Love in Action: Zach’s father speaks out

I mainly want to blog this link that gives the parent’s viewpoint regarding the Love in Action issue with Zach the blogger. I suspect this story will continue to unfold when Zach gets back on the computer. If he comes out and praises his experience at LIA, then what will the gay press do then? If he doesn’t give positive reviews of LIA then there will be an increased frenzy to make this young man’s experience a focal point for all criticism of ex-gay ministries. Stay tuned…

6 thoughts on “Love in Action: Zach’s father speaks out”

  1. Robert – You might be surprised to learn that the latter counseling approach you described is closer to how I think counselors should operate.

  2. Stories like this remind me of why I was so grateful to have had the parents I did.
    They weren’t particularly happy to hear that I was gay (at age 16), but they would never have sent me to a locked facility to be
    Also, I was fortunate to find a psychologist/counselor whose approach wasn’t ‘you’ll never be truly happy until you learn to suppress your sexual orientation’,
    but ‘let’s help you find some insights and tools to make the most of life.’

  3. Nojam – I think that you raise an interesting point. I cannot judge motives but I certainly hope the dad and son are finding ways to common ground. I have spoken to John Smid and I believe he sincerely wants the family to find peace.

    I hope the father actually takes his roll seriously as a father, because so far, he seems to have a greater interest maintaining that front row pew at his local church than ensuring that his son grows up to be a confident and responsible young man.

    The myths used by Pat and his merry band of bigots doesn’t change the simple fact that, like I said, people make choices in their life – if Zachs father truely loved him as a parent, he would be trying to install some responsibility and self esteme – which is half the reason why there are gays who hate being gay – the fact that they lack self esteme, and them go looking for it in the wrong places (drugs, alcohol, multiple partners, risky behaviour etc).

    If his father sets his son up correctly, he can join the millions of gays out there, like me, who are living healthy and successful lives – millions who contribute back to the community each day and play a roll in the larger community.

    But of course, I don’t see it happening; his father has the ‘everyone else is mad except me’ complex – reminds me of my grandmother who had manic depression – ‘everyone else is mad but me’; it sad to see that religion has brain washed the parents to such a degree that they can no longer rationally make decisions for their children – I some times wonder when that sort of brain washing happens – equal to that of a cult, that the government should step in, and hand over care of the children to a family who actually care for the welfare of the child.

  4. Thanks Cole, glad you like the video. I’ll see what I can do about that new video 🙂

    Nojam – I think that you raise an interesting point. I cannot judge motives but I certainly hope the dad and son are finding ways to common ground. I have spoken to John Smid and I believe he sincerely wants the family to find peace.

  5. I think it’s disturbing that Joe Stark felt the best way to help his son was to publically identify his son and declare his son’s struggle on national, right-wing TV. The elder Stark could have still defended his decision without publically identifying his family and his son. I can’t help but think that Joe Stark may have placed defending his reputation as a father, conservative Christian, and man, ahead of caring for his son.

    Why Rev. Smid would support Joe Stark in outing Zach also makes me wonder if Smid placed defending/publicizing his ministry ahead of protecting his client. Encouraging more media attention onto Zach seems contrary to Refuge’s notorious ‘rules’ about avoiding the media and outside influences by attracting even more attention.

    Since it often takes years to sort-out personal feelings about sexuality, Zach may not be willing or able to express his feelings about his LIA experience – especially while under the control of his family. Even if he praises or denounces LIA, he may eventually change his mind.

  6. Dr T.

    When this story was unfolding I had made a call to LIA, I spoke to a really nice woman there about the program and LIA’s perspective. I had requested some infromation and applications for their programs. I as of yet havent recieved any info. Maybe I was lost in the shuffle. But it was intersting how it all blew up in the media. Dr. T. Are you on MySpace?? Thats is the website where this Zack kid was blogging. Thanks for IDE! I cant wait to get my hands on the new one that your putting out. Thank you so much for all the work you do for us! You are our champion for truth! Is it possible to get an autographed copy of the new DVD?

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