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  • New Study: Right-wing Religious Organizations
    use Deceptive Tactics

    Charles Kenghis


    According to South Carolina writer Alvin McEwen, the religious right continues to utilize studies from discredited researcher Paul Cameron, in order to prove negative theories about gays and lesbians, a new report claims. According to the report, religious conservative organizations have been engaging in an pattern of deception, including using discredited studies and distorting legitimate studies.

    For over a year, freelance journalist Alvin McEwen studied religious conservative studies as they pertained to the gay community. He claims to have found a huge pattern of lies.

    "These 'religious right' organizations utilize their vast resources in order to find studies that put gays and lesbians in a negative light," he said. " Often times, they pick and choose the parts of a study that speak negatively about the gay community totally omitting everything else."

    In addition, McEwen has tracked down several cases in which legitimate physicians and researchers have complained about the misuse of their work. He has spoken to a doctor whose study appeared on the Web page of the Family Research Council as proof that lesbians engage in unhealthy drug-related behavior at a high rate.

    "She had written a letter to Timothy Dailey, the author of the study, but as far as she knows, the correction has not been made," McEwen said.

    McEwen also found that her study continues to be misused by religious conservative organizations. He found evidence of this on a fact sheet of the Center for Reclaiming America. This organization is headed by Rev. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries.

    Another case involves a 2001 study conducted in Canada that said gay men have shorter life spans than heterosexuals. McEwen found that this study was cited by many religious conservative organizations.

    McEwen contends that the original researchers had written a letter in the same year to the National Journal of Epidemiology declaring that their research was being misused by the religious right, but the Canadian study continues to be misused. In 2004, Concerned Women for America cited the study in talking points against same sex marriage. In 2005, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council cited the study in a speech in Maryland. Sprigg and the Family Research Council were fighting the implementation of a sex education program.

    "There seems to be a consistent intentional pattern of misusing legitimate research as well as using discredited research by members of the religious right," McEwen said. "One has to ask the question how can these organizations be for morality when they can so quickly and easily lie to force forward their agenda."

    Also according to McEwen, the religious right continues to utilize studies from discredited researcher Paul Cameron. Among other "dubious" honors, Cameron was kicked out of the American Psychological Association for misusing the work of his peers in order to prove their theories. McEwen claims to have discovered that in some cases, religious conservative organizations not only continue to cite Cameron's work but at the same time omit the fact that he is their source.

    McEwen's two-part report is the first in a three-part, six-report study on the propaganda techniques of religious conservative organizations. The reports can be accessed on the Palmetto Umoja Web site.

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