Matt Barber

The ‘gay’-activist science deniers

Matt Barber
By Matt Barber

September 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Woe to any scientist with an interest in objectively researching and reporting on “LGBT”-related issues. If your findings fail the left’s socio-political “butterflies-and-rainbows” litmus test, the “progressive” establishment will try to destroy you – guaranteed. Thus, on these matters, honest scientific inquiry will require courage.

Kansas State University, July 2010: Family Studies professor Dr. Walter Schumm releases the most comprehensive study to date on the effects of homosexual “parenting.” Published in the Journal of Biosocial Science, the study determined, among other things:

- Children raised in “gay” households are up to 12 times more likely to self-identify as “gay”;
- Of those in their 20s – presumably after they’d been able to work out any adolescent confusion or experimentation – 58 percent of the children of lesbians called themselves “gay,” and 33 percent of the children of “gay” men called themselves “gay.” (Contrast these rates with current studies indicating that around 3 percent of the general population is homosexual.)
- Just before the research was released, AOL News reported, “Schumm says it shouldn’t have taken until 2010 to do the meta-analysis. Too often his colleagues impose ‘liberal or progressive political interpretations’ on their studies, which inhibit further inquiry. ‘It’s kind of sad,’” he said.

Sad, yes, but it’s also by design. “I just want to know the truth about something,” he confessed. Unfortunately, there are many with an extreme socio-political agenda who depend entirely upon suppressing the truth.

“As if expecting a political backlash himself,” reported AOL, “Schumm concludes his study with a quote from philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. ‘All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.’”

Indeed, left-wing backlash was both swift and fierce. Schumm was instantly decried as a “quack,” a “conservative plant” and a “fraud.” Over the past two years, both Schumm and his study have passed through all three of Schopenhauer’s fiery stages, only to emerge unsinged.

But the damage to honest inquiry was already done. The message to anyone else who might conduct such a study was clear: If you dare release research on homosexuality and we don’t like your findings, we’re coming for you.

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Not everyone got the message.

University of Texas-Austin, June 2012: Dr. Mark Regnerus leads a team of researchers on another peer-reviewed homosexual “parenting” study labeled: “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.

The study was published in the journal Social Science Research. Its website FAQ page summarizes the findings: “[T]he data show rather clearly that children raised by gay or lesbian parents on average are at a significant disadvantage when compared to children raised by the intact family of their married, biological mother and father.”

Focus on the Family’s Citizenlink distills the research: “According to [Regnerus’] findings, children raised by homosexual parents are more likely than those raised by married heterosexual parents to suffer from poor impulse control, depression and suicidal thoughts, require mental health therapy; identify themselves as homosexual; choose cohabitation; be unfaithful to partners; contract sexually transmitted diseases; be sexually molested; have lower income levels; drink to get drunk; and smoke tobacco and marijuana.”

Again, you could’ve set your watch to the liberal response. They went ballistic.

Notorious homosexual activist Scott Rosensweig (aka, Scott Rose. Warning: link to Rosenweig’s extremist history is profane and offensive) filed a formal complaint, demanding that the University of Texas both investigate and, ultimately, fire Dr. Regnerus for his findings.

A gaggle of homosexualist academics and liberal activists pounced, bewailing the study as “homophobic” and “methodologically flawed.” Darren E. Sherkat, a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, conducted an “audit” of the already peer-reviewed study and arrived at the unassailable, scholarly and poignantly worded conclusion: “It’s bulls–t.”

Except that it wasn’t.

On Wednesday, the University of Texas – no bastion of conservatism – released a highly anticipated report on its findings, summarily dismissing Rosensweig, Sherkat and the dozens of “progressive” critics who couldn’t stomach the study’s game-changing implications. This painstaking inquiry was spearheaded by an independent consultant who formerly ran the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Noted UT-Austin: “As with much university research, Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study touches on a controversial and highly personal issue that is currently being debated by society at large. The university expects the scholarly community will continue to evaluate and report on the findings of the Regnerus article and supports such discussion.”

Still, observed the report, the research was properly conducted and “no formal investigation is warranted into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged against associate professor Mark Regnerus.”

Experience of the millennia, indeed child-like common sense, frequently informs reality. Children are best served – vastly so – when raised by a mother and father.

Although there are sometimes unavoidable circumstances that short-circuit the mom-dad gold standard (single parenthood, etc.), this undeniable truth, to borrow from Schopenhauer, has, heretofore, been “accepted as being self-evident.”

So why on earth would we intentionally and selfishly sabotage it?

While we don’t necessarily need studies to reaffirm that which is so obvious, it is helpful to find a fast-growing body of research available to refute the “new-normal-modern-family” propaganda that sits tendentiously atop today’s moral-relativist house of cards.

Still, those who seek to deconstruct legitimate marriage and the natural family will always endeavor to suppress honest inquiry. They must.

Even so, whether liberal or conservative, “gay” or straight, the scientific community should be allowed to pursue truth in an environment that holds objective scientific inquiry sacrosanct. They should be free to follow the evidence wheresoever it may lead, even when such ends prove unfashionable.

But alas, the lie shall forevermore seek to imprison truth. So it was in a world once flat; and so it remains in a world with throwaway parents.

But take heart. In the end, truth does prevail. For it is the promise of Truth Himself: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:30-32)

Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action.

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Cardinal Dolan: Debate on denying Communion to pro-abortion pols ‘in the past’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

As America heads into its 2014 midterm elections, a leading U.S. prelate says the nation’s bishops believe debate over whether to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians is “in the past.”

The Church’s Code of Canon Law states in Canon 915 that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Leading Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI himself, have said this canon ought to be applied in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, prelates in the West have widely ignored it, and some have openly disagreed.

John Allen, Jr. of the new website Crux, launched as a Catholic initiative under the auspices of the Boston Globe, asked New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan about the issue earlier this month.

“In a way, I like to think it’s an issue that served us well in forcing us to do a serious examination of conscience about how we can best teach our people about their political responsibilities,” the cardinal responded, “but by now that inflammatory issue is in the past.”

“I don’t hear too many bishops saying it’s something that we need to debate nationally, or that we have to decide collegially,” he continued. “I think most bishops have said, ‘We trust individual bishops in individual cases.’ Most don’t think it’s something for which we have to go to the mat.”

Cardinal Dolan expressed personal disinterest in upholding Canon 915 publicly in 2010 when he told an Albany TV station he was not in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians. He said at the time that he preferred “to follow the lead of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who said it was better to try to persuade them than to impose sanctions.”

However, in 2004 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI the following year, wrote the U.S. Bishops a letter stating that a Catholic politician who would vote for "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws" after being duly instructed and warned, "must" be denied Communion. 

Cardinal Ratzinger sent the document to the U.S. Bishops in 2004 to help inform their debate on the issue. However, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then-chair of the USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, who received the letter, withheld the full text from the bishops, and used it instead to suggest ambiguity on the issue from the Vatican.

A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s June 2004 address to the USCCB, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the full document. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office later confirmed the leaked document as authentic.

Since the debate in 2004, numerous U.S. prelates have openly opposed denying Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In 2008, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley suggested the Church had yet to formally pronounce on the issue, and that until it does, “I don’t think we’re going to be denying Communion to the people.”

In 2009, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. in 2009 said that upholding of Canon 915 would turn the Eucharist into a political “weapon,” refusing to employ the law in the case of abortion supporter Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, said in a 2009 newspaper interview that pro-abortion politicians should be granted communion because Jesus Christ gave Holy Communion to Judas Iscariot.

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However, one of the Church’s leading proponents of the practice, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, insists that denying Communion is not a punishment.

“The Church’s discipline from the time of Saint Paul has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion,” he said at LifeSiteNews’ first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City in early May. "The discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin."  

Only days earlier, Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told LifeSiteNews that he has no patience for politicians who say that they are “personally” opposed to abortion, but are unwilling to “impose” their views on others.

On the question of Communion, he said, “Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?”

Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala, told LifeSiteNews around the same time that ministers of Holy Communion are “bound not to” give the Eucharist to Catholic politicians who support abortion.

Pro-life organizations across the world have said they share the pastoral concern for pro-abortion politicians. Fifty-two pro-life leaders from 16 nations at the recent Rome Life Forum called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to honor Canon 915 and withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians as an act of love and mercy.

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‘His bones are basically like paper’: Parents refuse to abort baby with rare condition

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By Kirsten Anderson

At just 11 weeks old, little Layton Diven is not like other babies. Every time his parents pick him up or cuddle him, there is a chance they will break his bones. In fact, Layton has already suffered more than 20 fractures in his short life – beginning at the moment of his birth.

Layton has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a rare disease that makes his bones brittle and prone to breakage. There are several types of OI, and Layton’s type, OI Type III, is the most severe type found among infants. Most babies born with the disease, like Layton, are born with multiple fractures, especially along the rib cage. Many struggle to breathe or swallow. The incurable disease is progressive, so it will get worse as he gets older.

Layton was diagnosed with OI in the womb, but abortion wasn’t an option for his parents, Chad and Angela Diven, who considered their baby a gift from God, no matter his condition.

“We weren't going to have an abortion, so he was born with the disease,” Angela Diven told KSLA. “God chose me for him, to be his mom, so I have to take that huge responsibility and do what's best for him.”

That responsibility comes with a heavy price. Layton requires 24-hour care, but both Angela and Chad have full-time jobs. He can’t go to regular daycare, because it’s not safe for him.

“You can't just pick him up like a normal baby,” Diven said. “You can't dress him like a normal child; his bones are basically like paper. He can't go to daycare because of his condition. He's medically fragile, and a daycare can't handle him."

Childcare costs are just the beginning, though – the treatments Layton will need throughout his life are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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Layton is currently receiving pamidronate IV therapy, which will help to strengthen his bones. But in order to be able to stand or walk, he will need metal rods implanted in his legs – an operation that will cost the Divens $80,000. The OI specialist coordinating Layton’s care is in Omaha, Nebraska, while the Divens live in Louisiana. As he grows, Layton will also require special equipment, such as a wheelchair, along with extensive physical therapy.

Despite the hardships they knew would come, the Divens stepped out in faith to bring Layton into the world. Now, they are reaching out to the internet for help to shoulder the financial burdens that came with their baby blessing. The family has set up both a GoFundMe and a Facebook page called “Lifting Up Layton Diven,” where people can receive updates on Layton’s condition and contribute to the cost of his care.

To donate to baby Layton’s medical trust fund, click here.

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Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

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By John-Henry Westen

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial assignment as patron of the Order of Malta.

The timing of the move is key since Cardinal Burke is currently on the list to attend October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family. He is attending in his capacity as head of one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, so if he is removed prior to the Synod it could mean he would not be able to attend.

Burke has been one of the key defenders in the lead-up to the Synod of the Church's traditional practice of withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.

Most of the Catholic world first learned of the shocking development through Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, whose post ‘Exile to Malta for Cardinal Burke’ went out late last night.

If Burke’s removal from the Signatura is confirmed, said Magister, the cardinal “would not be promoted - as some are fantasizing in the blogosphere - to the difficult but prestigious see of Chicago, but rather demoted to the pompous - but ecclesiastically very modest - title of ‘cardinal patron’ of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, replacing the current head, Paolo Sardi, who recently turned 80.”

At 66, Cardinal Burke is still in his Episcopal prime.

The prominent traditional Catholic blog Rorate Caeli goes as far as to say, “It would be the greatest humiliation of a Curial Cardinal in living memory, truly unprecedented in modern times: considering the reasonably young age of the Cardinal, such a move would be, in terms of the modern Church, nothing short than a complete degradation and a clear punishment.”

On Tuesday, American traditionalist priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also hinted he had heard the move was underway. “I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now,” he wrote. “The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod. Or at all.”

“It’s not good news,” he added.

Both Magister and Zuhlsdorf predicted that the controversial move would unleash a wave of simultaneous jubilation from dissident Catholics and criticism from faithful Catholics. The decision to remove Cardinal Burke from his position on the Congregation for Bishops last December caused a public outpouring of concern and dismay from Catholic and pro-life leaders across the globe.

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Both men speculated on the reasons for the ouster. 

Magister pointed out that Burke is the latest in a line of ‘Ratzingerian’ prelates to undergo the axe.

“In his first months as bishop of Rome, pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities among the most ‘Ratzingerian’ of the Roman curia,” said Magister.

He added: “Another whose fate appears to be sealed is the Spanish archbishop of Opus Dei Celso Morga Iruzubieta.”

Fr. Zuhlsdorf observed that Pope Francis may also be shrinking the Curial offices and thus reducing the number of Cardinals needed to fill those posts. He adds however, “It would be naïve in the extreme to think that there are lacking near Francis’s elbows those who have been sharpening their knives for Card. Burke and for anyone else associated closely with Pope Benedict.” 

“This is millennial, clerical blood sport.”

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