(i) a recent outrageous attempt to threaten a Christian Coffee house in the UK for displaying on a TV a video deemed "offensive" to homosexuals under the Public Order Act, namely, a Bible reading video,I therefore draw attention to key resources here and here [Warning, not for the faint of heart or stomach], for those wanting a fresh and well informed view on the subject not controlled by the unfortunate ideologisation of psychological science that has been ongoing since the 1970's. KF 11:09:30]
(ii) the imposition of the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010 which unwisely enshrines "sexual orientation" -- dangerously vague -- as a protected right,
(iii) the just announced recent publication of a peer reviewed study [more details here] on spiritually motivated changes in sexual orientation that underscores that moral-spiritual effort can and does in a significant proportion of cases, as a matter of credible fact, actually change sexual orientation and behaviour.
In one of the adverse comments on a previous post in the capacity-building focus series for this blog, J observed (anecdotally) as follows on two homosexuals in churches:
I certainly know of at least a couple of gay friends who were members of the church, and certainly had suicidal tendencies, not only because of the perceived severity of their "sin", but the complete lack of efficacy in treatment (one went regularly for "exorcism" which as you might imagine made no difference).
In both these cases the people eventually left their respective churches and are now in long-term relationships and are psychologically thriving and productive people.
In the OP, I started with a link to remarks on the pornography plague. In the next post on it, I put a link to a memorial on deaths in that industry. Deaths that largely come from a poisonous nexus of bizarre sexual behaviour, drugs, drink, violence, depression and suicide.
But,our age is so depraved that porn "stars" are not seen for the victims they are, and producers are not prosecuted as abusers and rapists for profit.
With that comparison point in hand, it is unsurprising to see that there is a parallel pattern to the homosexual sub culture, one that is actually seen -- cf. here and here -- as independent of whether societies are strongly supportive of homosexuals or not.
What is driving the high suicide rate pattern? The first linked, remarks:
>>Saghir and Robins (1978) examined reasons for suicide attempts among homosexuals and found that if the reasons for the attempt were connected with homosexuality, about 2/3 were due to breakups of relationships --not outside pressures from society.Surprise. Not.
Bell and Weinberg (1981) also found the major reason for suicide attempts was the breakup of relationships. In second place, they said, was the inability to accept oneself. Since homosexuals have greater numbers of partners and breakups, compared with heterosexuals, and since longterm gay male relationships are rarely monagamous, it is hardly surprising if suicide attempts are proportionally greater. The median number of partners for homosexuals is four times higher than for heterosexuals (Whitehead and Whitehead 1999, calculated from Laumann et al 1994).
A good general rule of thumb is that suicide attempts are about three times higher for homosexuals. Could there be a connection between those two percentages?
Another factor in suicide attempts would be the compulsive or addictive elements in homosexuality (Pincu, 1989 ) which could lead to feelings of depression when the lifestyle is out of control (Seligman 1975).>>
(Indeed, the articles show that pattern holds as well in countries that are strongly supportive of homosexuals. In short, homosexuality is deeply intertwined with several destructive pathologies, and arguably is itself a pathology. If we really care we will try to rescue these people.)
Matt 12:38 . . . some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one[e] greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.
43 “When an evil[f] spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” [NIV]
3 --> It is also the pivot for confident faith in God's promises and power that opens us up to the transforming power of the gospel that fills and transforms our lives:
Eph 1: 15 . . . ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.[NIV]
it was a study of 200 people who had been homosexually oriented. In
order to get into the study, they had to have had at least five years of a change, where they had previously been predominately homosexual, now are predominately heterosexual. What we learned was that the changes that were recorded were not just in behavior, but were in their feelings, their fantasies, what attracted them, and how they performed sexually. So it was a very meaningful change for the great majority . . . . it was not a study of how often they can make that change, but it was a study of whether there are some people who can make a change in more than just how they view themselves, but also in their fantasies, in their arousal. I developed a very systematic structured interview which I think is much more methodologically sound tha[n] in previous studies . . . What we found was that there were some significant changes. We also sent questionnaires to many of the people who were married, and we also had questionnaires on marital adjustment to their spouses. And they, by and large, reported quite good functioning . . . .
Now the real issue, or one of the major issues is can you believe these people?
And the study has been criticized on the grounds of, well, these are people who had a particular viewpoint and what they're doing is justifying their claims that they have made, either lied or deceived themselves. So one of the major criticisms is that, well, ok, these have said something, but do we know it's actually true? And there's no easy answer to that. When I listened to them, I have a kind of clinical feeling that these people were telling me the truth. While there may be some who were exaggerating, but that's not true with all who reported change. And there were some who reported change, some not very much, many disappointed that they had not changed more.So why do I think that it's believable? One is that they didn't report absolutely total change, which I think if, you know, if you're going to exaggerate, you're going to exaggerate more. In addition, the marital adjustment that the spouses told, mainly women; what they said about their marriage, what the individuals said about their marriage is from a marital adjustment scale, where we had norms, what a community sample generally reports. Now you would think that if these were people who wanted to give a good story that they would report better than normal, or better that usual, better than average, sexual functioning. And they didn't, they reported just about the same.
And I think that, what, also makes me think, in addition is that when they talked about the therapy what went on in the therapy, for a small number, it was very religious, uh, dramatically religious experiences. I remember one woman said that, in the middle of having sex with her lesbian partner, and all of the sudden, she heard Jesus say, "What are you doing?!" but that was relatively rare. Most of the changes seemed to be associated with the usual things that one hears about in psychotherapy. People talking about their background, their family, how they saw masculinity, femininity, so it seemed believable to me . . . .
I've asked two of the more well known practitioners of this kind of therapy how often are they successful, and they say, well it depends on the way you define success, but if you define success in terms of a change in behavior, and in feelings, there's about 30 percent or something like that. Now I suspect it's much lower, but I could be wrong. So whether it's 2 %, 10%, or 15%, but what I am sure is that it's not 0%. And that's what this study was about, whether it's actually 0 percent.
. . . . many had been so depressed they were suicidal. And a few had made
actual attempts. So, I mean they reported a very unhappy state of mind before they changed. The other thing is that the change was not quick… another reason why I believe in credibility; you would think that, if you want to present the best way of presenting therapy, you would say that it started to work pretty soon. You wouldn't say that it was on average two years before there was really much change, which was the case. Many said it took several years before they actually noticed change, and on average it was two years. The people were in some kind of therapy for an average of 7 years. But, often that was still being in some group experience they would keep going to a support group for several years.
Is reorientation therapy harmful? For the participants in our study, Spitzer notes, there was no evidence of harm. "To the contrary," he says, "they reported that it was helpful in a variety of ways beyond changing sexual orientation itself." And because his study found considerable benefit and no harm, Spitzer said, the American Psychiatric Association should stop applying a double standard in its discouragement of reorientation therapy, while actively encouraging gay-affirmative therapy to confirm and solidify a gay identity.
Furthermore, Spitzer wrote in his conclusion, "the mental health professionals should stop moving in the direction of banning therapy that has, as a goal, a change in sexual orientation. Many patients, provided with informed consent about the possibility that they will be disappointed if the therapy does not succeed, can make a rational choice to work toward developing their heterosexual potential and minimizing their unwanted homosexual attractions."
Is reorientation therapy chosen only by clients who are driven by guilt--that is, what's popularly known as "homophobia"? To the contrary, Spitzer concludes. In fact, "the ability to make such a choice should be considered fundamental to client autonomy and self-determination."
A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems . . . .
These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Titus 2:1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine . . . . 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad [and by implication, truthful] to say about us . . . .
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Mark 9:42. . . whoever causes one of these little ones (these believers) who [r]acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin, it would be better (more profitable and wholesome) for him if a [huge] millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.In short, do what it takes, however painful and even potentially crippling (though there is doubtless a measure of hyperbole to make a point; Jesus, beyond reasonable doubt, is not teaching literal self-mutilation as spiritual discipline).
43And if your hand puts a stumbling block before you and causes you to sin, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to go into life [[s]that is really worthwhile] maimed than with two hands to go to hell (Gehenna), into the fire that cannot be put out.[t]
45And if your foot is a cause of stumbling and sin to you, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter into life [that is really worthwhile] crippled than, having two feet, to be cast into hell (Gehenna)[u].
47And if your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell (Gehenna) [AMP]
Gal 6 therefore has a sobering, balanced counsel that is an apt conclusion:
Gal 6:1BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.
2Bear (endure, carry) one another's burdens and [a]troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete [b]what is lacking [in your obedience to it].
3For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another's load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.
4But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [[c]in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.
5For every person will have to bear ([d]be equal to understanding and calmly receive) his own [[e]little] load [f][of oppressive faults]. [AMP]
1: Spitzer in Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2001, on two orthodoxies regarding homosexuality, in light of his study on possibilities for desired change in same sex attraction.
2: Harren's Homosexuality 101 "what we need to know" primer.
3: Satinover on the state of scientific evidence vs. official and clinical positions in mental health professions.
4: Austriaco on the status of "gay gene" research and the evidence.
5: Whitehead and Whitehead online book, My Genes Made Me do it. (The discussion on the Sambia of New Guinea is particularly significant. Cf also here.)
6: Gagnon on implications of and agendas behind gender identity hate crime laws.
7: Mohler on the attempted homosexualisation of Christian theology.