History books have a way of being cleaned up. We, as humans, don't like to face the ugly truths of our past. We pretend that certain things never happened. We turn a blind eye to Chairman Mao slaughtering millions of his own people. We bury the holy wars from the past. Yes, we teach about some of these things in our history classes, but it's usually in a sterile intellectual sort of way, and many of us never stop to think about what it was really like--how truly inhuman we can be sometimes. And, for this reason, many people do not like talking about this sort of thing--about children being abused because they're gay, or about inhumane therapy that has been (and still is) attempted to try to make gay people straight.
The truth is that reparative therapy exists. Plenty of places exist that claim to change people from gay to straight. And too many of them use practices that are wholly unthinkable to an enlightened society. I have heard of electrodes being strapped to genitals, of vomit-inducing IVs, and all sorts of disgusting treatments. It must stop. We must treat all people like people, not just the ones who are "normal".
Fortunately, BYU has discontinued the unethical practices it once participated in in the attempt to "cure" gay people. However, they still teach that homosexuality must be controlled or changed, and this is just as bad.
As sad as reparative therapy is, I would have to say that the most disturbing thing about this young man's story is the treatment he received from his own parents. A family should be a place of refuge. It should be a place where one always feels loved and accepted. It should be a place where everyone looks after everyone else and seeks the best for each individual and for the whole family. No one in a family should ever beat another member of the family. No one in the family should ever turn their back on another member of the family. No one should ever be deserted, kicked out of the home. This is tragic. Anyone or any teaching that encourages a family to dissolve is evil. The doctrine that homosexuality is evil is a false and a detrimental doctrine. It breaks families apart. I have seen it time after time, and it is extremely saddening and infuriating to me. Telling your gay children that they have no place in your home is evil. Telling your gay siblings that they must change is evil. Telling your gay cousins that you want nothing to do with them is evil.
This boy did nothing wrong. He had never committed any homosexual act, so he cannot be labeled as a sinner even by Christian doctrine. He confessed that he had feelings for one of his friends and what did that earn him? His father sent him to the emergency room multiple times. Are these the acts of a loving father? Is this the Christian idea of real love? This is pure evil, completely immoral, and has no place in our society. The obvious culprit here is the false teaching that homosexuality is evil. This innocent boy looks to his parents for love and support. In doing so, he reveals to them something for which he could not possibly be considered guilty. What does he get in return? Hatred.
These are the fruits of your teachings that homosexuality is wrong. This is what it brings about in people. Is this what you want? You take exception and say "I would never physically assault a child--especially not my own--I only teach that being gay is bad, not that abuse is ok." And to you I would say that teaching your child that their own innate, innocuous feelings are evil is just as bad. Your children want to please you. They want you to approve of them. They will do almost anything to make you proud of them. Don't break their spirits and numb their hearts simply because they're not what you expect them to be. Teaching a child that they must have heterosexual feelings when in fact they have homosexual feelings is wrong. It is evil. Telling them that the love that they feel is immoral or is unreal is a horrible, nasty lie and will only cause distress in your relationship with your child and in their own psyche.
People say "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." This is false. Verbal abuse is just as real as physical abuse, and at least as damaging. Words can kill, and they do every day. Teenagers just wanting to fit in with their friends, just wanting their parents to be proud of them, kill themselves every day because of the things they are told. This must stop. How many more need to die before we finally decide to treat people right? How much suffering do you need to see before your sadism is satiated and at last you feel a twinge of humanity seep in?
There was a bill being discussed in the Michigan legislature. It would be an anti-bullying bill, to prevent LGBT students from being bullied in their schools. At the last minute, a stipulation was added to the bill that would allow “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil’s parent or guardian.” My question is why would such an exception be added to an anti-bullying bill? If someone's religious beliefs are a form of bullying, then should that bullying be allowed in public schools merely in the interest of protecting the freedom of religion? This is nonsense. And, if you wish to make the claim that people expressing their religious views is not bullying, then I would ask why there's a need to put this in an anti-bullying bill? If someone expressing their religious views is not bullying, then there's no need to even mention it at all in the bill, since it has nothing to do with bullying. To me, this is just a manifestation that the religious view that homosexuality is immoral is hateful and the state legislature of Michigan has at least enough sense to recognize that fact, even if it doesn't have enough sense to prohibit the bullying.
On a slightly light-hearted note, I'd like to add one more video. This one shows just how ridiculous the notion of reparative therapy is. As a disclaimer, I'd probably rate it at about PG-13, so the more sensitive of my readers might take offense at some of the parts in it, if any of you are still reading my blog.