Category Archives: Sexual Orientation

UK CHRISTIAN Counsellors Ban Conversion “Therapy”

When UK courts refused to permit a Christian counsellor to describe her work to convert gays as “therapy”, there were howls of protest from some quarters. But we know that both here and in the USA, even some of the most ardent practitioners and groups involved in so – called conversion therapy have come to accept that it’s a misnomer. It does not work, genuine “ex – gays” simply do not exist – and mental health professionals have found that such attempts can be profoundly damaging.

California and New Jersey have banned the practice, Maryland is preparing to do the same. The British parliament also may be doing something similar, so it is no surprise, but certainly welcome. that the leading British group of Christian counsellors have agreed to ban the practice themselves, without waiting for government to act.

Christian counsellors ban therapy aimed at ‘converting’ gay patients

Britain’s leading body for Christian therapists has instructed its members to stop trying to turn gay patients straight using so-called “conversion therapy”. The Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) said the practice should be stopped “in the interests of public safety”, but the move has prompted a furious response from proponents of talking “cures” for homosexuality who have promised to fight for what they see as the right to therapy of anyone distressed by “unwanted same sex attraction”. The controversial practice seeks to unearth childhood traumas, which are considered by conversion therapists to have caused homosexuality. Sexual abuse, bullying and having an overbearing mother or distant father are among the supposed triggers. Research by the US clinical psychologists Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder has shown such treatment routinely led to worsened mental health, self-harm, thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts. The decision by the ACC to speak out against the practice follows similar statements in the last two years by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the UK Council for Psychotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Department of Health.

– continue reading at  The Guardian.

Predictably, some Christians are again outraged, claiming that this is discriminating against their Christian faith (ignoring the fact that it was imposed by the most respected body of professional Christian counsellors). It is not remotely discriminating against Christianity, but against misleading advertising. If they want to convert their clients to thinking and behaving in a way which that conforms with their religious beliefs, they remain free to do so, but should call it what it is – religious counselling, not therapy.

Response to Benedict: Dutch Gay Catholics De-Baptize Themselves

Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.

Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl (i.e. “de-baptise.nl”) had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.
“Of course it’s not possible to be ‘de-baptized’ because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics,” Roes told Reuters.

He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the church.

– more at Huffington Post
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Jesus was gay, says NZ church billboard

St Matthew-in-the-City church says Jesus Christ’s sexuality is not know for sure but he would have backed gay marriage

Infant Jesus, gay

Jesus was gay according to a Christmas billboard at a New Zealand Anglican church.

The Christmas billboard at St Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland is frequently controversial – previously it has joked about Joseph’s sexual prowess and shown the Virgin Mary with a pregnancy test.

This year it depicts Jesus in his manger with a rainbow halo and the words: ‘It’s Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out.’

St Matthew’s Reverend Clay Nelson said: ‘Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay. But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?’

While his colleague at the church, Reverend Glynn Cardy implied Jesus would have backed same-sex marriage, which is currently being debated in New Zealand.

He said: ‘There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalized in society.’

And he wanted to raise the question of sexuality among the faithful.

‘Would it make a difference if he was gay? Would that change the picture for you? Would it mean what we revere about him changes?’

Last year’s Virgin Mary pregnancy test billboard spread around the world, reaching 21 million people on Facebook. But it was condemned as ‘blasphemous’ by some Catholics and vandalized.

via  Gay Star News.

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God’s Rainbow Realm (Matthew 13:44-46)

The kindom of heaven is like a buried treasure found in a field. The ones who discovered it hid it again, and rejoicing at the discovery, went and sold all their possessions and bought that field.

Or again the kindom of heaven is like a merchant’s search for fine pearls. When one pearl of great value was found, the merchant went back and sold everything else and bought it.

Mathew 13: 44-46

Untitled Self Portrait with C.B.M. by Kim Leutwyler @ http://www.celesteprize.com/artwork/ido:56554/

Let’s play “word substitute.” Instead of “kindom of heaven,” let’s read “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.” The parables then would read sexual orientation is like an unknown treasure that once discovered brings great rejoicing. And sexual identity once discerned is as rich and glorious as a pearl of the greatest value.

If you are playing this game with straight friends they will not get how freeing and affirming these parables are. For them, sexual orientation and sexual identity have never been hidden or sought after. It’s hardly a treasure but more of a given constant. For queers, however, the discernment of deep identity markers which set us apart from the (hetero) norm can be either an experience of anxiety or liberation – often a mixture of both. Even more reasons for us to identify with the thrill of these parables. Leutwyler’s self portrait captures the sense of  “neediness” which lends urgency to the searching and boundless joy in the finding

-continue reading at  The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture.

Weed – Not Necessarily for Smoking (Matthew 13: 24-30)

Jesus presented another parable to those gathered: “The kindom of heaven is like a farmer who sowed good seed in a field. While everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and then made off. When the crop began to mature and yield grain, the weeds became evident as well.

“The farmer’s workers came and asked, ‘Did you not sow good seed in your field? Where are the weeds coming from?’

“The farmer replied, ‘I see an enemy’s hand in this.’

“They in turn asked, ‘Do you want us to go out and pull them up/”

“‘No,’ replied the farmer, ‘if you pull up the weeds, you might take the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until the harvest, then at harvest time I will order the harvesters first to collect the weeds and bundle them up to burn, then to gather the wheat into my barn.’”

-Mathew 13: 24-30

 

Seek Patience @ http://www.artabandoned.com/index.php/2012/01/patience

Growing up in and among Kentucky farmers – a long and glorious family lineage – I know how important a good harvest is to the stability of the family. What the enemy has done not only “bests” a rival, but demoralizes and subverts the family as well. Twice the “enemy” is mentioned and the parable develops around the action of this adversary. The concern is the outcome of the enemy’s action and how to neutralize the opponent’s influence.

This parable about the Empire of God appears in the midst of a section of Matthew’s gospel dealing with the nascent rejection of Jesus and his message. It is an early warning that not all will turn out satisfactory in the Jesus story.

I think there is a lesson here for the LGBTQIA community. We certainly know about enemies – those detractors who for one reason or another still point to us as “unnatural.” We are familiar with the weeds they seek to plant among us – hateful and hurtful attitudes which serve only to destabilize our innate orientation. We have set about pulling these weeds with great energy and hope. Yet the weeds spring back.

-continue reading at  The Bible In Drag – Queering Scripture.

Queer Eye for the Mormon Bishop Guy

Last year, as a sitting Mormon bishop, I came out publicly as an ally to my LGBT sisters and brothers in and outside the church.

In the aftermath of my talk in Salt Lake City apologizing to the LGBT community and LGBT Mormons for the pain that they have gone through and recognizing that all too often that pain has been inflicted in the “house of their friends,” their families, their religious institutions, and their communities, people have asked how I made my journey from an adversary to fence sitter and finally to becoming an ally and advocate.

One of the turning points was when I first began developing personal relationships and friendships with LGBT individuals. For me this came about first in a surprising way. I began watching a television show called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. As is sometimes typical for Mormons on a variety of issues, I was late.  I didn’t see it until a year or two ago, when it went into syndication.

What seemed to be a unique twist on the typical makeover show became for me my first significant introduction to the LGBT community. I had never had contact that I knew of or built a friendship with an LGBT person outside of work. The show spoke to me from the start. It had a catchy synth intro that reminded me of the dance grooves we used to club to in the late ’80s when I was at Brigham Young University, where I met my wife for the first time.

For me it was much more than watching five gay men help get straight guys’ act together in grooming, home decor, fashion, culture, and cuisine. It began to create a bond for me to these men. They had a certain synergy that kept me wanting to watch more. I liked them as people.  I saw them as individuals expressing their God-given talents and trying to make people’s lives and the world a little bit better. As Carson Kressley, the show’s fashion guru, would often say, it’s not a makeover show, it’s a “make better” show.

-full commentary at Advocate.com

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