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Good from bad: The cultural mainstreaming of homosexuality is liberating those seeking to escape it
WORLD Magazine ^ | February 09, 2008 | Lynn Vincent

Posted on 02/19/2008 2:38:18 AM PST by Zender500

When Stephen was 16, he told his mother he was gay.

The year was 1998, and America was hovering on the verge of a new gay ascendancy. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres had just declared herself a lesbian, both on her television sit-com and in real life. The murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard sparked candlelight vigils and pro-gay proclamations by public figures such as Sen. Ted Kennedy. The ensuing windfall of "hate crimes" legislation helped gay activists continue to reframe the homosexuality debate, from one about morality to one about civil rights. In 1999, California legalized same-sex domestic partnerships; the following year, Vermont sanctioned gay civil unions; and state after state made "sexual orientation" a protected class.

"It was so easy in the culture to say, 'I like men. That's my preference,'" said Stephen, now 26 and working in Nashville's finance industry. The culture also made it easy for him to fall into an abyss of failed live-in relationships and anonymous sexual encounters. By 2006, he felt buried alive.

"I felt trapped by the gay-rights movement," he said. "I wasn't a part of it, but all my friends were."

Paradoxically, though, it was the gay-rights movement that paved Stephen's way to healing: "Because it's easier to come out of the closet, it's also easier to find people who have found freedom" from homosexuality. "You now have people who have lived in the gay lifestyle and who have been hurt by it and are talking about it."

Call it "ex-gay" liberation: While the American Psychological Association and establishment gay-rights groups still deny that people can change from gay to straight, several faith-based and secular programs for struggling homosexuals are reporting the same phenomenon—that by normalizing homosexuality in the culture, gay activists have de-stigmatized their lifestyle, and in so doing, have freed those fighting same-sex attraction to seek help without shame.

"The fact that gay activists have brought homosexuality out of the closet has allowed us to open the closet door wide so that people who have suffered in silence can find healing options and alternatives," said Arthur Goldberg, director of JONAH, an international Jewish nonprofit based in New Jersey.

Tustin, Calif., counselor Joe Dallas agrees. In his own biblical counseling practice, he has noticed that teenagers are more likely to be honest with their parents about their sexuality, whether they are struggling with it or embracing it. "There is more willingness to talk openly about it, and that's a good thing."

Exodus International, a Christian outreach to gays and lesbians seeking change, has seen a dramatic shift in the types of people interested in talking. More than half those attending the group's 2007 annual conference in Los Angeles were first-time conference goers, a dramatic change from years past when the majority were repeat attendees. Rising interest prompted the group to launch its first-ever regional conference, held in Nashville last fall. As with the L.A. conference, the majority (60 percent) of participants were first-time attendees.

Exodus has also seen growth in its fledgling church network, an interdenominational coalition of congregations that provide local support to those seeking freedom from homosexuality. Since its formation in 2006, the Exodus Church Network has grown to more than 70 congregations.

Stephen, the Nashville finance professional who walked away from homosexuality, said the growing number of churches providing a safe place to fight unwanted same-sex attraction shows that "churches are now realizing that the way they've handled this issue in the past is not the God-intended way to deal with any sort of bondage or sin. You don't berate people or shame them. Neither do you accept the sinful behavior. Instead, you lovingly show them the freedom from the bondage they've been in."

Don Timone is a New York-based Catholic priest who has served for 25 years as a spiritual director for Courage, a support group for Catholics who want to disconnect from homosexuality. Timone said he's noticed an increase in the number of parents attending Courage's summer conferences in search of help in dealing with a son or daughter who has come out. In years past, many Catholic families rejected their homosexual sons and daughters, guarded the sin as a dirty family secret, or both, he said. "Cultural changes have helped parents deal with their sons and daughters in a more compassionate way."

Timone said he is also seeing more Catholic bishops actively seeking to launch support groups in their dioceses, another trend he pegs to the cultural visibility of homosexuality. "With massive media coverage, the church is now saying, 'These are good people who have been wounded in some way. Let's see what we can do to help them.'"

The trend toward outreach is also present among Orthodox Jews, Goldberg reports. But he notes that there is a significant downside to all this: JONAH does see "a subset of people who have never really acted out with a person of the same sex, may or may not fantasize about it, or may have had one experimental activity," Goldberg said. "Yet these people have begun obsessing about the idea that they must be gay because society is telling them they must be gay."

In decades past, men and women routinely brushed off fleeting thoughts of homosexual behavior. Now, though, gay activists have succeeded in planting a seed that says people not only can but should follow such thoughts with exploration and action.

Encino, Calif., clinic psychologist Joseph Nicolosi said that trend has changed the demographics in his practice. In 1991, his average client was in his or her mid- to late twenties. Now about a third are teenagers. Public-school gay outreaches such as the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network and "gay-straight alliances" have resulted in more kids claiming a gay identity at younger ages. "So that bad news is they're coming out of the closet earlier," said Nicolosi, who is president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. "The good news is when they announce it to their parents, their parents are getting them into therapy quicker."

In decades past, more kids waited until their college years to announce their homosexuality. By then, it was too late for parental intervention. Now though, like Timone, Nicolosi has noticed more parents intervening earlier and with positive results: "The adolescent is more inclined to renounce his gay 'identity' when he learns that it's not biological or inevitable, but the result of childhood trauma," Nicolosi said, adding that the countermanding influence of concerned parents is a factor gay activists typically overlook when promoting homosexuality to youth.

The new openness is helping not only those looking to leave homosexuality, but also Christians who are battling homosexual urges but have never acted on them. Brad, a recent college graduate living in Manitou Springs, Colo., grew up in the church and has actively fought same-sex attraction for eight years. "All I ever heard was testimonies from people who went deeply into the gay lifestyle," he said.

That didn't describe him and so, for years, he kept his battle private. But the effect was like that of a tight lid on a boiling pot. "It becomes this dichotomy where you feel you either have to live out the lifestyle or repress it in silence," he said.

But through books he ordered from Exodus, as well as openness among his Christian family and friends, he has learned that it's OK to struggle—and OK not to elevate feelings above the Word of God. Instead, there's a third option, Brad said: "You can work through temptation just like every Christian has done through the ages with every kind of sin."

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: exgays; exodus; homosexualagenda

1 posted on 02/19/2008 2:38:20 AM PST by Zender500
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To: wagglebee; LiteKeeper


2 posted on 02/19/2008 2:38:46 AM PST by Zender500
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To: Zender500

You know,

people that live that lifestyle are swimming against a strong current of satanic oppression that they will never overcome without help from Jesus Christ.

3 posted on 02/19/2008 2:46:27 AM PST by se_ohio_young_conservative
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To: Zender500

Homosexual behavior is unnatural, unhealthy, and repulsive. Even if they don’t feel a normal moral or religious opposition to the practices of homosexuals, why do all the libs have to keep promoting homosexuality and celebrating it? The whole idea of criticizing people by calling them “anti-gay” or “homophobic”—why can’t they just celebrate homosexuality like the rest of us?—is so stupid! Congratulations to everyone who has escaped the dead-end homosexual lifestyle!!

4 posted on 02/19/2008 2:58:42 AM PST by guitarist
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To: guitarist

God is Wonderful, Mighty and Sovereign, taking what was meant for evil and using it for His purposes.

5 posted on 02/19/2008 3:01:47 AM PST by momincombatboots (World changing power in the blood)
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To: Zender500
The Goals see #26
6 posted on 02/19/2008 3:25:35 AM PST by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: Vaquero

exactly what I have been saying and do say publically.

Having sex with the same sex is not natural nor is it normal, it is a sexual perversion , a mental issue and a unnatural act.

Hopefully more and more will seek help with their issue and get back to a normal natural loving relationship, get married and have their kids.

There was work being done in Europe I believe where they actually found that gays have a different brain and that there is help through medicene .

Of course those libs and gays who no not seek help and not realise they have a problem will denounce all this and still try to promote their unnatural act as it makes them feel some what normal, like having these parades they believe if they surround themselves with the same people they are somewhat normal.

to any person who thinks they might or have had sex with the same sex there is help for you

7 posted on 02/19/2008 10:13:04 AM PST by manc
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To: guitarist

[Even if they don’t feel a normal moral or religious opposition to the practices of homosexuals, why do all the libs have to keep promoting homosexuality and celebrating it?]

The answer to your question, Per Richard Nixon [Emphasis Added]:


EHRLICHMAN: What's it called?

NIXON: "Archie's Guys." Archie is sitting here with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter. The son-in-law apparently goes both ways. This guy. He's obviously queer--wears an ascot--but not offensively so. Very clever. Uses nice language. Shows pictures of his parents. And so Arch goes down to the bar. Sees his best friend, who used to play professional football. Virile, strong, this and that. Then the fairy comes into the bar.

I don't mind the homosexuality. I understand it. Nevertheless, goddamn, I don't think you glorify it on public television, homosexuality, even more than you glorify whores. We all know we have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids? You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates.

EHRLICHMAN: But he never had the influence television had.

NIXON: You know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags. Neither in a public way. You know what happened to the popes? They were layin' the nuns; that's been goin' on for years, centuries. But the Catholic Church went to hell three or four centuries ago. It was homosexual, and it had to be cleaned out. That's what's happened to Britain. It happened earlier to France.

Let's look at the strong societies. The Russians. Goddamn, they root 'em out. They don't let 'em around at all. I don't know what they do with them. Look at this country. You think the Russians allow dope? Homosexuality, dope, immorality, are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and left-wingers are clinging to one another. They're trying to destroy us. I know Moynihan will disagree with this, [Attorney General John] Mitchell will, and Garment will. But, goddamn, we have to stand up to this.

EHRLICHMAN: It's fatal liberality.


EHRLICHMAN: It's fatal liberality. And with its use on television, it has such leverage.

NIXON: You know what's happened [in northern California]?

EHRLICHMAN: San Francisco has just gone clear over.

NIXON: But it's not just the ratty part of town. The upper class in San Francisco is that way. The Bohemian Grove, which I attend from time to time--it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine, with that San Francisco crowd. I can't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco.

Decorators. They got to do something. But we don't have to glorify it. You know one of the reasons fashions have made women look so terrible is because the goddamned designers hate women. Designers taking it out on the women. Now they're trying to get some more sexy things coming on again.

EHRLICHMAN: Hot pants.

NIXON: Jesus Christ.

8 posted on 02/19/2008 11:12:43 AM PST by Etoo (I regret that I have but one screen name to sacrifice for my country.)
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To: Etoo

Wow. Is that from the Nixon tapes?

9 posted on 02/19/2008 11:19:22 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life)
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To: Liberty Valance

>>Wow. Is that from the Nixon tapes?


May 13, 1971, between 10:30am and 12:30pm — Oval Office
Conversation 498-5— meeting with Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman

10 posted on 02/19/2008 11:21:47 AM PST by Etoo (I regret that I have but one screen name to sacrifice for my country.)
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To: Etoo

I suppose this why modern Presidents have to give up personal email while in office. Those mass email FWD’s from your buddy list would land you in a very public Congressional hearing.

11 posted on 02/19/2008 11:32:23 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life)
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To: Liberty Valance

[I suppose this why modern Presidents have to give up personal email while in office. Those mass email FWD’s from your buddy list would land you in a very public Congressional hearing.]

If modern Presidents maintained personal integrity and respected truth, and honor - it wouldn't be a problem.

Nixon was right on target.

12 posted on 02/19/2008 11:43:11 AM PST by Etoo (I regret that I have but one screen name to sacrifice for my country.)
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To: Zender500

Last week, Hillary took Obama to task for not being as enthusiastic about homosexuality as she is. “I’m more pro-homosexual than Obama” she proudly claimed. All Democrat candidates are busy burnishing their credentials by signing on to the radical gay agenda, which has extended way beyond ‘tolerance’ to outright acceptance of anything that falls in the sexual arena.

Take Yale University. This week is set aside for “Sex Week.” Parents will have the satisfaction of seeing what their $45K per year buys. First up is a trendy competition to win a porn-star look-alike contest. Then students will proceed to the good stuff, like learning how to achieve a state beyond bliss and the proper application of lubricants. This is called higher education.

Other sex news last week included the confessions of a kinky college professor who was almost strangled in an S&M session. He’s ‘deeply ashamed’ and ‘finally through’ with the double life he’s led as a kid. Expect him to become the left’s new poster boy for courage.

13 posted on 02/20/2008 8:48:32 AM PST by IrishMike (I am not a Republican first. I am a conservative.)
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