Saturday, February 23, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 196: JONAH (a Jewish outreach to people struggling with same sex attraction and homosexuality) is sued by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (a so-called civil rights law group) for "fraud," responds

Ever since Mrs Madalyn Murray O'Hair's lawsuit removed prayer and Bible readings from public schools in the 1960's, a favourite tactic of dechristianising radicals in the USA has been to resort to the courts to shut down open discussion of issues and lock out what they wish removed. 

This is especially notorious on matters relating to origins science, Creation and Design, but it is now being extended to moral and counselling issues such as homosexuality.

So, in a sense, it is no surprise that the same formerly respectable Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that labelled the Family Research Center affiliated with Focus on the Family as a "hate group" because of its stance against the homosexualisation of our civilisation, and so inspired a lunatic to attack it with guns and Chick-fil-A sandwiches he intended to put on the victims of his shooting rampage, is now suing to brand ministries that reach out to Homosexuals as frauds. 

The odd twist in this case, is that JONAH -- Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing -- is a Jewish outreach. (Cf JONAH press release in reply to SPLC, here.)

However, if SPLC wins its case by picking the right judge to legislate from the bench in its favour -- a now notorious pattern, you can rest assured that the decision will have direct implications for any Christian outreach to homosexuals, or any pastor standing in a pulpit to teach from Rom 1 etc etc. 

Ken Connor, a Christian Post Guest Columnist, writes:
. . . as the years have passed, SPLC has allowed its work to become less about defending the constitutional rights of all Americans and more about prosecuting a far-left ideology in our courts of law and in the court of public opinion. In the process, it has become an agent of intolerance and an enemy of free conscience and religious liberty.
There has always been an inherent tension between individual liberties and the greater social good. The American people are always struggling to strike a balance between protecting the freedoms of speech and conscience and protecting those who might be harmed by the misuse of those freedoms. As time passes, new issues arise and new debates emerge. Most recently, our society has been engaged in a fierce debate over the issue of homosexuality and what place it should occupy in America's social and legal milieu.

The right of individuals to freely associate – in public and behind closed doors – has been an issue that has sparked controversy in all quarters. The question remains as to what level of acceptance society must accord homosexual behavior – conduct that is fraught with social, religious, moral, and medical implications. Those who treat homosexuality as normative behavior rooted in immutable characteristics find their view in conflict with those who subscribe to more orthodox views of sex, marriage, and family. SPLC has very strong views on where society should come down on this issue, and anyone who dares to disagree with its "progressive" worldview is branded hateful and bigoted and assaulted with all the vigor it can muster . . . .

SPLC apparently feels that the most effective way to silence debate on key moral issues is through the courts. Recently, SPLC has filed suit against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH. According to its website, JONAH is a "faith-based, nonprofit organization that offers assistance to men and women seeking to resolve their sexual conflicts, including unwanted same sex attractions." SPLC asserts that homosexuality is fixed and immutable, and that because of this JONAH's work to help people overcome their same-sex desires amounts to consumer fraud. They further assert that JONAH's work is emotionally and psychologically harmful, and that it fosters "anti-gay bigotry."

A victory for SPLC in this case would set a frightful legal precedent with broad-sweeping implications for the foundational constitutional freedoms of speech, conscience, religion, and association. As a private organization, JONAH has every right to offer reorientation or conversion counseling to willing clients. 

Individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions have every right to pursue resources to help them overcome these attractions. SPLC is seeking to silence the voices of faith and tradition in America by making it "hateful" and "fraudulent" to advocate for these causes. What's next? Suits against churches for preaching about a "nonexistent" God? Suits against Creationist research groups for advocating intelligent design? Suits against those who reject the theory of man-made global warming? Suits against Weight Watchers for suggesting that fat people can become thinner and healthier by changing their lifestyle choices? The possibilities are limitless.
This is yet another shot that lets us know that the dechristianising radicals intend to abuse the colours of law and civil rights to persecute Christians and other people of principled conscience, who disagree with their radical agenda for our civilisation.

In addition, we need to be able to effectively answer the too often persuasive, allegedly "scientific" claim that homosexuality is innate, is unchangeable and is therefore to be regarded as a civil rights issue. 

The following clip from an earlier KF blog post will I believe be of some help on this, as well as a read of the referenced book, here. Clipping:
Matt 24 watch, 166f: But, don't my genes make me do it? (Or, are your genes making you think that "my genes made me do it," etc? Thence, absurdity . . . )
Now, there are some topics that -- being the point where the deceitful and ensnaring spirit of the age is pushing -- require a serious and sustained answer. In that light, painful and utterly distasteful though the current focal topic here at the KF blog is, I need to continue. (And, I intend to continue on and off as necessary until I am satisfied that a sufficient counter-statement to the major propaganda push has been made. Hopefully, this post will be sufficient for now, to drive home the case we have had to make in recent days: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Last time, this blog noted:
. . . we are ensouled, en-conscienced, morally governed creatures, not mere beasts acting at the whims of our impulses and hormones . . . .
Because, we live in an era of scientism, where, never mind how absurd a notion is, if it can fly the flag of science, and can be presented to the public or students as the "consensus" of the guardians of the only credible temple of knowledge acceptable to a secularised society, it will be very persuasive. That is why Kirk and Madsen, in their After the Ball strategy, sought to capture the institutional scientific high ground thus making those who object to their agenda (especially on faith-based grounds) seem to be bomb-throwing, irrational, backward, hateful fundamentalist terrorists and would be theocratic tyrants comparable to the Mullahs of Iran . . . .
[Read the further details here on . . . it's vital]

Now that we have a more balanced atmosphere to evaluate the claims being touted on gay genes and the like, we can turn to a book-length summary of relevant evidence by Neil and Briar Whitehead that deserves to be far better known than it is. Clipping the introduction and summary:
The West has been subject to such a campaign of misinformation and disinformation in the last 20-30 years that its public institutions, from legislatures and judiciaries to the church and mental health professions widely believe that the homosexual orientation is innate—in the sense of biologically imprinted—and therefore unchangeable. 
The implications of this are that anyone who makes the scientifically true statements below is considered the one who is misinformed.

• sexual orientation is not inborn but develops over some years in response to an individual’s response to life events— as many human predicaments do
• homosexual orientation can change, i.e half the homosexual population naturally moves towards heterosexuality over time (without any therapeutic interventions), and further and
faster with counselling and support
• The same-sex attracted are not 10% of the population but (including bisexuals) much closer to 2.5%
The West has lost its way on this issue, and today we are seeing the outcome . . . 
Those are quite strong words, but they are backed up. Clipping the summary from Ch 1 in the 2010 online downloadable version (and of course, there is much more, with a lot of details; especially note the rebuttals to common myths):
No mainstream geneticist is happy with the idea that genes dictate behaviour, particularly homosexual behaviour.
• Genetically dictated behaviour is something that has so far been discovered only in very simple organisms.
• From an understanding of gene structure and function there are no plausible means by which genes could inescapably force SSA or other behaviours on a person. Genes create proteins not preferences.
• No genetically determined human behaviour has yet been found. The most closely genetically-related behaviour yet discovered (aggression in Dutch males) has shown itself remarkably responsive to counselling.
• If SSA were genetically dictated, it would have bred itself out of the population in only several generations, and wouldn’t be around today.
• Generally, geneticists settle for some genetic influence of rather undefined degree, most agreeing that many genes (from at least five or six to many hundreds) contribute to any particular human behaviour.
• A genetically dominated SSA caused by such a cluster of genes could not suddenly appear and disappear in families the way it does. It would stay around for many generations. So SSA is not produced by many genes.
• The occurrence of SSA in the population is too frequent to be caused by a chance mutation in a single gene. So a single gene is not responsible for SSA. Nor would many genes all mutate at once.
• SSA occurs too frequently to be caused by a faulty pre-natal developmental process, so it is not innate in that sense either.
• The widespread age-range of first homosexual attraction is very unlike the narrow time-spread of genetically driven phases of human life, e.g gestation time, puberty, menopause, making homosexuality very unlikely to be genetically driven.
The histone system which controls genetic expression is strongly affected by the environment, e.g nurturing, making searches for individual genes responsible for certain behaviours, mostly pointless.
• Same-sex attraction could be about 10% genetically influenced and opposite sex attraction about 15%. But this is weak and indirect, e.g genes making a man tall don’t also produce basketball players.
• SSA falls more naturally into the category of a psychological trait
In an earlier version of the book, the following comparison is used, to present a helpful comparison:
If a girl becomes pregnant at age fifteen, we could argue that she is genetically predisposed. We could say that in her culture, her genes gave her the kind of face and figure that send male hormones into orbit and bring her under a level of pressure that she is unable to resist, and she is fertile. But that’s about the strength of the genetic influence. There are a huge number of environmental factors that could also have brought the pregnancy about, from cancellation of the basketball game she was going to watch with a girlfriend, permission to use her boyfriend’s father’s car, her boyfriend’s company, the movie they had just viewed together, and failure to use a contraceptive, to big environmental factors like personal values systems, peer group pressure, and an emotionally distant father.
In short, there is no responsible way to escape the implication that -- whatever influences we are exposed to and however they may help shape our choices -- the common sense view that on the whole we are significantly responsible for our behaviours makes excellent sense, and that by and large the habits we form are significantly influenced by cumulative choices we make. That includes cases of bondage to life-dominating destructive sins, habits and addictions. (And, the "on the whole" is meant to take in the genuine cases where people are immature or insane or sufficiently retarded or senile etc. as not to be responsible. Notice, the significance of age of consent laws and the premise that to engage in unlawful carnal knowledge with someone under that age is statutory rape.)
 What about a way forward? 

For that, I draw attention to the painfully accurate but hope-giving diagnosis of life dominating, destructively habituating or addictive sins in 1 Cor 6:9 - 11:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

10 Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.

11 And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.
Yes, there are life dominating sins, ranging from greed and drunkenness to adultery and homosexual behaviour, but by the cleansing power of the gospel, for 2,000 years there has been a way out. This is also consistent with the above summarised findings on the true nature of homosexual addiction and the astonishing success of the 12-step type recovery programme. Accordingly, I went on to say:

Such a general conclusion brings forward the relevance of the well-proved 12-step addiction recovery process pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous as a context of hope for many of us who are caught up in such life-dominating downward spirals (and, these days, I put pornography addiction as challenge no 1 here beyond even that notorious old demon rum). Let me clip, citing Ch. 5 of the AA Big Book:
Rarely  have  we  seen  a  person  fail  who  has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give  themselves  to  this  simple  program,  usually  men and women who are constitutionally incapable of be-ing  honest  with  themselves . . . . If you have decided you want what we have and are willing  to  go  to  any  length  to  get  it—then  you  are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find  an  easier,  softer  way.  But  we  could  not . . . . Remember that we deal with alcohol—cunning, baf-fling,  powerful!  Without  help  it  is  too  much  for  us. 

But there is One who has all power—that One is God.

May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing . . . . Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

1.  We admitted we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than our-selves could restore us to sanity.

3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.[--> This is the famous, pivotal public confession, "I am an Alcoholic . . . "]

6.  Were  entirely  ready  to  have  God  remove  all these defects of character.

7.  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.  Made  direct  amends  to  such  people  wherever possible,  except  when  to  do  so  would  injure them or others.

10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11.  Sought  through  prayer  and  meditation  to  im-prove our conscious contact with God as we un-derstood  Him,  praying  only  for  knowledge  of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12.  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.
Many  of  us  exclaimed,  “What  an  order!  I  can’t  go through  with  it.’’  Do  not  be  discouraged.  No  one among us has been able to maintain anything like per-fect adherence to these principles. We are not saints.  The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress.  We  claim  spiritual  progress  rather  than spiritual perfection . . . [Alcoholics Anonymous, "big Book," ch 5, pp.58 - 60.]
 This approach, which was widely reviled and dismissed by members of the counselling professions and by many voices in the media when it was developed as a lay person rescue movement sixty or more years ago, has now outlived its critics and has become so credible and respected for its effectiveness, that it is the basis for any number of recovery movements, from drugs on up.

So, now, will we "hit the snooze button" on the alarm, and return to sleep, or will we wake up and take a firm stance for sanity and for principle and liberty in our day.

A day, where liberty is under assault in the name of civil rights, in the very courts that are supposed to administer justice. 

The end game of the radicals is on plain display now -- they intend to criminalise the Christian Faith and churches as hateful bigotry and anti-science superstition. Instead of snoozing on as those who intend to marginalise and even lock us up steal one march on us after another, let us now arise and take a firm stand now, before it is too late. END