I received this email this afternoon from Glenn Stanton, explaining the events surrounding the recent CitizenLink change:
Yes, it looks like Focus on the Family did a sneaky bait and switch on the anthropology article that has been discussed at the BoxTurtle. And it would be a much easier world to fight the culture war in if everyone from the religious right were slippery tricksters and all homosexuals were sex-saturated profligates. But such is not the case, we are all not so easily pigeon-holed. Reality is far less exciting than accusation.
The original article was published before I reviewed it and I was disappointed to see the final piece online. It didn’t come close to communicating my work comparing the definitions anthropologists and leading same-sex marriage advocates use for describing and understanding what marriage is. I shared my concerns with the the CitizenLink editors and they welcomed my corrections. My main concerns were that the original article didn’t link to the whitepaper that the article itself was about. Ex-Gay Watch insinuated that the paper was cobbled together quickly to answer the complaints generated from the first article. Not quite. I worked on this research for quite a few weeks.
The original title — “Anthropologists Agree on Traditional Definition of Marriage” — bothered me for two reasons. One, I appreciate that no scientists in any discipline totally “agree” on anything. Two, “traditional” is far too imprecise a term to use when talking about marriage and family as a humanly universal phenomenon. Same with the conclusion attributed to me that “there’s a clear consensus among anthropologists” on what marriage is. Admittedly, “consensus” is a word that cannot be used in relation to any community of scientists. There is not even literal consensus among scientists on Newton’s Law, for goodness sakes. Science’s strength is it’s ability to constantly question. The editors kindly incorporated the changes I recommended. The second story reflects those changes. That’s the story. Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists.
I have been invited by the editors of the BoxTurtle Bulletin to respond to a critique of my paper by a real-life anthropologist, which I am happy to do and look forward to a spirited and hopefully intelligent and informed exchange.
Yes, that’s right. Glenn Stanton and real-life anthropologist Patrick M. Chapman will be discussing Stanton’s paper, “Differing Definitions of Marriage and Family” (PDF: 80KB/10 pages) on this very web site. Stay tuned.