Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Father Mark, Porno Pete and an ex-gay walk into a bar ...

The Black Book
That image would grace other forms of science fiction
Orthodox priest, Father Mark Hodges, has taken it upon himself to promote Peter LaBarbera's annual barbecue which features crazed conservative Christians roasting LGBTs medium-rare. Just to make sure that this is all nutty enough, add “ex-gay” Stephen Black to the festive occasion as the featured skewer turner.

Some years ago the American Psychological Association did some research and found that ex-gay practitioners taught gay people how to pretend to be straight. The Catholic Church's Courage Ministry (which is minuscule) combines some pray-away-the-gay crackpottery with shame worthy of the most meddlesome Jewish mother. Those who don't convert with shouts of “praise the lord” are coerced into celibacy.

There is no scientific basis for anything that claims to turn gay people straight. For all their insistence and bluster, the promoters of ex-gayism have never produced a study with incremental long range follow-up attesting to the efficacy of their ministrations published to a respected, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The APA and every other mainstream professional peer organization have concluded that conversion therapy is ineffective and potentially harmful.

Ex-gayism is promoted by some conservative Christians in order to justify their bigotry. The ex-gays themselves cooperate usually because they have an economic interest in claiming to be ex-gay (as do the faux therapists). These supposed ex-gays are also terribly insecure people who are trying to convince themselves that they are what they are not.

Fr. Hodges is a practiced ignoramus:
The featured speaker is ex-gay author Stephen Black, who lived the gay lifestyle for eight years but since has repented. 
Insisting (in defiance of medical science) that a sexual orientation is a lifestyle is moronic. Suggesting that anyone should repent because they are gay is the worst form of bigotry. It combines opprobrium for being gay with the preposterous notion that sexual orientation is a choice.

Economics:
Black is now a Christian family man and the director of First Stone Ministries, which helps people overcome homosexuality. First Stone Ministries also works with people of all backgrounds toward healing and restoration from any sexual brokenness, including sexual abuse, pornography addiction, and homosexuality.
Gay people are not broken. Being gay is not a disease. It doesn't require healing. Those are not my conclusions alone. That is the overwhelming consensus of medical science. Hodges buys into this nonsense because it conforms human sexuality to the ancient chronicles that he is hopelessly subservient to.

First Stone Ministries became a nonprofit in 2015. The Service has predetermined that revenues are less than $25,000 which means that it will file its tax return by e-postcard. Most ex-gays are not overly prosperous. There is a reason for that. Success requires ego strengths that most of these people do not possess.
Black's story is a testimony to both the power of Jesus’ love and that homosexuality is curable.
That seems to confirm the notion that someone can pray away their gay. Being gay is not an illness. There is no cure nor should one be proposed due to Bronze Age texts which also asserted that the sun rotated around Earth which was the center of the universe.

A cherry on top:
"Our keynote speaker, Stephen Black, is living proof that homosexuality is not 'who you are' or how you were born but a lifestyle that can be overcome through the grace of Christ," LaBarbera, who also writes for LifeSiteNews, said.

"I am so excited that Americans for Truth can give voice to people like Stephen who testify to God's power to change people caught up in sin, even politically correct sins like homosexuality."
Isn't this all just harmless stupidity?

No it is not harmless. Aside from being a pretext for bigotry consider the plight of a gay kid with conservative Christian parents who buy into this bullshit. It's off to the conversion “therapist.” That in itself is toxic but when the boy or girl does not become straight it is because they weren't sufficiently motivated or did not pray hard enough or did not work hard enough. Surely the practitioner and the process are not to blame. Jesus saves.

Eventually the kid will lie to please his or her parents. “I've been saved!” Once that happens part of the family dynamic is irrevocably destroyed. Kids lie all the time about stupid things but this becomes a persistent lie over a long period of time at the very core of who the child is. Later in life the man or woman is going to resent the inability of parents to accept them for who they were and for subjecting them to what is child abuse.

This is all due to a devotion to superstition coupled with an unwillingness to accept medical science because it conflicts with religious tenets. One can only imagine what Fr. Hodges would tell a parent concerned that her son or daughter might be gay. He will undoubtedly spout some nonsense about Christian love which is really a form of hate. Real love and acceptance are not on the menu.

By the way, does Hodges realize that promoting Americans for Truth About Homosexuality means promoting an organization that lost its tax-exempt status due to not filing required tax returns? If they cannot produce those returns there is a very good chance that LaBarbera is delinquent on his personal taxes. I also wonder if he is now filing corporate tax returns as required by law. I tend to doubt it. The good Christian does not advise donors that their contributions are not tax deductible. He wants people to assume otherwise.

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