Discussion in 'The Commons' started by anglican74, Nov 29, 2021.
Actually, oral testimony is one of the items counting as ‘evidence’ in a court of law.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John would be dismayed to hear that their testimonies are not any evidence of Jesus' words, actions, or existence.
This seems enlightening; https://anglicanmainstream.org/gay-conversion-therapy-does-not-work-really/
Two recent studies actually support sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), the first being the research of Sullins, Rosik and Santero in their paper, ‘Efficacy and risk of sexual orientation change efforts: a retrospective analysis of 125 exposed men’.
Though broad generalizations were cautioned against, SOCE ‘was perceived as an effective and safe therapeutic practice by this sample of participants’.
The second piece of research can be found in the Journal of Human Sexuality issue 12 – Pela and Sutton’s study, ‘Sexual Attraction Fluidity and Well-Being in Men: A Therapeutic Outcome Study’.
They concluded, ‘Exploring sexual attraction fluidity in therapy [SAFE-T] can be effective, beneficial, and not harmful.’
Moreover, ‘these findings are consistent with almost a century of clinical reports and qualitative and retrospective studies which document that SAFE-T has been successful in helping patients or clients to intentionally diminish SSAE [Same Sex Attraction Experiences] and develop or increase OSAE [Opposite Sex Attraction Experiences] in a beneficent and non-maleficent manner.’
An ex-LGBT plea to Christians:
Their story is real.
I agree. People should be allowed to voluntarily explore this option.
It's unlikely that therapy would be effective on people forced or coerced into it. Even for people who undertake it voluntarily there is no guarantee it will be effective.
From 45% to 69% of SOCE participants achieved at least partial remission of unwanted same-sex sexuality; full remission was achieved by 14% for sexual attraction and identification, and 26% for sexual behavior. Rates were higher among married men, but 4-10% of participants experienced increased same-sex orientation after SOCE. From 0.8% to 4.8% of participants reported marked or severe negative psychosocial change following SOCE, but 12.1% to 61.3% reported marked or severe positive psychosocial change. Net change was significantly positive for all problem domains.
Conclusion: SOCE was perceived as an effective and safe therapeutic practice by this sample of participants. We close by offering a unifying understanding of discrepant findings within this literature and caution against broad generalizations of our results.
Epoch Times ran an interesting article last week about a Jewish man in New Jersey who lost a court battle over conversion therapy.
For those who cannot view the article, I'll copy/paste most of it here.
Cancel Culture Targets Civil Rights and Biblical Values Activist
By Steven Kovac
April 5, 2022 Updated: April 5, 2022
Arthur Goldberg has spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of others and promoting biblical morality.
Now, at the age of 81, Goldberg, a devout Orthodox Jew and president of his local synagogue, is engaged in the moral and legal fight of his life.
His offense: insisting that Jewish men and others have the right to obtain counseling and therapy to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) and founding a nonprofit organization to refer them to places of help.
“For promoting those rights, providing seekers with that information, and referring them for gender affirmation therapy, I have been canceled,” Goldberg told The Epoch Times.
“Where is the person’s right to determine his or her own therapeutic goals? Where is the freedom to choose? What happened to a person’s right to voluntarily choose to change his or her sexual orientation?
“Men and women desiring help with SSA are being denied the right to information about the availability and effectiveness of gender-affirming methods and therapies.”
According to Goldberg, gender affirmation therapy is the empowerment of willing individuals combating unwanted same-sex attraction to affirm the gender of their birth.
When Goldberg, a retired investment banker, saw the painful struggles of some acquaintances dealing with SSA, he was moved to co-found a nonprofit organization called Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) to offer them hope and assistance.
JONAH’s mission was to refer primarily Jewish men struggling with SSA to professional and religious counseling.
The goal was to help them fulfill their desire to live a life consistent with the tenets of their Jewish religion as declared in the Torah (the five books of Moses), which holds to heterosexuality, the marriage of a man to a woman, and the bringing forth of children within its confines.
“I saw many Jewish men, as well as people of other faiths, who wanted to be free from same-sex attraction and who desperately wanted to start a traditional family,” he said.
“They needed to know that there is available to them a guided process involving professional counseling, self-discovery, and a combination of spiritual and behavioral self-adjustments characteristic of the Jewish concept of teshuvah, meaning ‘returning to the path,’ or repentance.
“We are not about curtailing the hard-won civil rights of gay people. In fact, we acknowledge what the gay rights movement has done to improve the social status and the economic and political integration for both male and female homosexuals.
“The counseling and therapy we recommend are based on love. We only deal with people who come to us wanting to change.”
Deep Religious Convictions and Compassion
While Goldberg is a published author of a book and many articles on homosexuality and has much to say about the debate over its clinical and political aspects, he’s especially passionate about the spiritual side of the subject.
He views with joy and optimism the Creator’s stark declaration in the Bible’s Book of Leviticus, chapter 18, verse 22, which reads, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (King James Bible)
Goldberg points out that to’eivah, the Hebrew word for “abomination,” is referring to the action and not the person—the sin and not the sinner.
Citing the teaching of several prominent rabbis and linguists, Goldberg believes that to’eivah has in it more than the idea of abhorrence, which is the common English definition.
“The Hebrew word has in its meaning the idea of ‘a straying or to be led astray.’
“To’eivah contains in it the possibility of teshuvah.
“If you can stray off the path, it is implied you can return to the path,” he said. “This offers so much hope, humaneness, compassion, and relief for those crushed between unwanted powerful personal inclinations and their strong dedication to their religion.
“The Torah teaches us that the Creator is not cruel. He is just and loving, much more willing to demonstrate mercy than to punish or destroy.
“Primarily in the West, nations have lost their traditional bearings. This has resulted in an unprecedented confusion of values.
“Once we threw away the compass of right and wrong passed down to us from ancient wisdom, self-indulgence has become the rule, supported by a good deal of creative rationalization.
“We live in a time of moral relativism, which has led to an intolerance of objective morality and those standing for it.”
Goldberg says his activism on behalf of those voluntarily seeking help with SSA, or other forms of what he calls “sexual brokenness,” is for him a religious and moral imperative.
“If a Jewish homosexual turns to another Jew for help in finding a way out of his homosexuality, the Torah indisputably forbids turning him or her away,” Goldberg said.
“A person struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction is told by the gay activist, ‘You can’t change.’ He is told by the ultra-conservative, ‘You are loathsome.’ He is told by psychiatrists and psychologists, ‘Accept your gay feelings and act upon them—even though they might conflict with your internal values.’
“In my opinion, such attitudes are immoral and irresponsible when there is help available for those desiring it. But the cancel culture is keeping people from knowing about that help and is suppressing their right to treatment.”
The High Price of Principle
Goldberg is paying a stiff price for standing for the teachings of the Torah and the rights of others. A series of lost court battles designed to silence him over the past decade has plunged him $3 million in debt for attorney fees, costs, and fines.
Goldberg said he has never taken a salary from the two philanthropic institutions he’s been a part of.
Mounting legal bills forced Goldberg and his ailing wife, Jane, to mortgage the Jersey City, New Jersey, home where they’ve lived for nearly 50 years.
Even the crowdfunding platform he created to help pay his legal bills was shut down by the court.
“With little prospect of a conservative like me being able to use existing crowdfunding platforms, I founded a platform called Funding Morality. They soon went after it and shut it down.
“The Cancel Culture employed a strategy of bringing legal action against me and then cutting off the purse strings in order to break me financially,” he said.
His foes were not only successful in getting the court to bar Goldberg from referring anybody to counseling and gender affirmation therapy, he has also been banned for life from participating in or serving on the board of any nonprofit organization in the state of New Jersey.
Goldberg’s latest legal setback came in February, when the Supreme Court of New Jersey refused to hear his appeal to preserve his constitutional rights of freedom of speech, association, and to freely exercise his religion.
He said for him, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court at this time appears unaffordable.
The Role of the SPLC
Goldberg says his main adversaries over the years have been the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and what he calls the “gay lobby.”
The irony of a noted civil rights advocacy organization working to cancel a civil rights advocate isn’t lost on Goldberg, who during the 1960s traveled to the South as a Freedom Rider to fight for the civil rights of black Americans.
During the 1990s, when the Soviet Union broke up, Goldberg worked in the humanitarian effort to resettle Jews fleeing Russia in the United States.
The SPLC sued Goldberg several times in a local New Jersey court, forcing him to shut down the two nonprofit organizations he helped found to further his causes.
A 2012 case against Goldberg forced the closing of the nonprofit JONAH.
A second lawsuit, filed in 2015 by the SPLC, forced the closure of the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA), a nonprofit ministry that Goldberg says had a different and much broader mission than that of JONAH.....
The SPLC’s website is still touting its legal victory over Goldberg.
What he calls gender affirmation therapy, the SPLC and gay activists pejoratively call “conversion” or “reparative” therapy. The SPLC on its website rejects gender affirmation therapy as “harmful, abusive, junk science worse than snake oil.”
On its website, the SPLC also praised the court for what it calls the “landmark” pre-trial ruling in which the judge “excluded several conversion therapy proponents from testifying as defense witnesses because their opinions were based on the false premise that homosexuality is a disorder.”
The website quotes the judge as saying that the theory that homosexuality is a disorder is “like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it … outdated and refuted.”
“The exclusion of defense witnesses was unfair,” Goldberg said. “We had expert witnesses prepared to explain what gender affirmation therapy actually is and to present real case histories of its effectiveness. The judge barred them from testifying.
“The SPLC lawyers were very good at falsely describing to the court how ‘disturbing, dangerous, and harmful’ gender affirmation therapy supposedly is.
“It seems clear the judge bought into the gay lobby’s widely publicized and popularly embraced propaganda that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic a person is born with.
“The fact is, science has yet to discover a so-called ‘gay gene.'”.....
As to whether homosexuality is rooted in psychology or biology, I'll leave that to the professionals. I'm aware that both fields probably have an enormous amount of political pressure, but that's not any worse than conservative religious pressure. The difference is that the professionals understand the subtleties of the work they do. Compared to them, conservative religiosity paints with comically broad brushes when it comes to determining the root of homosexuality. As another poster said, human sexuality is quite complex. That's seen both in people's individual compulsions for sexual experience and in people's compulsion to rigidly regulate sexuality.
From my point of view, the Western culture's current problem is the pressure on its youth not to be of an "oppressor" class. In sexuality, that means being heterosexuality. So now we have youth taking drastic measures to assume a queer identity for the sake of social currency. Some even go as far as getting surgically altered, like an FtM pretender who has her breasts removed; she eventually spends the rest of her life regretting it after she regains touch with herself and detransitions. I suspect that even those who weren't surgically altered, but just flooded their body with hormones for several years, will suffer medical consequences later in life. Or maybe some will have sexual experiences that they'll later regret. This is why I'd like to see sexual realization therapy. It doesn't matter to me if the realization is heterosexual or queer. As long as it's the person's authentic self. From there, the therapy should focus on living a healthy, responsible life within that sexual identity. That includes respecting other people's boundaries.
As for what the Bible or Church leadership's interpretation of natural revelation says about queer behavior, the queer person is surely aware of that. I'll leave that between them and God.
Not necessarily, they aren't. Many such people are being actively deceived by church leaders who distort and misrepresent the Bible's message on this topic. They are being told that sin is not sin, that they should disregard pangs of conscience and learn to feel comfortable with the gay lifestyle. Leaving it "between them and God" evokes an image in my mind of the unrighteous servant who buried his talent in the ground rather than do something fruitful with it for his master. We, like Jesus, should be "about our Father's business" and communicating the truth: homosexual activity is wrong in God's eyes in all instances, the wages of sin is death, and lack of repentance demonstrates lack of true faith.
Just last week a watched a bit of a YT video in which some "pastor" in Michigan was preaching (while wearing a bright, rainbow-colored preaching scarf) why John 3:16 does not mean we need to believe in Jesus, because the verse (allegedly) is really all about "God so loved the world." And if you "love" each other ( ) it proves you're okay with God. (Obviously there was a lot of free-wheeling "loving" going on among his congregants.)
Why should we be interested in what far right outlets like the Epoch Times or LifeSiteNews have to say? They publish opinion pieces. That’s not real news. They’re neither inherently objective nor trustworthy.
Oh look, a drive-by bashing!
No, just a legitimate inquiry.
The sources you bash also report facts, but some people prefer to disbelieve those facts because it upsets their tidy little self-made worldview. Some people prefer to insulate their minds from reading facts that might require them to reevaluate their perception of reality.
You write as though such facts are only accessible if one reads sources like the Epoch Times, and that people who read publications from outlets not ideologically inclined the same way, will be insulated from being exposed to said facts. What justifies that assumption? After all, as I've pointed out in another thread, if the far right outlets are indeed reporting facts, then the facts they are reporting will be just as easily if not more accessible via comparatively non-ideological outlets - i.e., fact-based journalism - without the same interpretive baggage.
ADDRESSING “CONVERSION THERAPY”
As a candidate, President Biden pledged to help end so-called “conversion therapy” – a discredited and dangerous practice that seeks to suppress or change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQI+ people. Today, President Biden is using his executive authority to launch an initiative to protect children across America and crack down on this harmful practice, which every major medical association in the United States has condemned.
Children who are exposed to so-called “conversion therapy” face higher rates of attempted suicide and trauma. Numerous states across the country have already passed bipartisan laws to prevent exposure to so-called “conversion therapy,” with Republican and Democratic governors signing state bans on conversion therapy into law. Yet despite these efforts, many people in the United States and around the world are still subjected to this practice.
President Biden is charging HHS with leading an initiative to reduce the risk of youth exposure to this dangerous practice. HHS will explore guidance to clarify that federally-funded programs cannot offer so-called “conversion therapy.” HHS will also increase public awareness about its harms, provide training and technical assistance to health care providers, and expand support for services to help survivors.
President Biden is also encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether the practice constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and whether to issue consumer warnings or notices. And, he is directing the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and HHS to develop an action plan to promote an end to so-called “conversion therapy” around the world and ensure that U.S. foreign assistance dollars do not fund the practice.
More here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing...ztNCX6lE24AZFwmOlF5Witx70cnbzDQiqk55wbona287Y
I wouldn't put any credence on anything by Joe Biden.
The sorts of "discredited and dangerous practice" that some people might have experienced over 30 years ago are no longer practiced, especially in the countries that are trying to ban conversion therapy.
There is little evidence that “conversion therapy” — or to use a less emotive term, sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) — are harmful. A recent article in Front. Psychol., 02 February 2022 found
Conclusion: Despite higher exposure to factors predicting behavioral harm—minority stress, childhood adversity, and lower socioeconomic background—sexual minority persons who had undergone failed SOCE therapy did not suffer higher psychological or social harm. Concerns to restrict or ban SOCE due to elevated harm are unfounded. Further study is needed to clarify the reasons for the absence of harm from SOCE.
The UK is not trying to ban conversion therapy; it is only trying to ban some types that are not currently "ideologically correct". Therapy to change gender or promote non-traditional orientations will still be legal and even encouraged.
I merely sought to share the news from the US. One of my colleagues got real bent out of shape the other day over that whole executive order and was talking about how we'll be thrown in the courts like the poor Lutheran chaps in Finland.
Everyone has an opinion about President Biden, even in Australia, it seems. As an American, I’d personally put a lot more credence on what the current President says than I would his disgraced predecessor (which is, admittedly, an extremely low bar). It’s amazing to me how so many “conservatives” suddenly became post-truth postmodernists during the Trump years, complete with their own identity politics. The contrast between that and the conservatism I grew up with couldn’t be more stark. Anyway…
Cornell University has an excellent page summarizing the research in the world of psychology and psychiatry, with helpful links to dozens and dozens of peer reviewed studies. Their summary is:
“[A]fter reviewing the research, we concluded that there is no credible evidence that sexual orientation can be changed through therapeutic intervention. Most accounts of such change are akin to instances of “faith healing.” There is also powerful evidence that trying to change a person’s sexual orientation can be extremely harmful. Taken together, the overwhelming consensus among psychologists and psychiatrists who have studied conversion therapy or treated patients who are struggling with their sexual orientation is that therapeutic intervention cannot change sexual orientation, a position echoed by all major professional organizations in the field, including the American Psychological Association…”
Except of course for those people who actually have changed.
Se my posts above #64 #65
Are you claiming that CT is effective, or that it isn’t harmful? Neither claim is supported by the current state of the science. In the former case, the reviewers at Cornell that I cited above state:
Let’s be clear about what we’re talking about here. A scientific hypothesis postulates a relationship of statistical causation between two events, and then seeks empirical confirmation of the hypothesis. It is always possible that an empirically supported hypothesis can nonetheless have an alternate explanation. The conclusion of these studies is not that there is an abundance of evidence refuting the notion that undergoing CT can alter own’s orientation, but rather that there is a lack of evidence that undergoing CT has causal efficacy in altering one’s orientation, and also that there is evidence that attempts to effect this can cause serious harm to patients. As a substance monist, I do not believe that mere words can alter nature’s hard wiring, but I leave such biases at the door when reading these studies.