Anne Paulk
Anne Paulk Heads Restored Hope Network

Image: YouTube

Late Thursday I received an email from Restored Hope Network titled Announcing HOPE 2019 & Early Bird Promo Code. It is an invitation to their June conference with an “early bird discount” if I register soon.

Earlier on Thursday I wrote about Michael Brown shilling for Restored Hope Network. Brown was encouraging good Christians to donate money to the fraudulent organization.

RHN’s mission is to market conversion therapy and then to funnel gay people to allied “therapists” who benefit from the referral. I need to review the 2017 tax return (not yet available) to get a better understanding of the economics. Restored Hope Network is a not-for-profit for people to profit. In addition to gay people they are actively trying to attract parents of children with gender dysphoria.

Gender alignment and gay conversion therapy are based on pseudoscience and are thoroughly discredited. Children with gender dysphoria (and their parents) need professional counseling from a specialist.

Efforts to change gender identity put children at considerable danger. Moreover, there is no evidence of anyone having successfully done so in any setting.

And, no; specialists who work with these children do not cause them to become transgender. Nor do they have a liberal pro-LGBT agenda. That is just conservative Christian mythology designed to prevent parents from seeking proper care for their kids in order to conform the world to conservative Christian dogma.

Getting back to the email:

Featured speakers this year are June Hunt, Alex McFarland, Juli Slattery, and Phil Courson. Georgene Rice will lead us as emcee of the conference. We are so excited about what the Lord will do to encourage those struggling with unwanted same sex attraction, friends and family of GLBT identified loved ones, and also leaders of the church, the body of Christ in the US and beyond. Come and be inspired by authentic life stories, real help, and hope for life transformation through Christ Jesus.

Listening to these fine people costs $175 for the two-day conference — $158 with the promo code. Who wouldn’t want to hear people mangle applicable science regarding sexual orientation and gender identity? The theme seems to be that LGBT people are broken. Funny how the world’s largest company is run by a broken gay man. (Tim Cook, by the way, professes to be a practicing Christian).

The cast of characters:

June Hunt chairs (uncompensated) a relatively prosperous nonprofit called Hope for the Heart in Plano, TX with about 90 employees (full and part time). It is a biblical counseling operation which presumably includes pray-away-the-gay (although they do not specifically say so). Psychological counseling based on ancient scripture means idiots taking money from other idiots. “Encouraging clients to make life-affirming choices in order to renew their peace, joy and hope.” Sure. Ms. Hunt knows why people are gay:

Are you clinging to misplaced passions that have caused you to adopt a false identity? Join June Hunt this week on Hope For The Heart as she looks at some reasons men and women seek solace in same-sex relationships. She also offers the real hope of freedom and a look at their true identity to those who are living in a homosexual lifestyle or struggling with homosexual desires.

Alex McFarland sometimes goes as Dr. Alex McFarland but none of his bios seem to include his educational background. McFarland devotes considerable energy to rebutting the criticisms of Christianity. Among his more idiotic arguments is this gem:

Some supporters of homosexuality argue that some people are simply born with homosexual tendencies and no matter what they do, they can’t change that fact, so leave them alone and stop trying to “cure” them and branding them as deviant. But there are serious problems with the theory that homosexuality is genetic rather than learned. For example, if homosexuality is genetic, how have the responsible genes been passed from generation to generation? After all, homosexuals can’t pass anything on because they don’t reproduce. Furthermore, if sexual orientation is fixed from birth, why do some homosexuals switch to heterosexuality or bisexuality?

Mr. McFarland needs a lesson in genetics and an understanding of recessive genes. He would also benefit from understanding that sexual orientation is a continuum. Fuck science. Who cares when scripture offers better answers? Right?

Juli Slattery claims a PhD in psychology from (177th ranked) Florida Institute of Technology. For four years ended in 2012 Slattery worked for Focus on the Family. Slattery has a small nonprofit called Authentic Intimacy Corporation. Apparently we are in need of repair. Slattery is another genetics wizard:

…homosexuality represents a fallen world–sin and brokenness–just as our propensity toward addiction, gluttony, pride, hatred and selfishness does. If there is a “gay gene,” we could argue that there is also a, promiscuity gene and anger gene. To accept homosexuality as a normal expression of God’s design is to say that God is okay with us living within our brokenness, instead of seeking Him through that brokenness.

Phil Courson is senior pastor of Abundant Grace Community Church in Gainesville, FL. At some unindicated month in some unindicated year, Courson was Restored Hope Network’s pastor of the month. Courson seems to source much of his “knowledge” about sexual orientation from Robert Gagnon who was apparently too crazy for the Christian college he used to teach at. The church plugs RHN as a resource. Again, we are apparently in need of repair:

Restored Hope Network is an inter-denominational membership governed network dedicated to restoring hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality. We proclaim that Jesus Christ has life-changing power for all who submit to Christ as Lord; we also seek to equip His church to impart that transformation.

Georgene Rice is a radio talk show host. She takes credit for the 2004 Oregon constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as the chief spokesman and debater for the Defense of Marriage Coalition. Mazel tov. It was overturned by a federal judge a year prior go Obergefell. I cannot find anything other than recorded material which I do not have the patience to listen to so no quotes.

It should be called Restored Dope Network because it is just an attempt to excuse anti-LGBT bigotry. There is no evidence published to a respected academic journal that anyone has ever benefited from any form of conversion therapy.

That does not deter them from promoting crackpottery. It is ineffective and it is harmful.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.