The New York Times weighs on the Love in Action controversy. Of course, they hunt up Jack Drescher for a quote but interview no one that would give a more balanced viewpoint.
I am beyond amazed. There is a story out of Tampa, FL that is sickening. A man boxed his three year old son to death to make sure he would not become a sissy. An aunt said he was afraid the boy would be gay. Florida “Protective Services” released the boy to the “parents” after obvious signs of abuse. The mother watched the boy being abused and did nothing. This is a tragic and incredibly nauseating story. I was involved in protecting kids like this in Portsmouth, Ohio when I was a consultant for the Protective Services there. So class, let’s take a quiz.
Who is responsible for the death of this boy?
a. the father
b. the mother
c. Florida Protective Services
d. the ex-gay movement and reorientation therapists
If you are a reasonable person, you chose the father but could consider the mother and the Florida authorities accomplices. If you are the gay press, you picked d) the ex-gay movement.
Here is the “reasoning” – ex-gays tend to hold traditional views about gender and this man obviously had warped views of masculinity. Voila! It the ex-gays fault!
Because ex-gays do not want to be gay, the man accused of killing the boy had negative attitudes toward potential gayness in his son (the boy was three)? Because some reorientation therapists have traditional views of gender roles, the accused killer had these same views to the extreme and he set out to follow the teachings of the therapists? Incredible!
Now I do not understand something. These same people with their traditional views also believe this wise saying from the same source as those traditional beliefs: “do not provoke your children to wrath.” Why didn’t that rub off on the killer?
Let’s be clear. Responsibility for this tragedy falls on both parents and the Florida Dept of “protective services.” It is beyond shameful that anyone would use this awful situation to try to score political points.
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…
Anyone reading this who would like to be a part of the first anniversary of the launch of I Do Exist, please let me know. Plans are in the works to host twice as many sites as last year. Showings will be scheduled anytime in October but preferably near October 11. Email me at [email protected] or post here if you are interested in being a part of this event.
Although the gay press would like to keep the Love in Action issue brewing, I think the issue is likely to come down to whether the program see itself as a youth mental health treatment program or a ministry, ala camp.
After speaking with Director John Smid, I believe the program is ministry and not treatment. I think he views it more as a program that puts the emphasis on becoming identified with Christ and as such a ministry program for Christian teens and their families. He also told me that parents can “make” a kid go but that the LIA people will not restrain kids if they up and leave. I make my kids go to church in the sense that I control their freedom up to point. At a certain age, though, kids will do what they want no matter what consequences parents control. The same is true with this program. If any coercion is done, it is from the parents.
I believe true therapy requires informed consent from clients of any age. So if LIA wants to move into treatment, they will need to meet state guidelines (perhaps they already do, I do not know) and will need to assess for informed consent prior to treatment.