Who says Robert Pollnitz knows what he’s talking about? LCA and the Ex-Gay

Another post by Neil Hart on gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Our commentor AB made mention of the Ex Gay movement and how distressing it is to know that such a thing even exists. I have to agree. You know whats more distressing? The fact that the LCA seems to support such an inherently harmful movement and practise.

I recently read an LCA article entitled Homosexuality and the Church written by Robert Pollnitz.  He is  described  in the article as a paediatrician with 30 years of experience and as the Chairperson of the Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions. I wonder how one gets one of the chairman gigs? I think its by election at synod. It certainly cant be because of any specific expertise on the topic of discussion, as we shall see.

In the article, Pollnitz states…

Healing is possible for homosexuals who want to change. Interested doctors. pastors and support groups such as Exodus and Love in Action can help.

sigh… I’m sorry Robert Pollnitz. I dont know you.  you are probably a nice and sincere man but you have to join that list that i have of church authorities who DONT speak for me. Even a rudimentary internet search will show that those organisations have been discredited and their practises revealed as harmful.

Exodus International ( Love in Action is a subsiduary of Exodus)  NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuality) and Focus on the Family: Love Won Out are all conservative religious based organisations that essentially promote 2 main beliefs

  1.  That homosexuality is caused by environmental factors
  2. That homosexuality can be healed.

I guess it makes sense that conservative religious groups with a narrow view of the bible would maintain these 2 propositions. In their view homosexuality cannot be genetic in any way. Or, as commentor Greg most eloquently said…

“God didnt make GLBT people that way any more than ‘the devil made me do it’…wishing and propoganda dont make it so”

if this WERE the case that gays were born that wat then maybe God would have to take some of the blame for their predicament. i mean.. how can someone be condemned for following their natural, god given desire to love another human being.

If homosexuality is due to environmental factors …then it can more easily be called “the effects of a fallen sinful world”. If not then maybe its because of creator God who “knit me together in my mothers womb” as our gay friend “Marginalised Lutheran” said on a previous post.

In the same way, according to the above groups, it must be possible to be healed of a homosexual orientation. Surely a loving god could not possibly leave them in this state of sin with no possibility of ever changing! They advocate reparative therapies and claim that there are now thousands of people who have been “healed” and are now “ex-gay”.

But…what if both of the above propositions were not true. What if the poor homosexual person was both born that way and completely unable to change… then….OMG! What a horribly harsh lifelong sentence to an impossible internal struggle the church is imposing on that person. This is especially horrible if it were seen to be God’s  fault all along.  No! This could never be! Those institutions that maintain environmental factors as the cause and promote reparative therapies have a strong vested interest in saying and doing what they do…and that interest has nothing to do with the health or best interests of the homosexual they claim to help. It has everything to do with propping up a particular biblical view on homosexuality as sin.

Commentor Greg spoke of propoganda. Well, lets look at some propoganda put out by Exodus, Narth and Focus on the Family as they consistently distort  authentic research in order to promote their above propositions.

Francis Collins is a world leading  researcher in the field of genetics.  in 2010 he was appointed Director of the  US National Institute of Health  by President Obama. The appointment was controversial because Dr collins is a Christian. He was quoted by Love in Action and NARTH as stating that homosexuality is not “hardwired” and suggesting that environmental factors cause it. David Roberts is from an organisation called “Ex-gay Watch”. They are very critical of Exodus and NARTH and take speacial interst when such noted scientist are quoted by these groups. David contacted Dr Collins and asked him to comment…

Dr Collins reply is as follows

The words quoted by NARTH all come from the Appendix to my book “The Language of God” (pp. 260-263), but have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat different conclusion that I intended. I would urge anyone who is concerned about the meaning to refer back to the original text.

 

The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

I use this exchange because it is the most recent that i could find having taken place only a few months ago. But it is certainly no one-off. It seems that these organisations make a habit of misrepresenting other people’s findings…

here is another one. Carol Gilligan speaks out against James Dobson a well know conservative christian who through the organisation Focus On The Family promoted reparative therapies.

Mr Pollnitz…you dont speak for me. And unless you are going to do much more research and be much more cautious with your statements about GLBT issues I dont think you should speak on behalf of the church either.

More to come on the whole tragic ex-gay thing….