The clip featured activists Michael Brown and Anne Paulk, and one young man who exclaimed: “I have to say, Lady Gaga, shut up. I was not born this way.”
The clip featured activists Michael Brown and Anne Paulk, and one young man who exclaimed: “I have to say, Lady Gaga, shut up. I was not born this way.”
Linda Harvey of Mission America spoke to BarbWire columnist Gina Miller on her radio show this weekend, where the two reprised their attacks on LGBT rights as a demonic, destructive force.
Reflecting on a campaign to push for LGBT rights in Southern states, Harvey said anti-gay activists should have the same “kind of boldness” and go to pride parades and “places that are homosexual” like San Francisco, Provincetown and Key West.
Miller, however, cautioned that “a lot of the homosexual radicals are radical and they’re violent and vicious,” adding: “These people are vicious and we’re not. That’s the thing. We’re not vicious but we know the truth and the truth is on our side.”
Harvey and Miller then dismissed a Human Rights Campaign survey on harassment of LGBT youth in states like Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama, which they claimed — without any evidence to substantiate their claims — was a complete sham.
Miller said: “No I don’t believe it, while there may be some element of bullying — of course bullying happens all the time for various reasons in our schools, that’s the way kids are — but no, I don’t buy it and further they can easily make up these statistics…They’re using these kinds of statements whether they’re true or not to create a false image, a false impression that homosexuals are bullied and where is this rampant epidemic of homosexual kids?”
“These folks are highly sensitive — I’m not saying these things don’t happen, but I think all of this is exaggeration,” Harvey said. “‘One-in-three LGBT students,’ you might be talking about 45 people in the total of Mississippi and they are not born that way so the issue is we need to be educating and counseling and coming along these kids and saying ‘you don’t need to be in this lifestyle’ and harassment can be punished right now, no matter what the reason, so it’s all false.”
As more and more ex-gay activists renounce the movement and strongly criticize sexual orientation conversion therapy, even apologizing for their role promoting ex-gay pseudo-science, you might think anti-gay activists would start asking questions about the efficacy of ex-gay therapy.
You would be mistaken, of course, as instead anti-gay activists like Peter LaBarbera deny that there are any problems at all with the rapidly collapsing ex-gay movement. In fact, the Americans For Truth About Homosexuality leader believes that people who have abandoned their positions in the ex-gay movement should apologize to anti-gay conservatives like himself.
While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about recent statements by people like Randy Thomas, Yvette Schneider, Alan Chambers and John Paulk who, among others, have denounced the ex-gay movement they once took part in, LaBarbera said that they are “sellouts” who, instead of apologizing to the LGBT community, should apologize to the Religious Right.
LaBarbera said such activists are “negating the word of God to score some points with the politically correct thought police” while hurting “people trapped in homosexuality.”
“He needs to apologize to the body of Christ now for selling out the Bible,” he said of Thomas. “That’s the apology I want to see from Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas and all of these sellouts, is people saying I’m coming back to this route and then apologizing to the body of Christ for promoting error.”
Mefferd agreed: “That would be nice.”
He also accused Schneider of embracing the “occult” and “opening herself up to an unbiblical counselor in her life, you could use stronger words.”
“This one is very sad and personal to me, I worked with Yvette Schneider at the Family Research Council, she had a wonderful testimony,” he said. “This one is a stab in the back to all of her pro-family friends and I pray that Yvette will turn back to the Bible and turn back to God and apologize for this apostasy.”
Ex-gay activist David Kyle Foster said last month that people are “abusing children” by telling gay youth not to pursue ex-gay therapy, insisting that he changed his sexual orientation even after “sleeping with 1,000 men.”
Foster made the remarks in an interview on “Vocal Point” with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries, which he spent promoting his new ex-gay movie and discussing how childhood sexual abuse leads to homosexuality.
Newcombe started the program on the “militant homosexual agenda” by asking: “If a Martian were to visit America, he might conclude that half the country was gay and the other half wish it were! This is such an issue where it is pushed on us over and over and over in America.”
Ex-gay activist David Kyle Foster joined Kevin Swanson on “Generations Radio” today, which inevitably led to a discussion of how God will punish America for homosexuality.
“I’ve wondered if the opening of the Pandora’s box of the 1960s and 70s and the free sex movement that led to the shacking up, the fornication, the massive increase in the availability of pornography, etc. etc….I wonder if the incredible opening up of all these things has led to the next step, and that is homosexuality?” Swanson asked Foster.
Foster agreed that “sexual immorality” such as homosexuality amounts to “idolatry” because it involves “worshipping the creature rather than the creator.”
“Homosexuality in our culture is another step in the degeneration of a culture that practices idolatry,” he concluded.
Following last year’s smashing success of an ex-gay pride event, ex-gay activists are organizing another “Ex-Gay Awareness Month” summit featuring Alan Keyes, Sandy Rios, Matt Barber and Peter Sprigg, along with real-life ex-gays Greg Quinlan and Christopher Doyle.
Agenda – Friday, October 3, 2014
9:00am – 10:00am – Pre-Event Get Together and Lobbying Education Training, Greg Quinlan, President of Equality And Justice For All (Location to be disclosed prior to the event)
10:00am – 5:00pm – Meetings with your Representatives and Senators (e-mail email@example.com for assistance in making appointments)
5:00pm – 6:00pm – Dinner (on your own)
6:00pm – 9:00pm – Evening Reception (hors d’ oeuvres and dessert to be served) and Screening of “Sing Over Me” with Dennis Jernigan (Location to be disclosed prior to the event)
Agenda – Saturday, October 4, 2014
8:00am – 9:00am – Breakfast with Ambassador Alan Keyes (sponsorship tickets required)
9:00am – Invocation, Rev. Jayson Graves, LMFT
Welcome -Estella Salvatierra, President of PFOX/Regina Griggs, Executive Director of PFOX
Introduction – Christopher Doyle, President of Voice of the Voiceless
9:15am – 10:00am – Ambassador Alan Keyes, Former Republican Presidential Candidate
10:00am – 11:00am -Breakout Sessions
11:00am – 12:00pm -Breakout Sessions
12:00pm – 1:00pm -Breakout Sessions
1:00pm – 2:00pm - Luncheon
2:00pm – 3:00pm - Panel Discussion with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays Panel, Moderated by Regina Griggs (Panel TBD)
3:00pm – 3:15pm – Break
3:15pm – 3:45pm – Courage Award for Former Homosexuals, Dennis Jernigan (Introduction by PFOX Past President Greg Quinlan
3:45pm – 4:00pm – Break
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award, Sandy Rios (Introduction by Voice of the Voiceless President Christopher Doyle)
5:00pm – Benediction
On this weekend’s edition of “Understanding the Times with Jan Markell,” ex-gay activist Stephen Bennett joined Linda Harvey in denouncing the “miniscule” group of “militant activists who are trying to turn this country upside down” by advocating for LGBT equality.
“They’re basically marching in with their fist shaking, saying, ‘We demand equality, homosexuality is equivalent to heterosexuality.’ Folks, it is not, anyone with a brain realizes it is not equal,” he said. “People have strayed so far away from God’s design of marriage. Marriage isn’t to be decided by a government or judges or courts, this is God, God is the one who designed this.”
On James Dobson’s “Family Talk” radio program earlier this week, Religious Right pundit Alex McFarland disputed claims that high rates of depression, suicide, and self-abuse among gay people are connected to internalized homophobia.
“Here in America, we’re told ad infinitum that depression and psychiatric illness among professed homosexuals is due to our culture of homophobia,” he said. “It’s our fault when homosexual people have mental stress.”
Furious that anyone could possibly link anti-gay activism to anti-gay bigotry, McFarland concluded that, once again, the problems lie within gays themselves: “Along with what I believe is spiritually destructive behavior and physically destructive behavior, homosexuality is psychologically destructive behavior.”
Thankfully, ex-gay activist Anne Paulk was also on the air to supplement McFarland’s wisdom with an “unscientific survey” she conducted among gay women on the causes of their own depression and poor mental health: “They didn’t even mention homophobia, their family of origin’s point of view, none of that. It was the breakup of a same-sex relationship that precipitated this sense of, ‘Oh, my life’s not worth living anymore.’”
Paulk lamented that the media routinely points the finger at anti-gay intolerance for issues many LGBT people face, yet failed to conduct their own research proving that homophobia is actually a manufactured problem. Clearly, these four accredited studies just can’t stand up to the solidity of Paulk’s “unscientific survey.”
On the weekend edition of Linda Harvey’s “Mission: America” radio program, ex-gay activist David Kyle Foster phoned in to discuss his documentary, “Such Were Some of You,” a wide-eyed account of the temptations of the “homosexual lifestyle” and the great lengths people have undertaken to renounce their homosexuality.
Foster warned that young people are especially vulnerable because “Satan is in their little minds, planting all sorts of doubts and fears,” adding that messages of LGBT acceptance in school curriculum prey on children from a young age.
Discussing the manipulation he is convinced drives the so-called gay agenda, he exclaimed, “All these gay activists are teaching [children] in elementary schools and junior high schools that gay sex is wonderful, and here’s how you do it; here’s how you do the most perverse thing done by gay people, right in our schools. It’s child abuse as far as I’m concerned.”
On Monday’s “Washington Watch,” host Tony Perkins lamented how increasingly difficult it is for Christian business owners to actively discriminate against and refuse service to LGBT people or same-sex couples based on their “religious views on sexuality.”
Perkins said that business owners who fear challenges to their discriminatory practices from gay couples should prominently place signs in their businesses explaining their belief in “traditional marriage,” and emphasizing that any profits earned from LGBT customers will be donated to “ministries that actually help people who want to come out of the homosexual lifestyle.”
Scoffing at the notion that anti-discrimination ordinances provide protection for marginalized groups, Perkins dismissed the laws as “clubs” that can be used by gay people to “force everybody to accept and participate and facilitate their lifestyle choices” and “sue people of faith.”
He cited the recent repeal of a Chattanooga law preventing discrimination against LGBT employees as proof that Americans feel “bullied by the homosexual activists and spineless politicians who are doing the bidding of these activists.”
Ex-gay activist Anne Paulk appeared today on “Family Talk,” where she told hosts James Dobson and Meg Meeker that parents should be skeptical when a teenage child comes out of the closet.
She advised parents to question their kids by asking questions like: “Why do you think that you are gay? What is happening in your life, son or daughter, that makes you think that you might be gay? Do you think maybe that you might be considering admiration of another person of the same gender and thinking you’re confused by what are normal crushes, guy crushes I think they call them nowadays, bromance or whatever?”
Paulk also warned that “there is a huge machine in public education” that instills kids with a “gay identity, and it’s just not fair to the individual.”
“Let’s be honest though, Anne, a revelation like that would scare most parents to death,” Dobson added. “They suck air trying to take that in and trying to stay rational at that moment is pretty tough.”
Ironically, Dobson’s Family Talk is using the broadcast to promote the book “Love Won Out” that Paulk authored with her ex-husband John Paulk, who now identifies as gay and strongly denounced the ex-gay movement.
Dobson added that there are “enticements” for young people to be gay these days and so they “don’t hear the other side” from anti-gay folks like himself. “My goodness they get trapped!”
“It’s almost politically correct to be homosexual or gay,” Dobson said. “You’re a hero by declaring that you’re gay,” Paulk replied, pointing to Michael Sam. “He became an overnight hero in many circles simply for saying ‘I’m gay.’ That’s our culture today.”
She then said the gay community doesn’t let people leave: “Once in, you’re not allowed out.”
The ex-gay group NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, has launched a new group called the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity to promote a “new emphasis on educational outreach.” The announcement even features a “Breaking News” video, via Warren Throckmorton:
We imagine such “Breaking News” probably would have been more relevant when, say, NARTH official George Rekers was caught traveling with a male escort.
Throckmorton writes: “In any case, there appears to be nothing new under the sun or at NARTH. The name is new but the empty promises appear to be the same.”
Nine former leaders of the “ex-gay” movement today released a letter condemning the “toxic” practice of so-called conversion therapy that for years has been deemed dangerous and ineffectual by all major social science groups.
“Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen. Regrettably, too many will choose suicide as a result of their sense of failure,” reads the letter, which was posted on BuzzFeed.
“In light of this, we now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not ‘therapy,’ but is instead both ineffective and harmful. We align ourselves with every major mainstream professional medical and mental health organization in denouncing attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy”, “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), professes to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to change or overcome their sexual orientation or gender identity. The majority of those who practice this “therapy” often do so with little or no formal psychological training, operating instead from a strict religious perspective, believing homosexuality to be a “sin.”
At one time, we were not only deeply involved in these “ex-gay” programs, we were the founders, the leaders, and the promoters. Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy. We know first-hand the terrible emotional and spiritual damage it can cause, especially for LGBT youth.
We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically “broken” about being LGBT. We know better now. We once believed that sexual orientation or gender identity were somehow chosen or could be changed. We know better now. We once thought it was impossible to embrace our sexual orientation or sexual identity as an intrinsic, healthy part of who we are and who we were created to be. We know better now.
Looking back, we were just believing (and sometimes teaching) what we had been taught— that our identity needed mending. We grew up being told that being LGBT was disordered, sick, mentally ill, sinful, and displeasing to God. We grew up being told that loving, same-sex relationships were shallow, lust-driven, deceived, disordered, and impossible.
We grew up with the repetitive message that LGBT people were not enough — not straight enough, not Christian enough, not manly or womanly enough, not faithful enough, not praying enough. Never, ever enough. “Toxic” probably sums it up best. That message is poison to the soul. Especially a child’s soul.
It can take a lifetime to get rid of that old programming and replace it with healthy, non-toxic views of yourself. Recovery from conversion therapy is difficult at best. Some remain forever scarred, emotionally and spiritually. Conversion therapy reinforces internalized homophobia, anxiety, guilt and depression. It leads to self-loathing and emotional and psychological harm when change doesn’t happen. Regrettably, too many will choose suicide as a result of their sense of failure.
In light of this, we now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful. We align ourselves with every major mainstream professional medical and mental health organization in denouncing attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity. We admonish parents to love and accept your LGBT children as they are. We beseech the church to accept, embrace, and affirm LGBT persons with full equality and inclusion.
As former “ex-gay” leaders, having witnessed the incredible harm done to those who attempted to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, we join together in calling for a ban on conversion therapy. It is our firm belief that it is much more productive to support, counsel, and mentor LGBT individuals to embrace who they are in order to live happy, well- adjusted lives. We fully support the aim of #BornPerfect to bring an end to conversion therapy.
Schneider once spoke along with John Paulk, an ex-gay representative for Focus on the Family who also left the movement and now says he is gay, on a panel with the ex-gay group NARTH on the legitimacy of ex-gay pseudo-science, and was featured in a Family Research Council statement as “living proof that homosexuals can change.”
Jeremy Hooper details how Schneider was a top ex-gay advocate for several Religious Right groups:
Yvette Cantu Schneider has one of the most robust pedigrees of anyone who has ever worked in the so-called "ex-gay" movement. From the late nineties right through to the second decade of the twenty-first century, Yvette managed to find herself laboring for and with just about every top anti-LGBT group and activist you've heard of. From her high-profile start at the Family Research Council to her work with California's Proposition 8 campaign—with many stops, at many different groups and campaigns along the way—Yvette became one of that movement's most visible faces and certainly one of the most known women in a line of "work" known mainly for its male spokespeople.
To this day, Yvette remains one of the key people who anti-gay voices like to cite in order to prove that "change" works. In a December 19, 2013, press release concerning the Duck Dynasty brouhaha, notorious anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera, who was a colleague of Yvette's during their shared time at the Family Research Council, cited Schnieder as an example of a person who has "ovecome homosexuality through faith in Jesus Christ." "Ex-gay" websites continue to list her as among their ranks and push her story as a source of inspiration. The American Family Association continues to sell a video, "It's Not Gay," in which Yvette appears as a talking head. They all still claim Yvette as being both an example and a worker bee for their side.
In a nutshell: Yvette no longer wishes to identify with the "ex-gay" or anti-LGBT movement; is sorry for the pain she caused as part of that world; is highly questioning of the idea of "ex-gay" itself; and is now fully supportive of LGBT people, our truths, and our families. Yvette has made her sincerity clear to me, saying "as opposed to when I was doing things for the Christian Right out of duty and obligation, I'm doing it because I want to and feel it's the right thing to do." She hopes that by speaking out, she can start to undo any damage she might've helped to impart.
Schneider writes for GLAAD about how she played a part on behalf of the Religious Right’s anti-gay political agenda:
That evening was the Fine Line event in support of Proposition 8 at The Rock Church in San Diego. It would be simulcast to churches across California in an attempt to sway the God-loving, church-going faithful to vote for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between a man and woman. I was a panelist; the token “ex-gay” spokesperson, chosen to vouch for the evangelical Christian belief that while people may not choose to be gay, they can certainly choose not to stay gay. Every detail of the event had been pre-planned and rehearsed. The texts, phone calls, and emails from viewers and attendees asking questions were actually written and recorded in advance by those of us who would serve on the panel. But for some reason, as the event drew near, I couldn’t shake the nerves. My heart wasn’t in this event; deep down I knew I didn’t belong here. But I played my part, and delivered my lines.
This young woman adored her father, and wanted things in their household to remain as they had always been. She feared that the advent of gay marriage would ruin any chance of her father staying with the family. I told her she didn’t have the power to change anyone; no one does. The best she could do was to love and spend time with her father. He was still the same man she had always known and loved. As she sobbed over the breakup of her parents and family, an errant thought darted through my head: If we as a society didn't condemn homosexuality, gay people wouldn't feel pressured into marrying heterosexually, against their true attractions, and families wouldn't be torn apart when the gay spouse could no longer continue the ruse. I had seen a number of gay Christians marry an opposite sex partner, only to leave when they couldn't pretend any longer. It wasn't fair to the spouse, the kids, or themselves. My doubts about the efficacy of change and the evangelical Christian stance against gay rights of any kind nagged at me.
I spent the next few years digging deep within my soul to unearth my true self--the authentic me who celebrates the worthiness and equality of all people. The me who knows we all deserve to be who we are, not who others want and expect us to be. It was only when I embraced this true self that I regained my life. It meant shedding many of the beliefs I had espoused for decades—beliefs about what it means to be gay, and what it means to treat people with dignity and respect.
The “documentary” features ex-gay activists including Anne Paulk, DL Foster, David Kyle Foster, Linda Jernigan, Jeff Johnston, Robert Gagnon and Michael Brown.
Newly released documentary "Such Were Some of You" confronts the rising tide of popular opinion by chronicling the stories of 29 former homosexual men and women who say that Jesus Christ has transformed their lives. Experts in psychology, (Dr. Julie Hamilton), biblical scholarship (Dr. Robert Gagnon) and ministry (Dr. Neil Anderson) add their voice to the claim that people have been leaving homosexuality for millennia.
Created to be used in Sunday School classes, support groups and other group settings, "Such Were Some of You" has been designed as a discipleship and equipping tool for the Body of Christ. The "witnesses to change" describe how they developed homosexual confusion, what the gay lifestyle was really like, how Jesus Christ set them free and the many ways that He has been healing and transforming their lives ever since. Participants include ex-gays from numerous ethnic backgrounds and age brackets, including one former gay activist who dramatically declares at one point, "I am free!"
According to one description, the film includes “[f]rank comments about sex including comments about same sex attractions but nothing graphic, comments about masturbation, orgies, sexual abuse; talk of one night stands; watching porn including gay porn; man and woman kiss; a comment about having sex by one's self; talk of adult shops; comment about being a male prostitute; a comment about being a stripper.”
On her radio show last week, Religious Right broadcaster Janet Parshall praised ex-gay movement leaders like Anne Paulk, her guest on the program, for helping gays and lesbians “leave the homosexual lifestyle.”
Parshall said that Satan is responsible for increasing resistance to ex-gay therapy: “Anytime Satan can try to trample underfoot the truth that is the cross, he’ll do it, including telling people that they can’t change. You, however, are my expert witness because you changed, as did I, so that really should be the end of the discussion.”
Paulk argued that opponents of ex-gay therapy are “abusing kids” and making sure the government begins “sacrificing our youth to HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea.”
While discussing the effectiveness of ex-gay therapy, neither mentioned Anne Paulk’s ex-husband, John Paulk, a former leader of the ex-gay movement who now says he is gay and that his sexual orientation never changed. Instead, Anne Paulk told Parshall that ex-gay therapy is just like having a diet or battling a drug abuse.
“When it comes to overeating, I can get that under control, I can become the size my body was meant to be, or I can feed it more and more and more and more and get to that 700 lbs. stage, that is unfortunately humanly possible,” she said. “If we take that and apply it to something like drug addiction, it is much harder according to the stats to overcome drug addiction than it is to leave behind homosexuality.”
On yesterday’s edition of “Sandy Rios in the Morning,” anti-LGBT activist and lecturer Dale O’Leary discussed her book, “The Gender Agenda,” which is about the purportedly harmful implications of transgender rights.
O’Leary told Rios that transgender identity in trans women is the result of a lack of “masculine” authority in childhood and an unhealthy attachment to mothers, which in turn makes “these people covet something [femininity] that they don’t have and can never get.”
The pursuit of a gender transition, Rios agreed, is motivated by envy and is wholly self-serving, failing to account for “what happens to the family, what happens to the wife, what happens to the children” of trans women in this scenario. O’Leary could only conclude that transgender people are inherently “pathological narcissists” who disregard the consequences their actions have on others to fulfill their vain desires.
O’Leary lamented that transgender people are sometimes encouraged by parents, doctors and psychologists who do not insist on correcting gender-nonconforming behavior and let children explore their own identity instead. She also blamed recent bans on ex-gay conversion therapy for minors in states like California and New Jersey for the growing acceptance of trans identity.
“Not giving these children therapy, when they are so clearly symptomatic of gender identity disorder, is child abuse,” she said. Instead of providing them with the help they apparently need, medical practitioners who don’t force gender conformity onto children are “conspiring with parents to keep the child locked in a mental disorder.”
LaBarbera also warned Sam that by coming out of the closet and “celebrating homosexuality as normative,” he will face “notoriety among millions of us.”
Michael, do we have to tell you that, especially with your current publicity, you are a role model because of your athletic prowess, but since “coming out” you are also modeling a lifestyle that the cost for those living it, has been unpublicized but appalling—as it has for society. The troubling fact is minorities are suffering most and in growing numbers. The evidence:
• Black youth–your fans among them–ages 13-24 are twice as likely to get HIV/AIDS than those of other ethnic groups.
• 94-95 percent of all HIV cases in 2011 among boys and young men ages 13-24 were linked to homosexual sex, the CDC reports.
• Youth 13-24 incur 26 percent of new HIV/AIDS infections each year.
• An estimated 60 percent of 13-24 year-olds are unaware that they’re infected with HIV; such ignorance can be a death sentence.
• Black men having sex with men (MSM) accounted in 2010 for 39 percent of all HIV/AIDS diagnoses.
Secondary to the toll in pain and death among MSM is the drain on U.S. medical and financial resources; for example, anti-viral drugs, which can prolong MSM life about 20 years, cost over $24,000 per year. They do prolong life but must be taken scrupulously or the MSM becomes infectious. To treat an HIV/AIDS victim costs from $400,000 to $600,000 from infection to death. In total, the HIV/AIDS epidemic costs the country about $5 billion per year, says CDC Director Dr. Tom Freiden.
Believe it or not, no one is born “gay”; molestation, emotional deprivation, parental or peer rejection, or other traumatic factors can foster same-sex attraction–but many men and women have managed it, diminished it, or eliminated it altogether. [See these heartwarming ex-"gay" testimonies.] Many accomplished this through Reparative Therapy and counseling, despite the relentless, unwarranted condemnation of and campaign against both by self-serving “gay” activists.
What we hope for from you, Michael, is that you don’t make your feelings, well-publicized as they have been, your claim to fame. Your achievements on the football field will earn you a legacy you can be proud of; your “coming out” as one celebrating homosexuality as normative can earn you only regret, as well as notoriety among millions of us.
Ed Vitagliano of the American Family Association writes in this month’s edition of the AFA Journal that while he knows many people have “prayed endlessly for God to remove their same-sex attractions — to no avail,” that is because they simply haven’t called upon the power of God “to gain mastery over [their] impulses.”
Vitagliano cites “the reality of ‘ex-gay’ people” as proof that “there are clearly many who have left the lifestyle.”
He notes that while ex-gays have “reoriented their affections to the opposite sex,” nonetheless “temptation remains.”
The Bible makes clear that homosexual acts are sinful. Yet what about a same sex orientation apart from sexual activity? Is it also sinful?
The answer appears to be yes, just as a desire to fornicate is a sin. In Romans 1:26-27, Paul speaks of the homosexual’s “degrading passions” or desires themselves. He also mentions that they “burned in their desire toward one another” and then committed “indecent acts.”
Perhaps the person born blind will cry out to the Lord for a miracle, and sometimes God answers and heals. But if we are honest, most of the time God does not seem inclined – whatever the reason – to perform that miracle.
Likewise, countless people who self-identify as homosexual claim to have prayed endlessly for God to remove their same sex attractions – to no avail.
This is not the whole story, of course. Despite the media’s refusal to consider the reality of “ex-gay” people, there are clearly many who have left the lifestyle. While temptation remains, they have – by God’s grace – reoriented their affections to the opposite sex.
On the other hand, like the blind or paralyzed person who cries out to God for physical healing but does not receive it, Christians who still struggle with same sex attraction may find themselves similarly frustrated.
For some reason, God often responds to prayer requests as He did with Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The battle goes on. The Christian must fight against his fallen nature as the Israelites fought against the continual encroachments of the Philistines.
What, then, do we say to the gay man and the lesbian? What are they to do with their brokenness? First, if they remain defiant in it, they will eternally perish. Yet this is no different than the drunkard or the fornicator or the liar or the idolater. All who remain in their rebellion are damned.
Can a person be a Christian and still struggle against same sex attractions? Yes. When we become followers of Christ, we continue to battle the flesh in all its permutations (Galatians 5:16-17). But we have the power of Christ on our side, and we are called to gain mastery over the impulses that have plagued us, even if the impulses themselves remain. Christ will lead us in victory if we will receive His grace daily and obey Him.
While Rick Perry tried his best to justify the Texas Republican Party’s recent embrace of ex-gay therapy by making an awkward comparison of gay people to alcoholics, the chairman of the state party refuses to mount a defense of the controversial resolution.
“And I just make the point for anybody that thinks that may be the possibility: Do they think they can take a straight person to a psychiatrist and turn them gay?” Munisteri said.
Munisteri said he’s not the only one who opposes this plank in the party’s platform.
“My emails and phone calls to the office are running overwhelmingly opposed to that plank in the platform,” Munisteri said.
Munisteri said a group of Republicans at the convention led by his predecessor, Cathie Adams, were able to pass the reparative therapy resolution using a parliamentary trick.
“Because the way the platform works, once somebody calls the question on the platform it’s a parliamentary maneuver," Munisteri said. "The delegates are really forced to pass the platform as is, because if you don’t there is no platform.”