My reply to: "Exodus International is Right on Gay Reparative Therapy"

The following is my reply to Exodus International is Right on Gay Reparative Therapy i | the long way home, by Paul, a "Mental Health Social Worker in Philadelphia, PA."

Paul writes:

The theory behind the therapy–that male homosexuality was formed by a distortion of masculinity due to a failure of the man's father–made "sense". It had all the loose ends tied and–as a self-enclosed system–it "worked". And yet, there was this part of me that didn't fully buy in. Something seemed missing. It's only now, looking back, that I realize what it was:

Real-life.

It was a therapy built entirely around anecdotes and individuals' subjective short-term responses. As long as you stayed within that self-enclosed system, it all worked and made "sense". The second you emerged from that system, though, and went to live your life, it seems the "system" started to unravel, leaving people more messed up than if they had never undergone the therapy in the first place.

My reply to Paul's article:

You said it's subjective, but your own conclusion is subjective. My understanding from hearing directly from a number of people who have undergone the treatment desirous of change have not come out of it "more messed up than if they had never undergone the therapy in the first place." Also, Dr. Nicolosi has made clear that the treatment is not for everyone. It's for motivated clients who are not being coerced or the like. Those who begin perhaps disinterestedly or half-heartedly may very well leave more confused. That does not necessarily demonstrate that the treatment, per se, is bad. It happens to work for those for whom it is intended. Also, with an education in psychology, you should remember that often people feel worse before better. If someone mistakenly stops at a low point, that doesn't constitute reason for rejecting the therapy as inherently wrong.

As for your theological arguments, have your read Dr. Gagnon on the subject? http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homosexAlanChambersAtlanticInterview.pdf

Read the whole thing. I did. I'm not Pauline, but I can't argue against Dr. Gagnon's points for the Pauline Christians. The vast majority of what he wrote works for me anyway. Much of what he wrote is the same as what I've written elsewhere.

Also, do you really believe that males have never gone from exclusively interested in sex with females to exclusively interested in males and then back again? What about for other behaviors and attractions, such as for porn or any other addiction?

On one hand, you're claiming homosexuality is not a special case; but on the other hand, you're making out exactly as if it is. What's up with that? That doesn't make sense to me. I think it's worse than some things and not as bad as others depending upon the overall situation all other things being equal. I wouldn't argue that mass genocide of the innocent is a lesser sin than one act of male homosexual buggery; but that's a particular context, and we really are to watch out for the lesser commandments right along with the Greatest, which speaks directly to your claim that homosex is not a greater sin than any other (if that is your claim above – it appears so to me, but maybe you just haven't clarified enough yet).

As for adultery and the like, members of the Church are not to continue in it but rather repent and to do it no more. What it appears you are saying is that the same is not the case for homosexuals. What's the Church to do with a serial adulterer but subject that one to Jesus's progressive discipline and finally treat him as a heathen? I don't have a problem with that. Do you? If so, why? Where was Jesus wrong on it?

"...the drives themselves are not sinful, but their exercise goes against God's design for the world, and so, while no easy fix can be offered to "cure" those drives, grace and self-control must be sought to remain celibate to the glory of God–like so many believers before us have." Is that your view? What do you do with Jesus saying that the man that looks at the woman with sexual lust in his heart has already committed adultery with her within? I don't buy your idea that homosexuality itself isn't evil, whether acted out or not. It's better not, but it is still not good to even have in one's heart or mind.

Also, why are you so sure God can't or won't or doesn't heal people of same-sex desires? I don't believe you. Lastly, what makes you think Dr. Nicolosi isn't operating under God? I don't find Reparative Therapy to be inconsistent with such healing. I rather look upon it as a blessing for those for whom it has clearly worked and continues to work.

To all those who want to discuss genetics as an excuse of some sort, I would ask whether they are certain that none of the miracle healing by Jesus was of genetic diseases. I don't say that by way of lacking compassion but rather strongly to state that genetics does not automatically render a thing good and not an error to be overcome.

Also to everyone, is Alan Chambers saying that continually and even openly practicing homosexuals are not finally to be treated as heathens rather than celebrated, as the Episcopalians and some others are now doing – celebrating them as their Bishops and "married" to each other in their church buildings and by their priests, etc.? Has anyone asked him if practicing homosexuals who refuse to stop after undergoing Jesus's progressive discipline are to be treated as heathens and not members of the body of Christ?

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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