Friday, August 12, 2016

Illinois Christofascists Are Challenging Ban of "Conversion Therapy"

Conservative Christianity condones a great deal of child abuse, both physical and psychological, especially in the case of LGBT youth.  While it is bad enough to be raised in "Christian" household that sends the daily message that one is no good - inherently disordered if one is unfortunate enough to be raised Catholic as I was - things get even worse when you are sent to charlatans and the equivalent of modern day witch doctors who will try to "change" you even though every legitimate, science based medical and mental health association in America says so-called conversion therapy (i) doesn't work, and (ii) is dangerous.  From personal experience, I know "praying away the gay" is bullshit, doesn't work, and leads to constant self-hatred.  But for the knuckle draggers of the Christian right, science, facts and reality simply do not matter.  Now, some of these self-enriching charlatans are challenging Illinois' ban on conversion therapy for minors.  The Washington Post looks at this travesty.  Here are highlights:
A group of Illinois pastors filed suit against the state Thursday alleging clergy — because it violates their constitutional right to free speech and exercise of religion — should be exempt from a law banning counselors from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation.
The law, which went into effect in January, bans licensed counselors and mental health professionals from practicing “conversion therapy” — counseling designed to make gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer people become straight — on minors. While religious leaders don’t fall under this category, the suit says pastors could be held liable for consumer fraud under a section of the law that says “no person or entity” may advertise or practice conversion therapy that “represents homosexuality as a mental disease, disorder or illness.”
And that’s exactly what the five Christian pastors think, according to their lawsuit filed in federal court.
“These pastors teach that homosexual conduct is contrary to God’s purpose for humanity and a disorder of God’s creation which can be resisted or overcome by those who seek to be faithful to God and His Word. This is what they say to those who seek their counsel—including minors,” according to the lawsuit,posted online by the law firm representing the pastors.
The pastors don’t want to dismantle the entire law — they just want an exemption for religious counselors. . . . . This law undermines the dignity and integrity of those who choose a different path for their lives than politicians and activists prefer,” the pastors’ attorney, John Mauck, said in a news release. “Each person should be free to receive Biblical and spiritual counseling from the pastor of their choice to help them orient their sexuality.”
Equality Illinois, an organization that lobbies for LGBT rights, condemned the lawsuit Thursday and said it is an attempt to set back the movement for inclusion for LGBT people.  “The law protects patients from harmful, coercive, and fraudulent treatments that attempt to change the unchangeable,” the organization’s CEO, Brian Johnson, said in a news release. 
“The idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations,” according to the American Psychological Association.
The text of the Illinois law echoes that idea. It reads,”Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.”
Pastor Steven Stultz of Nu-Church Apostolic Ministries in Chicago . . . On his church’s website, homosexuality is listed as part of Satan’s strategy to “spoil” younger generations so that “their lives are tainted and they are of no use to the Lord.”

If there is anything that undermines personal dignity and integrity, it is Christianity and it's dogma that mankind is inherently damaged and that we are all "fallen" - even though the human genome project has proven that Adam and Eve never existed and that there was no "Fall"  and hence no need for a Messiah.  LGBT lives are ruined all because of myths and fairy tales.

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