American Psychiatric Association ("APA") voted in 1973 to remove
homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders and declared
that "homosexuality implies no impairment in judgment, stability,
reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities".
APA resolved that "The American Psychiatric Association deplores all
public and private discrimination against homosexuals in such areas as
employment, housing, public accommodations, and licensing, and declares
that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability
shall be placed upon homosexuals greater than that imposed on any other
persons and urges the enactment of civil rights legislation at the
local, state, and federal level that would offer homosexual persons the
same protections now guaranteed to others on the basis of race, creed,
American Medical Association and the American Bar Association agreed in
1974 with this statement of the APA and added their approval of the
Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute recommendation to
legislators "that private sexual behavior between consenting adults
should be removed from the list of crimes and thereby legalized."
The American Psychological Association in 1975 also approved these
declarations and "urged all mental health professions to take the lead
in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated
with homosexual orientations."
Why have these conclusions by medical professionals been ignored, denied and
rejected by ignorant and prejudiced preachers and religious authorities and by many politicians?
MATERIAL ON JOHN PAULK AND THE "EX-GAY" INDUSTRY ADDED SEPTEMBER 22 AND 26, 2000.
See the excellent resources at THE HEALING CIRCLE.
See the web site of Rik Isensee
an outstanding Gay Psychotherapist in San Francisco. Explore his
many excellent books that help homosexual couples deal with
relationships and mental health and other issues.
Update for September 17, 2004
JESUS AND MENTAL ILLNESS
Jesus encountered the demon possessed man in Gadara (Mark 5 and
parallels), he faced and dealt with an obvious case of multiple
personality psychosis. He cast out a "legion of demons" and
brought sanity, healing and wholeness to the man, who instantly became
the first missionary to the Gentiles. (See links below.)
life of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) brings
Jesus into contact with a variety of types of mental illness in
troubled people, including his own disciples. (I save the Gospel
of John to a later study, because the emphasis there is more highly
developed into spiritual and symbolic issues, though the visit of
Nicodemus in John 3, the woman at the well in John 4, and events
surrounding the "beloved disciple" all demonstrate the ministry to
Jesus to troubled and emotionally disturbed people.)
both lived the human situation and ministered to human need in many
instances of emotional and mental illnesses. Jesus himself had to
deal with his own anger (See Mark 3 and link below) and faced daily the
mental and emotional problems that he encountered in his own disciples
and in people to whom he ministered and healed.
TYPES OF RELATING
individual develops a personal "style of relating" to other people,
which becomes exaggerated under various levels of stress. These
"Types of Relatedness" and levels of stress are defined and discussed
by Dr. Karl Menninger in his classic study of "The Vital Balance,"
which was used as our basic text in my clinical pastoral education at
the mental hospital near Louisville, KY, during my doctoral program,
which was led by Dr. Wayne E. Oates, Dr. Swan Hayworth and Chaplain
Clarence Y. Barton. (See reference below.)
Here are six
basic types of relating to others when one is under pressure:
and Anger; 2. Suspicion and Fear; 3. Dependency; 4. Despairing and
Depression; 5. Erotic; and 6. Manipulative/ extractive. Everyone
has certain coping devices that are developed to deal with
stress. One may drink or smoke or sleep it off or laugh it off or
work it off in excessive energy and exercise or pray or meditate or go
out with friends. Sometimes these everyday coping devices work
and the stress is relieved.
they don't work, and the individual goes into a more anxious and
exaggerated mode of coping. Frequently we develop
self-destructive modes of coping with pressure. When the coping
devices become more controlling and more difficult to handle, they can
become more destructive than the pressure that they were intended to
coping devices create more pressure than they relieve, the result is
neurotic behavior that costs more than it is worth. If your
coping devises become extreme enough, they can become psychotic and
require professional help and possible hospitalization. I hope
you have been able to cope before the hospitalization phases sets in!
have already dealt with some of these mental and emotional problems in
my present book and website. My next book will explore and deal
with them in greater detail and with guidance and practical help.
PROFESSIONAL HELP IS AVAILABLE
have many sources of help in dealing with your pressure. Take
advantage of any help that is offered to you. Don't run away from
professional help. I have a wonderful psychotherapist friend in
San Francisco, Rik Isensee, who has frequently helped me sort through
my own emotional issues. Rik has published several helpful books
on GLBT relationships and has a website, which I have listed below.
Metropolitan Community churches have pastors and other staff people who
can offer counseling and support with mental and emotional problems.
(See MCC Churches link below.) Help is also available from
many local community LGBT Support Centers. Often college and
university chaplains are trained and equipped to be helpful to LGBT
people and others with emotional and mental problems and referrals.
JESUS SHOWED THE WAY
related to people with love and acceptance. No matter how
troubled people were, Jesus took time to listen and learn about each
person as an individual before he ministered his healing touch and his
helpful counsel of hope and encouragement.
Weatherhead said that Jesus was more like a modern surgeon than a
modern "faith healer". Like a surgeon, Jesus listened to each
individual and asked questions and made an intelligent diagnosis before
he offered a treatment that fit the person. Modern faith healers
treat everybody alike with a prayer and a slap to the head. The
approach of Jesus to emotionally ill people was quite varied depending
on what he learned by observing and listening.
took human need seriously. Jesus demonstrated his belief that
every individual has equal value to God. Listening and accepting
others as they are is a way of following Jesus in his work of following
God. Jesus never condemned people for the trouble they were
having. Jesus demonstrated the basic environment for helping
troubled people by creating an accepting and nonjudgmental atmosphere
for effective psychotherapy. The encounter of Jesus with the
woman at the well in John 4 illustrates the dynamics of modern
psychotherapy in great detail. (See my material on this incident
in link below)
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND MENTAL ILLNESS
1973, the major psychiatric and medical professions listed
homosexuality as a treatable mental illness. I have one MCC
clergy friend who endured 9 years of psychiatric therapy including
electric shock treatment that was demanded by her parents when they
learned that she was a lesbian.
psychiatric treatment did not change her sexual orientation, but it did
make her as mad as hell! (See my material on these issues in my
web site in the sections listed below on Psychiatry and related topics
in my page on "The Ex-Gay Fraud".) Since 1973, the American
Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The
American Medical Association and The American Bar Association have all
taken the official position that homosexuality is not a sickness or a
crime and that all civil and human rights given to other minorities
should be given also to GLBT people.
The politicians and leaders of abusive established religion in America and
the rest of the world have not caught up with the truth yet!
DEPRESSION AND SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR
GLBT people, however, do suffer from mental and emotional problems
caused by the treatment and rejection that they have received from
their own families and religious teachers. Gay people are not
depressed because they are gay but because of the way that society and
families treat them for being gay. It is as simple as that!
This means, therefore, that many LGBT people struggle with emotional
issues and mental problems and need the same understanding, listening
and acceptance that Jesus gave to every troubled person that his life
how you follow Jesus! You cannot walk on water or turn water to
wine, but you can love and accept people that everybody else
misunderstands and rejects and that need a friend. You can do
what Jesus did in seeing great potential in troubled people that they
could not see for themselves.
Use my new mailing address now:
201 W. Washington St. #805
Greenville, SC 29601
am grateful to all of you who have sent financial help to me in recent
months to help me continue my website and Internet
ministry. Thanks to Adam DeBaugh and Chi Rho Press for
making possible tax deductible contributions to my ministry. I
recently sold my car to get enough money to keep my office and computer
space available. I have total faith in God to provide for me
whatever I need to continue and develop what God has called and
equipped me to do. The next book is under way and will soon be
available. For now, however, read again and study my website
material on "Jesus Bible Studies" and "The Real Jesus" along with other
"RECENT UPDATES" (which include details about making contributions to my work through Chi Rho Press)."
SEXUAL ORIENTATON AND THE EX-GAY FRAUD:
Mark 5 and Jesus' ministry
to a self-destructive man in the tombs suffering from multiple
personality psychosis, which was seen as demonic possession:
HOW JESUS HANDLED HIS OWN ANGER
Read all of the updates added to Step 4.
JESUS AND THE WOMAN AT THE WELL
See all of Step 11.
See Lesson 41, page 347-353, on "How Jesus Liberated Outcast People" in my book:
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse".
Karl Menninger, MD: "The Vital Balance: The Life Process in Mental
Health & Illness" published 1963 by Viking Press, New York.
Chi Rho Press information about my book
"GLBT REJECTION WEEK"
Update for October 7, 2003
human rights are being attacked in the accelerating war against
homosexuals that has been launched by the President of the United
States in an unprecedented alliance of power politics and abusive
religion. When President Bush announced last week that he is
proclaiming October 12-18, 2003, as "Marriage Protection Week," he
threw the full force of his office into support for the homophobic
legalistic religious violence that is being designed and promoted by
the Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic Church, and other
religious extremist institutions in America.
already lists 413,000 web sites related to this disastrous development
of merging state and church in blatant violation of the United States
Constitution. Southern Baptists are leading the way. (See
the web links below.)
sudden unexpected attack against the human and civil rights of GLBT
people has been building for a long time. Read the report by
Laura Montgomery Rutt in the "SOULFORCE" web site link below.
Go to the bottom of this page and click on the links there.
to "Google" or "Yahoo!" and enter "Marriage Protection Week" to see the
most recent developments of this anti-gay plague. Notice the
lineup of homophobic religious industrial giants in this latest
political/religious move to discredit, demean, and destroy all of us!
RELIGION IS EXTREMISM
President's proclamation is a thinly disguised "wolf in sheep's
clothing"! Read the wording carefully. The purpose of this
proclamation is not to honor and protect marriage but to reject and
demean same-sex relationships as sinful, anti-social and "a threat to
the survival of western civilization," as James Dobson likes to
claim! The appearance of James Dobson ("Focus on the Family") on
the Larry King Show recently was just one assault in the ever-expanding
political/religious wars against all GLBT people.
opinion is being shaped against us. Are concentration camps and
gas ovens in our future? Or will the religious/political
establishment enlist the resources of modern science and technology to
alter GLBT people through psychological and medical manipulation?
Psychic and social manipulation are already in place as major
brain-washing features of modern media driven religion throughout
THE EX-GAY FRAUD
"Ex-Gay" movement is already in place and busily destroying
personalities and lives with the enthusiastic endorsement and
sponsorship of Southern Baptists and a growing list of anti-gay
homophobic religious and political organizations. See the list in
the web site of "People for the American Way" in the link below.
are fighting for our survival. Every major human rights group is
recoiling in horror at this Presidential Proclamation that arrogantly
claims to speak for all Americans.
misinformation and lies are winning the propaganda war against
us. Religion by nature is extreme. Will James in his
pioneering clinical study of religion said that religion is either "an
acute fever or a dull habit." Religion in America today is
developing into an acute deadly fever that is destroying more people
than AIDS ever could. How can GLBT people continue to support and
participate in the discredited traditional misinformed medieval
religious institutions and teachings?
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
personally have to make some hard decisions about religion. If
the destructive power of legalistic religion has found a home in your
heart and taken a death grip upon your spirituality, you have a clear
choice to make in your personal life. You can either continue to
believe and support the stupidly destructive religion that you were
conditioned to accept in your childhood, or you can grow up and get
real about what the remnants of abusive religion are really doing to
you to destroy your self-esteem and your will to survive.
from abusive religion while you still have the freedom to act for
yourself. You and I are facing clear life or death choices.
We have reached the ultimate fork in the road. There is no
turning back. We either continue down the self-destructive path
of blind acceptance of failed religion or we move on into new uncharted
paths of self-affirmation and self-acceptance.
long ago led the way into the new direction of self-acceptance and
love. The churches have betrayed Jesus and us. The real
Jesus has been so overshadowed by the churches and so obscured by
religion that hardly anybody recognizes the real Jesus anymore.
Yet the real Jesus is still here and available with and within you and
down and clear away the rubble of the tottering old walls of spiritual
violence and deceit. Walk away from the wreckage of religion and
move into the sunlight of reality, honesty, logic and love. You
can still think for yourself, can't you? You do still have the
ability to move, don't you? I certainly hope so.
October 7, 2003
encourage you to read and study all of my web site. Spend some
time with it every day. Share your study with someone else.
The walls of the religious space ship are rapidly closing in upon
us. Like the trash compactor scene in "Star Wars", you don't have
a lot of time to delay your escape.
Laura Montgomery Rutt article, including Bush Proclamation: Look at: www.marriageprotectionweek.com/
See also: www.marriageprotectionweek.com/action.asp
"People for the American Way":
"IT'S ABOUT TIME!"
Update. December 13, 1998.
Several article readers have brought to our attention the American Psychiatric Association Board's "unanimous decision to reject therapy aimed solely at turning gays into heterosexuals, saying it can cause
depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior." Dr. Nada Stotland, head of the association's joint committee on public affairs, said Friday: "All the evidence would indicate this is the way people are
born. We treat disease, not the way people are."
very existence of therapy that is supposed to change people's
sexuality, even for people who don't take it, is harmful because it
implies that they have a disease. There is evidence that the
belief itself can trigger depression and anxiety."
about time that the medical doctors who are specialists in mental and
emotional health and illness spoke out in the midst the present storm
of false propaganda in advertisements and books by the fast
growing "ex-gay" industry. The American Psychological Association
issued a similar warning a year and a half ago. That warning was
included in my web site when it was first published on September 14,
Associated Press article about this warning issued by the APA in Denver
this week was printed in yesterday's "San Francisco Examiner"
(Saturday, December 12, 1998) along with a lengthy article about the
current debate of "Gay Marriage Policy" in Europe.
American Psychiatric Association was the first group of medical
specialists to issue a statement recognizing homosexuality as a "sexual
orientation" and not a disease (1973). Since that decision was
made, the "ex-gay" forces have launched a relentless campaign of
ignorance and misinformation to accuse the APA of giving in to
homosexual activists instead of basing their decision on scientific and
The "bottom line" was clearly stated by Dr. Stotland that "during the psychiatric group's quarterly meeting there was no evidence that sexual orientation could be changed."
The conclusion of the medical professionals who are in the best
position to know is that there is "no evidence" that sexual orientation
can be changed.
welcome this most recent announcement from the medical doctors who are
the most qualified to speak about the false claims and dangers of the
"reparative therapy" fraud perpetrated by the "ex-gay"
religious/political industry. The "Examiner" article included the
"ex-gay" response by the ubiquitous and egregious John Paulk, who is "a
specialist on homosexuality and gender" for Focus on the Family in
(See my reviews of John Paulk's and Joe Dallas' books below.)
Now, let's find a way to get the American Psychiatric Association's decision in newspaper ads all across the nation!
A PERSONAL NOTE:
20 years ago, when I was a professor of religion at the Baptist College
at Charleston, SC, I was urged to get psychiatric help to deal with my
being gay. I went to three different outstanding psychiatrists
including Corbett H. Thigpen, M.D., co-author with Hervey Cleckley,
M.D., of "The Three Faces of Eve," which was made into a movie staring
Joanne Woodward, for which she won the Academy Award. Dr. Thigpen
was head of the department of Psychiatry at the University of Georgia
School of Medicine.
Thigpen had treated people in my church in Greenwood, SC, and I knew
him well. His response to my request for help was that he and his
team of 15 psychiatrists had found no way to change anyone from gay to
straight. He said that he could treat me for two years,
charge me a lot of money, and change my personality, but I would still
be gay! He made it clear to me that sexual orientation cannot be
changed. The other two psychiatrists, both of them in Charleston,
told me the same thing.
"The disease is ignorance
and the cure is truth."
AMA RESOLUTION ON BANNING GAYS
(June 20, 2001, Update on GAYBC Interview)
Dr. Grethe Cammermeyer interviewed me on June 19, 2001, for GAYBC RADIO
online. You can access the interview at the Gaybc.com.
is the second time that Dr. Cammermeyer has interviewed me, and as
always, I enjoyed talking with her. To me, she is a great hero of
our cause! She talked with me about my experiences in New Orleans
with Soulforce and about what I wrote in my update on "LIFE OR DEATH".
AMA SPEAKS OUT
American Medical Association is considering a resolution "that would
ask youth groups not to ban gays because such policies could drive
young people to suicide." "A Massachusetts survey published this
month in the American Journal of Public Health found that gay high
school students were about four times more likely to have attempted
suicide as heterosexual students."
is a health hazard," said Dr. Thomas Hicks, a Tallahassee, Florida,
family physician. He said: "gays who are left out may feel
ostracized and suffer lifelong emotional scars." These are the
opinions of medical doctors, not religious or political
activists. These AMA comments confirm our conviction that
homophobia and anti-gay religious teachings are unhealthy and
LOGICAL, OBJECTIVE, REALISTIC
doctors and other scientists and professionals study and reach
conclusions that are logical, objective and realistic and that are
based on evidence and not on emotions, prejudice or legalistic
judgmental abusive religion! Homophobic anti-gay religion is
increasingly illogical, unrealistic and based on misinformation.
We would not have modern medicine today if the Church had been
successful in forbidding medical research.
Cammermeyer asked me why so many GLBT people continue to attend and
support abusive anti-gay religion and churches. That is a very
important question. I think that there are basically two
reasons. One is that children are conditioned to the misinformed
religious teachings and attitudes of their parents so thoroughly by the
time they are four or five years old that spiritual violence becomes
part of their personality and goes with them for the rest of their
lives. Another reason is that many LGBT people do not admit that
they have ever been abused by religion. It is the same kind of
denial that persists in any addiction.
STEP ONE IN RECOVERY
That You Have Been Hurt by Religion" is the first step in my "Steps to
Recovery from Bible Abuse." That is the most difficult step for
many GLBT people. We are often reluctant to question and reject
the religion of our beloved parents and grandparents. For most of
us, saying we have been hurt by our religion is like condemning our own
grandmother, and we refuse to be logical, objective or realistic about
the damage that sick abusive religion has done in our lives.
purpose of my web site and book is to provide factual carefully
researched information that gives you the basis for becoming logical,
objective and realistic about the spiritual violence that you have
endured and to offer you a healthy and spiritually mature direction for
first step to recovery from anything that is inappropriately
controlling you is to face the truth, let go of denial and be logical,
objective and realistic. Try it. It really works!
See article on New Orleans Soulforce events by Cindy Hadden.
Update for September 22, 2000
"WHEN TO TURN AROUND"
of Tarsus was a powerful religious leader in the legalistic judgmental
fundamentalism of his day. He hurt a lot of people with his
religion. He assisted in the torture and murder of the first
Christian martyr, Stephen. He worked hard to convert people to
his own brand of religious bigotry.
one day on the road to Damascus, Saul had a life changing experience of
confronting his own life and the reality of God's presence in Jesus
Christ. Everything changed. Saul became the Apostle
Paul. When Paul finally faced the truth, he declared loud and
clear: "I WAS WRONG!" The details of this dramatic turn around
are given in many places in Acts and the letters of Paul, nowhere more
clearly than in Philippians 3:1-14.
John Paulk, it's time to turn around and say: "I was wrong!"
and today I have received more e-mail messages about John Paulk than
any other issue ever! It is time for the Religious Right and such
leaders as Dobson, Kennedy, Robertson, and many others to admit that
they are wrong about GLBT people and about a lot of other things.
Now is the day for repentance. In Greek and Hebrew, the word
repent means to "turn around".
of you, like Laura Montgomery Rutt, have already sent out powerful
responses to the unexpected and dramatic exposure of "Ex-Gay" leader
John Paulk in a gay bar in Washington, D.C. two days ago. (See
I was pastor of MCC in Nashville, a very large church across the street
from where I lived had a house for counseling and spiritual therapy
called "A Place to Turn." It was dedicated to helping Gay people
turn straight! How have so many churches missed the spiritual
boat and gone after "other gods" of abuse and oppression that deny the
Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is another "Great Awakening" at
hand? I hope so.
martyrdom of Matthew Shepherd has become the symbol of homophobic abuse
and violence and has awakened the conscience of world. Now the
shocking exposure of the most famous "ex-gay" can move all of us closer
to the truth and make a difference that should move mountains.
John Paulk going to Mr. P's bar in D.C. and the resulting attention in
the media demands radical changes in the homophobic religious
industry. Paulk has demonstrated what we have known all
along. Sexual orientation cannot be changed. It is our God
given reality. Sexual orientation can be denied, suffocated,
rejected, distorted and demeaned; but it cannot be changed.
I have received an increasing number of letters from GLBT people
struggling with the lies and abusive pressures of various "ex-gay"
people and organizations. The internal personal battle that many
GLBT people have been forced to wage against themselves is a rapidly
growing tragedy of our time. The entire "ex-gay" industry is
based on sanctimonious nonsense that has no valid foundation in Jesus
Christ, modern psychiatry or common sense.
wrote a review of John Paulk's book "Not Afraid to Change" when it
appeared in 1998. My review is given below and briefly in my
book. Now it is time for John to show that he really is not
afraid to change and to face and turn back to his own truth and abandon
the lies and self-deception. It is time to let go and move on.
THE WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN
worst things that have happened to me have been the things that best
prepared me for my present ministry and that propelled me to publish
and maintain my web site and to finish and publish my book. God
does indeed "cause all things to work together for good to you who are
called to follow Jesus." (Romans 8:28) I am sure that John Paulk
thinks that his moment of truth at the gay bar was the worst thing that
could have happened. Facing your truth can appear to be a
disaster. It isn't. Truth is a disaster only when you
decide to ignore it and flee from it into the jaws of death.
of us can identify with the frustrations and confused feelings that
John Paulk demonstrated this week. If John will turn from the
religious legalists that have been using him to confuse and destroy gay
people and enter fully into his true calling to encourage and affirm
GLBT people, he will have incredible support from many of us.
Bussy and Gary Cooper helped to begin the Exodus "ex-gay" industry that
John Paulk has been leading. After five years of frustration and
denial, Michael and Gary woke up to the truth and faced and acted upon
their own homosexuality, became partners and began a great ministry of
encouragement and affirmation for GLBT people. Their story is
also in my web site and book. John, you can do the same.
It's not too late to turn around.
Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves the Right's Attacks on
Democracy" found at end of the home page for Equal Partners in Faith.
See Article in "Southern Voice" about John Paulk.
"You shall know the truth, and truth will set you free." John 8:32
After John Paulk visited the gay bar in Washington, DC, Bob Davies,
Executive Director of Exodus, concluded that the incident had "dealt a
severe blow to John's credibility as an Exodus spokesperson."
Bob, you have it wrong! What John Paulk did dealt a fatal blow to
the credibility of the entire "ex-gay" misdirected anti-gay industry.
is based on the compatibility of what people say with what they
do. Exodus and the other forms of the "ex-gay" fraud claim and
teach facts that are not true. The claims of ex-gay success are
never matched by any living proof. The American Psychiatric
Association last fall concluded that there is no evidence that anyone's
sexual orientation has ever been changed.
do psychiatrists and other medical professionals reject the "ex-gay"
claims? Simply because they lack credibility. Don't expect
the ex-gay industry to admit their error and just close down, however,
because too much money is involved. Money drives the "ex-gay"
movement, and money is power.
YOUR OWN CREDIBILITY
you were charged with being a follower of Jesus, would there be enough
evidence to convict you? When Simon Peter was accused of being a
disciple of Jesus, he denied it three times and claimed not even to
know the man. The response of the accusers was that Peter talked
like Jesus, was with Jesus, and had been seen with Jesus many
times. The evidence spoke for itself (Matthew 26:69-75).
Actions always speak louder than words. What are your actions
denied Jesus out of fear. Judas did it for the money. Fear
and money are powerful controlling forces. What has fear made you
do that denies your true self? How about money?
WHAT I LEARNED AT NEW HOPE MCC
Saturday, I had the privilege of leading a workshop on "Recovery from
Bible Abuse" for New Hope MCC in Santa Rosa, California, and then
preaching on Sunday. The contagious enthusiasm of the Pastor
Alice and her spouse Molly was clearly evident. The people who
came to the workshop were prepared to learn and were ready to grow
spiritually and to share their faith with others. As each person
shared their own personal spiritual pilgrimage with the group, I
learned from every one and rejoiced in what God is doing in many places
now to use GLBT people to change our world.
was reminded again that each individual has a unique personal spiritual
experience. "Coming out" presents different challenges to each
GLBT person. Whatever your experience might be, it's uniquely
yours. You are the world's authority on your own
experience. Write it down. Learn from yourself. "Be
prepared to explain to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the
hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect." (I Peter 3:15)
incredible damage done by abusive religion in the lives of average
people was made clear over and over in the experiences that were shared
with the group. The abusive use of religion to ruin people's
lives has dealt a severe blow to the credibility of all churches.
WE NEED EACH OTHER
often need help to re-enforce and sustain our credibility. When
the Apostle Paul first went to Jerusalem after his encounter with Jesus
that changed his life, the Christians were afraid of him. But
Paul had a strong friend, Barnabas, who stood with him and helped him
to gain acceptance with others (Acts 9:26-29). The continuing
story of Paul, after he recognized that his former legalistic
judgmental bigotry was a big mistake, is the exciting subject of the
Book of Acts.
the Book of Acts to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ crossed every
human barrier and became the inclusive ministry that Jesus
intended. The last word in Acts is "unhindered" and it may seem
strange to end the story of the beginnings of Christianity with an
adverb. Yet it is quite intentional. Paul is last seen
teaching the good news of Jesus unhindered even in the city of
Rome. The Book of Acts was written by a Gentile, a non-Jew, and
is in every way a powerful statement of the inclusive nature of
Jesus. The unhindered Gospel continues now through you and
me. We are writing a fresh "acts of the apostles" every day by
being unconditionally inclusive and vigorously centered in Jesus.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF?
and self-esteem are vital to your credibility. You cannot
convince others of something that you cannot accept yourself.
"Equipping the saints for ministry" begins with learning to love and
accept yourself as the honored and loved child of God that you already
are. You have a mission for God that nobody can take from you.
The following Book Reviews were sent as web site "updates".
"JOHN PAULK IN WONDERLAND"
A Brief Review of Not Afraid to Change by John Paulk.
Rembert Truluck. Update. November 22, 1998.
the past year, homophobic religious and political forces have
accelerated and intensified their unrelenting attacks against
homosexuals with ads in newspapers, magazines, and television.
John Paulk along with his "former lesbian" wife Anne have become
symbols of the "Ex-Gay" push for acceptance and approval of "reparative
therapy" and religious transformation of homosexuals into
heterosexuals. (See the cover story in Newsweek, August 17, 1998,
about John and Anne.) Now John Paulk has published his
autobiography to try to prove that he has been changed from gay to
straight by religion.
book and books by Joe Dallas (former President of "Exodus") and others
will have a devastating impact on young homosexuals seeking for help
and encouragement in dealing with their sexual orientation.
American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological
Association, The American Medical Association, and The American Bar
Association since 1974 have all taken the position that homosexuality
is a sexual orientation and is not an illness to be treated or
cured. See above.
entire web site on "Steps to Recovery from bible Abuse" is a response
to John Paulk's book and the fraudulent use of religion to give false
hope and to raise money in the ongoing anti-gay religious/political
warfare being waged against homosexuals.
Paulk is on the staff of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO,
(the powerful and rich political/religious organization owned and
operated by James Dobson). Paulk, with no formal theological or
medical training, is "a homosexuality and gender analyst" at "Focus"
and is North American Board Chairman of Exodus International, "a
worldwide organization that provides assistance to men and women
seeking freedom from unwanted homosexuality." The fast growing
"Ex-Gay" industry is booming!
John Paulk's credentials for his expert status in the "Ex-Gay Fraud" consist of his personal story, told in his
recent book, published in July, 1998, by Winepress Publishing.
Forward to the book is by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., author of "Reparative
Therapy of Male Homosexuality", which has been repudiated by the
majority of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and other medical
professionals. Nicolosi has invented the term "homosexual
condition" to use in place of sexual orientation. His incredibly
prejudiced and judgmental attitudes against gay men become evident in
the first few lines of his writing. His brief but pompous
analysis of why John Paulk was homosexual would be ludicrous if it were
not being set forth as through it were scientific and medical
fact. Instead, it is dangerous, misleading, and false.
Nicolosi's logic is like saying that gay equals crazy, and therefore
all gays are crazy.
found all of the book very difficult to read and to follow, because the
material is given in an overly colorful and exaggerated style of
writing that sounds like the words and psychedelic images in MTV music
egregious volume was actually written by Tony Marco based on over 40
hours of interviews with John Paulk. Marco "has written
extensively on the subject of homosexuality, is the author of 9 books,
and is considered one of the nation's leading non-profit fundraising
copywriters and creative consultants." The entire book is an
advertisement for "Exodus International", for NARTH (National
Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), and for the
"therapy" work of Joseph Nicolosi. All of the people who
recommend the book on the book cover and in the first two pages are
leaders in the rapidly growing homophobic religious/political campaign
One tells of John Paulk's first visit to a gay bar at the age of 18 in
1981 (The same year that I moved to Atlanta and went to my first gay
bar). Somehow, over 17 years later, John was able to recall in
vivid detail everything that he saw and heard at this first gay bar
visit. Here is the paragraph that begins the story:
I felt overwhelmed, plunged into what might as well have been a giant,
surrealistic pinball machine: gleaming, refracted disco lights with
frenzied bursts of every color imaginable…ultraviolet lights,
fluorescent tubes and neon shapes twisted like flying
phantoms...mirrored balls spun out spattering starbursts…beer and
alcohol fumes, tobacco, and other smoke mixed in a pinkish haze."
first chapter goes on to give an incredibly detailed description of
just how much and what John drank (a lot) and what everybody wore and
said and the expressions on their faces. Either John wrote down
every detail in a journal as soon as he got home or he has a
photographic mind that rivals Einstein or the whole thing is a
fabrication! Little details are thrown in to make the anti-gay
points that gays are seduced into homosexuality, such as this bit of
dialogue in which John said to his friend, Richard: "You know I've
never done anything like this before. I couldn't help myself. You
of all people should know what this place can do to someone."
went to my first gay bar in Atlanta in 1981 also. I don't even
remember which one it was, much less exactly what everybody wore and
what each person said and what I said! The detailed description
of John's early gay experiences are as lurid as they are ludicrous and
realize that each person is an authority on his/her own
experience. But John Paulk is not telling his story in this
book. The book is a biased and distorted account put together in
the name of John Paulk by Tony Marco and a great host of people like
Frank Worthen, Bob Davies, Mike Riley, Joseph Nicolosi, Joe Dallas,
John Smid and many others (named by John Paulk as those who have most
influenced him in "Acknowledgements" at the end of the book).
from offering hope to homosexuals, this book offers a highly imaginary
and fanciful tale that is "full of sound and fury, signifying
nothing". Yet, unfortunately, the book will be used to convince
many homosexuals of all ages to hate themselves and to follow the path
down the rabbit hole into the Wonderland that John Paulk has described.
prose and fantastic descriptions are no substitute for the truth.
Words can hide the truth just as words can tell the truth. The
book is an overly wordy story that tries to convince with too much
information, much of which is questionable.
is our response to this kind of blatant propaganda against the truth
about homosexuals and homosexuality? Tell me what you think it
should be. My response is already on the Internet in "Steps to
Recovery from Bible Abuse." Use it and pass it on.
"God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie."
(II Thessalonians 2:11)
all of II Thessalonians 2 to see the context of this verse, which is
used by anti-gay forces against homosexuals. "Strong Delusion" is
the title of Joe Dallas' book. The verse also can be used against
homophobic distortions of the Bible against homosexuals. See also
II Peter 3:15-18.
A RESPONSE TO THE "EX-GAY" FRAUD
Rembert Truluck. Update. November 29, 1998.
Recently I was asked to give my evaluation of the book by Joe Dallas, former President of Exodus International,
A Strong Delusion: Confronting the "Gay Christian" Movement: Harvest House Publishers, 1996. (All Bible quotes are from the New King James Version.)
this book, Joe Dallas distorts and misrepresents everything that Gay
and Lesbian Christians have accomplished in the past 30 years.
The book is a clearly self-serving attempt to justify and promote the
methods and goals of the "ex-gay" movement, which Joe Dallas helped to
book begins with Joe recalling in remarkable detail exactly what was
said and how he reacted 18 years earlier to the first sermon that he
heard in MCC in 1978. (What a memory! I remember the first
MCC sermon I heard in Atlanta in 1981. All I remember is that
Rev. Jimmy Brock preached it, and it was a good one!) Joe has a
knack for reading his own prejudices and sexual hang-ups into
everything that he has heard from people in MCC and from anyone who
questions his "ex-gay" distortions of science and the Bible.
statistics that Joe Dallas uses in his book to equate homosexuality
with child molesting and the destruction of family values are ludicrous
and without validity. I found it very difficult to read the book
because of the clutter of unsubstantiated "facts" and "evidence" that
could not hold up under any objective examination.
My entire web site on "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse"
is a response to and rebuttal of this book by the former leader of
Exodus International. Joe Dallas adopts the most gullible and
unrealistic acceptance of biblical literalism that I have seen so
far. He completely ignores all evidence that disputes his main
claims about the Bible and homosexuality. He uses extensive
footnotes at the end of the book to say things that should have been
used in the text, trying to give the impression that his ideas are
based on careful research of reliable sources, which they are not.
use of out-of-context biblical "proof texts" to support his anti-gay
rhetoric is painfully inept and inaccurate. My web site material
on "The Bible and Homosexuality", on "The Ex-Gay Fraud", and on
"Legalism as Idolatrous Religion" give a clear and thorough rebuttal to
every detail of Joe Dallas' distortions of the truth.
Dallas also uses out-of-context selected quotations from Gay Christian
leaders in MCC and in other groups to support his rejection of the
facts about the "ex-gay fraud". Any person who has accurate
knowledge and experience with MCC knows that every congregation and
every pastor has a great host of problems to face and handle as best
they can. No church is an easy task for the leaders. The
Metropolitan Community Churches, however, in the face of sometimes
deadly opposition, have given spiritual support and acceptance to
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people for many years. In
year anniversary of MCC, the desperately needed spiritual and practical
help given by this great Christian ministry speaks for itself.
book by Joe Dallas is a destructive and unfortunate misrepresentation
of the Bible and the so-called "ex-gay" cause. It is not a viable
alternate point of view to my web site or to any of the other excellent
and well-researched material by many scholars, such as Dr. John
McNeill, Dr. John Boswell and Dr. Daniel Helminiak, whose book
and web site on "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality" are
included in my "Resources and References".
many other homophobic Bible abusers, Joe Dallas uses the tired old
argument that Christian homosexuals have revised and distorted the
Bible to teach acceptance and respect for homosexuals and
homosexuality. The truth is the other way around. Only in
recent years has the Bible been translated in clearly homophobic ways
that do violence to the original context and meaning of the Hebrew and
Greek words. Nowhere does the Bible say that Lesbians and Gays
can or should change their sexual orientation. Nowhere does the
Bible even discuss, much less condemn, romantic love between people of
the same sex.
people who recommend Joe Dallas' book are the same ones who also
recommend John Paulk's book and who lead the way in raising money and
promoting the booming anti-gay "ex-gay" industry.
The war against homosexuals that is being waged by the homophobic religious
fundamentalists is like all wars:
Truth is the first casualty.
"Jesus said, Follow me." -- from all Four Gosels
"RESPONSE TO REVIEW OF DALLAS BOOK"
Rembert Truluck. Update. December 1, 1998.
of my best friends in MCC ministry wrote the following response to my
recent review of "A Strong Delusion" by Joe Dallas. Rev. Dr.
Dusty Pruitt is Pastor of MCC South Bay in Torrance, CA. She was
the first Lesbian Chaplain to be thrown out of the military because she
revealed her sexual orientation on a television talk show. She
went to court to challenge the action against her and finally
won. Her rank and retirement benefits were restored. CLICK HERE
to reach Rev. Pruitt by e-mail.
Pruitt told me that Joe Dallas was never MCC clergy but was student
clergy for a while. Rev. Pruitt's story of struggle and victory
with the United States Military is being prepared for
publication. I am grateful to Dusty for sharing her experiences
and thoughts about Joe Dallas and for her permission to pass them on to
From Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt, 12/1/98, To Dr. Rembert Truluck:
read Joe Dallas' book (primarily because I pastored him; he was a
member of MCC Long Beach when I came there and left in 1983 after some
turbulent times in MCCLB) and I cannot agree with you more. I was
shocked at the intransigent thought process of this man; how dogmatic
he is, and how rigid in his "Biblical interpretation!" Some
who know Joe say AIDS scared him "straight". Rather than stay and
assist his community with this devastating pandemic, he chose to
run. Apparently he "bought" the lie that AIDS is God's judgment
on homosexual behavior. (Even if one DID believe that, as
apparently the Catholics do, at least they stayed to minister!)
you notice how threatened Joe (and by extension the ex-gay movement)
seemed to be by Mel White and Marsha Stevens? Seems those who
leave their "Point of view" and get healthy and reconcile sexuality and
spirituality are the biggest threats to this toxic movement.
have counseled many ex-gays. The healthiest are those who can think for
themselves and who had an "epiphany" concerning God's love for them AS
GAYS! The most unhealthy are tragic testaments to all the worst
that this movement can do. These are those who cannot even think
a rational thought, so filled with confusion are they! I just
have been left shaking my head at the devastation wrought by some of
these organizations, such as Exodus and desert streams.
4)Keep up the good work on the web and I'm looking forward to your book publishing.
I am pastor of MCC-Family in Christ in Ft. Collins, CO. Pray for me, as
I do for you. I love you, my brother, and look forward to your
doing a workshop for us.