From the Land of the Painfully Obvious…

…comes this article from YahooNews which exposes the insidious effects that Christian-based gay prevention programs may have for teens and which also questions the professional validity of such programs.

A national gay and lesbian group is accusing several religious organizations of harming homosexual teens by offering parents what they say are bogus therapies to keep children from becoming gay.

The report said some Christian-based gay prevention and treatment groups have used the First Amendment protection of religion to avoid sanctions by state health officials seeking to enforce regulations on counselors who offer therapy without a license.

Since many SEB members are currently involved in a heated debate regarding counseling and licenses in this thread, I thought it might be interesting to bring this up. My personal belief is that such programs are abominable. I think that anyone has the right to have a sexual relationship with another willing adult of the same sex; whether or not the desire to do so is a choice, something that is inherently innate, or some combination of the two does not concern me in the least.  It is well-known by most who know me that my opinion regarding conservative Christianity in general tends to be low, and I can say for certain that the reason for this is due in part to precisely this type of thing.

Perhaps it is one thing for fundamentalist Christians to have a problem with their own kid being gay, and quite another thing for them to attempt to eradicate homosexuality in general. I can certainly respect the difference between the two scenarios. All the same, the concept of gay prevention programs still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is most certainly not easy for teenagers to come out as gay even in the most tolerant of households; it must be all the more wrenching a process when the household in which they were brought up was one of a stifling religious atmosphere that taught them that homosexuality was a horrible thing. Furthermore,  I do not believe for a second that the concept of “reformed homosexuality” exists. Just because a gay teen may be “reformed” to the point of becoming a status quo conformist who plays the heterosexual game does not mean that his/her desires have been reformed. His/her true desires may have simply become deeply repressed, which could only result in further pain and confusion for the individual in question.

The article goes on to question whether or not the authorities should pay more attention to what is going on in such programs:

In a report released Thursday in Miami Beach, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute questioned whether the therapies are ethical or effective and said state and federal authorities should provide greater oversight when these programs are aimed at youth.

Again, since my personal opinion of these programs is that they are abominable and extremely harmful for teens, I would say that the authorities are overdue in investigating them.




Undertaking the Brave Task of Exposing Wingnut Lies

I’d like to add the humorous weblog Sadly, No to the ranks of SEB in terms of both insight and sheer entertainment value when it comes to presenting and rebutting extremism. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Sadly, No is a site that originally began in Germany. Its primary contributors are guys named Seb, Brad, and Gavin. It is a very liberal blog, and some folks here may understandably find it a little on the militant side; however, from my point of view it does a remarkably sound job of countering right-wing rants with good humor and good logic. These fellows are far more patient than I would be, as they often deconstruct line by line highly spurious arguments from such nests of informed, unbiased opinions as Townhall, Alan Keyes’ own Renew America, and WingNutDaily. A favorite target is the self-righteous, virginal chick magnet Ben Shapiro, author of “Porn Generation.”

A sample, from today’s update:

Catching up with Clownhall so you don’t have to

Now with Scrubbing Bubbles! Since they’re doing their own ‘shorters’ now with capsule descriptions of each new column, all that’s left to do is to add spoilers.

Doug Giles (r): “How’d you like to be ‘jalapeño-peppered,’ Speedy Gonzalez?”

A Hunter’s Take on Cheney’s Mistake
by Doug Giles – Feb 18, 2006

Is the Cheney story the story we should be obsessing on right now?

Whoah there, Amigo—not while there are Mexicans sneaking over the border, with their sombreros and frijoles and a lust for the flesh of human infants.


Good stuff.

They Won’t Like Us When We’re Angry

According to a Yahoo News report, Republicans are claiming that Democrats are being controlled by the “angry left,” and that this alleged anger is bad news for the country.

Former Vice President Al Gore is angry. So is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The party is held hostage by the “angry left.”

How’s this for irony? For years conservatives have taunted Democrats for being “soft;” now that some of them are finally speaking up, they’re accused of having an “anger problem.”

In recent months, GOP operatives and officeholders have cast the Democrats as the anger party, long on emotion and short on ideas. Analysts say the strategy has been effective, trivializing Democrats’ differences with the GOP as temperamental rather than substantive.

Because we all know that emotionality is the antithesis to logic, don’t we? I find it funny that the Left is charged with having anger management problems, yet it seems to me that much of the vitriol that is spewed around comes from right-wing pundits such as Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter. It can be argued that Howard Dean has made some comments in the past that can be viewed as mean-spirited, yet in my personal opinion I don’t think the Democrats are angry enough.

It is only reasonable to get angry if one is the minority in every branch of the government; it is only to be expected that, in the face of all the scandals and questionable practices (i.e. spying and eavesdropping) that have been the goings-on of Republicans, one would get a mite pissed off. In this regard, anger is a healthy reaction.

*This is my first post. Be gentle.* wink