Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apple Facing Mounting Pressure to Pull Exodus App

Filed under: GLBT Social Issues and Civil Rights,Religion — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:05

Last week, Exodus International launched an App on Apple’s iPhone and iPad systems to promote its agenda of “curing” homosexuality. Exodus is a religious-based organization that supports conversion-type therapies to those with “unwanted same-sex attractions.” The App links users to biblical scriptures along with “resources” that can assist him or her in their fight to change their same-sex attractions. Research and rigorous scientific inquiries have over-whelmingly indicated the dangers of these types of “therapies” and every major medical association (including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association) have branded them as completely unethical and unsupported by peer-review and science. After gay civil rights organizations caught news of the App, they immediately began collecting signatures to encourage Apple to pull it. As of today, over 100,000 signatures have been collected. In addition, one of the psychologists (Dr. Gary Remafedi) quoted in the App has indicated his work has been perverted by the group and has alerted Apple to the misuse of his name and research. At this point, it is essential that Apple do the right thing and pull the App. For more information on “Conversion Therapies,” longitudinal research on their efficacy, their dangerous psychological effects on GLBT persons, and the unethical nature of their use, see my 2008 Issues in Mental Health Nursing article “Nursing Implications in the Application of Conversion Therapies on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients” under the “Research” Tab.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

UF’s Tim Tebow Records Super Bowl Commercial for Anti-Gay Group

Filed under: Politics,Religion,Sports and Athletics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 17:14

View Image  Tim Tebow, the University of Florida Gators’ quarterback for the last several seasons, has filmed a Christian-themed anti-abortion commercial for an organization with strong anti-gay ties. The ad, costing nearly $3-million, will air during this year’s Super Bowl and provides the following anti-abortion message by Tebow’s mother: “Pam Tebow contacted amoebic dysentery while on a Philippines mission, and the bacterial infection sent her into a coma. Upon recovery, doctors urged Pam to have an abortion because of the damage to her body. Tebow was born healthy on Aug. 14, 1987.” The ad is being paid for by Focus on the Family, who over the years has funneled millions of dollars to fight equality legislation for GLBT Americans. Most recently, the group donated nearly $1 million to strip-away marriage equality rights in California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative. Hmmm… Nearly $4 million spent on promoting conservative social policies which strip away the rights of women and minorities…That’s a lot of money that could’ve been spent on helping the homeless, researching cures for cancer, or providing healthcare to the poor…What Would Jesus Do?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Scientists Amused and Disturbed by Creation Museum

Filed under: Religion — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 16:08

Creation Museum by ViperWD.

Associated Press writers accompanied a group of paleontologists and other biological scientists into the “Creation Museum” in Petersburg, Kentucky this weekend to witness their reactions to the museum’s displays which provide a literal interpretation of  “creationism” and a damning view of historical science, paleontology, and evolution. Staunch interpretation of creationism is actually not a view held by most mainstream Christian religions. Displays at the museum depict cave-dwelling children playing with dinosaurs, scientists contributing to the “moral destruction” of American society because of their support of evidence which strongly disputes creationist viewpoints, and non-factual information about the age of fossils and other artifacts which indicate the true age of the Earth.

Lisa Park of the University of Akron cried at one point as she walked a hallway full of flashing images of war, famine and natural disasters which the museum blames on belief in evolution. “I think it’s very bad science and even worse theology — and the theology is far more offensive to me,” said Park, a professor of paleontology who is an elder in the Presbyterian Church. “I think there’s a lot of focus on fear, and I don’t think that’s a very Christian message… I find it a malicious manipulation of the public.” I am always completely amazed by the ridiculous and frivilous beliefs of religious zealots, whether they be followers of Christianity, Islam, Scientology, or any other belief system. How is it that fear of death and the overwhelming weakness of a person’s character that requires him or her of the need to rely on a spiritual being or beings can allow any ounce of rationale thought to be discarded? The Creation Museum is perhaps the greatest display of ignorant dependency on the supernatural and irrationalism at its zenith. Perhaps even more sad is the thought of just how helpful the $20 million spent on this garbage “museum” could’ve gone to help people truly in need…What would Jesus do?

Pictured above: A cave-dwelling child plays near a dinosaur in one of the displays at the Creation Museum.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Religion Losing Ground

Filed under: American Life and Society,Religion — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:57

downward_graph_small2.jpgAfter an explosive piece by the Washington Post was published Monday indicating the number of Americans who identify as Christian or with a major religion is dwindling, one evangelical is conceding, the writing is on the wall. Michael Spencer has written an excellent op-ed piece for The Christian Science Monitor this month in which he predicts the eventual extinction of evangelical Christianity in the not-too-distant future. Spencer articulates his opinion based partly on the fact that evangelicals are out of step with mainstream America on social issues like abortion, gay and lesbian rights, and stem cell research but mostly because of their allegiance to conservative Republican political ideology and quest for political prowess.

Evangelicals have been able to donate large sums of money to mostly staunch-conservative Republican politicians and have worked diligently to show their muscle in getting their voters out to the polls to affect elections. No one can doubt the past 8 years of George Bush were largely the result of the huge funding arms of fundamental Christian groups like the Christian Coalition and their ability to bring voters to the polls in droves. While I believe Spencer’s thesis is partly correct, I believe he is ignoring one of the largest contributors to the demise of traditional Christianity: Science.

Scientific discovery, which has proliferated over the past century, has disproved so many Christian beliefs that Americans are beginning to become more disenchanted with ideologies that aren’t based in scientific reason. Evolution, genetics, physical law/theory, and discoveries in medicine and health have covered the falsehoods of supernatural powers being responsible for things like creationism, mysticism, and magical healing of the sick. And as science begins to show more mundane explanations for facets of life previously considered unexplainable by humans, religion loses not only its appeal, but its merit and fidelity as well. 

Spencer’s piece is meant as a “wake up call” for evangelicals and he might have some short-term success. But as social experiences of Americans continue to change and science continues to cast such a strong shadow of doubt over long-standing Christian and religious-based doctrines, religion will continue to dwindle in its relevancy in American life. Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs and as a Christian myself, I work to be the best person I can be and live how I believe God wants us to live. But when religion begins to spew hate, take away the rights of minorities, and perpetuate ignorance and unreasoning, my conviction it has no place in politics or any aspect of secular life grows ever so stronger.

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