Jan. 16th, 2010

This courtroom exchange reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. Here's the condensed version:

Expert Witness: I've researched child development for 40 years. I once ran a section of the National Institutes of Health, and I'm now chairman of the department of social and developmental psychology at Cambridge University in England.

"Protect Marriage" Lawyer: And what does the research show?

Expert Witness: It shows that gays and lesbians are just as good parents as heterosexuals. There's no evidence that they're prone to gender confusion or likely to abuse their children or raise their daughters to be lesbians. There are only two differences between kids raised by same-sex parents and other kids: they're more likely to be bullied by their peers, and less likely to have stereotyped attitudes about gender.

"Protect Marriage" Lawyer: Research says all that?

Expert Witness: Yes.

"Protect Marriage" Lawyer: Well--you're a member of the ACLU and the National Organization for Women, aren't you?

Expert Witness: Uh--yes, but I don't see--

"Protect Marriage" Lawyer: And you've donated money to PBS, haven't you?

Expert Witness: Yes.

"Protect Marriage" Lawyer: Ha! Thus I refute this testimony, Your Honor. This "expert" is a committed liberal. Nothing he says should be taken seriously. History is littered with scientific theories universally accepted and proven to be wrong.

(End of Act I. In Act II, PML is confronted with some scientific theories that were proven wrong, like the geocentric universe, creation in six days, and four-footed insects.)
"[S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.' True story. And so the Devil said 'OK, it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other."

--Pat Robertson, speaking while people were still trapped in the rubble of Port-au-Prince.

Four out of five of those people were probably Christians, if that makes a difference; most of those Christians were probably Catholics, so maybe it doesn't, at least not to Robertson.

"Napoleon III and whatever." The Haitian Revolution began in 1791 and ended in 1804. Napoleon III was born in 1808.

By "deal with the devil" Robertson probably means the vodou ceremony on August 14, 1791, when Dutty Boukman gave the signal to begin. But if that was a deal, it was a raw one: victory came more than twelve years later and cost tens of thousands of Haitian lives.

But for Robertson and his ilk these details mean nothing. They can blather any crap that promotes their agenda and call it a "true story."

If there's ever a monument built to stupidity, Robertson's face should be on it.

To send aid to Haiti, I suggest Direct Relief International, www.directrelief.org.

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Gan Ainm

September 2010

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