Hilary White

,

UK bill proposes to ban therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, condemned as ‘Stalinist’

Hilary White
Hilary White

LONDON, December 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While a British Labour Party MP proposes a private member’s bill to ban therapists offering help to overcome unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction, one prominent Christian therapist has warned that the bill is just part of ongoing violations of the rights of clients seeking help.

Dr. Michael Davidson says the bill is part of a “Stalinist” style effort to force out any professional opinions that dissent from the “gay political and social ideology” that is being adopted by psychological associations.

Professional governing bodies, starting with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr. Davidson told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview today, are guided on these issues by a political ideology, not science, and are manipulating and misrepresenting empirical findings.

“The agenda is being driven not by politicians but by the professional bodies,” he said, who are employing what he called “Stalinist tactics” to quash dissent.

“You simply get rid of anybody with a different point of view. Then you can give the impression that there is unity in the literature, and you can gain control,” he said. “It is a Stalinist tactic in this country.”

“You claim an ethical context that refuses to allow any dissenting voice, then you close opportunities to train therapists. This ensures you will have no dissenting voice to the ideological drive,” Dr. Davidson said.

Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West, has brought forward the bill that he says is intended to “regulate the therapy profession,” and “ban gay-to-straight conversion therapy.” It would require all therapists and counsellors to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, which would in its turn be automatically required to strike off anyone offering “gay to straight conversion therapy.”

“This damaging so-called treatment has traumatised many LGBT people over the years and it’s time Britain led the way in banning the therapy outright,” Davies told the House of Commons. “The government has so far refused to act, but since I first proposed my bill I’ve seen MPs from all parties join the psychotherapy profession in condemning this discredited practice.”

“The only way to stop conversion therapy for good is to make regulation compulsory and to strike off anyone attempting to ‘cure’ a person’s sexual orientation.”

“We agree that regulation is always important and must be accountable. It’s a normal part of professional development,” said Davidson, Director of Core Issues Trust and himself a former homosexual. But what is being proposed is not regulation but outright prohibition.

If the bill is passed, he said, it will have “the opposite of the desired effect” on public accountability of therapists. Instead it will drive those seeking help into the hands of untrained and possibly unscrupulous unprofessional practitioners.

The characterization of the therapy as “gay to straight conversion” is also inaccurate. What is offered, he said, by reputable and trained therapists, is not the “gay cure” spoken of by the BBC and MPs, but “therapeutic support” for those who suffer from unwanted same-sex attraction and feelings that lead to unwanted behaviour.

The media, he said, has colluded with the homosexualist political lobby to muddy the waters, introducing terms and ideas that no one in the profession uses. “There is very little understanding about this because the media in the UK has used the term ‘gay to straight conversion therapy,’ but this is really just a pejorative term. It wrongly assumes that what we offer is a ‘quick fix’ over a few therapy sessions on the couch.”

“The fact is these initiatives will continue,” he said, “because there is a demand out there. We’re not trying to close down anyone else’s rights [to live the homosexual lifestyle]; we’re simply trying to provide those with unwanted same-sex attraction with help and support.”

But the professional bodies have created a catch-22 in which they increasingly insist that even to desire to be helped in that way is a sign of a mental pathology. Despite a general movement in the psychological professions towards a “patient-centred” model, in which clients are encouraged to pursue their personal aspirations and goals for therapy, the one goal that is not tolerated is the desire to leave homosexual feelings and temptations behind. 

Dr. Davidson said that the trend is towards forcing such persons to accept homosexuality as “natural and normal,” whether they want to or not. Asked why persons wanting to receive the therapy have not come forward with complaints, he said it is difficult to underestimate the social pressure to conform. “Certainly in the UK if you raise your head above the parapet and speak about these issues, you attract an enormous amount of negative attention,” he said.

Davidson said that the therapeutic professional bodies are following a method similar to that of the medical establishment in the 1960s who re-wrote the scientific literature to redefine pregnancy as the moment of implantation of an embryo, in order to justify first abortifacient contraceptives and later direct surgical abortion.

“The scientific literature is clear,” he said, “that some people can reduce these feelings and live in celibacy if that is their choice. For others it is possible to eliminate the feelings. We think that is a reasonable choice and we are concerned that in the UK the assumption is that such practices are intrinsically harmful.”

But that is precisely the scientific literature that is being deliberately suppressed, he said. “We have argued strongly providing information based on the empirical findings to MPs and Peers,” but, he said, politicians are being mislead by activists within the psychological professional associations. “They have all been shown a single paper” he said, that claimed that “in some instances people have been harmed by this.”

That single study was found to have “serious methodological flaws,” but is still being used by the entire profession to block the available evidence, he said. “They simply say,” to clients seeking to change, “‘You’re wrong to want that. The reason why you want it is because of internalised and systemic homophobia in society, people have bent your mind.’”

“They argue that it is the equivalent of a psychotherapist wanting to help a person with black skin who wants to be white. We hear all the time the unsupported view that homosexuality is genetic, and that since it’s genetic it is completely natural and ought to be supported.”

This amounts, Dr. Davidson said, to telling clients with same-sex attraction that they have no option but to accept the self-identification of “gay” which he called a purely “socio-political idea.”

In contrast, Core Issues Trust and other therapists offering similar assistance, feels “that the right to self-identify is to be protected.” There is a growing awareness “among some people that basic human rights” of clients to seek help with their aspirations “are being trampled.”

With the ideological acceptance by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other bodies of the premise that homosexuality is merely a normal human “sexual variant,” however, all other professional bodies are following suit like “a series of dominoes,” Dr. Davidson said, and therapists who want to offer clients the choice are being more and more aggressively marginalised.

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) claims that there is “overwhelming evidence [of] considerable emotional and psychological cost” associated with change therapies. Its former chair, Professor Andrew Samuels, however, declined to respond to Core Issues’ request for the scientific evidence. Instead, the Council’s Chief Executive, David Pink, simply stated that the question was “adequately addressed in the drawing up of our guidance.”

Core Issues Trust has repeatedly asked for documentation from the Royal College and other bodies to support the claim either that homosexuality is innate or inherited, or that therapy to change is harmful. But nobody has yet to come forward with research findings, referring instead to the statement on the Royal College website asserting that homosexuality is not to be tampered with.

Dr. Di Hodgson, head of UKCP’s Diversity, Equalities and Social Responsibility Committee has said on a BBC Radio 4 programme, “I think there is very conflicting evidence ... So we have taken a view in a way which is regardless of the scientific findings.

“We still believe that it is unethical to seek to agree or to work towards changing someone’s sexual orientation through psychotherapy.”

A statement from Core Issues Trust called the Royal College on their assertions, and by extension the bodies following them, saying they have “failed to respond to reasonable requests to provide the evidence which they claim shows that homosexuality is ‘biological,’ a foundational premise, unsupported by scientific research, which other professional bodies cite without question.”

Dr. Davidson himself was expelled last month from a training programme overseen by the British Psychyodrama Association. “I expressed the view that autonomous individuals, where possible should be allowed to reduce or eliminate their feelings, and should have therapeutic support to do this. That’s my crime.”


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook