Jonathan Merritt Discusses Sexuality and Vulnerability in New Book

On Sunday in a blog post at Religion News Service, Jonathan Merritt summarized some personal reflections on his sexuality which are detailed in his new book Jesus is Better Than You Imagined. Merritt, also the author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars which I endorsed. In that book, Merritt raises good questions and frequently illustrates the damage done to the Gospel and to people by culture war battles over social issues. In this blog post and his new book, he … [Read more...]

Association of Christian Counsellors (UK) Statement Prohibiting Reparative Therapy

Monday, the UK Guardian reported that the Association of Christian Counsellors* prohibited reparative therapy for their members.  The statement backing up this action sounds very much like the sexual identity therapy framework. Here is the AAC statement in full: An ACC statement to its members January 2014 In December 2012, ACC made a statement to its members supporting and clarifying our ethical framework. The Board has continued to discuss and reflect on the area specifically relating … [Read more...]

PFOX Plays The Victim; Wants To Fix One Problem By Causing Another

Today, the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays dropped a news release criticizing Virginia's public universities for failing to distribute their literature to students. In the release, PFOX claims discrimination based on religion and ex-gayness is what motivates the lack of ex-gay literature. While I don't doubt that some of those counseling center staffers have problems with conservative religion, I submit that they are correct in their decision not to provide PFOX literature to students.  Much … [Read more...]

Nick Cummings USA Today Article on Reorientation Therapy

A couple of readers asked me to comment on Nick Cummings USA Today column on reorientation therapy. With some caution, I think it would be good to do so. First I want to say that I have always liked and admired Nick. His work in managed behavioral health care was pioneering. In the 1980s, Nick promoted the idea that excellent clinical services could save businesses a lot of money and actually expand access to therapy. He was correct and helped create modern managed behavioral healthcare, … [Read more...]

Opposition Surfaces as Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill Moves Toward Vote

In recent days, concern about David Bahati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill has surfaced within Uganda. For instance, Keith Muhakanizi, the deputy secretary to the Treasury, acknowledged recently that the anti-gay bill has hurt Uganda's economy.  According to a news report, Muhakanizi told MPs at Parliament: "I have never seen a country like this where politicians hurt the economy instead of building it." One MP, Fox Odoi, a member of Parliament's committee on Legal Affairs has come out against … [Read more...]

Reparative Therapy Makeover Continues: JONAH Responds to SPLC Suit

A group called Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund has taken on the defense of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH) against a suit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC complaint alleges that JONAH violated New Jersey's consumer fraud law by promising sexual reorientation to clients without success. The complaint is here. It is very discouraging to see the JONAH complaint framed as a freedom of conscience case. As the complaint outlines, the techniques alleged by the … [Read more...]

Sexual Identity Therapy is Not Reparative Therapy

I have had to make this case several times over the years but the defensive posture of reparative therapists of late makes it necessary to do it again. As more people are coming against reparative drive theory, reparative therapists are softening and in some cases altering their rhetoric regarding what they believe and what they do. Note my posts here and here. In a NBC News article last Wednesday, NARTH's Executive Secretary David Pruden defends reparative therapy with a line of reasoning … [Read more...]

New York Times on the Changes at Exodus

Friday night at the evangelical fights. After the NPR segment comes this New York Times article which covers much the same ground. It cannot be any clearer; Alan Chambers is leading Exodus from the wilderness of reparative therapy to the promised land of Grace and soul liberty. What a ride. Conservatives in the church and elsewhere should welcome this. There is no necessary conservative attachment to reparative therapy. In fact, given the psychoanalytic roots of the model, it has … [Read more...]

NPR Segment on Changes at Exodus International

A segment on changes at Exodus is coming up on NPR sometime between 4:30 and 4:45pm. It should repeat again between 6:30-6:45pm. I have a few lines but I am not sure who else is in on it. Listen, learn and comment. The audio will be posted at 7pm, but the transcript is here. Rob Gagnon has emerged as a vocal opponent of Exodus. I am baffled by his approach, which seems to make grace conditional on one's behavior or attitude. I intend to write more about this next week. Gagnon says … [Read more...]

Exodus International issues statement on reparative therapy

This seems to be a change... The California House recently passed a bill outlawing reparative therapy for youth under the age of 18. The Senate is set to vote in coming days. With the media abuzz, we have had numerous calls from news reporters across the country, asking for our opinion and position. Many others have simply mischaracterized Exodus International as a reparative therapy organization. One such instance was a newscast on an ABC affiliate  in San Francisco. The reporter stated that … [Read more...]