Saturday, 25 January2003

I started this journal entry as a reaction to another Focus-on-the-Family article that appeared in my e-mail this morning. The following ended up being a big tangent, so I will simply deal with the article in my weblog, and let what is below stand on its own.

I remember Amy telling me of something she read, I think it was a bumper-sticker, which said, "Focus-on-your-own-damn-Family." I thought it rather funny. Legitimately, Focus-on-the-Family has done some good things, but they need to stick to child-raising and family-building, rather then socio-politics. (I don't have a problem with religious peoples involvement with politics, either - heck, I'm one.) Yes, if there is a belief that homosexuality is a sickness in need of healing (or worse - blatant sin that will cause God to destroy American and Western civilization), and if they feel they have the method of preventing this "sickness" (illness), then I can understand a desire to be pro-active in championing their opinion (their opinion, not God's, I propose!), but the stuff they put out is inaccurate, inflammatory, generalizing, scare-mongering, and scientifically untenable. Their theories don't hold up to scrutiny and their methodologies don't work in 99.9% of the cases. Just ask all the Christian ex-ex-gays - and those who have given up on God all together who are still gay!

As all their new ex-gay and homosexual prevention theories, from Nicolosi (A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality), Paulk, Lively (Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child), to various ex-gay practitioners, etc., work their way through this generation of young people, I'm suspicious that we will come to find out that there are just as many gay children/adults from these prevention-practicing families as before all the prevention theories appeared. How are parents and supports going to react when the facts are in - the prevention theories won't work. All those parents whose kids are straight will say, "thank God I employed the prevention theories and see, it worked because my kid isn't gay, despite the incredible social pressure to experiment with homosexuality and to go-gay," while the parents whose kids are in fact gay and come out as gay will say either, "this is proof of how powerful the recruitment efforts of the evil homosexuals are... they were even able to recruit my poor, poor Bobby," or "see how powerful Satan is... he can even thwart the will of God!" or something along those lines. Regrettably, there will be many parents of gay children/adults who tried the prevention methods who will blame God and reject God because of the misplaced promises of the ex-gay theorists/practioners, just like all the religious young people who reject God because they think God hates them and don't know how to seek God for themselves in dealing with their homosexuality and their faith, due to prohibitionist Christian people telling them that very thing.

I think the recruitment-proof and gay preventions methods encouraged by prohibitionist Christian organizations will not work. They are based on American notions of what is and isn't masculine and feminine. They consider the problem a gender confusion problem, or a blatant sex-obsessed sin problem. They confuse a homosexual orientation with outward American-defined masculine or feminine characteristics and behavior. I will agree that there are people who have gender-confusion problems. I will agree that there are men who have real problems with masculinity and women with femininity. I agree that there is a sexual-obsession problem growing among American males. I agree that people need Jesus. All of these things can be dealt with, but dealing with each of these issues is not the same as dealing with someone's homosexual orientation. There are plenty of very masculine gay men and very feminine gay women who have no problem with their gender. There are plenty of gay people who are not sexually obsessive. There are plenty of gay men and women who love Jesus will all of themselves and love their neighbors as themselves, but who have an informed and different interpretation of scripture when dealing with homosexuality in 21st century America. So, the very things that prohibitionist Christians claim cause homosexuality are not present in many gay people, yet they are gay. I think this will be the case as young people raised in prevention-focused families still end up gay - not because they have gender issues, not because they want to shake their fists in God's face, not because they are horny and want sex however they can get it, not because they are rebelling, and not because some one recruited or molested them as children, but because they simply have a homosexual orientation.

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