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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy
The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #77800] Sun, 09 May 2021 18:25 Go to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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A recent article on Medium by Jonathan Poletti is an eye-opening view into so-called Biblical Counseling, where it came from, how it got propagated and then mainstreamed... and all the problems with those origins, to say nothing of the so-called theory it was built on.

For readers that have encountered conversion therapy in any fashion, these revelations should be helpful while probably also shocking. Most Biblical Christian counseling, as it's now practiced by Evangelical and Conservative clergy was propagated by the many books by Dr. Jay E. Admas, beginning with his first best seller, Competent To Counsel. The problem?

Where to begin? As Poletti shows, Adams' premise was that concepts like 'mental health' and 'self-esteem', and 'psychology' itself were basically Satanic, and Biblical counseling based on the centrality of sin was the alternative to psychotherapy.

The underlying problem, though, is that Adams was neither a doctor nor a psychologist, and he borrowed all the concepts from a highly conflicted psychologist named O.H. Mowrer. Mowrer's thesis was that the best concepts for dealing with wrongdoing and anxiety was sin. This also applied to what he called the "ugly sexual perversion," namely homosexuality. The problem here? Mowrer was a latent homosexual for whom therapy hadn't worked, but (he contended) Christianity did. Specifically, Biblical rules around sex and confession when they're broken.

Poletti summarizes where all this goes: The Evangelical world had especially liked a possibility that Adams had broached in a footnote to Competent to Counsel. "But precisely because homosexuality, like adultery, is learned behavior into which men with sinful natures are prone to wander, homosexuality can be forgiven in Christ, and the pattern can be abandoned and in its place proper patterns can be reestablished by the Holy Spirit. Though not clearly linked to the emerging practice, Adams strikes me as the inventor of "conversion therapy"--the Evangelical effort to change sexual orientation by religious means."

You can read the Poletti article on Medium here,

And the link to the Corbin Page article published by the American Psychological Association is here.

For those without a Medium account or who have trouble with it, ask and I'll send you the article in PDF.




Bensiamin
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #77817 is a reply to message #77800] Thu, 20 May 2021 18:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy

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Interesting that I just finished reading an article on medium this morning that I think ties into this. It's titled "Religious Homophobia: It's About Sttraight Sex, Not Gay Sex"

It was in my "read later" links so not sure where I originally ran across it. The thought strikes me that it may have been something you posted here some while back and I'm just now getting around to reading it. At any rate, here's the link:

https://medium.com/solus-jesus/religious-homophobia-its-abou t-straight-sex-not-gay-sex-2dd2c8668fe0



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #77851 is a reply to message #77800] Wed, 02 June 2021 16:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Controversy continues to surround the conversion therapy ban in the UK, even after the Queen's speech of May 11 when she declared that the 'abhorrent practice' would be banned. The controversy comes from the decision to hold a consultation in England and Wales before the law changes. While the government has said that the consultation 'will explore how to ensure the ban does not have "unintended consequences", and that medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can keep having "open and honest conversations," it is being decried as more foot-dragging on enacting the law. Three advisors have quit the Government's advisory panel, BBC News reports.

Good news in Wisconsin, however, even as many southern states in the USA are actively trying to roll back trans rights, prevent same-sex marriage and limit LGBTQ rights, Gov. Tony Evers orders state agencies to use gender-neutral language and blocked juvenile conversion therapy funding. Read the local news report here.

And the take away: change at the national or federal levels in the UK and USA is hard and comes very slowly. This in spite of the Biden administration having LGBTQ staffers and taking a strong supportive position. That said, the battle fronts in the US are at the state level.




Bensiamin
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #77854 is a reply to message #77817] Thu, 03 June 2021 20:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Controversy continues to surround the conversion therapy ban in the UK, even after the Queen's speech of May 11 when she declared that the 'abhorrent practice' would be banned. The controversy comes from the decision to hold a consultation in England and Wales before the law changes. While the government has said that the consultation 'will explore how to ensure the ban does not have "unintended consequences", and that medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can keep having "open and honest conversations," it is being decried as more foot-dragging on enacting the law. Three advisors have quit the Government's advisory panel, Read the BBC News report.

Good news in Wisconsin, however, even as many southern states in the USA are actively trying to roll back trans rights, prevent same-sex marriage and limit LGBTQ rights, Gov. Tony Evers orders state agencies to use gender-neutral language and blocked juvenile conversion therapy funding. Read the local news report here.

And the take away: change at the national or federal levels in the UK and USA is hard and comes very slowly. This in spite of the Biden administration having LGBTQ staffers and taking a strong supportive position. That said, the battle fronts in the US are at the state level.




Bensiamin
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78006 is a reply to message #77854] Fri, 13 August 2021 02:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bisexual_Guy is currently offline  Bisexual_Guy

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As someone who studied the Christian Bible extensively in my younger days, and one who reads widely from a veriety of sources, I think conversion theory is a bunch of hooey.

I think conversion theory is once in a while carried out by well meaning persons.   But I also think some persons use it as a money-making scheme.  IF a person is bisexual, they could easily start faking heterosexual behavior, even if they prefer same-sex activities.

At least 15 years ago, I watched an investigative television program here in the United States which investigated the results of "conversion programs" effectiveness at one year, five years, and ten years.  At the end of ten years, only one out of eight persons who had graduated from such programs still claimed to have become "straight."  And most of those, under questionings, admitted to being bixexual.

In my opinion, all such programs should be outlawed, especially outlawed for all under the age of 18.

If someone could be changed, it would have to be a direct act of God.  And I really doubt that God would change the orientation provided at birth.
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78008 is a reply to message #78006] Fri, 13 August 2021 04:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees

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I have to agree with you. If you could really change lead into gold, we'd all be rich, and heterosexual.
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78014 is a reply to message #78008] Sat, 14 August 2021 01:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Merkin is currently offline  Merkin

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"Geron Kees wrote on Fri, 13 August 2021 04:46"
I have to agree with you. If you could really change lead into gold, we'd all be rich, and heterosexual.

--Wait, wait; what?  I'll take the gold, but I'm quite content with my current sexuality, thank you.  Alchemy aside, my feelings about women transcend any interest in heterosexuality:  I find the majority of women to be obnoxiously self-centered, self-assured, and demanding.  I had to spend the first sixteen years of my life alone in a house with one, and I assuredly would not seek to spend any more time alone with another.
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78016 is a reply to message #78014] Sat, 14 August 2021 16:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees

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"...obnoxiously self-centered, self-assured, and demanding."

Well...I could argue that that description seems to cover most of the human race. Especially recently.

I have known my share of sweet, kind women. Personality is very distinct from gender. There are kind people and obnoxious people on both sides.

But I have to agree that I will take any free gold that comes along, so long as I do not have to change my sexual identity in the process!
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78088 is a reply to message #78016] Thu, 26 August 2021 03:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy

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"Geron Kees wrote on Sat, 14 August 2021 09:54"
But I have to agree that I will take any free gold that comes along, so long as I do not have to change my sexual identity in the process!

--
Here here!

Or is it "Hear hear"?



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78092 is a reply to message #78088] Thu, 26 August 2021 15:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin

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Everything said in this thread is valid. The real problem (and the problem is real!) is that there are still many states who do not limit of ban conversion theray, and the right wing religious populace still retreats to it as a way to support their belife that being LGBTQ is depraved and deviant.

Here's three telling data points:
  • LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.
  • 16,000 LGBT youth (ages 13-17) will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before they reach the age of 18 in the 32 states that currently do not ban the practice
  • An estimated 57,000 youth (ages 13-17) across all states will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors before they reach the age of 18


There is current data and research.

The Human Rights Campaign has an extensive page on professional organizatioins and their positioins (all against) you can visit here.
The Williams Center at the UCLA School of Law has a current report you can see here





Bensiamin
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78096 is a reply to message #78092] Fri, 27 August 2021 21:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy

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Those are staggering statistics! Makes me shudder to think about. I know how deeply the shame impacted me just from being in an unaccepting religious culture growing up. I can't imagine how devastating it would have been had I been subjected to conversion therapy as well. It's very soboring to consider.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78109 is a reply to message #78096] Mon, 30 August 2021 00:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulL is currently offline  PaulL

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"But precisely because homosexuality, like adultery, is learned behavior . . . "

This is the precise point where the argument breaks down; the premise is faulty.  Homosexuality is no more learned behavior than heterosexuality is.  I knew I was attracted to men by the age of four, and even at my hormone-laden horniest in high school, I could never manage to bring myself to actually contemplate sex with any of the girls I attempted to date.  (The captain of the football team, however . . . :p )
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78112 is a reply to message #78109] Mon, 30 August 2021 09:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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"PaulL wrote on Mon, 30 August 2021 01:52"
"But precisely because homosexuality, like adultery, is learned behavior . . . "

This is the precise point where the argument breaks down; the premise is faulty.  Homosexuality is no more learned behavior than heterosexuality is.  I knew I was attracted to men by the age of four, and even at my hormone-laden horniest in high school, I could never manage to bring myself to actually contemplate sex with any of the girls I attempted to date.  (The captain of the football team, however . . . :p ;)

--
I tried hard to learn heterosexuality. My body was able to function with random girls, but my brain never engaged until the odd day I fell in love with one and realised that love is no respecter of orientation. But erotic pictures of girls do not enage my brain whereas erotic pictures of boys do. (As a side note,  how aggravating it is that "girls" is acceptable to say but "boys" is not despite my meanimg "females" and "males" of relevant lawful  ages).

In the same way that we see  "I am not gay, but I am gay for you" with some boys, I am not heterosexual, but I am heterosexual for my wife. The "love of a good woman" has not "cured" me.  As a teenager I hoped it would, hoped desperately, yet I knew that conversion/aversion therapy would harm  me. I would have taken extreme steps to avoid that. My mother told me much later in life that she would  have tried to despatch me to suffer it.

As a sample of one I am certain that I never learned homosexuality. At 12 I was convinced I was heterosexuak. Anything else wasnlt on  my radar. At 13 years and six weeks I was terrified to discover that I was one of those disgusting queers. I had been seduced by no-one, had seduced no-one, had been abused by no-one, I was just hopelessely and deeply in first romantic and then erotic unequited love with a fellow 13 year old, very masculine,  self confident, happy boy.

Strange how sexuality is not learned, but is just present, and sometimes gives us nasty surprises.

[Updated on: Mon, 30 August 2021 09:05]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78120 is a reply to message #78112] Wed, 01 September 2021 05:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pedro

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"timmy wrote on Mon, 30 August 2021 09:03"

Strange how sexuality is not learned, but is just present, and sometimes gives us nasty surprises.

--

Whereas religions and hate are learned behaviours. 



Pedro
Re: The Origins of Biblical Conversion Therapy  [message #78121 is a reply to message #78120] Thu, 02 September 2021 01:21 Go to previous message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy

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"Pedro wrote on Tue, 31 August 2021 22:54"
Whereas religions and hate are learned behaviours. 

--
Learned, yet the learning is arrogantly denied. Amazing, the lack of critical thought that infests the lives and characters of the evangelical faithful. The lack of self awareness or understanding of one's own privilege and prejudice is mind boggling. 



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
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