Fresh from my encounter yesterday with HOTS Bath, in the news today is the decision in London to ban a particularly troubling ad that another loopy and corrosive evangelical outfit called Core Issues Trust wanted to display on London buses. Their ad is deliberately designed to mimic Stonewall's excellent bus ad (above).
I listened with interest to an interview on LBC this morning with Core Issues' director, Dr Mike Davidson. Like most of these people, he came across as harmless if misguided, unless you listened very carefully. The agenda they have, made very clear on their web pages, is that homosexuality can be changed to heterosexuality with God's help and a bit of psychotherapy. Now they make it very plain that they don't seek to "cure" homosexuality, but logic says that if their message is (go see for yourself) that being homosexual causes you pain, they offer a way to change yourself, then that is a cure, isn't it? Weasel words indeed! To be fair to them, they do put these words at the top of their home page:
CORE is a non-profit Christian initiative seeking to support men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression. It respects the rights of individuals who identify as 'gay' who do not seek change.
There's loads and loads of interesting stuff on their web pages, including a liberal garnishing of PhDs all over the place - it's Dr This and Dr That and Dr The Other. So prevalent is this sort of thing in the evangelical and altmed world that I have reverted to calling myself Mrs instead of Dr.
My reactions and conclusion? No quality research has yet demonstrated that psychotherapeutic interventions or spiritual "therapy" can change people's sexual orientation. Little wonder. Homosexual orientation is Not a Disease. Get Over It! The banned ad seems to me to be offensive and likely to cause distress and confusion in some individuals who may be in the process of trying to work out how they can manage their natural sexual orientation in an increasingly hostile world. After all, it's the hostility which causes the hurt, not the homosexuality. Therefore if there is any "cure" to be effected, it should be applied to those who seek to shun and persecute them, or treat them as "sick" when they are perfectly sound.
My prediction: Core Issues will begin to cry about "militant atheism" and "being persecuted" and "free speech" before next week is out. And if not them, then someone else on their behalf...
Any MPs spring to mind?