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UPDATE: Is there an anthropological basis for unscrupulous fibbing?

by Jeremy Hooper

200803040943-1A few weeks ago, we showed you how Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton was claiming that there the world's anthropologists had all pretty much come to a universal agreement in their opposition of same-sex marriage. And at the time, we loudly protested against that idea, since the truth of the matter is that many of the world's leading anthropologists and leading anthropological societies (including the American Anthropological Association) are actually on board with marriage equality. But then, as the days passed and our anthropological predilection towards laziness set in, we forgot all about Mr. Stanton's as we moved on to other things.

Fortunately, our pals at Box Turtle Bulletin did keep their eyes on the Focus on the Family piece, and was in subsequent days able to get rebukes from three individual scientists, as well as one from the AAA itself. So how did Glenn and Focus on the Family respond to being called out and questioned? Did they do the responsible thing and make a correction and even apology for their misrepresentations? Did they so another story responding to the criticism in a fair fashion, so that a reasoned discourse could ensue? Or did they just, say, completely change the text (and eventually headline) of their story so as to make it less penetrable to growing criticisms without making any note that they have done so?

Well, see for yourself. Here's the Google cache version of the story (archived on 3/4):

Picture 1-159

And here's the exact same url as it appears today:

Picture 4-128

Yes, that's right -- Focus on the Family's journalistic ethics apparently tell them that all they have to do to correct records is just pretend like the old text never existed. It's not a word or even a paragraph, mind you. The WHOLE STORY has been obliterated and repurposed as something completely different, clearly shaped by those who have protested. And no need to let the readers who had already consumed the "knowledge" know of the massive overhaul. No, no. At Citizenlink, transparency apparently means pulling a fast one and hoping nobody is watching.

Well FOF, we are watching. Lots of us. And we are going to keep pushing until your side learns that the best way to collection information is to cull ideas from reality, listen to actual experts, and then present the obtained in a fair in equitable forum that is shaped more by data than bias!

Classic Anthropology at Odds with New Same-Sex Definitions of Marriage and Family [FOF]

**What makes this all even worse? Well, the corrected version is still a pile of bull poo poo! You could probably figure that out just by considering that Mr. Stanton had to quote a 23-year-old book to find a backup quote. But if you have the time for a more complex assessment, go read what anthropologist Dr. Patrick M. Chapman had to say about the latest rewrite:

An Anthropologist Responds to Stanton’s Moving Target [BTB]

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Your thoughts

Wow, two stories in one week that I know something about!

I am an anthropology major.

I'm going to ask my professor in theory, but I'm pretty sure that theorists have never said marriage is between a man and a woman, it's a fairly liberal subject.

Posted by: Piper | Mar 14, 2008 7:03:55 PM

"Double-think" -- at least that's what George Orwell coined as the concept of replacing reality with a created fiction, then later modifying that fiction to suit the new needs as required.

Posted by: atchitamo | Mar 14, 2008 11:21:44 PM

LOL, I had just paused the audio book of "1984" that i had been listening too when i read this post. When he was explaining the concept of double-think i found myself rethinking about the church and groups like FOF.

Its not anything new that we haven't known them capable of, though this is a new length they have gone to. In the case of the studies about straight vs. same-sex families Dobson would only ever except his interpretation of the truth no matter who came out and corrected him. He has millions of readers at his fingertips with one agenda in mind, why wouldn't he want to control it absolutly.

Posted by: Patrick B | Mar 15, 2008 12:19:07 AM

OK I just remembered something. Margaret Mead was bisexual!! She was married to Gregory Bateson, and they had a child together, but for both of them it was perfectly fine for her to have outside sexual relationships outside of the marriage. One of her lovers was Ruth Benidict, another famous anthropologist.

We know that this is true, because in her biography of her mother "With a daughters eye" Mary Bateson openly talks about their relationships.

Mary is now an anthropological professor at....let me see George Mason University.

If the accepted view of anthropology was of only man-woman marriage, would three of the founding parents of American Anthropology have condoned this behavior? I think not!!!!

Alo, one of my friends is currently doing a research project on how anthropologists have looked at homosexuality. I think she should hear about FoF and their idiocy.

Posted by: Piper | Mar 15, 2008 9:48:03 PM

Anthropologically speaking, these people should maybe do a bit of actual research and contact their local two spirit society. Among many Native American tribes, GLBT people were called "two spirits," and often served some sacred roles, including the naming of children. Oh, and by the way, they often were the ones who raised the tribe's orphans.

Posted by: Wren | Mar 18, 2008 12:17:23 PM

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