Last night I watched Channel 4’s Undercover Doctor: Cure Me I’m Gay and thought I’d blog a few of my thoughts about the programme.
I approached this programme as a Christian and as a straight male (although don’t like sports, quite like Adele and have mostly female friends!).
As an overall I felt like the programme was fairly well-balanced, I didn’t feel like it suggested that all Christians were anti-gay and pro treatment for homosexuals but it just happened that a lot of those people offering those treatments featured in the programme were Christian, or at least say they are. (I don’t know if therapies like this exist or are promoted in other religions or not.)
My only criticism of the programme was that it didn’t mention the large amounts of Christian’s who are pro-homosexual regardless of their own, individual sexuality.
A few other thoughts…
One of the things that surprised me was that intensive aversion therapy was available on the NHS until the 80’s, I guess that shows how much our society has changed over the last 20/30 years and how our understanding of human sexuality has developed.
I think one of the things that concerned me the most about the Christian therapies was that those offering them often seemed to use language which painted a different picture to what was actually true.
The Doctor from America who made Dr. Christian colour in his brain didn’t really have any training in the field but used his Doctorate/Dr title to suggest otherwise, likewise the UK based evangelical healer with his exorcisms used an array of medical terms to make it sound like he knew what he was talking about.
As a Christian these people being economical with the truth is concerning. I felt the same when I watched Derren Brown’s programme about faith healers. Equally I was uneasy about people charging for these services, after all if it’s something they genuinely believe is what God wants them to be doing then surely they’d do it for free? Jesus never turned his healing into a business and I don’t believe God works like that, even Paul’s ministry was funded by his sideline as a tent maker.
The problem with homosexual therapy is that it doesn’t really work.
In the few books I’ve read, the interviews on the show and other news articles I’ve seen (including one ex-gay ministry closing) the pointers seem to suggest that ex-gay doesn’t mean feeling sexually attracted to the opposite sex but that it’s people making a choice to be in a heterosexual relationship regardless of attraction, which ultimately when you add an unknowing spouse, kids and it all falling apart becomes something incredibly harmful to all involved.
It was also interesting that none of the ex-gay people Dr. Christian met were willing to go through the scientific test to see if their therapy had really worked…it’s like someone claiming to have had a broken leg healed refusing to have an x-ray to check!
Overall I found the programme interesting, sadly I wasn’t shocked by the views of different Christian groups because it’s I expected to hear but I am disappointed because I didn’t feel like any of them really took the well being of the individual into account. However, I think this is a wider issue with the churches approach to homosexuality. More often than not it’s easy to make a judgement or mass statement about a group of people without taking into account the individuals in this group that are effected and hurt by the things said (perhaps that’s another blog in itself).