I didn’t see the segment but the article about it is on the ABC website. Love in Action is getting much attention lately but the media are making generalizations that are staggering. Here are the four major ones that come to mind.
1. LIA is lumped in with all reparative therapies. This is inaccurate. LIA is not a therapy program but a ministry model to assist clients to identify with Christ and Christian teaching. As such, not everyone will agree with all their practices (I don’t) but I will defend their right to practice their Christianity in the peaceful manner that they do so. Reporters need to distinguish between ministry based programs and therapists.
2. Reparative therapy is an umbrella term for change programs and therapy. Not true. Reparative therapy is based on psychoanalytic ideas and is associated with Elizabeth Moberly and Joe Nicolosi. Umbrella terms might be reorientation therapy or sexual identity therapy. For instance, I believe that sexual orientation is a murky concept and fluid but I am not a reparative therapist. I would label what I do as sexual identity therapy since I attempt to help a person integrate a sexual identity that is consistent with their total personal identity.
3. The APA, AMA, ACA, you name it, have all said reparative therapy doesn’t work. Not really. What they oppose are therapies that take the stance that all gays must enter treatment because homosexuality is mental disorder to be cured. This broad statement implies that seeking to live in accord with one’s beliefs does not work and all change approaches have been proven ineffective. Not true. I challenge readers to produce such studies.
4. Belief in change is a conservative Christian thing. I agree that many who are conservatively Christian believe in change in sexuality but there are those who are pretty far from CC who believe change occurs as well.
Going forward, I hope reporters not only seek to produce a “news product” but also learn about the diversity of views on this issue. Otherwise, they are simply reinforcing distortions.