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Catholic Culture Resources

Reparative therapy on the run

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | May 29, 2015

Increasingly, the gay lobby is succeeding in putting out of business those who offer reparative therapy to mitigate or eliminate same-sex attracton. For example, the Human Rights Campaign (which lobbies for homosexual causes) successfully pressured the magazine Psychology Today to remove Thomas Schmierer from its professional referral service because he works with clients who regard same-sex attraction as an abnormality from which they hope to find relief through treatment.

Scientific studies show mixed results for reparative therapy; it is certainly possible to argue about how well it works. But the campaign against it is all out of proportion to the evidence. It is being attacked, and in some cases outlawed, at both State and Federal levels in America because it is deemed insulting or even harmful to those who prefer to positively identify with their same-sex attractedness. It is increasingly claimed that this therapy is scientifically untenable, much as opposition to gay marriage is regarded as an irrational prejudice. A current New Jersey law suit is attacking the practice under anti-fraud laws.

What should we say about all this? We might wonder, for example, whether such therapy would be embraced wholeheartedly if it were designed to precipitate same-sex attraction among those who do not experience it or believe it to be disordered. We could call it diversity therapy. But perhaps we should simply begin by asking this question: If reparative therapy is to be discouraged or forbidden, why should sex-change operations be permitted and encouraged? 

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: shrink - Jun. 01, 2015 2:07 PM ET USA

    "..why should sex-change operations be permitted and encouraged? " Excellent question. The answer is found in gender ideology. The unifying theory behind feminism, transsexualism and the gay liberation is not so much the conquest of social convention, but the conquest of nature. Any therapy that retains a tethered to nature must be rejected, because nature shackles our desires.

  • Posted by: nix898049 - May. 31, 2015 6:32 PM ET USA

    I've been saying this for a while too. It's either, 'God made me this way and God doesn't make mistakes!' or 'God made a mistake! I'm a ____ trapped in a ____'s body! You can't have it both ways unless you're mentally ill. That's why there is no reasoning with these people.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 30, 2015 9:09 PM ET USA

    Shorter life span, lower quality of life, higher rate of suicide and a much higher degree of relational instability... All of these I suppose, are being blamed by militant homosexuals on "the prejudice towards them" by conservative Christians & not on homosexuality itself. According to their twisted logic..., get rid of those Christians and you get rid of the problems...!

  • Posted by: garedawg - May. 30, 2015 11:46 AM ET USA

    Good point! If I am now allowed to choose my gender, certainly I should be allowed to choose to whom I am attracted.