NARTH likes half of the NYT Magazine's coverage of sexual identity issues

NARTH is recommending the Glatze article but not the article by Mimi Swartz which addresses the APA position on sexual orientation change.

At least they tell readers

While the story is his own and does not necessarily represent a typical NARTH client his observations and thoughts are very interesting. They represent a perspective usually missing in the popular press on the subject of homosexuality.

Missing from the NARTH post is the perspective of the longer article of the two. Gotta go to the popular press for that.

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  • Jayhuck

    This doesn’t seem much different than any other ex-gay story out there. I hope Michael finds his way. Sounds like he has a long road ahead of him.

  • Madison

    Warren, what’s your point? Is there any reason you did not link to that article?

    I found the Glatze article refreshing both because the press never seems to cover that side of the question and when they do the journalists always have to include several times that they don’t believe it. I wonder how much of a mistake it was that the NY Times messed up the link to the Nicolosi interview.

    I especially like both the article and interview referencing that humans are heterosexual. Amen.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    I have always respected the work of NARTH.

  • Richard Willmer

    “I especially like both the article and interview referencing that humans are heterosexual. Amen.”

    I find this a very odd statement. Surely it is very clear that, for whatever reason, not all human persons ‘are heterosexual’, just as there are many human persons who do not fit neatly into other ‘categories’. I think it is very important to understand this, especially from the perspectives of both ‘therapy’ and pastoral care in the Church.

    Though I would not want to ‘judge’ him, I would say that Michael strikes me as someone with something of an ‘ideological’ approach to life (which is not necessarily a bad thing, of course – ideology has its place): he has moved from one ideological position to another. I find his reported choice of words disturbing: whilst I strongly disapprove of homophobia, I do find his ‘burn in hell’ statement worrying; similarly his more recent comments about homosexuality (a word about which I suspect he might have a particular understanding that does not accord with diverse reality) have a decidedly ‘extremist’ ring about them, with angry, almost violent, undertones. As Jayhuck has said above, I suspect that his personal journey has some way to go yet.

    One thing that the likes of NARTH seem to fail to deal with is homophobia. If NARTH is, as it claims, about ‘therapy’, then it really should take the scourge of homophobia much more seriously than it appears to do at present. No so-called ‘reparative therapy’ can have any real credibility if it being conducted against homophobic ‘background noise’.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee
    “I especially like both the article and interview referencing that humans are heterosexual. Amen.

    I find this a very odd statement.

    Perhaps slightly less odd if you interpret that “Amen” as being in the subjunctive mood…

    (Thus signifying a self-admittedly contrafactual “would that it were so!”)

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Throbert : Point taken! And I certainly view Madison’s suggestion as ‘contrafactual’, given the reality that appears to pertain in the world around us.

    @ Sarah : I might be more inclined to have more ‘respect’ for NARTH if this organization condemned homophobia. There is a precedent it might wish to follow here: the Pope (who is no ‘liberal’) has made clear his opposition to homophobia (although I think that, given what is happening in places like Uganda, he might reiterate this) when he said: “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”

  • Richard Willmer

    BTW, I must say that Ben (Michael’s former lover) seems to me a very sensible and gracious individual. I like very much his contention that Michael’s conversions does not detract from good work in helping those in distress he may have done in the past – a contention with which I would agree.

  • Richard Willmer

    I’m reposting that last comment; it should really have said the following:-

    “BTW, I must say that Ben (Michael’s former lover) seems to me a very sensible and gracious individual. I like very much his contention that Michael’s ‘conversion’ to the ‘Christian right agenda’ does not necessarily negate good work he may have done in the past – a contention with which I would agree.”

    I think I would share Ben’s worries, if only because of Michael’s tendency to ‘dogmatic vehemence’.

  • Emily K

    inconvenient truths are often difficult for people (like NARTH) to swallow. pity.

  • Madison

    @Richard, sorry, but I’m sticking with strong likelihood that humans are heterosexual and have a variety of sexual attractions including to the same sex. It is only with same sex attraction that we have given it a name and tried to make the case that it is innate and immutable.

    Anyone who is skeptical of the “born gay” theory or expresses a preference for heterosexuality is now considered homophobic. Until that changes, there is no way to expect NARTH to condemn it.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Madison : You are of course perfectly entitled to your opinion.

  • Teresa

    t is only with same sex attraction that we have given it a name and tried to make the case that it is innate and immutable.

    Madison, I wonder if you can tell us when you made the ‘choice’ to be heterosexual? Was that a difficult choice to make?

    Anyone who is skeptical of the “born gay” theory or expresses a preference for heterosexuality is now considered homophobic.

    I’d say this is rather a hyperbolic statement, wouldn’t you, Madison? I’m a homosexual, and I don’t label people homophobic who have opinions different than mine on the etiology of homosexuality, or if they have a preference for heterosexuality.

    Do I think NARTH does not have the current MSM support, or is on the prickly side of the divide on this issue? Yes, that’s true; but, not necessarily because there’s some big conspiracy going on. I do think, my opinion only which is contrary to yours, that there is very credible scientific evidence that nature plays a very significant role in the genesis of homosexuality. I think, also, that nurture plays a part; far less so, than what was commonly believed, in my opinion. As we move to a better comprehension of the facts (not beliefs), we can better sort out what’s going on, from a position of neutrality, not partiality.

    I liken this somewhat to the debate on geocentrism vs. heliocentrism (which continues today in some circles). Copernicus and Galileo rocked the world with their new theory. A theory that raged for some years and was labeled heresy by the Christian world.

    What’s interesting about NARTH is their movement away from the blatant statement that their therapy can ‘change’ people from gay to str8 (although they always wiggled on the term ‘change’) to their current stated position that their therapy is not directly about ‘change’, and they can’t guarantee ‘change’, and maybe through the attunement process you might ‘change’. Although they’re still fighting the battle that ‘change’ is possible, even they have become more cautious about there wording. Are they looking at their own client results, or are they being ‘pressured’ by some outside force, as you charged Mohler with on another thread, Madison?

  • Madison

    “You are of course perfectly entitled to your opinion.”

    As are you, Richard.

    Teresa, you don’t choose heterosexuality, you just are. It’s not the same as having same sex attraction so it’s not useful to imply that it is.

    You might have a more reasonable definition of “homophobia” but you would be in the distinct minority amongst your peers. Read TWO or EGW for a day or two and that’s patently obvious.

    So NARTH has adjusted over the years. Surely that’s not criminal? Warren has made a radical shift, shall we discredit him? Call him a liar? Also, maybe we shouldn’t be so stuck in the past. Isn’t the future what matters? The aversive techniques haven’t been practiced for decades and yet you all still bring them up.

    The thing that gets me is that those on my side of the discussion just want folks to be able to to pursue their own course and get the help they want whereas you all seem to feel like you know what’s best for people and want to steer them towards your viewpoint. That strikes me as drastically wrong.

    And before you try to tell me it doesn’t work and it’s harmful…just don’t. I’ve read that here a million times and it’s still not true.

  • Teresa

    The aversive techniques haven’t been practiced for decades and yet you all still bring them up.

    I’m afraid you’re wrong here, Madison. I believe Richard Cohen is still using a variant of these today. I think some Exodus groups do the same.

    The thing that gets me is that those on my side of the discussion just want folks to be able to to pursue their own course and get the help they want whereas you all seem to feel like you know what’s best for people and want to steer them towards your viewpoint. That strikes me as drastically wrong.

    Madison, “you all” does not include me. I don’t think we’re debating here about people choosing what they think is best for them. I would never attempt to dissuade anyone from reparative therapy or any of its cousins, or any other choice of therapy. I have no idea what’s best for anyone. Each individual is autonomous in their decisions.

    I thought we were actually discussing the merits of NARTH, et. al., by the results. I’m not some ad agency promoting somebody’s agenda. If that’s what you’ve construed by this interchange, I think there’s been a misunderstanding.

    However, Madison:

    whereas you all seem to feel like you know what’s best for people and want to steer them towards your viewpoint.

    are you not guilty of the same thing you’re blaming some of us for?

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    @Richard,

    There are a couple different problems that I see here…

    The first problem is homophobia but the second is the labeling of homophobia wrongfully.

    Another problem that I see is the fact that a group of ppl cry so loudly for respect and diversity yet don’t give the time or day for somebody with a differing view point. One person may believe that freedom from homosexuality in Christ is possible but the gay activist will label that as homophobic when it’s not. The problem with it is the fact that gay activists would like for ppl to just believe that ppl are born gay. The truth of the matter is, is the fact that a specific gay gene has yet to be found and so the argument of being born gay and it being an innate trait like that of the color of a persons skin is an argument for now hold no weight.

    NARTH really just simply holds the APA accountable and challenges current studies and will show where the inconsistencies are in the studies that have been done.

    I know for a fact that Exodus has spoken against what is happening in Uganda. What his happening in Uganda makes a coplicated matter and makes I yet more complicated. I’m not sure what NARTH’s official stance has been but NARTH is not homophobic.

    ,

    What I really don’t like is that ppl tend to think the Westboro Baptist Church and the likes thereof represents organizations like NARTH and Exodus when in fact they don’t. And they blame Exodus and NARTH for what’t happening in Uganda and with Westboro Baptist church and that simply is nit right. People should be held accountable fir their own actions not the actions if others.

    So it’s time that ppl stop confusing the ppl who have a genuine heart for those struggling with or identify with homosexuality from the real homophobic individuals who with their hatred and words that degrade continue to spread hatred and homophobia.

    I’m not homophobic but just because I’m on an ex-gay journey and support ministries like Exodus ppl lable me homophobic which is just absolutely ridiculous. The point is, we need to really discern who and what is truly homophobic and who and what is not.

  • Madison

    “are you not guilty of the same thing you’re blaming some of us for?”

    No, absolutely not. It’s the exact opposite. I want people to be able to self-determine. Maybe you’re not the best example but Ken, Jayhuck, Timothy and others actually want to belittle, mislead, discourage and even prevent that. Timothy and Wayne Besen have made it a crusade. It’s really ugly.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    And really it’s not about about saying to another what’s best for them or telling another person how they aught to live their lives but rather giving space to uphold the freedom and to determin for oneself the direction they choose to go in. If I choose to leave homosexuality what is it to you!?

    Why is it that gays and lesbians have issues with the choices that I make regarding my sex life and personal relationships and yet demand that I change my core values and principles to their core values and principles.

    If there is not a gay gene that’s been found why insist that ppl are born gay and demand others accept that as fact when the gay gene theory scientifically remains as a theory not fact… So why teach it as fact? So it’s great to know that there is a group if ppl out there who do their best to keep integrity within the APA and who fight for a person’s right to self determination… Ie.. allowing the client to decide for themselves the choices they want to make concerning their private lives.

    If a client comes to a councilor and says their ssa is unwanted the professional aught to have the freedom to allow their client to explore that because that is what the client wants ie. right to self determination…

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    For those who insist they’re born gay show me the proof?

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    @Madison maybe I’m not necessarily speaking against anything that you are saying… But all I know is that the LGBTQ Community has a core value of tolerance and diversity but only as if fits their beliefs and values essentially actually not respecting others who have responded differently to their homosexuality.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    I don’t think NARTH is trying to prevent self determination but just opposite… Right from the start I’ve said I’ve appreciated the work of NARTH.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    @Madison it seems to me that we’re on the same page and with the same perspective. I’ve just read the second to last comment or so and it seems that we’re on the same side.

    I believe in self determination and I don’t believe that all reparative therapy is unhealthy or even wrong but therapy done in the past even some techniques used today I wouldn’t agree with but when we’re wanting to leave homosexuality we should have the freedom to explore that and not be hindered because a group of ppl are making a premature declaration that we’re born gay when there is no scientific fact to back that up.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    It is to me understandable and logical to believe that we’re all heterosexual… The term homosexual orientation was introduced to bring in a sense of political correctness because to say that it’s just an orientation implies a character trait that is unchangeable when for some ppl change has proven to be possible.

  • Teresa

    Sarah, I think if you’ve read the recent exchanges on several of the new Posts by Warren, no one is saying that there’s explicit proof that anyone is born gay. I think some of the comments have been reasonably and dispassionately stated. If you would like some substantiation as to the biological or prenatal work, Warren has some links if you’ll check this website. It’s been stated several times, that nature and nurture are perhaps concomitant factors in the etiology of homosexuality. Some of us think that nature is more significant, others see nurture as predominate.

    Please understand, also, Sarah, that on this Blog there are commenters with different view points. None of us agree entirely, nor should we. Some of us are in committed partnerships, some of us are choosing to live chastely, some are str8 and married, some are just here.

    I, for one, would prefer not to be labeled as having a political agenda. I’m also quite happy with people doing and choosing whatever path they feel drawn to; and, also, sharing where their journey has led them. I’m not anyone’s judge, jury or executioner. If persons have been helped by therapists associated with NARTH, why should I be unhappy about that? I’m not a propagandist for anyone here, but I do appreciate truth in science. In fact, it’s a passion of mine. So, I have opted with a therapeutic approach that I see aligns best with my faith and science.

    I do, however, have trouble staying serene when persons on either side of the divide, or any where in-between, cherry-pick data, skew data, fudge data, etc. If that is troubling to anyone, so be it.

  • Teresa

    I forgot to add, and forgive this oversight, some of us here are intersex or transsexual.

  • ken

    Sarah# ~ Jun 22, 2011 at 12:02 am

    “One person may believe that freedom from homosexuality in Christ is possible but the gay activist will label that as homophobic when it’s not. ”

    While some activists may do that. I suspect you’ll find that what most label as homophobic is the attitudes about gays that those who “believe that freedom from homosexuality in Christ is possible” espouse.

    “NARTH really just simply holds the APA accountable and challenges current studies and will show where the inconsistencies are in the studies that have been done. ”

    No, NARTH does far more than that. NARTH has repeatedly mis-represented what studies have said, usually to set up straw-men arguments. Now, to be fair I haven’t paid much attention to NARTH in the last 4-5 years. However, what I have seen doesn’t indicate their tactics have changed.

    “I’m not sure what NARTH’s official stance has been but NARTH is not homophobic.”

    And I doubt you’ll be able to point to any official statement from NARTH disclaiming the statements of Scott Lively or any of the others who were at the anti-gay conference that spurred the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill.

    Sarah# ~ Jun 22, 2011 at 12:13 am

    “If I choose to leave homosexuality what is it to you!? ”

    Nothing, I think you are free to chose whatever you want. However, when NARTH therapists and Exodus Ministries treat people who don’t choose to enter therapy (i.e. children forced into it by their parents), that I have a problem with. Also, when people deny gays basic rights because they can “chose to leave homosexuality” I have a problem with that as well.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    @Ken it would be helpful if you were to use more simple words but from what I can understand I would say that your information regarding NARTH is a little off and only is an example of what it us I’m trying to say…. People tend to add things that are not there.

    @Teresa then what Warren is saying is only actually perhaps confirming what it is that I was trying to convey.

    I have no problem with differences I know a few ppl who have told me they are an hermaphrodite I’m sorry for the bad spelling but perhaps you know what I’m talking about.

    I actually came out of transgenderism and had wrestled with issues that I’m sure most people who are transsexual face, the difference is that I’ve come to adjust just fine in the world of being a woman instead of living as a man… The person I used to be despite continued ssa are worlds apart…. I have to credit my relationship with Jesus Christ and having the freedom to seek counselling and therapy…

    Anyways, so I’m not saying anything much different then Warren …

    @Ken there is much to what you have said I’m sure I didn’t get. I don’t have seminary education therefore I value the more simple form of communication and vocab… Dumb it down for me ;) otherwise I can’t engage or dialogue with you much more then I have.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    For those who insist they’re born gay show me the proof?

    Your Honor, I wish to submit for the court’s consideration this shoebox full of crusty yellow-brown Kleenexes that were carefully archived under my bed from ages 12-15; the proteinaceous deposits on said Kleenexes having been expressed from my penis via a methodology of manual friction augmented with mental imagery that involved myself, Magnum P.I., Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica, Scott McFarlane from my 8th-grade English class, and Indiana Jones… all of us sitting around a campfire at night, completely naked and showing each other our boners. Then, Magnum P.I. asks me if I want to touch his…”

    No one ever had to teach me to fantasize this way; I just KNEW instinctively that it was skull-poppingly erotic and wonderful and lovely and made absolutely perfect sense, but fantasies about soft, smooth, curvy women were completely boring.

    If this doesn’t “prove” to you that some people are born homosexual, then… what WOULD?

  • Teresa

    @Teresa then what Warren is saying is only actually perhaps confirming what it is that I was trying to convey.

    Warren is my kinda guy, even though I’m a same sex attracted woman. :) I don’t know Warren personally, but on his Blog he has always been patient, respectful, a bit ‘cheeky’ at times which is rather funny, gives faith and science their appropriate due, treats us like errant children when necessary, and has given a lot of us homosexuals a home in the therapeutic world, as well as the blog world, where there was none before. Sheesh, I might be falling in love.

  • Madison

    Teresa, sorry, I might have gotten testy, too. I would definitely say that what you bring to the discussion here is far more reasonable and informative than some of the others.

    Sarah, not sure where the confusion arose but I would never imply that NARTH is preventing self determination since, as you point out, it’s the opposite. And I do think we are on the same wavelength here. Glad I’m not alone.

    Ken, everyone cherry picks and distorts the data. You just did it right there.

    And please do tell what basic rights are being denied to gays. I’ll save you some typing: you are able to get married just like every other citizen.

    I do generally like what Warren has to say however more recently he has been alarmingly dismissive both of folks here and most things “heterosexual affirming”. For instance on the sissy boy stuff and the HuffPo article.

  • Madison

    Regarding born gay theory, Throbert makes the common but massive error in disregarding those first 5-12 years. For gays, “my whole life” means “since I was 8″. It is orders of magnitude easier to identify hereditary or innate attributes than it is those shaped during adolescence and yet the evidence for born gay is severely lacking. And let’s not forget that evolution frowns on traits that hinder reproduction which I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that same sex attraction would probably fall under that umbrella.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    @throbert no one has to teach any man or any woman towards that which is sinful, we were if you will born with a natural and a genetic predisposition.

    Any educated psychologist will tell you that sexual addiction to fantasy etc isn’t about sex or sexuality for that matter something far more deeper and perhaps rooted in one’s identity. I would be curious to know if whether or not as a child you were able to reckon with your own sense of identity? Were you confident in yourself or do you have insecurities? Sex addiction isn’t about sex.

    We were all born with certain needs some more subtle then others and less defined and for many when needs are not met they will surface in other areas and more then likely in addictions, self destructive ways, and unhealthy relationships. We’d be kinda dumb to neglect the battle of the sexes as part of that.

    Just because it seems natural and it probably does that does not mean that was how we were born… Born into brokenness and sin yes… The whole journey of faith many ppl embark on isn’t to just allow the flesh to rule our bodies but rather to hi our God with our bodies… Just because we have a natural tendency towards certain kinds of temptations that don’t mean that’s the way it is… Feelings are the most unreliable factor in our lives and feelings should not be how we define ourselves and feelings should not control us…we are human and there are certain behaviors that are learned behavior and if they’re learned behavior then that means we can learn new behavior…. One can stop acting out in habitual sin and one can enter into a life beyond habitual sin in the past.

    Nobody has to teach a child to lie, nobody has to teach any of us how to exhibit wrong behavior….

    Btw… I think the argumen choice vs born gay is an old warn out argument. Many of us know from personal experience that we didn’t wake up in front of a smorgous board of sexualities and say hmmm I think I want to be gay, but rather it was something that just developed in our lives and the question is …. Why? No gay gene has been found yet either… So what about the multitude of other possible influential factors that may have contributed to the development of ssa? We can’t say for sure gay gene … So …

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    @madison I never said that you said anything about NARTH … I might have been addressing somebody else ;)

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    Or I might have been bringing in as an eample what others say… Or I might have been referring to gay activists or the LGBTQ community. You might want to re-read what I’ve posted but just because I posted directly under you don’t mean my comments were directed at your specific post.

  • http://sarahmelnychuk.blogspot.com Sarah

    I’m also tired and there is one person who speaks at seminary level so it’s highly possible I didn’t get everything so you might have to exercise a little grace if I miss cuz the complex grammar and vocab that some have a tendency to post with are posts I’ll just skip over cuz the language is way over my head.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Madison and Sarah :

    On the issue of homophobia: I agree with what I think you are saying inasmuch as it is totally inappropriate to label** people as ‘homophobic’ simply because they either think same-sex relationships are not an appropriate expression of human sexuality or themselves wish not to experience same-sex attraction. Homophobia is clearly defined as an irrational fear of homosexual persons, and is expressed through what the Pope has termed ‘malice in speech or in action’.

    My two main ‘problems’ with organizations like NARTH (which I would not necessarily call ‘homophobic’ per se) include the following:-

    1. they appear to assume that same-sex attraction is something that is undesirable and wrong for everyone who experiences it, regardless of how those who experience it behave towards others (i.e. they adopt an ‘ideological’, rather than ‘moral’, position on the matter) or understand themselves and their human relationships;

    2. they fail clearly and explicitly to condemn homophobia (which does exist – noone doubts that, I hope – and is surely a moral, if not also a psychological, disorder) in all its ugly manifestations.

    Then there are all the ‘question marks’ about ‘scientific process’ and ‘evidence’ …

    Let’s go back to Michael in the article. From the little he is quoted as having said, I do not see anything that might be termed ‘healing’ having taken place. What I do see is an angry young man (who says people should ‘burn in hell’) being ‘converted’ to … an angry young man (who wants to ‘fight homosexuality’ – whatever ‘homosexuality’ might mean to him). I accept that some people are ‘firebrands’ (I can be pretty acerbic myself somethings, though I do hate the idea of others being materially harmed); that’s OK, as long as they also have humility to understand that they do not have ‘all the answers’ however ‘convinced’ they might be.

    (** By the way, I do not think anyone in this thread has done this.)

  • Ken

    Sarah# ~ Jun 22, 2011 at 1:56 am

    “@Ken it would be helpful if you were to use more simple words but from what I can understand I would say that your information regarding NARTH is a little off and only is an example of what it us I’m trying to say…. People tend to add things that are not there. ”

    If I have posted something you didn’t understand, feel free to point it out to me (cut and paste is best) and I’ll be happy to try explaining it in another way.

    Now, what is “off:” about my information regarding NARTH? And if you are accusing me of adding things that are not there, specifically what?

  • Ken

    Madison# ~ Jun 22, 2011 at 3:14 am

    “Ken, everyone cherry picks and distorts the data. You just did it right there.”

    What, exactly, are you accusing me of cherry picking? and more to the point, please show how I have mis-represented any data.

    “And please do tell what basic rights are being denied to gays. I’ll save you some typing: you are able to get married just like every other citizen.”

    1st, you are making some assumptions about me that may not be correct. I would point out that not only gays support gay rights.

    As to the rights that are being denied. In most states gays are unjustly denied the right to marry the person they love and to whom they are attracted (and all of the rights civil marriage grants). In some states they are denied the same job and housing protections afforded other minorities. They are denied the military benefits (housing, survivor’s benefits, etc) straight military personal are given (although, that will be changing soon). In FL, AL (and a few other states) gays cannot be foster parents or adopt children.


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