Posted November 23, 2012 | comments 16 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Let's avoid falsehoods


This is in response to Gene Rigelon's letter of Nov 19. It seems you always want to tell us how moral humanists are, and I don't doubt for a second that many are. You also bloviate quite a bit about science, which brings me to my problem with your last letter. You said, "No reputable scientist today supports the idea that anyone chooses his or her sexual orientation."

I'm sure that would come as a huge surprise to Dr. Stanton L. Jones, a psychologist at Wheaton College in Illinois, and Dr. Mark A. Yarhouse, a psychologist at Regent University. They published their study in October 2011 in the "Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy" that demonstrates clearly that folks engaged in the homosexual lifestyle can indeed change their sexual orientation. The study is called "Ex-Gay? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation."

This is the first longitudinal, peer-reviewed scientific study of its kind.

In your rush to support your politically correct cause, please be more careful not to tell falsehoods. Hopefully it was an oversight.

G.A. Settle, Front Royal


    It was not an oversite Mr. Settle. The key word is reputable. When you find a study supporting your position that is not driven by the fundamentalist agenda of hohmphobia let me know.

    sorry, make that homophbia!

    oops again. homophobia!

    “Reparative therapy is junk science being used to justify religious beliefs,” said Wayne Besen, the director of Truth Wins Out, a gay advocacy group

    California Is First State to Ban Gay Cure for Minors
    Published September 30, 2012

    California has become the first state to ban the use for minors of disputed therapies to “overcome” homosexuality, a step hailed by gay rights groups across the country that say the therapies have caused dangerous emotional harm to gay and lesbian teenagers.

    “This bill bans nonscientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement on Saturday after he signed the bill into law. “These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

    The law, which is to take effect on Jan. 1, states that no “mental health provider” shall provide minors with therapy intended to change their sexual orientation, including efforts to “change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

    The law was sponsored by State Senator Ted W. Lieu and supported by a long list of medical and psychological societies, as well by state and national advocates for gay rights. Also speaking up for the ban were former patients who described emotional scars they said they were left with after being pushed into the therapy by their parents and finding that they could not change their sexual orientation or did not want to.

    But some therapists and conservative religious leaders who promote methods that they say can reduce homosexual desire have condemned the new law as a violation of free choice. They say that it will harm young people who want to fight homosexual attractions on religious or other grounds and warn that it will lead more people to seek help from untrained amateurs.

    The use of harsh aversion techniques, like electric shock or nausea-inducing drugs, to combat homosexual desires has largely disappeared. But during the last three decades, some psychologists have refined a theory of “reparative therapy,” which ties homosexual desires to emotional wounds in early childhood and, in some cases, to early sexual abuse.

    These therapists say that with proper treatment, thousands of patients have succeeded in reducing their homosexual attraction and in enhancing heterosexual desire, though most therapists acknowledge that total “cures” are rare. But their methods have come under growing attack from gays who say the therapy has led to guilt, hopelessness and anger.

    Reparative therapists, a small minority within the mental health profession, united in 1992 in the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality, based in Encino, Calif. The group did not immediately comment on the new California law, but its leaders have previously attacked the legislation as based on politics, not science, and said they would consider challenging it in court as an unjustified intrusion into professional practice.

    One licensed family therapist and member of the association, David H. Pickup of Glendale, Calif., said in a recent interview that the ban would cause harm to many who want and need the therapy.

    “If boys have been sexually abused and homosexual feelings that are not authentic later come up, we have to tell them no, we can’t help you,” Mr. Pickup said.

    Gay and lesbian leaders, along with major scientific groups, reject such theories outright and say there is no scientific evidence that inner sexual attractions can be altered.

    “Reparative therapy is junk science being used to justify religious beliefs,” said Wayne Besen, the director of Truth Wins Out, a gay advocacy group
    The California law is a milestone, but only a first step, Mr. Besen said, because the ideas in reparative therapy have been widely adopted by church ministries and others promoting the idea that homosexual urges can be banished.

    Legislators in New Jersey and a few other states have discussed introducing similar bills to ban the use of the therapy for minors, Mr. Besen said.

    A version of this article appeared in print on October 1, 2012, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Gay ‘Cure’ For Minors Is Banned In California.

    "Religions are all alike -- founded on fables and mythologies."

    ~Thomas Jefferson

      And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.
      -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    Mr. Settle,
    When one steps outside the religious community, one does not find any scientific evidence to support your assertions based on the "study" by Jones and Yarhouse.

    Were you aware in 2007 the very same Jones and Yarhouse announced the publishing of the exact same study? The main problem with this study is the small sample of gays under study were not representative of the gay community at large. Instead, they were all recruited from a gay population sourced from Exodus International already deeply involved from one to three years in religious efforts to cure.

    A Preliminary Review of Jones and Yarhouse’s “Ex-Gay? A Longitudinal Study” by Jim Burroway, September 17th, 2007:


    4,029 word review
    · Jones and Yarhouse’s insistence that the study is representative of Exodus participants is completely without merit. If Jones and Yarhouse feel free to make such a sweeping claim with no data to support it, one wonders what other sweeping claims they may have made.
    · Jones and Yarhouse’s apparent incuriosity towards those who dropped out borders on willful ignorance. Maybe the full book will provide better information in this area, but the synopsis leaves the impression that unlike the Add Health study that they admired, they didn’t try to learn what those dropouts might mean for their results.
    · Jones and Yarhouse’s inclusion of those who had been in Exodus member ministries for between one and three years — and having that group making up nearly half of the study — makes a significant chunk of what was supposed to be a prospective study a retrospective one instead. And it misses those who “failed” out of that Phase 2 group before they had a chance to join the study. This is a particularly sloppy failing that most certainly biased the results in favor of more “successes” and fewer “failures.”

    Religious fanatics attribute EVERYTHING to religion, beginning with the sun rising every morning to a facial portrait of their prophet appearing on a ridiculous piece of toast. And now it is the power of religion that cures gays from being gays?

    Why does religion not use its "power" to cure something useful, like CANCER??? It is because it CAN"T??

    (The Jone and Yarhouse study not assessing the study dropouts is quite similiar to not including those who died in data on the effectiveness of a cancer treatment.)

    Todd Akin (remember him?) says 4 weeks of feeding on breastmilk cures homosexuality. Maybe Todd never heard of Jones & Yarhouse?

    Mr. Settle,
    You may be interested to learn more information about the religious based group Exodus International (whose married (to a female) President self-identifies as a bisexual male) in an Associated Press article:

    Christian group backs away from gay 'cure'

    Significant shift for Exodus International, which for decades has offered to help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations

    updated 6/27/2012 8:54:33 AM ET

    MINNEAPOLIS — The president of the country's best-known Christian ministry dedicated to helping people repress same-sex attraction through prayer is trying to distance the group from the idea that gay people's sexual orientation can be permanently changed or "cured."

    That's a significant shift for Exodus International, the 36-year-old Orlando-based group that boasts 260 member ministries around the U.S. and world. For decades, it has offered to help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations through counseling and prayer, infuriating gay rights activists in the process.

    This week, 600 Exodus ministers and followers are gathering for the group's annual conference, held this year in a Minneapolis suburb. The group's president, Alan Chambers, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the conference would highlight his efforts to dissociate the group from the controversial practice usually called ex-gay, reparative or conversion therapy.

    "I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included," said Chambers, who is married to a woman and has children, but speaks openly about his own sexual attraction to men. "For someone to put out a shingle and say, 'I can cure homosexuality' — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth."

    "We appreciate any step toward open, transparent honesty that will do less harm to people," said Wayne Besen, a Vermont-based activist who has worked to discredit ex-gay therapy. "But the underlying belief is still that homosexuals are sexually broken, that something underlying is broken and needs to be fixed. That's incredibly harmful, it scars people."

    The cultural battle over ex-gay therapy drew national attention last year, after an activist with Besen's group, "Truth Wins Out," went undercover in a counseling clinic co-owned by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, at the time a GOP presidential contender, and run by her husband, Marcus. The activist, John Becker, released footage seeming to show a counselor at the Minnesota clinic offering to help him overcome homosexual urges.

    Hey there Mr. Settle,
    Are you enjoying the "Akin cure for lesbianism"?

    My girlfriend was reading the Todd Akin article referenced linked above and began laughing. When I asked her what was so funny, she told me for the past 5 years she had been proving to me she was not a lesbian. When I asked how, she showed me these quotes from Todd Akin:

    But the congressman really hit his stride when discussing homosexuality.
    "This may surprise you Jeff, but I don't think homosexuality is a choice. We evangelicals, we know that it's a disease. But the good news is - we have the cure."
    Akin then explained, "The National Institutes of Health has treated hundreds of young men through clinical trials at their headquarters in Maryland. They don't want the public to know because the secular liberal elites have succeeded in brainwashing the public into believing that homosexuality is a positive thing."
    "We now know how to purge men of sin and put them on a path towards god. Why can't every gay man in America have that knowledge? Just 4 weeks of live breastfeeding can cure them of their terrible suffering. Why aren't we talking about this?"
    Somewhat dumbfounded by the brazenness of Akin's pronouncement, the reporter then asked if this supposed treatment only worked on men.
    "Lesbians can be cured by drinking something else," Akin replied "I'll leave that one to your imagination."

    No need for me to imagine.......

    LOL...too funny.

    As if we didn't have enough to worry about some
    people insisit we should spend our waking hours
    snooping under beds. In short, who cares?

    I just had to laugh at ROFLMA's last Akin's or whatever comments. I did think it was very comical. It could have been something demeaning agains My washington redskins, and I might have had a chuckle.

    But seriously, I have a few relatives who are homosexual, and wow they are good people. When I was much younger I definately didn't accept this. I guess as I've grown older, and seeing how people treat others I can see a clearer picture. Any one of my relatives that need a helping hand, I'll be there for them.

    The fanatics on the religious right are guilty of creating a Catch 22 by arguing the false centerpiece notion homosexuals can voluntarily change their sexual orientation by participating in vigorous religious counseling.

    What does the religious right think about those homosexuals who have received the best religious counseling yet remain homosexual in thoughts and deeds? Surely, if god can make his image appear on a piece of toast, surely he can cure the same homosexuals he created in the first place?

    And because homosexuals can not be 'cured' by, or refuse religious counseling, the religious right argues homosexuals can be denied human rights? If a Mormon refuses indoctrination from the religious right, can he also be denied human rights?

    Why stop with trying to cure homosexuals? Why not use the magic of religious counseling to cure cancer? Well, why not? Nobody would object to curing cancer, would they?

    The original post at the top of this thread talks about "science" and "scientist". That opens up "a can of worms" about definitions and who is doing the defining. Yes, the "scientific method" can be applied to subjects other than the traditional physics, chemistry, and biology. But, the trap is in drifting off into a never-never land of misnamed "proofs" that are nothing more than catch-phrases of euphemisms, shallow opinions, and outright partisan politics.

    Calling a tree an "apple" does not make it an apple. Calling religious dogma "science" is only a ploy to avoid the true definition which is hypnosis by "brain washing". (That term was coined during the Viet Nam war to describe the mis-treatment of prisoners.)

    Now, to get down to the true purpose of all these efforts to mess around in the private lives of other people.

    The unstated purpose of all these efforts to make everyone think alike is to turn individuals into robots who think exactly alike in all social circumstances. The methods that are being used include forced behavior and even forced thinking along fixed patterns. The penalties for non-compliance include prison, torture, and death. In Iran that torture has included sexual torture, which takes the circle back to the beginning of it all.

    Whether or not they admit it, then, the true wish of those who want strict conformance with their vision of reality is political theocracy.


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