brother David said...

Diamond and Savin-Williams make that claim and back it up with research.

In fact Vet. Keenan, you misrepresent her data, as is often the case with religious conservatives, that is not at all what Dr Diamond's research was about and she has unequivocally stated so. Folks had questioned whether there was such an orientation/gender attraction in women as bisexual. She says that her research points out that there is such an orientation and that the women who are bisexual have no more choice in the matter than those who are on the ends of the spectrum. That sounds to me that she believes that the orientation is fixed.

Jackie Keenan said...

Brother David,

You need to look at her research. Some of the women in the study were bisexual and some were lesbians at the start. Both groups changed over time, both their attractions and their identities changed. Not even the lesbians were fixed, which her data and her example show. Her earlier studies at two and five years showed that people changed their identity. After two years, one third of the women had changed their identity since the first interview. At the five year interview, one fourth of the women had completely relinquished their lesbian/bisexual identities. Diamond noted that the women who gave up their lesbian/bisexual identities did not differ from those women who retained their lesbian/bisexual identities. So she found no way to predict who would change and who would not. But these people experienced changing attractions and changing identities.

She was quite clear about changing identities in the Washington Post, but I have no doubt that gay activists have pressured her to spin things differently. However, she cannot unpublish her articles, and they were very clear. You need to look at those. Although her articles do not look at whether attractions can change with therapy, they do demonstrate that people change. She also did not look at the degree to which reinforcement played a part in stable versus fluid attractions. She simply documented changing identities and attractions.

Also, because homosexuality is more about social interaction in women, the rate of homosexual identification is much higher in girls than in boys, while the rate in adult women is lower than in men. The gay agenda is having an effect. Savin-Williams reported that rates of homosexual self-identification for females in the United States were 1 percent for adults, 4 percent for young adults, and 8 percent for female youth. Further homosexual behavior was 11 percent for female youth. The rates of homosexual self-identification in males were 2 percent for adults, 3 percent for young adults, 3 percent for youth, and 5 percent for behavior in youth.

You need to look at the research. Frankly, when I started looking at information on homosexuality, I thought the conservatives in my church were ignorant. Looking at the data changed my mind, and after that church blew up over homosexuality, then next one helped me come to faith.

Yours in Christ, Jackie

Brother David said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64A2HrvYdYQ

Father Ron Smith said...

Jackie, do give up. I don't think you're going to get many takers of your book here.

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Brother David,

I do not have working speakers to get to YouTube, but I also do not know what NARTH said about Diamond's research. They are another political group like Division 44. Politics has no place in science. I only know what her papers say and what she said publicly before her last paper was published. She illustrated the changing identities and attractions that occur in women.

The same article in the Washington Post, "Trying Gay for the Day: The Rise of the Heteroflexible Woman.", interviewed one girl who said she started going with girls at fourteen after she broke up with her boyfriend. Her statement was, "At first I thought going out with a girl was nasty. Then I went to a club and did a big flip-flop. I've been off and on with girls and guys since then." Another girl said, "I like women only right now, but who knows where I'll be in 25 years?" The article goes on to say that "gay rights veterans such as David Shapiro struggle to explain such equivocation...As he thought about it, he concluded that 'kids today know the difference between behavior and orientation. They say, "I may be behaving in this certain way, but I'll make up my own mind about who I am in my own time." It's like saying, "Mom, Dad, I'm going to take some courses in science but I'm not sure I want to be a doctor."'"

So these people assume that orgasm is not a positive reinforcer that will strengthen attractions to women? And these people think it is great to live into this behavior to figure it out. Society and the Bible have said that is immoral. And since homosexuality is more about close social relationships in women than anything else, men don't have a chance. Men are less relational than women. Interestingly, the article indicates that genuinely heterosexual women who are thirty or more can become homosexual. So change is only one way?

Perhaps God is aware of these issues, and that is why the Bible says not to behave this way.

Brother David said...

Veterinarian* Keenan, at this point I shall stop the conversation with you because you are dishonest, and out of respect for our host and the tone of his blog I shall not say more than that about your comments here, you are dishonest.

I have most of the articles that you cherry pick little tidbits from because I first started collecting them when you first made the scene back around 2006-7 and began the attempt to make a name for yourself. And cherry pick you do, to a great disservice of the folks whose research you twist and misrepresent and a great disservice to the layfolk who are not versed in psychology, psychiatry, the social sciences in general and especially in reading research papers. Nothing that you write in comments here is new, you have been repeating the same rubbish since you appeared on such esteemed websites as Virtue Online in AUG 2007.

So I shall let just one of your misrepresentations of the research stand as the prime example of your dishonesty.

In the Virtue Online article you state, "Yet environmental effects became clear when the results of this same study were used in an article produced by Savin-Williams in 2006 ("Who's Gay? Does it Matter?" Current Directions in Psychological Science 15.) Savin-Williams produced a chart of prevalence rates of homosexuality in many countries and covering many age groups. The groups from Australia had markedly higher prevalence rates than any age groups in any other country." You later return to the Savin-Williams research with this statement, "The 2006 article by Savin-Willliams confirmed high prevalence rates of homosexuality in young people. He reported that rates of homosexual self-identification differed with respect to age. The rates of homosexual self-identification for females in the USA were 1% for adults, 4% for young adults, and 8% for youth. Further homosexual behavior was 11% for female youth. The rates of homosexual self-identification in males were 2% for adults, 3% for young adults, 3% for youth, and 5% for behavior in youth. This research also verifies the high levels of homosexual behavior in the girls reported on by The Washington Post."

Here is the Savin-Williams paper -
http://webfieldtrips.com/PSY210doc/WhosGay.pdf

Any honest person who reads the Savin-Williams paper should easily see that you are dishonest about what the paper actually says, what Table 2 was an attempt to explain in relation to the paper and should see through your tissue thin twisting of what he is stating about his research.

It is time to stop deceiving folks with the cherry picking and the lies.

*Why do I call you Veterinarian Keenan? Because in Latin American countries it is the respected title of the profession, Veterinario. Just as we call a professional who practices medicine on humans Medico. It is also so that no one is fooled by a more generic title into thinking the person is trained in a field in which they are not. You are not a trained or licensed human medical doctor and the little bit of training that you have in the behavioral sciences is a two year degree (MTS) from a school of theology, where you studied some family systems theory. We do not need a repeat in the Anglican world of "Dr." Laura Schlessinger.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David, cc Jackie
I am only just letting your comment through, David, as it stands. I do not take kindly to people here being called liars and dishonest. You could make your point in a different way, sticking to arguments that Jackie has misread or misunderstood the research papers she has engaged with etc.

As far as I can tell few people know each other personally here and thus few of us would have reason to impute motives to lie and to be dishonest with each other.

Please stick to what we can know via these comments, that is, the actual words we use, and these we may engage with respectfully, presuming that miunderstanding (if that is what we think is taking place) is due to our fallibility as people with finite minds, and not to our sinfulness.

Brother David said...

I cannot respond Peter. I do not see this behavior as innocuous as you want to paint it. I see it as purposely damaging the lives of my GLBT Christian brothers and sisters and my own life.

I was careful not to use the word liar, I choose my words very carefully. However a lie by any other name is still a lie, and I strongly feel that we as GLBT Christians are being lied about and being lied to.

Father Ron Smith said...

David, perhaps our host would be content if you referred to your Veterinarian friend as 'naive'. It is a less pungent word than dishonest, with perhaps a further-reaching clarification of that poster's general attitude. Anyway, I think most of us have heard quite enough naivete for the time-being.

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Brother David,

The abnormally high prevalence rate in Australians was noted by David de Pomerai, the scientist who wrote part of the science in the Listening Process book. He, however, missed that confounding factor noted by King and McDonald. He suspected the problem was a biased sample. Also, one need only be a decent scientist to know what is normal in scientific literature. One always does a literature reveiw to see what confounding factors have been a concern in the past. One must design the study to take them into account or at least say that the study fails to do that. Confounding factors can cause the entire effect that is being seen, so they cannot be ignored. Discussion sections always consider what might have made results stronger and what might have made results weaker.

The self identification results that I quoted are correct. They also show that girls are identifying at a much higher rate than boys. That is not surprising, given the difference between homosexuality in men and women. It is not dishonest to use correct data in making a point that is different from the source where the data are obtained. Also, everything I have said has been noted somewhere by psychiatrists or psychologists, even those things that I noticed myself before I knew others had done the same.

There is nothing dishonest here. However, the claim that people do not change orientation or attractions is dishonest. There are way too many young women, who were gay, but now are not. Perhaps if Diamond had continued her study, the young woman, who had gone from 100% attracted to women to 50% and was in a long-term relationship with a man that she found "very, very, very enjoyable and, um, fulfilling", would now be a heterosexual with little attraction to women. After the flap about the amount women were changing, there have been no more studies.

You need to engage the information that is being discussed. I got to talk about the situation in the church, because I was at the seminary, and I can translate science well for lay people. I notice IT just tried to snow them with generalizations rather than engaging the scientific articles.

Mark Baddeley said...

I cannot respond Peter. I do not see this behavior as innocuous as you want to paint it. I see it as purposely damaging the lives of my GLBT Christian brothers and sisters and my own life.

I was careful not to use the word liar, I choose my words very carefully. However a lie by any other name is still a lie, and I strongly feel that we as GLBT Christians are being lied about and being lied to.


And there you have in a nutshell why TEC is on its trajectory with +Lawrence, Peter. In a culture war, there can be no 'noble opposition'.

People who strenuously oppose the normality of homosexuality (or whatever the cause of the decade is) are always going to be guilty of deceit and fear of the other somewhere down there. And, goshdangit, my incredible integrity just won't allow me to not call them on it regularly.

Brother David, many of us don't see your behavior, or that of some others with your views on the thread as innocuous either. We still don't feel the need to be churlish about it when Peter has made it clear what kind of tone of comments he wants. Show some respect for the moderator, and if your integrity can't handle how terribly limiting his requirements are, then silence is still golden.

Your charges of dishonesty seem to be that Jacqueline is drawing conclusions from the studies that the authors don't personally believe. Jacqueline's arguments are drawn from her analysis of the data itself - and the author just doesn't 'own' the data the way you seem to be suggesting.

If Jacqueline hasn't misunderstood the basic data of changes in rates of attraction, the most you could say from the study, from what I can see from listening to you both, is that there was a much smaller set of women whose levels of attraction remain fixed over the course of the study - much smaller than the set of those who evidenced some degree of same gender attraction. Most women evidenced significant change.

Brother David said...

Your charges of dishonesty seem to be that Jacqueline is drawing conclusions from the studies that the authors don't personally believe.

No, I am stating that Vet Keenan is claiming that the data supports conclusions that the researchers themselves state cannot be supported by the data because of the criteria that they used in setting up the collection of the data. Which is exactly what Dr Diamond says in the video to which I linked and which was the whole point of the paper by Dr Savin-Williams.

In the paper by Savin-Williams, he points out that historically researchers have use three different criteria do define homosexuality. He points out the weaknesses of each definition, showing examples that by using a specific definition the collected data would include folks it should not include and/or exclude folks it should have included. His point was that to date we do not have data that can be trusted for its accuracy of what it purports to measure and that more importantly, we do not have data that can be accurately compared, because it is based upon different criteria in its collection. To use it would always be comparing apples to oranges.

Table 2 in his article was set up to illustrate just that point, that the data contained in the table was all different fruit that did not use the same criteria in its collection and so the results that one would see in the table was faulty. Vet Keenan has now purposely lifted that table of data out of the article and says that it accurately illustrates exactly what Savin-Williams set the table up to show it did not in fact illustrate.

How Mark, can that be anything other than dishonest?

Janice said...

The whole point of the paper by Dr [PhD in psychology - not medical doctor] Savin-Williams was that different researchers have used different criteria to define homosexuality, "giving rise to the possibility of discrepant findings across investigations".

Just above that quote from the paper however, is this gem:
"Diamond’s (2003b) research highlights the instability problem. Over 7 years, nearly two thirds of women changed their sexual identity at least once, often because the label did not adequately capture the diversity of their sexual and romantic feelings. In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of theWave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11% reported exclusive same-sex attraction 1 year later; 48% reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35% reported no attraction to either sex, and 6% reported attraction to both sexes (Udry & Chantala, 2005)."

Note that these two different sets of researchers were comparing their own later research with their own earlier research. They were not comparing their research with research done by other people who might have been using different criteria to define homosexuality. Their results, comparing like with like, show that homosexual identification and homosexual attraction are fluid, which is precisely the argument Jackie has been making.

Table 2 in Savin-Williams' paper is titled, "Prevalence of Homosexuality Among Females and Males in Four Countries, Separated by Sexual-Orientation Component". Some might think that the numbers in the table actually show prevalence figures, e.g., that 11% of young females in the United States were involved in homosexual behaviour at the time the study was undertaken. In fact, it's impossible to tell from Savin-Williams' paper whether that was the case or not. The only sample question provided was from a different study and that question was asking not about current homosexual behaviour but about any homosexual behaviour that had ever occurred. That is not a question that can reveal the prevalence of homosexual behaviour during the study period.

Brother David said...

Unfortunately Janice, when you cherry pick an article for the "little gems" you violate the integrity of the article. Scientific papers are not just a random set of statements strung together that can stand on their own individually, scientific papers are carefully crafted arguments of interrelated facts and figures constructed to enable others to follow the logic of the argument. You have pulled your "little gem" out of its context in the argument being laid out in Psychologist Savin-Williams paper and stood it up stark naked for everyone to see and are forcing it to say what it was not written to say. In doing so, you are either naive and ignorant of the process involved in the construction of scientific papers or you personally lack honesty and integrity and you lack respect for those you purposely mislead.

Whether one is writing in English, Spanish or I dare say any other human language, there is a logical process involved in crafting a scientific paper. We all use it today. One begins with an idea, a thesis, which is formed into a thesis statement of, at most, two or three sentences. The rest of the paper then involves the process of building a logical argument of the evidence that leads to one's thesis. Each paragraph in the paper is a part of that process leading to the logical conclusion laid out in the thesis statement. And each paragraph is formulated in a similar fashion, beginning with a topic statement with the following sentences providing support and examples for the topic sentence.

The paragraph in question consists of a topic statement, two supporting statements and finally two examples to support the topic statement. Here is Savin-Williams full paragraph from which you pulled "the gem;"
This dissimilarity in prevalence rates is further reflected in people’s inconsistent responses to the different components within a study and the instability of their responses over time. Several studies assessed more than one dimension; the resulting correlations ranged from extremely low (0.10) to high (0.79) [1]. Among U.S. adults, just 20% of those who were homosexual on one dimension were homosexual on the other two dimensions; 70% responded in a manner consistent with homosexuality on only one of the three dimensions [2]. Diamond’s research highlights the instability problem. Over 7 years, nearly two thirds of women changed their sexual identity at least once, often because the label did not adequately capture the diversity of their sexual and romantic feelings. [3]
In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11% re- ported exclusive same-sex attraction 1 year later; 48% reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35% reported no attraction to either sex, and 6% reported attraction to both sexes [4].

Brother David said...

Here is the breakdown of the structure of the paragraph;
Topic statement
This dissimilarity in prevalence rates is further reflected in people’s inconsistent responses to the different components within a study and the instability of their responses over time.
Support statement 1;
Several studies assessed more than one dimension; the resulting correlations ranged from extremely low (0.10) to high (0.79) [1].
Support statement 2;
Among U.S. adults, just 20% of those who were homosexual on one dimension were homosexual on the other two dimensions [2]; 70% responded in a manner consistent with homosexuality on only one of the three dimensions. [2]
Example a;
Diamond’s research highlights the instability problem [3]. Over 7 years, nearly two thirds of women changed their sexual identity at least once, often because the label did not adequately capture the diversity of their sexual and romantic feelings.
Example b;
In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11% re- ported exclusive same-sex attraction 1 year later; 48% reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35% reported no attraction to either sex, and 6% reported attraction to both sexes [4].

The examples cited are support for the topic statement that people are inconsistent in their responses regarding their sexuality, they are not examples that people have reported ontological changes in their sexuality.

----

I have pulled the citations out of the body of the paragraph as footnotes because their presence in the paragraph in parenthesis tends to clutter the paragraph and be confusing to the reader.
1. Eskin, Kaynak-Demir, & Demir, 2005
2. Laumann et al., 1994)
3. Diamond 2003b
4. Udry & Chantala, 2005

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
Thank you for your work on this article. Your helpful summary etc makes it quite ambiguous as to whether the research indicates instability in responses to surveys or changes in self-perception of sexual attractions. It is quite logical to presume that changes in self-perceptions of sexual attractions over time would contribute to differing sets of responses.

On the basis of what you have helpfully given us above, it is quite clear to me that any charges of people reading this material in the way that has been done above should not incur charges of "lying" let alone "dishonesty."

Brother David said...

I am sorry to hear you say that Peter, because it now makes me question your own integrity to the process. I see nothing ambiguous at all in the statements in the article in question. One may go to the original source material sited, and then question if Savin-Williams is correctly representing/interpreting the data in the source, but there is absolutely nothing ambiguous about what Savin-Williams is stating when using the citations as examples in his own article. And that is what is being discussed here, not his accuracy in the use of the source material.

I am sad Peter, truly sad and deeply disappointed in you.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
I am making or attempting to make a simple point: when a researcher conjoins data together towards conclusion A, the same data may, read by others, yield other conclusions, or support other conclusions.

To cite from your citation of the article above:

"In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11% re- ported exclusive same-sex attraction 1 year later; 48% reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35% reported no attraction to either sex, and 6% reported attraction to both sexes [4]."

For all the world, this looks like the same set of boys asked the same set of questions yielded different answers over the course of time. Indeed it is difficult to work out how this particular bit of the paper works towards support for Savin-Williams thesis because I do not find that Savin-Williams clearly explains that in this particular study different definitions etc were involved in the different surveys of the same group.

Either way, there is another point at stake here, namely, that any scientific paper is potentially falsifiable. The data may be wrong, the interpretation of the data may be wrong, the conclusions drawn may not be logically warranted and so forth. It is, you must know this, the stuff of scientific papers for subsequent argumentation to occur.

To try not to be misunderstood: Savin-Williams makes an important point. I am trying to make an important point that those who discuss this paper and in the course of that discussion draw other conclusions from the paper and its data do not necessarily deserve to be called liars and dishonest.

I would have thought it useful to subject Savin-Williams to reasonable critique. After all his conclusion does little for the GLBT cause as promoted in the Anglican Communion: here is a respected researcher acknowledging that the science of homosexuality has no agreed definition of homosexuality, nor the objective means to measure it, let alone yield any conclusions as to how many people we are working with, nor whether homosexuality (on some agreed definition) is a fixed orientation as measured on an agreed basis.

I do not mind you being disappointed in me. I do mind us being able to search for the truth in a truly scientific manner, i.e. without resort to calling the researchers and analysts 'liars' and 'dishonest.'

Brother David said...

Peter, Veterinarian Keenan and now Janice, are not questioning Psychologist Savin-Williams use or interpretation of the other research, they are claiming that what he has written means something that it does not mean. There is not logical confusion to his writing.

If we cannot trust folks to be honest with small things such as what a paper does or does not say, then we can never trust them with anything larger, because these are ultimately our lives that hang in the balance.

Earlier this year I stopped participating in the Mad Priest's website, Of Course I Could Be Wrong, because I felt that I could no longer trust his integrity. I have now reached that crossroad with you. You have shown that you are not a man of your word on a number of small things here on your blog. For me they add up to a small thing too many. I shall never again return and participate here. It is no loss, you can continue to entertain those who would be ready allies against TEC, the Presiding Bishop, her cabal who pervert Christianity and the Gay Agenda and its plans to bring down the Anglican Communion.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
You are always welcome here if you should ever choose to come back.

Of course my integrity is not to be trusted, nor anything else about me: I am, and remain a fallible, sinful human being who often lets people down, upsets people, and fails to do what I ought to do.

Jackie Keenan said...

Dear Brother David,

In case you are still reading this website, I would like you to know that the point in using research done by homosexuals was not to present their conclusions, although it was Diamond who indicated that people change in her interview in the Washington Post. The point was that research data presented by homosexuals cannot be ignored, because it is biased against homosexuals. The high prevalence of homosexual identificaion in youth is not something that some social conservative made up. The common change of identity seen in young women was not discovered by someone who hates gays. When a New Jersey state senator leaves ex-gays off of state hate crime laws because she believes that no one can change their identity, it is significant to know that is not true.

In the end, my conclusion was that the situation is not clear, and that alone should be reason to step back from destroying the Anglican Communion by charging ahead. Yet TEC went to the Lambeth Conference to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit with talking points. The high level of dishonesty in TEC regarding their failures with respect to "To Set Our Hope on Christ", their refusal to dialogue, and their talking points almost pushed me out of Anglicanism all together. I actually left for an independent church that encouraged all people to come as they were. I even told Archbishop Rowan, who asked me to stay in TEC as long as I could, that I was leaving. But suddenly my life situation changed and moved me back to Virginia and the people, who had helped me find the Lord after the age of 50. By then they had left TEC, but not Anglicanism.

So honesty is important to me. There is nothing wrong with pointing out that data supports different hypotheses from the ones being discussed by the researcher, especially the CDC data, which particularly shows instability of attractions. The thing about a hypothesis is that it is just that, and we are talking about a behavior that people mutate out of no matter how you define homosexuality. Therefore, we are not talking about a one-size fits all fixed and genetic stereotype, which is the point that I was making.

And Bowen Theory taught me that cutting off is evidence of a poorly differentiated person. I did not walk away when you called me names. That would have been easier, but discussion is not always easy, yet it is necessary to understand each other. I would have answered earlier but I was away ministering to underpriveleged children.