Once again the denomination is left in an embarrassing position “with egg on its face”. Decades ago, we awoke one Sunday morning, with the whole sorry sordid scandal of Colin Cook’s Quest ministry emblazoned on the front page of the LOS ANGELES TIMES. The news story told of the ministry, funded by the SDA church and run by “cured” homosexual, SDA pastor Colin Cook.
Adventist families at great personal financial hardship, under the urging of the church leadership and local pastors, sent their gay sons to Reading Pennsylvania, to Cook’s “rehab center” to be cured of their sexual orientation. Not only was it later documented that not one of those interviewed, had any change in their sexual orientation, but that the majority of them had been sexually seduced by Colin Cook.
Due to the total lack of transparency, we do not know how many of these families sued the church for this fatally flawed fiasco.
Since that time, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association, have stated that “Conversion Therapy” is not only ineffective, but can have serious adverse psychological consequences , including depression and possible suicide.
The states of California and New Jersey, plus Washington DC, have legally banned licensed therapists from using this therapy on minors, because it is so damaging. More states will,follow in banning the practice
Even more telling, EXODUS INTERNATIONAL, the foremost “ex-gay” ministry, in June 2013, disavowed their prior position with this statement from their chairman, Alan Chambers:
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions did not change.” Exodus, thereafter discontinued it’s advocacy of change ministries.
Even the Mormon church, one of the most homophobic institutions on the planet ( because of their belief that polygamy will be practiced in heaven, and where will gays and lesbians then fit in with this scenario?), has finally conceded that Convesion Therapy does not work.
In the face of all this overwhelming evidence, our church ends up looking RIDICULOUS, UNSCIENTIFIC and positively MEDIEVAL. We should all be embarrassed.
The burning question is, where is the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University in this controversy? When will they issue a forthright, unequivocal statement, bringing themselves in alignment with the American Psychiatric Association, and mainstream medicine, stating that conversion therapy for gays and lesbians is not only totally ineffective but potentially damaging? Every responsible medical alumnus of Loma Linda should be embarrassed and demand such a response from their alma mater! As a physician with medical training at University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University, I am not in this unfortunate position.
Furthermore every psychology department at our North American Adventist colleges, should issue an unequivocal statement aligning themselves with their national organization, the American Psycholical Association. If they fear reprisals for their employment, maybe the different colleges should coordinate themselves and issue a joint statement. Not doing so, surely makes their graduates with psychology majors, suspect, with “inferior” degrees.
I am of the firm belief that the only event that will change the mindset of the denomination is a serious multi-million dollar law suit, brought by families whose teenagers have suffered suicide or other severely adverse and egregious consequences of conversion therapy as advocated by the likes of Wayne Blakely, and Michael Carducci. I would seriously urge such families and individuals (there must be many), to take legal action, before the statute of limitations runs out.
I travel widely and each Sabbath, in various churches, I am saddened as I watch the children go up front for the children’s story, realizing that one in twenty of these adorable little tots, will grow up gay or lesbian. How much longer will these unfortunates, be subjected to damaging practices at the church’s urging?
It is time for every responsible adult church member, not just those with gay offspring, to demand that our denomination desist from these deleterious, dangerous destructive and medieval “Holy Sexuality” conferences. They are anything but “holy”. They make us look ridiculous and expose us to potential expensive litigation!