Barring the Gospel from the LGBT Community
Actually, it is more than just speech-chilling. It is Gospel-chilling.
Imagine a law that, essentially, makes it illegal-at least if you are a psychotherapist-to preach the Gospel to someone with LGBT tendencies unless you first warn them that LGBT lifestyles are normal and that the Gospel may be hazardous to his or her mental health? Can it happen? It can if California State Senator Ted W. Lieu (D) has his way.
Imagine a law that holds that deviant sexual orientation is the new normal. Imagine a law that makes any effort at dissuading those with LGBT tendencies against the law and will expose you to lawsuits. Imagine a law that assumes that any of the host of psychological problems encountered by those living in LGBT lifestyles is attributed not the lifestyle itself, but to those who advocate that homosexuality, or lesbianism, or bisexuality is immoral and ought to be struggled against?
Imagine a law that, essentially, makes it illegal-at least if you are a psychotherapist-to preach the Gospel to someone with LGBT tendencies unless you first warn them that LGBT lifestyles are normal and that the Gospel may be hazardous to his or her mental health?
Can it happen?
It can if California State Senator Ted W. Lieu (D) has his way. Senator Lieu has sponsored Senate Bill 1172. In late April, it was approved by a 5-3 vote by the nine-member Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee, and it now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee for another hearing before it continues its path to the State Senate for a vote, possibly as early as May 5.
The bill discourages "sexual orientation change efforts" for adults, and essentially makes them illegal for minors. The bill requires adults undergoing "sexual orientation change efforts" to sign informed consent forms. And it makes such efforts per se illegal against minors. Even parents cannot consent to have their children treated by psychotherapists for "sexual orientation change.". Presumably the State of California and the liberal illuminati advising Senator Lieu know better than parents what is better for their children.
If Senator Lieu has his way, before any psychotherapist can treat an adult for "sexual orientation change," he or she must obtain from his prospective patient a consent form which reads the following:
Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.
Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
That's not particularly a ringing endorsement, is it? In fact, it takes a decided position against any sexual orientation change therapy. Moreover, failure to file its guidelines exposes the practitioner to civil suit which is quite an encouragement to comply with the law.
The bill is outrageous in its assumptions.
First, it is morally obtuse. It completely disregards the moral element altogether, which in itself is a aberrant moral stance.
Second, it assumes that having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation is not disordered. In fact, Lieu believes that there is no such thing as sexual deviancy: "Being lesbian or gay is not a disease or mental disorder for the same reason that being a heterosexual is not a disease or a mental disorder." In other words, Lieu advocates the belief that homosexuality and other deviant sexual orientations are morally equivalent to heterosexuality.
Third, it assumes that LGBT orientations are normal, indeed even good, for those who suffer from them.
Fourth, it assumes sexual orientation cannot be changed, which is something not supported by science according to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and those who have had pastoral experience in this area.
Fifth, it assumes that any effort to treat it-which one would suppose includes preaching the Gospel-would result in depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior, even suicide.
In Lieu's fervid brain, morality and the Gospel are the culprit. Any treatment "based upon the assumption that . . . a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation" is considered an evil to be legislated against as it says in the bill's "Fact Sheet."
In fact, it is Lieu's view that suggestions that "sexual orientation change efforts" can be effective are "bogus" and constitute "junk science."
One assumes that the Magisterium and the Gospel are likewise "junk morality" and "junk religion" in Lieu's mind. And indeed, he calls any such sexual orientation change efforts "unethical." This is a rather surprising tack to take given that Lieu is (nominally, apparently very nominally) a Catholic.
What Lieu advocates is, for a Catholic Christian, anathema.
The bill is opposed by numerous groups in addition to NARTH, including the California Psychological Association, the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, the California Psychiatric Association, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
It seems that the opinion of Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative group that opposes the bill, is right on target. "I can honestly say this is one of the most outrageous, speech-chilling bills we have ever seen in California-and that's saying a lot."
Actually, it is more than just speech-chilling. It is Gospel-chilling.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: LGBT, Gay, Homosexual, Gospel, Freedom, Reparative therapy, Courage, Exodux, orientation, Andrew Greenwell
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