Growing up Fundagelical, I was raised to be a culture warrior. I was told that American culture was sliding into depravity. Drugs, premarital sex, homosexuality, abortion, and attempts to remove God from our country must be fought. Every week in Christian school chapel and every Sunday at church, I was told about the evil liberals who wanted to bring about the downfall of the United States because it was founded on Christian principles and ideals. I was warned about evil scientists who lied to us with so-called “facts” like evolution and geological time. We as Christian culture warriors must let our light shine and be an example of what Godly men and women were supposed to be like.
I participated in marches, rallies, and protest. It was only later I discovered something sinister at the heart of the Christian culture wars; our “generals” were lying to us. My career path took me down an academic life. While doing research, I found that trusted Christian organizations and trusted Christian
Let me share an example of deliberate research findings distortion. This is an example of how Christian organizations prove their talking points to the rank and file Christians who trust them. Behold the infamous and much quoted “Dutch Study.”
Glen Lavy, in his letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Star, (July 31, 2005) cites the “Dutch Study” and says, “According to a Dutch study, same-sex “partnerships” for young men are temporal at best, and men in “steady partnerships” have an average of eight partners per year aside from their “main” partner.”
The late Dr. James Kennedy former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church says, “What does a homosexual marriage look like? Well, the longest term that we have available to look at is in the Netherlands. Researchers found that the average “marriage” between two men lasts one and a half years.”(What’s Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004): 22.)
Christianity Today claims, “A recent study from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, …found that even among stable homosexual partnerships, men have an average of eight partners per year outside their “monogamous” relationship.” (Benne, Robert & McDermott, Gerald. “Speaking Out: Why Gay Marriage Would Be Harmful.” Christianity Today. Feb 16, 2004)
The Washington Times claimed, “A recent study on homosexual relationships finds they last 1-½ years on average — even as homosexual groups are pushing nationwide to legalize same-sex ‘marriages.’ The study of young Dutch homosexual men by Dr. Maria Xiridou of the Amsterdam Municipal Health Service, published in May in the journal AIDS…found that men in homosexual relationships on average have eight partners a year outside those relationships.” (Fagan Amy. “Study finds gay unions brief. Washington Times. July 11, 2003)
It would seem that the Dutch study proves conclusively that gay men are not capable of long term monogamous relationships and cheat on their partners an awful lot.
However, that’s not what the study says at all. If you would like to read this study yourself, click on the link below.
First, this study wasn’t about gay relationships or gay marriage. The study was
Here are a few other facts about the study and the people involved:
Oct 1984-1985: Gay men aged 18-65 with at least two sexual partners in the previous six months were enrolled in the study. M
April 1985-Feb 1988: Study enrollment was continued, except HIV-negative men were now excluded. Only HIV-positive men were added.
Feb 1988 – Dec 1988: The study was re-opened to HIV-negative men.
Various additional enrollments continued from through 1998. Especially notable was a special recruitment campaign for men under the age of thirty beginning in 1995. After 1996, all HIV-negative men above the age of thirty were dropped from the study. Their data was excluded from subsequent analyses.
Nobody outside of Amsterdam was accepted into the study except for AIDS patients who attended clinics in Amsterdam for treatment. This makes the study almost exclusively an urban one.
This was a very specialized population for a very specialized study. (Pattern prediction of the spread of AIDS) The results cannot be extrapolated for the general population.
What the “Dutch Study” did prove is that when a person decides to be non-monogamous, they really are.
It also proved that people under thirty don’t have a lot of long term relationships. How many thirty-year-olds, straight or gay, do you know have had a fifteen-year relationship?
As for marriages, the statistic used is for “steady partners” because marriage wasn’t legal. The participants were asked if they were in “steady relationships.” No parameters were given to what that means. So, a one-month relationship could be considered “steady.”
I’m sure that we could find the same results on short relationships and number of partners with a population of 20-30-year-old heterosexual swingers in the United States who had contracted an STI.
This kind of disingenuous distortion of research is not just a manipulation of data but lies presented as facts hidden behind a painted on veneer of scientific respectability.
If you have to lie in order to win the culture war, you already lost.
It is this kind of lying that makes Fundagelicals look so bad in the eyes of non-believers. The only people who buy this load of horse pucky are the believers who want these lies to be true and have been trained to trust their leaders.
If the culture war generals are lying to the troops about this, what else have they been lying about? Lies in the name of God are still lies and the loss of credibility damages the Kingdom of God.