Thursday, July 21, 2005

CTWeblog: Against the Ex-Gays

Weblog: Against the Ex-Gays
Compiled by Rob Moll | posted 07/20/2005

Ex-gay ministries have become popular among the Religious Right as they seek to seem friendly toward homosexuals while they forbid them to marry. But everyone knows the Right really hates gays.

At least that's the story according to a series on Author Mark Benjamin says, "In the nation's divisive culture wars, gay issues have proved to be winners for Christian conservatives, who helped power right-wing Republicans into control of two branches of the federal government. … Religious conservatives are on a mission to ban more than gay marriage. They want to outlaw civil unions giving same-sex partners some of the legal privileges of married heterosexuals, reinstate state sodomy bans, and defeat hate-crimes legislation that would increase penalties for violence against gays."

In the second of his four-part series, Benjamin says, "The theory that homosexuality is a mental disorder that needs to be cured is the moral underpinning of the Christian right's crusade against gay marriage, sodomy laws, gay adoption, and sex-ed curriculums in schools. "

The New York Times is also following a story, circulating around the internet, about a 16-year-old who discusses being gay on his blog. After telling his parents, the boy's parents sent him to Love in Action, a Memphis Christian group with a program that helps gay men and women change their sexual orientation. After his blog entries circulated around the internet, Queer Action Coalition began protesting outside the Memphis church where Love in Action holds Refuge, its treatment program.

Both articles focus on the difficulties of changing sexual orientation, saying that mainstream psychiatric organizations don't support such therapy, that success rates are usually low, if counted, and for participants who don't change their orientation can result in simply feeling more guilty. "Critics of programs that seek to change sexual orientation say the programs themselves can open a person to lifelong problems, including guilt, shame, and even suicidal impulses."

The Times and Salon have a point. For the most part, those of us who sin sexually don't need to be "repaired." Homosexuality isn't always or mostly a "mental disorder that needs to be cured." Testimonies of many ex-gays include accounts of loveless fathers or child molestation. But many straights also have to cope with such childhood traumas. The issue isn't the psychological treatment of an abnormality. We're all abnormal, we all have wounds. We all have sinned, and we all need a Savior.


Mwalimu Daudi said...

Is it just me, or is the ELCA and it's leadership starting to sound more and more like a political party every day?

Very little talk about sin, grace, and responsibility; lots of talk about "rights", "tolerance", and (of course) "fairness". And now we have Mark Hanson's "big tent", which seems to have been copied from old political speeches of both parties. The ELCA can always seem to find the time and money to lobby Congress. How about lobbying our neighbor instead with the Good News of Jesus Christ?

Shrimp said...

Go and be non-tolerant no more!

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...