Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Overcoming Attraction to the LayMAN

The LayMAN is publishing stories of poor, guilt-ridden, and brain-washed souls who have supposedly "overcome" their same-sex attraction with the aid of One by One. The LayMAN needs to do this of course to justify their homophobia. Rather than just condemn gays they think they can "cure" them.

This is from One by One's web page:

OneByOne's mission is to educate and equip the church to minister the transforming grace and power of Jesus Christ to those in conflict with their sexuality.

In other words, we will give you an imaginary friend (Jesus) who we have decided hates gays as much as we do. If you pray to him really hard, he will turn you into a gay-hating Christian just like us!

The LayMAN is an organization of false prophets. They are sick perverts who do harm to the human race. So-called reparative therapy as practiced by One by One has been condemned by "all the major mental health professions."

Read
Just the Facts. An excerpt:
Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured.”

If the church cared at all about lgbt people, it would advocate for equal rights for and an end to spiritual violence against gay people. Organizations that really do care include

PFLAG and now PFLAG Tri-Cities
SoulForce
GayChurch
Human Rights Campaign




20 comments:

  1. John,

    You're being too hard. I'd like to hear opinions from all our gay and lesbian brother and sisters that post here.

    Have you considered that people may experience same-sex attraction for differing reasons. What if everyone is not constitutionally gay?

    For instance, there is a high percentage of lesbian women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Could this be a factor for some, but not all women? Or, is it likely that many people that claim to have been impacted by reparative therapy were actually bi-sexual to begin with?

    What advice should we give someone married to someone of the opposite gender with children who genuinely loves his/her spouse, and feels conflicted about same-sex attraction, or feels confused about this whole issue.

    Is it possible that one size doesn't fit everyone in this?

    What do you all think, and what is the best, most supportive way that we can respond as Christians together?

    I want to support GLBT inclusion in the church, including ordination.

    But, truthfully, I have known gay people in the past who also have very strong convictions that this is not how God made them, and see the whole thing quite differently. I want to be caring and open toward them too.

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  2. No surprise here. This is just another flavor of fundie snake-oil.

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  3. Grace,

    I would turn your question around. How is it possible for these "therapies" to be one size fits all?

    Have you ever, ever heard any of these groups say that they're only interested in helping people who want to change in some way? Or have you, like me, only heard that they believe every LGBT person should change because their sexual orientation is a sin?

    Let's consider the people you have known who believe that being gay was not how God made them. Why is it more reasonable, from a psychological standpoint, to attempt to change their sexual orientation in order to help them overcome those feelings, rather than just helping them overcome those feelings themselves? Plenty of people feel bad about themselves, not because of who they are, but because of how society treats them. Why should we make them change because of other people's bigotry?

    But let's assume for a moment that there are people who genuinely want to change and that those feelings are not caused by internalized or external homophobia. So if we truly want to help that person, why on Earth would we suggest that they submit to psychological counseling techniques that have never, ever proven, in documented, peer-reviewed, controlled clinical trials to be efficacious or safe?

    Let's say you suffered from terrible bouts of clinical depression. Would it be caring or loving or professional for a psychiatrist to prescribe an untested, unproved drug to treat that depression?

    But for Christians we should look not only to science, but to the Bible. Even if we believed that the Bible actually condemns an LGB or T orientation (orientation, not just practice), I think one would have a very, very, very difficult time demonstrating from Scripture that anyone should change that orientation.

    And, finally, but most importantly, since being LGB or T is NOT a sin, why would we ever want people to promulgate such a lie, a lie they're saying is based on the Word of God?

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  4. Here is a possible place to start for those who are interested in the biology of sex:

    Joan Roughgarden's Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. University of California Press. 2004

    It is my philosophical position that living faith is falsified (inauthentic religion crystallized into dogma) its trust and love of living truth when it presumes to deny realities and claims to confer upon its devotees assumed knowledge (i.e., infallible scripture teaches God codemns homosexuality (when he made it!) and therefore don't confuse me with the facts). Faith is a traitor, in my view, when it fosters betrayal of intellectual integrity and belittles loyalty to supreme values and divine ideals. Faith never shuns the problem-solving duty of mortal living. Living faith does not foster bigotry, persecution, or intolerance.

    Being deeply trained in biology, and long into an advanced study of a new and exciting field in biology called Evolutionary Developmental Biology, and a follower of Jesus' teachings too, I find no stigma attached to the idea that I am an evolutionary creature, and as such, believe that what science teaches about the human animal is relevant to the question at hand. And what science finds in fact is that sexuality is a rather fluid reality, subject to various paths of biological development. This includes human sexuality as well, and there is ample evidence to show that sexual orientation in nature (i.e., natural law) is determined by the developmental process. In other words, in nature, sex is labile and subject to change, as the example of the Black Sea Bass shows. Humans, being evolutionary creatures, are no different, albeit in some species (such as ours) certain patters have become canalized (i.e., imprinted as the developmental norm, with developmental exceptions).

    What is observed in nature is in fact this. There are some species that when the nesting females reach a certain critical density of nests in a given area, they spontaneously (i.e., developmental phonotypical plasticity) showing bi-directional sex change by actually going through a physical and behavioral transformation from females into males. Oh, my gosh, nature pulling a sex-change! How scandalous!

    There are a variety of situations that can bring about this phenomenon, to wit:

    The behavioural mechanisms and patterns of protandrous sex change in bluebanded gobies Lythrypnus dalli were investigated and compared to the well-described behaviour patterns of protogynous sex change. To do this, unisex groups of males and females were established; behavioural and anatomical changes were recorded over a 42 day period as social status and sexual phenotype were determined. In all cases, social status, rather than the expression of a particular behaviour, accurately predicted final sexual phenotype. Rates of submissive behaviour, but not aggressive behaviour, were predictive of each discrete status class. Multiple individuals changed sex simultaneously if their sexual phenotype and social status were discordant, a novel finding suggesting that once a social hierarchy is established, individuals determined their sexual phenotype, regardless of initial sex, based on a simple operational principle: if subordinate express female, if dominant or not subordinate express male. This work demonstrates that similar mechanisms underlie sex change in both directions in L. dalli and potentially other sex changing species. (E. W. Rodgers, R. L. Earley M. S. Grober. Social status determines sexual phenotype in the bi-directional sex changing bluebanded goby Lythrypnus dalli . Journal of Fish Biology. 2007; 70(6):1660-1668.)

    Protogynous hermaphroditism, or female-to-male sex change, is known for many reef fishes including wrasses (family Labridae) in which large males monopolize mating. When the dominant male disappears from a polygynous group, the largest female may change sex within a few weeks. Such social control of sex change was first documented in harems of the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus almost 30 yr ago. To examine whether change of social status would induce males of L. dimidiatus to perform reversed sex-change, we conducted experiments: (i) releasing single males near lone males whose mates have been removed in the field; and (ii) keeping two males in a tank. Smaller males changed back to females when they became subordinate: it took 5377 d (n=3) for them to complete gonadal sex change and release eggs in the aquarium. The malemale pairs performed spawning behavior, with the smaller male in the female role already 558 d before completion of gonadal sex change. This is the first report of reversed sex-change among protogynous wrasses. Moreover, we conducted another experiment, keeping a pair of a male and a larger female in a tank (n=1). We found sex change by both mates, which has not been reported from any fishes. Thus, the sex of L. dimidiatus is strictly determined by social status whenever it changes after mate loss. (Tetsuo Kuwamura, Naomi Tanaka Yasuhiro Nakashima Kenji Karino Yoichi Sakai. Reversed Sex-Change in the Protogynous Reef Fish Labroides dimidiatus. Ethology. 2002; 108(5):443-450.)

    See also: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060412091247.htm.

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  5. Question: Has anyone ever seen a gay baby? Without the gay baby silver bullet, is there not room for debate on this?

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  6. Jim:

    I laughed. Then I was a little disturbed. How, exactly, would you determine the sexual orientation of a *baby*??

    Rob:

    That was really, really interesting. I hadn't seen that book, and it sounds like I'd barely understand it, but I appreciate the distillation of some of what is in the book. Good stuff.

    John:

    So, they're ministering to people who are in conflict with their sexuality. The majority of homosexuals don't seem to be in conflict with anything but some conservative Christians. So are they a-ok? Sounds like it.

    There are definitely cases where same-sex attraction is the result of some kind of abuse, usually sexual, which causes all kinds of sexual and psychological problems. That's a minority, though. And for those people, we've already got those 480,000 mental health professions ready to help them. That's awesome.

    It sounds like One by One has no answer whatsoever to the majority of homosexuals who are only in conflict with people like One by One.

    Added to that is the condemnation of all of those mental health professionals.

    Of course, we know they're all part of...uh...some kind of...conspiracy? Because of course One by One is absolutely right - because they *believe* they're absolutely right. And you can't argue with logic like that. Certainly not with anything as feeble and useless as evidence or science. Or, frankly, theology. Or Biblical studies. Or any of the things we horrible, corrupt liberals bring up in these "conversations".

    Nope. The more you believe something to be true, the more true it is.

    Unless you're not conservative, that is.

    The saddest thing:

    People working with One by One probably tell themselves they're doing good, probably are motivated to help others. All that positive energy completely wasted is a shame.

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  7. "There are definitely cases where same-sex attraction is the result of some kind of abuse, usually sexual, which causes all kinds of sexual and psychological problems. That's a minority, though. And for those people, we've already got those 480,000 mental health professions ready to help them. That's awesome."

    Exactly. The Onebyone crowd has a perverse theological agenda. It is not in helping people but in "proving" that if we can "convert" even one person, then all can be converted (if they have enough faith) which justifies not granting basic rights and freedoms to gay people.

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  8. Jim,

    I've never seen a heterosexual, a bi-sexual, an asexual, autosexual, or transexual baby, either. Have you? If you have, I urge you to please stop looking at babies that way and seek counseling before they come and confiscate your laptop.

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  9. Well Miss Hypocrite does it again, thanks Grace for reminding me why I'll NEVER EVER set foot in a feckin' church again. It's because of holier than thou people like you Grace, and your name is a misnomer because you have no grace you disgusting busy body you. Oh, I'm still waiting for your sanctimonius self to visit my blog with your simplistic and childish comments.


    Snad-Good point, you tell 'em girl.


    John-Thanks for this post. This business about someone's sexuality being a sin or wrong is insane. What two or more consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms is none of anyone's business. We're here to love and help one another. If the church spent more time telling us to love one another unconditionally then it might get more followers.

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  10. "There are definitely cases where same-sex attraction is the result of some kind of abuse, usually sexual, which causes all kinds of sexual and psychological problems. That's a minority, though. And for those people, we've already got those 480,000 mental health professions ready to help them. That's awesome."

    Exactly.

    Here we have a group of people -- these people who spend all their time telling gay people that who they are is an abomination and who they love is a sin, who tell people that they must change who they are, that then, and only then will they be loved (unless of course someone finds yet another extra-Biblical purity code to bash them with) -- and we're supposed to trust peoples' psyche to these folks?

    Um...thanks, but I'd like a second opinion. Perhaps Dr. Lechter is available for a consult? ;)

    "Question: Has anyone ever seen a gay baby? Without the gay baby silver bullet, is there not room for debate on this?"

    Heh. You're not actually suggesting that, if a gay baby were found these folks and their snake-oil treatments would go away would you? See, they don't care if homosexuality is caused by nature, nurture or choice. They only care about eradicating the abomination.

    But, scientifically speaking, no we don't need a gay baby as a silver bullet. There have already been plenty of studies that have determined a genetic component to sexual orientation. It is complicated stuff, for sure, but I'm pretty sure we can assume that all gay people haven't been injected with the "gay gene" sometime after birth, so finding a gay baby doesn't actually matter. Genetics already tells that story very well.

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  11. Alan,

    Excellent point. I think that folks hoping for understanding felt that if science could show that there was a "gay gene" then folks would accept people.

    Nope. The right wing will go into the womb for the love of Jesus.

    Check this out, from this false prophet, Al Mohler

    "The president of a prominent Southern Baptist seminary says he would support medical treatment, if it were available, to change the sexual orientation of a fetus inside its mother's womb from homosexual to heterosexual.

    The idea of a hormonal patch for pregnant women was discussed by the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., on his blog, www.almohler.com, on March 2.

    "If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin," Mohler wrote in advice for Christians."

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  12. Yeah, I've seen that Mohler piece, and wrote about it on my blog:

    http://homepage.mac.com/akiste/iblog/C2076943558/E20070309133645/index.html

    He's a crack pot that doesn't even believe that sexual orientation is biological, yet he suggests we conduct experiments on the unborn to "cure" them.

    (Oh, and like most of these folks, he clearly doesn't have a clue about the science he's discussing.)

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  13. Hmm...that link didn't paste properly.

    But if you do a google search on "al mohler eugenicist" my post is at the top of the list. LOL

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  14. Dr. Monkey,

    I feel really awful that I've hurt you in some way. Can you share what I've said so wrongly?

    I'll come over and visit sometime if it's ok.

    Sadly,
    Grace.

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  15. Yes, I am that gay baby. As I was "from [my] mother's womb untimely ripp'd" (Macbeth 5.8), Donna Summer was belting out a song on the hospital muzak system and I was rockin' out in the most fabulous manner possible.

    The fact is that real psychologists think that this ex-gay crap is at best ineffective and at worst tends to promote suicide in men and women who can't "change". Kinsey demonstrated that most people are in fact, slightly bisexual, with only a few purely heterosexual or homosexual. That having been said, orientation is fixed. If you can convince one of the minority of people who are completely bisexual to only seek opposite-gender partners, you're influencing behavior, not orientation.

    You can't be "cured" of homosexuality any more than you can be "cured" of left-handedness.

    I strongly recommend you look at the professional organizations' statements on "reparative" "therapy".

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  16. Jim: “Has anyone ever seen a gay baby? Without the gay baby silver bullet, is there not room for debate on this?”

    What a hoot! Where did you get that gem Jim, the creationist museum of science? ;-)

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  17. BTW, just an aside, but does everyone who comments here get banned from Toby Brown's blog just for commenting here, or is that an honor reserved for me alone? LOL


    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=13000212&postID=2126675532525201999&page=1

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  18. Alan,

    You are a bad, bad, bad, bad boy! Y'all should visit Toby and give him my love.

    Say, "The Flirting Apostate Pastor blows you a kiss, big guy!"

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  19. Hmm... so does that mean that if I post on Toby's blog then John will ban me and get me excommunicated from the PC(USA)--even if he has to make up excommunication to do it?

    It's a conspiracy: he's just mad cuz my Sonny's trying to steal his Phil's worter.

    I am that gay baby!

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  20. LOL. Pretty funny. I don't think I've ever read a comment policy over there, but apparently the unwritten one includes "Thou shalt not comment on John Shuck's Blog." Truly you do wield some awesome power in the blogosphere, John.

    Very odd that someone would be that obsessed with a comment that had nothing to do with him, on a blog that isn't his, in a comment thread he wasn't even participating in. Given how "apostate" this site is, it seems strange that the evangelicals still seem to be very up-to-date with what gets said here. LOL. This must be like fundie Presbyterian blogger porn or something.

    I also like how he drums me out publicly, instead of contacting me through my readily available email address. Very pastoral.

    So am I the first? And if so what do I win?

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