‘Gay cure’ film paints Christianity as ‘repressive, ruthless and ignorant’

‘Gay cure’ film paints Christianity as ‘repressive, ruthless and ignorant’ November 30, 2018

Horrified she is, absolutely horrified that ‘cinematic dream masters’ are beginning to latch onto the the subject of conversion therapy, a ridiculous and discredited practice intended to turn gay people straight. Worse, they are lying about it.

Image via YouTube

Linda Harvey, President and founder of Mission America, above, sees cinematic depictions of such therapies as:

A new excuse to paint faithful Christianity as repressive, ruthless, and ignorant.

What set her off on a rant of biblical proportions is Boy Erased, based on the autobiography of Gerrard Conley, a young man forced into a “pray-away-the-gay” programme.

Secular Cinephile’s Andrew Spitznas reviewed it earlier this month, writing:

The postscript to Boy Erased informs us over 700,000 Americans have been traumatized by some form of conversion therapy.  A ‘therapy’ condemned by all the relevant professional organizations, it’s still legal to inflict it upon minors in 36 states. Not mentioned in the postscript is the frightening reality that Mike Pence, the man one heartbeat (or one jail sentence) away from being the most powerful man in the world, supports this harmful practice.

First off, Harvey suggests that Conley is a liar.

Boy Erased claims to be a memoir about actual events. I and others doubt that what is portrayed in this film ever happened, in Tennessee or anywhere. We continue to wait for those who might know to confirm or deny these allegations of terrible abuse.

Unfortunately for the producers, this film will make history – as a vehemently Christian-bashing, deceptive, unjust portrayal of what actually does happen when people are quietly and sensitively counseled about unwanted homosexual feelings …

Anti-Semitism, move over. Here’s deliberate Hollywood propaganda to foment anti-Christian bigotry.

She then complains that  a residential treatment programme for males struggling with “gay” attractions is depicted in the film as some sort of house of horrors:

A young man is beaten with a Bible. There’s shaming and yelling. Alleging that ‘God won’t love you’ unless homosexuality stops instantly in this young man’s life.

And if anything like this nauseating mis-portrayal of cruel ‘therapy’ does occur, it’s sad, but lots of selected anecdotes about how humans can mistreat each other are sad. And so what’s the solution? That we all therefore believe that homosexuality is wonderful and beneficial?

If anything like this occurs, those involved have recourse – complain to medical boards in their respective states to put a stop to these isolated abuses, if an investigation finds any merit in the complaint. It does not mean that all counseling to help homosexuals should be banned.

She concludes:

What this film sets up is a heart-tugging straw man. But such blatant deception should be ‘erased’ because it will potentially mislead millions of people.

But:

I think the American Christian church can see right through this. Even though this propaganda piece is sure to rank undeservedly high at the Academy Awards, it’s not true, and it’s not a reason to endorse homosexual behavior.

We must all continue to stand by what we know is the truth, and be wise to recognize deception, even when persuasively packaged and glamorized by Hollywood.

Boy Erased has received mostly positive reviews, and even Movieguide, which exists to inform True Believers™️ what is and what is not “abhorrent” in the world of movies, surprisingly did not unleash the venom it it normally reserves for gay themed films.

Its review concludes – and Harvey’s gonna hate this – that:

Boy Erased is well-acted, written and edited, with fine performances from the leading cast. The movie accurately depicts some real-life abuses that take place in some Christian gay conversion therapy programs. Eventually, the harm to children done by such programs was later confirmed. That said, the movie clearly comes from a viewpoint affirming homosexuality, which is also unbiblical. It’s a mixed bag with some sincere moments of faith and very messy hypocritical Christians.


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  • larry parker

    …. paint faithful Christianity as repressive, ruthless, and ignorant.

    Sounds about right.

  • Kevin K

    She looks …. horrifying.

  • raven

    Linda Harvey, President and founder of Mission America, above, sees cinematic depictions of such therapies as:

    A new excuse to paint faithful Christianity as repressive, ruthless, and ignorant.

    It is so obviously all that. And more.
    The three main sacraments of fundie xianity are hate, lies, and hypocrisy.
    The two minor sacraments are ignorance and greed.
    Together, they make up the Five Pillars of fundie xianity.

  • NATHAN AMAL

    shut your mouth, you backward bigoted witch and sit down

  • NATHAN AMAL

    all witches do

  • raven

    I don’t know who took that picture of Linda Harvey.
    But it makes her look like a monster straight out an HP Lovecraft novel.
    She could easily be from Innsmouth or Arkham.

  • Raging Bee

    A new excuse to paint faithful Christianity as repressive, ruthless, and ignorant.

    Well, gee, if y’all stopped letting repressive ruthless and ignorant people dominate and pretend to speak for your religion, that wouldn’t be such a huge problem for you, would it?

    Don’t like negative stereotypes? STOP ELECTING THEM!

  • Barry Duke

    Raven, I grabbed it from a YouTube video showing her protesting about Obamacare in 2012. I could have been a real bastard and used this one: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4fb67e8027b3c4ba7013ae1372489591c3674abe5355b68704d7b39933c072a6.jpg

  • Jim Baerg

    If there *was* a way to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals, presumably it could work the other way too.
    Wouldn’t that make certain persons heads explode.

  • Broga

    She could swallow that mike.

    I see the other Mike, the bonkers Pence, has lost the Nasa vote by dismissing the Mars landing as nothing special. We were alerted to him by our USA friends as Pence, being worse than Trump. OK, guys, you were right. It just didn’t seem possible. Some argument also about not letting them rename Mars as Trumpworld.

    The Guardian described Trumpnutter yesterday as “Visibly agitated” as he heard the evidence about his Russian contacts and the contacts by others is his rabble family. Could game soon be over for Trumpnutter? And Pence who is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

  • Broga

    Is that her carer beside her? Thinks he; “That bitch ain’t taking the tablets again.

  • tatortotcassie

    Calling Linda Harvey a witch is insulting to witches. # onlyhalfkidding

  • tatortotcassie

    Not really. Think of all those cliched claims of “don’t let your boys wear pink, it’ll turn ’em queer.” They’ve thought it’s possible for a long time.

  • Raging Bee

    It sure would make bar-hopping interesting, if people started slipping orientation-change pills into each other’s drinks…

  • Raging Bee

    Not that unusually monstrous really…just angry and stupid.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    They don’t need two coats of paint.

  • larry parker
  • Etranger

    It’s funny how many Christians I know see movies like this and don’t walk about feeling that it is talking about them and therefore are not offended in the least or do not find such movies as Christianity bashing. You are only offended if it describes your brand of religion. If you are offended then you are anti-gay. Own it; be proud of your beliefs!! /s

  • clanhamilton

    The fact that strait women still exist after #metoo is proof that one cannot chose or change one’s sexuality or they’d all have gone gay at this point.

  • Andrew Spitznas

    Thanks for the shout out to my review, Barry. Ms. Harvey has quite the persecution complex – it takes a lot of gall and self-delusion for a member of the racial and religious hegemony to write ‘move over, anti-Semitism’ in America 2018. And once again, a person who claims to follow the Truth is brazenly factually impaired: one only has to Google “Love in Action Memphis” to come up with numerous links to reputable journalistic sources that confirm the accuracy of this film and Conley’s autobiography. And Conley himself has written many pieces for media outlets that – unlike Ms. Harvey – believe in fact-checking, as anyone can see in the link here: http://garrardconley.com/work/#/misc/

  • Jim Jones

    As Jesus would say, “Nailed it”.

  • Raging Bee

    …it takes a lot of gall and self-delusion for a member of the racial and
    religious hegemony to write ‘move over, anti-Semitism’ in America 2018.

    Especially since anti-Semitism is seriously on the rise again here — thanks to the party that used to brag about being Israel’s BFFs.

  • David Miller

    That’s because they’re Apostles of Hatred & Disciples of Ignorance, Purveyors of Lies.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    *sarcasm* people throw around UnChristian like its a bad thing. Cant help it that Christianity never lived up to its boasts of being compassionate to their fellow men.

  • Broga

    A Jewish colleague of mine described it as “chutzpa” and gave an example. The son who had killed both his parents asked the judge for leniency as he was an orphan.

  • Broga

    But who is her guardian? Looks like a James Bond villain. Or is her carer?

  • Brother TC

    Let’s get one thing clear: You’re criticizing the hypocrisy of Christians, not the Christian faith.

    As for the sin of homosexuality, this is an understanding for faithful Christians to grasp. The unbelievers will continue in sin until their destruction.

    As Jesus says in His last revelation to the church, “he which is filthy, let him be filthy still” (Rev 22:11b).

    Which is to say, it is Christ who leads people away from sin as the Father wills, not over-eager activists.

  • Raging Bee

    Let’s get one thing clear: You’re criticizing the hypocrisy of Christians, not the Christian faith.

    Actually, yes, we ARE criticizing certain Christian beliefs that are based on nothing but ignorant prejudice and have no bearing on reality, and lead to undue harm to innocent people when acted upon, with no countervailing benefit to anyone.

    As for the sin of homosexuality, this is an understanding for faithful Christians to grasp.

    There seems to be a huge problem there: huge numbers of faithful Christians have no real reason to believe it’s a sin at all, and the other Christians can’t seem to come up with one that sounds plausible.

    …it is Christ who leads people away from sin as the Father wills, not over-eager activists.

    Yeah, and Christ never said squat about homosexuality.

  • Brother TC

    “we ARE criticizing certain Christian beliefs that are based on nothing but ignorant prejudice”

    Let’s press in on that one. Do you think these Christians are acting in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ, or do you think they’re acting hypocritically?

    “huge numbers of faithful Christians have no real reason to believe it’s a sin at all”

    It ain’t up for vote.

    “Christ never said squat about homosexuality”

    Christ never said squat against bestiality either. You cool with that, then?

  • Raging Bee

    No, I’m not “cool with that” because animals can’t give meaningful consent to sex with humans, any more than children can. If you really don’t understand the difference between gayness and bestiality, then you’re an idiot; and if you’re only pretending to be ignorant, then you’re dishonest.

  • Brother TC

    Christ never said squat against incest either. Do you think Jesus is implying that incest is OK?

    By the way, all three of these moral laws — against homosexuality, incest and bestiality — are given in Leviticus 18, where these sins are called out as an abomination committed by all nations. Unlike those ceremonial and civil laws given only to Israel to separate them as a holy nation, these laws are for everyone.

  • Raging Bee

    First, we’re perfectly capable of knowing that incest is wrong, based on information NOT in the Bible. There is no such information to show that gayness is wrong.

    And second, Leviticus is Jewish law, not Christian doctrine. Jesus’ teachings are Christian doctrine, and even most gay-hating Christians agree that Leviticus no longer applies — and NEVER applied to people who came to Christianity from any path other than Judaism.

    Jesus himself said “keep the Commandments,” not “keep to Leviticus.” And there’s no commandment against gayness.

  • Raging Bee

    Here, let me explain this as simply as I can: Jesus said “love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This means don’t do things that are harmful to others, because you know you wouldn’t want those things done to you. So yes, Jesus’ teachings do indeed rule out harmful acts like incest and bestiality, and don’t rule out harmless acts like masturbation or homosexuality.

    It ain’t up for vote.

    So why does YOUR “vote” count?

  • Brother TC

    Let’s remember how this started. You said, “Yeah, and Christ never said squat about homosexuality.”

    What I’ve sought to show, but I’m not sure you see, is that homosexuality is not made okay by the fact that Jesus never said squat about it.

    As for what we’re “perfectly capable of knowing,” God has written His moral law on the hearts of all men as a matter of common grace. This is why you have no excuse for all the sinning you do. This isn’t to say that we have a perfect recognition of God’s moral law, seeing as how our perception is distorted by sins of the flesh and of the world.

    “Leviticus is Jewish law”

    This is true, and in Leviticus 18, God says the aforementioned sins of incest, bestiality and homosexuality have defiled all the nations. God says no such thing about mixing fabrics or eating shellfish, law against which serve a typological and didactic purpose regarding holiness, and ultimately work to lead people to faith in Christ.

    According to Jesus Christ, the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (“love your neighbor as yourself” being the second). All other commandments derive from these. How do we show our love to God? For one, we respect His created order and we don’t thwart it based on sociological acceptance.

    Jesus asked rhetorically, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female?” He was quoting Genesis 1:27 and 5:2. Indeed, God’s order and His moral law preceded its delineation on stone tablets given to Moses on Mt Sinai.

    “most gay-hating Christians agree that Leviticus no longer applies”

    Lest you think I’m a gay-hating Christian, I’ll have you know that I’ve marched in four Pride parades, I had a gay transvestite in my wedding party (my groomsmaid) and I campaigned for gay marriage in Oregon back in 2004. When I lived in the Bay Area, I had more gay friends than straight ones — mostly because they were typically more witty, intelligent and fun than my straight friends, which appealed to me then.

    To say “Leviticus no longer applies” is just unbiblical. God calls for discernment, and that means reading scripture to know what He has said. Jesus has indeed nailed the ceremonial and civil laws for Israel to the cross, and in the New Covenant, God’s moral laws are written on our hearts.

    “There is no such information to show that gayness is wrong.”

    You’ve decided for yourself that homosexuality is OK — whether based on personal conviction or societal norms — and now you’re interpreting scripture according to that a priori position. In hermeneutics, that’s called eisegesis — reading your interpretation into the text.

    I happen to believe that all men are fallible and sinful creatures, and that the Bible is the word of God, so I interpret all experience in light of scripture. This is how I know that homosexuality is a sin, and not by my own judgment. Left up to my own judgment, I think homosexuality is just fine. Also, when left up to my own judgment, I denied God’s existence and considered myself to be a good person. And then I was born again.

  • Sophotroph

    There’s no discussing this sort of thing with a rank dogmatist.

    For you, we must all actually believe in your god, because your interpretation of your religious text demands that it be true.

    It is absolutely untrue, and this is uncontestable. You can never be inside our heads, and so you can never have your delusion disconfirmed.

    No discussion is possible, because you won’t acknowledge the existence of those who disagree. You can only pass your “wisdom” down to us lesser beings because your hubris has blinded you to your error about the minds of others.

    If you can’t acknowledge that no divine moral law is “written on the hearts of men,” then none of the conversation is going to make sense to you. This is what happens when religious delusion meets reality.

    And for feck’s sake, nobody is arguing that homosexuality becomes ok by Christian standards just because Jesus didn’t speak against it.

    That you don’t recognize when the legs have been blown off your argument implies strongly that you don’t understand why it needs them.

  • Raging Bee

    Okay, I’m calling bullshit here. Either you’re just another bigot making up stories about how “some of your best friends are” in the group you just bashed as “abominations.” Or you really do have LGBT friends, and treat them as decent and harmless people (because you know from direct experience that they are), while pretending to believe a religion that calls them abominations. Or you’re pretending to be friends with people whom you really do consider abominations, and you’re willing to throw any or all of them under the iron chariot whenever you find it convenient to do so. Or you THINK you believe all that OT crap, but you can’t apply any of it in your real-world decision-making because it really doesn’t square with observable reality, but you refuse to admit it. Either way, you are proving yourself to be deeply dishonest and hypocritical, far beyond the level of mere occasional missteps from your chosen path. NOTHING you say, about God, Jesus, the Bible, or anything else, can be trusted; and there is no point in having any kind of argument or discussion with someone who doesn’t really seem to believe his own arguments, and may not even know what he believes.

    Jesus advised all of us to beware of false prophets. I think I just caught one. Just another case of nonbelievers following Jesus’s teachings better than many Christians do.

  • Brother TC

    Since the entirety of your comment consisted of ad hominem over my testimony of loving gay people, I’ll address it at some length.

    Everything I described there is past tense. These are things I did when I was an atheist, and not only do they testify to my heart for gay people, but they demonstrate how I would naturally treat this subject according to my own opinion. According to my own opinion, I rejected God and considered myself to be a good person (when compared to other people, of course). But now that I’m born again, I no longer follow my own opinion in these matters. I’ve been convicted by the Holy Spirit. When it comes to God’s word, I lean on His wisdom without exception.

    After 43 years as an atheist and outspoken anarchist, Jesus saved me. I was reading the Bible at the time, gathering information for a cynical novel I was writing. I was quite shocked when it happened. I didn’t expect it, and I certainly wasn’t asking for it. But I knew then, immediately, that a lot of things had to change. For instance, within a couple weeks I proposed to my girlfriend, who had been living with me, and now she’s my lovely wife.

    To my gay friends, I’ve been very clear about what the Bible says — and the fact that I believe it as the word of God. Some of them have shunned me, but not all. The ones who have stayed in my life believe me when I tell them I love them, and I do love them.

    I don’t go around wagging my finger at unsaved gay people. Their sin is really not any worse than all the sins I committed before I was saved. I only preach to them if they ask for it (literally. Some have asked to hear about what the Bible says, which is a blessing). In my daily life, I’m an easy-going guy. I’m a hugger and I joke around a lot.

    As for the Christians who think they can be gay, it’s another matter. They’re interpreting scripture according to the world’s standards rather than God’s, and I call them to repentance. Look at my first comment here, and you’ll see my views on this: “As for the sin of homosexuality, this is an understanding for faithful Christians to grasp.”

    I like that you referred to what Jesus has said about false prophets. In Matthew 7, He said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (v. 16). He did not say you shall know them by your assumptions. Jesus said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” — that is, according to the word of God (Jhn 7:24).

  • Brother TC

    “There’s no discussing this sort of thing with a rank dogmatist.”

    Unless you’re a rank dogmatist, you must admit that you could be wrong and I’m right. In that case, there is much to profit from in discussing this sort of thing with me.

    “For you, we must all actually believe in your god, because your interpretation of your religious text demands that it be true.”

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jhn 14:6).

    Jesus is talking about Himself as the exclusive path to salvation, and that’s not my private interpretation.

    “No discussion is possible, because you won’t acknowledge the existence of those who disagree.”

    I was an atheist for 43 years, and I believe I existed then.

    “You can only pass your ‘wisdom’ down to us lesser beings because your hubris has blinded you to your error about the minds of others.”

    I’m not speaking my own “wisdom.” According to my own “wisdom,” I rejected God and thought I was a good person. The Holy Spirit has convicted me, and now I lean on God’s wisdom in these matters rather than my own understanding. This is quite the opposite of hubris, friend.

    “If you can’t acknowledge that no divine moral law is ‘written on the hearts of men,’ then none of the conversation is going to make sense to you.”

    I understand how moral relativism works, because I used to think that way, but now I’ve been shown the truth on this subject.

    “nobody is arguing that homosexuality becomes ok by Christian standards just because Jesus didn’t speak against it.”

    Matthew Vines, author of “God and the Gay Christian,” argues exactly this — and so do a whole lot of others. You’re just wrong, but more importantly, they’re wrong. They argue that the biblical authors didn’t know about how gay people could have loving, monogamous relationships today, and with that argument, they demonstrate that they don’t believe the Bible is the word of God (who would indeed know these things about homosexuality). They rip up a whole lot of the Bible, choosing to reinterpret it in terms of their worldly desires rather than interpreting God’s word according to sound exegesis in light of the Spirit.

    “It is absolutely untrue, and this is uncontestable.”

    I contest that statement. In fact, I’m interested in hearing how you know the truth about these matters. I’m not speaking about “your truth” (which is another term for “opinion”) but rather the absolute truth.

  • Raging Bee

    Unless you’re a rank dogmatist, you must admit that you could be wrong and I’m right.

    None of us have to admit any such thing, because all the available evidence points in exactly the opposite direction. Including (but by no means limited to) your own demonstrated dishonesty and hypocrisy.

  • Raging Bee

    I don’t go around wagging my finger at unsaved gay people.

    Except when you do, as you admit in your very next paragraph.

    When it comes to God’s word, I lean on His wisdom without exception.

    NONE of the people I’ve heard saying that show any trace of actual wisdom. In fact, they are, with very few exceptions, the LEAST wise people in any group. And no, you’re not one of the exceptions; and neither is my junior-high-school math/science teacher, who used to be a great guy, but who became LESS intelligent, LESS credible, LESS trustworthy, and LESS engaged with reality then he’d been before getting “saved.” (He was confident the world would end around 2000…I wonder what he must have thought when it didn’t.)

    And your conversion story is just as dodgy and phony-sounding as damn near all the other “I used to be a horrible person until I found Jesus and now my life is totally wunnerful!” stories I’ve been hearing since the early ’70s. I’ve heard nothing from born-again Christians but pretentious escapism.

  • Raging Bee

    Since the entirety of your comment consisted of ad hominem…

    Awww, isn’t that cute — the guy who quotes a Bronze-Age religious rule to bash gay people as “abominations,” is complaining about “ad-hominem.” Fuck off to bed, you lame-assed hypocrite.

  • Raging Bee

    As for the Christians who think they can be gay, it’s another matter.
    They’re interpreting scripture according to the world’s standards rather
    than God’s…

    What evidence do you have to show that your interpretation is more valid than theirs?

  • kilda

    I would be fine renaming Mars as Trumpworld if he is willing to relocate there.

  • Brother TC

    “What evidence do you have to show that your interpretation is more valid than theirs?”

    It’s good to hear that you’ve repented and Jesus Christ is your Lord and savior.

  • Brother TC

    I don’t bash gay people as “abominations,” and neither does the Bible. God condemns the homosexual act as abomination, and at any rate, I never quoted those verses.

    Not sure you know what ad hominem means. It has nothing to do with saying things you don’t like, or that you interpret as insulting. It’s about singling out the speaker for scrutiny rather than staying on topic.

  • Brother TC

    Possible or impossible that you’re making a wrong assumption there?

  • Brother TC

    “When it comes to God’s word, I lean on His wisdom without exception.”

    This doesn’t constitute wagging my finger at unsaved gay people. Not sure how you came to that conclusion.

    As for your opinion of me, it means less than nothing.

  • Raging Bee

    It’s not an assumption, it’s a conclusion based on observation and experience.

  • Brother TC

    Possible or impossible that you’ve come to a faulty conclusion there?

  • Raging Bee

    Got any evidence that I have?

    Bluff: called.

  • Brother TC

    You’re not calling my bluff — you’re prevaricating. Please try to answer my extremely simple question.

  • Raging Bee

    I just did.

  • Brother TC

    If you can’t bring yourself to answer clearly and unambiguously, never mind.