Posted by Lisa Nolland on 4th November 2015
I'm looking at the challenges of the gay rights agenda following on from part one posted earlier. Contributing factors included ubiquitous pornography, certain SRE (Sex Relationship Education) programmes, 24/7 media/culture propaganda and youngsters ‘discovering’ they are gay!
Much of the church responds by preaching an essentially PC gospel. Though some adults still ‘hold the line’, fewer youngsters do, being marinated in all things gay from post-toddlerhood, from cartoons and PC nurseries to mandatory ‘safe school’ programmes like CHIPS (Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools), which are anything but ‘safe’.
As lesbian activist Patricia Warren notes: ‘Whoever captures the kids, owns the future’ (1995). Unless the church ups its game, the future looks bleak.
This posting offers information and strategies for moving forward, including exposing the bad as well as encouraging the good.
Though this messaging requires age/stage modification, our youngsters need to hear our answers to gay rights arguments. We long for their best – for productive, flourishing lives; for beauty, intimacy and love; and if possible, strong marriages, great sex and children of their own. We must love our kids enough to engage with these minefields. Healthy and honest sexuality messages include:
Gay is not the new black
No one is born gay. Identical twin studies demonstrate this, even activists like Peter Tatchell admit it. ‘Born gay’ was the media strategy launched by Kirk and Madsen’s seminal After the Ball (1989) which has taken the world by storm.
Even the Royal College of Psychiatrists has changed the statement on homosexuality it originally submitted to the CofE’s Pilling Commission, conceding sexual ‘orientation’ is not set at birth, nor it is immutable. Note lesbian psychologist Lisa Diamond’s ‘Sexuality is fluid: it’s time to get past “born this way”’ (New Scientist, 22 July 2015).
‘Born gay’ is increasingly giving way to sexual fluidity. Almost half of 18–24s recently surveyed do not self-identify as fully heterosexual; indeed, increasing numbers are post-‘label’.1 Large numbers report spontaneous change in sexual orientation which just ‘happens’. As well, ex-gays affirm therapeutically-fostered change: indeed, they have the T-shirt.
Attempts to fill voids
Ex-gays exist even in the UK, though they tend to be closeted. The US is different: see, say, the powerful suchweresomeofyou.org
From his work with over 900 clients, ex-gay therapist Floyd Godfrey understands homosexuality as the ‘sexualisation of emotional needs and wounds’ à la Simone Weil’s ‘all sins are attempts to fill voids’.2 Such attractions ‘will remain until the individual discovers the meaning of them and fulfils them in legitimate, non-sexual ways’, according to ex-gay therapist Christopher Doyle.3
SSA (same-sex attraction) drivers include early conditioning, perception and/or experience. Some can develop their heterosexual potential, others not. There is no magic bullet, but then there never is with serious psychological issues. Why do we encourage the depressed, say, to seek help, but not those with unwanted SSA? It seems unjust, even culpable, to ignore the possibility of change for those who want it. Surely individuals have the right (if desired) to identify with their biological gender, with its heterosexual physiology and function. CORE works with many such individuals.
We must educate our young on SSA issues within the wider remit of sexual accountability for all, regardless of attractions.
A ‘rehabilitated’ Jesus
Since gay is a completely different category to race, there is no need to be embarrassed by Jesus’s views on sex. He spoke a good deal about sex issues – even more than about poverty and love.
Jesus condemned porneia which meant any sex outside heterosexual marriage: incest, fornication, gay sex, etc. His hearers would have known that. Moreover Jesus claimed to fulfil Old Testament Law, and clearly endorsed and extended its core ethical and religious values- – among them the sexual. He showed mercy to sinners but took sin very seriously.
If we stop listening to Jesus on sex, why listen to him elsewhere? The track record of ‘gay-affirming’ denominations suggests that other areas soon start to slide.
The full monty
In gay identity, however it is labelled, sex comes to the fore and its negative consequences are minimised. The price paid by the young is highest of all, due to their physical and psychological vulnerabilities.
Last month I discussed the tacit sexualisa-tion and misinformation targeting 4s+ in curricula like CHIPS. For older youngsters, solo, partnered or group sex activities are sanitised and marketed via NHS-endorsed ‘health’ sites often connected to school-based clinics or SRE.
Subtexts include: sex is fun but ‘no big deal’ and has minimal downsides; it can be either recreational or within (what will be) serial partnerships; only ’do it’ when ready; and all that matters is consent and ‘safety’.4 Youngsters are given tacit reassurance: those who nag them about fags and ‘five-a-day’ would surely warn them off behaviours which could lead to serious problems in adulthood.
Countering this madness
Where to start? With limited space let me focus on one aspect of harm, risk minimisation
Gay sex is high risk. According to the CDC (2011) sexually-active gay lads (13-24) were over 1000 times more likely to become infected by HIV than their heterosexual counterparts.5 Indeed, for MSMs (men who have sex with men), the BMJ (8 August 2015, p. 28) reported that male condoms reduced HIV transmission by 64% and that of other STIs by 42%. See also the alarming 23 June 2015 statistics from Public Health England on the rise of syphilis and gonorrhoea (increasingly hard to treat) in the gay community.6LGBT health professionals in the US admit to serious downsides to gay and lesbian relationships.7
Other pressing issues include the nature of gay marriage and how other sexual ‘orientations’ demand the same rights and on the same basis as the LGBT. As the latter still ‘discriminate’ against other sexual orientations, we can and should too.
What should parents and church leaders do?
1. Research what your young (especially) actually think and do. Rosaria Butterfield (Secret Thoughts… Unlikely Convert, p.16) observed how disconnected pastors often are: the job ‘put[s] you out of reach from the very people you think that you know’.
Be aware of the closeted fifth columnists even in Bible-believing churches. They are either not being given what they need to maintain orthodoxy, or choose to ‘move on’ for other reasons – having their children ‘come out’ is a big one.
2. Address all issues of human sexuality, marriage and family life. Turn the volume up and promote teaching, equipping, modelling, pastoral care.
Expose the fraud of the gay agenda (as above). Professor Rob Gagnon is brilliant on Jesus and gay issues. CORE’s Dr Mike Davidson counsels people with unwanted SSA, often via Skype. Address the psychological and biological realities of sex (including gay sex) and problematic aspects of much SRE and programmes like CHIPS.
3. Promote the role of parents. Train mothers and fathers to meet their child’s needs. Run courses. Parenting is their most important job ever!
4. Start parent/school groups to facilitate parents reclaiming their place as first educators. Discover what children are being taught, get involved as governors and so forth.
5. Make use of the excellent resources, organisations, courses and speakers available which can provide best practice on the above issues, if you cannot.
6. Establish a task force which tracks these matters and updates the church in terms of awareness and action.
7. Start praying about and discussing these issues both privately and corporately. Publicly stand with victims.
Contact Lisa Nolland (PhD) by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
4 www.respectyourself.info/; http://www.rainbowbournemouth.co.uk/pdf/sexy_stuff_guys.pdf ;www.gmfa.org.uk/how-risky-is. The NHS claims GMFA is a ‘useful link’ for young people
5 www.peter-ould.net/2013/09/16/some-staggering-statistics/; for comparison of HIV transmission anally versus vaginally (some 30x greater) see www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/survey/survey-2010womenrisk.pdf