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When religion loses its credibility,” dogmatic sophistry is sure to follow
Monday, 04 December 2006 14:13
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

“When religion loses its credibility” was the title of a USA Today article by Christian writer Oliver Thomas. The article’s lead posed the question: “Galileo was persecuted for revealing what we now know to be the truth regarding Earth’s place in our solar system. Today, the issue is homosexuality, and the persecution is not of one man but of millions. Will Christian leaders once again be on the wrong side of history?”

Mr. Thomas rephrased and answered the question:

What if Christian leaders are wrong about homosexuality? I suppose, much as a newspaper maintains its credibility by setting the record straight, church leaders would need to do the same:

Correction: Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God's followers.

Based on a few recent headlines, we won’t be seeing that admission anytime soon…
Religion’s only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop.

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

It’s happened to Christianity before, most famously when we dug in our heels over Galileo’s challenge to the biblical view that the Earth, rather than the sun, was at the center of our solar system. …

This time, Christianity is in danger of squandering its moral authority by continuing its pattern of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the face of mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. To the contrary, whether sexual orientation arises as a result of the mother’s hormones or the child’s brain structure or DNA, it is almost certainly an accident of birth. The point is this: Without choice, there can be no moral culpability.

The hateful antigay politics of the radical Christian Right have alienated a lot of people of genuine faith, and for good reason. As C. S. Lewis warned, Christians who uses their faith as a means to a political end corrupt their faith.

A post-election survey of evangelicals conducted by Beliefnet and summarized in their article “Evangelicals Sour on Politics” documented that “40.2 percent of the evangelicals surveyed favored the idea of Christians taking a ‘fast’ from politics.” The survey also revealed that nearly 60 percent of non-evangelicals have a more negative view of Jesus because of Christian political involvement. And chief among that “political involvement” is the vile – and distinctly unChristian – campaign against gay and lesbian Americans, their children and families.

The American public is turning – slowly but surely – against hate-mongers who advocate discrimination in the name of religion. A recent Opinion Dynamics/Fox News poll documented that “60 percent of Americans favored some form of legal recognition for gay unions, 30 percent favored gay marriage, and 30 percent favored civil unions.” This should not be surprising. Throughout American history, civil equality has inevitably trumped bigotry and discrimination, even when the bigotry and discrimination had the stamp of approval from some “Christian” leaders as in the days of slavery and legal racial discrimination.

When the poll was reported in a propaganda organ of James Dobson and his perversely named “Focus on the Family,” the usual spin was applied by a Dobsonian acolyte: “Jim Pfaff, cofounder of Colorado Family Action, said the survey was reported with bias. ‘It says here that 30 percent of people want to allow same-sex couples to get legally married,’ he told Family News in Focus, ‘but it doesn’t talk about the fact that 70 percent don’t.’”

Of course Mr. Pfaff conveniently forgot to mention the additional 30 percent of respondents that supported civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, something Colorado Family Action and Focus on the Family vehemently oppose despite the fact that legally recognized civil unions would benefit not only gay and lesbian Americans, but their children and their families. Hypocrisy, the desire to demean others, and dogmatic sophistry always go hand-in-hand-in-hand as was so well illustrated in an article that appeared in another Dobson-FOF publication.

Pro-Gay Theology: ‘Jesus Said Nothing About Homosexuality’” was penned by Joe Dallas, founder of Genesis Counseling and one of the founding forces of the “ex-gay” sham. Not surprisingly, Dobson’s Focus on the Family runs its own “ex-gay” program.

At least part of the article’s title was accurate: Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. But Mr. Dallas mastered the art of sophistry in his apologia for antigay dogma.

Already distressed by reality – “a recent poll showed 66 percent (two-thirds) of Americans no longer believe there is such a thing as ‘absolute truth.’ More disturbing, though, was the fact that 53 percent of those not believing in absolute truth identified themselves as born-again Christians; 75 percent of whom were mainline Protestants” – Mr. Dallas directed his sophism at gay Christians:

Invariably, when the “gay Christian” movement is represented, someone in their group will hold up a sign saying, “WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY: ________________.” The idea, of course, is that if Jesus did not specifically forbid a behavior, then the behavior must not have been important to Him. Stretching the point further, this argument assumes if Jesus was not manifestly concerned about something, neither should we.

Troy Perry (along with most gay Christian leaders) makes much of this argument based on silence: “As for the question, ‘What did Jesus say about homosexuality?’, the answer is simple. Jesus said nothing. Not one thing. Nothing! Jesus was more interested in love.” [Troy Perry, Don’t Be Afraid Anymore (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p. 40.]

To refute Troy Perry and like-minded Christians, Mr. Dallas offered four “reasons” why a theology based on love and inclusion should be replaced by the dogma of hate and exclusion. His first “reason” addressed the fact that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality:

the argument assumes the gospels are more authoritative than the rest of the books in the Bible. The idea of a subject being unimportant just because it was not mentioned by Jesus is foreign to the gospel writers themselves. At no point did Matthew, Mark, Luke or John say their books should be elevated above the Torah or, for that matter, any writings yet to come. In other words, the gospels – and the teachings they contain – are not more important than the rest of the Bible. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The same Spirit inspiring the authors of the gospels also inspired the men who wrote the rest of the Bible.

If all that’s so, then why isn’t Mr. Dallas campaigning to have those who wear clothing made of two different threads stoned to death as demanded in Leviticus, or to have non-virgin brides stoned to death as demanded in Deuteronomy? And for “God’s” sake, why isn’t he campaigning to repeal the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so as to fulfill St. Paul’s edict in First Timothy to “suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”?

His second “reason” was equally self-serving and suffered from the same convoluted sophistry: “Not only are the gospels no more authoritative than the rest of Scripture, they are not comprehensive either. That is, they do not provide all we need to know by way of doctrine and practical instruction. Some of the Bible’s most important teachings, in fact, do not appear in the gospels. …”

Indeed, the “gospels” were cobbled together decades, sometimes centuries after Jesus’ death. The resulting texts were then either sanctioned or shunned by men whose sole purpose was to create a religion and its dogma that would control people and have them do and believe as they were told to by the hierarchy of the institution.

Spirituality is intrapersonal. For most it’s a personally liberating and uplifting experience, an encouragement to grow and evolve to more conscious perceptions. But when personal spirituality is organized into a religion, an institution is produced and as all institutions it produces a hierarchy who produce dogma that often has little to do with spirituality and everything to do with maintaining social and political control.

The third “reason” Mr. Dallas offered was of a kind: “The gospels do not profess to be a complete account of Jesus’ life or teachings. Whole sections of His early years are omitted; much of what He did and said remains unknown” [italics added].

It’s historical fact that the “gospels” and other “sacred texts” were sanitized (if not completely excluded) by early Church fathers before what we now call “the Bible” was canonized. For example, all references to or mention of Jesus’ sexuality were expunged. Any references to possible siblings were also deleted. But such information remains extant in “unapproved” texts such as the Gospel of Thomas, written by a man some believe was Jesus’ sibling, as well as in other so-called “gnostic texts.” Alas, such records just didn’t fit the official dogma “The Church” wanted and needed to create for its own social and political purposes.

The fourth “reason” Mr. Dallas offers begs the question of civil equality for gay and lesbian American citizens and diverts attention to procreation: “Jesus referred in the most specific of terms to God’s created intent for human sexuality: ‘But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate’ (Mark 10:6-9).”

There’s that pesky biblical interdiction against divorce again. If he were true to his espoused beliefs, Mr. Dallas would be campaigning to have divorce made illegal. Despite that glaring inconsistency, surely even Mr. Dallas would acknowledge that people – including devout Christians – have sex for pleasure with no intent to procreate. And just as surely that pleasure was also part of “God’s created intent for human sexuality” otherwise why would Divinity have made sex so pleasurable, not to mention making it one of humans’ most basic, fundamental instincts? To suggest the pleasures of sex were a divine test of faith conjures a rather mean-spirited “God” who enjoys torturing his creations.

Mr. Dallas and those who share his anti-human, anti-pleasure views on sexuality might want to read Vatsyayana’s Kamasutram (aka “Kama Sutra”). But then again, they’d probably view such a work as anti-Christian hedonism, so perhaps they should just stick to reading the Wife of Bath’s prologue in The Canterbury Tales. She addressed their concerns most astutely and from a Christian perspective.

Instead of concocting sophomoric, self-contradictory arguments to support discrimination and propagate hate, James Dobson, Jim Pfaff, Joe Dallas and the rest of the dour dogmatists of the Christian Right might want to join the twenty-first century and embrace its diverse human community instead of trying to factionalize it to enhance their own power and profit.


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Comments (10)add comment

enemy of the people said:

This piece
is illustrative of the position the vast majority of us has held since the arguments started. This "holy book" is a collection of dittys and fables passed down in an oral then written heritage over the millenia and not to be taken as anything but.

Certainly there are valuable ethical and moral lessons as there are in many historical documents but to deny one truth while building on another only shows the adherents to "faith" for what they really are: Wild dogs with no moral values at all.
December 05, 2006
Votes: +0

Jim Pfaff said:

The real truth behind the numbers
The 30% who favor "civil unions" do so as an alternative to gay marriage, not in support of it. This is not an addition to the 30% who favor same-sex marriage. Rather it is a 30% equally in opposition to gay marriage. The assertion at "60% of Americans favor recognition of gay unions" is completely false. And electoral experience proves this point further.

As we found here in Colorado by exposing the real purpose of the civil unions proposal on the 2006 ballot--Referendum I-- voters rejected it when we showed them that domestic partnerships (as the proponents of civil unions called it here) are intended to give all the benefits of spouses to same-sex couples. In Colorado, a state that went decidedly "blue" in this last election, voters strongly supported defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman (56%) and rejected same-sex domestic partnerships (or, "civil unions", 53%). I re-assert--as I clearly stated in the quote above--that 70% of Americans reject gay marriage. I also postualte that the 30% who support civil unions would reject them like the voters here in Colorado if they understood that civil unions are meant to give all the benefits of marriage under a different name to same-sex couples.

Oh, and by the way, there is not any shred of "mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice". To the contrary, the evidence is clear that homosexuality is behavioral often associated with the lack of a strong connection with a father early in life as well as other environmental factors. There is not one credible, unbiased study proving that homosexuality is anything more than a chosen behavior. http://www.citizenlink.org/FOS...01534.cfm.

And one last thing: You do me a great honor to be compared with the likes of Dr. James Dobson and Joe Dallas. Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Jim Pfaff
December 05, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Jim Pfaff said:

"enemy of the people" shows his lack of study as to the origins of the Scriptural texts.

Moses dictated the Pentatuch to scribes with some of the information therein having been given by oral tradition (especially the Genesis account though lets not forget that the story of Joseph would have been accessable in Egyptian records available to him while living in Pharoah's house). Moses' dictation served as the end of oral transmission of Holy Scripture. All subsequent books of the Bible (and none of the Pentatuch other than Genesis) were written records passed down through generations using texts written by or transcribed under the direction of their authors and faithfully transmitted over centuries by means of scribes. We have more than anecdotal evidence that Scripture has been transmitted to us faithfully in the fact that Old Testament books contained in the Qumran texts (The Dead Sea Scrolls, ca. 100 BC) found in the mid-20th Century differ not from Old Testament texts (esp. Isaiah) existing at the time two young boys found that textual treasure in the caves of Qumran.
December 05, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Ed Pfaff (Jim's Brother) said:

Jim's Assertions in his replies
Jim asserts that the electorial process supports his position(s), as to the results of the 2006 Colorado elections.

Lets remember, that the 56% of Coloradan's who voted FOR the amendment to their constitution represent Fully Only 12.5% of the Colorado Population. That's Right, ONLY 1/4 of the States Population voted in the last election.

Jim, 12.5% of a States Population does NOT a "Referendum" Make. The VAST Minority of Colorado agrees with your Stance, apparently the Vast Majority felt it necessary to ignore your election Against their Rights.

But, remember what Thomas Jefferson said, in regards to your desire to subvert Constitutions to YOUR way of thinking:

-“I am not an Advocate for Frequent changes in the Laws and Constitutions.
But Laws and Institutions must go hand in hand with the Progress of the
Humans Mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as
new discoveries are made. New Truths discovered and Manners and
Opinions change. With the Change of Circumstances, Institutions must
advance also to keep pace with the times. We might well require a man to
wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as Civilized Society to
Remain ever under the Regimen of their Barbarous Ancestors.”
Thomas Jefferson

About the Dead Sea Scroll's, you MIGHT be correct, but ANY outcome from translating a Text can be made into Your Reality when you subjegate the Words you are translating to mean what you want them to mean.

I have had that discussion with you, and you know of which I speak.
December 05, 2006
Votes: +0

blessed said:

Jim Pfaff's creative mind

There is so much here to comment on. But I will keep it to a few comments.

1) The notion that gayness is a choice is so silly. Ask any gay person if they "chose to be gay". Most tried denying it, trying to change etc before excepting that is how they were made. It just is the way it turned out for them. Ask yourself (if you are not gay) when you "chose to be straight".

2) Whether various states in this corner of the world limit recognition to gay couples or not, tgay couples will marry. When I got married (heterosexual) it was not about the state or what some right wingers thought. It was about me and my spouse commiting to each other. The same will be for my son should he meet a guy he wants to commit to. We hope he does. I would hope for any gay person to be lucky enough and percistent enough to find a great commited, married relationship. Why would we want anything less for people?

3) Despite all the wasted energy of this religious right tempest in a teapot, gay marriage will be nation wide within the next generation. Just look at the demographics. Without the current 65 and older crowd the percent of gay marriage support goes up noticably. As us 50 somethings disappear things shift even more. Being gay is just not an big issue for my son (normal kid, happens to be gay) or most of the people at his high school.

Equality, freedom and truth do win in the end.
December 05, 2006
Votes: +0

blessed said:

Those percentages
A couple thoughts:

While Jim points out that Colorado voted down gay marriage and civil unions lets keep in mind that Arizona did not. Also lets note that the anti-gay marriage ballot measures won by less margin than in the past.

It is also worth noting that in 1948 90% of Americans opposed interracial marriage when California legalized it. In the late 60s 70% of Americans opposed interracial marriage when the US Supreme court struck down laws banning it. Also let it be noted that these bans were supported by vocal religious leaders and followers.
December 05, 2006
Votes: +0

Mel Seesholtz (PhD) said:

“Oh, and by the way…”
Mel Seesholtz’s reply to Jim Pfaff

Jim Pfaff’s response was “as expected”: pure dogmatic party line. His comment “Oh, and by the way, there is not any shred of ‘mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice’” demonstrated that quite well.

In his article Christian writer Oliver Thomas acknowledged the “mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice.” Mr. Pfaff, however, seems unaware of such research conducted by reputable scientists at reputable institutions. For example, there was the 1993 study by the National Institutes of Health published in the July issue of Science that revealed a correlation between a specific chromosomal region in human males and homosexuality.

More than a few studies since then have pointed in the same direction, such as that conducted by Drs. Qazi Rahman and Glenn D. Wilson of the Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. Their resulting 2003 article was published in the highly respected peer-reviewed scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences (34:8, June 2003, 1337-1382). The abstract read as follows:

Sexual orientation is fundamental to evolution and shifts from the species-typical pattern of heterosexuality may represent biological variations. The growth of scientific knowledge concerning the biology of sexual orientation during the past decade has been considerable. Sexual orientation is characterized by a bipolar distribution and is related to fraternal birth order in males. In females, its distribution is more variable; females being less prone towards exclusive homosexuality. In both sexes homosexuality is strongly associated with childhood gender nonconformity. Genetic evidence suggests a heritable component and putative gene loci on the X chromosome. Homosexuality may have evolved to promote same sex affiliation through a conserved neurodevelopmental mechanism. Recent findings suggest this mechanism involves atypical neurohormonal differentiation of the brain. Key areas for future research include the neurobiological basis of preferred sexual targets and correlates of female homosexuality.

Dr. Rahman bluntly stated that “there is now very strong evidence from almost two decades of ‘biobehavioral’ research that human sexual orientation is predominantly biologically determined.” A 2003 press release also commented on the research of Drs. Rahman and Wilson. As did presentations in other venues. Drs. Rahman and Wilson’s subsequent 2005 book was reported in the media worldwide. England’s highly respected Guardian newspaper used this headline: “Being gay is in the genes, say researchers.” Drs. Rahman and Wilson are not alone in concluding genetics play a significant role in sexual preference.

A study by Drs. Barry J. Dickson and Ebru Demir of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences published in the June 3, 2005 issue of the scientific journal Cell showed definitively that sexual orientation and behavior in fruit flies is genetically governed. True, human DNA and behavior are a lot more complex than those of fruit flies, but clearly genetics play some role in sexual disposition.

Also in 2005, a genome researcher in Chicago said he had found a group of genes, not a single “gay gene,” that strongly affect whether a man is homosexual. The University of Illinois at Chicago and the National Institute of Health scientists reported having looked at the genes of 456 men, each of whom had at least two gay brothers, from 146 families. The finding that a variety of genes are common to most gay men contributed once again to the “mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice.”

But apparently Jim Pfaff prefers the pseudo-science propagated by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an umbrella organization of for-profit “ex-gay” therapies that the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association have all called unscientific, unproductive and “dangerous.” Other professional organizations that agree attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation is dangerous, destructive and counterproductive include the American Counseling Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers. In 1999, both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association decried “ex-gay” therapies as “unethical.”

Among NARTH’s “scientists” is discredited psychologist Paul Cameron:

At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.
– Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995.

Appended is part of a previously published article, “The ‘Ex-Gay’ Sham Exposed, Yet Again.” It includes Jim Pfaff’s homophobic hero James Dobson and others who use homosexuals as fodder to further their own self-serving, sinister agenda…

The “Ex-Gay” Sham Exposed, Yet Again
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

The primary arguments used by those opposed to civil equality for gay and lesbian Americans is that homosexuality is simply an immoral “lifestyle choice” or a “mental disorder” in need of treatment. Both positions ignore the mounting scientific evidence that points to sexual preference being determined before birth. Both also continue to advocate so-called “ex-gay therapies.”

Such practices go by many names: “reparative therapy” and “aversion therapy,” “reorientation therapy” and “conversion therapy.” Their sponsoring organizations have names like “Love Won Out,” “Love in Action,” and “Exodus International.” Their umbrella organization is NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. Their common claim is that they can change homosexuals into heterosexuals or, in the case of Love in Action, teach gay people to suppress their feelings and live a fraudulent life of repression. Managing editor of WashingtonBlade.com Kevin Neff said it well: “there is no such thing as ‘ex-gay.’ There is ‘repress-my-inate-immutable-characteristics-and-deny-their-existence,’ but no such condition as ‘ex-gay.’”

According to Mel White, “ex-gay therapies” engage in some extreme and rather strange practices. Who’s Mel White? A thorn in the side of “ex-gay” advocates …

From the 1960s through the early 1990s, the Rev. Mel White played a behind-the-scenes role in the resurgence of evangelical Christianity. While pastoring several West Coast churches and working with national crusades like Youth for Christ, White produced films and ghostwrote books for a “who’s who” of evangelical leaders, including the Revs. Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy and Pat Robertson.

Unknown to his friends and colleagues, White was also a closeted gay man who was nearly driven to suicide after two decades of struggling to save his marriage – and, he believed, his soul – with “reparative therapies” including electric shock and exorcism.

Psychologist Jeffry G. Ford was once the executive director of Outpost, an “ex-gay” ministry in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent many years as a national speaker for Exodus International, which serves as a communications hub for “ex-gay” ministries. His firsthand accounts of the “ex-gay” sham and the damage and harm reparative, conversion and aversion therapies do have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals. His seminal study “Healing Homosexuals: A Psychologist’s Journey Through the Ex-Gay Movement and the Pseudo-Science of Reparative Therapy” appeared in The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy.

On July 28, 2004, LA Times writer Steve Lopez did a background story on Exodus:

The Florida-based group was inspired nearly 30 years ago in Anaheim by charismatic Christian leaders who declared homosexuality a sin. Just one problem. [The] two men who helped get the movement started were counseling gays to go straight when, lo and behold, they fell in love with each other. … The two men dumped their wives, abandoned Exodus, and wore each other’s wedding bands. …

Acknowledging and accepting one’s homosexuality are major steps toward mental health and living an honest life of self-respect. Denying one’s sexual orientation leads to a disingenuous life of repression, witness the executive director of Love in Action: “Rev. John Smid… is married to a woman and claims to have left behind ‘the homosexual lifestyle,’ if not same-sex attractions” [italics added].

According to the American Medical Association, “there is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation.” The AMA “does not recommend aversion therapy for gay men and lesbians.”

The American Psychological Association has stated that “groups who try to change the sexual orientation of people through so-called conversion therapy are misguided and run the risk of causing a great deal of psychological harm to those they say they are trying to help.”

The American Psychiatric Association concurs: “gay men and lesbians who have accepted their sexual orientation positively are better adjusted than those who have not done so.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”

Ex-gay therapies were publicly decried in 1999 as unethical by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. The National Association of School Psychologists and the American Counseling Association concur.

The American Psychological Association recently held its annual meeting in New Orleans. As the Associated Press reported,

About two dozen protesters on Friday [August 11, 2006] marched for an hour outside of the American Psychological Association convention meeting in New Orleans to protest the organization’s stand on homosexuality.

The group, which was sponsored by the conservative ministry Focus on the Family, was protesting what it sees as the APA’s views on the immutability of homosexuality.

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Los Angeles psychologist and president of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, said they disagree with the APA’s stand …

In 1974, the APA ceased listing homosexuality as a mental disorder. The protesters demanded that the APA change its current position.

James Dobson’s Focus on the Family (FOF) has its own “ex-gay” program called Love Won Out that claims “homosexuality is preventable and treatable.” FOF also claims homosexuality is a “social problem” comparable to alcoholism and gambling, which is the main reason the Atlanta Braves barred them from the team’s “Faith Day” celebration.

Although not part of the APA protest, America’s premier homophobe Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition added his two-(non)sense in another venue:

none of the panelists delivered as bombastic a screed as the Rev. Lou Sheldon, head of the hard-line anti-gay group Traditional Values Coalition. Sheldon demanded laws that treat homosexuality as “a social disorder.” Decrying the term “homosexual” as the brainchild of a 20th-century German psychologist obviously sympathetic to gays, Sheldon implored the conferees to return to the 18th century’s superior diction. “The word used in America [then] was ‘perverted’,” he noted. When Sheldon was asked by an audience member what to call homosexuals, he shot out of his chair and shouted, “Call them what they are – sodomites!”

Too bad “Lucky Louie” doesn’t know what “sodomites” really means. But then again, ignorance and unbridled hate are his forte.

The astute comments made by Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth and executive director of Truth Wins Out, following the NARTH/FOF protest bear repeating:

This is the subversion of science and a religious racket designed to con Americans into believing that homosexuality is a mental illness … This coalition is trying to kill the APA messenger because they don’t like their science-based message. These ex-gay groups keep no statistics, they produce no peer-reviewed studies, most of their top leaders have reverted back to homosexuality, and they conveniently disregard scientific evidence that does not conform to their political agenda. …

If the quack science is examined, it is clear that conversion therapy is a cruel hoax that is destroying lives and shattering families… The goal of this right-wing coalition is to fool voters into thinking homosexuality is mutable, because polls show that when Americans believe people are born gay, they are more likely to vote in favor of equality.

The American Psychological Association’s statement following the NARTH/FOF protest also bears repeating:

For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’s concern about the positions espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficient scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish. [italics added]

“Not supported by science.” Aside from exorcisms and electric shock treatments, “ex-gay” therapies have been known to use Gatoraide. They have male clients drink large quantities of the stuff to make them more masculine. And they claim this is scientific and medically efficacious?

“Create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish”: that’s precisely what NARTH and FOF wish to do. It’s the malicious business of anti-gay politics.

December 06, 2006
Votes: +0

Ash said:

Letting the Dead Bury Their Dead
That verse has relevance to me now. God bless you Mr. Pfaff.
January 24, 2008
Votes: -1

Ash said:

Mr. Jim Pfaff, that is! And may God open the eyes of the others.
January 24, 2008
Votes: -1

Joann said:

Same-Sex Unions & Homosexuality
As a Christian myself who is also struggling with homosexual desires, I agree that homosexuality is an environmental factor, not a biological one, and that organizations such as Desert Stream and Exodus International fail miserably in their attempt at converting a homosexual into a hetrosexual. You cannot make someone into something that they are not, then turn around and condemn them to hellfire and brimstone because they are unable to control their desires. That, itself, is hatred, and it's wrong, but the Christian church does it all the time. However, while homosexuality itself may not be a choice, the homosexual lifestyle is, and nowhere in the Bible does God Himself condone any type of homosexual union, including marriage and gay/lesbian parenting. The Bible clearly states, in the Book of Genesis, that marriage is a union between ONE man and ONE woman, not two men or two women. God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, not Adam and Steve, and He instructed both man and woman to, and I quote "be fruitful and become many, fill the earth." This means that ONLY one man and one woman, within the confines of marriage, can conceive and raise children together. Homosexual marriage and gay/lesbian parenting only corrupts children into believing that such unions are normal, when, in fact, they are not. And yes, I AM reading my Bible from the first Book to the very last, in that order, and I am studying my Scriptures carefully, too, so I do know what I am talking about. I'm not taking anything out of context. Anyway, my heart does go out to those gays and lesbians who seek help for their so-called "unwanted" homosexual desires, only to have hellfire and brimstone thrown at them and forcibly converted into hetrosexual men and women, because although I never actually walked into such an organization to seek help myself, I know personally the guilt and shame I feel when I continue to struggle. My church is closely affiliated with Andy Comiski of Desert Stream, and while I've met Andy on the two occasions I was there when he was our Guest Speaker and he has even prayed for me and told me that I am making progress, and I love the guy and am always excited to have him at my church, and even though he is now married to his wonderful wife Annette and they've had children together, and he has supposedly given up his own homosexual lifestyle for God, I do NOT agree that our homosexual tendencies and desires eventually go away. In fact, quite the opposite is true, because of the forceful nature of the "de-programming" and re-programming methods that these organizations use in the name of helping people like me. Their hearts are in the right places, though, just not their methods. Great article!
June 26, 2008
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