A loving society would try to help kids who are suffering from high-risk, self-destructive behavior. Unfortunately, Utah has joined 18 other states in criminalizing therapy designed to help steer youth away from engaging in homosexual behavior that will shorten their lifespan, put them at much higher risk of suicide, sexually transmitted disease, drug use, and self-loathing.
Kids engaging in homosexuality are three times as likely to commit suicide, twice as likely to use illegal and illicit drugs, six times as unlikely to have “unprotected” sex, and exponentially more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, or herpes. Additionally, they suffer far more from depression and from low self-esteem.
It’s not easy suffering from an unnatural, self-destructive sexual problem. And kids need help.
However, thanks to so-called “conservative” Christians like Albert Mohler who have denounced attempts to help kids through this awkward, misaligned stage, secularists have had no real opposition to banning clinical help for youth who want to walk away from this self-defeating behavior.
Broadly called “reparative therapy,” the practice describes an attempt through counseling (clinical or religious) to help youth work through unnatural and unhealthy tendencies.
Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and other prominent leftist evangelicals like Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, have led the charge to stigmatize helping homosexual youth. Their language is cloaked theologically in terms of “redemption rather than repair” and other sanctimoniously savvy expressions, but it has amounted in an entire generation of young people unable to seek help for their condition.
Although the ultimate answer for homosexuality is spiritual conversion, Mohler and other leftist evangelicals don’t similarly stigmatize clinical treatment for alcoholism, drug abuse, or heterosexual sexual addiction.
Mohler and others who denounce reparative therapy treat homosexuality as a special, protected, almost-sacrosanct category of sin.
Utah passed the measure after it worked out a compromise with the Mormon Church to exempt clergy from the ban. Professional counselors (the kind with actual training) will be banned from helping gay teens unless they have an ordination certificate.
Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the press, “It’s really given people a lot of hope,” said Minter, whose group has pushed for bans around the U.S. Virginia is considering a ban, and the issue could also come up in this year in Texas and Kentucky, he said.”
Meanwhile, some Southern Baptists still support helping gay teens, but the most prominent supporter of reparative therapy, Dr. Bobby Lopez, was fired for his stance on homosexuality from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Lopez, a former homosexual who was raised in a homosexual household himself, has advocated repeatedly for reparative therapy. The Southern Baptist Convention didn’t want him around.
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