To tell the truth (right-wing front edition)


The mission of the Institute for Family Studies is “strengthening marriage and family life, and advancing the well-being of children, through research and public education.” As of this morning, this includes not a single use of the words “gay,” “lesbian,” or “same-sex” anywhere on their website, according to Google. They routinely post links to articles and research “of note,” that might interest readers who believe in their mission. So, why never mention the gay?

Or — dramatic pause — is that really their whole mission? The IFS website lists seven “senior fellows.” Don’t tell the others, but W. Bradford Wilcox is the only one getting paid $50,000 per year (in 2013). Their 2013 fundraising included $50,000 from the Bradley Foundation, which also supported Wilcox’s effort to fund the Regnerus study; and $20,000 from the Vine and Branches foundation, which lists the purpose of the donation as “religious” (the foundation’s eligibility criteria include, “Christian organizations that overtly express their faith through programming”).

So, do you really believe this?

As a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit institute committed to the study of family life, IFS works with scholars, writers, and supporters without regard to academic discipline, party, or ideology.

The only thing that bothers me about this, besides the values, is the blatant, routine dishonesty. Why do respectable people just tolerate that?

Not to get into minutiae, but also, would it kill him to have any women among the nine officers of his shadowy, bogus non-profit foundation?

Note: I first wrote about IFS here, but only some of that info is still accurate.

10 thoughts on “To tell the truth (right-wing front edition)

  1. just playing devil’s advocate here, but would CCF take funding from Soros and Rockefeller and describe itself in the same way? that is, “As a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit institute committed to the study of family life, IFS works with scholars, writers, and supporters without regard to academic discipline, party, or ideology” Is there ANY funder that CCF could imagine supporting their work who they would see as too ideological or disciplinary or partisan?


    1. Good question. I don’t make decisions like that for CCF, but as a board member I would consider them. I don’t really object to the source of the money, or the promise of non-partisanship necessarily — only when they are combined with work that is obviously not non-partisan (not using the Dem/Rep definition, of course).


  2. I’ve noticed there’s a certain level of tonedeaf-ness (is that a word?) from conservative pro-family thought. Anyone that I’ve ready seriously seems to think that anyone who doesn’t emulate the copy+paste template of the white picket fence family is “out to DESTROY the family!!!” as if there couldn’t possibly be a million other reasons. They really seem to think that the best thing for society would be to impose on everyone their “universal” ideals of no divorce, and ultimate parental authority (with no recourse for mistreated children). But here’s the thing – I don’t think they actually want to hurt people; they just simply can’t conceive of how many people their “ideal” would hurt, and they refuse to look at example after example of who would be hurt.


  3. Short but very poignant reflection. Old boys clubs still run the world, but it is good to see that some insider voices raise every now and then and point out inequality and dishonesty. I hope you can make a difference.


  4. Is it really non-partisan or do you just not like their definition of marriage and family life? I understand their definition isn’t a standard one, but I would also say that their perspective on the topic is not one found at major universities in the country. Because of the relative lack of diversity, perhaps it is justified to have to isolate their research and funding. Already one of your commenters suggest they want to impose their views on society, but I would assume from their view it is the other way around…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Professor Cohen and his acolytes represent an elite who practice strong marriage, intact family formation, children who progress through private schools and colleges, and assume positions of leadership, using intact families, marriages and support system. However, the elite reject intact family formation, marriages (hypergamous, only among the elite) and nuclear families, for those who are less fortunate. If the lower classes were to ape them, then thy will be a threat to the power structure. This keeps power within the elite and their coterie. The very definition of elite formation! See Schattshneider, C. Wright Mills, and Robert Puttnam.

      An important feature of elite formation is the use of mockery to make ideas of those who differ (whether they are wrong or right) from the cognitive elite,


  5. Prof. Cohen accuses the Institute for Family Studies of “blatant, routine dishonesty”, yet he doesn’t give provide any evidence of “dishonest” behavior on the part of the organization. He also uses words like “shadowy” and “bogus” to describe it, yet also doesn’t give evidence which support such a description. The real issue that Prof. Cohen seems to have is with the socio-political disposition of the IFS, which differs from his own.


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