I am not a part of NARTH

UPDATE (Monday morning): The references to me have been removed from the CP article…

That’s the best title I could think of after reading this article in the Christian Post: Ex-gay Convention Draws Protestors in Penn.

I suspect Stephanie Samuel just doesn’t know the area well enough to know why the way she wrote her article is quite misleading. She wrote:

NARTH, an organization with faith-based views on homosexuality, acknowledges on its website that there are those who are comfortable with their homosexual identity. It values an individual’s right to choose. But it also upholds the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care and the right of professionals to offer that care.

Those experiencing unwanted homosexual desires and who are conflicted by their values deserve treatment and spiritual counsel, NARTH maintains.

Several faith-based groups have created treatment to help those who do not want to embrace the homosexual lifestyle. Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhous, (sic) both psychology experts, have crafted a framework, Sexual Identity Therapy: Proactive Framework for Managing Sexual Identity Conflicts, focused on conflicting religious values.

While NARTH encourages therapy, it maintains that it is a professional organization that only promotes practices have been proven scientifically effective. NARTH urges against claims that there is “scientific knowledge” that settles the issue of homosexuality. Instead, it encourages a broad view based upon diverse understandings of the family, of core human identity, and the meaning and purpose of human sexuality.

She also wrote about my work against bullying which seems odd in an article about NARTH. Since NARTH has not commented on bullying, it seems out of place to even mention what other groups are doing.

It is the weekend so no changes are going to be made to the article until Monday but I did write a comment on the CP wall. Here it is:

The Sexual Identity Therapy framework (sitframework.com) is listed above in such a way that a reader might assume it is connected with or consistent with the work of NARTH. However, there is no connection. NARTH advocates sexual reorientation whereas, our framework does not advocate orientation change. Our framework is in keeping with the guidance of the APA and other professional societies whereas NARTH work has been questioned by those same groups.

While I appreciate the mention of my work against bullying, there is again no connection between that work and the NARTH organization. If anything, NARTH promotes harmful stereotypes about gay people which do not contribute to solutions to the problems of bullying.

I repeat, I regret the mention of my work in sexual identity therapy and bullying in the same context as mention of the work of NARTH. For more information or clarifications of our work, please see www.sitframework.com and www.wthrockmorton.com or contact me at [email protected].

You can read more about NARTH here (where and why I decided not to attend the 2006 NARTH conference) and here and reparative therapy here.

Rolling Stone’s Facebook page removed; Martin Ssempa returns?

This from editor Giles Muhame’s Facebook page:

“The Rolling Stone newspaper’s facebook page has been scrapped by the social networking website management in US for spreading a hate camapign against homosexuals in Uganda,” according to Cliff Abeneitwe, the newspaper’s marketing manager. We will miss you guys….

For his part, Abenaitwe promises more “men of shame” in next week’s issue of the Rolling Stone, perhaps defying a Ugandan judge who ordered a cessation of the outings.

Meanwhile, the pastor of the Rolling Stone editors, Martin Ssempa, may be back on Facebook. Earlier Martin Ssempa’s Facebook page was removed but he – or at least someone posing as him – appears to be posing under the name Onelovepastor Uganda.

Michael Brown responds to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Are evangelicals obsessed with homosexuality?

On Tuesday, I posted a link to a column in the Washington Post by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach about a debate he had with Michael Brown, head of the FIRE School of Ministry, regarding the topic: Is Homosexuality America’s Greatest Moral Crisis? I did not watch the debate since I read up on the Rabbi and believed I already agreed with him. I have had many discussions with Michael Brown and those affiliated with him and know we are far apart.

After I published the post, Dr. Brown contacted me saying that the Rabbi had misrepresented him and the debate. Just this afternoon, the Washington Post published Brown’s rebuttal and I agreed to post a link to it in the interest of fairness. I have no plans to watch the debate to fact check. Interested readers can read both sides and decide whether or not to invest the 3 hours. From Brown’s post:

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is not only “America’s most famous rabbi” and my frequent opponent in public debates. He is also a dear personal friend, which is why I was more than a little mystified to see his editorial, published one day after our November 1 debate.

The title of that debate, as proposed by Shmuley but not to my liking, was, “Is Homosexuality America’s Greatest Moral Crisis?” In my opening comments, I answered this question in the negative, stating that America’s greatest moral crisis was certainly not homosexuality but rather the lack of the knowledge and consciousness of God, because of which every area of society suffered.

I also explained that what two gay men did in private was between them and God and was certainly not our greatest moral crisis, and I stated emphatically that rampant heterosexual divorce had done more to destroy marriage and family than all the gay activists combined. I then addressed the church’s sins against the LGBT community, for which I have publicly apologized a number of times. (Those reading Shmuley’s report on the debate would not have a clue that I made any of these statements.)

Boteach made the case that evangelicals now put too much emphasis on winning the culture war against gays. Brown disagrees:

As to the alleged evangelical obsession with homosexuality (an accusation raised through the debate by Shmuley), I asked the almost entirely evangelical audience to respond to four questions: How many of them heard a sermon in the last year on the importance of marriage? Virtually every hand went up. The importance of devoting time and energy to the raising of their children? Same response. The dangers of sexual sin (and/or pornography)? The same response again. A sermon about gay activism? Not a single hand!

The truth be told, there is no “gay obsession” in evangelical churches, and, where pastors and leaders are concerned about the effects of gay activism, they are hesitant to speak up, lest they be branded intolerant bigots, homophobes, Hitlers, or jihadists, not to mention accused of inciting violence against gays.

While I mean no disrespect to his audience, I am not going to trust that they are a representative sample. I certainly disagree with Brown about the obsession of some evangelicals with homosexuality. Worldnetdaily is obsessed. Sally Kern said homosexuality was a greater threat than terrorism and certain evangelicals promoted Rallies for Sally. Brown’s contention seems odd when writing about a debate over homosexuality being the greatest threat to morality. About being labeled Hitlers, perhaps Brown does not read Bryan Fischer’s love notes to gays where he blames them for the deaths of 6 million Jews. In the name of Jesus, the American Family Association’s Fischer does some pretty good branding of his own. If such people are criticized sharply by gays, it is not hard to see why.

Here’s another example of how a focus on homosexuality has distorted social conservatism. The Family Research Council actually ran ads against LA Rep. Joseph Anh Cao, Vietnamese-American who voted against Obamacare because he was not convinced abortion funding was excluded from the bill. His pro-life position is firm and yet FRC ran ads against him because of Cao’s support for equal rights for gays. Guess who was elected in Cao’s district? His opponent, Cedric Richmond, a pro-choice Democrat. I wonder if NARAL sent FRC a thank you note.

The meaning of the 2010 elections

Sitting in McDonalds this morning two days after the election I overheard this conversation:

Dude 1: Hey, who got in as governor?

Dude 2: Corbett

Dude 1: How did Dahlkemper do? (incumbant Rep. from PA’s 3rd district)

Dude 2: She lost.

Dude 1: Who got in?

Dude 2: Mike Kelly

Dude 1: Who’s he?

Dude 2: He owes car dealerships down in Butler

Dude 1: (With his thumb up) Good, we need change. Things ain’t going to get better until everything changes.

Dude 1 didn’t know much about who was running or what had happened but his spirits were lifted by knowing that change had taken place. I am guessing that Dude 1 did not vote but I wonder how many voters felt the same way: incumbant bad; challenger good. Who cares about policies, positions on social issues, or personal integrity? No need to know. 

The effect of the election was to make gridlock probable. Only those issues which have broad ideological support could clear the obstacle course that will soon be Washington DC. Repeal healthcare reform? Doubt it. The Senate won’t go for it and Obama would veto it. Social issues? Doubt it, few people are paying attention right now. Jobs, taxes and debt will be the main issues, as they should be, until people at McDonalds no longer want to throw the bums out.

Change.org petitions Oral Roberts University to end silence on Ugandan anti-gay bill

Progressive website Change.org has created a petition targeting Oral Roberts University due to the presence of Martin Ssempa on the ORU Board of Reference. In a January post, I noted that Ssempa was on this advisory board and ask ORU for comment. Here is what I wrote then:

Oral Roberts University – Martin Ssempa is on the Board of Reference for ORU. Public Relations Director, Jeremy Burton explained the Board of Reference duties:

  • This Board of Reference is to provide for effective communication an informative exchange and service among the public, ORU’s stakeholders, and the University.
  • A board of reference is for the purpose of credibility, for reputation, and for influence.
  • As a member of the Board of Reference, your name and your circle of influence lends reputation to the credibility of Oral Roberts University.
  • A board of reference has no voting privileges and does not have any regularly scheduled meetings.

Mr. Burton declined to issue any other statement regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The background article supporting the petition asks: Does Oral Roberts University Support Killing Gays in Uganda? I honestly doubt that those running the school do support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. However, given the role of a person on the Board of Reference, I think the concern of Change.org is warranted. Martin Ssempa is not simply expressing doctrinal differences or taking a different point of view on a controversial issue. For quite some time, he has actively promoted a harsh governmental response to living bearers of the image of God. Most recently, he gave an interview and published an article in the shocking “hang the gays” tabloid, knowing full well what the paper is trying to accomplish.