Nov 29, 2011

Christian professor clarifies stance on 'sexual identity'

Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 3/11/2010

A professor at an evangelical Christian college in Pennsylvania says his guidelines for "sexual identity therapy" are being misunderstood by some Christian proponents of traditional marriage. 

Dr. Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College says he has not lost faith in God's ability to change people who are struggling with homosexuality, but believes most of those people are not likely to experience a "diminishment" in same-sex attraction.

"To say that because it appears from the research that change is infrequent in attractions doesn't mean I've lost my faith in God's ability to change people," he states.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality expressed concern on American Family Radio Monday that Throckmorton "downplays" the stories of former homosexuals "who have experienced profound change."

Throckmorton tells OneNewsNow that his "Practice Guidelines for Sexual Identity Therapy" are for professional therapists and not pastors. He denies that as a therapist he would advise clients to maintain a homosexual identity.

"The framework [for the guidelines] doesn't encourage a client to do what the counselor thinks he or she ought to do," says the professor. "The framework follows the beliefs and the values of the client. So to say that the counselor encourages clients any particular direction would be in error."

Throckmorton says he personally holds a "traditional view of homosexuality and sexual ethics." However, when asked whether he believes homosexuality is "normal, natural and healthy," he said he could not answer that with a simple "yes" or "no" response. He said "in a professional therapy situation" it is accurate to say that "homosexuals can live normal, natural, and healthy lives that are free of mental illness."

On the issue of same-sex "marriage," Throckmorton says he takes a more "nuanced" view -- and that he opposes same-sex marriage but believes the Equal Protection Clause permits homosexual civil unions.

If you feel that you are tormented by uwanted same-sex attraction then the answer lies in loving and accepting your true self not rejecting or self loathing. The term 'unwanted same-sex attraction' adds to the denial. It is not an attraction it is an orientation. It is far deeper than just an attraction or behaviour and is a part of your brain wiring, thought processes, hormones and behaviour. People nedd to examine the 'unwanted' part of the statement not the orientation itself.

Before you invest the time, money, emotional energy and possibly years of your life trying to go from gay to straight, ask the ex-gay leaders what guarantee they can give you that it will work. If they are honest with you, the best they will be able to offer you as a degree of ‘heterosexual functionality’, but the gay never actually goes away. Then ask yourself what would be the best way to spend your time, money and emotional energy…..rejecting yourself or accepting yourself.

After 22 years of trying to change including ex-gay programs, exorcisms and 16 years of marriage, I came to the realisation that loving myself was far healthier than hating and rejecting my true self. Like 1,000’s of others today, I finally discovered that I can live a wonderfully fulfilling, moral life as an openly gay man and still have my faith.
Anthony Venn-Brown

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