Thursday, December 26, 2019

#2287: Glenn Stanton

Glenn Stanton is a spokesperson for Focus on the Family – indeed, he is director of global family formation studies – and seems to have been heavily involved in the organization’s systematic and deliberate misrepresentation of research to try to support their anti-gay political agenda. How Focus on the Family does science is well illustrated by this commentary, which compares what Stanton claims is a “clear consensus” among anthropologists in support of his favored view on marriage, with what actual anthropologists actually say. “Wait,” you may ask, “Stanton didn’t actually bother to consult anthropologists before he made a sweeping remark about anthropology?” Indeed, he didn’t. That’s how he rolls, and insensitivity to evidence appears to be one of the pinnacles of Focus on the Family’s “research” efforts. (The American Anthropological Association was not impressed with Stanton’s claims.) For other examples of Focus on the Family manipulating data and misrepresenting research, you could look at this, this (also here), this, and this. Seeing a pattern yet?

Here is Stanton saying that it is “very unscientific” to believe same-sex parents can have healthy families, and here is Stanton on Janet Mefferd’s show, trying to poke holes in a study showing that epigenetic influences in the womb are a primary cause of homosexuality. He rejects it primarily because scientists, according to him, are biased because they lack faith – the study was done, after all, by evolutionary scientists and Stanton vehemently rejects evolution – and fundies are not because they have God. He didn’t get his response published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

At least Stanton is convinced of the importance of his own work. According to Stanton, same-sex marriage does not only undermine the institution of marriage and therefore civilization, but “deconstructs humanity itself (no, he doesn’t know what it means, but the appeal to postmodernist rhetoric when it suits him – it is not an isolated occurrence – is telling). Same-sex marriage is ultimately a “pernicious lie of Satan that imperils society and humanity; Stanton means this in a very scientific way. (Stanton does, apparently, think of himself as a scientist, though he has no relevant education and no published research to his name – of course, he has no idea what science is, so it is for him a more or less an empty label to be tagged onto whatever he wants.)

Here is Stanton arguing that Christian right leaders should distance themselves from “extreme rhetoric”. He uses Chuck Colson as an example of someone who apparently avoided extreme rhetoric, which I guess is just another example of the care with which Stanton handles data and evidence. 

GLAAD has a useful list of Glenn Stanton quotes here.

Diagnosis: I suppose he had everything stacked against him. Being responsible for the research part of Focus on the Family is a poor point of departure if you aim for respectability and actually contributing to knowledge. 


  1. Is it sheer coincidentiality that you've admitted six consectutive "Stan____" to the Lunacy? Hilarious, and eight in a row "Sta_____". I can only hope Stan Lee is not next. Peace.

  2. Oh, I see now. Never noticed before that you go in alphabetical order throughout the year. I can only imagine the backlog you have, as you mentioned in an earlier post. Keepm coming; the more congressmen the better.

    1. Yeah ... This is the blog's third time through the alphabet, and I suppose I don't have any very good, rational reason to stick to that system except habit (so I'll stick to it). But yeah, I've got plenty of candidates for round four, too.