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Wouldn't you know it:  on Wednesday I diaried about the "ex-gay" industry, whose latest gimmick was a "new, peer-reviewed study " - which, unsurprisingly, is not new, not peer-reviewed, and not a study.  Within a day, the American Psychological Association released a report which thoroughly shredded every claim the "ex-gay" industry ever made.  NARTH was trying to pre-empt them with their own version of "raising the terror alert" (to lavender, presumably)when their opponent's about to speak.  Massive fail.

NARTH (National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality) was founded by the late Charles Socorides, a psychiatrist who fought bitterly to keep homosexuality officially defined as a mental disorder, and continued this crusade long after every reputable medical and psychological organization had left this view behind.  When Socarides forced a re-vote, and once again the APA found that homosexuality was not a disorder, one GLBT publication went with the headline:  THE EARTH IS ROUND.

They're the pseudo-scientific arm of the homophobia industry, while Exodus (an umbrella group for a variety of programs) is the religious arm.  In the late 1980's, two of the Exodus founders, Michael Bussee and Gary "not the actor" Cooper, fell in love and renounced the movement they'd helped create.   This has been a pattern in "ex-gay" organizations, so almost all of them are now run by straight people.

In the mid 1990's, "ex-gay" organizations reached their peak with an aggressive ad campaign featuring their alleged success stories.  The face of this movement was John Paulk , who was chair of the board of Exodus, and head of the Homophobia departmetn (OK they don't call it that) at Focus on the Family.  He was featured on the cover of Newsweek with his wife Anne (an "ex-lesbian") in 1998.  Two years later, Paulk turned up in a gay bar in DC.  One of the patrons called HRC activist Wayne Besen, and Paulk was still there when Besen arrived to photograph him 40 minutes later.  After first claiming he'd just been looking for the bathroom (for 45+ minutes), Paulk admitted,

"I wanted off the treadmill and I thought I wanted to go back to a gay bar. Well, of course, because God loves me he is not going to let me go out on a leash too long and I was discovered in there."

Try not to think too much about that "leash" imagery.

Like all forms of snake oil, pray-away-the-gay programs (or in NARTH parlance, "reparative therapy" programs) have a superficial appeal.  Coming out of the closet means dealing with discrimination, condemnation from some religious bodies, and maybe even rejection by your own family.  GLBT people with conservative roots are vulnerable to the false promise that they can change if they just try hard enough.  But the biggest consumers of "ex-gay" literature, conferences and workshops are parents.  They come to ask if they did something wrong, and if they can change their GLBT children.  NARTH and Exodus answer "yes" to both questions.  In his book Anything But Straight (still the best book on this topic), Besen notes that when the "ex-gay" movement took off, GLBT people who'd been out for decades, and thought they were accepted by their families, suddenly started getting pamphlets and suggestions from their parents about so-called reparative therapy.

The "ex-gay" industry was a lucrative field for a while.  It brought in money from desperate parents, GLBT people trained in self-loathing, and right-wingers who enjoyed the opportunity to attack GLBT rights while simultaneously claiming to "love the sinner."  (Exodus, for instance, has been at the forefront of fighting hate crimes laws, falsely claiming they don't protect "ex-gays.")  Any argument against GLBT rights is a much easier sell if packaged with the claim that GLBT peole could avoid discrimination by just choosing to become straight.

In the past few years, the "ex-gay" industry has suffered one setback after another.  An explosion of GLBT rights laws, the 2003 Supreme court decision striking down sodomy laws, and the advent of same-sex marriage have created a very different political climate.  GLBT people are all over the dial on TV, and the younger generation takes equality for granted.  One of the leading "ex-gay" proponents, Richard Cohen, was kicked out of the American Counseling Association for ethics violation - and worse, he demonstrated his methods in this video , making the whole movement a laughingstock.  (Sorry I'm too much of a computer doofus to embed video, but wath it - it's hysterical.) And did I mention  Ted Haggard ?  But there's a more basic reason why these programs are no longer selling well here.

They don't work.

In the early days of the industry, it was easy to make all kinds of promises.  But anyone who's watched this movement over time can observe that "ex-gays" don't stay "ex" very long unless they're getting a paycheck from an anti-GLBT organization (and in John Paulk's case, not even then).  The APA report gave a thorough look at studies that actaully meet scientific criteria, and saw what GLBT peole had been telling them all along.

The Chair of the APA’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, Judith M Glassgold, called for therapists to be realistic with with clients about the reality of their orientation, while still being respectful of clients' religious beliefs.  I know that last part rankles for some; invariably somebody will respond that therapists should just tell them to give up their religion.  But people can't just choose to change religious beliefs, any more than they can choose to change sexual orientation.  (If you've suffered discrimination for bieng a nonbeliever, you can't just choose to become a believer in order to fix that.)  A more realistic therapeutic approach is to emphasize the affirming side of their religion.  For instance, with a conservative Christian client, a therapist might emphasize Christ's message of compassion and kindness, and the fact that he never mentioned homosexuality at all.

Keep coming out, keep supporting those who are struggling iwth coming out, and enjoy the fact that the APA has once again discovered that the Earth is round.  And remember:  Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual!

Originally posted to Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 03:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for posting this. (12+ / 0-)

    I had to read way too much of one of these people to get through chapter 2 of my dissertation.  So not looking forward to going back to refresh my memory when I go back to do revisions.

  •  Good diary, Tara. (18+ / 0-)

    The pray-away-the-gay movement is nothing but snake oil and it desrves to disappear.

    btw, to the right of the youtube screen are two little boxes.  One is labeled URL and the other is labeled embed.  Just cut'n'paste the embed code where you now have the link in your diary and voila.

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

    by trashablanca on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 04:05:29 PM PDT

  •  Are there ex-lesbians? (5+ / 0-)

    One doesn't hear so much about that ...

  •  Nice diary (6+ / 0-)

     Tipped and recced. Thanks for getting my mind off that filthy whore Rahm.

     That said, I wouldn't write these ex-gay dirtbags off just yet. The religious right gets declared dead every few years, only to come back again in an ever-more-virulent strain. The ex-gay crowd is simply re-tooling its message and trying to come up with a more "reasonable" face. It might work for a year or two, until the next big embarrassment.

     

     
     

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 04:20:01 PM PDT

  •  uh....I beg to differ. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomActsOfReason, teloPariah

    "People can't just choose to change religious beliefs. .." Why not? And if not unburden themselves completely of anti-human stuperstition why not at least realign oneself to a church organization that accepts and welcomes queer congregants as they are? Adherence to any specific magical ghost-worshiping denomination isn't hardwired into the DNA, no one needs a particular brand of sacred self-delusion to exist. And plenty of "non-believers" have decided to acquire "the spirit", maybe not from feelings of social persecution but from an old-fashioned epiphany, and vice-versa. I for one think that science (psychotherapy or otherwise) should never be put in a position to accommodate religion and other fantasy-based disciplines.    

    •  Yes, It is Hardwired (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teloPariah

      At least, so much points to that. Often trying to change these hardwired characteristics can lead to serious mental contflicts. For example, waking up to empathy as a soldier engaged in killing people in far away places, can cause that soldier a lifetime of damage. Those who who avoid such feelings survive the experience intact.

      •  your example baffles me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teloPariah

        What is any soldier other than a government-sanctioned mass murderer? By becoming part of the military the recruits agree to set aside any personal morality and pledge to kill absolute strangers on their native soil because someone directed them to. For money. For patriotism. For benefits. I'd hope that anyone, whether in uniform or not, experiences regret and remorse for taking the life of another human being. I don't see a viable analogy in your contention.  

      •  Citation needed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        More children are the religion of their parents. If their parent change religions between the birth of children, the ones born later tend to be the religion the parent's switched to. Most children of parents who were raised religion but are not atheists end up atheist.

        Where do you get this notion that the particular religion someone belongs to is "hard-wired"? Most if not all religions haven't even been around long enough to be evolutionarily "hard-wired" into us.

        And where is your evidence that becoming an atheist leads to "serious mental conflicts"?

        The soldier example is even more bizarre - you seem to advocate letting soldiers remain ignorant of the consequences of their actions, lest they be traumatized. That can't be what you intend to say, it certainly doesn’t' seem consistent with stuff you've written in the past. Perhaps you'd like to rephrase?

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:45:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I Did Shortcut Here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomActsOfReason

          We just learned that sociopath behaviors are hardwired (science news).

          I was not talking about religion vs. religion. I was referring to the inability of a portion of the population to feel or sense any sort of god presence. It's referred to as the god gene in science. It's the divide between believers and non-believers.

          Believers are extremely puzzled by this and, like homosexual cures, the believe non-belief from birth can be cured. Non-believers are just as puzzled. Few, really, can cross this divide.

          The soldier example refers to the PTSD trigger, which is ultimately enzymatic. The idea is to pinpoint the locus of trauma and it points to a sudden awareness or consciousness of self. Perhaps only one in six solders are vulnerable to this.

          •  Can you provide a link to the science news story? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            Did "we just learn", or did a popular news outlet report a single study in an overly definitive way?

            Is "hardwired" a binary condition, or is it more of a predisposition that is alleged by this study?

            As for the "god gene", surely you know that that hypothesis is extremely controversial. But, even if it were entirely true - the fact is that many people start out religious and end up atheist, so clearly they are not helpless puppets of their "god gene". The divide between believers and non-believers is quite fluid - in fact, over the past few hundred years years, the human species has gone from being nearly 100% theist, to something on the order of 20% atheist. Some societies have transitioned from 100% theist to 60 of 70% atheist over the course of just a couple of generations.

            Clearly, the "god gene" doesn't play a definitive role in whether or not someone can switch from religious to nonreligious (let alone from one religion to another).

            And, there is no evidence such a switch is inherently traumatic. Where it is traumatic, that is a cultural artifact - a result of parents rejecting an atheist child or one who has converted to another religion, or a society rejecting them.

            Going from atheism to theism is far, far, far rarer, but it does occur.

            There really is no evidence to suggest that religious belief is anything like sexual preference, in terms of genetic predisposition, nor that changing religion is inherently (and certainly not chemically) traumatic.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 10:50:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Really Didn't Mention Trauma (0+ / 0-)

              ...related to religious conversion. That was related to military affairs. Regarding atheism, there is a strong cultural overlay that would mask such phenomena. For example (related to the topic of this Diary), gays and lesbians have always positioned themselves as monks or shaman or healers, somewhat apart from the tribe. Jesus and his disciples are a good example. Forming a church with "celibate" groups like nuns and priests could safely take them through history.

              I do appreciate your insights, however.

              Anyway, here's the link:

              Psychopaths Have Faulty Brain Connections, Scientists Find

              Here's a YouTube of the brain scan:

              http://www.youtube.com/...

    •  On the other hand, (6+ / 0-)

      for people going through turmoil about their sexuality, telling them accepting their sexuality requires they change another major facet of their identity can only cause them more distress.  That's why the compassionate thing to do is to suggest alternate understandings of what their own faith demands, as the diary says.

      And I say that as a lifelong atheist.

      •  the two aren't separate. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bronx59, RandomActsOfReason

        The distress arising from coming to terms with sexual orientation exists primarily if the person is cocooned  within a rabid religious sect. People not pressured, harassed and indoctrinated with hatred would, I imagine, have a much easier time of accepting who and what they are. If you encourage people to stay in an environment where homosexuality is demonized, you are surely exasperating whatever psychological trauma is being incurred. You say that it's compassionate to suggest alternate understandings of what their faith demands...who should do that? A psychologist (assuming the 'mo goes to one)? A clergy member (part of the flank that prefers them str8)? A well-meaning friend (who might not have the skills  to be truly helpful especially if part of that same religious upbringing)? The faster a person can distance themselves from that kind of repressive rhetoric and enclave the better.

        •  Sure they are. (2+ / 0-)

          You think it's easy coming to terms with not being straight as long as you (and your family and community) aren't religiously anti-gay?  I know people who spent years in therapy coming to terms with their sexual orientations who were totally a-religious (and in a-religious or accepting families).  Internalized homophobia isn't the exclusive provenance of the religiously indoctrinated.

          And, yes, psychologists should suggest an alternate understanding.  That's who the paragraph you reference was talking about.

          •  Uh.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, RandomActsOfReason

            In what decade? Are you telling me that queers from a secular upbringing with a supportive family spent "years in therapy" because realizing they were gay was such a horrifying prospect? Really? I've been totally immersed in FagWorld for 35 years and I've never come across one person whose main psychological problem was coming to grips with their sexual orientation. But then again, I don't travel in circles where folks can afford the self-indulgence of "years of therapy". That must be a gated-community neighborhood out of my homo-range.  

            •  Precisely (0+ / 0-)

              It's not an individual coming to grips, it is the conflict that arises from a religious system that a) teaches them they are filth, and b) causes their family to reject them or try to "fix" them.

              Among rational secular people, someone's sexual orientation doesn't matter that much. Religion is the root cause and primary impetus for homophobia.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:47:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I do not believe (2+ / 0-)

      ...that it is possible to willingly change religious beliefs.

      It's like, do I believe that the DKos colors are orange, or blue? Clearly no matter what I'd like to believe, the colors are orange. Similarly, it's not clear to me that religious beliefs can be changed just like trying to ask me to "convert" to "DKos-is-blue-ism". That being said, you can "realize" that your religious beliefs are wrong and others are correct, but that's a different thing than "deciding" to convert.

      •  It's difficult to force people to change them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomActsOfReason

        but I have certainly have had the experience of changing and modifying mine on an entirely voluntary basis.

        •  Thank you... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomActsOfReason

          ....it's all voluntary. At least here in America (for the time being) as opposed to some place like Saudi Arabia. We are all free to embrace or ignore the branches of theology. No person on the planet need actually believe in a god to survive. It's not orange or blue...it's voyeuristic cloud-walkers, mind-control and ancient texts of dubious repute. Everyone can function either with or without this yoke.

          •  My point... (0+ / 0-)

            ...is that is isn't (or shouldn't be) voluntary, any more than believing DKos colors are orange is voluntary. Believing something isn't a choice, it's something you're forced to do by reality and by your senses.

            That's different than arguing about whether people should have the freedom to have different religious beliefs, but I mean, you either believe that Jesus rose from the dead, or you don't, right? There's no middle ground.

            •  If you (0+ / 0-)

              "believe" it because that's what you were taught in Sunday school that has nothing to do with a personal experience of reality and senses. Reality and senses relate to things that are subject to empirical verification. Religious faith is something that is not subject to such verification.

              One can very easily grow up and decide that what they told you in Sunday school was hogwash. Many people do.

              •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                One can very easily grow up and decide that what they told you in Sunday school was hogwash. Many people do.

                They don't do it voluntarily, though. They grow up because they are forced to do so by their own logical faculties. There is no "decision" involved here, it is a "realization".

                They decide that Sunday school is hogwash because they compare Sunday school to every other scientific and logical construct in their life, decide it is incompatible, and throw it out because they are forced to choose between the two.

                "Deciding" whether to believe facts or not is a very bad and perhaps insane thing. Your beliefs should be driven by evidence.

            •  yes, there is a middleground. (0+ / 0-)

              And that is not caring one way or another whether Jesus was resurrected because it's meaningless in the context of any person's life. I wouldn't care if he'd died and sprung back to action 20 times like a video game protagonist. It has nothing to do with me.

      •  People exchange.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomActsOfReason

        discount, abandon and join different demoninations all the time... what are you talking about?

      •  Since most religious beliefs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomActsOfReason

        are the product of childhood brainwashing, yeah, you can change 'em.

        "I used to have goals. They were *evil* goals, but they were *goals*."--Dr. Doofenschmirtz

        by ChurchofBruce on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 07:08:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, though not quite the right example (0+ / 0-)

        since the colors are a matter of fact.  More like:  maybe I think the dkos orange scheme is plug-ugly.  Perhaps my view on that will change in time, but I can't simply make myself "decide" to like them.  

        When people change religious views, it happens for reasons organic to them; it can't be forced.  And it certainly doesn't happen because someone throws derogatory terms at them like "ghost-worshiping" and "self-delusion."

        I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

        by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 07:23:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Chastized! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomActsOfReason

          Frankly, I'm not in the deprogramming business so I'm comfortable using the language that best expresses my point of view. I don't make any money by framing my argument or diluting my contention to appease folks who think that stuff is real, important or essential. And if mumbling incantations to someone who died 2000 years ago doesn't qualify as "ghost-worship", what is it?  

        •  and... (0+ / 0-)

          you needn't think the DKos orange is plug-ugly or likable but rather just accept that it's not intrinsically pertinent to your participation in the forum.

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)

          since the colors are a matter of fact.  More like:  maybe I think the dkos orange scheme is plug-ugly.  Perhaps my view on that will change in time, but I can't simply make myself "decide" to like them.

          This is precisely my point. Religion is a matter of fact as well. Did, or did not, Jesus rise from the dead? Is there, or is there not, a god?

          In the same way as the colors thing, you can't really decide to believe or not believe such things; it's a part of you.

          Your opinion on the color scheme is something else entirely, though again as you note I suspect that even that is something that is merely organically a part of you.

          Same thing with gay/straight: it's a part of you like preferring chocolate over strawberry ice cream is a part of you.

          •  religion is a matter of fact to whom? (0+ / 0-)

            If you'd never been indoctrinated, if you'd never been exposed to the myths and superstitions do you imagine that you'd somehow organically "know" that some guy who was crucified 2000 years ago (as were tens of thousands of others) by the Romans was "special"? Who cares whether Jesus arose from the dead? There's dozens of similar fables, the whole thing was a massive public relations stunt perpetration on ignorant peasants. It wouldn't impact my life one way or the other if he flew through the air or shot fireballs from his ears. Why give a crap about some dude long dead? I put Jesus in the same category as Gandhi or Nelson Mandala. Just a man with some insight during a period of turmoil. Is the thing supposedly Jesus' father as a "god" any different than Zeus or Odin? No. Same nonsense. But folks want to believe. Doesn't at all make it a "fact".  

          •  What nonsense (0+ / 0-)

            there is strong evidence that sexual preference is a genetic predisposition.

            There is no evidence that religious preference is a genetic predisposition. Quite the contrary - identical twins raised in different religions follow different religions. Children born when the parents followed one religion tend to follow that one, and if the parents change religions before later children are born, those children tend to follow the later religion.

            Children born to atheists tend to be atheists - despite the fact that many if not most of their parents were raised in religious families (since atheism is the fastest growing group in the US, far beyond birthrate or immigration, logically many current atheists were formerly religious).

            Where do you get these blanket unsubstantiated assertions?

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:59:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re (0+ / 0-)

              there is strong evidence that sexual preference is a genetic predisposition.

              There is no evidence that religious preference is a genetic predisposition. Quite the contrary - identical twins raised in different religions follow different religions. Children born when the parents followed one religion tend to follow that one, and if the parents change religions before later children are born, those children tend to follow the later religion.

              Children born to atheists tend to be atheists - despite the fact that many if not most of their parents were raised in religious families (since atheism is the fastest growing group in the US, far beyond birthrate or immigration, logically many current atheists were formerly religious).

              They are both predispositions is my point, regardless of whether they are genetic predispositions or educational predispositions. In both cases, you can't really "decide" to be something different than you are. You either really believe that Jesus rose from the dead as a matter of fact, or you do not. You either are gay and prefer one sex, or you are straight and you prefer another. Your preferences and beliefs are not something you can decide; they are organically a part of you.

              Why do you prefer chocolate ice cream to strawberry? Could you force yourself to like mayonnaise if you didn't already like it? The same dynamics apply with regard to religion.

              You are a Muslim because you believe that Islam is true (that Mohammed really existed, that there is a god, etc). Converting from Islam to Christianity, for example, is a process of not believing anymore that there was a person named Mohammed, and that there instead was this guy named Jesus, etc.

              •  Critical distinction: genetic vs educational (0+ / 0-)

                which you glide over. It makes a big difference.

                You either really believe that Jesus rose from the dead as a matter of fact, or you do not. You either are gay and prefer one sex, or you are straight and you prefer another. Your preferences and beliefs are not something you can decide; they are organically a part of you.

                This is utter nonsense, contradicted by scientific research as well as common sense.

                You might as well say,

                You either really believe that conservatism is the right philosophy, or you do not. You either have dark skin or light skin. Your preferences and beliefs are not something you can decide; they are organically a part of you.

                Just as nonsensical.

                People aren't born believing Jesus is god or that Islam is true, they are taught that.

                People are born straight or gay.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 09, 2009 at 12:22:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  uh, You have... (0+ / 0-)

                ...serious holes in your argument. Mohammed, like Jesus, was an actual historical personage. Atheists understand that FACT, they just see fit not to attribute "godlike" properties upon them. "Not believing anymore that there was a person named Mohammed...." is a clumsy and bizarre contention. I'm all for a spirited debate but not if you're going to offer conclusions such as this remark. Seriously. I was hoping for a more disciplined sparring partner.

        •  Can you point us to a study (0+ / 0-)

          that documents the reasons people change religious views? How do you know what does or does not cause it to happen? How do you know it is not the result of outside influence? Why should it be any different than how they first adopt their original religious views - which is the result of acculturization by their parents and their community?

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:55:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The data does not support your claim (0+ / 0-)

        the numbers of atheists are growing all the time, and more and more people are changing from the religion of their birth to something else. It's just not the case.

        The reason it isn't more common in the US is because of the cultural strictures and brainwashing organized religion imposes on followers. The fear of ostracization, the total identification with the congregation, the focusing of all social experiences in the church - all these are designed to perpetuated the religion and prevent people from leaving.

        as for "realizing that you religion beliefs are wrong and others are correct", thank you for admitting that religious people think that way - I'm right, and you're wrong - even though it is politically correct to pretend otherwise.

        And how is deciding that one religion is wrong and the other right any different than "deciding to convert"?

        If you claim it isn't possible to willingly change religious beliefs, then either you believe one's particular religion is genetically imprinted (and the data does not support that, either), or you believe that people are not capable of deciding what to belief - in which case, why religion and not politics? By the same logic, Conservatives cannot possibly willingly change their political beliefs, so why bother with this site?

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:53:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Terrific Diary (7+ / 0-)

    I wondered what that was all about with the APA. Thanks for a great read.

  •  I don't think that we have (6+ / 0-)

    anything like a real scientific understanding of human sexuality. If other valid areas of scientific research had been thwarted the way that the study of sexuality has, we'd still be riding horses and dying in our 40s from heart disease.

    In the meantime individual humans have to find their own way. Being honest with oneself is a good place to start.

  •  The anti-gay side has lost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teloPariah

    they are now soon going to turn to organized violence and terrorism (like the anti-civil rights side did in the 1950s and 1960s) and then go underground.

  •  I worked with a guy (2+ / 0-)

    who was a veteran of the ex-gay treatment. His issue was religion, and how to be more accepted. He was terrified of being outed (what's ammatta with who you are?) but would say and do things that outed him constantly and in innapropriate ways. This kind of lack of self-knowledge is what the conservative authoritarian mindset breeds, no pun intended. Homophobia in this country is something that makes it easier for narcissists to live undisturbed, IMO.

    "But then, liberals always were a little fond of mind control, assuming of course that it was put to good use." -DKos troll

    by teloPariah on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:36:41 PM PDT

  •  "But it's a choice!" (1+ / 0-)

    Whenever anyone insists that to me (which fortunately isn't often these days), I just tell them, "If tomorrow it was discovered that the Bible was mis-translated, and you were actually supposed to get with other guys (or women for those who argue with them), would you?"

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