Disputed Mutability on Love Won Out

Dismuted Mutability is a blogger and a blog that I like to read. She provides insight into someone who has grappled with sexual identity issues in a refreshing and honest manner. Her last couple of posts are descriptions of her recent visit to Love Won Out in Indianapolis. Regarding her first post (general impressions), I cannot comment much. I did not attend that one and I am told there have been many changes in LWO since I attended in St Louis in February of 2006.

On change that has been made is that Joe Dallas is conducting the session “The Condition of Male Homosexuality” in place of Joe Nicolosi. I am posting here the link to DM’s review of Joe D’s talk. From DM’s review, the content has also changed, and in my view, for the better.

She begins with the good news:

IF you HAD to have a talk putting forward the standard developmental/reparative theory of male homosexuality, I don’t think you could get a much better talk than the one Dallas gave.

The rest of the post is well worth the read. I think she is very likely correct when she says:

I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that those who spend any time in exgay ministry or counseling are more likely to feel (or at least hope!) that developmental theories fit them.  After all, those who don’t feel they fit are likely to consider those approaches and the ministries that offer them a waste of time. For another thing, I would suggest that exgay ministries/counseling have a tendency to encourage a certain perception of one’s childhood experiences and parental relationships. Speaking personally, I know that I was coached to look at myself, my childhood, and my parents in a certain way by the exgay movement. Now, they might just be helping us to see what’s really there. Or they could be leading us to make a big deal out of all the ordinary imperfections of children and parents, and in some cases perhaps even something more unhelpful than that.  Anyway, my point is that there are excellent reasons for being skeptical of drawing conclusions about gays in general from observations of those who seek out and attend exgay ministries/counseling.  I think that being fully honest would require bringing this out clearly.

  • AM

    Hmm…well, my ex-gay history personally goes back to the mid to late 80′s with Homosexuals Anonymous. What hasn’t changed in ex-gay theory to any great degree is the lynchpin of Moberly’s book on Reparative Therapy. I can see the book passed around the room like it was yesterday..almost as though it was the Code to a New World which we hoped it would be for us.

    The assumption however that if the shoe doesn’t fit, leave it alone, perhaps does apply more today than back then. Because today we have ex-ex-gays like Peterson Toscano coming forth, saying that 17 years of “repair” did not a hetero make. Those of us in that small meeting room only heard that we just weren’t repaired *yet*…just keep going, pressing forward.

    But if you have Christian gay people with same sex orientation who believe that gay relationships are a sin under any circumstance, of course they will grapple for *any* thread of so-called hope. Why wouldn’t they? To spend an entire lifetime alone, in celibacy, ostracized still from many in the church. Well, duh.

    We didn’t consider it a waste of time: tell someone he/she is messed up enough, that God delivers, wants you “whole”, heterosexuality is His *only* plan for humanity and you’ve got all the ingredients for a recipe that will take. I don’t fault us for believing: we didn’t know any differently. (There was no Internet ;-) in which people could come together and “compare notes”.) We wanted more than a bleak future and wanted to rid ourselves of this which we were taught did not please God; actually really angered Him in the Romans 1 reading.

    What I’m saying is that after someone “arrives” as DM seems to have — hetero with all the accoutroments — don’t dismiss the ongoing desperation that some Christians still find themselves in — those who married and couldn’t faithfully go that trip, etc…

    That trying to fit a square peg in the round whole with the theories is not so absurd after all with the life circumstances many of us found ourselves in.

  • jag

    Thank you for your post AM.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    I’m really glad you posted this. The few times I’ve read the writings of DM I have truly enjoyed them. I pulled what I think is one of many good quotes from this latest piece:

    It seems odd to me to offer a criticism of an opposing view that applies equally if not more so to your own. To the best of my knowledge, the developmental-theory fans don’t even have a flawed, unreplicated study supporting their view yet. (If they do, why aren’t they mentioning it?) They dwell on the failure of science to fully support strictly biological/genetic theories, as if that in itself were support for their own theories. Which hardly follows–the developmental theory doesn’t get to win by default!


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