Author Topic: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy  (Read 240 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
 
By J. Bryan Lowder
 
 

When a figure as beloved and respected as Robin Williams passes away, it’s only natural that writers scramble and stretch to find distinctive means of marking the event. Praising certain performances, recounting personal encounters, or even using the opportunity to raise awareness about issues (like depression) that challenged the deceased are all good tacks. What’s clearly inappropriate, though, is using a man’s death as a launchpad for flights of bizarre associative logic concerning your own pet cause—which is exactly what Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg did yesterday when he used Williams’ attendance of substance-abuse-related rehab to defend, somehow, ex-gay therapy.
 
 

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.
 

Sprigg’s argument, as far as I can parse it, is basically this: Rehab and therapy are options for individuals who suffer from alcoholism and other forms of dangerous addiction, and society generally smiles on the use of these services to help addicts get sober. Therefore, we should similarly support “sexual reorientation therapy,” since individuals exist who are uncomfortable with their same-sex attraction and who might wish to “change” it. Here’s a snapshot:


Whatever the motivation, there are those who have simply made a choice to walk away from the homosexual lifestyle, without clinical help—much like how Robin Williams simply stopped using drugs and alcohol in the 1980’s. Others have sought professional help, perhaps at the urging of family members, in the form of “sexual reorientation therapy”—much like when Williams entered a formal alcohol rehab program in 2006.

 The problem with “much like” here is that Williams’ struggle with substances and his underlying depression are not at all like experiencing discomfort with one’s homosexuality.


Sprigg lists some of the reasons a person might want to “change” her sexual orientation, and they are telling in their dependence on a prejudiced conservative worldview for force: Religious intolerance; “traditional” family pressures; “well-documented health problems associated with homosexual conduct” like HIV/AIDS; and disillusionment with gay romantic experiences are all mentioned. The first two of these are the result of external bigotry, the cynical AIDS nod arises from a refusal to accept that safer sex practices are as important for gays as they are for straights, and the final reason is a personal issue that has nothing to do with homosexuality writ large. That some individuals blame being gay in general for these issues is a triumph of misinformation and ideological browbeating, not proof that homosexuality should be treated as having the same inherent potential for harmful outcomes as alcohol or cocaine.
 
 

The reason addicts seek or are referred to rehab for substance abuse is because addiction is clearly inhibiting their ability to live their lives. Meanwhile, the only thing inhibiting gay people from living openly and happily is people like Sprigg, people who suggest that homosexuality is anything other than a natural, perfectly healthy variation of human sexual expression. When critics of ex-gay therapy—including the large majority of the medical establishment—advocate for its elimination, it is not because we, as Sprigg puts it, are “holding such therapies to a standard of ‘effectiveness’ and ‘safety’ that is impossible for any mental health treatment to meet.” Rather, it is because we recognize that being gay is not a mental health issue in the first place.


A person stubborn enough to treat it as such—41 years after the American Psychological Association declassified homosexuality as in any way disordered—may need some therapy of his own, especially when we find him digging his heels into the fresh soil of a good man’s grave. 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/08/19/frc_and_peter_sprigg_use_robin_williams_death_to_defend_ex_gay_therapy.html
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 05:29:14 PM by rangerrebew »
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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 06:09:48 PM »
Looks like the FRC's Sprigg is going to pick up where Rev. Phelps left off. A narrow but deep niche.

He hasn't looked into A.A. very deeply, or he would have hesitated to use the analogy.

People in A.A. don't condemn drinking, or claim it is immoral. Is Sprigg prepared to state he feels that way about homosexuality? I didn't think so.

And while modern science has moved in the direction of alcoholism/drug addiction as an illness of sorts (disease theory), science regarding homosexuality has moved in the opposite direction.

But it should serve Sprigg as an adequate (narrow) niche for the duration of his career. 
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Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 06:25:15 PM »
And you take Slate.com as the truth?  They are so far to the left they make DailyKos look normal.
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 06:42:20 PM »
Looks like the FRC's Sprigg is going to pick up where Rev. Phelps left off. A narrow but deep niche.

He hasn't looked into A.A. very deeply, or he would have hesitated to use the analogy.

People in A.A. don't condemn drinking, or claim it is immoral. Is Sprigg prepared to state he feels that way about homosexuality? I didn't think so.

And while modern science has moved in the direction of alcoholism/drug addiction as an illness of sorts (disease theory), science regarding homosexuality has moved in the opposite direction.

But it should serve Sprigg as an adequate (narrow) niche for the duration of his career.

Can't disagree with any of this.
 
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 07:00:03 PM »
In reverse:

Slate.com Abuses Robin Williams's Death to Promote Homosexual Propaganda
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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 07:49:08 PM »
Can't disagree with any of this.
 
The FRC is becoming a fringe group.
Yet a visit to Dr. Dobson has been obligatory for GOP candidates.

Conservatism in America has morphed from Goldwater-Friedman classical liberalism (secular state), to right wing religious fundamentalists.

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Offline Carling

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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 07:57:12 PM »

Conservatism in America has morphed from Goldwater-Friedman classical liberalism (secular state), to right wing religious fundamentalists.

The caveat is that it's social conservatism.  I'm mostly a social liberal, and I don't go to church, but I believe in keeping as much money as possible in the hands of those who earn it.  I'm more of a Reagan or Limbaugh conservative in that I tend to focus more on fiscal and security issues, and how to effectively have government administrate the best solutions to each.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: The FRC Abuses Robin Williams’ Death to Support Ex-Gay Therapy
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 09:00:06 PM »
Yet a visit to Dr. Dobson has been obligatory for GOP candidates.

Conservatism in America has morphed from Goldwater-Friedman classical liberalism (secular state), to right wing religious fundamentalists.
What is this, 1989? Dobson hasn't been relevant in 10 years outside the Mississippi Valley—and that, of course, was the wing that gave us Todd Akin, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum's base and countless other zealots.

In case you haven't noticed, no one dares speak out against homosexuality anymore EXCEPT those types, who are getting fewer and fewer by the day. The relentless assault of the homosexual agenda pushers has silenced almost all opposition, and marginalized that which remains.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 09:02:25 PM by jmyrlefuller »
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