Comments about ‘My view: Christians need to be clear — Change is possible’

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Published: Wednesday, June 25 2014 4:02 p.m. MDT

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Understands Math
Lacey, WA

Alan Chambers, former president of Exodus International, the leading 'ex-gay' Christian organization later had this to say about his work there: "I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents."

Janet Boynes wrote: "Alarmingly, California and New Jersey laws have banned “conversion therapy” counseling for minors who want to leave homosexual lifestyles."

Is it the minors who want to change, or is the parents who want to force the minors to change? That is the question.

Maudine
SLC, UT

Dear DesNews: I understand the concept of free speech and the sharing of opinions - however, that does not mean one person's ignorance has the same value as another person's knowledge.

Mental health professions no longer classify same-sex attraction or homosexuality as disorders because science and research have shown they are not. Science and research has shown that same-sex attraction and homosexuality are not caused by the "baggage" of problems in childhood.

"Conversion therapy" is no longer an accepted "treatment" for same-sex attraction and homosexuality because it has been proven to be ineffective and harmful. Yes, there are homosexuals who marry and live straight lives, this does not mean they no longer experience same-sex attraction nor does it mean they are not part of the bisexual community.

This editorial not only goes against science and research, it goes against the official stance of the LDS Church.

Printing this editorial is irresponsible and harmful. And in the interest of free speech, one must wonder if you are willing to print am editorial countering this one?

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

"Thousands living the Christian lifestyle, along with thousands not actively involved in a church, but who are dealing with questions, are looking for a way OUT."

FTFY Janet.

"Quite often, we treat the symptoms instead of finding the root cause."

Homosexuals are NOT BROKEN. That bears repeating. We are NOT BROKEN!!! Please stop interfering in our lives. Please STOP telling us that we're not "good enough" for your fellowship. Please STOP telling us that you know better how to manage our lives than we do. Please, JUST STOP!

"Choosing that lifestyle ..."

We do not "choose that lifestyle", Janet. I did NOT choose to be gay; I was born that way.

"Media and school programs promoting tolerance, equality, fairness and love are drawing our youths into the gay lifestyle."

Nonsense! These programs are simply telling LGBT people that "your are perfect just as you are". Janet, you would tell us that we're failed human beings which is simply disgusting.

Conversion therapy HARMS PEOPLE. When will you people get that through your heads?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"It takes consistent teaching, love, and the word of God to bring about transformation. This is a process."

Being a homosexual would be a very difficult life. Who would choose that? Seriously. Think about it. So many people would choose a lifestyle that they have to hide? Does that make sense to you?

So, Ms Boynes is another Christian advocating a "pray away the gay" therapy.

I have yet to see anyone, WITHOUT a Christian agenda, or WITHOUT making money off of it, advocating such therapy.

Show me the studies and the science.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

There is nothing inherently good or bad about sexual orientation. Every human being comes equipped with it. It is our respective cultures that teach us how to look upon it. Unfortunately, some cultures are dominated by religions that teach their adherents to view sexuality in an unnatural light.

No one is born religious. It is not a natural state. It must be learned. Perhaps something akin to reparative therapy would be appropriate to address religious indoctrination which, unlike sexual orientation, is a cognitive state.

I feel only sadness for Ms. Boynes. I believe she is sincere – and harmfully misguided.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

If organized religion adopts as doctrine a position that homosexuality is some kind of disorder to be "overcome," then this is yet another (richly deserved) nail in the coffin for organized religion.

Michael Hunt
Murray, UT

This editorial exemplifies the truism 'that which one most fervently forbids, he or she secretly most desires'. Pieces of this nature have become a parody of public warnings and are more confessional than enlightening. As frequently as public shootings, now it seems, are cases where Christian spokespersons are caught molesting children or patroning gay prostitutes. It's not the average homosexual that needs therapy, it's the one's who most sincerely want to change their proclivities by condemning the same in others.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

I agree that churches and counselors should listen to the LGBT community. I think they should listen a long while before opening their mouths though since they need to give their jaws a rest.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

Maudine

This is indeed a violation of the paper's responsibility to the public.

If a person's sexual orientation is a violation of that person's faith, it is up to them to choose whether or not they want to follow their true nature, or abandon that nature for their faith. The psychological and psychiatric community tells us you may not change your orientation (maybe your behavior, but not your orientation). Therefore you may not choose that. Many people change religious affiliation. Religion is a choice (painful as that can be to change affiliations due to societal and familial pressures).

Seems to me that the only answer is follow one's true nature, and find a soulmate in a same sex relationship, rather than live a life of celibacy. Or worse, enter into a relationship that will forever be incomplete, cheating the other party. There are plenty of religions out there that believe in the basics of Christianity that accept gay and lesbian couples. And if your family's religion is more important than their love of their child, it is appropriate to say goodbye to mama and papa. Their love was conditional.

Tiago
Seattle, WA

This is a dangerous editorial and I am disappointed to see it published in this paper. The LDS church's position on same-sex attraction can be found on its website mormonsandgays.org. That website states that SSA is a complex reality. It states that we do not know the cause of SSA and that, for many people, it will persist for their entire lives.
The LDS church teaches the law of chastity which applies to all members, no matter their sexual orientation or individual circumstances. Do we expect God to take away autism or clinical depression or red hair or any other condition of mortality that might make life more difficult? Why do we insist that he take away SSA? We believe in the power of the Atonement and the God can heal all wounds, but we don't determine His will.
Ms. Boynes is free to tell her story, but this editorial is not the full story. For anyone interested, I invite you read her book. It describes that she was always bisexual. Her current ministry has no cases of people who have actually changed their sexuality.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

Overstatement to the point of untruthfulness is no virtue. Neither CA nor NJ have banned the discredited "conversion therapy." They've only banned licensed mental health professionals from practicing it on minors. Pastoral counselors, ministers, priests, etc., are still able to provide the "treatment" to persons of any age.

All the major mental health associations have determined that subjecting minors to this treatment is abusive, traumatic, likely to induce suicide and have urged states to ban it. Adults are still free to seek and receive such treatment from licensed practitioners, although it seems little more than a scam. Surveys show results of such treatment are far less than claimed.

Same-sex marriage is the biggest danger to "conservative" religion. If every child knows the hope that they can grow up to marry their own sweetheart, with their happy family and friends in attendance, how will anyone convince gays into believing God hates them as they are? And, there's this conflict of interest: At least one Church is highly dependent upon finding or convincing enough men to forswear sex in order to fill their celibate priesthood.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Gay conversion therapy, like forcing the assimilation of the American Indians into boarding schools, and Jim Crow laws is horribly misguided. Ultimately, it too will fail and our children and grandchildren will look down at us in horror for these harmful practices we performed.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

I'm going to draw a line between sexual behavior and sexual orientation. From my experience sexual orientation is pretty much a set thing. You are attracted to whom you are attracted. Most of the time it's the opposite sex, sometimes it's the same sex, and some times it's both.

Sexual behavior however is a much more complicated issues and shouldn't be conflated like I think the writer does with orientation.

There are many reasons for a persons sexual behavior, some healthy and natural, some the result of traumas and experiences in life, and I'm sure some from inherent physical and mental abnormalities. Herein lies the danger of expanding our own experiences to the rest of the world, as the writer does. Don't know the facts but the reasons for her sexual behavior are possibly many and varied but aren't the same thing as her orientation. They may coincide (bisexual) or they she may have simply been acting out the dysfunctions of her life in a sexual manner.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

This article is disheartening. There are going to be parents with children who are coming out as gay, a very difficult process, who will read this article and then start pushing the pseudoscience of ex-gay "therapy" on their kids. This will make an already challenging time of life even harder. It's rare to read a newspaper article and know that it is going to cause harm to people in the very near future. The DNews should be ashamed of itself for printing this oped.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

The moral of this story is lets save being saved for "being saved"?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

When did religion become so myopically obsessed with only what occur between the navel and the kneecaps?

I’ve been following the comments here for quite a while and rarely do I hear any ethical messages from my pious friends on the right that does not involve sex. Since Jesus rarely mentions it (and never mentions homosexuality), it makes one wonder if my friends on the right are truly following the founder of their religion.

It would be a refreshing change to hear a bit more about the Sermon on the Mount and a whole lot less about “mounting” in general.

Values Voter
LONG BEACH, CA

The printing of this opinion piece is irresponsible. That is all I have to say.

Maudine
SLC, UT

@ DesNews: Really? You print an entire editorial based on speculation about what makes people gay and their ability to change but you refuse my comment that draws a realistic, scientific conclusion based on information presented in the editorial by the author herself?

If I am not allowed to challenge her assumptions about others, based on information she provides, she should not be able to use your paper as a source to publicize those assumptions.

Sexual dysphoria is a confusion about sexuality usually caused by adverse childhood experiences including child sexual abuse. Not all survivors of abuse suffer from this condition. Sexual dysphoria can be overcome with effort.

Same-sex attraction or homosexuality is not caused by adverse childhood experiences, although, just as some straight children are abused by perpetrators of either gender, so too are some homosexual children. Abuse, however, does not cause homosexuality and many homosexual individuals have never experienced child sexual abuse.

This author is taking her personal experiences and generalizing them to others. Such behavior is very seldom helpful and in this case can be extremely harmful.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

As a RM and active LDS, I think we're spending far too much time and focus on homosexuality.

There are far other issues that we should focus on. Debt, greed, and dirty politics. Nationally, look at what's happening in DC and Wall Street. Banks to big to fail (and then did) hurt more people than homosexuality ever did. The dirty money in politics is hurting people too. Just look locally at what payday loan sharks, Swallow, and Shurtleff have done. They hurt far more people than homosexuals have.

dmcvey
Los Angeles, CA

Janet Boynes claims that there are thousands of people who have gone through this "therapy" successfully and yet seems to be unable to produce many of these success stories. The fact is, she makes her living from these poor people who are unable to accept themselves.

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