Gary Randall’s Faith and Freedom Network blasted an email to its list yesterday (essentially duplicating the content of this blog post), informing them of an important letter from the very official sounding “American College of Pediatricians”:
Out of concern for the health and well being of all youth, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) has mailed a letter to the superintendents of all public schools in the country, expressing their concerns.
In the first paragraph of the letter, the ACP states, “We are increasingly concerned, however, that in many cases efforts to help students who exhibit same-sex attractions and/or gender confusion are based on incomplete or inaccurate information.”
They further state that when dealing with adolescents experiencing same-sex attractions, “It is essential to understand there is no scientific evidence that an individual is born ‘gay’ or ‘transgender’, in fact there is evidence that there are multiple factors—primarily social and familial, that predispose a child to homosexual attraction and/or gender confusion.”
The email goes on to guide readers to a new website set up by the ACP, FactsAboutYouth.com, purportedly “created by health professionals to provide policymakers, parents and youth with the most current medical and psychological facts about sexual development.”
So what is the ACP? If we call it astroturfing when a business or other special interest creates a puppet “grassroots” organization in order to create the appearance of popular support, what do we call it when they create a supposedly scholarly or professional organization in order to fake the appearance of expert authority? Ass-troturfing? Well, whatever, that’s what the ACP is.
The American College of Pediatricians was created in 2002 by 60 of the 60,000 members of the 75-year-old American Academy of Pediatrics, in response to the latter organization’s passage of a statement supporting second-parent adoptions by gay and lesbian parents. In its own published history, the ACP states that it was founded by “a small group of pediatricians who vocally opposed the AAP’s support of homosexual parenting.”
Opposition to homosexual parenting was the guiding principle of the ACP’s founders, a group of self-described “Judeo-Christian, traditional-values” doctors who numbered barely one-tenth of one percent of the AAP’s national membership. But reading their website — or Gary Randall’s email — you’d think the ACP was some sort of respectable, scholarly professional association representing the mainstream of pediatrics rather than only a tiny, reactionary fringe. (You can read more on the ACP and their new website at the excellent Pam’s House Blend.)
How fringe? I was actually sitting in the waiting room of my daughter’s pediatrician yesterday when word of Randall’s email came across my iPhone, so I asked him if he’d every heard of the American College of Pediatricians. Um… “No.”
It is one thing for the Faith and Freedom crowd to push their religious views on their followers, but when they attempt to back it up with fringe science from some official sounding faux medical organization (and I say “faux” because the ACP was founded on religious principles, not medical ones), their misinformation does everybody a great disservice… but especially the unfortunate gay and lesbian teens who are sure to be tortured by parents and teachers following “medical” guidelines that 99.9% of pediatricians officially disavow.