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Homosexual/bisexual resources

Conservative religious resources on homosexuality

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Overview of conservative Christian views of sexual orientation:

The battle in North America to end the special privileges given to heterosexuals and to extend equal rights to lesbians, gays and bisexuals is not primarily a conflict between homosexuals and heterosexuals. It is mainly between homosexuals, religious liberals, and human rights advocates on one hand, in conflict with religiously conservative groups and individuals -- primarily Roman Catholics, Mormons, and fundamentalist and other evangelical Christians.

One problem when discussing or debating sexual orientation is that religious conservatives often assign different definitions to common words. It makes communications particularly difficult.

Books are one weapon in the war against equality. The most prolific anti-gay, lesbian and bisexual authors appear to be fundamentalists or other evangelical Christians. Their books are widely distributed through conservative Christian bookstores. Many share a group of common beliefs:

  1. God hates homosexual behavior.

  2. There are only two sexual orientations: gay or straight. In reality, there is a third orientation: bisexuality.

  3. Sexual orientation is a choice.

  4. An adult can change their sexual orientation.

  5. Gays and lesbians try to recruit youths.

  6. One can "catch" homosexuality at or after puberty.

  7. Homosexuality is often caused by poor parenting (e.g. aggressive mothers and/or passive fathers).

  8. Homosexuality is often caused by sexual molestation during childhood.

  9. Homosexuality is an addiction.

Each of the above nine assertions are denied by most Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (LBVT), human sexuality researchers, professional mental health organizations, etc.

The following two books are typical of the many books authored by conservative Christians.

Review of Book by Ankerberg & Weldon

A booklet by John Ankerberg & John Weldon, "The Facts on Homosexuality; Scientific Research and Biblical Authority: Can Homosexuals Really Change?" (Harvest House, 1994) is typical of books written by conservative Christians. The entire book is based on the belief that people have either a homosexual or heterosexual orientation. Yet bisexuals -- persons attracted to both men and women, although not necessarily to the same degree -- exist. The authors use heavily biased phrases, such as:

bullet

"committed homosexual" - implying that one can choose one's orientation

bullet"sexual preference", again implying a choice.

bullet"encouraged homosexuality", implying that feelings of sexual attraction can be taught.

In their book:

bulletTheir preface and introduction to the book mention homosexual child molesters and AIDS as two reasons to oppose homosexuality. The authors ignore that facts that:

bulletthe vast majority of child molesters are heterosexual,

bulletfemale homosexuals (lesbians) have the lowest rate of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases of any sexually identifiable group - much lower than for heterosexuals.

bulletin the third world, AIDS is primarily spread by heterosexual contact

They also imply that homosexual lobby groups have immense political power. They overlook the fact that (as of 2010) those groups had still not been able to change the laws in most U.S. states to allow same-sex couples to marry.
 

bulletSection 1 describes scientific studies which attempt to prove the biological origin of sexual orientation. They reject Dr. LeVay's study of brain structure, Dr.'s Bailey and Pillard study of identical twins, and Dr. Hamer's genetic research. The authors seem to imply that since none of the studies prove that all homosexual orientation is genetic, that therefore none of it is determined before birth.

They cite many researchers who believe that a genetic or biological basis for sexual orientation has not yet been proven. The authors seem to imply that it never will be. Any absolute proof is still in the future; all we have to go on now are many strong indicators that sexual orientation is determined before puberty (and probably during or before early childhood).

The authors cite a number of human sexuality specialists who believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice and can be easily changed. They have ignored the vast majority who hold the opposite opinion. They cite instances where homosexuals have apparently changed their sexual behavior and implied that they have also changed their orientation. They do not mention that many of these are:

  • Bisexuals who are simply choosing to develop relationships only with the opposite gender, or

  • Have a homosexual orientation and have desperately have tried to behave as heterosexuals in order to be accepted. Such attempts almost always fail, or

  • Are homosexuals who have decided to become celibate.

Whether one is homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual, adult feelings of sexual attraction are unchangeable in all or essentially all persons.
 

bullet Section 2 describes what the Bible has to say on sexual orientation. The authors interpret Genesis, Chapter 1 & 2, Matthew 19:4-6 and other passages as prohibiting same-sex marriages (SSM). They state that if homosexual unions were permissible then they would have been specifically condoned. One could say with equal logic that because horses and chariots were mentioned often in the Bible, but trains, plains and automobiles were ignored, we should not use modern methods of transportation.

The authors' views are based on their belief that matters of ethics and morality are absolute, identical and fixed for all time, for people of all cultures and all sexual orientations. This is obviously false. Consider the matter of slavery; ownership of another person was regarded as quite normal throughout the Bible. But is regarded as a moral outrage in the 20th century.

In fact, the concept of sexual orientation was unknown in ancient times; thus, the authors of the Bible could not have written about it.

They analyze passages in Genesis, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Romans, II Peter, etc. with a particularly narrow, homophobic focus. These verses have been dealt with elsewhere in this website.
 

bullet In their conclusion, they suggest that homosexuals recite a standard prayer to God and cut off all contact with the homosexual community. The authors are a little vague about the results to be expected. They state that "same sex inclinations" will cease - either immediately or over time. They do not state whether the reader will lose all sexual desire, or whether he/she will develop heterosexual feelings. In practice, it is almost certain that sexual feelings will not change. Hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of devout Christian homosexuals have each begged God (sometimes over many decades) to change their sexual orientation. God's answer seems to be always no. This is perhaps the best proof that God does not condemn homosexuality.

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Review of Book by E.W. Lutzer

The Moody Bible Institute publishes a series of Salt and Light Pocket Guides on a variety of topics. One is "Coming to Grips With Homosexuality", Moody Press, Chicago IL, (1991). Some observations:

bullet P. 1 to 9: The book starts well; it calls for compassion and understanding for homosexuals, and acceptance of gays and lesbians as people, even while condemning their "lifestyle." This term is often used by religious conservatives because it implies choice. A neutral term would be "sexual orientation."
 
bullet P. 10 to 14: He differentiates between the "militant homosexuals" who are bent on transforming society" and the individual who has no intention of "imposing his lifestyle on others". From our research, we have found that essentially all activity by homosexual groups is directed at eliminating hatred of gays and lesbians and extending to them equal rights and protections under law. They wish to impose nothing on others; they simply want to be accepted as equals by others, and have the same rights and privileges of citizenship including marriage.
 
bulletP. 14: The author implies that we are all programmed to be heterosexuals, and that young people with homosexual feelings can change.
 
bulletP. 15: The author implies that a gay or lesbian's first same-sex encounter often feels "unnatural". This is most unlikely. It is far more realistic to assume that a homosexual's first attempt at heterosexual sex would feel most unnatural.
 
bulletP. 18 to 21: He writes that:
bulletCommitted same-sex relationships lead to "emptiness and confusion";

bulletLesbians and gays often need alcohol to deaden the pain of guilt;

bulletGays and lesbians are inherently promiscuous.

It is obvious that author Lutzer has not met gays in loving, committed partnerships.
 

bulletP. 21 to 26: Lutzer lists some of the long-discredited "causes" of heterosexuality. The implication is that everyone is originally heterosexual, but that some become homosexual. Some of his causes are:

bulleta father who is "aloof, hostile and rejecting"

bulleta mother who is "over protective and dominant"

bulleta mother who hates men and communicates this to her son

bulleta father who sexually molests his daughter and drives her into lesbianism

bulletexposure to homosexual pornography at puberty

bulletrecruitment by an older homosexual, often using pornography

bulletdysfunctional family of origin

bulletlack of love in the family of origin.
 
bulletP. 27: The author clearly states that, in his opinion, a homosexual abandons "his natural desires in favor of homosexual preferences." i.e. gays and lesbians are born heterosexual and choose at or after puberty to prefer homosexual behavior. The author apparently has not read the scientific literature or talked to gays or lesbians.
 
bulletP. 30 to 40: This section deals with conversion of homosexuals to either celibacy or heterosexuality through prayer. This has proven to be quite unsuccessful in practice.
 
bullet P. 40 to 46: This section, titled The Walk to Freedom describes how Roger Montgomery was converted by faith to heterosexuality, and eventually married. From the text, it is obvious that Roger was not a homosexual. He was apparently a bisexual who decided that homosexual relationships were condemned by God. He decided to confine his sexual activity to  women. He later married one.

This book can do a lot of harm, particularly to a gay or lesbian who relies upon it for accurate information. The author has obviously based his book on a combination of his interpretation of some Bible passages, and the beliefs of a variety of fellow conservative Christians. The book seems to have been written in complete isolation from current scientific research and without any personal contact with gays or lesbians.

Christian Internet resources on sexual orientation:

bulletFree to be me: Becoming the person I want to be" is a fascinating, unique site. It is sponsored by New Direction for Life Ministries - Toronto, Inc. Their site promotes the belief that homosexuals can change their behavior and most can eventually develop heterosexual feelings. They teach that much homosexuality is caused by inadequate parenting, child abuse etc., and that "homophobia" means fear of homosexuals. See: http://www.freetobeme.com
 
bullet "Christians No Longer Gay, Living For God" is a web site which teaches that "...change [in behavior] is possible. No one is born gay. It's a perverted choice one makes."  They attempt to convince homosexuals to remain celibate. This might well be the direction that many conservative Christian groups will go in the future. See:  http://cnlglfg.com/
 
bulletSites with lists of ex-gay organizations are at:
bulletGod created them male and female at: http://exgaylinks.homestead.com/
bulletEagle's Wings Ministry at: http://www.ewm.org/ewmsites.htm
 
bullet"The Other Side" is a conservative Christian newspaper column. One of their favorite topics is homosexuality. See: http://www.theotherside.org/core.html 
 
bulletExodus International: This is the largest of the many Evangelical Christian organizations devoted to helping gays and lesbians to become celibate, and helping bisexuals confine their relationships to members of the opposite sex. (They also attempt to convert people with homosexual orientation to heterosexual. Many professional mental health organizations warn that this is impossible and that such therapy often does harm).  They are located at: PO Box 2121, San Rafael CA, 94912. They have a "Christian Resources about Homosexuality and AIDS" with articles on homosexuality from a conservative Christian perspective, a book list, lists of organizations, list of local chapters of Exodus International and Homosexuals Anonymous. See: http://www.messiah.edu/
 
bullet Courage was founded by Father John Harvey of New York NY in the early 1980s. It promotes the concept of celibacy among Catholic gays and lesbians, "in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality." They ignore the findings of human sexuality researchers and believe that homosexuality is a psychological aberration -- a disordered state. "Courage" is a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
bulletMastering Life Ministries of Hermitage TN helps "people are caught and deceived into unhealthy, dysfunctional life-styles that separate them from the power and blessing of God". They have articles, seminar information etc. on their home page. Their web site is at: http://www.gospelcom.net/ Newsletter #5 is of special interest. The author describes that he has noticed that when leaders of "ex-gay" ministries are in a relaxed, social environment, they still do not act like heterosexual males. He urges them to become "fully masculine."
 
bulletThe Interactive Bible is a Canadian conservative religious website. It has an essay "How can I prevent my child from becoming homosexual???" at: http://www.bible.ca/ It describes homosexuality as being "caused" by inadequate parenting, namely smother mothers, dominant mothers, passive fathers, absent fathers, excessively permissive child raising. These beliefs are common among counselors engaged in reparative therapy; they are rejected by the major mental health professional organizations, and by essentially all human sexuality researchers, gays, lesbians, etc.

Other Christian Resources

Hope for Change & Outpost is a non-profit group located in Minneapolis, MN. It operates the Loveline Crisis Line which supported by various conservative Christian churches in the twin cities area. Their number is (800) 201-2890. They provide prayer counselors to help callers change their behavior and lifestyle. What makes this service of particular interest, is that they apparently do not waste effort attempting to change their client's sexual orientation. This may well be indicative of the future, when conservative Christian outreach groups to the gay and lesbian community accept sexual orientation as fixed, and concentrate on trying to convince their clients to remain celibate.

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Home > "Hot" religious topics > Homosexuality & Bisexuality > here

Copyright 1996, to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-FEB-06
Hyperlinks checked: 2002-AUG-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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