Yesterday (Oct. 6) the Southern Poverty Law Center weighed in on the NARTH Schoenewolf controversy with an Intelligence Report article “Ex-gay” psychologist claims Africans “better off” as slaves.

Titled “Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History,” Schoenewolf’s angry polemic was published on NARTH’s website. In addition to his outrageous historical claims about the conditions of life in Africa, he writes that human rights proponents are intellectually stunted. (Schoenewolf draws upon Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget, who theorized four stages of intellectual development, with the most advanced stage consisting of abstract and complex thinking. “[F]ollowers in the Human Rights Movement,” have not reached this stage, according to Schoenewolf.)

They correctly recognize that ex-gay and other self-proclaimed “pro-family” organizations, though heavily intertwined with NARTH and it’s efforts, have said nothing to distance themselves from the views in the Schoenewolf paper.

The controversy over Schoenewolf’s apology for slavery has battered the so-called “ex-gay” movement with accusations of racial bigotry for the first time. The movement’s leaders and their close allies at Christian Right powerhouses like Focus on the Family have failed to condemn Schoenwolf’s inflammatory arguments.

In what appears to be the first public comments on the matter from Dr. Schoenewolf himself, there are these quotes:

When interviewed last week for this article, Schoenewolf stood by his comments on the intellectual inferiority of civil rights movement supporters. “The civil rights movement has from the beginning and today seen itself as good and others are evil, like slaveowners are evil,” he said.

During the interview, Schoenewolf lambasted civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. “All such movements are destructive,” he said. He also claimed the American Psychological Association, of which he is a member, “has been taken over by extremist gays.”

In one of the first solid comments to indicate that anyone at NARTH is responsible for anything at all going on over there, there is this quote from former NARTH member Dr. David Blakeslee:

For now, Schoenewolf remains a member of NARTH’s Science Advisory Committee. This committee has “the authority of opinion and the authority of their recommendations,” over what is published by NARTH, according to former committee member David Blakeslee, who resigned in protest over the Schoenewolf essay Sept. 29.

There are quotes from Dr. Warren Throckmorton and Dr. David Blakeslee, both of whom have commented on this site, expressing their disbelief over the Schoenewolf paper and NARTH’s puzzling defense of it.

Interestingly enough, on the same day this article was published to the SPLC website, NARTH published an apology (of sorts), saying “NARTH regrets the comments made by Dr. Schoenwolf [sic] about slavery which have been misconstrued by some of our readers.” The sincerity and depth of this statement overwhelms us.

Please read the entire article. You can also find a record of the controversy here.

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