Just Giblets

A Disgrace to His Profession

13th November 2009
by Scot

A Disgrace to His Profession

3 Dollar BillMaybe you’ve seen this, but a Purdue library science professor and government documents librarian has blogged An Economic Case Against Homosexuality. Yes, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds. I’m leaving this off my professional blog, as it has little to do with librarianship, other than the fact that Professor Bert Chapman displays no traits of a librarian, despite his blog title “Conservative Librarian.”

You’ll see a comment by me… two, if they approve my last one. Not that I doubt it’s rationality, but it’s close to the 2,000 character limit they put on comments, so it may be held in moderation. Or then again, it may have been flushed down the toilet. It’s in response to a commenter named Adriana who takes me to task for bringing up the taboo of the “facts” Prof. Chapman’s economic publication lacks.

Here is my follow up, in case they don’t publish it:

Adriana,

The facts Prof. Chapman presents, but does not cite are:

1. Not only does he not cite his source of data, but Prof. Chapman attributes US Government expenditures on AIDS to a support of what he deems “a homosexual lifestyle.” Though he recognizes that the disease is spread by many means, he still presents it as a moral issue. But regardless, a librarian must state where his numbers come from and what “expenditures on this disease” encompass.

2. He cites as fact that behavior he deems immoral taints our blood supply without support of fact.

3. Chapman also claims that rape of male inmates by fellow males is a drain on taxpayer dollars. Does he cite how many of the offenders are homosexual? It may seem unthinkable to you, but heterosexual males rape men. I see no citations to established facts to support his claims that homosexual men are draining US tax dollars in this way.

4. At long last, the educated librarian cites an external work, “Do Domestic Partner Benefits Make Good Economic Sense?” by The Corporate Resource Center. He claims that it is available on a web site, but does not provide a URL. He does not even qualify where this center is or what affiliation it has, if any, to a larger organization. I challenge anyone to find this work available on the web. For this fraud alone, Prof. Chapman should be censured, at the very least.

5. Finally, the learned professor closes with a long list of ways that heterosexual entitlements may be diminished by the acknowledgment of same-sex relationships. There are no numbers given. There are no longitudinal studies cited. There is only the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) tactics of a frightened man with no other defense. The last paragraph reminds me of the FUD tactics of white families in the 1960’s who would incite neighborhood hatred against black families moving in, in the name of “decreased property values.”

I am not arguing against Prof. Chapman’s points. He has none.

The student furor over his blog post has led to calls for his dismissal from the university. Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first antigay blog post he’s written.


Update: I totally forgot to thank the dude who alerted me to this fiasco! Rob at wakingupnow.com is a really great blogger who has a fierce, but reasoned approach to civil action. Thank you, Rob. You set a good example.

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 13th, 2009 at 10:13 pm and is filed under Beating Your Head Against A Wall, Blogging, Homo, Libraries, Mean People, Money, Politics, Rants, Scary Stuff, Whacky People. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Comments

  • Michael K. says:

    Setting myself up for another “OMG I LOVE YOU” from Scot, I added the following response to Mr. Chapman’s execrable blog post:

    Opinions & Facts (For Adriana & Others)
    Many people have stated that this blog post is an opinion, and as such doesn’t need to be backed up with facts and citations. But its headline clearly lays it out as an argument designed to persuade, and persuasive arguments MUST be built on testable truths and logic. Otherwise we have nothing but bare, baseless assertions backed by nothing. It’s the intellectual equivalent of writing bad checks.

    As for whether this blog has anything to do with Mr. Chapman’s position at Perdue, it seems to me that he’s using his professional title in order to enhance his credibility. Which is fine! Really! But if he’s going to do that, he should expect to be held to the professional standards that go with being a librarian. That includes backing up your assertions with facts, and citing sources to back up your facts. Period. You can’t have it both ways.

    I personally wouldn’t call for ANYONE to be fired for publishing his opinion, including Mr. Chapman. But I might consider whether someone who considers this post to be intellectually rigorous is qualified to be a librarian, so maybe I’d fire him for being unfit for the job.

    If Mr. Chapman chooses to have his posts evaluated using a different standard, that’s fine. But in that case he should remove the word “Librarian” from the title of his blog.

    • Scot says:

      Thanks, alien! Yeah, it would help Prof. Chapman if he provided full citations for his references. a citation for his reference. And if he got the name of the sponsoring organization correct.

      Even though this organization seems to publish only white papers that deal with same-sex relationships, which is really strange given that no indication of that mission is given in the mysterious firm’s name, this is an article I think I can refer to in the future to support the economic rationale for recognizing same-sex marriage! It’s true that co-habitation is different than marriage and that if co-habitators seldom take advantage of domestic partner benefits, then equal recognition of marriage for all adult couples seems to be the solution!

      Thanks for sharing that. Have you contacted the learned professor so he can update his article? It seems strange that a government documents librarian would mess up the name of an organization that sounds so government-y.

      Which gets me to thinking… do you know anything about the Corporate Resource Council? Sounds really official, dosn’t it, like the “Better Business Bureau?” Well, the web site lists no contact information or affiliation, but a search on the WHOIS information for the domain indicates it was registered by Gary Russo of the Alliance Defense Fund. He even lists ADF as the organization that owns the domain name.

      Do you know what the ADF is?

      ADF is classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity. According to the ADF website, the group is “a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.” ADF defines this “Truth” according to a conservative Christian template, characterizing itself as “a servant organization that provides the resources that will keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel through the legal defense and advocacy of religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and traditional family values.”

      (via mediamatters.org)

      Hardly seems like an unbiased organization, and certainly not one I’d cite if I were trying to “articulate why our nation cannot afford the extremely high financial costs of this lifestyle at a time when we are confronting dangerously high budget deficits, national debt, and personal debt.”

      Oh, and their CEO, Alan E. Sears, is also a regular columnist on townhall.com, so that sort of throws any credibility out the window. Circular citations don’t get you far in librarianship.

      Don’t mess with a librarian (a real one), buddy.

  • Scot says:

    Oh, and this gives me the giggles even more! That comment by “alien” came from an IP address that resolves to the subdomain “labs.ipfw.edu”.

    ipfw.edu is, of course, the Fort Wayne campus of Indiana University/Purdue University. Now, I am not saying that Bert Chapman posted that comment. In reality, it’s very unlikely. He (as far as I know) works on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette. But still, it makes me giggle.

  • Michael K. says:

    Good research and authority work wins every time.

  • […] railed against this horrifying misuse of Chapman’s position as a gov docs librarian at Purdue in my personal blog, but chose not to mention it here. After all, the issue wasn’t one that concerned libraries […]

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