In August, David Barton misleadingly claimed that “the leading pediatric association in America” sent a letter to schools cautioning them against programs that try to prevent anti-gay bullying, asserting that pediatricians agree that young people will “end up being heterosexual unless you force them to be homosexual.”
As it turned out, Barton and his co-host Rick Green were citing the work of the American College of Pediatricians, an exceptionally small, right-wing splinter group of the significantly larger and more reputable American Academy of Pediatricians. In fact, the ACP broke away from the mainstream AAP because of the ACP’s vehement opposition to gay rights.
Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College pointed out at the time that while the ACP has “probably less than 200” members, the AAP has around 60,000. Professor Throckmorton tried to reach out to the AAP and WallBuilders, and the AAP said that Barton’s claims were demonstrably false. After AAP spokeswoman sent WallBuilders a letter asking for a retraction, Barton’s group replied:
Hi Debora (sic),
Thank you for your email to WallBuilders Live, I apologize for the delay in response but I hope I can address your concerns! After airing the episode about ACP David and Rick were informed that the news source they quoted during the episode was mistaken. David and Rick sent a letter to the news source addressing the mistaken information in the story. We apologize for the mix up and appreciate your notification as well.
If you have any further question or concerns please feel free to contact us. Many blessings!
WallBuilders admitted to the AAP that their earlier assertion was demonstrably false and apologized. But that is not the story that was told on today’s episode of WallBuilders Live where Barton and Green contradicted the letter sent to Henry and refused to issue a retraction or back down from their discredited claims and even criticized the AAP for having the gall to attack them. Barton, who recently likened himself to Jesus and said that his critics are just like Jesus’ persecutors, chastised the AAP but altered his original claim to say that the ACP is now “a leading” organization:
Green: Actually David I got a—actually it’s not a retraction at all actually—we got a letter that wanted a retraction. Remember when we did the show? There was a great paper that was put out by the American Academy—I mean the American College of Pediatricians, and they were saying look some of this stuff you’re doing on homosexuality in schools is dangerous for kids, this homosexual agenda is not a good idea and bringing it into the classroom and that sort of thing. We did a whole program on this. In the program we talked about hey this is one of the leading pediatric associations in the nation, and we got a letter from one of the other pediatric associations, let’s see the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has more members and has been around a little longer and they I guess took offense to that so they sent us a letter and they said they wanted to make sure we knew that the ACP was not the leading pediatric association in America and they put some of their papers in here and there position is a little different I would say—
Barton: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Green: Much more liberal on this. As we pointed out to them directly and we’ll put it out here on the show: leading does not mean largest, leading means, sometimes it takes a newer, leaner more responsive organization—
Barton: And they are one of the leading organizations. Now the fact that this other organization may not like them and may disagree with them doesn’t mean they’re not a leading organization. They are a credentialed organization made up of credentialed people and the fact that they don’t agree with them doesn’t make them less than leading. And if they’re expecting a retraction, sorry, ain’t happening!