Ted Haggard – Pastor’s Case Stirs Debate: Denver Post

Today’s Denver Post has an article by Kevin Simpson and Eric Gorski that reports on the various views of sexual orientation and how the restoration of Ted Haggard might proceed. A balanced article, the reporters include quotes from Anthony Bogaert, Daryl Bem, Robert Spitzer, Jack Drescher, Mary Heathman, Joe Nicolosi, Alan Chambers and yours truly. There is also a story of someone who went into Exodus and did not experience the change he was looking for.

16 thoughts on “Ted Haggard – Pastor’s Case Stirs Debate: Denver Post”

  1. I forwarded Dr. Throckmorton’s article and link to the Denver Post article to my own readers. One responded, and I clarified my thoughts to my entire list. For the text of my response, please go to DESLifeIssues.blogspot.com.

  2. So, Alan Chambers is willing to admit that orientation “may” be multi-causal. That’s another good step, in addition to Alan’s decision to dump the term ex-gay. (Now, if he would only get EXODUS out of politics…)

    I think we could drop the “may” and safely assume that orientation IS mutli-causal. You could say this about practically all human traits. Consider that two people may engage in exactly the same behaviors for entirely different reasons.

    I am still a bit bothered by the word “cause”, though, since it is rarely used in conjunction with heterosexuality. It suggests that one has already decided that homosexual orientation is a disorder that must be caused by something. Fact is, no one really knows what causes heterosexuality either — and I have rarely heard the question asked at all.

  3. Some very astute comments on this thread.

    While I’m not completely convinced of the entirety of your points, Warren, I agree that it’s noteworthy that Alan may have come around to the position that orientation may be multi-causal. Perhaps he’ll change “no one is born gay” to “not all gay people are born gay”.

  4. Michael Brewer’s remark that “I am concerned he will go through this restoration process and come out the other end a confirmed heterosexual and become a poster child for the illegitimate process of reparative therapy,” is very odd, because it sounds as though he is saying that reparative therapy is effective. Maybe he didn’t intend it that way, but that’s how it comes across.

  5. Throckmorton said. “And now he has the opportunity, if he can be completely candid with some counselor or adviser, to sort out how he wants to live and what boundaries to place in his life.”

    I wish more reparative therapists were this honest. Dr. Throckmorton is describing a change in behavior and attitude, not a change in sexual orientation.

    EXODUS should admit the same thing, instead of making those who do not change their orientation feel they are somehow second class Christians or not Christian at all.

  6. It seems noteworthy to me that Alan has come around to a position that views same sex attraction as multicausal. Having multiple pathways to same sex attractions would account for several observations. 1. Sexual attractions are experiences more fluidly for some than for others; 2. Some describe their attractions as being for the same-sex from a very young age whereas some do not; 3. Change in attractions seems to happen for some and not for others; 4. Even though there are good reasons to question these numbers, the guestimates of significant therapeutic change seem to be somewhere between 1-33%; 5. For some, environmental context impacts the inner experiencing of sexual attractions, whereas for others their attractions are the same across social and cultural contexts. This is off the top of my head; there are probably others…

  7. A lot my other friends were the same…we went through a “girls got cooties” stage.

    Roger, you may wish to consider that “girls got cooties” is a young boy’s response to (obviously) girls. And this very response is resident in your sexual orientation.

    I suspect that many young gay boys do not respond in the same “girls got cooties” way.

    No one is saying that the establishment of sexual orientation at a very young age requires evidence in sexual behavior or in some pre-pubescent desire to “do it”. It is more evident at that age in gender relationships – how boys interact with girls v. other boys. And I suggest that in many (though not all) cases you would find that the interaction is different.

  8. “The pendulum is probably pushed at least a little toward the biological end of things,” Bogaert said. “Certainly some argue that psycho-social processes play a role. But for guys, it looks as if it’s determined very early in life, and that determination is probably influenced strongly by biology.”

    I remember feeling asexual till puberty(then i became a raging heterosexual). A lot my other friends were the same…we went through a “girls got cooties” stage. I don’t relate to his statement that orientation is set at an early stage.

    I know of others who could better relate…picture a 4 year old fondling his aunt’s breasts (my nephew). Besides this event, its very obvious that he just “loves the girls.”


  9. I just hope his true self does not require him to engage in a political crusade against those whose true selves may not lead them in the route he would prefer.

  10. Anon at 4:59: That is basically what I said in the Denver Post article. For some people, their faith is the true self and congruence with this and the life they have constructed (wife, children, social support) is the preferred route to pursue.

  11. Anonymous – how do you know that his true self is homosexual? Like many people he might be attracted to people of both sexes. I can remember from an early age being attracted to boys and girls. Perhaps he is a bisexual and wants to try to live a chaste life with his wife.

  12. I only hope they orient him to his true homosexual self; otherwise, he will only suffer more.

Comments are closed.