The sexual-health hypocrisy of Jim Wallace and the ACL

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit…
…by their fruits ye shall know them.
- Matt 17-20 KJV

Julia Gillard should never have agreed to speak at the Australian Christian Lobby’s annual conference.

Camp Jim

Camp Jim

Now, she’s finally seen sense and pulled out. The final straw was a comparison made by Brigadier Jim Wallace (ret.1) between homosexuality and smoking. Jim Wallace, who had previously blamed homosexuality for child rape by priests, made the comments in a recent debate with Greens leader Christine Milne.

In a subsequent Media Release, Jimbo the Clown was very upset that ‘gay activists’ had ‘misreported’ this comparison, and to clarify he made the same comparison again:

I was not comparing homosexuality with smoking at all. What I was saying is that on one hand we are vocal on our discouragement of people to smoke and on the other we are suppressing public dialogue about the health risks associated with homosexuality.

Jim seems to think that his free speech is being suppressed somehow. Yet he is entirely free to talk rubbish, just as we are free to laugh at him. Jim has his website, and his Twitter account, where he can gay-bash all day long. He has semi-regular webcasts into churches the length and breadth of the land. He has conferences and debates with massive media coverage, funded by wads of corporate cash from Gloria Jean’s Coffees.

No-one’s suppressing you, Jim. In fact, I’d prefer to do the opposite. As Christopher Hitchens said, some arguments don’t so much need rebutting as underlining. The more people hear what Jim has to say, the better.

Damn lies

Jim goes on to do a little magic trick with statistics:

We rightly warn of the health impacts of smoking. Surely we cannot allow these aggressive activists to conceal the facts of a lifestyle that accounts for over eighty percent of new HIV cases in Australia annually.

Eighty percent! That is (and here I use a technical term) a Big Number. But it’s also a very irrelevant number. Jim is using a statistical misdirect that is identical to one that antivaccination liars like Meryl Dorey regularly use. I’ll let Jason Brown (with whom I do a skeptical comedy podcast) explain over at My Colleagues are Idiots:

A veteran liar-with-statistics-she-doesn’t-understand, Meryl Dorey has fold us that 80% of pertussis cases happen in the vaccinated population, as if to suggest that the vaccinated are somehow, illogically, more likely to contract whooping cough than the unvaccinated. This we know is not the case – the vaccine is shown to have a good – though not by any means perfect – efficacy rate in preventing infection. This still doesn’t stop Meryl throwing the percentage out there in support of her topsy-turvy world view.

Still, so what if 80% of cases are in the vaccinated? The important question is whether you’re more or less likely to contract an infection if vaccinated, and for that you need to know rates of vaccination versus rates of infection with a solid contextual basis. From Meryl’s 80% claim alone, it is impossible to tell – and therefore the assertion is useless, as well as being flat-out wrong.

In the case of STIs, things are somewhat different: there is a higher prevalence among men who have sex with men than among the general population. (I understand prevalence also varies among ethnic groups, but Jim didn’t mention that. He a homophobe, not a racist).

But the prevalence of HIV relative to the demographic of gay people is, in media terms, a Small Number: it’s less than 10%. See? By saying same-sex attaction ‘accounts for over eighty percent of new HIV cases’, Jim gets to use a Big Scary Number. Even if it’s irrelevant.

The ACL’s Sexual Health Hypocrisy

Of course, rates of HIV infection are too high, generally and among MSM. Jim Wallace agrees with me:

As I said yesterday, I am deeply saddened by the human suffering that is behind the poor health data of the gay community.

It’s vitally important that public health resources are employed to tackle this. It’s also worthwhile to target communications at demographics who are at somewhat higher risk.

Here, for example, is a fantastic example of a campaign raising awareness of STI prevention among gay people. It’s called Rip and Roll. You may have heard of it.

Rip and Roll poster

Rip and Roll safe-sex poster

It’s the campaign that the ACL tried to ban.

The moral cesspool that is the Australian Christian Lobby actively fights to stop sexual health campaigns. While bleating pathetically about others ‘suppressing public dialogue’, they work to shut down potentially life-saving public health efforts. All to score political points in the name of homophobia.

Well done, Ms Gillard. You’ve called it right.

1 No, it stands for ‘retired’.

29 Comments

  1. Posted September 6, 2012 at 15:24 | Permalink

    In the ACL media release you mention above, Wallace is quoted as saying, “By the activists’ own admission in this submission gay marriage did not solve the mental and other chronic physical health problems associated with the gay lifestyle” – he’s saying that in communities where same-sex marriage is legal, there is the same kind of “health crisis” as communities in which it’s not.

    In other words, the legalisation of same-sex marriage has had no impact on the health issues that affect same-sex-attracted people.

    So why does he use homosexual health as an argument against the legalisation of same-sex marriage, if the two are, by his working, unrelated?

  2. Posted September 6, 2012 at 15:39 | Permalink

    Jolly good point!

  3. Mark
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 21:42 | Permalink

    Jim Wallace is not saying that there will be a reduction or a rise in gay related health issues due to marriage being allowed between these couples. What he is saying is that the homosexual lifestyle whether married or not has many health risks. These health risks are not improved in places where marriage is currently allowed. That’s not too hard to understand in my opinion but then I don’t have an agenda to defend do I.

  4. Posted September 6, 2012 at 22:00 | Permalink

    What Wallace does suggest is that the “homosexual lifestyle” poses a health risk, hence it should not be promoted or ‘normalised’. He also suggests that allowing same-sex marriage will promote such a lifestyle.
    On one hand, he’s saying that an increase in homosexual unions will lead to an increase in detrimental health effects in the homosexual community.
    On the other hand, he’s arguing that the legalisation of same-sex marriage has not affected the rate of detrimental health effects in the homosexual community.

  5. Catilin
    Posted September 15, 2012 at 17:50 | Permalink

    Hey dickhead,

    Right now millions of muslims are tearing the world apart in “protests” against a Life Of Brian style film about their crybaby prophet.

    Funny how you atheists are so silent damning religion when it comes to Islam, eh? Just pick on Christians who don’t fight back in this way, oh, yeah, and ignore Israel.

    Cowards.

  6. Posted September 15, 2012 at 17:55 | Permalink

    Jihad envy? Adorable.

  7. Posted September 16, 2012 at 20:57 | Permalink

    Nothing to say about Islamic riots in Sydney in the name of religion?

    You ARE a fucking coward, and a typical bully. Typical of bullies in that you will pick on the weak (Christians), but won’t pick on anyone that you know will kick your arse (Muslims).

    You and Deveny and Sinnott et al, are nothing but gutles, hypocrite cowards.

  8. Posted September 16, 2012 at 21:28 | Permalink

    Dave @ 7,

    I actually did have something to say about it. See comment number 6.

    I am happy for Muslims to exercise their freedom of speech even if I find their grievances utterly ridiculous.

    A bunch of angry guys in a haphazard protest causes nothing like the harm to society that the churches do. And they are in no way representative of the Islamic community in general. That community, by and large, does not attempt to make the rest of us live by their beliefs. Making the rest of us live by the beliefs of ‘Christians’ is the very mission statement of the Australian Christian Lobby.

    Finally, if it makes me a coward to want to avoid violence because of something as utterly fucking backward as theism, then I am happy to fly the flag for cowards everywhere.

  9. Posted September 16, 2012 at 21:36 | Permalink

    Oh, the irony of an anonymous poster calling anybody a coward. Now I need a new meter.

  10. Posted September 16, 2012 at 21:52 | Permalink

    “That community, by and large, does not attempt to make the rest of us live by their beliefs.”

    Not until they have the numbers. Try being gay in Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. Gays are regularly bashed by Muslim gangs in Holland. Pim Fortyun, an openly gay Dutch politician who spoke out agains the threat of Islam invading the west, was murdered by one of YOUR own – a radical leftist. Theo Van Gogh soon followed, murdered by one of those who you claim “by and large do not attempt to make us live by their beliefs”, his throat cut while riding his bike to work by a Muslim for speaking out against Islam. I don’t recall the ACL or even the Tea Party doing any such thing.

    You have no idea. Seriously, wake up.

    Like all leftists, Greer, Deveny et al, you either won’t take on Islamofascism or Zionism for fear of being labelled “racist” or you find that they are just too handy an ally in your desire to bring down Western Civlisation.

    “And they are in no way representative of the Islamic community in general.”

    Bullshit. Funny how Muslims don’t protest in this manner every time an act of terrorism is committed in the name of their “religion”. Every day athesits, Jews, Christians, Buddhists are slaughtered in the name of Islam, but you’re just obsessed with Christianity and its gay taboo. Why? Because it is largely considered a Western religion.

    The fact is the likes of you and Deveny are just haters and bigots, as much as you like to call everyone else who finds the sodomite lifestyle disgusting.

    The next step, ala Allen Ginsberg and the like, will be decriminalising paedophilia.

  11. @weezmgk
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:06 | Permalink

    Ah, I see Jim Saleam’s mob’s come a calling!

    All you leftist athesits, please welcome Dave!

  12. Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:15 | Permalink

    Damn Dave the Happy Singer. You’ve got quite the theist troll following.

  13. @weezmgk
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:19 | Permalink

    By the way, we leftists will be having a BBQ at my place Saturday week, big ‘downfall of western civilisation’ celebration shindig! BYO water-based lube.

  14. Ken Dally
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:22 | Permalink

    Dear Dave, not you jovial musical one, throughout history the Abrahamic religions appear to have a competition going on who can be the most repressive, violent and just plain all out most obnoxious. The leader changes from time to time but on averages it would appear to be a draw.

  15. Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:23 | Permalink

    I am not a thesist.

  16. Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:27 | Permalink

    Weez, you’ve no problem with gay politicians murdered by Islamists, I see?

    Just Googled you, you are one sick fuck, welfare bludger, paedophile as well, jerking off at Jensen’s paedophile photos. Nice.

  17. Wilyman Whinger
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:28 | Permalink

    Your comments are derogatory.

  18. Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:30 | Permalink

    But true. Google Weez, aka Brian Stokes

  19. @weezmgk
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 22:34 | Permalink

    I am convinced. Dave is a genius. #twothumbsup

  20. Posted September 17, 2012 at 00:29 | Permalink

    I apologise for forgetting the goal when I wrote about the lunatic actions of orthodox Jews in New York or published the famous Danish cartoons. I must get back to criticising only Christians.

    Is that OK, Dave? (That’s the fucktard Dave, not the humorous, singing one.)

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