Right from the start, my objection to so-called “conversion therapy” and the “ex-gay” movement, has been simple: it amounts to misleading advertising. I have no objection to those wishing to offer religious counselling to gay people who find it a struggle to live in accordance with their religions belief – but to call it “conversion” is deceitful. It is now widely accepted that one’s sexual and affectional orientation is deeply ingrained (possibly even within the womb), and simply cannot be changed. Even the “ex-gay” leaders themselves have now acknowledged it.
Now, an American court has ruled (unanimously) that so-called “conversion therapy” amounts to consumer fraud
After three weeks of trial, a New Jersey jury reached a quick verdict in the case against JONAH, a Jewish ex-gay organization sued under the state’s consumer fraud laws. The jury unanimously found against JONAH on all counts, meaning it will have to pay upwards of $25,000 in damages to the clients and their families for undergoing ex-gay therapy. Continue reading New Jersey Court: “Conversion Therapy” is Consumer Fraud/
1st Reading, 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B:
In today’s reading, we learn how Jonah was sent to preach to the people of Nineveh, and by reforming them, to save them from the Lord’s destruction:
The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour. And God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.
Well – great. Terrific. But what, if anything, does this say to queer Christians? The key lies in seeing the greater context, the prequel. Jonah had not wanted to go to Nineveh, at all. He tried to resist the Lord’s command, and boarded a boat to sail away, in the opposite direction. But the Lord’s command is not so easily resisted, and after his familiar troubles at sea, he ended up washed ashore – on the coast of Nineveh. That is where today’s reading begins.
Continue reading Reforming Nineveh (Jeremiah 3:1 – 5)