Thursday, May 06, 2010
The Rekers Scandal - What's the Big Deal Anyway?
Reverend Patrick S. Cheng, PhD, is an Out theology professor and writer who posted his thoughts today on the Huffington Post, in an OpEd entitled Evangelicals and Gays: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
This this isn't about "getting along" or "loving the sinner and hating the sin". This is about Evangelical Conservatives who want to take their hatred of LGBT Americans, pretend it is actual science and then turn that hatred into civil law.
I am sorry Dr. Cheng, these people do not want to "get along", they want to harm, marginalize, discriminate against, and in some cases even round up and kill Gays and Lesbians. The clear connections between American Conservative Evangelicals and the proposed "Kill the Gays" law in Uganda serves only to emphasize the point.
Then we come to this week's bit of news. That a prominent Evangelical has been caught leading a double life. Where by day he was someone who made his name and reputation on the notion that being Gay or Lesbian is an illness, that can be religiously treated and cured. And by night, (and on vacations) hires Gay Male Escorts.
The reason this is "such a big deal" is this; George Reker is not just ANY disgraced Evangelical hypocrite. Reker is/was THE anti gay Evangelical.
He along with James "focus on the funding" Dobson co-founded the Family Research Council, and is a leading researcher for NARTH. (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality ) NARTH routinely puts out "studies" that claim, among other things, that children adopted by same sex couples are more prone to suicide. That being Gay or Lesbian is a mental disorder. None of their studies stand up to even basic fact checking, and NARTH has had to admit that their studies are not based on actual science.
The good folks over at Truths Wins Out have done their homework on NARTH:
The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a self described “non-profit, educational organization dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality”www.narth.com NARTH explains in their mission statement “clients have the right to claim a gay identity, or to diminish their homosexuality and to develop their heterosexual potential.”
They claim to attain this through years of reparative therapy, (also used interchangeably with the terms conversion therapy and sexual brokenness) a practice the American Psychiatric Association says can “lead to depression, anxiety and self destructive behavior, and may reinforce self hatred.”
That is why this is a really really really big deal. George Rekers has spent his career advocating for reparative or "conversion therapy". A discredited practice that has done untold damage to countless people who are conned into thinking they are "sick" an this abusive voodoo masquerading as science will "cure" them.
George Rekers and those like him are directly responsible for the DEATHS of untold numbers of LGBT Americans who out despair from their inability to "pray the Gay away", committed suicide.
In 2007 the American Psychological Association (APA) adopted an updated resolution saying there is no evidence to support the notion that sexual orientation can be changed, and that gay conversion therapy can cause depression and suicide attempts.
The APA went on to issue a 138-page report, as a strong rebuke of the claims of organizations like NARTH and Exodus International that sexual orientation can be changed by religious-based "reparative therapy".
Now we find out that one of the world's leading proponents of this stuff, George Rekers, is in fact, a closeted homosexual. A man who while secretly having sex with men, is guilty of inflicting emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical torture on who-knows how many Gay and Lesbian Americans.
Now Rekers is claiming HE is the victim, because his escapades with an 20-year old Gay male escort are out in the open. His former supporters at the Family Research Council have been quick to condemn people like me, asking where is our "compassion" for someone who is "struggling with sin." That's funny, I haven't seen any compassion for Gays and Lesbians coming out of the FRC when they spew the most vile and contemptible lies about LGBT Americans. Lies like; Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement." —"Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia," FRC publication, July 1999.
This is why the fall of George Rekers IS a big deal. It exposes the bigotry of the Conservative Evangelical moment in the United States for exactly what it is. The self-hatred of bitter closet cases. Too scared to live their lives honestly, so they spend those lives trying to harm those people that have the courage they lack.