International Healing Foundation comes out?

Or something.
Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation has re-invented itself as a LGBTQU (U for unwanted) organization on a new website called Coming Out Loved.
On Coming Out Loved, gay affirming people can find a page full of LGB resources as well as an apology from Cohen:

We at IHF wish to offer a sincere, heartfelt apology to everyone in the LGBTQ community who may have been hurt by our message of “change.” As the director of IHF, I apologize and ask your forgiveness. I did not realize that by stating, “Change is Possible,” some would be offended. That was the furthest thing from my heart and mind. To think that our message of “change” would cause further pain to LGBTQ youth and adults is painful to imagine … I am deeply and profoundly sorry.

Really? Is this a sign of the apocalypse?
Whatever it is, I doubt it is going very far. The website also has the old references to same-sex attraction being caused by environment and family background, and to treatment to resolve “unwanted same-sex attraction.” NARTH’s protocol for change therapy is there along with the old list of reparative therapists for referral. Cohen is still offering his book Coming Out Straight, one of the most direct promotions of the change paradigm ever. Moreover, Chris Doyle is speaking this weekend at the NARTH conference, along with a speaker who promotes criminalization of homosexuality.
Perhaps I am cynical, but the changes just look like business as usual along with a parody of gay affirming therapy.

 
 
 
But then again, in the promo video for the new attitude, there is a rainbow flag. (Note the flag circled in the screen cap to the left).
 
 
 
I am looking forward to seeing reaction from AFTAH, PFOX, Liberty Counsel, JONAH and the like.
Seriously, if the IHF crew want to be taken seriously, they need to explain more about how and why they are expecting people to trust them. Also, if the same touch therapy and pillow beating protocols are on the table, then taking a neutral stance is still not enough to address concerns about their work.
 

The New York Times finally gets around to covering the Ugandan ex-gay conference

The rest of the world has been talking about it for months. Finally, the New York Times decides to report.

Lots of old ground was covered but there is a some new quotes from Exodus board member, Don Schmierer.

“I feel duped,” Mr. Schmierer said, arguing that he had been invited to speak on “parenting skills” for families with gay children. He acknowledged telling audiences how homosexuals could be converted into heterosexuals, but he said he had no idea some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.

“That’s horrible, absolutely horrible,” he said. “Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people.”

The first clue should have been involvement with International Healing Foundation and Scott Lively but that is water long under the bridge.  The other two Americans are cited but with no new interviews.

One activist puts into words what many of us warned about in March.

“What these people have done is set the fire they can’t quench,” said the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian who went undercover for six months to chronicle the relationship between the African anti-homosexual movement and American evangelicals.

Mr. Kaoma was at the conference and said that the three Americans “underestimated the homophobia in Uganda” and “what it means to Africans when you speak about a certain group trying to destroy their children and their families.”

“When you speak like that,” he said, “Africans will fight to the death.”

Scott Lively’s protests that he had nothing to do with the harshness of the bill must be evaluated in light of Kaoma’s observations. When you tell an audience that gays caused World War II and assorted other atrocities (e.g., Columbine, Rwanda, etc.), you should not be surprised when the audience becomes hostile. It is like yelling fire in a theatre and wondering why people get trampled in the rush. It is called “inciting a riot.” 

When it comes to homosexuality, Uganda already has several riot inciters so the role of the Americans was to add a perception of credibility and urgency. What would really be helpful is for the three to say directly to the Ugandan people: we were wrong in what we told you. Gays didn’t cause the holocaust, they aren’t ill people who will respond to a forced cure and they aren’t the cause of all your problems. Disagree on the moral questions if that is your conviction but for the sake of Christ, do it agreeably.

NOTE: The NYT published a companion article titled “Gay in Uganda and Feeling Hunted.”

Anti-gay sentiments are one thing, and hardly unique to Uganda. But what seems different here is the level of official, government-sponsored anti-gay hate speech.

“I detest gays in my heart,” said Kassiano E. Wadri, a member of Parliament and the chief whip of the opposition. “When I see a gay, I think that person needs psychotherapy. You need to break him.”

It’s no surprise, then, that many homosexual people here insisted on being interviewed anonymously, including one car salesman who goes by Bob. He lost his job working in a hotel a few years ago after the Red Pepper, a Ugandan tabloid, published a list of names of homosexuals, including his.

Richard Cohen’s contribution to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

One of the major reasons Ugandans give for their support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is to stop recruitment of children and young men to homosexuality. Despite the lack of evidence demonstrating a systematic recruitment effort, the view of child abuse and homosexuality being about the same persists in the rationale given for the bill.

Scott Lively promotes this idea and he has been a colleague of Stephen Langa since at least 2002. Thus, when Langa wanted people to come to Uganda to whip up public calls for a new law, he asked Lively to return. He also asked Richard Cohen’s assistant Caleb Brundidge to speak. Cohen was there in spirit however in the form of Brundidge and his book Coming Out Straight. During the Rachel Maddow Show last night, Cohen’s book was display by Stephen Langa and Cohen was labeled an authority. No wonder, homosexuality is considered a disorder in this book, albeit a curable one. However, the book also contains dark and sinister descriptions of homosexuals, which no doubt played well into Langa’s designs.

Watch the clip again here and note Langa’s references to the book at about 2:50 in:

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In Coming Out Straight, Cohen refers to the efforts of Paul Cameron to claim gays are more responsible for child abuse than straights. Actual data are mixed on the subject but there is no confirming evidence that adults gays are disproportionately responsible for child abuse. The Catholic Church committee researching this point came to the same conclusion recently.

On page 49, Cohen writes:

Homosexuals are at least 12 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals; homosexual teachers are at least 7 times more likely to molest a pupil; homosexual teachers are estimated to have committed at least 25 percent of pupil molestation; forty (40%) percent of molestation assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.

This statistic was taken from the following reference:

Paul Cameron, “Homosexuality and Child Molestation,” Psychological Reports, 58 (1986) 327-337, as quoted in M. Maddoux, Answers to the Gay Deception. 62-63.

Stephen Langa told me in March that Lively, Brundidge and Schmierer were recruited because:

they each have unique expertise which we feel will address the needs we have in Uganda and Africa in general on the subject of homosexuality.

Apparently, one need was to mislead the Ugandan people. Thus, it is no wonder that, in the words of Scott Lively, Mr. Langa was “overjoyed” with the results. Here is Lively’s assessment of his efforts in Uganda.

On the positive side, my host and ministry partner in Kampala, Stephen Langa, was overjoyed with the results of our efforts and predicted confidently that the coming weeks would see significant improvement in the moral climate of the nation, and a massive increase in pro-family activism in every social sphere. He said that a respected observer of society in Kampala had told him that our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the “gay” agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the predictions, are true.

Now my attention is turned to equipping the activists in Uganda with helpful materials. I have given them permission to make unlimited use of Defeating “Gay” Arguments With Simple Logic, and Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child (a much-esteemed book among the Africans). I still want to send them my remaining stock of about 100 or so copies of Seven Steps, but I didn’t raise any money toward this in my last appeal.

Like a nuclear bomb? Guess the “respected observer” was right.

Rachel Maddow examines Richard Cohen’s connection to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill; Cohen to appear on Maddow tonight

Well isn’t this special.

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Ah yes, the 2006 CNN episode. That was good enough for weeks worth of material on here. I still show the clips to my classes for a, um, discussion starter. In the clip above, Stephen Langa is the speaker who is quoting Richard Cohen as if he were an expert. The segment where Langa is speaking took place a week after the March ex-gay conference where Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge and Don Schmierer were recruited to whip up public support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

It wasn’t long after the CNN segment that an international group of astronomers announced that Pluto was no longer a planet, becoming the first ex-planet.  We had the exclusive insight into how it was done. 

 

plutoexplan

The CNN debacle was the first of several disasters on national television. He later regretted his performances, saying so here. He should regret that he allowed Caleb Brundidge to go to Uganda on his behalf and that he has not spoken about this issue until Rachel Maddow asked about his views of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

He is slated to go on her show tonight. Grab a tennis racquet, a pillow and a significant other to cuddle; this is must see TV.

Rachel Maddow Show gets statements from IHF and Scott Lively on Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Finally, the International Healing Foundation speaks:

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IHF says:

We condemn any harsh and extreme punishment of persons who identify as homosexual or who engage in homosexual behavior. Instead, we advocate education and counseling for those with unwanted Same-Sex Attraction.

I contacted Richard Cohen in March about Caleb Brundidge’s activities in Uganda wanting to know if he agreed with what Brundidge was teaching there. No answer.

It is not clear what Cohen believes about criminalization of homosexuality. He opposes the death penaly apparently but what does he favor? Apparently, Cohen favors therapy over jail for those with “unwanted SSA” but what does he favor for those who do not want to change? Perhaps Richard and Scott Lively are on the same page.

Note: Andrew Marin was slated to appear on the show but was cut due to a previous segment going long. It appears he will be on a future show, perhaps on Thursday night.

Extreme Prophetic declines to oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

One of the central figures in the controversy over Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill is Caleb Brundidge. He was one of the trio of Americans who traveled to Uganda in March of this year to present his views at an ex-gay conference hosted by Stephen Langa’s Family Life Network. One effect of the conference was a group of people who called for stronger legislation against homosexuality. In April, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was first disclosed to the Ugandan Parliament.

ugandabrundidge

Left to right. (unidentified woman, Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, Don Schmierer, & Stephen Langa) 

While Exodus recently came out strongly in opposition to the bill and Scott Lively has indicated that he does not support the death penalty, Brundidge and his organizations have refused to comment directly about the matter. In the Spring, I sent emails to Brundidge and the International Healing Foundation which went unanswered. I know of no public statements to the press about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The only public comment about the Uganda trip was posted in the IHF newsletter and did not mention the bill.

Wondering if perhaps his ministry partner, Extreme Prophetic, might want to comment, I contacted Rob Hotchkin who Extreme Prophetic designated as a media spokesperson. I asked him to disclose the position of Extreme Prophetic on the bill and criminalization of homosexuality in general.

As a ministry we do not have an official opinion on political policies.  I am sure each member of our team has personal beliefs about most national and international political situations, positions, or policies, but as a ministry we do not have an official opinion on political matters.  

We are a “love” ministry and believe the greatest power in the universe is the love of Jesus, and that it is His love, so brilliantly displayed through the finished work of the cross, that will reach out and touch every man, woman and child in every nation around the world.  For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son so that none may perish, and all may have eternal life (John 3:16).

As per your question about Caleb Brundidge.  He is a member of our evangelism team, and also one of our itinerant ministers.  If you are interested in hearing Caleb’s personal views on the reported Ugandan bill, or to hear from him what he shared when he was in Uganda in the Spring of this year, you can reach him directly by e-mailing cbrundidge@xpmedia.com.

This reticence to comment on Uganda’s bill is perplexing given some of the teaching on their website. Specifically, I am referring to the teaching of friend of Extreme Prophetic, Lance Wallnau, on the seven mountains of culture. In a video on Extreme Prophetic’s web video network, Wallnau describes the seven mountains of culture which Christians should seek to control. The mountains are also referred to as spheres of influence and are business, family, government, arts & entertainment, media, education, religion, and science and technology. Seven mountains adherents take the exhortation of Jesus to teach all nations as a call to push governments to reflect the teachings of Christianity. In other words, salvation is not just personal but national. Speaking of government, Wallnau says on the Extreme Prophetic video (at about 22 minutes in): 

While Christians are in pursuit of the supernatural, or the glory or prosperity, but they’re missing the apostolic assignment. They are to take over spheres and adminstrate them for the glory of God. They’re to take over spheres and administrate them for the glory of God. That’s the only way you can teach nations is when you take over a sphere and administrate it for the glory of God.

Wallnau spends much time talking about how gays have taken over the spheres of influence and how Christians need to take them back and use this leverage to advance the Kingdom. He laments that Christians are more concerned with revival (individual salvation) than reformation (national salvation).

At the end of the video, Patricia King comes on and prays that watchers will find their sphere to “infiltrate” for God. It is hard for me to reconcile the endorsement of Christians taking over the sphere of government with Mr. Hotchkin’ s statement that the ministry takes no position on “political matters.” 

The seven mountains of culture teaching seems consistent with the appeal of Ugandan politicians to the will of God as a basis for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Read David Bahati’s words about the bill in yesterday’s Independent:

It is key that we note how Mwenda inclined much on the religious aspect of the bill and much of his argument was to justify that the task of judging and consequently punishing sin should be left to God. Societies wouldn’t need law and order if all the tasks of countering sins were to be left for God. I believe that we are doing God’s will.

I believe this teaching is helping to provide religious rationale for the bill. Those looking for US influences on government officials in Uganda and elsewhere should not overlook the importance of adherence to this doctrine of reclaiming the seven mountains of culture. I will report soon that there are direct connections from this seven mountains teaching and the Uganda spiritual leaders who are supporting and promoting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Ugandan official blames parents for homosexuality

From yesterday’s New Vision, a Ugandan news source:

Minister blames gay on parents

MUKONO – Ethics and integrity minister James Nsaba Buturo has blamed homosexuality in Uganda on failure by parents and guardians to bring up their children in an upright manner. He made the remarks on Sunday while attending the fundraising ceremony for the expansion of St. Luke Anglican Church at Seeta. Buturo asked parents to join the battle against homosexuality by bringing up their children well.

Minister Buturo has been supporting the crack down on homosexuals from at least the Spring when he promoted the ex-gay conference, involving Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively. I wonder where Buturo heard this concept? Could it have been here or here?

Next month, you can go here to hear similar things.

Ugandan travelogue from Caleb Brundidge and the International Healing Foundation

Back in the Spring, I reported on an ex-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda and hosted by Family Life Network (see links at the end of this post). Three Americans spoke by invitation of the FLN – Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively.

ugandabrundidge

(L to R, unknown woman, Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, Don Schmierer, Stephen Langa).

At the time, Schmierer and Lively received much critical attention for their presentations but the role of the International Healing Foundation and Caleb Brundidge went largely under the radar. No one from IHF, including Brundidge commented on the Ugandan trip at the time. However, Brundidge has broken his silence in the most recent IHF newsletter available on Richard Cohen’s website. Given the recent introduction of a bill in Uganda which would impose the death penalty on some offenses involving homosexuality and dramatically suppress free speech and assembly, it is appropriate to examine how IHF portrayed the conference and effects to the organization’s constituents.

brundidge

Note that Cohen bills the trip to Uganda as a mission trip and seems proud of being represented there by Brundidge. As noted here and in footage provided by ExGayWatch, Cohen’s materials have been used by the group which convened after the ex-gay conference. 

According to a report from an unidentified person in the ex-gay conference, Brundidge supported the continued criminalization of homosexuality.When he was asked by someone in the crowd: “Do you feel it is okay to decriminalise homosexuality?” he did not speak against it, instead indicating

That for the law to be effective, one must be caught in the Act. Laws should be done through a value of standards from which legislators draw a given law.

I am not sure what the last sentence means. While this may not be what Brundidge said, he has not replied to requests to describe what he said in Uganda.

However, in the IHF newsletter, he referred to the repressive situation in Uganda.

My trip was extremely busy and event filled. Here is a brief synopsis of what took place: My first engagement was to give a brief two to five minute testimony to the Ugandan Parliament.

Believe it or not, in present-day Uganda, homosexual behavior is either punishable by life in prison or death! Also pornography is illegal. The members of parliament are being pressured by Western and European sources to make pornography and homosexuality legal. Yes, homosexual behavior is incompatible with God’s Word, however, we tried to make them understand that there are definite causes for someone’s same-sex attraction (SSA), and therefore, change and transformation are possible. Our efforts were to help them understand a more compassionate response to anyone who experiences SSA.

While he says now that he advocated for compassion, I cannot find a clear statement that he opposed criminalization. Elsewhere in the article, Brundidge said:

One thing that God showed me while there is that many people are suffering in silence because of their SSA. As I mentioned, homosexual behavior is illegal and punishable by life in prison or even death. They have fear to go. On the other hand, the word is out on the street to the young people: If you want to make good money, pretend to be “gay.”

Reading the entire account, I don’t get the impression that Brundidge or Cohen would support death for homosexuals. However, there is little indication that they comprehend the dire situation there. Brundidge ends his account with a surreal appeal for more money.

I would like to thank those who supported my mission to Uganda. Please know that the work of IHF is being carried into all corners of the world. We so appreciate your contributions to keep hope alive!

On the contrary, the situation now is more dangerous and less conducive to hope than when Brundidge went to Uganda. Instead of appeals for money, I hope that IHF will issue an appeal to their Ugandan hosts to defeat the proposed bill.

Additional links:

Uganda’s strange ex-gay conference

More on the Ugandan ex-gay conference

Ugandan ex-gay conference goes political: Presenter suggests law to force gays into therapy

Reparative therapy takes center stage at Ugandan homosexuality conference

Gay Ugandan man seeks asylum in UK: EU group condemns Ugandan ex-gay conference

Open forum: Report from the Ugandan conference on homosexuality

Christian Post article on the Ugandan ex-gay conference

Scott Lively on criminalization and forced therapy of homosexuality

Christianity, homosexuality and the law

Uganda anti-gay group holds first meeting

Follow the money: Pro-family Charitable Trust

NARTH removes references to Scott Lively from their website

Aftermath of the Ugandan conference on homosexuality

Uganda: The other shoe drops

Uganda: The other shoe drops

According to this article from Ugandan news source, New Vision, a bill was introduced and then tabled in the Ugandan parliament yesterday.

The bill would make homosexual relations with someone under 18 punishable by the death penalty.

Here’s more:

The Bill, entitled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009, also states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment.

This was already the case under the current Penal Code Act.

However, it gives a broader definition of the offence of homosexuality.

A person charged with the offence will have to undergo a mandatory medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

The bill further states that anybody who “attempts to commit the offence” is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

“The same applies to anybody who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality” or anybody who keeps a house or room for the purpose of homosexuality.

The bill also proposes stiff sentences for people promoting homosexuality.

They risk a fine of sh100m or prison sentences of five to seven years.

This applies to people who produce, publish or distribute pornographic material for purposes of promoting homosexuality, fund or sponsor homosexuality.

Where the offender is a business or NGO, its certificate of registration will be cancelled and the director will be liable to seven years in prison.

Failure to disclose the offence within 24 hours of knowledge makes somebody liable to a maximum sh5m fine or imprisonment of up to three years.

This chilling development was promised by those who promoted the ex-gay conference back in the Spring which featured three Americans, Scott Lively, Don Schmeirer and Caleb Brundidge. Lively backed measures to keep homosexuality illegal at the time.

This bill would make ex-gay ministry such as promoted by the conference impossible as just knowing about someone who is gay could lead to fines or imprisonment.

For previous posts, click here.

Another article on the bill. Boxturtlebulletin has the text of the bill. Here is a plank justifying the harsh measures:

This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic and that people who experience this mental disorder can and have changed to a heterosexual orientation.  It also recognizes that because homosexuals are not born that way, but develop this disorder based on experiences and environmental conditions, it is preventable, especially among young people who are most vulnerable to recruitment into the homosexual lifestyle.

I don’t think one’s view of etiology matters in the context of freedom. Determined or not, people are free to engage in relationships as adults and of course the state should protect minors. However, it now seems clearer than ever that the ex-gay conference was designed to give the government cover for the line of thinking presented in this bill. All involved in the ex-gay conference presented out-dated, easily falsified information in the Kampala conference. All involved have refused to bring their theories under the scrutiny of science and research. What if the Americans who went to Uganda presented accurate information about homosexuality to the Ugandan authorities? Would the authors of this bill been able to present this inadequate view of etiology unchallenged?

UPDATE from the BBC:

Ugandan pastor uses Richard Cohen as authority on homosexuality research

Richard Cohen’s book Coming Out Straight was used as a reference to refute scientific research on causes of same-sex attraction in a March 15 workshop led by Stephen Langa of the Family Life Network. Exgaywatch is the only place that has moving pictures from the Uganda meetings. Here is exclusive video of the reference to Cohen:

The Ugandan audience is very badly served by this reference. Cohen’s book was published in 2000 with a 2nd edition in 2007. The 2007 edition is not really an update and does not deal with any new research save for a brief mention of Robert Spitzer’s study of change. Numerous studies have been published since then which are far superior to the three studies Cohen claims to debunk in his book (Levay, Bailey & Pillard & Hamer). The science is miles upstream in 2009 and yet here is a minister of the Gospel misleading his audience with the help of Richard Cohen.