Given that the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute has already engaged in a ton of lying related to the anti-gay “study” it paid Mark Regnerus to carry out, there is little surprise that Witherspoon’s Matthew Franck now promotes the booby-trapped study by lying about it in a series of articles on Witherspoon’s’ Public Discourse.
Still, noting that Franck is lying, so that we highlight the overall lack of integrity of this “study” is a necessary exercise.
Franck is Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute on the Princeton University campus.
That title of Witherspoon Director is one that Brad Wilcox held in 2010 when he organized the so-called New Family Structures Study.
Wilcox was, in fact,Â Director of Witherspoon’s Program for Marriage, Family and Democracy.
Wilcox recruited Regnerus for the study, and Witherspoon then gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant. Subsequently, while a Witherspoon Program Director, Wilcox collaborated with Regnerus on study design.
Nobody at Witherspoon voluntarily disclosed these facts about Wilcox’s involvement with the study. Rather, the facts were dragged out into the light of day through investigative reporting efforts.
Nonetheless, both Regnerus and Witherspoon continue attempting to mislead the public, with use of such phrases as “No funding agency representatives were consulted about research design,Â survey contents, analyses, or conclusions.”
Clearly, with Wilcox as a Witherspoon Program Director collaborating with Regnerus on study design, it is a lie to say that no funding agency representatives were consulted about research design.
Despite the documentation of Wilcox’s involvement with the study, Franck in one of his series of articles says:
“Regnerus . . . Â told his readers that neither Witherspoon nor Bradley had any role in shaping the conduct or the conclusions of his research,” and then, Franck goes on, untruthfully;
Not only have authorities “gainsaid” Regnerus’s false claim; sociologists have actuallyÂ called Regnerus out for lyingÂ about his relationship with Witherspoon.
Wilcox additionally is known to have collaborated with Regnerus on data collection, data analysis and interpretation. He is an old crony to Regnerus and to James Wright, editor of Elsevier’s “Social Science Research,” which published Regnerus. Wilcox, moreover, is on the editorial board of that journal.Â And, Wilcox’s conflicts of interest with Regnerus’s funders do not stop with The Witherspoon Institute. Regnerus received $90,000 for the study from the Bradley Foundation, which contributes money toÂ The Ridge Foundation, whose chief officer is Brad Wilcox.Â (On page 3 atÂ this link, you may see the Bradley Foundation’s $20,000 grant to Wilcox’s Ridge Foundation).
Mr. Franck did not reply to this reporter’s e-mail, asking if he acknowledges that Wilcox, as a Witherspoon Program Director, collaborated with Regnerus on study design.
The second of Franck’s mendacious articles promoting the scientifically invalid study his Witherspoon Institute commissioned is titled The Vindication of Mark Regnerus.
The case Franck tries to make involves a number of articles — including Regnerus’s Additional AnalysesÂ — that were published in the November issue of Social Science Research, the Elsevier journal that published Regnerus in June without benefit of valid peer review.
Whereas the June issue featured corrupt peer review, the Regnerus-related articles in the November issue were not peer reviewed at all.
One of these new articles, by Walter Schumm, does not disclose that Witherspoon paid Schumm for initial consulting on the Regnerus study.
How is that for integrity in science publishing?
Franck’s fellow anti-gay bigots will lap up his propaganda — undermining the trust on which science is based — but serious-minded sociologists do not consider that the Regnerus study received valid peer review.
Because Franck’s articles contain only anti-gay propaganda, and no serious considerations of sociology, his arguments are not legitimate grounds for any scientific debate, yet exposing just one of his lies is worthwhile by way of illustration.
Franck wrongly claims that Regnerus “proved” that virtually no gay or lesbian couples stay together long enough to raise a child from birth to 18.
After saying that the study included just two young adults raised from birth to 18 by “lesbian mothers,” Franck writes: “This, out of an initial population of 15,000.”
Screening 15,000 people of a general population is not adequate to doing a study of young adults Â aged 18 – 39 raised from birth to 18 by one or two gay parents.
Franck is attempting to mislead people about social science when he implies that screening 15,000 of a general population should be adequate.
Additionally, the Knowledge Network panel from which Regnerus screened for study participants does not include a representative number of employed adults.
A son raised by a lesbian couple, now 31 and working as a surgeon, is not sitting around taking Knowledge Network surveys every week for a $5 incentive.
Neither is a daughter raised by a lesbian couple, now 26 and working two jobs to help to support her household.
Dr. Michael Rosenfeld’s study based on the 2000 census included 3,502 children of same-sex couples who had been together at least five years. Rosenfeld found that those children of same-sex couples did as well in school as children of heterosexual parents.
Franck’s claim that Regnerus has been “vindicated” through non-peer-reviewed papers is ridiculous.
The President of the American Sociological Association, Dr. Erik Olin Wright, has co-signed a letter with over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s calling Regnerus’s groupings “absurd” and expressing concerns about the invalid peer review process through which the study was published.
In the face of that massive expression of professional opinion that the Regnerus study is scientifically invalid, a few non-peer-reviewed articles, including one by Regnerus himself, can not “vindicate” Regnerus or his study.
What Franck has written is nothing other than an advertorial for the Regnerus study, published by the anti-gay-rights group that commissioned it and of which he is a part.
That Franck lies outright in saying the funders were not involved in study design demonstrates that he has no integrity.
Franck’s behavior demonstrates once again why it is so contemptible for Princeton University to continue with its intimate, incestuous relationship with The Witherspoon Institute.
New York City-based novelist and freelance writerÂ Scott Roseâ€™s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His â€œMr. David Cooperâ€™s Happy Suicideâ€ is about aÂ New York City advertising executive assigned to aÂ condom account.
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Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business
In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.
Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.
“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Watch Doocy below or at this link.
Peter Doocy: “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business.” pic.twitter.com/a5N44hIRrQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’
The monthly jobs report released Friday morning is being heralded as “robust,” “upbeat,” and “stronger than expected,” as unemployment again dropped to a near-50-year low (3.7%) while the economy added another 199,000 jobs.
“It’s the little engine that could, and this little locomotive keeps a chugging along…” declared professor of economics and public policy scholar Justin Wolfers.
“So the last three months have seen jobs growth at a very healthy average rate of +204k per month,” he added. “For context: Average monthly job growth from Jan 2000 to Dec 2019 was +87k.”
“If I had asked you a year ago to sketch what you thought a soft landing might look like,” he said, praising America’s post-COVID pandemic economy, “it’s likely you would have pretty much drawn the current economic data.”
On Thursday, Wolfers had discussed the incongruence between what economic data consistently shows about the strength of the U.S. economy, and what Americans are telling pollsters.
“There’s no question people are telling pollsters they’re miserable about the economy. But riddle me this,” he asked, “Why can’t we find evidence of this pessimism in anything other that public opinion polls? Every non-poll based indicator of confidence suggests folks are optimistic.”
Heather Long, The Washington Post economic columnist, offered this view in response to Friday’s jobs report.
“Step back for a minute and look at this US job market,” she wrote.
“4.7 million more jobs than pre-pandemic
Below 4% unemployment for two years
Wages growing faster than inflation
Women (ages 25 to 54) at an all-time high for labor force participation”
Even Fox News was forced to deliver positive comments while reporting on Friday’s monthly numbers.
“Overall you’ve got to look at this report as a big positive,” admitted pro-Trump Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We’ve got more jobs created than expected.”
Speaking to the former chief economist of The White House National Economic Council under President Trump, Bartiromo said, “Joe LaVorgna, you’ve been saying this, the economy is a lot stronger than anybody understands.”
Watch below or at this link.
it’s time for my favorite Friday tradition — Maria Bartiromo having to cope with announcing another strong jobs report pic.twitter.com/bsOIQToEwe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Right Wing Evangelicals Are ‘Marinating’ in ‘Information Aimed at Making Them Fearful, Hostile’: Journalist
Rather, he argued, it is part of a deliberate campaign to radicalize and terrify them into loyalty — and part of what’s driving that is a “disproportionality crisis” of the information they are receiving.
““If you go to church on Sunday morning, you are going to be in the word with your pastor for, you know, 30 minutes, maybe 40, 45 minutes, and you sing some songs, and you say the prayers, and then you are out in the world for the rest of the week,” said Alberta. “And for most of these folks, as they’re out in the world, they are marinating in talk radio, in cable news, in social media—all of this information that is aimed at making them angry, fearful, hostile.”
Whereas they may hear Jesus’ message of tolerance, love, and forgiveness “on Sunday morning for 45 minutes, but then for 4, 5, 6, 10 hours during the week, you’re hearing the exact opposite. And it’s that ratio being so far out of whack that I think is really at the heart of the crisis here.”
And that’s assuming they’re at a church that will even give them messages of love and forgiveness in the first place — many pro-Trump pastors, like Greg Locke of Tennessee, have messages that are far angrier.
“[Trump] may not share their views, he may not sit in the pews with them, he may not read the good book like they do, but in some way, that’s his superpower,” Alberta explained. “He is free to fight in ways that are, you know, unrestrained, unmoored from biblical virtue. And that relationship with Trump has obviously evolved over the last eight years. What started as this very uneasy alliance for a lot of evangelicals with Trump has now morphed into this situation where, look, desperate times call for desperate measures. The barbarians are at the gates and we need a barbarian to keep them at bay.” This means that Trump’s increasingly dictatorial rhetoric is a natural outlet for the rage and frustration these evangelical voters are being fed.
None of this is to say that Trump has completely unified the evangelical world. Cracks have appeared in recent months, with prominent evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out of concern about Trump’s electoral viability.
Editor’s note: Tim Alberta is an award-winning g journalist, a staff writer for The Atlantic, and author of “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism,” and “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”
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