Julio Severo

Therapists who treat homosexuality ‘terrorized’ by Brazil’s psychology council says expert

Julio Severo
Julio Severo
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Translated from the Portuguese original by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

July 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Marisa Lobo, a Brazilian psychologist who identifies publicly as a Christian, answers questions from pro-family activist Julio Severo about her struggle against Brazil’s leftist Federal Council of Psychology (CFP), which has forbidden her to publicly associate her Christianity with her identity as a psychologist, a ruling that has recently been condemned by the Religious Right and Liberty Committee of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil as unconstitutional.

Lobo says that she was threatened with the loss of her license by the CFP in response to complaints from homosexual activists over her blog and Twitter posts condemning the “gay kit” that the Brazilian government tried to distribute to public school students in 2011, with the stated purpose of fighting “homophobia.” The kit’s explicit contents and positive portrayal of homosexual behavior provoked outrage among Brazilians and the program was suspended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as a result.

Some of the questions of the original interview were eliminated for the sake of brevity, and paragraph breaks have been added for the sake of readability.

Julio Severo: Why is the Federal Council of Psychology threatening you?

Marisa Lobo: For revealing myself on the Internet as a Christian psychologist, for defending my faith and principally for questioning the gay kit, which for me is not a form of preventing prejudice, and is an incentive for homosexual practices. The gay kit is very explicit, and from what I understand about public policy, its applicability is not justified in such a personal way. The gay kit is a way of giving privileges and creating an even greater form of prejudice.

With children things should happen at the appropriate time, in a natural and general way. We should have kits that speak of prejudice as a whole, about bullying suffered by overweight people, nerds, short people, Evangelicals, homosexuals, ugly people, blacks, blind people, etc. In sum: if we give a privileged attention only to one category, we are discriminating against the others. That doesn’t eliminate prejudice; it is just a Machiavellian tactic for privileging and instituting a dictatorship and a superior group, and I am principally in favor of equality.

Julio Severo: If someone involved in homosexuality asks you for help to abandon the lifestyle, what do you do?

Marisa Lobo: I treat them. My oath, my code of ethics, tells me that I have to treat, to listen to psychic suffering, and if the fact of being homosexual is causing any kind of suffering, I do treat them. It’s my obligation, even if it is to change their orientation, condition, or choice, if that is their absolute desire. I could not deny it to them. I would be violating the code of ethics, would I not?  But it’s evident that, as a psychologist, I must respect resolution 01/1999 (the CFP resolution which does not permit treatment of homosexuality as an illness – ed.). The World Health Organization says that homosexuality is not an illness, however at the same time I don’t understand why there is so much pressure from gay militants who fear psychologists who do not refuse such help. Gay militants distort what we do and continue to monitor us.

What happens in the therapeutic setting should be determined by the patient. The neurosis is such that psychologists are fearful and are induced to make clear to the patient that it isn’t an illness, whether it is or not. But if he’s going to therapy it’s because he’s suffering. And if, I repeat, it is his will, I have to be a channel, without imposing, something I have never done. What they say about me is a lie and another strategy for condemning people who are Christian.

Julio Severo: Are the threats of the CFP impeding you from helping homosexuals?

Marisa Lobo: The decision of the person should always be respected. We must always keep in mind the demands of the patient. We should respect his will without pressure. A reversion (of his condition) can happen in many cases. The terrorism of the CFP does not permit homosexuals to believe this. The CFP thinks that when someone says they want to change, it is because of an imposition of religion, and, since they don’t believe in God—because God for many of them is a myth—they always are going to treat this topic with religious prejudice. I now let my patient decide. If it’s what he wants, we go there, and in the process, he will determine and even confirm if that is what he wants.

Julio Severo: Why is the CFP, which doesn’t impede Spiritist psychologists from applying Spiritist techniques in their treatment, so involved in what you do as a Christian that they busy themselves with your clients?

Marisa Lobo: Why? Look, I don’t know. It’s impossible that they still don’t know that a Brazilian Association of Spiritist Psychologists exists, or Buddhist psychology, or Jewish, or esoteric, or parapsychoology, etc. There exists a grand number [of such things]. You only need to go to Google to prove it. The Federal Council of Psychology is the most persecutory, unethical autocracy in history.  They have no moral standing to persecute me. They are activists for ideologies, policies, sexual orientation, atheism, and they vent their hatred and prejudice against Christians, principally Evangelicals.

But the response is clear: Christianity speaks openly about homosexuality. So they want to destroy us for being Christians. They combat the Bible punishing those who follow it, because of religious prejudice. It is necessary to put an end to the activism of the CFP, which should be investigated by public prosecutors, since it committs various crimes, it violates its policies, it’s hypocritical, unethical. It clearly persecutes those who oppose it. That’s why I have been persecuted. There is a war [against me] because today I question that Council and its director.

Julio Severo: If the CFP revokes your license, what will you do?

Marisa Lobo: I am not going to abandon my profession over that, nor anything else that is legal and moral.  The CFP has no morals, because it has gagged us, and no one dares to contest its decisions. We are obligated to accept them as the truth, even if they are lies.

They are social surfers, adopting themselves to the evolution of society, even if that evolution is bad, because they have lost the sense of what is right and wrong for the individual, of the family, of the necessity of rules, ethics, morality, principles. They are just surfing. As a result, family crises and inhumanity are on the increase, and now the legalization of abortion is coming, a record-breaking number of divorces, condoms in the schools, the legalization of drugs—and psychology adapts. Soon, we’re going to see sex on the beaches, and the whole world applauding because psychology is going to determine that it is a right to express one’s sexuality. That’s the direction humanity is going in.

Julio Severo: What caused the complaint against you in the CFP?

Marisa Lobo: The fact of my speaking of God in my social networks and of having asked the deputies to pay attention to the content of the gay kit, which was an aberration, with extremely inappropriate and sexualized content that in a sense eliminates prejudice, but creates even more. They didn’t like it. When they learned that it was a Christian talking, they began to persecute me, as a psychologist who categorizes herself as a Christian, and later in the process as a homophobe, because I said on Twitter that I love gays, but I prefer for my child to be heterosexual. And I still don’t understand why having an opinion instigates violence. Now I’m going to lose my right to say that I’m happy being a heterosexual, and that I prefer my children to be heterosexual?

They want society to think that I persecute gays, that I offer treatment for gays because I’m a fundamentalist, prejudiced. They decided that, and that’s that.  I don’t accept it. The truth is that they are contradictory. They are trying to use everything to qualify me as a “homophobe.” And in 15 years of work, never did any patient complain that I imposed my religious convictions in my practice. The case against me is religious persecution, religious prejudice. The CFP thought that I would shut up, because many people deify psychology.  Well I, Marisa Lobo, only have one God, and I don’t serve the insanity of these members of the Council. If they revoke my license, they are going to dig their moral grave.

Julio Severo: True Christianity is “lose for the purpose of winning.” Do you fear losing your psychology career because of Christian testimony?

Marisa: The only fear I have is that God might turn his face from me. God gave me the opportunity to be persecuted for the love of him, and I accepted. God wants to change something, and here I speak as a pastor. I am only an instrument. If my license is removed, I am going to fight in all venues. My greatest fear is that Jesus would deny me before the Father, and that will not happen, because I am not denying him before men.

Complete interview in Portuguese

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Brazilian psychology association seeks to revoke Christian therapist’s license

Gays disrupt hearings in Brazilian Congress on psychological treatment for homosexuality

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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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