CNN Belief Blog examines congruence paradigm amid Bachmann revelations

On today’s CNN Belief Blog, Dan Gilgoff examines some changes in the evangelical world regarding reparative therapy in light of stories about Bachmann and Associates. Gilgoff contrasts the converstion or change paradigm with what I have called the congruence paradigm.

While many evangelicals once viewed conversion therapy as key way to deal with homosexuality, many of the religious movement’s leaders and organizations have cooled to the practice in recent years, as more science suggests that homosexuality may be innate and as new therapeutic approaches have emerged.

“Evangelicals, in quiet ways, are shifting to this position to where there is just not a lot of support for the change paradigm,” said Warren Throckmorton, an influential voice in the world of Christian counseling, referring to so-called change therapy.

Later in the piece, Exodus’ Alan Chambers weighs in, Al Mohler is referenced as is Marcus Yoars at Charisma and Jonathan Merritt at Christian Science Monitor. I like that the change paradigm is contrasted with the congruence paradigm.

Go give it a read and comment there and here…

  • DAVE G

    It seems some ex-gays achieve congruence, and some claim change –having extinguished the sexual attraction of same-sex relationships. I can agree with APA that a counselor/therapist cannot claim to be able to effect change –but in classic Rogerian terms, the client CAN change him- or herself. The most effective way appears to be a change of convictions to accept the Christian world-view that God, our Heavenly Father, is in charge, and He can offer an identity make-over to restore one to his/her intended identity. This must include changing one’s support systems (friends, associates, primary relationships) to the Christian community that accepts God’s promise of forgiveness and a new life for those who change their life-direction.

    Outside this religious context, extinguishing the same-gender sexual attraction response is like trying to extinguish the salivating response of Pavlov’s dogs to the sound of a bell –some do, and some don’t.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Obviously you have not been reading this blog much … nor the article.

    Congruence is NOT the idea that one can change their feelings or attractions but instead learn to live with them according to one’s faith values. You took change and congruence and turned them into the same thing which is the very thing people are trying to make a distinction about..

    Dave

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Dave (not G) – Of the Dave’s you understand the congruence paradigm.

    I know some claim change, and some probably do so, but this number is very small (on my recent study, 1-2%). This is not a level of attainment that you should build a movement on.

  • DAVE G

    Dave, I guess you mis-read my sentence. I understand congruence, and I use the word change to denote cessation of sexual attraction to same-sex persons.

    Extinguishing established neural pathways of associating sexual feelings with same-sex individuals is seldom accomplished, whereas congruence of behavior with one’s religious convictions is not as difficult. Some claim to have accomplished this, but I know of no objective way of measuring it. Perhaps it’s worthy of a directed study.

  • Teresa

    I understand congruence, and I use the word change to denote cessation of sexual attraction to same-sex persons.

    DAVE G., ‘congruence’ DOES NOT mean cessation of same sex sexual attractions. For some of us gays, our more traditional, conservative faith beliefs lead us to seek help in living a celibate life, a life of chastity. We seek ‘harmony’ of our faith, our homosexuality, and our behavior.

    The same sex sexual attractions may or may not lessen, as str8 sexual attractions wax and wane throughout life.

    This must include changing one’s support systems (friends, associates, primary relationships) to the Christian community that accepts God’s promise of forgiveness and a new life for those who change their life-direction.

    DAVE G., I’m trying not to assume too much by this sentence of yours, but it seems to me a thinly veiled definition of the ‘closet’. If my faith belief means that I have to abandon my gay friends, who choose to live differently than myself, what am I saying to myself or to them? Who am I running from … them or me?

  • Kyle

    Hello Theresa. I appreciate your perspectives and experience on this. I am a fairly conservative Christian with some gay friends, and this is always a tough issue for me (whenever it comes up – I do not push the issue on my friends).

    In your experience, do gays who marry heterosexual ever develop sexual attraction for their other-sex spouses? Do they find sexual satisfaction with their spouses, even if they continue to identify as primarily gay in orientation?

  • ken

    Teresa# ~ Jul 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    “DAVE G., ‘congruence’ DOES NOT mean cessation of same sex sexual attractions”

    Dave G. didn’t say that Teresa. He said ‘change’ meant the cessation of same sex sexual attractions. he is talking about 2 distinct concepts: congruence of religious beliefs and change of sexual orientation.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well .. I think Dave G needs to articulate what he is saying a bit better… perhaps by using paragraphs and seperating concepts .. After-all .. this is much of the problem in conversations like this.

    For example .. Alan Chambers talks about change .. but if you listen to him very closely he has *not* experienced a change of attractions.. he still experiences same sex attractions at times. So what he is really describing is a form of congruence .. however his congruence has a bit of a twist to it in that he regards the same sex attractions themselves as sinful or as sinful temptations. This seems a bit different then the SITF framework though perhaps it might fit since it leaves much up to the client .. We’ll need Warren’s input on that one. Regardless of that … he (Alan), who talks of change, does not seem to present a neutral playing field in which attractions and identity are neutral issues .. rather .. he seems to insist that one must reject same sex attractions and repent of having them ..and in fact must deny a gay identity. His approach excludes those who readly admit their same sex attractions (and may or may not identify as gay) and live a celibate life in congruence with their faith. And… obviously .. it also excludes those who take a more affirming approach in identity and action.

    The above paragraph is a small illustration of the problem in the whole change language. What is called change is often really congruence .. with ..at times .. an insistance on a my way or the highway approach.

    In looking at what Dr. Throckmorton presented in an earlier post on data from mixed oreintation marrriages it would appear that a true change of attractions .. a neural disconnect as Dave G described .. it is incredibly rare if not non-existant.

    If people would say what they mean and mean what they say and not insist on a my way or the highway approach along with all the political tie ins it would make life a lot easier for those who are simply trying to follow Christ and find their way in all of this.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • StraightGrandmother

    Kyle, I think this article, read all the comments, will be of interest to you.

    http://wthrockmorton.com/2011/07/15/new-study-sexual-behavior-changes-but-not-sexual-orientation/

  • StraightGrandmother

    Wow Warren! I think you did a heck of a good interview, nice job. This what you said in the interview is what grabbed me

    Some Christian counselors have moved away from reparative therapy and have adopted a therapeutic approach that Throckmorton describes as a “congruence paradigm.” The model encourages counselors to appreciate a client’s wishes to harmonize their values, often shaped by religion, and their sexuality.

    Under the congruence approach, a religious person who considers homosexuality sinful could attempt to square their beliefs and sexuality by trying to remain celibate. A bisexual client who perceives a similar conflict could try to focus on heterosexual relationships.

    I just came to that same conclusion yesterday and commented the same to Theresa in a different topic. I came here to learn. I mainly came here because so many Christians use, “You can change,” as a reason to deny gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgender citizens Equal Civil Rights. So I wanted to investigate if really that was true, can gays change their sexual orientation or not.

    I found out that they never really do ever change their sexual orientation, and even with a big support group when they try changing their behavior, to try to be heterosexual, or shall I say behave as a heterosexual, this then involves another opposite sex person, and that person is going to be harmed. That Mark Yarhouse study is what did it for me.

    It was just yesterday I put my foot in the “no” camp, no to trying to behave heterosexually. And if your Faith is paramount in your life and you believe that according to your religion that homosexual intimacies are a sin then you should remain celibate. Counseling may help you in that struggle to remain celibate.

    WOW! Then on CNN I read your thoughts and they are exactly the same thing.

    I look forward to learning more about SIT, and especially if there is a mixing of religion and psychology when it is the therapy used to help people. I think we should never forget that some people need help. It isn’t just about data and abstract theories, real peoples lives are at stake.

  • Lynn David

    Well, they didn’t include Chamber’s comparison of fighting obesity to changing one sexual orientation.

    DAVE G…… The most effective way appears to be a change of convictions to accept the Christian world-view….. This must include changing one’s support systems (friends, associates, primary relationships) to the Christian community that accepts God’s promise of forgiveness and a new life for those who change their life-direction.

    Woulld that were true but most young gays and lesbians find themselves already in a Christian community when they first discover their homosexuality.

  • Teresa

    SG, I think you and I have learned a lot from this Blog. Even though you’re str8 and I’m gay, we’ve come to the same conclusions about what is and isn’t possible for homosexuals, by having Warren, David Blakeslee, Timothy Kincaid, Zoe Brain and others lay out the facts with as little prejudice as possible, most times.

    Certainly therapy can help those of us who feel that sexual intimacy between same-gendered persons is not in accord with our faith beliefs. Help us accept our homosexuality, be comfortable with it, stop the b.s. about having to feel guilty about our orientation, repent about our orientation, having to feel ‘less than’ about any of it. Learn how to handle same-sex attractions in healthy ways, and not stuff them down or deny them. All of this counseling helps us to lead healthy lives in harmony with our beliefs.

    In this view, we are fellow travelers, in a certain sense, with gays who have chosen to approach life differently. I may not agree with their life choice, as they may not agree with mine; but, we agree that we didn’t choose this condition, we’re pretty certain it’s not gonna change, and we don’t have to apologize to anyone for being gay.

  • Teresa

    Dave G. didn’t say that Teresa. He said ‘change’ meant the cessation of same sex sexual attractions. he is talking about 2 distinct concepts: congruence of religious beliefs and change of sexual orientation.

    ken, thanks for bringing this to my attention. You’re absolutely correct.

    DAVE G., I apologize for incorrectly reading your prior Comment.

  • Jayhuck

    Dave G -

    The most effective way appears to be a change of convictions to accept the Christian world-view….. This must include changing one’s support systems (friends, associates, primary relationships) to the Christian community that accepts God’s promise of forgiveness and a new life for those who change their life-direction.

    I think you mean to accept the “Christian world view” as its understood by only some Christians. Obviously not all Christians share your understanding of homosexuality ;)

  • Lynn David

    On the other side of this, I do not think what Bachmann does in his clinic is as important to his wife’s campaign as the lie she may have voiced in 2006 in a debate while running for Congress.

    I think it is becoming rather obvious that Michele Bachmann lied concerning her statement about her knowledge of WELS teaching on the Catholic Papacy as antiChrist in 2006. In that statement during a debate she claimed that her pastor had commented that “he was absolutely appalled that someone would put that out.”

    But part of theWELS teaching on antiChrist is that a pastor should know about the teaching and her pastor, Marcus Birkholz, had been at Salem Lutheran for 21 years in 2006. I suspect he therefore knew and was not ignorant of the teaching on the antiChrist. So then Bachmann’s 2006 statement either reported a lie her pastor told her or was a lie of itself.

    Well, it is five years later and Pastor Birkholz is still at Salem Lutheran. The Bachmanns evidently stopped attending in 2009 and then formally left just before announcing for the Presidency. Her former pastor has said (CNN Religion Blog):

    I’ve been asked to make no comments regarding them and their family.

    And Bachmann is ducking the issue:

    Bachmann was asked about her status with the church on Thursday at Reagan National Airport as she headed to catch a flight. When asked about her pastor, she asked, “Which one?” An aide quickly hustled her away, noting that they were late for a flight.

    The Bachmann campaign declined to immediately respond to a request for further comment Friday.

    It seems the pastor has no reason to be repentant. He either told told Michele Bachmann the truth about WELS teaching or the conversation she reported in 2006 did not happen. What is being hidden in all of this is likely the lie which Bachmann spoke then.

  • Gene Chase

    I tried to comment at the CNN article, but gave up because it filters by stop-words embedded in other words. So here is my would-be post to there.

    Dan Gilgoff’s article confuses two terms. He should do his homework.

    “Reparative therapy” is help that assumes that homosexual acting out is a reparative drive, according to its creator, Elizabeth Moberly. It is not faith-based.

    “Conversion therapy” is faith-based help that relies on the benefits of following God, such as that proposed by Jewish author Arthur Goldberg in his book Light in the Closet. It is not uniquely Christian.

    And now to this audience, I’m aware that Nicolosi confused Moberly’s term and appropriated it for his own brand of therapy. Tot homines, quot sententiae, as the Romans used to say: There are as many opinions as there are men.

    Do I help people via Christian discipleship (as a kind of conversion therapy)? Always. Do I explore possible reparative drives? Sometimes. Do I recommend cognitive-behavior interventions? Sometimes.

    Journalism succeeds by over-simplifying. Therapy does not.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Hi Gene,

    You mentioned several therapies … but not SITF .. I was wondering if you agree with the principles of SITF?

    Thanks,

    Dave

  • StraightGrandmother

    Theresa, I have to admit when I first came over to this blog I didn’t understnd you and mostly didn’t agree with you, it is a surprise to me how I have changed my opinions and you and I have ened up at the same place. I agreed with everything you wrote except in this sentence I wish there were a better term for “condition”

    but, we agree that we didn’t choose this condition, we’re pretty certain it’s not gonna change, and we don’t have to apologize to anyone for being gay.

    I don’t know what that better word would be an perhaps I am just being to nit picky as it was really well written.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Gene – Someone ought to write the definitive history of this movement. I have this recollected differently than you.

    Moberly was the one who came along in time for the ex-gay movement with the reparative conception. She was faith based – Her book was titled: Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic and was filled with spiritual sounding advice. Nicolosi did appropriate the term and the concepts, nearly as Moberly had written them (e.g., reparative drive, defensive detachment, disidentification). Nicolosi wanted to make his approach non-religious which meant referencing the psychoanalytic gods, more than religious ones.

    Conversion therapy in my experience is a pejorative term for any effort to convert gays to straights. Most of the time I have seen it in a non-religious context.

    I think the term sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) has become the accepted umbrella term. I agree that reparative therapy is to specific to a theoretical and religious base to make it the umbrella term.

  • Gene Chase

    @Warren, Moberly’s non-religious presentation of reparative therapy was in Psychogenesis: The Early Development of Gender Identity. As an Eastern Orthodox believer, she then showed it to be a Christian approach in Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic. Although both books came out in 1983, I think that the first-mentioned is prior in both conception and printing.

    Elizabeth was a theoretician, not a clinician, so she never in fact had clients on which to test her theory. If you’re writing a history, I have original correspondence from her to Nicolosi complaining that he appropriated her theory without any credit to her.

    In my opinion, this is why she got fed up and left the field of psychoanalysis in favor of researching things like homeopathic cures for cancer.

  • Bernie

    @ Teresa, and StraightGrandmother,

    You two girls give me a lot of strength.

    I come to Warren’s blog, mostly to to be educated in the dispelled myths propagated by the fringe elements; Barton, Bachmann, Fischer, et al. But, I am also gay, and Catholic educated.

    I was married and could not continue the lie that I was trying to perpetuate. It ended with me having the laces from my shoes removed and my Rosary beads to boot.

    Am I at peace with myself…yes.

    Am I still a Christian…yes.

    The conflict I have is with literalists, who, like all apparatchiks, use the Bible as a Grand Grimoire, whipping out quotes hither and thither in their self-righteousness, without ever addressing the central theme of the Gospel. It is telling how Fundamentalists can continue to serve their tripe, esp. Exodus, and NARTH, and their questionable methodologies.

    When I have people tell me, ‘you will know peace when you truly embrace Christ’. I say to myself and certainly not to them, “There’s nothing wrong with me. This is the way God made. It’s not my problem, but, rather, YOUR problem. And listen to yourself, with the presumption of judgement in your voice. You silly moron! All that you say and know is predicated upon what you are told by your Pastor.”

    I seek a day when this growing Christian Taliban will cease USING the Bible in their efforts to suppress and control people like myself, and people of all races and religions. Their myopic vision that this will be a theocracy will be their own undoing.

  • Mary

    Bernie,

    I seek a day when this growing Christian Taliban will cease USING the Bible in their efforts to suppress and control people like myself, and people of all races and religions. Their myopic vision that this will be a theocracy will be their own undoing

    I chose a different direction for my faith, values and sexuality but I so agree with you on this statment.

  • Teresa

    @Gene Chase and Warren:

    I think I’m missing something here about Dr. Elizabeth Moberly. I’m trying to find the reference on the NARTH website; but, I’m fairly certain I’ve read a Moberly citation about dealing with 100 (?) homosexual women and that with her theory in practice, almost all became str8. As an aside, Dr. Moberly is an iconic figure to many NARTH practitioners.

    I know I could be “smoking the drapes” on my recollections about Moberly, so did I just imagine this study?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Teresa – How do those drapes smell and taste?

    I don’t recognize that; Gene?

    I am with Gene though, she was not a clinician, which was part of the head scratchingness of her recommendations.

  • David Blakeslee

    Nice:

    Evangelicals, in quiet ways, are shifting to this position to where there is just not a lot of support for the change paradigm,” said Warren Throckmorton, an influential voice in the world of Christian counseling, referring to so-called change therapy.

    You mean there is a CONTEXT to all of this? How nice of us to remember and be reminded.

    Now if we can just add the fact that the APA has been skeptical of many of the values of the religiously devout for decades the story will be in it’s right context.

    Oh yeah, and that they started the whole meme of homosexuality being a mental illness (which is still present in China and elsewhere today).

    We live in a world we inherited from others, some with good motives and others with base motives. It is our job to make the place better and be accused of the same by those who replace us.

  • Teresa

    @Gene Chase and Warren:

    Let me be clearer on my comment above: In the citations I recall about this study, the clinician ‘seemed’ to be Dr. Elizabeth Moberly, not someone using her theory.

  • Teresa

    Warren,

    “Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs” … in a pinch, drapes will do. They do smell quite awful, though. :) :)

    Yes, I realize Moberly was a theoretician, not a clinician … but, that study keeps coming to mind. I’ll keep researching.

  • Teresa

    StraightGrandmother (SG),

    I agreed with everything you wrote except in this sentence I wish there were a better term for “condition”

    (Teresa wrote: but, we agree that we didn’t choose this condition, we’re pretty certain it’s not gonna change, and we don’t have to apologize to anyone for being gay.)

    I don’t know what that better word would be an perhaps I am just being to nit picky as it was really well written.

    SG, you’re not being nit-picky, at all. ‘Condition’ sounds so clinical and rather disease-oriented. Simply put, I should have said:

    we didn’t choose to be gay (just like str8′s don’t choose to be str8), we’re pretty certain it’s not gonna change, and we don’t have to apologize to anyone for being gay.

    Thanks for pointing this out, SG.

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    The psychodynamic view (and treatment) of homosexuality precedes Moberly and Nicolosi by decades.

    It is wrong to attribute it to them.

    Moberly Christianized developmental psychology theory of the 50′s and 60′s in a vain wish to breed compassion in the Christian Church for homosexuals (they aren’t evil, they are ill).

    Socarides was no fundamentalist (I am not even sure of his religious beliefs). But he was instrumental in forming a theoretical framework for understanding Homosexuality at the time (The Overt Homosexual 1968; Homosexuality 1978).

    Moberly’s book postdates Socarides.

    Once the APA began to actively advance the proposition that homosexuality was a normal human variant; Christians were left in a quandry about what to do with their SSA. The APA showed no interest in this population. This was a the same time they were actively implying throughout the DSM III the mental illness was correlated with religious belief.

  • Lynn David

    Despite what the CNN blog had to say about Albert Mohler, it appears Mohler made a leap off the deep end:

    Actually, the Bible speaks rather directly to the sinfulness of the homosexual orientation — defined as a pattern of sexual attraction to a person of the same sex. In Romans 1:24-27, Paul writes of “the lusts of their hearts to impurity,” of “dishonorable passions,” of women who “exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature,” and of men who “gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another.” A close look at this passage reveals that Paul identifies the sinful sexual passion as a major concern — not just the behavior.

    I didn’t realize Christianity was ultimately the thought police. But after what we’ve seen coming out of Africa and more especially Ghana of late, I’m not so certain.

  • Jayhuck

    David B -

    Christians were left in a quandry about what to do with their SSA.

    Please be more specific when talking about Christians David! You mean conservative Christians who have a certain understanding of homosexuality, the Bible and Christian tradition, do you not? Don’t assume that all Christians were having a problem with this, because they were not.

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    Now if we can just add the fact that the APA has been skeptical of many of the values of the religiously devout for decades the story will be in it’s right context.

    Is there something wrong with a healthy skepticism with something like religion that has brought us things like the crusades, prejudice, bigotry of all kinds, wars, misplaced guilt, etc, etc??? I’m just curious, was the APA skeptical of ALL religious values? If so, which ones?

  • Lynn David

    And Mohler goes on to say:

    The New Testament reveals that a homosexual sexual orientation, whatever its shape or causation, is essentially wrong, contrary to the Creator’s purpose, and deeply sinful. Everyone, whatever his or her sexual orientation, is a sinner in need of redemption. Every sinner who comes by faith to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved knows the need for the redemption of our bodies — including our sexual selves. But those whose sexual orientation is homosexual face the fact that they also need a fundamental reordering of their sexual attractions. About this, the Bible is clear. At this point, once again, the essential contradiction between the Christian worldview and the modern secular worldview is clear.

    Mohler tempers his comments on homosexuality with the mantra of ‘everyone sins;’ but he still upholds a homosexual orientation itself as “deeply sinful.” I’m confused. I gues because I grew up Catholic where only the behavior was seen as sinful. Mohler adds another layer to ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ to almost give license to those Baptist parents who throw their young children out who are homosexually oriented. Mohler gives no quarter for those who would demand parental causes, child abuse or anything else a young person has no control over.

    And Mohler would hold out no hope for those married who are yet homosexually oriented. For all their work and love all they have to show for it is a life of nothing but sin.

    Christians cannot accept any argument that suggests that a fundamental reorientation of the believer’s desires in a way that increasingly pleases God and is increasingly obedient to Christ is impossible. To the contrary, we must argue that this process is exactly what the Christian life is to demonstrate.

    And yet the what is seen of the life of the ex-gay while seemingly congruous with a Christian life, is in Mohler’s estimtation still quite sinful. Mohler’s theology seemingly contradicts himself. Throughout Mohler seeks to couch his teaching in the mantra that all sin and yet he is not talking about what is in those person’s nature, which is why he concluded a homosexual orienation is “deeply sinful.”

    I guess I have never been one for fatalism of the Christian sin nature.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @Lynn David .. Good call on Moehler ..thanks for the link .. It appears that Mohler .. like many others who follow the exgay paradigm .. says one thing in public news but quite a different thing on their blog or website. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore .. but I must confess .. I still find it dissappointing

  • StraightGrandmother

    Lynn David, very informative analysis and comments about Mohlers Blog. Seems to me Warren was just commending him as becoming more “realistic” and compassionate a few weeks ago. I know one thing for certain Theresa is NOT going to like these declarations. I know this is an exaggeration but i can help it, after I read Mohler’s words and Lynn David’s comments the first thing that lept to my mind was “Devil’s Spawn” Isn’t that more or less what Mohelr is saying (although with exaggeration)?

  • StraightGrandmother

    Bernie, I good with ya. You gave up the lie you were living as a closeted man who is gay, living a heterosexual life. You found your true faith and the courage to live your life as God made you. Yes it is true there are millions of Christians who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender. Religion is a choice with many to study, reflect on and choose from, your natural born sexual orientation is not a choice and one that can’t be changed.

    Theresa, I am also good with you. You hold fast to your faith and as a natural born lesbian woman you have chosen to remain chaste in order to more fully live your faith.

  • DAVE G

    Theresa,

    I understand congruence; and I use the word CHANGE to denote cessation of sexual attraction to same-sex persons.

    Do you get it now? There must be something about my syntax that eschews clarity.

    The “change of support system” among friends is my point. I have gay friends, but they do not reinforce gay behavior for me; rather, they know that I accept them as persons, but I do not endorse their gay behavior. If ex-gays do not establish a str8-friends support system, they may well be abandoned by former gay friends and be left alone to themselves, which is painful for many.

    —Sorry to be come-and-go to this blog, but I do have other obligations.

  • David Blakeslee

    Jayhuck,

    No, I do not mean Conservative Christians.

    Think 1980.

    Until about 5 years ago, only Episcopalians had allowed a Bishop who was actively gay. And that had created a significant rift.

    More recently, that rift has doubled in the Lutheran Churches.

    In 1980 Lutherans, most Episcopalians, Catholics, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists (every one who espouses the Apostles Creed, for Example) all concurred with the sinfulness of homosexual behavior and it’s disqualification for Christian leadership.

    You are old enough to remember 1980? Or even 2000?

  • David Blakeslee

    Unitarians, I believe, do not acknowledge the Deity of Christ…which interferes with a fundamentally accepted definition of Christianity.

  • David Blakeslee

    Gene,

    Elizabeth was a theoretician, not a clinician, so she never in fact had clients on which to test her theory. If you’re writing a history, I have original correspondence from her to Nicolosi complaining that he appropriated her theory without any credit to her.

    In my opinion, this is why she got fed up and left the field of psychoanalysis in favor of researching things like homeopathic cures for cancer.

    Thanks, very interesting her abrupt departure. Warren may have some comments about the writing styles of Nicolosi and Byrd.

  • DAVE G

    Teresa,

    I apologize for not having read through the blog to see your apology. I accpet yours, and hope you’ll accept mine.

    There seems to be a consensus that it’s the same-sex sexual attraction, and not the behavior, that is the essence of homosexuality. However, I have a different theory, based on the stories of both gays and ex-gays: We are born sexual beings, and the sex drive begins to be experienced around adolescence. Whether we are introduced to sexual-arousal response via porn, molestation, or experimentation our brain makes the association well-imprinted upon neural pathways. Thus any biologically derived sexual urges will recall that association, and we tend to make that definitive of our own identity. This would also clarify what St. Paul writes in Romans.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    David – I was thinking along the same lines. I think for now I will keep my powder dry.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @Dave G .. nice to see your apology .. I also misread your initial post … my apologies for misunderstanding you … though I still feel that there is a need for absolute clarity in discussing these issues especially since the terminology has been slurred and misused by others.

    As for your theory … I associate with many gay and lesbian people and I can tell you flat out that your theory does not match anything I have seen. As much of what Dr Throckmorton’s information throughout this site shows .. there is no identifiable constellation of events envrionmental or biological that can be shown to cause same sex attractions. When I first was involved in this several years ao .. I too had simplistic answers. Over time .. those answers simply fell flat.

    As for what Paul describes in Romans .. He is only describing what he knows .. which is a very narrow .. pagan idol (possibly sex cult) related version of same sex sexual activity. To use that to describe all people who identify as gay would be very much in error IMHO. Whether same sex sexual activity is wrong outside of that context is.. of course .. the major point of dispute in all of this.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • Teresa

    Lynn David, very informative analysis and comments about Mohlers Blog. Seems to me Warren was just commending him as becoming more “realistic” and compassionate a few weeks ago. I know one thing for certain Theresa is NOT going to like these declarations. I know this is an exaggeration but i can help it, after I read Mohler’s words and Lynn David’s comments the first thing that lept to my mind was “Devil’s Spawn” Isn’t that more or less what Mohelr is saying (although with exaggeration)?

    StraightGrandmother, you’re certainly right about my NOT liking Mohler’s views. Actually, SG, it’s more than NOT liking, I find Mohler’s views reprehensible, and deeply disturbing. But, as I grow older, I’ve learned that I can’t control, change, or cure other persons. Mohler is certainly free to believe, and state openly what he believes. I’d rather people be upfront, blunt, and candid with me about their beliefs, rather than be hypocritical. At least, I know where they stand.

    But I’ll tell you, SG, statements such as Mohler’s do hurt … for awhile. As a Christian, I still try to practice the Golden Rule (as most other faith beliefs practice this) … in all my affairs … this includes Mohler.

  • DAVE G

    Dave,

    I guess my attempts at clarity fall short. I do not try to identify a particular constellation of events. Simply the fact that as we mature into adolescence we experience sexual feelings, and we learn to associate these feelings with relational/behavioral experiences. Thus pediatricians do not recommend that children be introduced to homosexual expressions of sexual behavior as an acceptable option. The existence of cultural morality is simply to avoid seemingly valid options which become ultimately harmful and destructive to human family generation.

  • Teresa

    @DAVE G., I’m glad we’ve overcome our misunderstanding. I have to agree with Dave’s quote here, 100%:

    Dave said to DAVE G.: As for your theory … I associate with many gay and lesbian people and I can tell you flat out that your theory does not match anything I have seen. As much of what Dr Throckmorton’s information throughout this site shows .. there is no identifiable constellation of events envrionmental or biological that can be shown to cause same sex attractions. When I first was involved in this several years ao .. I too had simplistic answers. Over time .. those answers simply fell flat.

    There’s not much more to add about this, DAVE G., except to say if your theory helps you in some manner to live in harmony with your faith beliefs, then that’s fine. I would, however, caution you in tenaciously holding onto this theory as your life proceeds. Life has a way of throwing things at us, unexpectedly and painfully. Being a bit open-minded helps us cushion life’s blows.

  • Jayhuck

    Dave G -

    Thus pediatricians do not recommend that children be introduced to homosexual expressions of sexual behavior as an acceptable option.

    Please site your sources when you say things like this. Which pediatricians say this?

  • Jayhuck

    David B -

    n 1980 Lutherans, most Episcopalians, Catholics, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists (every one who espouses the Apostles Creed, for Example) all concurred with the sinfulness of homosexual behavior and it’s disqualification for Christian leadership.

    Only in print David. I know for a fact that lay people and leaders of some of those different “denominations” did not believe this and were working on changing things. How many, I suppose we will never know because until the time you mentioned, it was a crime in most states to live as a gay person so some things had to happen out of the spotlight as it were. You seem to think that the changes in these churches started with Episcopalians electing an openly gay Bishop – you’d be wrong to do that

  • Ken

    Jayhuck# ~ Jul 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

    “Dave G –

    Thus pediatricians do not recommend that children be introduced to homosexual expressions of sexual behavior as an acceptable option.

    Please site your sources when you say things like this. Which pediatricians say this?”

    I’m guessing pediatricians at ACP.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    DAVE G# ~ Jul 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Dave,

    I guess my attempts at clarity fall short. I do not try to identify a particular constellation of events. Simply the fact that as we mature into adolescence we experience sexual feelings, and we learn to associate these feelings with relational/behavioral experiences. Thus pediatricians do not recommend that children be introduced to homosexual expressions of sexual behavior as an acceptable option. The existence of cultural morality is simply to avoid seemingly valid options which become ultimately harmful and destructive to human family generation.

    No .. I think your clarity is coming through just fine .. .. You say there is no constellation of events .. and then you make a somewhat absolute statement about causality here. I think you are very clear… I am just not sure which statement from you I am supposed to believe. While I might generally agree that no one should rush to identifying ..expecially those who are young .. I most definitely question your reasoning. As someone else already said .. if this is part of your personal journey and ir is helpful to you that’s fine. I would not wish to discourage you in your own path of identity. But making general statements about causality is not fine… they cannot and have not been proven .. Don’t know the cause means just that .. Don’t know.

    Even as a straight person I understand same sex attractions to be about a whole lot more than just sex. This is about who you mesh with on many levels. Reducing this all down to just the sexual level misses the point entirely.

    Dave

  • Jayhuck

    Ken,

    I’m guessing pediatricians at ACP.

    I was thinking the same thing ;)

  • StraightGrandmother

    Would love a Thumb Up button here on this blog..

  • Teresa

    @All,

    There have been a number of great comments on this Blog in the last week or so. For those wishing to understand somewhat better about homosexuality, very few websites can top this one. Thank you, Warren, for the time, effort, and the providing a safe space to discuss the issue.

    Following is a quote from Dave# ~ Jul 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm, which nails so much of what’s going on with us same-sex oriented persons.

    Dave# ~ Jul 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm … Even as a straight person I understand same sex attractions to be about a whole lot more than just sex. This is about who you mesh with on many levels. Reducing this all down to just the sexual level misses the point entirely.

    So, so, right, Dave. It’s about the person I’d like to spend a lifetime with … and, in my case, not involving sex.

    There seems to be this general, pervasive notion that the only activity homosexuals do … is … sex. For myself, I’d like someone to share dinner with, a movie with, hold hands with, laugh and cry together with, share a common destiny with, pray together with, go to Church together with, bear one another’s burden with … and, frankly, do that until death do us part … and, no I don’t want to be married … but, yes, I desire a life-long commitment, and it happens best for me with another person of the same gender as myself. Is this really so hard to understand?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Teresa# ~ Jul 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    For myself, I’d like someone to share dinner with, a movie with, hold hands with, laugh and cry together with, share a common destiny with, pray together with, go to Church together with, bear one another’s burden with … and, frankly, do that until death do us part … and, no I don’t want to be married … but, yes, I desire a life-long commitment, and it happens best for me with another person of the same gender as myself. Is this really so hard to understand?

    Not hard to understand at all … I mentioned this elsewhere on the blog today but you might consider checking out the Gay Christian Network. They have an online community there. Most of them are fully affirming but they have a subgroup called: “Side B” whose members believe in celibacy … many of whom are also looking for what you describe… re: a life long celibate partner. To access this you would need to join the network and then join the Side B support group.

    Just FYI,

    Dave

    P.S. The link is http://www.gaychristian.net/ (it is also linked in the side bar of this site) The subgroup is here .. http://www.gaychristian.net/sidebsupport.php

  • StraightGrandmother

    Theresa, I hope you can find somebody there. Why not?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Just for clarity ..the site is not a dating service per se .. but she would IMHO find like-minded people in the sub-group I mentioned .. people that would understand how she feels.

    Dave

  • DAVE G

    Jayhuck,

    Right you are –The American College of Pediatricians! They are fully-qualified professionals who simply do not buy into the “innate” paradigm, and for good scientific reasons. Whereas they’ve been denigrated by some “politically correct” colleagues, I find their hard data more convincing. I especially appreciate their efforts toward prevention rather than dwelling only on reparative therapy.

    Teresa,

    I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding same-sex attachment without sex; but then, that’s not lesbianism, is it?

  • Ken

    DAVE G# ~ Jul 22, 2011 at 11:19 am

    “I find their hard data more convincing.”

    What “hard data” does the ACP have?

    “I especially appreciate their efforts toward prevention rather than dwelling only on reparative therapy.”

    and how do they “prevent” homosexuality?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @Dave G .. You might peruse what Dr. Throckmorton has written on the ACP .. see here .. and here for starters

    As for your comment to Teresea .. Might I assume that you regard heterosexuals who do not marry or do not have sex as not showing heterosexualism??

    Dave

  • David Blakeslee

    Jayhuck,

    Only in print David

    ???

    I think you mean only in Doctrinal Statements…which are like bylaws.

    Every group has both minority of annoying and/or helpful dissidents…that is not what we are talking about historically when it comes to the narrative of how Christians in all denominations were wrestling with their doctrine and their parishioner’s (and pastor’s) Same Sex Attractions.

    I think you know that.

    Those on the Left wish to make this conversation as if these issues “Sprouted whole from the Earth” in 1980 due to fundamentalist hate for Homosexuals.

    To Repeat: the APA called homosexuality a mental illness for decades, securalists wrote books detailing their theories about it. Religiously devout people generally were marginalized and demeaned as superstitious, sexist reactionaries and prone to psychopathology by Psychological Leaders.

    It has taken 30 years for the APA to acknowledge in a respectful way the dilemma thousands and thousands of religious people experience.

    I fault NARTH for not learning new stuff…I do not fault them for taking what the secular psychologists and psychoanalysts created and trying to make sense of it for those with unwanted SSA.

    They had been abandoned by the APA 15 years earlier.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave G

    Right you are –The American College of Pediatricians! They are fully-qualified professionals who simply do not buy into the “innate” paradigm, and for good scientific reasons. Whereas they’ve been denigrated by some “politically correct” colleagues, I find their hard data more convincing. I especially appreciate their efforts toward prevention rather than dwelling only on reparative therapy.

    Does anybody else beside me, notice the irony of Dave G’s statement about prevention, in light of the recent article on the Sissy Boy Experiments?

  • Jayhuck

    Dave G -

    Right you are –The American College of Pediatricians! They are fully-qualified professionals who simply do not buy into the “innate” paradigm, and for good scientific reasons. Whereas they’ve been denigrated by some “politically correct” colleagues, I find their hard data more convincing. I especially appreciate their efforts toward prevention rather than dwelling only on reparative therapy.

    I think “fully qualified professionals” is stretching it a bit, don’t you? LOL. They don’t represent a majority of pediatricians or of the scientific community. I’m sure you find their data more convincing because it supports your own views – the fact remains that their views don’t jive with that of most pediatricians ;)

  • Jayhuck

    David -

    To Repeat: the APA called homosexuality a mental illness for decades, securalists wrote books detailing their theories about it. Religiously devout people generally were marginalized and demeaned as superstitious, sexist reactionaries and prone to psychopathology by Psychological Leaders.

    I’m sure this true to some extent, but isn’t this what science is all about – growing, evolving, eschewing the ideologies that prove themselves to be wrong and embracing those that support, at least the most current, evidence?

    I fault NARTH for not learning new stuff…I do not fault them for taking what the secular psychologists and psychoanalysts created and trying to make sense of it for those with unwanted SSA.

    They had been abandoned by the APA 15 years earlier.

    Really? SO so many reasons to fault NARTH, yesterday and today, and you somehow still desire to create the argument that they did the best with what they had? LOL

  • Teresa

    @David Blakeslee,

    David, are you of the opinion that homosexuality is a mental illness? If so, then is it safe to say that you believe it should never have been removed from the DSM; and, it was only removed because of the Left?

    If you prefer not to answer, no problem. Just curious.

  • pollypolitics

    Not that I would ever vote for Bachmann, however the bible is clear about homosexuality, just as it is clear about murder, lying, cheating, and a whole host of cardinal sins. Having said that I do believe that a person can convert from homosexuality to heterosexuality. It has been my visual experience that people who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior can make that transition. I don’t believe it to be a difficult thing to do once a person becomes fully committed. Herein lies the problem, or non problem depending on how you look at it. Everyone who claims salvation and full committment to Christ may not be as fully committed as they profess. I think just like with any other task that we go after if there is not a full committment the task becomes extremely difficult. While it is my soul belief that homosexuality goes against what God intended in the bible, I do not believe that national politics can or should legislate social morality. I truly believe in the concept of “free will.” Should a person choose homosexuality, then so be it. If a person chooses heterosexuality, so be it. Those are heavenly issues that will be delt with. Just as God said in the bible, “Life and Death have I set before you…..Choose life!” Christians seemingly have lost their way. Life changing events can only occur in the lives of our love ones through prayer and fasting not legislation. “If my people would humble themselves and pray, then will they hear from heaven and I will heal their land.” Get it together God’s people, this one will not be won in the ballot box.

  • Jayhuck

    Polly,

    Not that I would ever vote for Bachmann, however the bible is clear about homosexuality, just as it is clear about murder, lying, cheating, and a whole host of cardinal sins. Having said that I do believe that a person can convert from homosexuality to heterosexuality. It has been my visual experience that people who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior can make that transition. I don’t believe it to be a difficult thing to do once a person becomes fully committed. Herein lies the problem, or non problem depending on how you look at it. Everyone who claims salvation and full committment to Christ may not be as fully committed as they profess. I

    Actually, the Bible isn’t as clear on the subject of homosexuality as you seem to think it is. And I think the large number of ex-ex gays who have either been harmed by attempts to change their orientation at the hands of Christians, those who never experienced any change, or anyone in between might be just a bit put off by your attempts at judging them somehow not “fully committed”. Be careful how you judge others and try to understand those who haven’t experienced any change before you do ;)

  • StraightGrandmother

    PollyPolitics-

    It has been my visual experience that people who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior can make that transition. I don’t believe it to be a difficult thing to do once a person becomes fully committed.

    So we can sum up your opinion to, “Just pray harder” then?

    Please keep reading on Warren Throckmorton’s website, you will find that in fact, once gay always gay, the very MOST anyone can do is change their natural sexual orientation BEHAVIOR.

  • Ann

    So we can sum up your opinion to, “Just pray harder” then?

    StrightGrandmother,

    Well, this is one way to think about it but certainly is not the only way. Making a commitment to live a certain way and follow a certain moral code does not equate to praying harder to change. It means knowing and understanding what is right for you based on a set of beliefs. If you make this decision first, then you will know what to do when you are faced with what used to be a moral diemma.

    Please keep reading on Warren Throckmorton’s website, you will find that in fact, once gay always gay, the very MOST anyone can do is change their natural sexual orientation BEHAVIOR.

    There is nothing definitive or conclusive regarding the spectrum of sexual orientation. To speak for everyone regarding their experiences with sexual orientation in such an axiomatic way is, well, not a very cool thing to do.

  • Ann

    And I think the large number of ex-ex gays who have either been harmed by attempts to change their orientation at the hands of Christians, those who never experienced any change, or anyone in between might be just a bit put off by your attempts at judging them somehow not “fully committed”.

    Jayhuck,

    Good point. My perspective about all this is separate from any religious beliefs, although, for some, I know they are important. All this stuff about praying harder, trying harder, etc. is futile and reminds me of the guy who said the world was going to end. Understanding what is valuable and how to live accordingly, is never easy for anyone. Prayer is essential for some, however, I don’t think it takes the place of personal responsibility in living and protecting a life one values.


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