Published: Wednesday, June 25 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
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.
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?
"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?
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MaudineThis 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The moral of this story is lets save being saved for "being saved"?
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.
The printing of this opinion piece is irresponsible. That is all I have to say.
@ 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.
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.
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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