I am not a part of NARTH

UPDATE (Monday morning): The references to me have been removed from the CP article…

That’s the best title I could think of after reading this article in the Christian Post: Ex-gay Convention Draws Protestors in Penn.

I suspect Stephanie Samuel just doesn’t know the area well enough to know why the way she wrote her article is quite misleading. She wrote:

NARTH, an organization with faith-based views on homosexuality, acknowledges on its website that there are those who are comfortable with their homosexual identity. It values an individual’s right to choose. But it also upholds the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care and the right of professionals to offer that care.

Those experiencing unwanted homosexual desires and who are conflicted by their values deserve treatment and spiritual counsel, NARTH maintains.

Several faith-based groups have created treatment to help those who do not want to embrace the homosexual lifestyle. Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhous, (sic) both psychology experts, have crafted a framework, Sexual Identity Therapy: Proactive Framework for Managing Sexual Identity Conflicts, focused on conflicting religious values.

While NARTH encourages therapy, it maintains that it is a professional organization that only promotes practices have been proven scientifically effective. NARTH urges against claims that there is “scientific knowledge” that settles the issue of homosexuality. Instead, it encourages a broad view based upon diverse understandings of the family, of core human identity, and the meaning and purpose of human sexuality.

She also wrote about my work against bullying which seems odd in an article about NARTH. Since NARTH has not commented on bullying, it seems out of place to even mention what other groups are doing.

It is the weekend so no changes are going to be made to the article until Monday but I did write a comment on the CP wall. Here it is:

The Sexual Identity Therapy framework (sitframework.com) is listed above in such a way that a reader might assume it is connected with or consistent with the work of NARTH. However, there is no connection. NARTH advocates sexual reorientation whereas, our framework does not advocate orientation change. Our framework is in keeping with the guidance of the APA and other professional societies whereas NARTH work has been questioned by those same groups.

While I appreciate the mention of my work against bullying, there is again no connection between that work and the NARTH organization. If anything, NARTH promotes harmful stereotypes about gay people which do not contribute to solutions to the problems of bullying.

I repeat, I regret the mention of my work in sexual identity therapy and bullying in the same context as mention of the work of NARTH. For more information or clarifications of our work, please see www.sitframework.com and www.wthrockmorton.com or contact me at warrenthrockmorton@gmail.com.

You can read more about NARTH here (where and why I decided not to attend the 2006 NARTH conference) and here and reparative therapy here.

Rolling Stone’s Facebook page removed; Martin Ssempa returns?

This from editor Giles Muhame’s Facebook page:

“The Rolling Stone newspaper’s facebook page has been scrapped by the social networking website management in US for spreading a hate camapign against homosexuals in Uganda,” according to Cliff Abeneitwe, the newspaper’s marketing manager. We will miss you guys….

For his part, Abenaitwe promises more “men of shame” in next week’s issue of the Rolling Stone, perhaps defying a Ugandan judge who ordered a cessation of the outings.

Meanwhile, the pastor of the Rolling Stone editors, Martin Ssempa, may be back on Facebook. Earlier Martin Ssempa’s Facebook page was removed but he – or at least someone posing as him – appears to be posing under the name Onelovepastor Uganda.

Michael Brown responds to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Are evangelicals obsessed with homosexuality?

On Tuesday, I posted a link to a column in the Washington Post by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach about a debate he had with Michael Brown, head of the FIRE School of Ministry, regarding the topic: Is Homosexuality America’s Greatest Moral Crisis? I did not watch the debate since I read up on the Rabbi and believed I already agreed with him. I have had many discussions with Michael Brown and those affiliated with him and know we are far apart.

After I published the post, Dr. Brown contacted me saying that the Rabbi had misrepresented him and the debate. Just this afternoon, the Washington Post published Brown’s rebuttal and I agreed to post a link to it in the interest of fairness. I have no plans to watch the debate to fact check. Interested readers can read both sides and decide whether or not to invest the 3 hours. From Brown’s post:

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is not only “America’s most famous rabbi” and my frequent opponent in public debates. He is also a dear personal friend, which is why I was more than a little mystified to see his editorial, published one day after our November 1 debate.

The title of that debate, as proposed by Shmuley but not to my liking, was, “Is Homosexuality America’s Greatest Moral Crisis?” In my opening comments, I answered this question in the negative, stating that America’s greatest moral crisis was certainly not homosexuality but rather the lack of the knowledge and consciousness of God, because of which every area of society suffered.

I also explained that what two gay men did in private was between them and God and was certainly not our greatest moral crisis, and I stated emphatically that rampant heterosexual divorce had done more to destroy marriage and family than all the gay activists combined. I then addressed the church’s sins against the LGBT community, for which I have publicly apologized a number of times. (Those reading Shmuley’s report on the debate would not have a clue that I made any of these statements.)

Boteach made the case that evangelicals now put too much emphasis on winning the culture war against gays. Brown disagrees:

As to the alleged evangelical obsession with homosexuality (an accusation raised through the debate by Shmuley), I asked the almost entirely evangelical audience to respond to four questions: How many of them heard a sermon in the last year on the importance of marriage? Virtually every hand went up. The importance of devoting time and energy to the raising of their children? Same response. The dangers of sexual sin (and/or pornography)? The same response again. A sermon about gay activism? Not a single hand!

The truth be told, there is no “gay obsession” in evangelical churches, and, where pastors and leaders are concerned about the effects of gay activism, they are hesitant to speak up, lest they be branded intolerant bigots, homophobes, Hitlers, or jihadists, not to mention accused of inciting violence against gays.

While I mean no disrespect to his audience, I am not going to trust that they are a representative sample. I certainly disagree with Brown about the obsession of some evangelicals with homosexuality. Worldnetdaily is obsessed. Sally Kern said homosexuality was a greater threat than terrorism and certain evangelicals promoted Rallies for Sally. Brown’s contention seems odd when writing about a debate over homosexuality being the greatest threat to morality. About being labeled Hitlers, perhaps Brown does not read Bryan Fischer’s love notes to gays where he blames them for the deaths of 6 million Jews. In the name of Jesus, the American Family Association’s Fischer does some pretty good branding of his own. If such people are criticized sharply by gays, it is not hard to see why.

Here’s another example of how a focus on homosexuality has distorted social conservatism. The Family Research Council actually ran ads against LA Rep. Joseph Anh Cao, Vietnamese-American who voted against Obamacare because he was not convinced abortion funding was excluded from the bill. His pro-life position is firm and yet FRC ran ads against him because of Cao’s support for equal rights for gays. Guess who was elected in Cao’s district? His opponent, Cedric Richmond, a pro-choice Democrat. I wonder if NARAL sent FRC a thank you note.

The meaning of the 2010 elections

Sitting in McDonalds this morning two days after the election I overheard this conversation:

Dude 1: Hey, who got in as governor?

Dude 2: Corbett

Dude 1: How did Dahlkemper do? (incumbant Rep. from PA’s 3rd district)

Dude 2: She lost.

Dude 1: Who got in?

Dude 2: Mike Kelly

Dude 1: Who’s he?

Dude 2: He owes car dealerships down in Butler

Dude 1: (With his thumb up) Good, we need change. Things ain’t going to get better until everything changes.

Dude 1 didn’t know much about who was running or what had happened but his spirits were lifted by knowing that change had taken place. I am guessing that Dude 1 did not vote but I wonder how many voters felt the same way: incumbant bad; challenger good. Who cares about policies, positions on social issues, or personal integrity? No need to know. 

The effect of the election was to make gridlock probable. Only those issues which have broad ideological support could clear the obstacle course that will soon be Washington DC. Repeal healthcare reform? Doubt it. The Senate won’t go for it and Obama would veto it. Social issues? Doubt it, few people are paying attention right now. Jobs, taxes and debt will be the main issues, as they should be, until people at McDonalds no longer want to throw the bums out.

Change.org petitions Oral Roberts University to end silence on Ugandan anti-gay bill

Progressive website Change.org has created a petition targeting Oral Roberts University due to the presence of Martin Ssempa on the ORU Board of Reference. In a January post, I noted that Ssempa was on this advisory board and ask ORU for comment. Here is what I wrote then:

Oral Roberts University – Martin Ssempa is on the Board of Reference for ORU. Public Relations Director, Jeremy Burton explained the Board of Reference duties:

  • This Board of Reference is to provide for effective communication an informative exchange and service among the public, ORU’s stakeholders, and the University.
  • A board of reference is for the purpose of credibility, for reputation, and for influence.
  • As a member of the Board of Reference, your name and your circle of influence lends reputation to the credibility of Oral Roberts University.
  • A board of reference has no voting privileges and does not have any regularly scheduled meetings.

Mr. Burton declined to issue any other statement regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The background article supporting the petition asks: Does Oral Roberts University Support Killing Gays in Uganda? I honestly doubt that those running the school do support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. However, given the role of a person on the Board of Reference, I think the concern of Change.org is warranted. Martin Ssempa is not simply expressing doctrinal differences or taking a different point of view on a controversial issue. For quite some time, he has actively promoted a harsh governmental response to living bearers of the image of God. Most recently, he gave an interview and published an article in the shocking “hang the gays” tabloid, knowing full well what the paper is trying to accomplish.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach gets it: How evangelicals lost political credibility

This is a must read. He presents his perspective well and communicates clearly. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a conservative Rabbi debated Michael Brown, a really conservative minister last night in North Carolina over whether homosexuality is America’s greatest moral crisis. Rabbi Boteach wrote about it in WaPo’s On Faith Blog today:

I argued passionately that evangelicals had become obsessed with homosexuality. They took a single prohibition in the Bible and elevated it to single moral standard besides which all else pails. I pointed out how in 2004, amid President George W. Bush being the most hated man on earth he still won the election because of evangelical support. The reason: as the polls showed, 22% of all voters had voted for values. But now, just one night before the mid-term elections, the tea party had completely usurped the place of the evangelicals. The only thing being discussed in this election was jobs, money, the size of government, and the national debt. In other words, the economy and money. Not one major values-based issue was even on the table. Why? Because the people who talk about values and are a large voting block – primarily evangelical Christians – had utterly marginalized themselves with their obsession over homosexuality. Forget about the fifty percent divorce rate, the growing sexualization of young teens (Miley Cyrus is now pole-dancing), the collapse of the American economy because of addiction to shopping, no, all the problems in America can be laid at the feet of gays. And if we stop the gay agenda, then America will suddenly be transformed into a family-friendly, spiritually rich, Eden-like Shangri-La.

Boteach continues to say he could not convince Brown’s audience. I am not surprised. He concludes by calling values voters to stand up for some other values:

What is needed are Evangelical Christian leaders who finally change the subject and focus us on what really can be done to save the American family, namely, strengthening marriage, reducing the divorce rate, increasing male respect for women, and pushing for a congressional bill to make marital counseling tax-deductible so that couples who need help can afford it and keep their families intact.

I would add to Boteach’s list but the point is well taken. Some evangelical brothers and sisters have traveled the way C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape hoped:

Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the “cause”, in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war-effort or of Pacifism. The attitude which you want to guard against is that in which temporal affairs are treated primarily as material for obedience. Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more “religious” (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.

Your affectionate uncle, SCREWTAPE

Statement from Ugandan LGBT coalition; Judge rules against Rolling Stone

It was an eventful day in Uganda. The Rolling Stone distributed part 2 of their “hang the gays” tabloid, and a Ugandan judge ordered the tabloid to cease outing gays. Just a bit ago, Sexual Minorities Uganda made the following comments and press release.

Kampala.  2.11.2010

Uganda: Court issues an interim order restraining the “ROLLING STONE”

In two of its publication issue No 5 and Issue no 6. The Rolling Stone a Ugandan weekly Tabloid., “outed” Uganda  LGBTI People. These outings increased hostility and harassment for LGBTI Ugandans.

In response Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG, the Ugandan LGBTI community and the civil society coalition on human rights and constitutional law sued the Rolling Stone.

Before His Lordship Justice V.F  Musoke Kibuka in the presence of  Ms. Sengendo Rose Counsel for the applicant at the high court of Uganda.

The Court issued an interim order restraining the respondents, their servants and agents, from any further publication in the publication called ROLLING STONE or any  other publications  by the respondents , their agents or servants, the identities by name or pictures or any relevant implication of the person or person perceived by the respondents to be gay, lesbian or homosexual in general.

The Interim Order is to remain in place till the hearing and disposal of Misc Cause No. 163 of 2010

Costs on the cause.

The Rolling Stone editorial team was not in court; hearing for the case has been scheduled for 23rd .11 . 2010.

And then the press release…

PRESS RELEASE

KAMPALA – November 01, 2010

GAY ACTIVISTS SUE THE ROLLONG STONE TABLOID

The Ugandan Rolling Stone tabloid published an article entitled “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos Leak” calling for “the hanging of homos” in Uganda in its issue of Vol.1, No. 5, 2 – 9 October, 2010. This article shows pictures of some of the 100 alleged homosexuals and other Human Rights Activists, alongside their names and a description of their professional jobs and private life, including where they live or work.

The publication has affected the day to day lives of the individuals mentioned and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender [LGBTI] community as a whole. Therefore Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender human rights activists have taken the tabloid to the High court.

Through this litigation the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community is seeking to bring to an end the violations. They will also educate and raise awareness that everyone in this society deserves and should be protected by the government and the law irrespective of race, age, color, tribe, creed, sexual orientation and gender identity.

We call on;

1. The MEDIA to immediately desist from using press freedom to incite violence against any person.

2. The Government of Uganda to intervene immediately and take all appropriate measures to put an end to this blatant incitement to public violence against a particular group of citizens.

3. The Government of Uganda should recognize and seize the opportunity to ensure the protection of human rights, which is entrusted to its authority, and uphold the Ugandan Constitution as well as the international and regional Human Rights Instruments to which Uganda is a signatory.

For further information please contact:

Frank Mugisha –

fmugisha@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Uganda’s Rolling Stone continues “Hang Them” campaign (Photos)

Update: According to the BBC, a Ugandan judge has ordered the Rolling Stone to stop outing gays.

Giles Muhame, editor of the two-month-old Rolling Stone paper, told the AFP news agency that he would defy the ban.

“We will publish more pictures but in a diplomatic way, so that we can dodge the law,” he said.

On his Facebook page, editor Giles Muhame said this about the court ruling:

I have heard on grapevine that Kampala high court today afternoon issued an injunction barring the mighty Rolling Stone from publishing information that could lead to the identification of homosexuals…..the newspaper has already achieved its objective….By the way this means we can write about homosexuality but not …identify them….ok, understood…we are law abiding citizens….

I have obtained some screen shots of the Rolling Stone which continues the “hang the gays” campaign in Uganda. I am going to publish them first and then add commentary through the morning. Some cannot be published without heavy editing since they include pictures and names.

Click the next image to read an interview done by Oral Roberts University Board of Reference member, Martin Ssempa, with a young girl he continues to promote as an ex-lesbian. Ssempa told his former benefactor Canyon Ridge Christian Church that he disapproved of the “hang the gays” campaign but now he appears in the Rolling Stone again. I asked Rolling Stone editor Giles Muhame about his pastor’s (Ssempa) stated diapproval of the first “hang the gays” issue, and he did declined to answer. He did however, say that Ssempa had given them an interview. Two credible sources in Uganda have told me that both Giles Muhame and Cliff Abenaitwe attend Ssempa’s Makerere Community Church.

The next image is a lead article which looks like it could come from the Family Research Institute. In fact, the article titled, “More Homos Faces Exposed” quotes Paul Cameron’s lifespan articles. It also cites a “reliable source” saying that the stalled Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be passed when Uganda becomes an oil producer.

 

 Human rights groups in Uganda are trying to limit or halt the paper’s activities. Today or tomorrow a Uganda court is expected to hear an application for the paper to cease publishing. Managing editor Cliff  Abenaitwe told me in an email that he expects to prevail, saying

As regards the pending court case, its an application by a human rights group requesting court to order this People’s favourite political news paper from publishing more pictures of homosexuals in Uganda but as i stated above it is an application but court is yet to decide. nevertheless, its a matter of time till court decides in our favour because there is nothing wrong with what we are writing.

Click the image above to read Managing Editor Giles Muhame’s defense for this outing campaign. I have blocked out most of the pictures and descriptions of the men outed here. The remainder of the images I have are similar to these.