‘Gay-affirming’ churches harming homosexuals, says Christian therapist hit with undercover sting
ROME, March 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Churches and psychological professional associations are harming people suffering from unwanted same-sex attraction, both spiritually and medically, by their acceptance of the “gay-affirming” ideology pushed by the homosexualist lobby, a Christian psychotherapist told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview today.
Lesley Pilkington, a psychotherapist in the UK who was famously the subject of an undercover” sting” by a homosexual activist and journalist, said that there is a “huge gap” in public perception of homosexuality that has been created by a lack of balance in media representation and by the failure of churches to clearly articulate their objections. Pilkington is currently facing professional discipline for her efforts to offer therapy to people with unwanted same-sex attraction.
Churches “very rarely talk about sin and refuse ever to say that homosexual behaviour is a sin.” Only a minority of people in the churches in Britain, “speak out the word of God. And they get a lot of aggression for it,” she said.
“The church is doing a disservice to homosexuals by denying sinners their liberty in the lord Jesus Christ. They are blind guides leading others into a ditch of destruction.”
Acceptance of the claims of the homosexualist movement by many of the mainline churches and by the medical profession have been “incredibly destructive” to people, Pilkington said. By aligning themselves with the homosexualist movement and committing themselves to the path of “gay affirmation” they are no longer able or willing to offer homosexual people the spiritual and psychological guidance and support necessary to leave the lifestyle if they wish.
“Statistics for self-harm, self-hatred, psychological illness are horrendous and are getting more and more momentum as this acceptance grows,” she said. Homosexual behaviour is “incredibly bad for the individual, it is destructive to the person and to our nation.”
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Referring to the recent push by the government to abolish the definition of marriage in law, she said that the churches have brought much of their troubles on themselves. “Ultimately the acceptance and encouragement of homosexuality has led to the destruction of traditional marriage and the traditional family.”
“There is no way being gay-affirmative is helpful to individuals or to our nation,” she said. She admitted that in the UK, it is becoming “very close to illegal to say this.”
The result of cases like hers, she said, is that “gay activists are becoming very emboldened.” The intimidation has reached the point where even those in the Church who might disagree are keeping silent. Few religious people or church leaders “are willing to say, thus far and no further. This is not acceptable behaviour.”
“The established churches don’t accept the way I’ve spoken today, which is a biblical way. The word of God is being marginalised, as is the medical truth of homosexuality.”
Her recent experience has not dampened Mrs. Pilkington’s determination to help people overcome their unwanted same-sex problems or to expose the ideological biases of the profession. She told LSN that she and a group of colleagues intend to use her situation as a platform for raising public awareness both of the growing marginalisation of Christians in Britain and of the obstacles faced by people who want to leave the homosexual lifestyle.
“We really want to get our voice heard now to make up what we perceive is this lack of media coverage,” she said.
When Mrs. Pilkington was approached in 2010 by a young man asking for help overcoming his same-sex attraction, it was nothing new to her. She told LSN that she has helped hundreds of clients deal with chronic behavioral problems, including many with unwanted same-sex attraction.
The young man, it turned out, was a homosexualist activist and journalist who had set out to entrap a Christian. Patrick Strudwick admitted that he lied when he told Pilkington he wanted help and lied again when he said he was a Christian and was seeking spiritual, as well as psychological counseling.
After Strudwick’s report was published in the Independent, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy found her guilty of professional misconduct and ordered her to undergo re-training and “professional development.” These are to be completed in six to 12 months, or her membership will be revoked and she will be “struck off.”
The BACP ruled that Pilkington’s approach was “reckless,” “dogmatic,” “disrespectful” and “unprofessional.” She was judged to have let her “personal preconceived views about gay lifestyle and sexual orientation … affect her professional relationship in a way that was prejudicial.”
Pilkington said that the reaction of the BACP has exposed a massive shift in the direction of the profession, one that few realize is actually obstructing the right of clients to seek help. Professional associations have started “following the political correctness doctrine” and are “closing down the human rights of people who want to change.”
During her discussions with the BACP she asked for a clear answer on their policy on clients seeking help to overcome same-sex attraction, but received no answer. But a document released by the UK Council for Psychotherapy, Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct, says that even when a client specifically asks for help to eliminate homosexual tendencies, psychotherapists are obliged to refuse.
The guidelines say that even in a case of a father with a family, who loves and wants to stay with his wife and children and wants to be rid of same-sex feelings, the counsellor is obliged to refuse to “pathologise” them and instead must “affirm” him in being a homosexual.
“Agreeing to the client’s request for therapy for the reduction of same sex attraction is not in a client’s best interests,” the guidance says. Therapists who feel they do not have “sufficient competence” to adhere to this policy are obliged to refer clients to therapists who will only help them to accept homosexual inclinations.
These kinds of policies, Pilkington said, are “closing down the ability of professionals to behave in a way they feel is right for a patient and in his best interests.” The policy is internally contradictory, since it holds up “self determination and autonomy” of the patient, “except for patients seeking help for these particular problems,” she added.
Pilkington said that she is not interested in forcing anyone to live according to Christian teaching. “First of all,” she said, “we live in this diverse and inclusive society, if some people feel this way and want to stay this way, then fine.”
But the acceptance of homosexuality as legitimate and normal, she said, is coloring the whole purpose of the psychotherapeutic profession. “It is extraordinary to me. People have lost the ability to genuinely look at what’s best for people. Political correctness and gay activists have generated a fear. People say, ‘I’m going to agree with this or I’m going to have a lot of aggression towards me’.”
“As a Christian, I’m not a theologian, but I read my Bible, I believe very strongly in the word of God. Our churches have become extremely worldly. It is supposed to be that the churches influence the nation, but now the nation is influencing the church.”
The shutting down of Christians and other voices who might object is a growing phenomenon in Britain. “It is happening,” she said, “and it’s going to happen more and more.”
Pilkington’s appeal is ongoing, and is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC). Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre said, “Lesley is a wonderful Christian counsellor who has practised for many years with an unblemished record.” Williams and CLC have been at the forefront of the fight to uphold the right of Christians in Britain to live, speak and work in accordance with their beliefs.
Video: Lesley Pilkington