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Grove City College Psychologist Warren Throckmorton Blasted for Backpedaling on Homosexuality

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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

GROVE CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, March 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A psychologist teaching at the conservative-Evangelical Grove City College has been making waves by endorsing same-sex civil union legislation, and claiming that homosexuals can live "normal, natural and healthy" lives.

In a recent interview with the Evangelical news service OneNewsNow (ONN), Dr. Warren Throckmorton reportedly said that "he opposes same-sex marriage but believes the Equal Protection Clause permits homosexual civil unions," according to the news agency.

"Throckmorton says he personally holds a 'traditional view of homosexuality and sexual ethics.' However, when asked whether he believes homosexuality is 'normal, natural and healthy,' he said he could not answer that with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response," ONN reported.

"He said 'in a professional therapy situation' it is accurate to say that 'homosexuals can live normal, natural, and healthy lives that are free of mental illness,'" added ONN.

Although Throckmorton has been known in the past as a defender of the ex-gay movement and reorientation therapy, he has been distancing himself increasingly from those positions in recent years, and has even rejected the "Day of Truth," in which high school students seek to inform their peers about the immorality of homosexual behavior, calling it "mischief," and saying that it "builds more walls than bridges."

Throckmorton's defection from the ex-gay movement has been met with condemnation by Evangelicals.  "Though he works for an evangelical institution, Pennsylvania-based Grove City College, which advertises itself on faith-based websites as 'authentically Christian,' Warren promotes a new, morally neutral paradigm on homosexuality that affirms people’s ‘Sexual Identity’ according to their feelings (and comfort level with same)," laments Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH).

"Hold on…. This is wholly against Scripture: there is nothing in the Bible or the long history of Judeo-Christian tradition that even hints at ascribing a morally-neutral or worse — a 'valued identity' — to sexual sin," he adds.

Helping patients to form a gay "identity"

LaBarbera is referring to Throckmorton's "Sexual Identity Therapy," a framework for therapists treating patients who are conflicted about their sexual desires.

Published in 2007 by Throckmorton and fellow psychologist Mark A. Yarhouse, "Sexual Identity Therapy" affirms that the therapist should accept the values of the client, and then help the client to create a "sexual identity" that fits those values—including a "gay" identity, if is in accordance with the client's value system.

"Sexuality and moral values and attitudes are important aspects of personality. However, clients value each of these functions in different ways. We believe that the therapist should not attempt to persuade clients about how to value these dimensions but can assist clients to determine their own valuations," write Throckmorton and Yarhouse.

They later add that "some religious individuals will determine that their religious identity is the preferred organizing principle for them, even if it means choosing to live with sexual feelings they do not value. Conversely, some religious individuals will determine that their religious beliefs may become modified to allow integration of same-sex eroticism within their valued identity. We seek to provide therapy recommendations that respect these options."

Dr. Throckmorton's Strange About-Face

In recent years, Throckmorton has done an about-face with regard to his position on homosexual reorientation therapy. Abandoning his previous stance of defending ex-homosexuals and reorientation therapy, he has begun to express skepticism that homosexuals can change in most cases.  He has also begun to backpedal on his previous emphasis on the evidence in favor of environmental causes for homosexual orientation, instead asserting biological factors as an explanation for the phenomenon.

The "cause [of homosexual orientation] is a scientific mystery," he wrote in a recent article for Britain's Independent newspaper. "However, we do know that once established sexual orientation seems to be quite durable. Several studies have found brain differences between homosexual and heterosexual people."

"While it seems unlikely that there is one biological or genetic cause for all homosexuals, there are data which suggest that genetic and hormonal factors during pre-natal development have some impact on our desires, in different ways for different people," he added.

Throckmorton's previous defense of the ex-gay movement even led him in 2004 to create a documentary, "I Do Exist," allowing former homosexuals to give their testimony regarding their transformations.  However, Throckmorton is now repudiating the film, using vague references to "changes" that has says have taken place since he produced it.

In a Frequently Asked Questions posting on his website about the documentary, Throckmorton writes that "the stories of the people involved were freely offered and reflected their experience at that time. Since then, more changes have taken place. It is not appropriate to see the film as a testament to change of sexual orientation. Rather, the video has a place in the history of the ex-gay movement and may be of interest to those who study that movement."

"I believe it is important for me to say that I Do Exist is not a current depiction of what I believe to be accurate about sexual orientation," he concludes.

In addition, Throckmorton has broken off his formerly friendly relationship with the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which supports psychologists who offer sexual reorientation therapy to homosexuals.

Although he once cited studies by NARTH psychologists in his own writings, participated in conferences, and even accepted the organization's Sigmund Freud Award, Throckmorton now regularly writes blog entries attacking the organization, after having canceled his last scheduled appearance at a 2006 NARTH conference.

Under fire from fellow Evangelicals

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality has been denouncing Throckmorton's new "Sexual Identity Framework" on his website.

"Folks, I had to laugh the other day when heretical Grove City College Assistant Prof Warren Throckmorton accused pro-family groups advocating a walkout on the nationwide, pro-homosexual ‘Day of Silence’ with 'mischief.'  You see, 'Mischief' is Throckmorton’s middle name," wrote LaBarbera in a recent post.

"Throckmorton’s and Regent University’s Mark Yarhouse’s 'Sexual Identity Therapy' model grants the possibility that some clients may come to embrace a positive 'gay identity' that 'modifies' their religious beliefs in such a way as to 'allow integration of same-sex eroticism within their valued identity,'" wrote LaBarbera.

"Would you want your child counseled at Grove City College?" he asks readers. "How can an evangelical Christian college like Grove City that claims to follow the Bible affirm a 'gay' 'sexual identity' that values 'same-sex eroticism'—especially for a person struggling in his conscience against homosexuality?"

Former homosexual Michael Glatze, who once published the national magazine Young Gay America and now speaks out against the homosexual lifestyle, is condemning Throckmorton for his permissive stance towards homosexuality, and for distorting his own statements.

"He, like so many professing Christians, peddles a false gospel about homosexual sin that includes the lie that homosexuality 'might be OK for some people.'  Of course, this false gospel will seem preferable for many because it requires less moral responsibility than the true gospel. But that does not make it right."

"I have experienced Professor Throckmorton’s forked tongue, as he has pretended to seek 'my side' of the story various times, then turned around and told a biased side of the same story, in a public sphere, with the intention of discrediting my testimony and shaming my stance for Gospel truth," writes Glatze.

Throckmorton has responded to LaBarbera's criticisms by claiming that the American Psychological Association's guidelines require him to take a neutral stand with regard to the sexual morality of the client. However, the texts he cites by the APA do not mention sexual morality, and do not prohibit value judgments by the therapists, only prohibiting the imposition of values that are not directly related to the therapy.

After agreeing to an email interview with LifeSiteNews, Dr. Throckmorton refused to answer the questions submitted, claiming they were "slanted." The questions sent to Dr. Throckmorton, are available at this link.  His latest rebuttal to Peter LaBarbera can be found here.

Contact Information:

President Richard Jewell
Grove City College
724-458-2500
[email protected]

Warren Throckmorton
Grove City College
[email protected]

Related Links:

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH)

Sexual Identity Therapy: Practice framework for managing sexual identity conflicts

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

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Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

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