Blocked from Commenting on the ‘Lifesite News’ WebsitePosted: May 8, 2014
We have now been blocked from posting feedback on the website Lifesite News. The website is a conservative Catholic one that often runs articles on subjects relating to the modern conflict between Catholicism and secular values, eg abortion and homosexuality. But the site regularly advances the claim that homosexuals have significantly shorter life spans compared to their counterparts. It’s a claim that we believed for some time, until we discovered that there is scant evidence for the claim, as explored here. So in recent times, when we read them repeating the claim, we would challenge it in the feedback section. A few weeks ago, one of their moderators posted a reply, including a mention that our feedback was becoming repetitive. “Yes”, we replied. Lifesite news repeatedly makes the claim about shorter lifespans, and so we repeatedly point out the flaws in the claim. But today, they actually switched off our lights. We had again followed normal practise of pointing out the flaws in the argument, and also mentioned that one of their sources for the claim was not particularly reputable, and also said that talking lifespan was a diversion from core Catholic values. Their moderator replied, stating that:
- Because of the substance abuse, disease, mental health issues etc that are so prevalent in gay communities, it makes sense that homosexuals would have shorter lifespans.
- That a perusal of post posts indicate that we spread homosexual “propaganda”.
- That homosexual activists avoid looking at “genuine research”, preferring instead to engage in ad hominem attacks.
- That homosexuals no longer live 20 years less than heterosexuals, and that this is because new medications now mask the effects of HIV/AIDS.
- That our comment about Paul Cameron having a poor reputation was not surprising, because gay activists specialize in generating propaganda and manufactured studies in order to counter “strong factual studies” about the dangers of homosexuality.
- That those who truly love homosexuals tell them the truth, while those who hate homosexuals, attack anyone who prints accurate articles about the dangers of homosexuality.
We then in turn wrote a reply, but were blocked from posting it. Here is what we were unable to post –
Certainly there is bias in the media when it comes to reporting on homosexual matters. But is it the case that some choose to “attack anyone who attempts to publicize this critical medical, psychological and social information”? I think not. The CDC publishes medical information that portrays homosexuals as experiencing poorer health than most (eg http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/gender/msm/). But does the CDC get attacked? Not as far as I know. The New York Times has published arguably unfavourable commentary (EG http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html). But do they get attacked? I doubt it. Our point is that critical analysis that is fair, is respectable. But citing unreliable researchers isnt. Paul Cameron reportedly was expelled by the American Psychological Association for non-cooperation with an ethics investigation. Position statements issued by the American Sociological Association, Canadian Psychological Association and the Nebraska Psychological Association have reportedly accused Cameron of misrepresenting social science research. That doesnt sound like an ad hominem smear to me. Rather it sounds like Cameron’s findings are rather questionable. I am not calling Lifesite News to never report anything critical about homosexuals. But I am calling on Lifesite News to stick to the facts, and to what is important to Catholic tradition. Report on the quality reports of AIDS deaths if you like. And statements like “significantly reduced lifespan” are fine, if you can back them up with hard data. But as far as I can see, there are no reputable studies that have found “significantly reduced lifespan” in current times, for gays in the Western world.
A key point of annoyance in all this, is that their reply did not state that they had blocked us. Yes they indicated that they were not happy with us, but they left the reader unaware of the blocking. I guess this explains why there is so little dissent expressed in the feedback sections on the website, compared with other websites that delve into similarly controversial subjects. I suppose they quietly block those who express disagreement with their editorial approach. Another point of annoyance is the accusations of spreading ‘propaganda’. I think someone needs to look in the mirror. And a further point of annoyance is that despite being deeply Catholic in outlook, this was a dispute over something that (as far as we are aware) is not Catholic doctrine. I suspect that Pope was referring to exactly this sort of thing when he preached against religious ideology last year.