Gays and Ex-Gays Blog
|Posted on December 10, 2019 at 7:55 AM|
Points to ponder for gays regarding their attitude towards ex-gays
Most gay people have never heard of ex-gays. Those who did usually have a very negative view of them. Ex-Gays are supposed to deny their sexuality (thereby becoming mentally ill), they are backwards oriented, old-school, radical, fundamental in their Christian faith, homophobic, haters and most of all adherents of "conversion therapies". So let's go into that.
Do ex-gays deny their sexuality? No, not at all. They use their sexual energy simply another way, like by letting their gifts and talents blossom, by becoming active and creative and by not letting their whole life turn around "being gay". You can just as well turn the argument around: People who think that you need to have sex in order not to deny your sexuality have a very disturbed view on and relationship towards it.
Are ex-gays becoming mentally ill because they "deny" their sexuality? This argument usually is brought up by people who do not have the slightest training in psychology and/or psychiatry. A mental disorder usually takes a whole bunch of different factors to develop. Hardly ever it is a single one. Mental disordders should also never be used to further a political position.
Again, you can just as well turn the argument around: Does not in many cases an excessive gay life play a major part in developping mental disorders and physical diseases (like through attracting and passing on of sexually transmitted diseases)?
Are ex-gays backwards oriented, old-school, radical, fundamental in their Christian faith, homophobic, and haters? All of that uses the same dirty propaganda technique (that sometimes reminds me of the Nazis by the way): You just have to repeat a lie often enough so people will believe it in the end. If you do not have good arguments, you put the "adversary" in a radical corner and make him look like a fanatic criminal with (again) mental problems. That makes you look pure and good and the other one dirty and evil. Hardly anybody though is purely good or purely bad just as well as hardly any motivation is by the way. Why not just sit down and listen - really listen! - to each other, without coming up with knee-jerk reactions at once? Why not grant the other side the right to have a rationally well-founded argument? Why not accept the fact that the other side could also be right or that they could at least have a valid alternative?
Could it be that sometimes we need the other side to look bad because we cannot accept the fact that they could have a point there? Because that would ruin our whole system of argumentation?
Ex-Gays can hardly be homophobic haters as they have same-sex attractions themselves. That "argument" actually reveals more about the person that uses it than about the one being attacked.
No ex-gay I know has ever supported conversion therapies. Gay-friendly politicians know that and still push anti-conversion-therapy legistlation just the same - in order to wipe off the surface of the earth all opposition against gay points of view. However, we want science and research to be independent. Even gay activists use the argument of "sexual fluidity" sometimes (they have to, else they could not make a point for being transgender). Given the fact that many factors contribute to the development of human sexuality and taken into account modern research on epigenetics we all have to adapt our positions on a regular basis, even if it hurts and does not fit our world view.
Why not see our common same-sex attractions as a common foundation and work together instead of against one another? Why can't gay counselors accept an ex-gay belief system and help the person leave a gay life if she or he wants that? Or the other way around?
I am just naive enough to believe that this can be done.
Munich, december 2019
|Posted on December 10, 2019 at 7:15 AM|
The goal of whatever services or programs you offer can never be to become and remain sexually pure. Not to do something must never be a goal. Why? Because our brain cannot NOT process information. If you keep on telling someone not to have sex, not to look at porn etc., his or her brain will focus on sex and porn (example: If I tell you "Do not think of a rose elephant! Do not think of a rose elephant! Do not think of a rose elephant! - what are you thinking of? A rose elephant, even if you haven't thought of one for all of your life!) Sexual purity can at best be a means to a goal, but never a goal in and of itself. As a Christian, my goal is to be holy, to become more like Jesus. and follow Him. The non-Christians among us must define their own goal, which has to be specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, time bound ("SMART") and positive.
You do not measure "success" in your programs by the number of participants who do not have sex, or who marry or whatever else in that direction. Just imagine measuring success for a Christian by not sinning anymore. The success rate would be zero.
Be family. When someone falls, help him or her up again, find out why it happened and help him or her to stand more stable from now on. Don't brag with statements like "I have never had sex for 20 years!". That might even be true, but I am sure you sinned in different ways. So nothing to boast of.
Stop making a living out of "being ex-gay" through preaching to the choir (traveling from church to church and talking to those who already share your opinion while charging a honorarium for it or writing books that you sell to exactly those believers). Jesus told us to go OUT. To pass His love and truth on to those who have never experienced it. Don't found a ministry and wait who will be coming. Those you want to reach will not be reached by that. They will most likely never even hear from it, and if they do the information will be filtered through other people who reject you.
For a while I was honored to serve as a volunteer in a local jail. The inmates there can smell a mile away what your true motivation is for visiting them. Are you really interested in them as persons and human beings - or do you simply want to raise your number of converts and knock the "visiting prisoners" part off your Christian to-do-list?
If you keep on giving testimony on how you "found freedom", if your whole life focuses only on "being an ex-gay" and if you are even financially dependent on that aspect of your life, chances are high you will never really find freedom as you keep on living in the past and stiring old things up.
Be open for gays and ex-gays. Your counselees alone decide upon the goal they want to reach. If someone decides to "stay gay" and needs your help in a certain issue, be there for him/her just the same. Our love needs to be unconditional.
When have we shown love to gay and lesbian people for the last time? Why not meeting with them, having a cup of coffee, becoming friends with some of them? Sometimes we only see the sin part in them. As if we are pure and do not sin. An example: A very dear friend of mine has been taking care of his severyl handicapped male partner for about 15 years now. They stopped having sex a long time ago as it is physically hardly possible anymore. He takes care of his partner 24/7 - he washes him, takes him to the bathroom, organizes his life, does the household and much more. The Christian knee-jerk reaction of some might be now to claim that as they do not have sex anymore all is fine. That is condescending, unloving and actually very un-Christian. This man shows love to his partner in a way that few people who claim themselves "Christian" do.
Stop talking about gays and lesbians as if they were only sick and pervert people that will go to hell anyway. Yes, the number of sexually transmitted diseases is much higher among them than among the rest of the peopulation. Yes, the average partnership lasts not as long as the average heterosexual one and is much less monogamous. Yes, sex is usually much more "creative" than that of heterosexual couples. But, that does in no way mean we should look down on them and think we know everything better. That we may stand on our podium and psychologically analyse them (while never having really met them and/or having no psychological training ourselves). Yes, there is a reason why people are doing what they are doing. If we want to be of any help we need to show genuine interest and love them like Christ would. Yes, at Christians we should point people to the Good News by our words and deeds but in the end it is God alone who decides who will go to heaven or hell. There are around 40.000 Christian denominations so far with totally different beliefs. We can't even agree on the basics. So none of us should ever claim to know everything and have it all together. Pride is the root of all evil - which applies to us as well.
As Christians, the basic rules to go by are to love God and others like ourselves. To go out and make disciples. All other rules and laws flow out of these. Yes, Christian love is more than a passing feeling. It is a covenant thing. A decision of the will. It implies humbleness, being unconditional, courage, self-sacrifice. It does not imply pride - on neither side.