By Percentage of Households Watching on Television, Trump's Inauguration Came in 9th of 13 Events Since 1969

The second day of the Trump presidency was marked by falsehoods from the press secretary Sean Spicer about how many people came to DC to watch the Inauguration. Spicer said the event was the most watched ever despite the fact that photos comparing Obama’s inauguration in 2009 with this one clearly showed more people at Obama’s. This morning Kellyanne Conway called Spicer’s words “alternative facts” rather than lies.
Also this morning, President Trump tweeted that he got 11 million more viewers than Obama did in 2013.
It is amazing that Trump’s first couple of days have featured controversy over how many people watched the event. There is one metric where Trump wins – ego.
On the viewers, the reports I have seen give Trump 30.6 million viewers for the inauguration which place the event 5th since Nixon’s in 1969. However, correcting for greater population and more possible households, Trump’s inauguration ratings place him 9th out of 13 televised events since 1969. See the Nielsen ratings below (read their analysis here).
Neilsen ratings
Does any of this mean anything about Trump’s presidency? Absolutely nothing. However, he seems to think he has to keep propping himself up and got his press secretary to ruin his credibility on his first day on the job.
Below is Kellyanne Conway on Meet the Press. Probably, the most ridiculous thing she said (other than “alternative facts”) was that the White House might have to rethink the relationship with the press. If you can stomach it watch:


The Trump is in for a rude surprise if he thinks he can blow off the press. That didn’t work for Nixon or Bill Clinton and it won’t work for Trump. He and his crew will only make their situation worse if they persist with an adversarial stance.

Who Founded Reparative Therapy? Part Two

Yesterday, I described a conflict within the ex-gay movement about who founded reparative therapy. The dispute took place between 1989 and 1996 and involved Elizabeth Moberly, Joseph Nicolosi and the board of now closed Exodus International.
In the post yesterday, I published two letters to the editor, one from Moberly accusing Nicolosi of inadequately citing her work in a February 1989 California Psychologist article on reparative therapy. The other letter came from Nicolosi and claimed his work was different from Moberly’s.
Thanks to the help of California Psychological Association administrator Patricia VanWoerkom, I am able to publish the Nicolosi article. An image of part of it is below. To read the entire article, click here.
Nicolosi CPA RT clip 2 89
In the article, Nicolosi says:
Nicolosi CPA article Moberly credit
He gives credit to Moberly for her writings but this was not enough for her. In her pleas to the Exodus International board, Moberly claims that Nicolosi was merely a practitioner of her reparative therapy approach. She felt Nicolosi’s article wasn’t just based on her theoretical writings but that his entire approach was simply borrowed from her. From her point of view, he was not a developer or collaborator but someone who simply copied what she had already discovered.
Moberly pointed out to the Exodus board that Nicolosi said he was the “author of one of those rumored treatments [to help gays change to straight].” Moberly countered that Nicolosi did not author anything. He simply copied what she had written and passed some of it off as his own work.
According to Moberly, she filed an ethics complaint with the APA and CPA. Only the CPA responded, she claimed, and found that Nicolosi had inadvertently copied her material. I have reached out again to the CPA and in a future post hope to be to confirm or deny Moberly’s claim.
 

REM – It's The End Of The World As We Know It

This song seems appropriate for today’s Inauguration Day festivities.
[youtube]https://youtu.be/Z0GFRcFm-aY[/youtube]
And then there is the Steven Colbert version (with Michael Stipe and James Franco), It’s The End Of The Year As We Know It.
[youtube]https://youtu.be/8brH1kdAySw[/youtube]

From the Archives: Who Founded Reparative Therapy?

Once upon a time, I wrote frequently about sexual orientation, psychotherapy, and the culture wars that have raged about those topics. A review of my blog posts since I started in 2005 would be like reading a history of the ex-gay movement, reparative therapy, sexual orientation change efforts and many related matters. Even though general interest has diminished about gay change efforts since the close of Exodus International, I have some stories still to explore.
Today, I want to post a brief letter to the editor exchange between Elizabeth Moberly and Joseph Nicolosi. While I can’t publish them, I also have some letters involving Dr. Moberly and the Exodus International board which reveals a six-year feud between Moberly and Nicolosi over who founded reparative therapy.  Moberly strongly asserted that Joe Nicolosi plagiarized portions of her work and took credit for the development of reparative therapy which she believed rightly belonged to her.
First, here is the letters to the editor of the California Psychologist (Jan, 1990).
Moberly Nicolosi LtE Cal Psyc 1990
I started to explore this several years ago but got sidetracked. I think the founding of modern day reparative therapy is an interesting historical issue. Some time ago, I asked a former Exodus board member (who desires anonymity) about the rift. The individual said the dispute was “common knowledge” among Exodus people. In essence, my source said

Elizabeth believed that Joe’s reparative therapy concept belonged to her as reported in her research work in Psychogenesis and Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, and that Joe had not given sufficient acknowledgment to her work; and (2) that Joe believed he had referenced her work adequately and had taken her concepts and built upon them sufficiently to justify reporting on his own work in his book Reparative Therapy.

This individual was on the Exodus board at the time and made contacts with both Nicolosi and Moberly to try to resolve their differences. According to my source, the effort was unsuccessful. They did not come to unity over the issues. In 1996, Moberly left the ex-gay movement to return to England to conduct research into alternative treatments for AIDS and cancer. I tried to contact her in 2011 but received no reply.
Moberly’s books on reparative therapy were published in the early 1980s. According to Moberly, Nicolosi was introduced to her work via a client and he began using her approach in the late 1980s. Moberly was exasperated that Nicolosi published his first book on the subject in 1991 without giving her what she felt was sufficient credit. Nicolosi did in fact cite one of Moberly’s books in the 1991 book and gave her credit for the concept of defensive detachment. However, Moberly felt that was insufficient. She pulled out of speaking for at least one of the Exodus conferences because she believed Exodus should not have promoted Nicolosi’s book.
I haven’t made up my mind yet what I think about it and am still researching it. Clearly she came first with the core concepts of reparative therapy (i.e., homosexual behavior represents a reaction to a same-sex parent wound during development leading to a reparative drive to connect with same-sex love objects). On the other hand, Nicolosi did cite at least one of her books and specifically referred to her in his book.
As to the specific question — who founded reparative therapy? — I think the answer must be Elizabeth Moberly. She wrote first about all of the key concepts and described the kind of therapeutic relationship that reparative therapists, including Nicolosi, have promoted. Without question, Nicolosi popularized reparative therapy through his books, the organization he co-founded (NARTH), and via the vocal support of Exodus International and Focus on the Family. His appearance with James Dobson on the Focus on the Family radio show and subsequent role as featured speaker at FoF’s Love Won Out conferences solidified Nicolosi’s enduring role as representative of reparative therapy.
As time permits, I will post more information from the archives on this topic in the coming weeks.

Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris Gets a Break in the Fast to Eat Inauguration Food

At the first of each year, Gateway Church leaders ask members to fast for 21 days. The December issue of Gateway Life magazine describes the event:
GW 21 day fast 2
This year, God has given Gateway Church pastor Robert Morris a break from the fast. Because of the inauguration and the Super Bowl, Morris will do something different. Watch:

Transcript:

But even if you’re not able to attend the conference, the thing that I love about the first of the year at Gateway is that we come together.  Whether it’s through the fast, or the devotional, or through the conference.  But we come together and we recommit ourselves to the Lord.  So I wanna tell you thank you so much for, for that.  And just encourage you to fast some way.  Just so you know, I’m gonna go a little longer than 21 days than what the Lord has told me.
And someone asked me about this awhile back because, I’m going to the inauguration in a few weeks and then there’s the Super Bowl in February.  And I have a reprieve for the Inauguration and for the Super Bowl.  From headquarters.  So, the Lord and Debbie told me that we’re gonna do something different during that time.  So, but I just want to encourage you.

And why not? The inaugural menu looks very special.
Inauguration lunch menu
Surely the Lord wouldn’t want his servant to abstain from any of that.
Gateway and Morris have been strong supporters of Donald Trump. A Gateway source told me that Franklin Graham spoke at Gateway’s First Conference (Jan. 1-4) and called Gateway the greatest single backer of his Decision America Tour. That 50 state effort was, in essence, a GOTV drive for the GOP and Donald Trump.

U.S. District Court of Western Arkansas Rules RICO Case Can Proceed Against Gospel for Asia

In April 2016, Gospel for Asia’s celebrity attorneys asked the Western Arkansas District Court to either dismiss the RICO suit against them or to require plaintiffs Matthew and Jennifer Dickson to submit to binding arbitration.  Today, the court declined to dismiss the case. Furthermore, they declined to require the Dicksons to enter arbitration, ruling that their employment contract did not envision a case such as this.
In short, the RICO suit against Gospel for Asia will go forward. From the court order:

Plaintiffs’ complaint is sufficiently pled to overcome the hurdles posed by Defendants’ motions to dismiss, and this case must proceed to discovery.
III. Conclusion
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendants’ motion to compel arbitration (Doc. 23) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants’ motions to dismiss (Docs. 25 and 27) are DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 18th day of January, 2017.
/s/P. K. Holmes, III P.K. HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

Over the next several days, I hope to review my posts concerning GFA from 2015 which should give some indication of what discovery will be like for the defendants.

Christian Leaders Call for Confrontation and Prayer for President Trump

Thirty-six Christian leaders are promoting a letter titled, “Appeal to Christians Regarding President-Elect Donald Trump” and are seeking co-signers on a Change.org petition.
The petition calls for Christians to pray for Trump and for Trump to repent of his rhetoric “dishonoring the image of God in others.”
The full statement follows:

In these times of difficult conversations and sometimes fractious words, we celebrate the political diversity of our churches. We are thankful that the U.S. church is not beholden to any political party.
Since November’s presidential election some in the American church have rejoiced that their candidate won (or that the other candidate lost), some are cautiously at ease with the results, and still others remain in a state of shock and anger at the election results.
Whatever the varied reactions, we believe our time calls for a prophetic word.
As Jeremiah wrote, we should not say, “Peace, peace!” where there is no peace. We mourn the absence of biblical shalom in the U.S. today: everything is not at peace. Our God is a God of truth, who brings thoughts, words, and deeds out of shadows. By the light of Christ, we see what needs to be transformed.
In that light we are troubled by the new access to power of a man who has signaled that he may not stand up for the dignity and welfare of all people.
President-elect Donald Trump has bragged about sexual assault and berated his female accusers. He has repeatedly disparaged African Americans, Latinos, and other communities. He has denied what is true and promoted what is not. He has threatened political opponents, called for torture of U.S. enemies, and has failed to quickly and unequivocally denounce and distance himself from race-based crimes committed in his name.
We recognize that many voted for the President-elect in spite of—not because of—these patterns.
But now is the time for the body of Christ to stand together against the devaluing of women and their bodies, xenophobia, inflammatory racialized rhetoric, and other harmful speech and behavior.
Some perceived greater political good cannot offset the President-elect’s words and actions. We cannot “just make the best of” our current moment without calling him to accountability. Calls for “national healing” ring hollow when they fail to acknowledge the division, fear, and hostility that the President-elect has done much to enable and incite. Rather, we stand united to promote the dignity of all people.
To that end:
1. We will pray for President-elect Trump, elected officials, our nation, our churches, and each other.
2. Rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, we will tell the truth about the world around us, and we will speak up for those who have been marginalized and taken advantage of.
3. We will actively resist the temptation to overlook or normalize values, speech, and behavior that are in conflict with what Scripture calls us to.
4. In the name of Jesus, we call President-elect Trump to repentance for dishonoring the image of God in others.
5. We will fix our eyes on Jesus and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, redouble our efforts to honor the image of God in all people and to love all our neighbors as ourselves.
We implore all Christians to take on these same commitments, and to model the repentance to which we call President-elect Trump.
Our calling comes from the God who raised Jesus from the dead. The same power on display in the resurrection enables us to promote the well-being of others and to seek God’s justice for all people.
We commit ourselves—and call on fellow Christians—to walk more worthily of such a calling in these challenging days.

In other news, Trump was sued today for defamation by one of the women who accused him of being sexually inappropriate with her in 2007.

House Vote to Create Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, August 2, 1983

On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represents a philosophy that is morally indefensible and politically and socially suicidal.
-Martin Luther King, Jr. on the nomination of Barry Goldwater as GOP candidate for president.
 
Over the weekend, far right conservative filmmaker and pundit Dinesh D’Souza inflamed Twitter by claiming that Rep. John Lewis (“John Lewis is not a “legend”–he was a minor player in the civil rights movement who became a nasty, bitter old man”) and Rosa Parks (“So Rosa Parks wouldn’t sit in the back of the bus–that’s all she did, so what’s the big fuss?”)  were minor civil rights figures. The response was appropriately swift and severe.


Like D’Souza, his supporters cast Democrats as the party of racism since Democrats in the South were opposed, in large measure, to the 13-15th Amendments.
Today, D’Souza continues to defy the facts about race and political party:


D’Souza’s formulations fail to take into account the factors which have made African-American support for the Democrat party so strong. These are not hard. Goldwater as a GOP presidential candidate opposed civil rights legislation. When Democrats were moving toward civil rights, high profile conservative Democrats in the South switched to the GOP (e.g., Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms) and championed segregationist policies. Even though Ronald Reagan signed MKL Day into law, nearly half of GOP members opposed the day, whereas 95% of Dems supported it.
MLK vote in House
It would be easy to go on and on to provide reasons why African-Americans provide a voting bloc for Democrats. Trump received 8% of the African-American vote in the last election. This was a two point improvement over Romney in 2012 but should indicate to any reasonable observer that the vast majority of African-American voters don’t like what the GOP is doing and saying now.  What happened pre-Harry Truman is interesting historically speaking but it doesn’t have much of an impact on what is going on now.

This Popular Quote — A Private Faith That Does Not Act — Is about William Wilberforce Not by Him

When I first read it, it occurred to me that there was something not quite right about the tweet below:


Eric Metaxas, who wrote a biography about Wilberforce, retweeted the quote without comment so surely it was said by Wilberforce, right?
I view most quotes now with suspicion (see this quote misattributed to Bonhoeffer) and this one looked fishy. Indeed, it isn’t by Wilberforce but about him.
I posted the quote on Twitter and asked for assistance tracking it down. It didn’t take long for Matthew Dickson to post a link to an Introduction written by Chuck Colson to a 1996 reprinting of Wilberforce’s A Practical View of Christianity. On Twitter at least the switch of attribution from Colson to Wilberforce took place sometime between 2011 and 2012.
Here is the quote from Colson’s Introduction:
Colson quote about WW
So Colson wrote it about Wilberforce. Even though it is frequently attributed to Wilberforce, it isn’t his quote.
As I have explored these fake or misattributed quotes, I have found that a major problem to accuracy is a site called “AZ Quotes.” This site is often referred to by misguided quoters. Along with Eric Metaxas, AZ quotes seems to show up frequently as a source for the misattributed quote about silence in the face of evil. Although I have reported both quotes as being wrongly attributed, the quotes remain. Perhaps, the site needs to hear from more readers.

Ecclesia College: There Will Be No New Statement about the Arkansas Bribery Scandal

Just a little while ago, this statement appeared on the Ecclesia College Facebook page:

Ecclesia College Ecclesia has previously released a statement regarding the Micah Neal plea agreement and will not be issuing any further statement at this time.

You can read the prior statement denying any wrongdoing here.
For more on Ecclesia College and the Arkansas bribery scandal, read here, here, here, herehere, and here.
I suspect Ecclesia’s attorneys have advised anyone associated with the college not to speak about the matter since there is an ongoing investigation.

Ecclesia
Arkansas tax dollars in action.