Love In Action had their press conference today and as of my lunch break here in LA only a few statements had been posted online here. John J. Smid’s statement boils down to, [paraphrased] “Parents who agree with us on homosexuality have the legal right to put their minor child into our program. We’ll take kids who don’t want to be here as long as they don’t prove too disruptive.”
Numerous times throughout his statement Smid refers to homosexuality in general as “unhealthy,” “destructive,” “wrong in the sight of God,” and “inappropriate.” Smid states that “We are a ministry whose mission is to assist others in living a life of self control.” but clearly feels gays who wish to be left alone and raise families must be unable to exercise this self-control he’s so big on. Because gay people lack self control, young “Refuge” participants must be convinced to flee their sexuality out of fear they might otherwise choose to embrace it when they turn 18. I find it of little surprise that a program with rules based on such dated gender stereotyping is now spouting equally tired stereotypes about the homosexual lifestyle. Love In Action mentioned an individual’s right to self-determination in their initial press release but has dropped it so they may attack all gay people as living irresponsible and out-of-control lives.
A statement from Dr. Steve Rice, President of the Christian Medical and Dental Association of America, followed but isn’t uploaded yet. Also statements from a graduate, former staffer and local pastor should be up by the end of the day but I expect them to be largely irrelevant.
Click below to view entire Smid’s entire statement.
Love In Action press conference at their Yale Road facility in Memphis. 11:00 am. June 16, 2005
Love In Action International’s Official Statement, as delivered by Rev. John J. Smid:
Our mission is to be a Christ-centered ministry for the prevention or treatment of unhealthy and destructive behaviors which includes same-sex attractions, facing families, adults, and adolescents.
Our heart’s cry is to see families reconciled, to help people trapped in addictive and out of control behaviors find freedom in Christ, and to help struggling youth to find a place of refuge.
The United States of America was founded on the freedom of religion. It is our spiritual conviction that sexual behavior outside of heterosexual marriage is considered wrong in the sight of God.
As a licensed minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I am accountable to remain faithful to biblical truth and responsible to serve our community as a messenger of Christ and an encourager of His people. I also am someone who has lived a life of immoral sexual behavior involved in inappropriate homosexual relationships. Twenty years ago I followed the conviction of Jesus Christ into sexual obedience.
Based upon these biblical truths, we are available to those who hold to those same convictions.
We are a ministry whose mission is to assist others in living a life of self control. We emphasize this specifically in areas that that cross over their spiritual convictions.
We feel deeply convicted in the scriptural principal of the responsibility of Christian parents to raise their minor children in spiritual training in life and behavior as described in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 4.
We facilitate a ministry called “Refuge”. It is our intent with this program to assist the parents of minor children in bringing forth information and awareness in helping these young people in making informed decisions about how they will chose to act upon their sexuality upon reaching adulthood.
This program is operated on the will of the guardian or parent. We will work with the minor children as long as they are not overtly distracting to their own program or the program of others.
If it is shown that the client is overtly treatment resistant, we will work with the parent towards alternative options for their care and overall relational health.
Therefore, we are standing firm on our belief that a Christian parent has the responsibility to intervene on behalf of their children when deemed necessary.
So, it is not only the right of the parent to intervene, we believe it is their moral, Christian, responsibility.
We are treading upon a dangerous line when we consider taking away the rights of parents to raise their children in their own moral convictions.
It is my personal concern that years from now, our young people will look back with deep grief and consequences of their immoral choices and say, “You knew this was wrong, why didn’t you warn me that this would hurt me”.
I would ask us all to look deep in our hearts concerning our own sexuality and be honest. How many times have we been wounded by sexuality without discretion?