Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Truth About Doctor Laura

It's time to expose THE TRUTH about Laura Schlessinger! I've got the goods on her. [This was originally posted in June 2016 and is still relevant.]

1) She's said gay people are abominations or biological errors! Oops. No, that's not right. She has never called gay people abominations. She never called gay people biological errors. You can read her own statement here. Here she is further quoted by an unsympathetic source:
”I never called anybody a biological error. What I said, very clearly — and to GLAAD’s credit they put it on their website — I said, gays and lesbians have as much compassion, intelligence, ability, warmth as anybody else — comma — the inability to sexually match up male and female is a biological error. That’s it. I didn’t say people were a biological error. I said male parts and female parts make babies. I was talking biologically. The interesting thing is that gay groups have made the point that it’s not a moral issue, it’s a biological issue. I was really supporting their point of view.”
As far as the tired, old statement purporting to answer her never-said comment of people who identify as gay or lesbians being abominations, which was ripped off by a lazy television writer, see here.

Dr. Laura takes certain stances about politics, morality, gender and gender roles, parenting, and the well-being of children, and because she does, she's been a target for hatemongering fascistic activist groups whose goals appear to be license for "anything goes" sexuality and parenting, and government dependency rather than natural family autonomy, for whom truth is not a value and fundraising is aided by having a villain. Someone with a highly-rated national radio talk show, many best-selling books, and a television show (which was really sending the activist groups into a frenzy), was a convenient target, because she didn't march in lockstep with their agenda when it came to family law and sexual behavior.

At one point, Dr. Laura converted to Orthodox Judaism. She no longer identifies as a practicing Orthodox Jew and she hasn't for quite some time. She has extensive experience as a licensed marriage and family therapist. While she often appeals to what some might call traditional morality, much of her overall focus appears to be based on evolutionary biology. She sometimes mentions "psycho-biology" in referring to how people think, feel, and behave. Her goals appear to be having strong families raise children in optimum conditions to be strong, functional adults, from generation to generation.

If you accept the idea that all life, including human beings, is the result of millions of years of evolution, then survival and reproduction are the basic "purposes" of life. From that viewpoint one could understandably call homosexual orientation a biological "error". Maybe you don't make a distinction between your orientation and you as a human being. If you equate yourself with your feelings or behaviors, then you also have say you're a sh-t, too, because you do that.

You can even check out what Leftist activist organization Media Matters has published on Dr. Laura to see some of what she said about people who identify as gay or lesbian. While "biological error" was taken out of context, as explained above, the terms "normally", "dysfunction",  and "deviancy" must also be understood in the context of Schlessinger's experience as a therapist and the larger focus on reproduction and parenting. Notice that she is quoted as referring to people who identity as gay or lesbian as "valuable" and that they are "not to be attacked" and they are "decent and functional human beings".

Note the more recent information:
In 2009, Schlessinger said same-sex couples are "a beautiful thing and a healthy thing." On the April 8, 2009, edition of Larry King Live, Schlessinger stated that she doesn't "have much of an opinion" on gay marriage, and that while she believes "marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman," she also thinks that the idea that two people of the same sex "would have that sort of commitment to me is very healthy and very positive thing in their lives and society as a whole," and it is "a beautiful thing and a healthy thing." Blogger John Aravois, who participated in a campaign against her short-lived television show, said of her remarks "kudos to Dr. Laura. She's changed."
For many years, Dr. Laura supported PFLAG and otherwise told families not to cast out their members who identified as gay or lesbian.

She takes calls from people claiming a gay or lesbian sexual orientation and counsels them on their relationships, and treats them with the same respect as anyone else. She tells families to accept members who identify as gay or lesbian and be respectful of their partners (provided those people aren't doing harmful things to other people). As a result, she does have many fans who identify as gay and lesbian - they are people who have listened to her for themselves rather than relied on what some bullying political activist group has presented in a fundraising and publicity ploy.

The bottom line is that she never called any people biological errors or abominations.

2) She said all pit bulls should be killed! Oh, wait, no she didn't. She was talking about going through a shelter where there were pit bulls who weren't being adopted and were not likely to be adopted. Meanwhile, if other dogs were in those spaces, they'd likely be adopted. So she was saying those particular pit bulls should be euthanized so that other dogs may live and be adopted. You might not like the idea of any of those pit bulls being euthanized, but if you fault her for saying they should be, you are saying you want more dogs euthanized. She has dogs and is obviously a very affectionate and responsible person when it comes to dogs. She did apologize for not being more sensitive in her comments. The bottom line is that she doesn't state that all pit bulls should be killed.

3) She excuses cheating by husbands! Hmmm. Nope, no she doesn't. The closest she comes to that is when a wife admittedly neglected her good husband for years before he cheated and Dr. Laura points out that the wife broke her marital vows first (sexual monogamy is not the only vow that is made). This is not excusing his cheating, but rather calling the caller/wife out on her breaking of vows. Unless a husband is being flagrant and ongoing in his cheating or is otherwise actually abusive, she does advise wives with minor children with their husband to stay in the marriage until the children are grown. She also points out that if the husband is an otherwise good man and husband who did something wrong after neglect from his wife, then the caller (the wife) has the power to heal the relationship and have it such that he won't cheat again.

One way of determining he's a bad man/husband is that he cheated despite the wife treating him well, or cheated shortly into the marriage, during a pregnancy or while there was a newborn or infant in the family, while the wife was dealing with cancer or certain other illnesses, with a significantly younger woman, with multiple women, or with an off-limits woman, such as his cousin (even though first cousins can legally marry in about half of the states). Dr. Laura calls such men scum.

If, however, he was a generally good husband who was starved for affection by a wife who got lazy or distracted or hostile, and in weakness he had a one night stand or fling or affair with one woman who isn't younger or whatever, and he's remorseful and repentant, then Dr. Laura points out that they can forgive each other and can make it work.

Dr. Laura has to deal with the caller. She can't deal with someone who isn't on the phone. When a husband calls in and says he's cheated, Dr. Laura rips him a new one. When a woman calls and says her husband has had an affair, fling, or one night stand, Dr. Laura tries to determine if the husband is generally a bad husband or a generally good husband who did a bad thing. If he's a generally bad husband, Dr. Laura certainly doesn't excuse that, and if there are no minor children, she usually gives her blessing, even encouragement, for the caller to dump her hubby and take him to the cleaners (and if they want to stay, she tells them to get their tubes tied so as to not bring children into such a marriage).

Otherwise, due to her focus on minor children being raised under the best circumstances, she encourages keeping the family together unless the husband is flagrantly continuing to cheat or is otherwise actually abusive. This is a matter of being practical with a focus on the children.

She does not blame the wife for what a husband does. If a wife is sexually rejecting of her decent husband, then Dr. Laura does ask "So how do you want him to handle this? Do you want him to leave, use prostitutes, get a girlfriend on the side, or masturbate to porn? Which is your preference?" What he actually does is still up to him, and cheating is still pointed out as wrong.

The people who say that Dr. Laura excuses cheating by husbands never seem to be upset that she tells men who've found out that they've been cuckolded and subjected to paternity fraud to stay, raise the child, and never tell the child. Why does she do that? Because her focus in on the needs of children. This is to the point she tells gay men who've married women and made children they have to stay until the children are grown, which I'm sure the activists hate. So it is hardly about excusing cheating by husbands. (She also tells lesbians who've married men and made children they have to stay until the children are grown, so this is not about men or women, it is about children.)

4) She's a racist because she used the "N" word! If you want to think that, nobody can stop you.
There's no indication from her media that she's a racist. She criticizes racists and parents who don't like their children's spouse or potential spouse because they are a different race. Her instance of using the "N" word can be found at that Media Matters link. She tried to make a point with a caller. It wasn't like she was calling anyone that word. She apologized and said it wasn't the best way to handle the situation. I can tell you as a "white guy", that white people who use the word are ostracized and considered ignorant or despicable by other white people. The word would be effectively dead and buried if it hadn't been revived by a few African American entertainers. That was Dr. Laura's point. What was especially ridiculous about this situation was that the people claiming to be upset about it kept playing the clip. If they were so offended, if it was so damaging, why did they keep replaying it?

5) She's a hypocrite because she was a working mother! She doesn't say mothers should never work. She says that parents should raise their own children and not have strangers or hired help do it. This means that a parent is with a child, aged 0-5, on a regular basis during that child's waking hours. If that means parents have to work in shifts, or work from home, so be it. She does say it is better for the mother than the father to be "home" with the child for the first three years, but as long as the child isn't in a day orphanage or being dumped on friends or relatives, she's supportive. Once the child is in school (K and beyond), a parent should be with them when they're not in school. These are the things she did when she was raising her son. There's not even a hint of hypocrisy here.

6) She's a hypocrite because of how her mother died! Her mother died at home, and wasn't discovered for a couple of months. There's nothing Dr. Laura says that makes it hypocritical for this to have happened. She doesn't tell people they have to go check on their parents every day or every week even with those parents who have been destructive or hostile. In fact, she often tells people to cut harmful parents out of their lives. She also tells parents not to be burdens on their children. She doesn't, for example, generally tell people to have their elderly parents move in with them. Notice that it wasn't just Dr. Laura who wasn't aware her mother had died - her mother apparently didn't have friends, either. That should tell you something. That Dr. Laura's mother was a difficult person who didn't cultivate relationships in no way makes Dr. Laura a hypocrite.

7) She's a hypocrite because there are nude photos of her! Those pictures were taken decades before digital photos, websites, and social networking, in a private moment. It still wasn't a smart move but she had no reason to assume she was going to be betrayed in a way that is now arguably criminal. Any person who releases such private images without consent is a terrible person, especially if he or she alters the images in a negative way.

What does the word hypocrite mean? It means professing one thing but really believing another at the same time. If someone did wrong or stupid things and subsequently learned better and warns others against similar actions or other wrong or stupid things, it doesn't make them a hypocrite.

8) She claims to be a real doctor, but isn't! Well, actually, she tells callers she's not a medical doctor. She has a Ph.D. in physiology as clearly printed on her website:
Dr. Laura holds a Ph.D. in physiology from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and received her post-doctoral certification in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling from the University of Southern California. She was in private practice for 12 years. She's also been on the faculty of the Department of Biology at the University of Southern California, and the Graduate Psychology Department at Pepperdine University
She has never made a secret of this. Medical doctors have their names written or printed like this: "David Shapiro, M.D." Someone with a Ph.D., or Doctorate, has earned the privilege of writing their name as "Dr. Jane Smith". I doubt most people who deride her with "You're not a real doctor!" run around telling professors and others with Doctorates the same thing.

She has experience with marriage and family therapy. Her show is mostly about moral dilemmas and practical, effective tactics in dealing with various life issues. She very rarely does anything resembling therapy on the show. She's not practicing medicine, nor is she claiming to. She is often speaking the truth, and truth is truth no matter who says it.

Some therapists/psychiatrists/psychologists dislike her, but how is that different from any other profession? Some people have differences, personality clashes, etc. It probably doesn't help that she points out some questionable business practices that trend in the business. If someone says her advice is bad, I want to know specifics, because I know much of her advice is good.

9) She's rude to her callers! Admittedly, this can be subjective. I see this sort of thing tweeted all of the time without specifics. People aren't used to strong moral stands and holding people accountable, so they confuse it for rudeness. These callers are people who reached out to her, presumably because they had some idea of what they were getting into. It's not like she cold calls people and berates them. She has a short amount of time to either jar them out of their stupors or teach the listeners a lesson using the caller as an example. If she's not soft and flirty with people who ruin the lives of children, I'm OK with that.

10) She's no longer doing her show. She's not doing her show on that sinking ship known as terrestrial radio, for dying companies that are billions of dollars in debt. She is on SiriusXM and it is also podcasted, and while she might not (yet) have the reach she once did, her show is so much better now.

11) She gave a Nazi salute at the 2016 Republican National Convention. No, she didn't. Dr. Laura Schlessinger did not speak at this convention. An entirely different individual, Laura Ingraham, who has a radio show syndicated on terrestrial radio, spoke at that convention. What, do you think all white women look alike, you racist?!? [People on Twitter frequently tweet stuff to Dr. Laura that's really intended for Ingraham.]

In Conclusion

It's not OK to slander or libel someone because they are famous and you disagree with them. Dr. Laura is not doing things in a corner. In addition to her radio show, books, and columns, she has a website and a Facebook page where her opinions appear regularly. So you can check things out for yourself, rather than relying on professional whiners and activists.

No, she hasn't always handled everything perfectly. Let's see you spend 15 hours per week on a national, unscripted call-in talk show for dozens of years and see if you ever make a mistake.

Meanwhile, she's helped millions of people be better people, live better lives, be better spouses, and be better parents. So she can be forgiven an occasional mistake.

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