What makes someone gay and can people change orientation?

In 2010, I submitted a summary of sexual orientation research to Uganda’s Independent. They published it in their Uganda Talks section. In light of the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and recent discussions on this blog, I am reprinting it here. There isn’t much that I would change about it three years later but I will comment at the end of the post.

At Uganda Talks we welcome guest blogs from our readers. Today, Professor Warren Throckmorton writes about the anti-homosexuality bill:
Defending the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Hon. David Bahati told the BBC, “It’s [homosexuality] not an inborn orientation, it’s a behaviour learnt – and it can be unlearnt.” Is this true?
Hon. Bahati’s assertion is not consistent with current research on sexuality. While much is being learned about sexuality, the reasons why sexual attractions take the direction they do for any given person are not well known. There are many theories but no clear answers. I think this is a surprising fact for many people.
At the outset, we must be clear about what we mean when we discuss homosexuality. For instance, homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same. As with straight adults, adult homosexuals prefer other adults. In addition, we also need to make a distinction between attractions and behavior. What draws our attention and attraction is almost certainly not chosen. Behavior, on the other hand, is much more subject to reflection and choice. People may have various kinds of physical desires but for reasons of conscience decide not to act on them. In the case of homosexuality, some believe adult intimacy with someone of the same gender is right or morally neutral. In any case, as everyone knows, it is difficult to avoid acting on sexual desires, even when one’s religious views forbid such behavior.
Having strong religious views is not reason to overlook research and mislead citizens about the nature of homosexuality and sexual orientation in general. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill states in the opening section:
This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.
However, we do not know this to be the case. Most researchers around the world agree that there is no consensus about the causes of any given person’s sexual orientation. While it seems unlikely that there is one biological or genetic cause for all homosexuals, there are data which suggest that genetic and hormonal factors during pre-natal development have some impact on our desires, in different ways for different people.
On the other hand, there is very little evidence for the role of parenting on the direction of one’s sexual attractions. A common theory is that homosexuals are not well bonded with the parent of the same-sex and that heterosexuals have strong bonds with their same-sex parents. However, think about this: Many straight people have absent or hostile same-sex parents and turn out to be completely heterosexual. Many gays have had wonderful, loving relationships with both parents and yet begin to experience same-sex attractions in their early teens or before. The research on the subject does not lend strong support for parenting factors as primary causes for sexual orientation.
Another commonly held view is that sexual abuse or recruitment makes people gay. This cannot be true for most homosexuals since most homosexuals have not had these experiences. Some same-sex attracted people recall such experiences but so too do many heterosexuals. A recent study in the United States found that some who were sexually abused had a somewhat greater likelihood of trying homosexual behavior but that there was no relationship statistically between sexual abuse and exclusive homosexual orientation. Some people might experiment, but most often they seek heterosexual partners without coercion or therapy. I need to point out however, that the majority of people who were sexually abused did not later try homosexual behavior nor were they likely to become homosexual.
Thus, the matter of cause is a scientific mystery. However, we do know that once established sexual orientation seems to be quite durable. Several studies have found brain differences between homosexual and heterosexual people. Even Christian oriented programs designed to change sexual orientation have not been very successful. A recent study of participants in an Exodus International (the largest Christian ministry aimed toward homosexuality) found a small group of people who expressed change. Just over 20% of subjects remaining in the study reported some degree of movement from being attracted to the same sex toward developing attractions to the opposite sex, but most did not. Even among those who said they developed heterosexual attractions, most continued to struggle with homosexual desire.
Furthermore, in a study I conducted recently, only 3 out of 107 primarily same-sex attracted heterosexually married males described lifetime shifts from homosexual to heterosexual attractions. It does not seem scientifically reasonable to mandate state coerced therapy when the success among those who freely choose counseling or ministry assistance is so low. All groups who conduct such counseling stress that an absence of coercion and mandate is necessary for any benefit.
Regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, all concerned, including Uganda’s homosexual advocates, agree that law should protect children. However, the bill seeks to legislate an end to homosexuality based on the faulty premises that homosexuality is about recruitment and that it is learned and easily unlearned. Research provides no support for these notions. In light of this, President Museveni’s call to slow down and discuss the issues with those who oppose the bill seems especially wise.
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, United States. His specialty is counseling responses with sexual identity concerns and can be reached via his website at www.wthrockmorton.com
N.B. The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Independent Publications Ltd.

I can add that my study eventually included over 260 participants with no increase in number of people who claim extreme change. It just doesn’t happen very often. I wish I would have emphasized more the brain differences which have been reported.  Whatever causal factors turn out to important, it is well established that sexual attractions are not chosen.
From my point of view, there is no compelling state interest in criminalizing homosexual behavior. The Ugandan lawmakers claim that gays recruit children, but have never provided evidence to that effect. Furthermore, all gay groups in Uganda vocally support the laws which already criminalize what is termed “defilement” of children.
See also:
Sexual identity: Our bodies tell us who we are.
SPLC Myth #4: Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals
NARTH article asking why homosexuality isn’t a disorder
Mental Health Status and Homosexuality

Parliament Spokeswoman: Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill Has Passed (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Parliament issued a statement regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which is provided in full at the end of this post.
……..
Helen Kawesa, spokeswoman for Uganda’s Parliament, told me this morning that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was affirmed by the lawmakers in Kampala during today’s session. “Yes, it has been passed,” she said, speaking about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
The bill is not on the agenda posted on Parliament’s website, but Kawesa said it was on the paper she had.
The Parliament passed the Anti-Pornography Bill yesterday. However, according to Kawesa, the bill passed today is the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009. Kawesa indicated that she would send a copy of the revised AHB via email.
The parliament has come close to considering the bill several times since 2009. See this link for my prior coverage of the bill.
Developing, watch for updates.
UPDATE: The BBC is now reporting the same thing. So is Uganda’s Monitor. No comment as yet from the country’s president Yowari Museveni. Museveni had indicated in the past that he did not favor the bill. However, Museveni can only delay the bill; he cannot stop it under Uganda’s constitution.
According to the BBC, the prime minister opposed the action on procedural grounds saying there was not a quorum.
Ugandan civil rights leader Frank Mugisha issued this statement to me this morning:

I am outraged and disappointed that our MPs [members of Parliament]  have expressed ignorance and passed the bill; but we shall challenge it in all avenues. It won’t be law.

A protest is planned today in London at the Uganda House.
This report of the Legal and Parliamentary committee contains alterations in the original bill which may be in the bill passed earlier today. The full text of the original bill can be viewed here.
Ugandan minister Martin Ssempa is glowing this morning after the passage of his pet project. Remember when he tweeted his friend Matt Barber that I was the “chief of falsified news?”


UPDATE: Uganda’s New Vision is reporting that the Parliament rejected a call to reduce sentences for homosexual behavior to 14 years, instead making the penalty life in prison. Uganda’s prime minister Amama Mbabazi told the New Vision that “consultations” would be held among executive members of the government. The copy of the bill in the NV article is the original version, and may not represent what was passed earlier today.
I spoke again to Parliament spokeswoman Helen Kawesa who said the position of the speaker is that there was a quorum when the bill was passed.  Kawesa also indicated that government was aware of the plans to address the anti-gay bill.
Here is the minority report which was not incorporated by Parliament. Although I have yet to see the bill language, Uganda’s Parliament Watch is reporting that the death penalty was removed with life in prison replacing it.
Parliament’s statement:

Parliament has finally passed the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, criminalizing, outlawing and providing harsh jail terms for same sex relationships in the country.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009, a Private Members’ Bill, was first presented to Parliament by Hon. David Bahati (NRM, Ndorwa West) in October 2009. It was one of the pending bills not considered at the end of the 8th Parliament, but saved and re-introduced for consideration by the 9th Parliament.
The Bill was then referred to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which received submissions from among others the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda Law Reform Commission, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda Prisons Service, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda.
Hon. Benson Obua Ogwal (UPC, Moroto), was excited as he moved the Bill for its Second Reading.
“Ugandans have been anxiously waiting for this Bill. This day will be good day for all Ugandans,” he said.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 seeks to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other non governmental organization inside or outside the country.
The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said in its Report, “The Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.”
The Committee also said that there is need to protect the children and youth of Uganda who are vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviations as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child development settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption and foster care.
The Anti Homosexuality Bill provides a fourteen year jail term for one convicted for the offence of homosexuality; and imprisonment for life for the offence of aggravated homosexuality.
However, two Independent Hon. Sam Otada (Kibanda) and Fox Odoi (West Budama North) differed from their colleagues on the Committee arguing that the Bill is discriminatory and that homosexuality was already prohibited in other existing laws.
“What two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom should not be the business of this Parliament. It is not right to have the state allowed in the bedrooms of people,” they stated in their Minority Report.
The Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business, Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, who also sought to defer the consideration of the Bill, argued that government was involved in negotiations over the proposed legislation.
“I was not aware that this Bill was coming up for debate. There are some issues on which we are still consulting,” he said adding, “This is an important Bill that we need to pass with a quorum in Parliament.”
The Bill, having been passed by Parliament, will be forwarded to the President for his assent before it can become law in Uganda.

Advocacy efforts against the bill should now be directed toward president Yowari Museveni.

Duck Dynasty to Leave A&E?

Sounds like that could be the result of talks with A&E after the network put Phil Robertson on hiatus. The Robertson family issued the following statement tonight via their Duck Commander website:

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision.  We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.  While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.  We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.   Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

I wondered what the rest of the clan would do. I suspect they will hold out for A&E to allow Phil to return to the show. If not, this may be the last season.
See also:
Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson On Hiatus Over Sexual Orientation Remarks

Open Forum: Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson On Hiatus Over Sexual Orientation Remarks

I do like Duck Dynasty. Most episodes are hilarious. Even though we know they’re acting, it is fun to pretend that all the crazy shenanigans are spontaneous and good ol’ boy fun. And the image of a tight-knit evangelical family praying on air is appealing even while they demand more money for their appearances.
The DD patriarch Phil Robertson is pretty blunt most of the time and he talks about sex on air nearly in the same breath as he thanks God for another good day on planet earth. His bluntness has gotten him into a scrape with the Hollywood types over remarks he made in an interview with GQ.
In it, he waxes crude on the advantages and disadvantages of male and female erogenous zones, happy blacks in pre-Civil rights Louisiana, and his ghostwritten book he has never read (guess that makes him a Christian celebrity).  Probably what got him placed “on hiatus” were his remarks that appeared to equate homosexuality with bestiality and terrorism.  As I read it, he sounded like a lot of evangelicals, which is, of course, a problem we evangelicals have not solved.
Robertson went on to say that he didn’t advocate judging people (even as he did it). In the minds of many evangelicals, especially among the older set, being gay is considered to be a choice. A man preferring males to females is just a sinful choice which is like preferring shrimp to ducks, beardless to beards or terrorism to patriotism. However, we’re all sinners, the thinking goes, and so I can say whatever I feel about your choice as long as I criticize my pre-Jesus choices too.
While that thinking seemed reasonable at one time, it does not come across as a winsome witness in the present day. Whether fair or not, I think Christians should spend some time to learn how non-Christians think about these matters. We should maintain moral foundations for ourselves (hard enough to do), but we cannot insist that non-Christians agree with us or even accept outdated beliefs about the nature of sexual orientation. Like it or not, being gay or straight is not a matter of choosing between competing body parts.  Instead of leading with what he doesn’t understand, perhaps Robertson would have been better off to lead with what he does understand:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he added. “We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus…

Good place to stop right there.
What do you think about the matter? Keep it respectful and clean and discuss in the comments section.
 

Mark Driscoll and Tyndale House Release Statement of Apology to Christian Post

Read the article here.
Driscoll told CP:

“Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for,” stated the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church pastor. “As a Bible teacher, I know that Jesus loves us and uses everything for good. I know he cares very much that we do things in a way that reflects his glory. As a result, I have been praying that he would help me learn through all of this to become more like him and more effective for him.”

Tyndale House then released a defense of Driscoll which includes an admission by Driscoll that he is responsible for the errors in the Peter study guide. Driscoll also indicated that other books would be reviewed. He could start here.
Here is the full statement:

Tyndale House Publishers Regarding Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Call to Resurgence
Dec 18, 2013

          On November 21, 2013 Pastor Mark Driscoll participated in a radio interview via phone to promote his new book, A Call to Resurgence. The interview was arranged by his book publisher, Tyndale House. During that interview, the talk show host accused Pastor Driscoll of plagiarism in his new book, claiming that he had not properly cited ideas that originally came from Peter Jones, Director of truthXchange and Adjunct Professor at Westminster Seminary in California. In the days following the interview, the talk show host posted on her blog further allegations of plagiarism against Pastor Driscoll, complete with screenshots of other books where she alleged he had committed plagiarism. She later removed all of those posts and issued a public apology.
Since that time, both Mark Driscoll and Tyndale House have been asked to make statements addressing this issue. While Tyndale has made two brief statements, it has spent much of the past three weeks looking carefully into these claims, as has Pastor Driscoll. Tyndale House and Mark Driscoll take any claims of plagiarism seriously. Tyndale does not condone it in any of its works, and if discovered, the company takes action to correct it immediately.  Driscoll has consistently spoken out against plagiarism in his writing and publishing.  If any mistakes are ever made in that regard, he is equally committed to correcting such errors as soon as they are discovered. Pastor Driscoll has fully cooperated with Tyndale and both have worked together to carefully investigate the issue with respect to A Call to Resurgence. 
After taking the necessary and important time needed to investigate all aspects of this issue, Tyndale House Publishers has concluded the following:
1.   Pertaining to his Tyndale book, A Call to Resurgence, Tyndale believes that Mark Driscoll did indeed adequately cite the work of Peter Jones. While there are many nuanced definitions of plagiarism, most definitions agree that plagiarism is a writer’s deliberate use of someone’s words or ideas, and claiming them as their own with no intent to provide credit to the original source. Both Mark Driscoll and Tyndale completely agree that the above definition describes an ethical breach and therefore work hard to provide proper citation and to give credit where credit is due in all their works.  Tyndale rejects the claims that Mark Driscoll tried to take Peter Jones’s ideas and claim them as his own. Moreover, at Pastor Driscoll’s invitation, Peter Jones has written on the Resurgence website, and spoken at a Resurgence event, as well as a Mars Hill workshop. Quite the opposite of trying to take Peter Jones’s ideas, Mark Driscoll has provided several opportunities for Peter Jones to publicly express his ideas to a large audience.
2.   In a separate issue unrelated to any Tyndale title, the radio host also made an allegation with regard to a study guide that was published in-house at Mars Hill. In this instance, Pastor Driscoll agrees that errors were made. He says:
In recent weeks, it was brought to my attention that our 2009 Trial study guide on 1&2 Peter contained passages from an existing work for which no proper citation to the original work was provided. The error was unintentional, but serious nonetheless.  I take responsibility for all of this. In order to make things right, we’ve contacted the publisher of the works used in the study guide, offered an apology, and agreed to work with them to resolve any issues they had. Also, I personally contacted one of the editors of the work that was not rightly attributed. Thankfully, he and I have a longstanding relationship, which includes him teaching at Mars Hill and publishing a book with us through Resurgence. He’s a godly man who has been very gracious through all of this. I am deeply thankful for his acceptance of my apology, as I deeply grieve this mistake with a brother in Christ whom I appreciate very much.
Our Full Council of Elders and Board of Advisors and Accountability have all been thoroughly informed, as I am gladly under authority both internally at Mars Hill to a team of Elders, and to a formal leadership team from outside of Mars Hill.
We’ve removed the free PDF version of Trial from our website, and we are reviewing the rest of our self-published materials to ensure that no similar mistakes have been made elsewhere. We are also making changes to our content development process to avoid these mistakes in the future. In addition, we are working with all of our past publishers to review other books we have published. If other mistakes were made, we want to correct them as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, when we removed the Trial PDF from the Mars Hill website, we replaced it with a statement that claimed the book was never sold. That study guide was originally created for in-house small group use at Mars Hill so we gave it away at our church. We first believed we did not receive any revenue from this, but we later discovered that Trial was in fact previously sold on the Resurgence website and by Logos Software. To the best of our knowledge, total profits to Mars Hill from these sales are $236.35. We have corrected the previous statement on our website, and apologize for this error as well.
Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for. As a Bible teacher, I know that Jesus loves us and uses everything for good. I know he cares very much that we do things in a way that reflects his glory. As a result, I have been praying that he would help me learn through all of this to become more like him and more effective for him.”
“To his credit, Mark Driscoll has moved quickly to make all necessary changes where mistakes were made in the study guide” said Ron Beers, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher for Tyndale. “Moreover, he has assured us that he has personally spoken with the primary editor of a commentary that was inadvertently used in the study guide without adequate citation, and all parties spoken to have told Pastor Driscoll that they are satisfied with the steps he has taken to correct the errors. Because of the biblical manner in which Pastor Driscoll has handled this situation, Tyndale strongly stands behind him and looks forward to publishing many additional books with him. Tyndale believes that Mark Driscoll has provided a significant call to Christians to unite together in translating the message of Jesus faithfully to a post-Christian culture, to proclaim clearly, loudly, and unashamedly the Good News of Jesus.”

A good beginning but there are other issues which were not addressed by this statement.

More IVP Reference Material Shows Up Without Citation in a Book by Mark Driscoll

Last week, I noted that a study guide on 1 & 2 Peter with Mark Driscoll’s name on it as the author improperly copied material from a publication by InterVarsity Press (see IVP’s statement to Christianity Today). Driscoll (or someone) took the material from a report by the Docent Group. The Docent researcher provided footnotes and references but these were not carried over into the study guide titled Trial: 8 Witnesses From 1 & 2 Peter. See here and here for more on that matter.
Now, I have found a similar pattern within Driscoll’s recent book, Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ. Prior to the publication of the Ephesians book, Docent Research Group produced a 290 page research report for Mars Hill Church which contains a “best hits” of materials relating to the New Testament book of Ephesians. Many sources are cited verbatim with footnotes and reference material provided, although as I point out, some of the sections are quite lengthy. I have found several sections in Driscoll’s book which borrow directly from the research report. Although I have not done a complete analysis, I can report that the same problems acknowledged by Mars Hill regarding the 1 & 2 Peter book show up in this book as well. Below are just two examples.
First, note in the left column a section from 1993 InterVarsity Press reference book, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. The material in the red box shows up first in the Docent Research report and then is reproduced without citation in Driscoll’s book (on right) via a sentence in the body of the book and then in a footnote. The flow of ideas is similar and then beginning with “Egyptian colonists,” the material is essentially the same as in the Dictionary. The footnote does not cite the IVP reference book.

Below is another instance from earlier in the Dictionary entry on Ephesus. In this case, the verbatim uses are spread throughout the section of Driscoll’s book (see the image below). As in the 1 & 2 Peter book, a citation used by the original source author (Strabo) is used as a footnote in Driscoll’s book but without mentioning where he found Strabo (the Dictionary). 

Also of concern is the fact that much of the entries for Ephesians and the city of Ephesus from the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters is reproduced verbatim in the research report from the Docent Research Group. For instance, pages 249-250 of the Dictionary are copied verbatim directly into the Docent report.

Given that this was apparently intended to be a private report for Driscoll’s use, one might wonder why the wholesale copying is of concern. One reason is that Mars Hill Church sent this report to churches free of charge if the church signed up to be in a Mars Hill campaign promoting the Ephesians series and the book Who Do You Think You Are? The general guideline for fair use (using copyrighted materials without permission but with citation) is about 500 words. The portion of the entry on the city of Ephesus from IVP’s Dictionary is over 1700 words and that is not all of the Dictionary that was copied (substantial portions of the Dictionary entry on the book of Ephesians was also copied into the research report and then used in Driscoll’s book). While I can understand that Mars Hill would want to share the research, I question the distribution of that much of IVP’s reference book without permission (none was noted).

Although Mars Hill and Driscoll clearly sing the praises of Docent, there is no mention of Docent research in the acknowledgment section of the book.

In a related development, Jared Wilson at the Gospel Coalition issued a public call for Rev. Driscoll to account for issues raised by recent controversies, including the one surrounding allegations of plagiarism.

Stay tuned…

See also:
On The Allegations Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (12/2/13)
Zombies, Plagiarism And Mark Driscoll Helped Me Write This Blog Post (12/3/13)
Mark Driscoll And His Church On Plagiarism (12/4/13)
Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating To Charges Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes To Audience (12/4/13)
Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (12/5/13)
Who’s Talking About The Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy? (12/7/13)
IVP Says Bible Commentary Improperly Appeared In Book by Mark Driscoll; Mars Hill Church Responds, Blames Researcher Mistakes for Errors (12/9/13)
Mars Hill Church Alters Statement on Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (UPDATED) (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Battle Plan Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Document Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter, Part Two (12/12/13)
Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll and the Case of the Disappearing Links (12/16/13)
Mark Driscoll’s Death By Love And Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart: Is This Plagiarism? (12/17/13)
See all other posts on this topic here.

Politifact Debunks Bryan Fischer's Christianity Only View of the First Amendment

Just as I did in 2011, yesterday Politifact debunked Bryan Fischer’s claim that the founders said religion but meant Christianity.
On his 12/10/13 Focal Point broadcast, Fischer said:

By the word religion in the First Amendment, the founders meant Christianity.

Not so.
Politifact’s Punditfact writers consulted Baylor’s Thomas Kidd, Rutger’s Jan Ellen Lewis and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow John Ragosta to provide the complete picture. Fischer believes Muslims should not have the right to build any new mosques. His topic on the broadcast was claims for First Amendment protections by Satanists.
I doubt this comeuppance will distract Fischer from misleading his American Family Association audience. Such facts have come to light before. His own organization, the AFA, publicly disagreed with him in 2011 but he continues to preach his fictions. Fischer’s argument is an extension of David Barton’s Christian nationalist perspective. Barton has defended the view that the First Amendment only applies to monotheistic religions.

Mark Driscoll's Death By Love And Dan Allender's The Wounded Heart: Is This Plagiarism?

When Janet Mefferd first accused Mark Driscoll of plagiarism, she focused on Driscoll’s use of Peter Jones signature concepts of “oneism” and “twoism.” Houston Baptist University professor Collin Garbarino looked at the matter and said he would have been “concerned about the lack of citation” but may have regarded it as “ineptitude.”
Then Mefferd claimed plagiarism in three other books (one of which I have examined in depth here and here). Specifically, she claimed that Mark and Grace Driscoll’s recent book Real Marriage improperly used some work from Dan Allender’s 1990 book The Wounded Heart.  That material was gone from Mefferd’s site soon after she posted it but can still be viewed here (and here).
In Allender’s book, he identifies various “styles of relating” often used by abused women. The terms “good girl, tough girl, and party girl” are used by Allender to describe various compensations that some women make in response to psychological pain associated with being victims of abuse. The terms are fully described on pages 160-169 of his book and can be previewed at Amazon and seen here.
In addition to the Real Marriage book, the terms are also used in Driscoll’s 2008 book with Gerry Breshears, Death by Love. In this book on pages 150-152, Driscoll and Breshears describe “fig leafs” used by abused women to protect themselves.

Tragically, this pattern of sin-defilement-shame-hiding continues through four possible roles that defiled people can assume. These roles are the fig leaves they and their secret hide behind, according to some experts I know in the field of sexual abuse. As I explain these, Mary, I need you to be honest about which fig leaf you are wearing—the role you are playing, the person you are pretending to be—so that you can repent of not only your sin but, as Romans 1:18 says, your efforts to suppress the truth of what you have done and what has been done to you, which contribute to your ongoing additional sin.

In this letter to a woman he calls “Mary,” Driscoll refers to “experts I know in the field of sexual abuse.” Allender could be one of those experts but I can’t find his name in the book. Because they cite unnamed experts, it appears to me that they are not claiming these designations as their own exclusive work. Any discussion of plagiarism would need to move to “unintentional plagiarism” such as described here on the University of Washington website.
What follows are brief excerpts of the section from pages 150-152 of Death by Love. When compared with Allender’s book it is clear to me that Driscoll and Breshears are describing the same styles of relating.

The first fig leaf is worn by the good girl. The good girl is successful, pleasant, and dependable…The good girl is essentially dead, devoid of passion, and consumed with trying to smile, be good, and do the right thing, hoping to convince everyone that she is fine when she is really broken and devastated.
The second fig leaf is worn by the tough girl. The tough girl has been hurt, and she projects to the world her confidence, anger, and toughness so that no one has the courage to hurt her again. The tough girl is respected by many but known and loved by few.
The third fig leaf is worn by the party girl. The party girl is the life of the party, the center of attention, fun to be with, and prone to self-medicate with drugs, food, and alcohol.

Driscoll and Breshears add a fourth fig leaf — the church lady. She sounds a lot like the good girl but churchier.
In short, I believe the authors of Death by Love (and Real Marriage as well) should have included a simple footnote giving credit to Allender for the conceptualization of these styles of relating with reference to The Wounded Heart.
Some might point out that, in this book, Driscoll is writing a letter to a woman and it would be awkward to include footnotes. I agree that one might not include them in a personal letter, but it would have been proper to include a citation in the book. The book was not written to one person, but for sale to many. Thus, including a note in the book but not the letter would have properly discharged their duty as authors.
I should add that I reached out to Gerry Breshears, Mars Hill Church, and Dan Allender for comment with no reply as yet. I welcome any information relevant to fact checking this claim.
I am surprised that no comment has yet come from those involved. Others, when charged with such things, are quick to comment (e.g., Shia LeBeouf”s recent apology for his mistake of not citing the inspiration and source for a recent movie). Mars Hill has acknowledged some “citation errors” but appeared to lay the blame at the feet of research helpers. Even though Rev. Driscoll’s name is on the cover of the various books in question, he has yet to comment.
The deflection and silence makes me wonder if evangelicals will get around to important conversations about ghostwriting and Christian celebrities.
See also:
On The Allegations Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (12/2/13)
Zombies, Plagiarism And Mark Driscoll Helped Me Write This Blog Post (12/3/13)
Mark Driscoll And His Church On Plagiarism (12/4/13)
Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating To Charges Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes To Audience (12/4/13)
Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (12/5/13)
Who’s Talking About The Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy? (12/7/13)
IVP Says Bible Commentary Improperly Appeared In Book by Mark Driscoll; Mars Hill Church Responds, Blames Researcher Mistakes for Errors (12/9/13)
Mars Hill Church Alters Statement on Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy (UPDATED) (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Battle Plan Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter (12/10/13)
Mars Hill’s Sermon Series Document Reveals Background of Mark Driscoll’s Book on Peter, Part Two (12/12/13)
Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll and the Case of the Disappearing Links (12/16/13)
See all posts on this topic here.