In response to Linda Harvey’s “A Seven-Point Plan to Protect Christian Youth Against Homosexuality,” I present this satire. But first, I just want to remind readers this is the woman who opposes youth access to HIV testing because she believes (without a shred of evidence presented) it contributes to an epidemic of STDs.
If we are to save this generation of gay youth for God, we must act now.
Here’s our Seven Point Plan for equipping gay youth on the issue of religiously motivated oppression:
1. Begin a serious Bible study for your gay youth community center on homosexuality, reading and discussing the Scriptures that pertain to this issue and how they have been misread and abused.
2. Repeat, and repeat again, and repeat again, that there is no evidence in Scripture or in science that homosexuality is a mental illness. This is not a developmental condition for people raised by bad parents, but is a generally immutable characteristic entirely separate from treatable issues such as clinical depression or choice of behavior. Once a person frees themselves of internalized homophobia, same-gender attraction feels natural to persons so oriented. This is critically important to state unequivocally and often, that God created people as gay, bisexual, and straight, and these created orders have always been a part of human life, to the revelation of God and to having a spirit that can be in close relationship with Christ. If you need more scientific ammunition, there are many fine sources available on the Internet such as statements by the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association.
Satire continues after the jump…
3. Put homosexuality in the broader context of other things which had once been considered sin, showing how we as humans have strayed from the intent and modified God’s teachings to fit our prejudices. For instance, Leviticus 18 describes the decadent sexual practices of Israel’s neighboring idolatrous cultures, rather than addressing homosexuality in the context of a loving committed relationship. Increasingly today, a variety of unrelated bizarre sexual practices is being obsessed over by the religious right when discussing homosexuality but this is a red herring, irrelevant to the discussion of gay equality. Many people who make a show out of bathing their political actions in the light of Christ will try and make many things begin to seem unacceptable, but His truth brings what is truly important into focus.
4. Make sure your youth know that no religious person that might oppress them will necessarily be that way forever. Homophobia is no different than any other form of spiritual darkness. What condemns a person to a life of ignorance is a refusal to examine new ideas and willfully, deliberately continuing to ignore scientific reality. This is a good place to discuss the number of “ex-gays” who have professed change and then been caught living a lie.
5. Also emphasize that gay youth do not have to apologize for what science says about homosexuality. All gay youth should be kind, polite, and civil to others, but we need to stop tolerating oppression carried out in the name of religion. Sentences that start with, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” are false concessions of their views in an attempt to make them acceptable to the culture. Those who are forcing “ex-gay” and anti-gay doctrine into our schools, laws and churches — especially those who claim to have science behind them– are twisting the facts and will be held responsible for seriously damaging the lives of gay youth and the body of Christ. The message prohibiting homophobia is not only good, but necessary as part of God’s careful, protective provision for the gay youth he created.
6. Now, here’s the tricky part. Teens need to have some idea about the horrible things ex-gay ministries do and how psychologically destructive and damaging this “therapy” often is. How can this be communicated without getting overly graphic? It’s important to cover suicide risks, the constant relapses into anonymous sex, and the risks of being shipped off to “straight camps” by your parents. Also, one should mention the near 100% failure rate of “ex-gay” ministries Now — how is your school or gay youth center going to do this? Pray about what amount of detail you feel is appropriate, but given the astonishingly low amount of knowledge of “ex-gays” most people have, the risks of these programs need to be talked about.
7. Finally, we need to caution our kids against cutting themselves off from those who would use religion to oppress them. This is too explosive an issue to not be constantly confronting ignorance and homophobia wherever it is found. It is a serious mistake to believe those who suffer from ignorance will change without getting to know a gay person as someone they care about. The Bible commands us to live by example and be the light in a world of fear and ignorance.