I always thought religion was something personal and one's own choice. Even the tenets of the Christian faith are based upon freedom of choice and free will. In order to be a Christian, apparently, you need to choose to follow Christ.
It is interesting indeed that some people think they are right to force others into believing what they believe.
Equally, it is just as frustrating to me when dealing with heterosexual people who believe that simply because they are heterosexual, everybody else is or should be too - and who take it upon themselves to force other people who identify as something else to conform to their beliefs - and to comply just because they say so.
Is this not supreme arrogance?
What in their wildest fantasies could possibly convince such people that they have any right at all to do so?
Take for example the tendency of some religious fundamentalist parents to over-react when their sons or daughters happen to tumble out of that closet. Do they welcome them, assure them of their continued love and support? Or do they reject them and bombard them with rhetoric and anti-gay religious propaganda - and then pack them off to the nearest "ex-gay" bootcamp they can find? Do they try to "pray away the gay"? And when they eventually figure out that it doesn't work, do they relent and accept their children? Or do they threaten them some more and tell them to "just pray harder like you mean it"?
Something as tragic and frightening as this is said to happen in the USA every week - and even here in South Africa, though such things are not recorded as human rights violations or abuses - why? Because these parents often convince these unwilling victims to become "willing victims" of their own narrowminded upbringing - or they give them no choice at all. One such case became public in the USA last week - where a young medical student came out to his family and was threatened by his parents with financial blackmail in respect of the withdrawal of his study funding, allowance and confiscation of his car and phone and being thrown "out on the street". He was bundled off to an unnamed "ex-gay" institution soon after, where his boyfriend could not reach him.
Aside from the dire threat such deceitful misleading groups pose to vulnerable gay and transgender people, they also insult the intelligence of every person out there with more than a few brain cells. They clothe themselves with the respectibility and authority of doctors of medicine and psychology and the "love" of religion - and yet they possess nor embody neither.
Their entire industry is founded upon lies and deceit. It carries the label of quacks and snake-oil merchants and of fundamentalism and relgious intolerance in the extreme. Despite existing proof that sexual orientation and gender identity are immutable and cannot be changed by any kind of therapy at all, they continue to claim that it can. Despite the fact that they have no medical or psychological motivation to do such things - only religious intolerance and bigotry. Depsite the fact that countless victims of their therapy who have survived and - are still gay or transgender and who vocalize the dangers such treatment poses to the victims, they persist - and receive the full support of fundamentalist as well as mainstream religious bodies.
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-13270.html "According to his friends, Bryce Faulkner, 23, was preparing to come out to deeply religious family when his mother discovered emails to his boyfriend, who lives in Wisconsin. He was then given an ultimatum of being kicked out on the street or going into ex-gay therapy, a controversial "cure" for homosexuality through prayer." "his boyfriend Travis Swanson, 24, said he was "very worried".
Swanson said: "Bryce was taken to this place on June 15th. The last time I spoke with him was on that day around 4:30am. He called me and was crying uncontrollably saying, 'You should have heard the mean and hateful things they said about me. They made me read out loud passages from the Bible'.
"One of the last things he said to me before falling asleep was, 'Promise me you will be strong for me and for us'."
Swanson believes Faulkner may be at an Exodus International ministry in Florida."
That such abuse can be allowed is disgusting and an affront to human rights laws and civilized societies everywhere. That parents who are supposed to love their children can act as their enemies out of hatred and intolerance is shocking. This is what "ex-gay" therapy - and religious fundamentalism hides - a heart full of broken dreams and shards of glass. This must end!
How can we ever have true equality while such vile insititutions are allowed to exist? You do not see insituitions set up to change people who are Black into White - or atheists or people of other faiths into Christians - oh hang on - they're called 'mission churches' - but somehow it is perfectly acceptable to screw up perfectly healthy and happy gay people and turn them into depressed and isolated, even suicidal closet cases.
The simple truth is that the only real "ex-gay" person is a dead gay person - and even then I am not too sure about the validity of that statement.
People are looking for Bryce Faulkner, people who really care about him. I hope they find him and get him out of there. Find him - and get him out of the clutches of those pretenders and liars who call themselves his parents and falsely claim to love him. Show him the love of the real God who made us as we are and loves us as he made us.
http://www.truthwinsout.org/pressreleases/exclusive-truth-wins-out-interview-with-thomas-maier/ Masters & Johnson’s Notorious ‘Ex-Gay’ Study Debunked after 30 years of hell for victims.
http://gaychristiansurvivors.tripod.com/ Gay Christian Survivors
http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=210 PFLAG (Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians And Gays)
http://respectmyresearch.org/ - Anti-gay activists and their organizations have distorted, cherry picked or misquoted research from esteemed academic scholars across the world.
Religious argument against GLBT persecution on grounds of religion:
http://www.godmademegay.com/ A Letter to Louise: A Biblical Affirmation of Homosexuality
http://www.gaychurch.co.za / www.qchurch.za.org die Reformerende Kerk Gay Afrikaans church in Pretoria.
http://www.stjohnsmc.org.za/ St Johns Methodist Church in Port Elizabeth SA - GLBT friendly church
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_fundamentalism Christian fundamentalism
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_10cl.htm Possible origin of the 10 commandments (ancient Egyptian book of the dead)
http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/history/king_james_gay.html King James (of the KJV) was gay! Yes indeedy!
http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-science (VERY GOOD SITE WITH A FREE PDF BOOK DOWNLOAD DEFENDING GLBT AGAINST RELIGIOUS HATE USING SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IN ARGUMENT)
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4215427.stm Non sex genes linked to 'gay trait'
http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/050511_transfrm.htm Preliminary work, genetic link found in transexuality
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7456588.stm BBC NEWS Health Scans see 'gay brain differences'
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617151845.htm Swedish study brain symetry GLBT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/surgery/body_mind/everyone/gender_dysphoria_transgender/ what is transgender?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_animals How can being gay not be natural if there are gay animals?
http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
http://www.robincmiller.com/gayles4.htm Playing the Pedophillia Card
Spread the truth about the "ex-gay" industry - that it is a lie and founded on religious fundamentalist hatred and intolerance and not on love or a desire to "help" at all. Stamp it out forever by spreading the truth as far as it will go.
The truth shall set us free.