Conversion Therapy Bans Threaten Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech by Charles Franklin
The latest front in the LGBT community’s clash with religious liberty are prohibitions on “conversion therapy.” Such bans seek to halt the “conversion” of a gay, undecided or gender-confused young person from gay to straight.
Past psychological abominations such as so-called “aversion therapy” which used electrical shocks and pornography to do the “conversion” are the reason for bans on the practice, and any such psychological coercion should be banned. But the shotgun approach to protecting so-called gender identity would in some cases now prohibit pastoral counseling which may cite scriptural references to marriage as between a man and a woman, for example, or suggesting the person being counseled remain chaste rather than engage in same-sex relations.
In one example from Australia, the legislation goes so far as to prohibit such counseling even if the person seeks it. Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli condemned any coercive practice but said that “nobody is protected when governments seek to determine what prayers are OK to say, or what faith reasonably proposes…”
So today, many states and localities ban any attempt of priest, minister, rabbi or imam to talk a gay, undecided or confused young person into an acceptance of normal sexuality. But in what is a tragically absurd irony, minors can receive drugs designed to enable later transsexualism, or receive “sexual reassignment surgery” without legal hurdles. So while “talk toward straight” is banned even by religious leaders, “drugs and surgery toward transsexualism” is OK?
According to Abigail Schrier’s book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing our Daughters, there is much social pressure these days on girls to become boys.
So how about some rational middle ground? Let’s take the pressure off, at least until puberty, and if there must be pressure at all, let it be not just a one-way street. If it is legal to convert a biological female to male anatomy, or vice versa, then it is absolutely insane to prohibit a religious leader or counselor to talk to a child about normal sexuality. Once the child reaches puberty, or the age of majority, then that child can decide what to do or be.
The gay rights movement has become a political movement, a social litmus test, and an anti-religious cudgel. It has reached into our businesses, religious institutions and families, and has sought to turn our society on its head. Treat the gay, undecided and confused with respect, but do not allow them to dominate the lives and religious practices of others.