Arthur Goldberg is an orthodox Jew and, by the way, a convicted felon (for a $2 billion security fraud). Goldberg did 18 months as a guest of the federal government. He got off light. Unable to deal with the fact that his son is gay, Goldberg was a co-founder of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing). JONAH was put out of business for consumer fraud.
Thursday Goldberg writes at Witherspoon Institute’s pretentious, pseudo-intellectual blog: “Same-Sex Attraction and Therapy: It’s Time to Let People Choose.” As wrote earlier today, no scientist uses the term “same-sex attraction.” It is religious BS to liken being gay to something like a predisposition to abuse alcohol. The comparison is ridiculous and offensive.
According to the subtitle:
Recent years have seen countless—and specious—legislative, judicial, and administrative attempts to block those with unwanted same-sex attraction from seeking healing and transformation through professional therapy.
That only adds insult to injury. The word “unwanted” conveys the untrue notion that sexual orientation is a choice. Gay people should not be ashamed of being gay and they need to accept themselves for who they are. It is the overwhelming conclusion of science and medicine that attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective and possibly harmful. “Professional therapy” and “reparative therapy” are mutually exclusive. Reparative therapy is a religious practice, not a medical intervention.
This constitutes yet another painfully verbose polemic at Witherspoon. I’ll skip around a bit:
Activists are waging a culture war, targeting the religious and personal freedom of those who provide SAFE-T—that’s short for sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy, the general term for any therapy that provides resources for individuals struggling with unwanted sexual attractions. The attacks take the form of specious legislation, lawsuits, and complaints lodged in courts, licensing boards and professional associations. These dangerous and irresponsible attempts prevent those unhappy with their same-sex attractions from living in accordance with their ideals, reaching their goals, and finding peace within themselves.
There is a link in there to David Pickup’s website:
As you can probably see there is some redundancy between Pickup and Goldberg. Pickup is not a psychologist. He has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. He does not provide a bio on his site. Pickup claims to be ex-gay and like most ex-gays we know about, he has an economic interest in posing as ex-gay.
In any event, those activists are people who care about what is best for children. Goldberg, in the JONAH trial, was unable to offer a scintilla of proof that reparative therapy was safe and effective. For that matter, Mr. Pickup has never submitted data for a scientifically rigorous study. Neither has NARTH. They know that a real study with downstream outcomes is going to demonstrate that these people are selling snake oil. Perhaps the simpler answer to Goldberg is to stop making people unhappy with their sexual orientation and to stop conflating medical practice with religion.
Gay activists and their liberal allies have also created court
actions before liberal judges, as illustrated by the New Jersey case Ferguson v. Jonah.
There the trial court, favoring four adult plaintiffs, held for the
first time that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applied to a
not-for-profit religious organization, allowed recovery for non-economic
damages, ignored documents executed by the plaintiffs in which they
acknowledged that no guarantees were offered in the treatments
undertaken, and barred the not-for-profit’s expert witnesses from
testifying. The judge egregiously and wrongfully barred testimony by
experts with firsthand experience in assisting those with unwanted
same-sex attractions, ludicrously comparing them to those who believed
the earth was flat.
You can read more about Ferguson v. Jonah at SPLC. The witnesses were barred. Most state courts defer to Rule 702 of the federal rules of evidence. The basic assumption of Joseph Nicolosi (one of the proposed witnesses) is that homosexuality is a mental disorder. Rule 702 requires the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods. Obviously that was not the case.
Furthermore, Goldberg isn’t some poor schmuck. He has a law degree from Cornell, he has been a professor of law and served as deputy attorney general of New Jersey.
Goldberg goes off on some crazy tangent about dastardly activists trying to put conversion therapists out of business. I included a link (above) if you have some brain cells that you can spare.
Ultimately the point here is that Goldberg could not cope with having a gay son. JONAH was the result. The title of his piece includes the idea that people should choose. The problem with that is that children don’t choose. They are pressured into conversion therapy which is going to do more harm than good. When the child fails to change he or she will be blamed for not trying hard enough in spite of the fact that the basic premise is dishonest.
Aside from the potentially toxic effects of the “therapy” many young people are conditioned to lie to their parents to get a stress reduction. They are far more likely to be dishonest than to actually be converted because they are under considerable pressure to perform and conform.
Goldberg is trying to validate a part of his life that has subjected him to due opprobrium. He is only making matters worse and as far as I know, his son is still gay.