Bishop Eddie Long has made no secret on his thoughts of homosexuality. In fact, his church offers counseling that “cures homosexuality,” according to the NY Daily News.
Last year, a British study showed that one in 25 therapists would assist a bisexual client attempting to convert into heterosexuality. This is despite the warnings from many prestigious medical groups, including the American Medical Association, that this not only does not work, it can be dangerous to the patient, according to an article in Scientific American.
This just goes to show that Long is not alone in his thinking. Other big names who believe homosexuality can be cured offer no surprise; they are well-known religious leaders. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robinson have both supported programs to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals.
Long professes a disdain for the homosexual lifestyle and has made his views very clear to both his parishioners and the public. What does a counseling session or therapy session look like that one of these religious leaders would subject a person to?
According to the website Religious Tolerance, one of the techniques used to “change a person’s sexual orientation” is called “reparative therapy,” also known as “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE). It is also called “conversion therapy” and “reorientation therapy.”
This type of therapy goes under the assumption that the person is gay or lesbian because they did not bond with the same-sex parent. During this type of therapy, the person is to bond with a “close, intimate, but non-sexual relationship with an adult of the same gender.” This is taking the place of the bond that did not form with the same-sex parent.
This simple substitute-type therapy is thought to have an effect on changing the person’s gay or lesbian sexual orientation. This, along with prayer, is what is most often seen with the religious-group-sponsored counseling to “cure homosexuality.”
In no way do I agree with this type of therapy. I agree with the findings that attempting this can be dangerous for the person who is already struggling with his/her sexual orientation, or he/she wouldn’t be in this therapy. I am just reporting on what the Eddie Longs of the world may believe in.
This is usually done with teens and young adults, and most often is initiated by a parent wanting to change their child’s “mindset.” Again, as the American Medical Associations reports, it doesn’t work. This is not a “mindset;” it is a natural occurrence, and not something that is decided upon.
Reference: NY Daily News, Scientific American, Religious Tolerance.org