Any suggestion that homosexuality is a choice (rather than being inborn), or that homosexual desire can be overcome through conversion therapy is increasingly not tolerated by the elite which controls the Western mainstream media and institutions of higher learning. Amazon has joined these guardians of social thought by banning books that support conversion therapy – Amazon Pulls Books By Catholic Writer Who Promoted Conversion Therapy. According to NBC News:
Amazon has removed English-language books by a man largely considered “the father of conversion therapy” from its site following mounting pressure from LGBTQ activists.
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, founder of the now-shuttered Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, as well as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), authored several how-to guides directed to parents of LGBTQ youth, including “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.” His books are some of the most well-known works about conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Christian blogger, Denny Burk rejects the ban by Amazon as “chilling” even though he is personally no fan of Nicolosi. Burk also finds the secular models of Reparative Therapy (RT) inadequate as “they attempt to explain sinful problems without the category of “sin.” RT is based on the theory that homosexuality comes from shame growing out of a loss of parental attachment in early childhood. As such homosexuals can overcome their experience of same-sex-attraction by repairing this shame through reparative therapy, or “corrective emotional experience.” This psychological explanation of the origins of homosexuality has been critiqued as inadequate and lacking nuances. For Burke, “The most significant problem that homosexuals have is, like everyone else, their own sinfulness. God’s remedy for sin is not therapeutic attunement, but repentant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The goal of RT is change of “sexual orientation” from homosexuality to heterosexuality. But Heath Lambert emphasizes that for the Christian, mere heterosexuality is not the ultimate goal.
This goal is not one that biblical counselors can embrace. The Bible never declares that heterosexuality is the goal of a full and contented life. I can say it more strongly. The Bible never says that heterosexuality, in general terms, is a good thing. Sex that the Bible praises is the kind that happens in heterosexual marriage—that is sex in a marriage between one man and one woman. The Bible, however, never commands or commends heterosexual desires in general terms.
A biblical goal for persons struggling with same-sex attraction is something much more glorious than mere heterosexuality. The biblical goal is to honor Jesus Christ with sexual purity (1 Thess 4:3-8). A faithful Christian could pursue this goal by turning from homosexuality in either of two ways. They could mortify their sinful desires and behavior in a lifestyle of honorable, chaste, Christian celibacy (Matt 19:10-12; 1 Cor 7:25-40). They could also mortify their sinful desires and behavior in the context of a loving Christian marriage.
However what is troubling is not that Amazon bans books on RT because its psychological theory is contestable, but because RT teaches that it is possible to change someone’s “sexual orientation.” According to the NBC news report, such teachings are harmful, as it can cause death to people.
These books [advocating the possibility of change for homosexuality] will still be accessible and will still be a risk for youth,” Brinton, the co-founder of 50 Bills 50 States, the largest campaign to protect LGBTQ youths from conversion therapy in the U.S., said. “But you can compare removing them to the surgeon general announcing smoking is dangerous: People now know the side effects of the practice.” “The best way to save lives is to pass legislation.
Laws against conversation therapy are increasingly passed by 18 states in USA which includes states like Oregon, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii etc.
Burk draws the chilling conclusion:
The Amazon ban and the suggested legislation to ban conversion therapy isn’t limited to Joseph Nicolosi’s teachings. This ban defines any attempt to change one’s sexual desires as “conversion therapy.” Well guess what? That means that every single Christian who believes that God’s grace changes sexual sinners would be implicated by this ban and by such legislation.
What Amazon has done is really chilling. They have now set the precedent for banning Christian teaching about sexuality from the books that they sell on their platform. Just to be clear again. I am not saying that Nicolosi’s books are in any way “Christian teaching.” I’m saying that orthodox Christianity has always taught that Jesus both saves and sanctifies sinners—meaning that the gospel helps us to change, even in our wayward sexual desires. To the outside world, that may sound like “conversation therapy.” To those of us who are orthodox Christians, it sounds like the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
What that means is that Christianity long been on a collision course with the new secular orthodoxy on sexuality. It means that we may have our books banned from Amazon. I myself have two that would have to be excluded if Amazon were to apply its content guidelines to my books as they have to Nicolosi’s. And I wouldn’t be alone.
The sexual revolutionaries used to ask us, “How does my gay marriage harm you?” Well, this is how. They have gone from “live and let live” to “affirm our sexual immorality, or we will tar and feather you as causing the deaths of gay people.” It is a calumny and a lie, but that is where we are.
Questions: How should churches reach out to homosexuals while rejecting homosexual practices? How should churches respond when homosexual activists working with the authorities impose their demands onto churches: “Accept homosexual practices or be banned from the public arena?”