The culture we live in today is changing minute by minute along with the opinions and beliefs of those raised in it. Right behind the changes of culture and beliefs, comes issues that experts and amateurs are desperate to resolve. One of these issues being conversion therapy. Homosexuality and all things with it has become one of the normalcies accepted in America’s culture. Many millennial’s believe it stems from natural, immutable factors such as genes, but many millennial’s also take the stance that it is just another sin that has crept into our world that people are choosing to act on.
These two beliefs are the catalyst for the controversial issue on conversion therapy.
Those who believe that sexuality is based on genetics argue that conversion therapy for sexuality is wrong and can be harmful to the individual who undergoes it. It is argued that everyone is born perfect and the extreme measures that conversion therapy includes are “extremely dangerous and, in some cases, fatal.” Conversion therapy has gone to the “extreme measures such as institutionalization, castration, and electroconvulsive shock therapy to try to stop people from being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).” While these practices were in the past, according to a 2009 report of the American Psychological Association, “The techniques therapists have used to try to change sexual orientation and gender identity include inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis while showing the patient homoeroitc images; providing electric shocks; having the individual snap an elastic band around the wrist when aroused by same-sex attractions; orgasmic reconditioning; and satiation therapy.”
These techniques are used by the therapist in order to try and change a patients sexual attraction from same sex to opposite sex; however, most of the nations leading health professionals have deemed conversion therapy as “unnecessary, ineffective, and dangerous.” The American Psychological Association encourages patients and their families to support the sexual orientation of an individual and opposes the therapy because that is under assumption that one can or should change his or her sexual homosexual orientation whereas they believe it is no where close to a mental illness per se but rather a genetic predisposition.
On the other side of the argument, there are those who believe conversion therapy is ok and even encourage it. This side of the argument consists of those who believe that sexual orientation is not a genetic condition but rather a side effect to the sinful culture and world that one is raised in and influenced by. Christian’s argue that “no genetic problem is ever condemned in the Bible as sinful. Being left-handed is not wrong. Having red hair is not a sin. Baldness is no form of evil. On the other hand, homosexual activity is explicitly condemned in the scriptures. Each individual is going to sin, Christian’s acknowledge that the world is fallen and everyone is exposed to sins. However, Christian’s understand that “The gospel can transform any of us! God will forgive anyone who respond to his will (Hebrews 5:8-9). This is why many people agree and strongly believe in conversion therapy. Allan Edwards who is married to a woman and has a child admits his desire for the same-sex. Edward’s told NPR, “I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right? So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me but communion with God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”
In an interview with The Christian Post, McKrae Game, a former homosexual who now helps others with same-sex attractions, states that “God can work through anything. There has not been any scientific evidence to support any genetic causation. I do believe we are born with personalities and I do believe that we are born into families with sinful bent leanings, but I don’t believe my flesh forces me but my flesh leans me toward sinful behavior.” Game is clearly an advocate for conversion therapy, having changed his lifestyle to serve and God to the best of his ability.
The answer to the question of conversion therapy being ok or not can vary based on ones beliefs of where sexual orientation begins.