Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I just read your post to MSNBC. Because of where you work I assume you count yourself an evangelical Christian?
Regardless, my general question is why "should" homosexuals consider trying to change teams in the first place? Why not consider acceptance?
You wrote "... I have observed a variety of difference resolutions to sexual orientation distress in my clinical work with people, including changes in sexual attractions." But what "causes" this distress in the first place. It certainly is not the feelings or behavior of having a certain orientation in isolation from other social influences. I suggest the desire for change is primarily social oppression due to a
combination of religious bigotry, so called biblical teachings, and the desire
for social conformity in religious cultures. Homosexuals often want relief
from those oppositional forces, and they are "taught" by the bigots into
thinking that something is "wrong" with the homosexuals themselves - when in
fact it is just the opposite. This is not a sin-attribution errors are quite a
common and usual as humans engage in social thought.
In my own work, when assisting people striving to make a desired behavioral change, I place considerable emphasis on first changing the context of the undesired
behavior. I suggest that if evangelicalism is condemning a person for his or her
body and brain, then the person should get out; it is not for you. I don't
automatically assume that any behavior or emotional problem is within the skin
of an individual.
So my next question to you is, rather than change the homosexual, why not change the culture of social bigotry first? Then, if homosexuals are still in "sexual orientation distress," they can seek help first after accepting themselves as do others with a variety of somatic and psychological complaints. Sexual orientation distress in no way indicates that anything is "wrong" with the orientation. Thus it seems to me that the only reason to change teams is that one team is labeled by religious moralists as sinners, reprobates, perverts, etc. This is why people kill themselves.
If change in orientation or desire or attraction is somehow desired by evangelicals, then my next question is why people who detest evangelical ideas shouldn't insist that evangelicals ditch their ideas of resurrection. After all, for many, resurrection is totally unrealistic and mere magical thinking. Not one documented case of resurrection has every occurred in the last two millennia that I know of. It could be said that this desire for and attraction to eternal life must be changed to reflect
reality. Yes, accept death for what it is --- death. For after acceptance comes peace.
My brother is gay. I accept my brother's ways as his own - I don't ask him to change.
My other brother is an evangelical. I accept his views as his own - I don't ask him to
change. I am neither gay nor evangelical. One brother accepts me, one does
not. Can you guess which brother accepts my theology and sexual orientation, and which does not?
So again I am asking you: Why is it that people who are not like others in every respect have to change? I'm just not clear on this.
My advice to evangelicals who want gays to change is old advice - but the best advice ever given. That is, remove first the log stuck in your own eye before trying to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.
To which I replied:
Thanks for writing; my response focuses on what I see as a contradiction.Perhaps you will see it differently. The contradiction is
wrapped up in yourwords....
"My brother is gay. I accept my brother's ways as his own - I don't
ask himto change. My other brother is an evangelical. I accept his views as his own - I don't ask him to change."
"In my own work, when assistingcpeople striving to make a desired
behavioral change, I place considerable emphasis on first changing the context of the undesired behavior. I suggest that if evangelicalism is condemning a person for his or her body and brain, then the person should get out; it is not for you. I don't automatically assume that any behavior or emotional problem is within the skin of an individual. So my next question to you is, rather than change the homosexual, why not change the culture of social bigotry first?"
So to me, it seems you want a lot of people to change. You assume that the people who believe differently than you, including those evangelicals with same sex attractions, should change their beliefs and not
their responses to their sexual feelings. As a counselor, I do not ask anyone to change. I respect the beliefs of those who want to place their religious beliefs above their sexual feelings while at the same time, I do not attempt to coerce those who believe their sexual feelings are what is most essential to them.
Warren Throckmorton, PhD
I find that many people like the diversity idea until it is time to respect
those they cannot stand.
Take Smid, for example, a history of promiscuity and 'undesirable behaviour' and yet, the likes of you take advantage of the situation and make claim that all these problems are caused by his sexual orientation, when in actual fact, that they're having problems with is a conflict between their narrow minded Christian view on the world, and desire to express their homosexual desires.
I went through the same patch, just as other gays go through the same patch - this assumption that if they weren't gay, everything would be solved - the silver bullet in other words, when in reality, homosexuality was merely my sexual orientation, and what was causing me to get depressed was my lack of self esteem due to bulling at school, being overweight, a distant relationship with both my parents and a desire to constantly 'fit in' in every aspect, the idea that I should change every aspect of who I am simply to fit in with the world.
The reality is, however, I eventually would have to accept myself for who I am, and that I shouldn't go around changing who I am simply to fit in, and meet everyone else's expectations of me; once those issues were addressed, I no longer needed to resort to eating as a way of covering up my loneliness, and as a result, 6 years later, I'm a happy, and out of the closet gay man who no longer has these problems.
Maybe instead of 'conversion' you should be addressing the real issue; instead of pumping them full of pills, how about addressing the CORE issue behind their behaviour - simply repainting over a rotten wall will make it look nice for the short term, but it doesn't change the fact that its still a rotten wall, and will eventually have to get replaced.
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