There are many people within that community who are very intolerant of people who choose to walk away from it,” says Smid. “And I find that some of the people like that are unsupportive of someone who says, “I want to be free from homosexuality, I want to walk away from this lifestyle. Or I want to live sexually celibate and free, or I want to pursue marriage.” There’s very little tolerance for the choices I’ve made in my life.
I think that we put our head in the sand and we kind of cover things with “plastic answers” about sexuality rather than really being willing to get into what I call the “swamp trip of life,” he says. “It’s hard to invest in people who are confused and struggling and have some really ugly things in their life“. [emphasis added]
The reasons for any individual’s decision to pursue “freedom” from homosexuality — whether due to societal prejudice or family concerns, or even pressure from groups such as LIA — are not presented for all to see. Mr. Smid’s own understanding of homosexuality (PDF) is already questionable.
There is no such creation as a “gay” or “homosexual” person. There is only homosexual attraction and behavior; accordingly, there can be no change from a sexual identity that never existed in the first place.
However, it is their own intolerance that shows in the blatant manipulation of the family and friends of those comfortable with their sexual orientation so they might do their bidding and patronize those who chose acceptance. It is also evident in their misinformation campaign to the general public, filled with misguided opinions of homosexuality through the Family Freedom Intensive program (formerly known as Refuge), and the Family & Friends Support Group.
Family Freedom Intensive
Societal and cultural influences have made our children vulnerable to increased assault while undermining the family unit designed by God to protect and nurture children into adulthood. The internet age has provided our young people constant access to experiences that can leave them sexually and relationally broken.Many parents are not equipped to respond to these issues when they surface in their children, and restoring safety and communication in the home can be a difficult process.
Many parents are not equipped to respond to these issues when they surface in their children, and restoring safety and communication in the home can be a difficult process. Love in Action is committed to helping families learn to stand and fight for what the enemy has stolen. The Family Freedom Intensive is a concentrated four-day course designed for parents with teen or adult children struggling with same-sex attraction, pornography, and/or promiscuity. Lecture, workshops, and break-out discussion groups give parents the information and tools to defend righteousness in their homes while interacting with their family in healthy respect. [emphasis added]
Family & Friends Support Group
The Family & Friends Support Group is for people who have a loved one involved in addictive, unhealthy, or out-of-control behaviors (alcohol & drugs, sexual addiction, homosexual behavior, etc).
Zach, now 19-years old, was forced to attend LIA’s Refuge program for teen-agers three years ago by his parents who thought they were “helping” him. Out of respect for his privacy, I shall not go any further into this, but the incidences of LIA’s negative influence on families are aplenty. Peterson Toscano, who spent nearly two years in LIA, detailed his experiences with his parents in his article, What About the Parents?
The program leaders and ex-gay spokespeople pieced together the profile of what made us homosexual. They provided us with a template that insisted that serious dysfunction must have occurred in the home. Even when we insisted that things were fine at home, they questioned us further and suggested that we were in denial.I have heard horror stories from lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people who have told me how program leaders targeted their parents, and in so doing, drove a wedge between parent and child. In some cases the leaders misused their power and even coerced participants to confront parents about past events. Other times ex-gay ministers hinted at neglect and unspoken abuses by parents. [emphasis added]
LIA’s audience, should they take this seriously, might ultimately be indoctrinated into an alternative, negative mindset about homosexuality, pitting LIA’s view against that of every professional, authoritative, medical and mental health organization. In effect, LIA breeds intolerance even for those perfectly comfortable with their sexual orientation. The misrepresentation of homosexuals as “confused”, “struggling”, “non-existent”, “sexually broken”, and having “ugly things” in their life has no place in the American Psychological Association’s stance on homosexuality, which of course had no place in Mr. Smid’s books.
The causation and cure model emphasized by LIA is necessary mostly due to self-inflicted prejudice for a non-existent “addiction” created in the minds of those trying to understand a different sexual orientation, and encouraged by those not able to tolerate differences in the name of their version of scriptures. LIA, according to Mr. Smid’s interpretation, is only heterosexuality, and their dogmatic views sadly marginalize an already misunderstood community.
Now homosexuals have to contend with the intolerance of family and friends, made worse by hateful behavior disguised as “Love In Action.”