Pray your gay away

Once again: Netflix is evil and conversion therapy works

Behold: Former LGBT-identifying men & women slam Netflix’s ‘Pray Away’ as attack on Christianity. In other words, conversion therapy nonsense merges with Christian victimhood.

“Former LGBT men and women” means people who choose not to engage in gay sex and people with gender dysphoria who choose to suffer in order to conform to Church doctrine.

The author of this drivel and anti-LGBTQ blogger, Doug Mainwaring, knows first hand that prayer has not changed his — or anyone else’s — sexual orientation. Mainwaring and his lesbian “wife” choose their sham marriage to conform to Vatican doctrine.

When (on behalf of National Organization for Marriage and the Church) Mainwaring was campaigning against marriage equality he was “the gay man who opposes gay marriage.” In 2016 Mainwaring wrote: Same-Sex Marriage vs. the Real Thing: A Gay Man’s View of the Big Picture.

Now, I suppose, Mainwaring in implying that he has prayed away his gay.

The Vatican is sitting on an estimated $10 billion to $15 billion. The Church has ample funds to subsidize a study of various forms of conversion therapy in order to “prove” that sexual orientation and gender identity are mutable.

The best the Church can do was to cite an article in Linacre, the “journal” of the Catholic Medical Association. Even Linacre retracted the article which is quite telling. The retraction notice is quite specific if you care to read it at the link above.

Testimony is not evidence. Now onto the evils of Netflix:

Netflix recently debuted a documentary titled Pray Away, aimed at discrediting reparative therapy for those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction while also undermining and impugning the testimonies of legions of men and women who have left homosexual lives behind and who continue to experience freedom in Christ.

“… the promoters of conversion therapy have no idea of its efficacy. It is impossible to quantify.

Mainwaring is still gay. He knows it. I know it. You know it too. There is no evidence that people can change their sexual orientation. What they are left with is pretense and same-sex celibacy. Gay people who choose not have have gay sex in order to comply with the abstraction of religious dogma are not enjoying “freedom.” Quite the contrary because they are not free to be who they are.

Wayne Besen used to say something to the effect that people claim to be “ex-gay” until they are caught flirting in a gay bar. “Legions of men and women” is an arcane quantifier.

Furthermore, it is reasonable to conclude that lay people, in general, are less pious than clergy. Fewer than 50 percent of Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. even attempt celibacy. What percentage of people who claim to be ex-gay are, in fact, no longer gay?

In religious circles the claim of “renouncing” homosexuality provides rewards. People not only receive approval but eliminate self-induced shame.

The bottom line is that the promoters of conversion therapy have no idea of its efficacy. It is impossible to quantify. Moreover, not one of these charlatans has ever done a longitudinal study of their own “patients.” They have avoided producing evidence of futility, the exact opposite of producing evidence of efficacy.

More amorphous quantifiers:

Pray Away comes at a time when the number of people who formerly identified as homosexual or transgender is on the rise and are becoming increasingly visible in the public square via the “Changed Movement” and “Freedom Marches” which have been held in major cities across America.

“[Joe Dallas] is claiming that conversion therapy works because he does more than just sending people home to pray.”

Define “number of people.” What is the “number.” A normal person would be embarrassed by the following:

It also comes at a time when new research studies are underscoring the damage being done by the widespread suppression of sexual orientation change efforts for those seeking to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.

That link — that link — is to an article written by (lead investigator) Christopher H. Rosik. Rosik obtained a PhD from a seminary. The seminary describes the program as “Integration of Psychology and Theology.” Furthermore, Rosik is on the faculty of Fresno Pacific U., which was established by the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.

Moreover — if that’s not enough — Rosik is a past-president of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity fka NARTH. Furthermore, the “journal” to which this is published has an SJR (a quality measure) of 0.163. For comparison, the Journal of the American Medical Association has an SJR of 4.688 (nearly 30 times higher).

Finally, even if we take the study at face value, it doesn’t say what Mainwaring claims it says. The conclusions are that conversion therapy is not toxic. Mainwaring claims that the absence of conversion therapy is “damaging” people. The study does not seek to prove that conversion therapy works.

Every mainstream medical and counseling professional association has concluded that conversion therapy is futile and harmful.

More embarrassment:

“I was first struck by the misleading nature of the title, ‘Pray Away,’” said Joe Dallas, director of Genesis Christian Counseling in California, in an online video discussion hosted by Restored Hope Network.  “I don’t recall anybody telling anyone that if you were dealing with same-sex attractions, just go home and pray them away.”

“… the god is removed from the equation because [according to the underlying “logic”] sexual orientation and gender identity are simply very bad choices.”

Joe Dallas says many crazy things. Yet Dallas never seems to say anything related to his credentials. In this case, he is claiming that conversion therapy works because he does more than just sending people home to pray. That is profoundly compelling.

Later on:

The end game is to tell the Church what it may or may not say about sin

Those behind the film “are misleading people into believing what God has declared a sin is in fact now something that God has declared to be righteous,” noted Dallas.  

Dallas said that the term “conversion therapy” is misleading and used as a pejorative to describe counseling offered to those dealing with unwanted same-sex attractions. 

Mainwaring’s notion of “the end game” is preposterous. He is implying nefarious motives. No one is trying “to tell the Church” anything at all.

Furthermore, if there is a god then Dallas is a self-appointed proxy. Most Christian clergy disagree with Mr. Dallas.

Conversion therapy in any form desires to answer a simple question: Why would Dallas’ god create people who are less perfect than 95% of the other people that he or she creates? If conversion therapy worked then the god is removed from the equation because sexual orientation and gender identity are simply very bad choices.

That aside, nothing is more likely to fail than prayer. People who claim that their prayers have been answered do not take into account the far greater number of prayers that have achieved nothing.

Random probability is a more dependable metric because people ask their god to solve their problems.

Contrary to Doug Mainwaring’s mental wandering the film doesn’t mislead anyone. It is conversion therapy that is misleading. Practitioners make claims that are not supported by any evidence.

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.