Social psychologist David Myers opines on APA report in Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal invited Hope College social psychologist David Myers to write a column regarding the APA task force report on appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation. Dr. Myers is the author of several books, including the text I use in teaching the social psychology class at GCC. I highly recommend the text, as well as his book on Happiness.

Here is a taste of the article:

Applause for the APA’s sensitivity to religious diversity has come from previously opposing sides within evangelicalism. Psychotherapist Ralph Blair, the founder of Evangelicals Concerned, the gay-supporting “national network of gay and lesbian evangelical Christians and friends,” welcomes APA’s “clear rejection of ‘reparative therapy.’?” But he also welcomes its openness to supporting homosexual people “who nonetheless think that it’s wrong for them to act on their same-sex desires.” Grove City College psychologist-blogger Warren Throckmorton, who supports those who want to control same-sex attractions and reject a gay identity, sees hope for “a larger middle and smaller numbers of people at the opinion extremes. People on both sides, he says, “can agree that erotic responsiveness is extremely durable.”

That last line you read here first.

Dr. Myers takes a pro-gay marriage position in this piece which will not set well with social conservatives, but I do think he is correct about the increasing number of issues where some common ground can be found.

I think Myers makes a good observation picking up on Focus on the Family’s language, “the aim is ‘to steward their impulses in a way that aligns with their faith convictions.’” This is the kind of language which reflects the congruence model and which I see more and more from Focus and Exodus.

Love Won Out transitions to Exodus International

This just in…

The Associated Press has a story on topic…

Focus on the Family’s conference on homosexuality joins Exodus’ expanding church outreach

Orlando, FL. — Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference on homosexuality will be moving to Exodus International starting November, the longtime allies announced today. The move is a logical step not only for both organizations, but also for a movement that has educated and equipped Christians for decades about the reality that unwanted same-sex attractions can be overcome.

Exodus is making church education a priority effort. Recently, Exodus announced it was merging with outreach ministries of the Presbyterian and Reformed faith communities as well as The United Methodist Church. Those new partnerships will focus on equipping churches with a biblical perspective of sexuality and gender – efforts critical in continuing the original mission of the Love Won Out conference.

“Exodus is thrilled with this opportunity as the Love Won Out conference is a natural fit in our ongoing efforts to share the hope we’ve found,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International. “Love Won Out has been and will continue to be a powerful event dedicated to helping the global Christian church better understand and more effectively reflect biblical truth and Christ-like compassion to a hurting world.”

Focus on the Family launched Love Won Out in 1998 to educate and equip Christians on how to respond to the issue of homosexuality in a biblical way, and has traveled to more than 50 cities worldwide with its message of truth and grace. The conference has always featured Exodus speakers and highlighted Exodus member ministries.

“There is no one better equipped to take over the operation of Love Won Out than Alan and his team,” said Focus on the Family’s Melissa Fryrear, a Love Won Out speaker and host for more than six years. “They have been with us since the beginning. They have stood alongside us in sharing the hope that, with Christ, transformation is possible for those unhappy with same-sex attractions. And we will stand alongside them as they continue to share that message as the organizer of Love Won Out.”

Focus on the Family’s gender team will continue its efforts tracking and analyzing homosexuality and its surrounding issues, as well as providing expert support to other Focus departments and practical help to its constituents.

Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media and public relations for the ministry, acknowledged that financial realities played a role in the conference’s transition to Exodus.

“Everyone knows these are challenging times for organizations and individuals all across the globe,” he said. “It is not an inexpensive undertaking to put on a Love Won Out event; and contrary to what our detractors say, the conferences rarely have recouped the financial investment made in them. That is a cost we have always paid because of the positive impact the events have had.

“With Exodus moving aggressively to strengthen its church outreach, though, they are the ones who ought to be shepherding Love Won Out as it continues on in its second decade. Our financial challenges have led us to recognize a strategic opportunity that makes sense independent of economic circumstances.”

Focus on the Family will continue to support the Love Won Out conference financially, and by providing speakers and marketing support. “Focus remains very committed to sharing biblical view of homosexuality,” said Fryrear. “After all, we’re still in the truth and grace business.”

Focus on the Family will lead its last Love Won Out conference in Birmingham, Ala. on Nov. 7.

The Washington Blade already has a story up about the move.

Gay children: Is it the parent's fault?

Crosswalk.com today published an article I wrote regarding the issue of causes of same-sex attraction. In it, I describe several problems with reparative drive theory as a general explanation for same-sex attraction. You can go there to read the entire article, but I want to post an email from a couple regarding their experience with the failure-to-bond idea. This segment is also in the Crosswalk article.

As parents of a same-sex-attracted son, there was no mountain too high for us to connect our son and our family to the “best help” for our issues. We found a counselor for him, and then joined him in many sessions and spent a good deal of time examining our parent – child relationships; classifying them as “close” or “distant” and figuring out why. With our broken hearts on the table each week, we looked for the magic thread, the exact moment we disabled our son’s sexuality so as to examine it, repent of it, be forgiven and put this nightmare away. Our counselor finally admitted that we were “unique” and that our son was “unique,” not fitting into the usual (how does the term “usual” apply to sexually fallen humans?) categories and that he basically did not know what else to say to help to untangle these conflicts for our son. We went on to read many books, we attended a famous conference 1000’s of miles away from our home, only to meet one of the most famous authors whose flippant response to us upon introducing ourselves to him was “Yes – I can see it, the mother who did all the research and coordination to get here, the dad who has no idea why he is here and the son who is miserable being here.” The three of us were after words of life, not words of sarcasm.
I can accurately say now that naval gazing your potential contribution to a child’s same-sex attraction is nothing short of anguish. Our son would tell you that his father and mother did not contribute to his same-sex attraction. We actually wish some days that it were that easy to put into an equation like “Dad ignored you for some formative years, mom made up for it, you identify with mom not dad – therein lies the reason!” Alas, this is not true in our family. We never ignored our children, our family has been busy bearing one another up, and our son takes responsibility for his same-sex attraction. If we were responsible, we would have accepted the blame gladly. Instead, now, we find ourselves relying on the truths of Scripture such as Romans 8 and II Corinthians 1:3-4. My husband and I come from a promiscuous past, we were products of the sexual revolution and legalized abortion. We are the right parents for this son of ours because we know restoration of sexual brokenness through a relationship with the living Lord Jesus. That is the relationship we pray that our son examines and gazes upon. In the meantime, we adore him and he us and we celebrate God’s goodness and sovereignty.

UPDATE: 2/2/09 – The Christian Post published a version of this article today.

Gender issues debated on Dr. Phil Show today

Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family and Joe Nicolosi square off with Dan Siegel and Michele Angello over how to raise gender variant kids today on the Dr. Phil Show. Check local listings for times in your area.
The problem with episodes like this is how polarized it is likely to be with these guests. One side will say gender variance is all environment (well, I hope Glenn doesn’t say that) and the other side will say gender variance is all inborn in every case.
UPDATE: Did anyone else view the show? It was not terribly helpful for the purpose stated which was to help parents who had gender variant children. I will have more to say about it later but the social conservatives offered the close mother-detached father theory of gender variance to open scorn – deserved scorn I might add. The segment was awkwardly edited so that comments were probably not really related to each other as the show was taped.
Thinking about the episode, I have decided not to say much more about it until I can find some video clips. If you didn’t see it, then my descriptions won’t help much. The extreme positions presented left me very frustrated, knowing that most cases of GID do not end up in gender reassignment but also knowing that parenting dynamics in GID situations are not that much unlike families that have no GID kids. Indeed, the woman on the Dr. Phil episode had two other children without gender identity issues. I reported here several months on a mother of twin boys, one with GID and one without any such issues.
Both sides did not address the data points which falsify their perspective. Phil McGraw asked Dr. Siegel why 85% of GID kids do not go on to request gender reassignment. Siegel answered by saying that was a good question and the science isn’t clear but never gave a plausible answer as to why puberty changed these kids in so many cases. On the other hand, Nicolosi is so committed to his theory that he glosses over the problems with parenting theory. As noted above, GID children are often found in families with siblings who are quite gender conforming. Parents report that they do the same things with the GID children as they do with their other children with vastly different results. Most parents with more than one child can relate to this. Kids respond differently to the same environment thus helping to shape different parent and child relationships. Parents cannot be faulted when a GID male hates his gender typical Christmas presents or out of the blue at age 4 says, I want to be a mom and have babies when I grow up. Even if the reparative proponent says we are not blaming the parents just pointing out the causes, the “explanation” fails to account for the fact that the other children in the family did not respond to the parents with gender confusion. Also, as in the case of Dr. Phil’s parent, the mother was not especially close to the son. The reparative proponent is left with a need to assert untestable hidden dynamics which must be true because no exceptions to the theory are allowed. This kind of response from Nicolosi was in clear view on this episode of Dr. Phil. If all you have is a hammer, everything must be a nail.
So both sides of the theoretical debate can be faulted for confirmation bias. Holding tightly to a theory of causation in the face of incomplete science can create a situation where the client in front of you becomes secondary to the felt need to verify the theory.
I soon will be meeting with a group of parents some of who (perhaps all, I am not clear on this as yet) have felt great hurt from the application of reparative drive theory to their children. It must be quite surreal to go to someone who everyone says is an expert only to have that person be so wrong in their guesses about your lives. I am quite sure that those who hold tightly to a theory underestimate the intense anger and frustration this creates in parents. At one point in the Dr. Phil show, Nicolosi criticized the GID mom for getting “emotional.” As Dr. Siegel pointed out, the woman had reason to be emotional. She was on national television talking about the greatest hurt of her life with people who were essentially blaming her for the trauma. I believe I would be upset as well.

Palin's pastors go On the Record with Greta Van Susteren; comments on Love Won Out

Greta Van Susteren has posted exclusive interviews with Sarah Palin’s pastors on the FOX News website. I am embedding them here. The first one is quite interesting in that Pastor Larry Kroon of Wasilla Bible Church discusses his decision to place the Love Won Out flyers in his church bulletin. He confirms that the LWO on September 14 is not in his church but in Anchorage. He also notes that his motivation was to have his congregation hear testimonies of people who wrestle with their Christian commitment and same-sex attraction. Clearly, Wayne Besen has done a good job of obscuring the LWO in the minds of the media when they ask about “praying away the gay.” In addition, as I noted in a post yesterday, I think LWO would help itself immensely by examining the way it markets LWO.
She then interviews Ed Kalnins, who pastors the Assembly of God church where the Palins attended prior to Wasilla Bible.
That the Palin moved from the AoG to the Bible church seems to me to represent a shift in viewpoint as these churches perspectives are quite different. Certain cardinal doctrines are the same but these are religious differences that may have little bearing on how one might govern. Some discussion on this point would be valuable. What political and/or policy ramifications might derive from these religious views?
Obama commented yesterday that there is no religious litmus test and that criticism of religious views is off limits. Now that he has spoken, do you suppose the media will lay off?

Love Won Out in Palin-country this weekend

In my efforts to track down information regarding the Covenant House story, this AP article got by me.
“Palin church promotes converting gays” begins:

Gov. Sarah Palin’s church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.
“You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed since she was a child.

A couple of things should be pointed out. According to all reports, Wasilla Bible Church is not where Palin has prayed since she was a child. She just recently joined the Wasilla Bible Church, having left an Assembly of God church, possibly over some disagreements with AoG practices.
Some bloggers have said the LWO is being held at Palin’s church. It is not. The conference is being held September 13 at the Abbott Loop Community Church in Anchorage. Instead, Palin’s church announced the conference to church goers.
I think the language Focus uses to communicate Love Won Out can be confusing. While I suspect the emphasis for churches is more on conversion to Christianity than to heterosexuality, phrases like “overcoming homosexuality” and using the word “transform” make it sound like the conference will focus on changing gays into straights. While this has been emphasized more in past conferences and promotional material, I think there might less of this now. LWO used to have a slogan that included the idea that homosexuality was “preventable and treatable.” Now they say, “to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions, we offer the Gospel hope that these desires can be overcome.”
This is a subtle shift from a treatment framework to a ministry framework. However, I understand why this is confusing to people. “Overcoming desires” to most people most likely still sounds like change from gay desires to straight desires. It could mean (and perhaps this is what Focus means) that the desires are there but the person does not act on them. Thus, a desire could be overcome by not actualizing it. The desire is still there but it has been managed.
While these issues are of great concern to those interested and involved in sexual identity ministry, they attain national significance infrequently (as they did in the Bush-Kerry presidential debate). However, the confusion over terms and phrasing now enters conversation over the beliefs of the Republican VP nominee. I advocate a much clearer portrayal of what Christianity offers. Conversion is a proper and historical focus of religion, but the question is, conversion from what to what? It seems to me that sexual identity ministries should work overtime to make it clear what the answer is to that question.

Disputed Mutability on Love Won Out

Dismuted Mutability is a blogger and a blog that I like to read. She provides insight into someone who has grappled with sexual identity issues in a refreshing and honest manner. Her last couple of posts are descriptions of her recent visit to Love Won Out in Indianapolis. Regarding her first post (general impressions), I cannot comment much. I did not attend that one and I am told there have been many changes in LWO since I attended in St Louis in February of 2006.

On change that has been made is that Joe Dallas is conducting the session “The Condition of Male Homosexuality” in place of Joe Nicolosi. I am posting here the link to DM’s review of Joe D’s talk. From DM’s review, the content has also changed, and in my view, for the better.

She begins with the good news:

IF you HAD to have a talk putting forward the standard developmental/reparative theory of male homosexuality, I don’t think you could get a much better talk than the one Dallas gave.

The rest of the post is well worth the read. I think she is very likely correct when she says:

I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that those who spend any time in exgay ministry or counseling are more likely to feel (or at least hope!) that developmental theories fit them.  After all, those who don’t feel they fit are likely to consider those approaches and the ministries that offer them a waste of time. For another thing, I would suggest that exgay ministries/counseling have a tendency to encourage a certain perception of one’s childhood experiences and parental relationships. Speaking personally, I know that I was coached to look at myself, my childhood, and my parents in a certain way by the exgay movement. Now, they might just be helping us to see what’s really there. Or they could be leading us to make a big deal out of all the ordinary imperfections of children and parents, and in some cases perhaps even something more unhelpful than that.  Anyway, my point is that there are excellent reasons for being skeptical of drawing conclusions about gays in general from observations of those who seek out and attend exgay ministries/counseling.  I think that being fully honest would require bringing this out clearly.

Michael Brown responds to the Southern Poverty Law Center article on ex-gays

I posted yesterday about a Southern Poverty Law Center article, titled Straight Like Me, by Casey Sanchez, which blasted the ex-gay movement. In my post, I note several inaccurate reports. In this post, I provide a brief email interview with Michael Brown, president of the FIRE School of Ministry, who was named in a companion piece, Former Ex-gay Minister Speaks Out. I emailed Dr. Brown with some questions about these statements and he was very kind to respond quickly.  

Throckmorton: In a recent SPLC article, you are referred to as giving a keynote at the latest Exodus Conference. This subject of this article asserts that you believe the Old Testament law should be followed regarding homosexuals. Is this your belief?

Brown: Absolutely not! I am not and have never been a reconstructionist or theonomist, and if we were to put practicing homosexuals to death, we would also have to put Sabbath breakers to death, among many others. 

Throckmorton: Furthermore, in that same article, you were paraphrased as saying in that same Exodus speech that  you encouraged the audience to “give up their lives” in the fight against homosexuality. 

Brown: Out of context. What I did say was that JESUS was worth living for and dying for, and I often quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to illustrate what Jesus meant when he said that if we try to save our lives we lose them but if we lose our lives for him and the gospel, we find them. King said, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right; a man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice; a man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” I was encouraging those fighting unwanted SSA in their own lives to be strong in the Lord and to give themselves unconditionally to His service, then talking about the threat to our freedoms coming through an activist gay agenda as a wake up call.

Throckmorton: Could you react to the following excerpt from the SPLC article: “When you have a keynote speaker like Michael Brown, to me that’s unacceptable. It’s preaching a message of Christians not just simply opposing gay civil rights and believing a spiritual revival is necessary for this country, but actually calling on Christians to lay down their lives in a spiritual revolution to set up civil laws based on one extreme interpretation of biblical laws from the Old Testament [that calls for the death penalty for homosexuals]. It’s Christian Reconstructionism [a doctrine that calls for imposing harsh Old Testament laws on civil society], Christian dominionism. It’s abhorrent, and it’s dangerous, not just for LGBT people but for our entire society. Because if civil laws are based on [Brown]’s interpretation of the Bible, it’s not going to be a democratic society.”

Brown: Well, as a Jewish believer in Jesus and a frontline apologist, I have been accused of many things, but I don’t think I’ve been accused of calling on people to sacrifice our lives to set up OT law!  I can actually send you my power point notes from the message or get Exodus to send you the message itself. I have no clue how such a claim could be made based on my message, which completely contradicts the tone and content of my preaching. Interestingly, since the Exodus conference, I have been invited to become a regular conference speaker with Love Won Out, which is hardly known for calling for the death penalty for homosexual practice.

I was also provided with this link [Straight Like Me] in which the following was written about me: “Brown is “a millennial Jew who once described the red T-shirts worn by his ministry students at a gay rights march counter-demonstration as ‘the shed blood of Christ flowing toward the gates of hell.'” I have no idea if anyone ever said that, but it certainly was not me. Also, our red-shirted students were not part of a counter-demonstration but rather of a compassionate, one-on-one outreach during the city’s gay pride event in 2005.

I intend to send the links to the this and the other post about the SPLC article for their reaction which, if I get one, I will post.

UPDATE: Michael Brown sent a link which provides proper attribution for the quote about the red shirts and the gay pride parade. Flip Benham, head of Operation Save America wrote that in this website newsletter.

Southern Poverty Law Center article on ex-gay movement: Were the facts straight?

The Intelligence Report, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center has two articles regarding sexual identity issues in the Winter, 2007 issue. The first one, Straight Like Me, by Casey Sanchez reads like an expose’ of the ex-gay movement as a political ploy of the Christian right designed to undermine gay rights. He covers much ground familiar to readers of this blog. For instance the picture leading the article is a screen capture of Richard Cohen holding his client, Rob, on CNN with Deborah Feyerick watching. Sanchez also interviews Peterson Toscano and highlights the increasingly vocal ex-ex-gay movement. 

On several points, I share Sanchez’s observations of some elements of the ex-gay world. He notes the “bewildering array of techniques and philosophies” used to change sexual orientation and writes critically of holding therapies and reparative theories. He included New Warriors knock-off, Journey into Manhood as an example of an emerging method of reorientation and noted JIM’s connection to Richard Cohen in method and tone. Mr. Sanchez, however, needed to do some fact checking to tighten up this piece. I should note that I have spoken with Mr. Sanchez about my analysis here and while receptive to listening, did not offer to retract or change anything. However, there are inaccuracies in this piece that compromise the integrity of the article. For instance, Mr. Sanchez wrote:

Focus on the Family, the largest and wealthiest Christian Right organization in the country, now hires Smid to appear several times a year on an ex-gay lecture circuit called Love Won Out, where he speaks on masturbation and “healing homosexuality.”

This is false. Mr. Smid attends some Love Won Out events as an exhibitor but does not speak on any topic as one of the line-up of speakers.

Regarding the recent study from Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, Sanchez wrote,

To back up their claims that homosexuality is purely a deviant lifestyle choice, ex-gay leaders frequently cite the Thomas Project, a four-year study of ex-gay programs, paid for by Exodus, that recruited subjects exclusively from Exodus ministries. It was conducted by Mark Yarhouse, a psychology professor at Pat Robertson’s Regents University, and Stanton Jones, provost of Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois. Both are members of NARTH. The study was conducted entirely via 45-minute telephone interviews conducted annually over the course of four years. Results were published this September.

First, the study was about whether change was impossible and whether attempting to change was harmful. The study had nothing to do with proving homosexual was either deviant or a choice. Second, the initial interview was 2.5-3 hours in person at Time 1, and about 90 minutes on follow up. Third, neither man is a member of NARTH.

Then in a section that needed no embellishment, Mr. Sanchez again casts some of his stones in the wrong direction.

One of the most controversial ex-gay therapy techniques is “healing touch,” which involves men striving to become ex-gay cradling and rocking other men in their arms. Last January, Richard Cohen, a licensed psychotherapist who claims to be personally ex-gay, demonstrated healing touch on CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Cohen also demonstrated “bioenergetics,” which involves beating on chairs with tennis rackets and screaming, “Mom, Mom, why did you do this to me?” When Cohen appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” one month later seated next to George Foreman, he demonstrated healing touch therapy by putting his arms around the former heavyweight boxing champion and explaining, “You comfort him and love him like he’s your own boy.”

But enthusiasts and ideologues of the ex-gay movement haven’t given up hope that science will confirm their view.

After his disastrous TV appearances, both Exodus and NARTH scrubbed any mention of Cohen from their websites and released statements publicly disavowing healing touch therapy. Yet both organizations continue to promote healing touch through a program called Journey Into Manhood, whose leaders are featured at Exodus conferences and highlighted on NARTH’s website. Journey Into Manhood is a nominally secular program founded by Catholic, Jewish and Mormon counselors. The counselors operate weekend outdoors retreats throughout the country that require men to bond with one another through wilderness adventures and holding each other in “non-sexual healing touch.”

In fact, Exodus does not recommend JIM and does not allow them to exhibit at Exodus conferences. I have a comment below from JIM to that effect. When I spoke to Mr. Sanchez, he noted that JIM representatives were at the Exodus conference passing out cards with their information. However, this is a far cry from being “featured.” I attended an Exodus conference and presented the Sexual Identity Therapy Framework. However, I would not claim that Exodus endorses or promotes the SIT Framework. On point, Exodus has been quite clear in their opposition to “touch therapy.”

In addition, I thought some of the reporting was off concerning JIM so I asked the JIM office to react to the SPLC article. Here is the reply from Rich Wyler:

About the Southern Poverty Law Center article: Thank you for sending it. This is the first I’ve seen it. It is filled with misinformation and inaccuracies.

1. Journey Into Manhood does not incorporate nudity or partial nudity.

2. I don’t know what the “10 week Journey Into Manhood curriculum” is that the article is referring to. It sounds like they are probably confusing us with another organization’s program.

3. We don’t do memory recovery work.

4. I don’t know who this Alex Liberato is – perhaps it’s a pseudonym – but in the article he admits that he didn’t go through the Journey Into Manhood weekend, so he is not a source of information on us at all.

5. Journey Into Manhood is not featured at Exodus conferences. We applied for a booth but were turned down because we are not a “Christ-centered” organization.

6. Our teaching on “healing touch” is that any such holding must be completely voluntary on the part of all participants, should be done in groups of three or more, with healing “father-son” or “brother-to-brother” intent, fully clothed, in non-sexual positions, and never in pairs of “strugglers” alone.

There are more mistakes in these two paragraphs, but that’s enough to show you how riddled with errors they are.

Rich told me via phone that the no one from SPLC had contacted him about the JIM organization.

To me, the article could have pointed out the extremes without attempting to reach for connections that aren’t there. Despite the rare acknowledgement that not all ex-gay ministries are the same, I believe the intent was to create a sense that ex-gay ministries are primarily politically motivated devices. This is a debatable point. But it seems to me that whatever the truth is about any given ex-gay ministry, there is a clear tension between ministry and policy aims. To me, it seems difficult at best to promote political aims, along with a focus on ministry and do both well. Social conservatives believe in the validity of a socially conservative political stance on sexual ethics as well as the need to offer the love of God, but the question is how should these ends be sought? In Christian ministry, offering Jesus trumps other considerations; in politics, winning seems paramount; further, in therapy, following client well being and values seems the leading indicator. I am surely open to suggestions on how to pull off an integration of those three aims that does not degrade any of them.

Back to the subject matter of the errors in reporting; in my opinion, ex-gay ministries that promote the narrow view that all or nearly all homosexuality is solely a gender-problem open themselves up for reporting such as produced by the SPLC. Given that ministry rule-books, holding, hugging, regression techniques and sports programs appear to be in the service of enhancing some sense of masculinity, it seems understandable that observers and critics will assume a seamless relationship between the theories of homosexuality and more extreme techniques to address the theorized deficits. I believe that ministries who do not condone or use the more extreme or boundary-compromising techniques need to draw sharp and public lines of distinction between themselves and those approaches with which they disagree.

I also wrote Rich Wyler of JIM in order to compare and contrast JIM with New Warriors. More on that in a future post.

APA declines to meet with religious coalition

I will have more to say about this in due time, however, while it is current, I wanted to post this Citizen link article regarding the APA sexual orientation task force.

In a nutshell, the APA solicited opinion from gay advocacy groups in regard to the sexual orientation task force mandate but thus far has declined to meet with a large religious coalition which asked for a meeting regarding that mandate. The letters to the APA are linked in this report.

For the record, Clinton Anderson and the APA GLBT office is open to conversation with callers and has been responsive to my inquiries and input. I do not want to imply otherwise. And I know that the task force is aware of a diversity of views. However, that being said, I do think it would be productive for the APA leadership to have a formal sit-down with those representing a major US demographic group.