Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 20 March 2021

Giles Fraser UnHerd When conversion is abusive
“We all want others to change — but at what cost?”

Sarah Mullally ViaMedia.News We May be Winning the Fight Against the Virus, but We Risk Losing Something Else…

Andrew Village and Leslie Francis Church Times Eucharist in a time of lockdown
“Different practices have emerged”

The Spring 2021 issue of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Journal is devoted to articles on safeguarding. You can download a pdf copy here.

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Stanley Monkhouse
26 days ago

Conversion. Sister Consilio of Cuan Mhuire Addiction Treatment Centre in Ireland (cuanmhuire.ie ) is quite clear in her view that wanting to change other people easily becomes an addiction. Like all addictions, being addicted to behaviours or attitudes is like a demon that steals your personality and prevents you from being fully you. Addictions deny you your freedom. They make you obsess about yourself instead of serving others. The addiction to control, manifested here as wanting to convert, is like a cancer particularly insidious since it is dressed up as a kind of altruism and in the religious context the… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
26 days ago

“If only you became straight, if only you became a Christian, if only you could see the wisdom of socialism, then all your inner conflicts would fall away.” Great column by Mr. Fraser. I am reminded of a talk I once attended, to get to know some GLBT opponents better, in which the presenter stated she was an ex-lesbian and now was a perfectly happy married mother of two. Partway through her remarks she opined that life would be so much simpler if everyone was straight. My first thought was maybe she was bisexual all along and therefore had no… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
24 days ago

Thank you, Peter for your contribution to this thread. I, too, believe that anyone who can actually engage in heterosexual sex is not intrinsically ‘gay’ but either heterosexual or bi-sexual. The truly ‘gay’ identification is exclusive – I believe – and incapable of any participation in what we call heterosexual sex. Those who believe they have been ‘cured’ of their ‘homosexuality’ may only have been persuaded to exercise that hetero- part of their bi-sexual nature – as being more convenient for their preferred gender persona.

Jo B
Jo B
23 days ago

I suspect it might be more complex than that. Generations of people, especially women, were forced into marriages where there was little attraction between the parties and no expectation of sexual pleasure. Nonetheless, given reasonable kindness on the part of their spouse they might still consider themselves happily married. Without a thorough exploration of what someone means when they claim to be happily married I’d hesitate to pronounce on their sexuality, particularly given the capacity of humans to lie to themselves and others if they really want something to be true. Even the certainty of doing the Right Thing may… Read more »

Kate
Kate
26 days ago

Very disappointed to see Giles Fraser seeking to defend conversion therapy and, even worse, see conversion therapy only as an abuse against peoples’ sexual orientation: he ignores gender identity entirely.

Jo B
Jo B
26 days ago
Reply to  Kate

I don’t see Giles Fraser as defending conversion therapy at all, quite the opposite.

Kate
Kate
25 days ago
Reply to  Jo B

He is trying to set out that there is “good” conversion therapy as well as bad. That’s the line gender crits are taking – refusing to affirm trans youth, blocking them from sports, refusing to recognise their chosen pronouns and names, ensuring that they cannot delay the wrong puberty, is “good” conversion therapy – although they don’t even recognise it as conversion therapy at all.
 
Any reasonable research on the subject would have shown to Giles that he is essentially adopting an anti-trans position in his piece by suggesting that not all conversion therapy is wrong.

Jo B
Jo B
24 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Ah, I see. Thank you for explaining the subtext I missed.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
26 days ago

I assume the Bishop of London’s piece is part of a ‘note to self’ series about social media, and the next one will be about not posting hasty and divisive statements of the diocesan website. Or maybe I’ve fallen into the trap she describes. Or does my minority position make it ok to express a robust opinion?

Michael
Michael
26 days ago

Stephen, I agree. She also writes – presumably without irony or self recognition – the way that we relate to one another seems to be deteriorating. What does she expect when she and her fellow bishops have cut lay people adrift from being together in church on a Sunday. What does she expect when the opportunity to be together in once place on a Sunday morning has been removed from a diverse section of the community.

Kate
Kate
25 days ago

Yeah, the bishops won’t defend LGBTI people and now she doesn’t even want us to defend ourselves in “polarised” debate.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
26 days ago

REF: The Spring 2021 issue of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Journal is devoted to articles on safeguarding. You can download a pdf copy here. ‘The Case of Bishop George Bell’ by David Jasper DD FRSE is disturbing reading as regards gross institutional abuse of power and its brutal consequences. Professor Jasper ends his article on page 37: “In a statement of 1 February 2019…Lord Carlile wrote: ‘The Church should now accept that my recommendations should be accepted in full, and that after due process, however delayed, George Bell should be declared by the Church to be innocent of the allegations made against him’.… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Tim Chesterton
25 days ago

Fascinating piece by Andrew Village and Leslie Francis. Thanks for the link.

Father Ron Smith
25 days ago

I an see where Kate is coming from when she suspects that Fr. Giles Fraser seems to be advocating ‘Conversion Therapy’. Reading carefully, myself, I find this is not the case – or, at least, not in the way Kate seems to infer. I take note of Giles’ quoting Rowan Williams in this paragraph : “As Rowan Williams says about the difference between good and bad religion: “One of the tests of actual faith, as opposed to bad religion, is whether it stops you ignoring things.” Faith “is most fully itself and most fully life-giving when it opens your eyes… Read more »

Kate
Kate
24 days ago

He seems to be suggesting that conversion therapy is good if a) it is in a person’s best interests or b) they request it.
 
Taking the second point first, the problem is that people can be manipulated or pressured into asking for it – “Good Christians will want to suppress self sex attraction”. Likewise, the assertion that conversion therapy is in a person’s best interests usually comes from those providing the “therapy”. When it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, there really is no such thing as “good” conversion therapy.

Father Ron Smith
23 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate, I agree, the whole idea of ‘Conversion Therapy’ for a ‘an innately Gay person, is as ridiculous as the thought of such a therapy that could change a heterosexual person into being homosexual. It simply would not work.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
20 days ago

The film “Boy Erased” might be of interest in this respect.

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