Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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UK clients not allowed to ask for help leaving homosexuality: professional therapist guidelines

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
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LONDON, April 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While most medical ethics throughout the western world has adopted the primacy of patient autonomy as its guiding principle, the psychiatric and psychological professions in the UK are becoming increasingly authoritarian in matters of sexuality, according to one would-be therapist.

Recently published professional guidelines in the UK say it is an “ethical offense” to either offer to help a client overcome homosexual temptations and feelings, or to accede to a request to do so from a client.

“I would agree that the focus is no longer on autonomy” in ethics in psychotherapy, said Dr. Michael Davidson, PhD, Director of the Core Issues Trust. In Britain’s main psychotherapeutic organisations, “the person-centred approach is not being respected,” he said.

The Core Issues Trust is a Christian organisation that helps equip Christian ministers to help those with unwanted same-sex attraction and who want to leave the gay lifestyle.

Dr. Davidson told LifeSiteNews.com this week that he has fallen afoul of a “politically motivated” shift within the counselling and psychotherapeutic professional organisations, one that he says is betraying the real needs of clients and patients, and their freedom to make choices.

“I started my training in 2009 with the UK Psychodrama Association, and was very open and explicit about my position, including about my own journey out of homosexuality,” he said.

Nonetheless, two years into his training to become a therapist, Davidson was suddenly presented with an “interim order” telling him he was a threat to “public safety” and was not allowed to practice any type of therapy or even to train and attend classes, pending the outcome of an investigation into his conduct.

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Since the publication last summer of the professional guidance, he said, the psychotherapeutic community has created a climate in which therapists who do not toe the official “gay affirming” line, daring to assert that homosexuality is not, or does not have to be a fixed condition, face severe censure, even the loss of their professional credentials.

Dr. Davidson said that the system overrules even the wishes of patients, telling them, in effect, that they must remain in the homosexual lifestyle, whether they want to or not.

The association that Davidson trained with, the UK Psychodrama Association, is affiliated with and accredited by the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). The recently published UKCP guidelines say, “It is exploitative for a psychotherapist to offer treatment that might ‘cure’ or ‘reduce’ same sex attraction as to do so would be offering a treatment for which there is no illness.

“It is exploitative to offer treatment to reduce same sex attraction when various studies bring into question whether such treatments change a person’s sexuality.”

Citing a single research paper, the guidance says, “Research has shown that offering, or agreeing to the client’s request for, therapy for the reduction of same sex attraction is not in a client’s best interests.”

Dr. Davidson’s troubles started with an interview on BBC radio in which he “expressed the idea that therapeutic support should be made available to those who want to move away from homosexuality.” The result was that his membership and trainee status were revoked by the British Psychodrama Organisation. His future remains in question.

Davidson adamantly denies being a Christian fundamentalist. “I’m not into ‘praying away the gay,’” he said. “I do come from a faith background, but I believe that the psychotherapeutic literature [supporting the idea that homosexuality is a form of pathology] goes way back.”

The scientific literature, he said, “indicates consistent attempts to document the fact that people can and do change. Some to full heterosexuality, others to celibacy. Some cannot be helped at all.”

Although the possibility of helping clients leave homosexuality is accepted by some in the U.S., the current thinking in the UK is more rigid, and the hostility within the organisations precludes even making the case. Despite a long history of examining the issue in the professional literature, Davidson says, the British Royal college of Pscychiatrists will accept nothing less than “gold standard research,” that is, randomised, double-blind controlled trials, which Davidson says are almost impossible to produce while protecting clients.

In effect, the result has been not only a “closing down of critical debate,” he said, but the adoption of a “scientistic point of view.”

“This is a dogmatic use of science to say that we should never again look at this issue.”

He called it a “very worrying” trend, and one that can back both clients and therapists into impossible corners, while research into the possible physical and neurological sources of sexuality is halted due to political bias.

“The more I look at the stuff coming out of neural science, the more I see indications that there are biological sources to the role of motherhood, fatherhood, femaleness, maleness.” But these cannot be investigated under this climate, he said.

“Radical feminism has taken us into a context in which the only difference between the sexes is the genitalia, not paying attention to what neural science is telling us about the brain and hormones.”

Davidson cited the well-documented case of a man who had a head injury and “woke up gay.” He entered the homosexual lifestyle, but if he had chosen another route and asked for help, the current rules would have prevented it.

“It’s anti-scientific,” he said. “That’s not to say that I think the science is black and white. I don’t think we know very much about human sexuality, its plasticity, the fluidity of sexuality, but I think this old binary model of gay and straight is not working.”

“I think we are doing damage when we make these categories something that are so fixed. So if a nine year old boy has homosexual thoughts we have to tell him to take on a gay identity. It’s an appalling abuse of freedom.”

“I think it’s a political motivation,” he continued, “favouring a sexual liberation. I think Judeo Christian values are being challenged, that there seems to be a move for an extreme individualism, that puts the rights of adults above needs of children, privileging adult sexuality.”


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Émile Bayard's classic illustration of Cosette in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.
Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony

Tracts and sermons alone won’t form pro-life children. Here’s what will.

Anthony Esolen Anthony Esolen Follow Anthony
By Anthony Esolen

What is remarkable in our age is not that half of our citizens believe it is wrong to kill the child in the womb, the child whose existence, except in the rare case of rape, is owing to our own voluntary actions.  That would be like congratulating ourselves for believing that it's wrong to steal someone's car, to lie under oath to hurt an enemy, to throw our aged parents into the street, or to desecrate churches.  Where is the great moral insight?  What's remarkable instead is that half of us believe it is all right to snuff out the life of that child – because nothing must be allowed to interfere with our “right” to pursue pleasure, as we use the child-making thing as a sweating-off spa on our way to money, prestige, a five-bathroom mansion for two, a tenured chair in Women's Studies, the mayoralty of Camden, another year of nights out on the town, whatever.

How have we come to this pass?  Our imaginations are stunted or diseased, that's how.
 Let churchgoers beware.  You cannot spread pro-life icing on a cake made of flour and rat poison.  Our children meet with rat poison everywhere.  Do they watch Friends on television, that un-funny amoral “comedy” about nihilist young urbanites trading depressions in the mattress with one another?  Rat poison.  Do they watch movies like – well, the moronic Titanic, wherein a shrewish girl and a pouty boy fornicate before they are swallowed by the deep blue sea?  Rat poison.  Do their school teachers feed them such exalted lyric poetry as that of Sylvia Plath, imagining what it would be like to smash her sleeping husband's head like a rotten pumpkin?  Or the bogus Laramie Project, making a hero out of a deeply disturbed young man, killed in a meth deal?  Or Toni Morrison's maudlin obsessions with race and adultery?  Is it an endless cafeteria of ghouls, vampires, girl-murderers – Lord of the Flies, without the severe moral imagination and the talent of William Golding?  Lord of the Flies, Lady of the Flies, Cheerleaders of the Flies, Lifeguard of the Flies, Mr. Goodbar of the Flies, Fight Club of the Flies, Hunger of the Flies?  Rat poison, with that peculiar character of rat poison, that the more the critter consumes, the thirstier it grows.  Vice is the addiction that mimics the habit of virtue.  One hour a week on Sunday does not flush out the strychnine.  Theology lessons are band-aids when your arteries are porous inside.  The forming of a moral imagination is not something additional in the education of a child.  It is the education of a child. 

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Your child sees a commercial for Planned Predators.  The commercial baldly states that it doesn't matter who your “partners” are, how many you have, or what you do – because you are the only one who has any say in the matter, and nobody has the right to judge you.  This is not the morality of a cad or a tramp.  Cads and tramps have attacks of conscience.  It is the bland oh-so-self-assured anti-morality of a demon.  It is one hundred proof grain stupidity.  It is distilled evil.  Now, we want to raise children who will do more than say, “I don't agree with that.”  Wonderful enlightenment!  We want to raise children who would look upon anyone who uttered such a thing as they would look upon someone who would fish his food out of a septic tank: incomprehensible, base, inhuman, insane.  That's the negative.  Let me give the positive.  We want to raise children who will understand and cherish the virtues of love and purity.  Those virtues must not remain mere terms or notions.  We must clothe them with flesh and blood.  Consider the following scene from Victor Hugo's masterpiece, Les Miserables.  Two pure young people, Marius and Cosette, have long beheld one another from a distance.  They have fallen in love, and finally, after many months and much seeking, the youth and the maiden meet and speak.  Here is how Hugo describes what they do every evening:

Throughout the month of May . . . in that poor, wild garden, under that shrubbery each day more perfumed and dense, two human beings composed of every chastity and every innocence, overflowing with all the felicities of Heaven, closer to archangels than men, pure, honest, intoxicated, radiant, glowed for each other in the darkness.  It seemed to Cosette that Marius had a crown, and to Marius that Cosette had a halo.  They touched, they gazed at each other, they clasped hands, they pressed close together; but there was a distance they did not pass.  Not that they respected it; they were ignorant of it.  Marius felt a barrier, Cosette's purity, and Cosette had a support, Marius' loyalty.  The first kiss was also the last.  Since then, Marius had not gone beyond touching Cosette's hand, or her scarf, or her curls, with his lips.  Cosette was to him a perfume, and not a woman.  He breathed her.  She refused nothing and he asked nothing.  Cosette was happy, and Marius was satisfied.  They were living in that ravishing condition that might be called the dazzling of one soul by another.  It was that ineffable first embrace of two virginities within the ideal.

Victor Hugo was a man well acquainted with the squalor of the streets, and the wicked things that people do to themselves and one another.  His blood ran hot, not cold – hot with indignation against the wickedness, and hot with greathearted love for what is noblest in man; with what he would call the work of God in man.  Our purveyors of rat poison have not witnessed one hundredth of the miseries and the sins that he witnessed!  But they turn our children's vision to what is dark and dead, and he raises our eyes to the everlasting hills, whence cometh our help.
 We want to raise boys like Marius and girls like Cosette.  We cannot do it with tracts in church teaching and a sermon on Sunday, as needful as those things are.  They may give us the moral, but they do not nourish the imagination.  Without story, without flesh and blood, they flare in the ear but do not ring in the conscience.  Hence the need for art and song, for stories and poetry.  Jesus taught in parables.  These are not just instruments.  They are of the essence.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Medical staff arrested in India after accidentally aborting baby at 8 months

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A doctor and a nurse at a prominent private hospital in India have been arrested after they allegedly administered abortion drugs to a eight-months pregnant woman accidentally, resulting in the death of her unborn child.

"We have immediately registered a case and arrested the doctor, whose negligent act has caused this," said South Jammu Superintendent of Police Rahul Malik, according to the Hindustan Times.

The woman's husband, Rakesh Sharma, told the paper that the doctor mistook Shruti Sharma for another patient who was scheduled for an abortion at the JK Medicity Hospital in Jammu on Friday afternoon.

Shruti had gone to the hospital after her gynecologist advised a routine medical examination to safeguard her and her baby's health.

Rakesh alleged that the doctor gave his wife the abortion pills without consulting her medical records. “Doctors and paramedical staff instead of administering glucose, gave her abortion medicine, which was actually meant for another patient,” he said.

"It is the worst case of negligence. I feel strongly that such hospitals should be closed. If this has happened to me today, tomorrow it can happen to any body else," Rakesh said.

While the JK Medicity's administration said it has launched an inquiry into the incident, a report from the Jagran Post stated that the district government has revoked the hospital's license.

"Jammu and Kashmir Government has ordered sealing of the private clinic after suspension of its license to operate in the wake of the incident," said Minister for Health and Medical Education Taj Mohiuddin according to the report.

National media have reported that the incident has brought illegal abortion practices in India to the attention of both the public and government officials.

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According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortion is legal in India up to 20 weeks. However, the opinion of a second doctor is required if the pregnancy is past its 12th week, and abortion-inducing drugs such as mifepristone and misoprostol are allowed only by prescription up until the seventh week of pregnancy.

Moreover, abortions can be performed only in government licensed medical institutions by registered abortionists.

Indian Express reported that the accused in the incident, Dr Amarjeet Singh, practices ayurvedic medicine (traditional Hindu medicine) and is "unsuitable for carrying out abortions."

A video posted by IndiaTV shows the parents surrounded by family members and relatives at a protest outside the JK Medicity hospital where the group is demanding punishment for those involved in the death of the child.


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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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News editor fired for criticizing ‘gay Bible’, files complaint

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By Kirsten Anderson

The former editor-in-chief of Iowa’s Newton Daily News has filed a religious discrimination complaint after he was fired over a post on his private blog criticizing the pro-gay Queen James Bible.

The Bible revision was produced by homosexual activists who claim to have edited the eight most commonly cited verses against homosexual behavior “in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.”

On his private blog, which has since been deactivated, Bob Eschliman wrote in April that “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” are trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”

After public outcry from homosexual activists, Shaw Media, which owns the paper, fired him on May 6.

In a statement the day of his firing, Shaw Media President John Rung said Eschliman’s “airing of [his opinion] compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

“There will be some who will criticize our action, and mistakenly cite Mr. Eschliman’s First Amendment rights as a reason he should continue on as editor of the Newton Daily News,” Rung said.  “As previously stated, he has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.”

Rung said the company has a duty “to advocate for the communities we serve” and that “to be effective advocates, we must be able to represent the entire community fairly.”

Eschliman, who has been writing professionally since 1998 and became editor-in-chief of the Newton Daily News in 2012, says that the company was aware of his personal blog when he was hired and never indicated it would be a problem for him to continue sharing his personal political and religious views.

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In his religious discrimination complaint against the company, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), he says that he believes he was singled out for termination because of his Christian views concerning homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.”

“As a lifelong writer, I have maintained a personal blog on the Internet with some personal thoughts and writings,” Eschliman wrote. “Newton Daily News, my employer, never had a policy prohibiting personal blogging, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media. In fact, my employer encouraged us to engage in social media on a personal level and I am aware of several employees of Newton Daily News who continue to blog and are still employed with Shaw Media.”

“There is no question that I was fired for holding and talking about my sincerely held religious beliefs on my personal blog during my off-duty time from the comfort of my own home,” Eschliman wrote. “Shaw Media directly discriminated against me because of my religious beliefs and my identity as an evangelical Christian who believes in Holy Scripture and the Biblical view of marriage.

“Moreover, Shaw Media announced that not only were they firing me based upon my religious beliefs, but that they would not hire or allow anyone to work at Shaw Media who holds religious beliefs similar to mine, which would include an automatic denial of any accommodation of those who share my sincerely held religious beliefs,” he added.

Neither Shaw Media nor the Newton Daily News have been willing to provide further comment to the press on the matter, citing pending litigation.

Matthew Whitaker, an attorney with Liberty Institute who is assisting Eschliman with his complaint, said the law is on his client’s side.

“No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs,” Whitaker said in a statement. “In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public.  This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”

According to Whitaker, if the EEOC rules in Eschliman’s favor, Shaw Media could be forced to give him back pay, front pay, and a monetary settlement.


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