Presbyterians, Gays and Anti-Semites
The New York Times, which many years ago (when I came to America as a young man) was known as the Grey Lady of political and cultural conservatism, has more recently become an icon of progressive virtues. Its coverage of events dealing with homosexuality is extensive, possibly compulsive. One may expect, sometime between Labor Day and November 6, an issue of the newspaper with two equally large headlines on page one - “Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities” and “American Samoa legalizes same-sex marriage”. (The exact date of this issue may depend on when the Mossad concludes that the election will be won by Obama, whose concern for Israel (or so the Mossad thinks) may equal his concern for the fate of Hosni Mubarak.)
On July 7, 2012, the Times contained two stories with homosexual relevance. The longer story, the lead in the section on national affairs, concerned a rift in Exodus International, a network of Evangelically inspired ministries with the aim of “curing” individuals with homosexual proclivities. Founded in 1976, the mission statement of the organization describes it as “mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality”. The statement goes on to affirming the Bible, both Old and New Testament, as the “final authority for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction for right living”. The method to accomplish the desired “correction” - from a homosexual to a heterosexual way of life—is to be “reparative therapy—a holistic, counseling approach”. I have not explored the details of this procedure, but I gather that it is a very directive psychotherapy coupled with intense spiritual practices. There have been a number of studies about the outcome. The results vary considerably. “Success”, as measured by a real change of sexual orientation, varies between 15% and 29%, not exactly a staggering result (though a more moderate form of “success”, with also less than impressive percentages, is defined as a new lifestyle of celibacy).