Messenger Shooting and Truth Twisting

You can always tell when the radical social engineers are on thin ground in a debate when they ignore the evidence or seek to dismiss it. When facts, data and evidence are dismissed or brushed aside, instead of actually dealt with, then you know they do not have a leg to stand on.

Indeed, their favourite tactic is to shoot the messenger. They do not like the message so they desperately try to shoot the messenger, thinking that somehow the evidence will just go away if they attack the one bringing it. Dismissing the data and/or the source of the data is always so much easier than actually having to grapple with it.

Over the years I have been involved in plenty of debates, and this comes up time and time again. It has especially been a regular feature in recent debates I have been involved in concerning same-sex marriage. The homosexual activists have such a flimsy case to make, that all they can do is regularly seek to shoot the messenger and dismiss the message.

A debate I just had today on ABC radio is a good case in point. A leading homosexual activist employed this tactic continuously. As an example, I asserted the truth that for four decades now we have overwhelming social science data telling us quite unambiguously that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father in a married household.

Indeed, we now have over 10,000 international studies confirming this message. So how did my sparring partner respond to these truths? Incredibly, this is all he could manage as a reply: ‘These 10,000 studies Bill mentions are not reliable or reputable and come from Christian universities’.

I just about fell out of my chair when I heard that one. How does one begin to respond to such patent nonsense? As I tried to say on the radio debate this morning, this is an astonishing claim to make. Perhaps 99 per cent of this research comes straight out of the secular social sciences.

These are universities, medical bodies, scientific organisations, sociological bodies, childhood development groups, and so on. And their studies are all reported in reputable peer-reviewed journals. I will list a tiny sampling of this below. To dismiss this entire body of social science research simply because it goes against one’s ideological agenda is irresponsible and foolhardy.

Of course as so often is the case, the so-called moderator for the ABC debate was not at all ‘moderate’, but instead sided with the activist. He chided me, ‘so who are all these groups if there are so many of them?’ I said they are of course not all on the tip of my tongue, but I can easily dig them up.

So as we were debating I opened up a few of my research papers which document all this, and started reading a few of the many secular sources being cited. I will list some of these below as well. I also called the activist’s bluff about “Christian” research somehow being discredited.

I said that the truth is, in the West, the majority of the population would happen to be Christian. Should they all just sit down and shut up because this guy is anti-religious? And are we to dismiss the truthfulness of the statement, ‘2+2=4’ simply if uttered by a religious person?

So what is one to make of this outrageous and disingenuous claim about all the research being a product of “Christian universities”? It seems there are only two possible explanations available to us: Either he was deliberately lying in public, in which case he is clearly discredited from making his case, or he is so woefully ignorant of the facts and he hasn’t a clue, in which case he is also disqualified from speaking about these matters.

But these activists seem to make a habit of stretching the truth, manipulating the evidence, ignoring the facts, and shooting the messenger. So what then is the social science data that we have on his issue? There is so much of it that entire books have been written, seeking just to summarise the massive mountain of data available.

I have also tried to summarise the data in various research papers, and hope to turn it all into a book-length research document sometime soon. A blog site like this is obviously not the place to provide properly referenced and footnoted research papers. But let me just mention a few of the sources on all this.

As to some of the research bodies, universities and academic organisations that have explored these sorts of questions at length, I offer the following (representing just a handful of what could be mentioned):

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
The Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (UK)
Rutgers University
Canberra University’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling
The Harvard Medical School
Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research
Princeton University
The University of Leiden (The Netherlands)
The Australian Institute of Criminology
New Zealand Education Development Foundation
U.S. Bureau of the Census
National Association of Elementary School Principals (US)
The University of South Australia School of Health
University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
The University of Maryland
U.S. Justice Department
Deakin University
The University of California, Los Angeles
Melbourne University
University of Illinois

I can go on for pages with this. And yet this activist would have us believe that all these academic institutions and organisations are “Christian universities”! As to the various journals, periodicals and research magazines where this data is published, here again is a tiny representative sampling:

The Lancet
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders
Psychology Today
Social Work
Child Development
American Journal of Community Psychology
Journal of Marriage and the Family
The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Child Abuse and Neglect
Psychological Reports
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Social Science and Medicine
Journal of the American Medical Association
American Sociological Review
Ethology and Sociobiology
Archives of General Psychiatry
International Journal of Law and the Family
American Journal of Sociology
Social Science Research

Yet this activist would seek to dismiss and discredit all this as somehow being “Christian” research! Why? Because it disagrees with his radical social engineering agenda, pure and simple. His tactic is to just ignore thousands of professional studies from around the world, and pretend they are not there. This is what he passes off as “debate” and “argument”.

As I say, these folk do not have a leg to stand on, so they come out with increasingly irrational, incoherent and ridiculous rebuttals, simply because they are more concerned about pushing radical agendas than dealing with truth, fact and evidence.

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25 Replies to “Messenger Shooting and Truth Twisting”

  1. If they really want to know they’ll follow you to your website. You’re just a click away and the internet is ubiquitous. I suppose once upon a time someone on TV or radio could get away with evasions like that – there’s no hiding for them now.
    Martin Snigg

  2. Exactly right Martin

    As I mentioned, they are either deliberately seeking to deceive people and pull the wool over our eyes, or they are so totally unaware that they should get out of the debating game. In the Internet age there is absolutely no excuse for such gross and laughable ignorance, as this research can easily be found all over the Web.

    Every time they come to these debates they simply demonstrate how uninformed they are, or how cavalier they are with the truth in order to push their radical social engineering.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Bill,

    So what happens when you mention to this guy some of the names on the list above?

    Mark Rabich

  4. Thanks Mark

    In the case of the debate today when I started to cite these journals the moderator simply switched the topic and moved on! Ignorance is bliss!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Well, then that’s not really ignorance, that’s willfully perpetuating a lie.
    Mark Rabich

  6. What ‘Christian Universities’ Bill? There are so few of them and they mostly occur in the USA heartland.

    The guy is nuts if he thinks that the meagre number of Christian higher learning institutions can produce 10000 studies.

    Should have got him to name some, i.e. the top ten. He would have been struggling for words. Higher learning is overwhelmingly secular.

    Lennard Caldwell, Clifton QLD

  7. Hi Bill,

    You should have asked that person to cite all the research papers showing that kids are at least equal or better off in a Gay household. I bet that is a short list!

    Ben Green

  8. Bill,

    The claim about the “10,000 studies” of gay parenting seems to have originated from James Dobson, and has no basis in fact. If such an astounding number of studies actually existed, someone must have collated them in order to count them. Why is there no list somewhere of these alleged studies?
    Are you just mindlessly repeating something you read somewhere without bothering to check the facts?

    in 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported on the psychosocial development of children raised by same-sex parents. The report noted:
    A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.

    Listing organisations and learned journals by name is meaningless. How about citing some of the actual papers so that others can examine their findings?

    Mike Harrison, Adelaide

  9. Thanks Mike.

    The claim that homosexual households are just fine for children seems to have originated from homosexual activists intent on destroying marriage and family, and remaking society in their own image, and has no basis in fact. Are you just mindlessly repeating something you read somewhere without bothering to check the facts?

    As I already said, the studies have been collated and summarised in numerous places. I am certainly not about to list them all here.

    In 2000 a study by two family experts reported in The Journal of Marriage and the Family found that “studies on same-sex parenting are plagued with persistent limitation[s]”. They conclude their study with these words: “we cannot be confident concerning the generalizability of many of the findings”.

    And of course the AAP that you so fondly cite just came out saying we should allow Female Genital Mutilation! Are you supporting that cause as well?

    If you actually read my article, you will see that my lists were provided to counter the vacuous claims made by the homosexual activist that only “Christian universities” were involved in this. I also said that this site is not set up for proper footnoting and lengthy research academic papers – so I do that elsewhere. And I already said there are plenty of book length summaries around of all the data with all the referencing, even on the Net. I am not going to do your work for you. You look the studies up.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. I bet the ABC announcer was the same one who last year tried to draw a connection between climate change and earthquakes when talking to a seismologist after the Samoan Earthquake. When the latter said “you would be drawing a long bow to make that connection” the announcer became a bit aggressive and loudly replied “I AM ASKING YOU”.
    Do the initials JF mean anything in this instance?
    Wayne Pelling

  11. Translation of Mike Harrison’s post:

    I don’t like what you say Bill, so I’m going to ignore the list you gave for dubious reasons, refuse to do any reading of anything that might contradict my views, cite an article from a notoriously unreliable website and resort to a personal attack over your diligence in study. So there!

    C’mon, Mike – how much do you value truth? Do you honestly believe the “structural form” of the parents makes no difference to the raising of children?

    As an aside, Media Matters is a waste of time and space. They actually believe most mainstream media is right wing!

    Try Newsbusters if you want reasonable chance you will get truth.

    Mark Rabich

  12. I have debated homosexuality issues as well, and also found that unless the ‘evidence’ is coming from an actual practicing homosexual, nobody seemed prepared to listen to anything at all. Even witness from reformed homosexuals were dismissed as unreliable. And these were largely heterosexuals. In the face of such closed-mindedness, I went away.
    Jurien Dekter

  13. Bill, I have found that one effective way to combat this sort of tactic is to pre-empt it. Anticipate all your opponents objections and answer them before they get a chance to dismiss your arguments. In this case, if you had stated that your claims were based on studies published in official government and peer reviewed literature such as xxxxx then he would have nowhere to go.

    Andrew Kulikovsky

  14. Thanks Andrew

    I certainly did do this in my debate book on the topic, and the evidence was still dismissed. So Jurien may be closer to the mark here. These folk simply are not interested in the evidence at all, because it runs counter to their ideology and social activism.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. Thanks Bill for taking up the fight in yet another interview. Interview doesn’t seem really the right word to describe what you enter in your various interviews though, because it seems quite clear that they are lining up to take shots at you, with no real intent on providing informed and open debate.

    God bless you and give you and your family strength to continue.

    George Kokonis

  16. You and your family are doing great work Bill, thanks from us all.
    Catherine Dodd

  17. I have found that people believe what they wish to believe, and search for ‘evidence’ to prove it… whether that is homosexual activists who wish to justify their actions in foisting their filth on the bodies and minds of young innocents, mainstream media creating one-side discussions to push their own humanist agendas, or whether it’s ‘Christians’ pushing the justification for their own sinful mindsets. Human beings are all the same in this regard. As you’ve said elsewhere Bill, it comes down to whether we are going to give up being lord of our own lives of allow Jesus to be Lord over all.
    Garth Penglase

  18. After your debate Bill three of us approached Rodney, we pointed out that we had seen a very strange sort of advertisement, one which was to encourage homosexual marriage, i.e. two men lying together with a baby on one of their chests, a beautiful baby longing to be breastfed! How bizarre! No breast milk to be found! Yet the positive benefits are endless! We asked him, “How can we possibly deprive a baby of being breastfed? Nature’s awesome gift! Rodney had no answer, dumbfounded I guess in the face of real truth one has little or no reproach! He went blank! Raising a child is huge! Dear Rodney, you speak with great passion, however I would so love to see the fruits of your words! If someone asked me to demonstrate what I was talking about I would be able to show them my very real children who are now adults and doing really well!
    Jane Byrne

  19. I agree with you when you state that the homosexual activist took a misguided approach in dismissing the data based on who did the research. What he or she could have asked was:
    Which 10,000 studies?
    What was ‘children raised by both biological parents’ compared to? For example, how many of those 10,000 studies compared children raised in ‘traditional’ homes to those raised by same sex parents?
    What were the outcomes measured? How were they measured?
    Were the studies well controlled for other factors eg socio-economic status?
    Has anybody done a meta-analysis of the data?
    It may also have been useful to point out that social research is rarely able to clarify ‘causation’. Instead only a relationship between variables. ..
    Hope you can answer my questions
    Steve Nicholls

  20. Hi Bill, would it hit harder if we had a full exposure of homosexual behavior, e.g. ‘fisting’. I was staggered to find out that this meant placing one’s fist in some one’s anus and pushing it in and out? It is more staggering to me that homosexuals defend this activity. Does this indicate that homosexual behavior is odd, or does it make them odd?
    Stan Fishley

  21. Thanks Steve

    But if you know anything about sociological research, then you will know how silly your question is – at least in terms of being answered in a short comment. Every study is of course different, and each study will spend several pages at least detailing the parameters of the research, the limitations, the variables, the constants, the time frame, the sample size, the various methodologies utilised, etc, etc. Do you want me to start listing all of these for each of the thousands of studies here?

    Most of these studies do compare the married heterosexual family with all sorts of other types: single-parent, blended family, cohabiting families, remarried, same-sex, etc. Some studies will look at just one or a few of these options, some will look at all of them. It depends of course on the particular study. And yes, there are plenty of meta-analyses of these studies available. And yes most do take into account the obvious variables, be it race, gender, socio-economic status, educational background, etc.

    And of course all these studies finish off with a few pages of qualifications, disclaimers,and so on, stating that there is the need for more research. So in that sense, every single sociological study in the world is tentative and not finally conclusive, including all the pro-homosexual studies.

    And of course these studies say time and time again that there will always be plenty of variables involved, and a tight one-to-one causation of anything is pretty much ruled out in these sorts of studies. All you can come up with is strong probabilities or correlations. And that is true for whatever issue is being studied, including the so-called lack of harm experienced by children raised in same-sex households.

    So spare us your attempt to undermine all this research. Any scepticism you want to throw at studies I cite can of course equally be thrown at any studies you wish to cite. So at best we end up at an impasse, where no studies should ever be cited for any issue.

    The point of my piece was simply to demonstrate that the importance of biological parents to their children is becoming one of the most solid and durable findings in recent sociological research, and attempts to simply dismiss this research (because, eg., it is all religious in nature – which it clearly is not) is just a sign of the desperation of the homosexual lobby and its lack of compelling evidence and argument.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  22. Thankyou, Bill, for continuing to fight this war on behalf of the children who have no say. In my long experience the people who make their mark in our society have been brought up by a caring mother and father. Check out the misfits, and you will find out that the problems go back to their childhoods.
    Tom Wise

  23. I found this recently as well when debating the Arizona immigration bill (where the state is enforcing federal laws that have been in place for fifty years) with a well known leftist Christian performer.

    The “liberal” Christian I was debating when I would respond with facts that had come straight out of the left wing organ the New York Times basically stuck his fingers in his ears and ignored the facts as presented. He then preceded to personally attack me rather then respond to my points. Seems its the way, the left likes to attack rather then debate.

    Paul Wakeford

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