6.19.2005

and then they came for me

I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner. But we can still try to help this kid.

My pal Nick, who is emigrating to Canada with his partner Mason, posted this terrible news.
A blog that tracks the activities of ex-gay ministries made a post recently that sent shockwaves out. A 16-year old boy, Zach, has been sent to a residential treatment center for children who are struggling with homosexuality. The kid told his parents he was gay and they decided to send him off to what in my professional opinion amounts to a concentration camp. There is no therapeutic benefit to this program - it is all based on religious doctrine and encourages patients to kill [themselves]. The director of the facility believes in this type of therapy:

"I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery." -- The Final Indoctrination from John Smid, Director, Love In Action (LIA).
There's that culture of life again. What is wrong with these fucking people. Don't answer that. I just need to say it.

And please, don't tell me this is a hoax. These programs exist. This kid is real.

Nick has some ideas on what we can do. Please write a letter, send an email, tell your friends.

17 comments:

redsock said...

"Love in Action"

...

My head just exploded.

L-girl said...

Do you know, I actually ended this post with "My head is exploding," but deleted it.

G said...

You know, in all my reading of "the culture of life" propaganda, I've hit upon something interesting. Nowhere have they ever said, at least in what I've come across, that it's all-encompassing. Which I guess explains the horrendous "suicide" comments from the pro-lifers.

Guess it's another of the Old Boys Clubs the righties seem so fond of. You're only included IF you play by our rules. Otherwise you can just die. Sort of like the draft-dodging exceptions for the rich and connected.

Sick that these guys are the leaders of a nation built on freedoms and equality for ALL. That's where the sentence ends: ALL PEOPLE. Yet somehow they slipped in a rider that tacks on "who play by our rules" when we weren't looking. Sneaky fucks. Sick, sick, world.

L-girl said...

Yep. Yep yep yep. What he said.

How can the party that drops bombs on innocent people be said to support the culture of life?

RobfromAlberta said...

I have yet to encounter any prominent individual with a completely consistent position on the sanctity of human life. Pope John Paul II came closest, being opposed to war, abortion and euthanasia (I assume capital punishment as well, although I don't know that for sure). However, his opposition to the use of condoms was non-sensical since by no stretch of the imagination could one consider sperm cells to be human life. As I see it, to espouse a true culture of life, you must oppose war and capital punishment as well as abortion and euthanasia. I suppose I espouse a culture of death, since I am not morally opposed to any of those things (my opposition to the death penalty has more to do with the fallibility to the system, than moral qualms). At least I am consistent.

Anonymous said...

L-girl on iPAQ:

I think consistency is overrated. I know many people disagree. But to me, we have to believe what feels right to us, and not be constrained by someone else's notion of consistency.

I know many people would say my opposition to the death penalty and my very blase attitude about abortion are inconsistent, but to me it makes perfect sense. And really, what else matters?

My problem with the wingnuts crowing about the so-called culture of life is the hypocrisy. I don't go around saying I believe in the sanctity of every life while doing my best to end lives. And while acting like I have the corner on the morality market.

As Crabletta has pointed out, that "culture of life" crap is an utterly meaningless catch-phrase. (Just as "pro-life" is.)

Oh, I believe the late Pope opposed capital punishment.

L.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

To sort of repeat Laura, it's not their views that drive me nuts, it's the blatant hypocrisy that bugs me.

I too mentioned the pope was consistent and logical. That doesn't mean I thought he was right, but he seemed at least rational.

But let's take a quote from Mr. Delay, in reference to Shiavo:

"We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being. That's the very least we can do for her."

Yet, most so-called Christians would seem to agree with Bush and Delay that killing Terry = Crime against Humanity, killing anonymous Iraqi = Acceptable. They apply it to the other new religion as well, Democracy.

Anyway, here's an interesting article about the research into homosexuality. Basically, it is genetic, its also has to do with early childhood brain development. In essence, it's like being left handed. If you have a certain gene, you have a 50% chance of being left handed. At a very early age, it's possible to switch from left-handed to right, but after the brain's fully formed it's pretty much hard wired.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002340883_gayscience19m.html

L-girl said...

Sexuality certainly seems to be hard-wired, as this article says. If any one of us thinks of our own sexuality - gay, straight or bi - didn't we always know it?

Most hetero folks never question this. Straight people sometimes say, how can a young kid know that he's gay? But didn't they know when they were young, who they were attracted to...?

Here's another thing, though. What if being gay was a choice? Would that make homophobia any more acceptable? (I'm not suggesting anyone here is saying this.)

I understand why we make the "born that way" argument. We all believe bigotry is especially wrong for innate attributes, things that people can't help, such as the color of their skin. Yet if we've chosen to be who we are, and we're not hurting anybody, doesn't that deserve respect and dignity (and protection under the law), too?

So even though I understand why we make the argument and why it's useful, sometimes I feel the "born that way" argument is a trap.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Oh gee, you mean we shouldn't meddle in other people's lives? That's the libertarian philosophy.

Even if it was a choice, it shouldn't matter. But conformity is king. After all, just my mere decision to build a new house in the city is enough to send shockwaves through some people.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Or the fact that my girlfriend and I aren't married yet, nor are in any rush to (although we did make the engagement step).

We're not sure why we should go through some sort of ceremony. Just the other day she asked me "Why? How would anything be different?". We feel like we're supposed to, but the ceremony wouldn't be for us. It'd be more for other people.

L-girl said...

Oh gee, you mean we shouldn't meddle in other people's lives? That's the libertarian philosophy.

To which I subscribe. :)

Even if it was a choice, it shouldn't matter. But conformity is king.

Yes indeedy. Re your g/f's and your life, I relate totally.

Allan and I decided never to do the legal marriage thing. We've been living together more than 18 years. Some people still don't get it.

We also don't have children and don't own a home (and don't want to). So of course we are freaks!

But this is our life, we are very happy and comfortable with our choices. I can explain them if asked, but I don't feel the need to justify them otherwise. Really, why do people care??? :)

James said...

"Really, why do people care??? "

That's a really good question, and one that's hard to figure. Someone recently asked Senator Santorum if he felt that his marriage was threatened by the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusettes. Not marriage in general -- his own marriage. And he said yes, his marriage is threatened.

Unfortunately, no one's asked the follow-up question, "How?" How can two guys getting married in Massachusettes lead to his marriage falling apart? Unless, of course, it's because he'd really, really like to get in on some of that same-sex marriage action...

I'm just glad that our SSM fight in Canada has gone as smoothly as it has (it hasn't been *smooth*, but it's been far smoother than the US's). Had I not met my wife when I did, there's a good chance that I'd've been in a position to benefit directly from this (I'm bi).

Incidentally, the only time I've been directly threatened with physical violence (since public school, anyway) was over my sexuality, by someone on a mailing list who'd never met me, was never likely to meet me, but was, for some reason, hugely threatened by who I've spent my private time with.

L-girl said...

Thanks for sharing that. I am also bi. One of the reasons (there are several) that Redsock & I never got legally married is that, had I chosen to spend my life with a woman, marriage wouldn't have been an option. Stupid.

We don't like the legal, state-sanctioned thing anyway, but that's neither here nor there.

Your two paragrahs re Rick Santorum and follow-up question - I have seen this exact thing in many letters to the editor, blogs, etc. It's the question we all ask, for which there is no answer, since the real answer is: it doesn't.

James said...

My wife and I aren't "officially" married either -- that is, we never went through any sort of ceremony. However, we are "common law" married by virtue of 14+ years cohabitation.

Canadian SSM trivia fact: The chain of events leading to Canada's SSM legalization started with a ruling that a gay couple who had been living together for many years were entitled to the same sort of divorce process straight common law couples are. A ruling, BTW, which prompted the infamous Rev. Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps to visit Ottawa, which is a pretty funny story in and of itself...

L-girl said...

Oh good for you! We have been living together 18 years, and often use the expressions husband and wife. But we also say partner, depending on the situation.

I think common-law is more, well, common in Canada, since it is legally recognized. In the US, Allan and I have no legal standing (although long-standing domestic partnerships have been recognized by courts in various cases).

I actually know that bit of Canadian/queer history, though not in detail. Ironic that a break-up set the wheels in motion.

James said...

The wheels really started 'way back, shortly before I was born, when Pierre Elliot Trudeau (then justice minister) decriminalized homosexuality, announcing that "the government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."

L-girl said...

Someone else posted that recently, LonePrimate, I believe. It's all part of my ongoing Canadian history education. :)