The persistent rumor that the APA wants people to change churches

I addressed it here and now here but it continues.

This morning I read an article on the website of the National Catholic Register by Father Benedict Groeschel, host of Sunday Night Live on EWTN (Catholic network). Father Groeschel is laboring under a significant misunderstanding of the APA report when he writes:

On top of all that, in an almost bizarre ignoring of the purposes of his own discipline, one of the members of the task force that composed the report claimed that people who belong to religions that expect celibacy from the unmarried and monogamy from the married but find such expectations too difficult or onerous should simply change to a religion which requires less of them.

I should say I am pretty sure this is misinformation. I don’t know if a member of the task force speaking for him or herself might have said people should switch churches. I have not been able to find a quote to this effect. However, I do know the APA denied this intent and the APA report does not support the idea that a church switch would be promoted as some kind of easy way out for its own sake. Any switching would be done for reasons based in belief change and could go either direction – from gay affirming to non-affirming or vice versa.

How did Father Groeschel become misinformed? A familiar suspect appears later in the article.

It is necessary to register a strong objection to this recent statement. For valid and reasonable information I suggest the writings of an outstanding researcher and therapist in this area, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who has long been the inspiration behind the National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuality.

Recently, he was quoted in this newspaper pointing out that research used by homosexual activists shows that public opinion regarding homosexuality will change if people believe it is genetic. “To the extent people are not responsible,” said Nicolosi, “their behavior will be tolerated.” (See “Scientists Outing ‘Gay Gene’ Myth,” July 26-Aug. 8.)

More information regarding NARTH and Nicolosi’s work can be found at and

I would strongly suggest that Register readers register their protest with the American Psychological Association for what amounts to an abuse of research and demand that the APA distance itself from this pseudoscientific presentation. For those interested, the website for the APA is

I actually hope Register readers do contact the APA. When the APA responds that these charges are off the mark and refers people to the actual report, people will find they have been misled.

2 thoughts on “The persistent rumor that the APA wants people to change churches”

  1. Who, NARTH? What would it benefit these folks to repeatedly mislead the public? Don’t they know they will get caught?

  2. Oh really, this is just silly. The religious right are just getting more paranoid by the minute. Those responsible for spreading this nonsense about the APA should consider this: it would be illogical and condescending for an organization, which believes the scientific method – reason, evidence – is the way to find out the truth, to then recommend any religion to patients in the first place.

    All the same, the biggest threats to faith are not scientific organizations: the utterances and actions of religious extremists are driving many good people away from religion altogether, of their own accord.

    If things like the AFA’s ludicrous, spiteful boycott campaigns are what Christianity is all about, then fine. But next time I see a statement saying that religious people are more likely to give to charity, then I will ask them to state just how many hospitals in Africa could have been built with the funds for the Porp 8 campaign.

    On the converts’ corner section of for example, there are hundreds of testimonies from ex-christians, who recall how being filled with dread of eternal hell as children put them off religion for life. I hope the folks at Exodus take a look through them – because they are known to drum the same ultimatums to their clients on their residential programs. Everyone spends time wondering what changes in orientation have occurred among Exodus’ clients. Perhaps it might be interesting to investigate any changes in belief, instead?

Comments are closed.