Was Seraphim Rose Gay?

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Mo the Ethio

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  PhosZoe claimed on another thread the Father Seraphim Rose was gay. Can you ( PhosZoe) or anyone substantiate this somewhat slanderous claim? If so , was it prior to his conversion? Further more, if this indeed true, is it an issue as far as him being cannonized?

                                In Christ , Moses
 

Landon77

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???  OK, why is that even important.  I think if people have actually had the time to sit and ponder that then they need to pick up a hobby or something, because they have too much time on their hands.
 

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From what I've read, yes. Being gay is a matter of who one is attracted to, not what one does with one's lower bits. Obviously, after converting to Orthodoxy and becoming a monk, Fr. Seraphim was celibate, but there exist letters from his youth where he explicitly says he is a homosexual.

It's not really an issue for him being canonized. Plenty of saints did all sorts of crazy things before they found God. The important thing is that Fr. Seraphim repented of it and gave it up, which is what we should do for any sin; there's nothing special about homosexuality in that regard.
 

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I think it is also pertinent to add that sodomy is considered just as bad when committed by heterosexuals. A heterosexual man who up until converting to Orthodoxy engaged in sodomy is in just as sinful a state as a homosexual who comes to Orthodoxy.
 
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Who cares what anyone else is? I just need to look into the mirror to see the worse human ever to walk the earth.
Felling is not a sin, it is the action of giving in to it that counts.
 

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It should be noted that this occured before his illumination, and thus was entirely washed away...
 

Mo the Ethio

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Landon77 said:
??? OK, why is that even important. I think if people have actually had the time to sit and ponder that then they need to pick up a hobby or something, because they have too much time on their hands.
...I don`t have much extra time on my hands (single dad ..working to support my kids)..just an honest inquiry. Forgive me for the offence
Beayf said:
From what I've read, yes. Being gay is a matter of who one is attracted to, not what one does with one's lower bits. Obviously, after converting to Orthodoxy and becoming a monk, Fr. Seraphim was celibate, but there exist letters from his youth where he explicitly says he is a homosexual.

It's not really an issue for him being canonized. Plenty of saints did all sorts of crazy things before they found God. The important thing is that Fr. Seraphim repented of it and gave it up, which is what we should do for any sin; there's nothing special about homosexuality in that regard.
 So, really it inaccurate to say SERAPHIM Rose was gay . When he came into the church and was baptised as SERAPHIM , his previous sins were washed away. My point is this, to say Father Seraphim was gay is to imply that he continued that sinful behavour after his conversion.
 

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My point is this, to say Father Seraphim was gay is to imply that he continued that sinful behavour after his conversion.
No. After Fr. Seraphim was baptized, he was still gay, only now he was celibate. If a person is exclusively or nearly-exclusively attracted to members of the same sex, they are gay, even if they never act on it.
 

Mo the Ethio

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So Beayf ,you are prepared to tell me and everyone on this forum that FR. Seraphim Rose was gay after his conversion?
 

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I dont think people stop being heterosexual after choosing monasticism. As many, I'm sure, could tell you, you don't stop struggling with passions like switching off a lightbulb after becoming monastics. So yes, I'd say Fr. Seraphim was homosexual.
 

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What is the big deal with Father Seraphim Rose's sexual orientation being gay? Once he became a monk he was completely and utterly celibate. There isn't the slightest hint that he ever acted on it after he took his monastic vows. In fact, I would imagine that he stopped acting on these impulses when he was a catechumen, because he took the teachings of the Orthodox Church quite seriously well before he ever became a monk. Does this mean Father Seraphim was never tempted by the slightest gay thought? I highly doubt it. The point is that he fought and struggled against it and he prevailed.
 
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Choirfiend is right.

Just because one takes on angelic life, his temptation does not disappear.
He is still a human with human temptations.

If one is a heterosexual or a gay he as a monk lives life celibate. But his temptation are still there.
Temptation is not a sin, it is falling to it what sin is.
Sexuality does not matter for a monk, as long as he does not indulge in it by action, word or deed.
So, whether one is straight or gay, for a monk that does not matter. He is of the same guilt if he falls, whether with a woman or a man.

It is in our (non-monastic) lives where sexuality matters.

We have our own temptation, monks and nuns their own.

Our own temptation (as far as sexuality is concerned) is whether we do what we are supposed to do and don't do what we are not supposed to do.
Each glory to itself, each fall to itself.
Monastic fails his way, we fail our way.
Different cross, cross never-the-less.

Does one stop being  what he/she is as far as sexuality is concerned when one takes on monastic calling? No, but it does not matter as long as you are celibate. When you fall, you fall the same.



 

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†Irini nem ehmot â€Â

Hmm, this is interesting.  So based on what's been posted so far, it is possible for a homosexual to "inherit the Kingdom of God"  so long as they do not act on their impulses?  So when St. Paul writes in 1Corinthians 6:9 that "...Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals... will inherit the Kingdom of God" he is refering to those who act on their urges?  This is just for my own clarification.  Thanks.

Prayers please.
 

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Hmm, this is interesting.  So based on what's been posted so far, it is possible for a homosexual to "inherit the Kingdom of God"  so long as they do not act on their impulses? 
Why wouldn't it be? St. Paul is referring to people who have same-sex relations, not people who are attracted to the same sex, which is, after all, just as involuntary as when you are attracted to a beautiful woman you see (assuming you are male, which by your username you probably are).
 

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I was under the impression that if one daydreams about, or imagines oneself doing a sexual act t hen this is the same as sinning....even though one did not physically act on it.  Therefore it is necessary to also avoid thinking about it.

Is this true?    respectfully,  Juliana
 

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:)Thank you Sin_V.  It is the controlling of one's thoughts that can be the most challenging.  God help us all.
 

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Here is a pertinent quote from St. Isaiah the Solitary:

"If some shameful thought is sown into your heart as you are sitting in your cell, watch out. Resist the evil, so that it does not gain control over you. Make every effort to call God to mind, for He is looking at you, and whatever you are thinking in your heart is plainly visible to him. Say to your soul: 'If you are afraid of sinners like yourself seeing your sins, how much more should you be afraid of God who notes everything?' As a result of this warning the fear of God will be revealed in your soul, and if you cleave to Him you will not be shaken by the passions; for it is written: 'They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion; he that dwells in Jerusalem shall never be shaken' (Ps. 125:1. LXX). Whatever you are doing, remember that God sees your all your thoughts, and then you will never sin. To Him be glory through all the ages. Amen."

From the Philokalia, Volume 1. page 28.
 

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Why should it matter that Fr. Seraphim Rose had a gay lover before becoming a monastic? That certainly isn't any worse than Augustine's pre-conversion life. All have fallen short of the glory of God.
 

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Matthew777 said:
Why should it matter that Fr. Seraphim Rose had a gay lover before becoming a monastic? That certainly isn't any worse than Augustine's pre-conversion life. All have fallen short of the glory of God.
I think it might serve as encouragement for those struggling with sin. That it IS possible to turn away from your old habbits, to truly crucify the desires of the flesh and that old man, and to actually put on Christ, is a beacon of hope for all us who fall day after day. Yes, all have fallen short of the glory of God; but God picks us up and transforms us! Glory be to Him!

--Chuck
 

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Beayf said:
No. After Fr. Seraphim was baptized, he was still gay, only now he was celibate. If a person is exclusively or nearly-exclusively attracted to members of the same sex, they are gay, even if they never act on it.
Yes, exactly what I was going to say. I was not implying that he was acting on his "urges" but merely stating that is what he was before he was baptized. All I know about Fr. Seraphim Rose is what was written about him.


You should have PM'd me if you wanted clarification.

edited:
 

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We are not judged for our thoughts if we repentant of them.  Also we  are not guilty if we ignore them.  Many thoughts are simply demonic, they're like radio waves, always in the air.  We sin when we dwell on them.  It is Christ who transforms our lives, not we ourselves.
 

Mo the Ethio

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PhosZoe:
  Pardon the offence and my ignorance. But this thread has brought up some interesting points.
  And though I have a LONG way to go, I`m trying to have as many posts as Matthew 777 :p
 

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Beayf said:
No. After Fr. Seraphim was baptized, he was still gay, only now he was celibate. If a person is exclusively or nearly-exclusively attracted to members of the same sex, they are gay, even if they never act on it.
Beayf the problem I have with this is that it implies that being homosexual is natural. That one cannot return to being heterosexual as all people are born that way. Of course the success psychologists use to have helping men who reported being homosexual turn back to heterosexuality is never mentioned anymore and most people think it never happened. In my own experience I know of no one who can be said to have been born gay or that there is any real proof that there is some "gay gene". The two gay men in my family, one who died of AIDS several years ago, and the one who is still alive, went through traumatic events in their life. The first I mentioned was dumped by his steady girlfriend in high school after they had been going together for several years and had planned on getting married.

Also the problem I have with some of the views expressed here is the idea that it is wrong for one to be attracted to the opposite sex. Since when is it a passion for a man to want to be married to a woman and have a family? I admit lust is often in a man's heart even when he desires marriage but I cannot say that it is wrong for a man to be attracted to a woman. However it is wrong for one to be sexually attracted to the same sex. For one there can be no such thing as a marriage or family in this attraction, second it is contrary to human nature itself as Adam was given Eve, and third this attraction springs entirely from a sick lust to not only indulge the sexual appetite but to deny the natural order itself.

Also no one has considered that Eugene Rose might have been bi-sexual! Back in those days the term did not exist. If one was attracted to the same sex they were gay. It did not matter if they were also attracted to the opposite sex. Also it is unclear how close his relationship with Alison Engler was.

Just to clear a few other things up: Fr.Seraphim of Platina was not baptized Seraphim he was chrismated into ROCOR as Eugene with his patron being St.Eugene of Alexandria. At the time ROCOR still chrismated people coming from Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. He became Seraphim when he was tonsured a monk.

Often I wish the book revealing the details Fr.Seraphim's early hedonistic path had never come out. I mean if anyone ever wrote a book about me and my becoming Orthodox, as if that would ever happen, I would not appreciate them telling everyone the most awful details of what I did before seeing the light, particularly considering that I have forgotten most of them and see no reason to remember them or for anyone else to know of them. I remember hearing the Prologue read in Church one Sunday. I can't remember what day but the Homily stated that is not good to remember our sins but rather to remember we are sinners.
 
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It is a very tricky question.

I know that there is NO "gay gene"; but at the same time, I think that one does not choose one's sexuality (or, one can not choose one's sexuality).
You are either straight or gay or bi. And there is nothing you can do about it (I am talking about feeling/temptation, NOT ACTION).

Only one type of sexuality (straight-heterosexual) IS natural, that is for sure.

But,
at the same time, who says that we do anything natural these days?

We are so far into the fall (as humans) that everything un-natural becomes natural.
Death is not natural but who will argue othervise.

It is THE reality (state of affairs) of today and thus even not natural reality becomes natural because it is reality. We can not choose otherwise.

I am not saying that homosexual activities are good, God forbid. As I am not saying that bi-sexual activities are good, God forbid.

But at the same time they are not any worse than heterosexual sins (of all kinds).

All anti-God like sexual activities from having sex before marriage and masturbation to cheating on your wife/husband with another man/woman in any case and any combination is a sin.
I think that dealing with our own sin is what is more beneficial than dealing with sins of other people.



 

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I agree that being gay is not a choice, but acting on it is a choice. One of my priests son has Hydrocephalus (sp) it is not his fault that he has it, he did not ask for it, he does not always know when he is doing something wrong but it is his parents job to keep him from doing it. If someone is truly gay it is not their fault, they did not ask to be gay but it is the churches responsibility to encourage them to be strong and not give in to the sin and not to judge them. Sorry if you do not understand the point I am trying to make it is hard for me to explain.................Like if someone had schizophrenia and wanted to kill someone it is not their fault (right?) but it is our responsibility to keep them from doing so.

In no way am I saying that Gay people are or should be treated like crazy or mentally ill people, I sincerely apologize if in this post I have offended anyone!  ;)
 

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Sabbas said:
Beayf the problem I have with this is that it implies that being homosexual is natural. That one cannot return to being heterosexual as all people are born that way. Of course the success psychologists use to have helping men who reported being homosexual turn back to heterosexuality is never mentioned anymore and most people think it never happened. In my own experience I know of no one who can be said to have been born gay or that there is any real proof that there is some "gay gene". The two gay men in my family, one who died of AIDS several years ago, and the one who is still alive, went through traumatic events in their life. The first I mentioned was dumped by his steady girlfriend in high school after they had been going together for several years and had planned on getting married.
.


If being gay is totally a choice and fundamentally caused by some "traumatic" event in ones enviroment. Can you explain to me why I am straight and happily married and my sister is a lesbian?  We came from the same alcholhalic abusive father and the same emotionally immature and distant mother? 
 

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I believe in all honesty that one is not born gay (and I dont mean happy)
Depending on the enviroment and friendship one keeps is a big influence in ones life.

When one does not recognise this or any other sin which we know is an abomination to the Lord ,then one cannot be forgiven of that sin....no matter what the sin may be,big or small.

I remember an actress that was influenced by the friends she kept.....Ann Heche she actually did say that alotof this  is because of who your friends and group of people you are with and in order to change one must want to make that change.
She is now married and has two children.(only using this as a reference because of the media hype)

IX
helen


 

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Orthodox don't believe that we are born now as we are intended to be someday. I don't believe gay people are somehow twisted into being gay from some action, especially something as ridiculous as being dumped by a first love in high school.  I dont think being gay is something you can "fix." I don't think one can morph into being heterosexual any more than you could morph into having an attraction for men. Gay people who have to deal with their desires are just the same as any person dealing with any desire or sin. Being "born"gay doesn't somehow imply that God intends for people to live gay lifestyles any more than being born mortal and separated from God implies that God intended for us to be mortal and separated from Him. The foundation of our faith is that not only does God not wish for us to be separated from Him, but that He came and lived as a mortal man and died so that we would no longer have to be separate from Him. The same unity with God is what God intends for all people, gay or not. If you were close to (AKA knew well)  any gay people I think your opinion would change.
 

ozgeorge

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I think people are born 'gay'- that there is a genetic component. But this doesn't mean that it's God's will that they act on their attraction.
People are also born with Diabetes due to a genetic component, and have to manage this every day with blood sugar monitoring, diet, and insulin injections.
 

Anastasios

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PhosZoe said:
If being gay is totally a choice and fundamentally caused by some "traumatic" event in ones enviroment. Can you explain to me why I am straight and happily married and my sister is a lesbian? We came from the same alcholhalic abusive father and the same emotionally immature and distant mother?
While I think that one MIGHT have a genetic disposition towards homosexuality, in the case you cite, the same stimulus could provoke two different outcomes nevertheless. I think we have to be clear that in any discussion of the causes of homosexuality, we are dealing with variables such as environment, genetic dispositions, etc, that all can trigger homosexuality, but which may not.  For instance, if you read some of the twins studies, there are cases of identical twins that have come out one gay and one straight.  So it's got to be more than just genes but at the same time, it probably isn't *just* environment.

In either case, we have to be clear that living out homosexuality no matter what its cause is sinful, just like a straight person who is lecherous living out his temptation, or an alchoholic drinking, etc.

Anastasios
 

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For a serious and sober treatment of the issue of homosexuality, I would recommend some of the works of the retired Dean of Saint Vladimir's Seminary, Protopresbyter Father Thomas Hopko.  I don't know if Father Hopko has put anything in writing about this issue, but I once watched a video he made where he discussed the issue of homosexuality and he made it very very clear that he does not think anyone "chooses" to be gay.  And since he was addressing other priests in this video, Father Hopko went on to counsel these priests not to scold gay people in confession for having a homosexual orientation. Lest Father Hopko and I be misinterpreted, he was NOT telling them it was OK to engage in homosexual acts. Absolutely not. He certainly maintained the traditional teaching of the Orthodox Church in that regard. He stressed that sexual activity, as the Church says, should be confined ONLY to marriage. And that the Church expects her unmarried members to be chaste and celibate. Period. Whether they are gay or straight. However, what I found so refreshing about Father Hopko's approach to this issue was his deep sense of compassion.  He had no finger-pointing at all. He spoke eloquently about how we do NOT chose our passions, but nevertheless we must fight against them. He also mentioned that EVERY CHRISTIAN has particular passions to fight against, and the the Church should WELCOME gay people, embrace them, and encourage them to fight against this passion, and invite them to repentance when they fall.  I just loved Father Hopko's whole approach to this matter. It seemed to fit in very well with Orthodox theology where sin is viewed as a sickness that needs to be HEALED, not some "rule" that has been violated and needs to be punished.  I don't think there are any quick fixes or short answers to the problem of homosexuality. What causes people to have a homosexual orientation? I don't know. To me it is a mystery and I am content to leave it at that.  But regardless of what causes it, all the Church can do is treat it and offer the healing medicine of the Sacraments. I think because the Orthodox Church values and respects celibacy so much we have a great voice that needs to be heard on this issue.  You simply cannot change the sexual orientation of people. I think any type of aversion therapy that seeks to change gay people into "straight" people is misguided and damaging, and will eventually lead gay people to hate and despise themselves. And I abhor the idea that all a gay man needs to do is marry a woman and that will somehow "cure" him. Tchaikovsky tried that approach, and he and his wife both nearly went insane. As unpopular as it may be with the world and Focus on the Family, I think unmitigated celibacy is the ONLY answer to a homosexual orientation. I see no other way.
 

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I'm going to have to disagree with you Oz George because it is a fact that when Adam and Eve sinned......The whole world changed, from nature to the way man behaves.....
The Marriage was allowed to happen between man and woman because of the way the world changed after the fall of Adam and Eve.
Our Lord Jesus Christ BLESSES this marriage between husband and wife ONLY because our down fall........then when the JUDGEMENT comes at the end of the world, our nature will be as it was in the beginning before the fall.

There is not any GENE that has been proven one is born gay.

Like any other sin, whatever it may be.......if one does not recognise their sin to be a sin then one cannot be helped.....and WE ARE ALL GUILTY and fall short of the Glory of God......

Fr Seraphim Rose whatever he did in his past is no ones buisness but his own.....God is the Judge of him....and surely Fr Seraphim Rose coming to the Orthodox Church and accepting it as the Truth came to realise his mistake .........when he was dying he had said he wasn't worthy of God.
What we should be doing is looking at our own mistakes and jduging ourselves and praying for others.

I remember reading a story about a man who WAS gay and did not see it as a SIN and therefore lived a life in SIN......when he realised this to be an offense against God and came to the truth of Orthodoxy(he had the aids virus)........ he visited the Orthodox church a number of times and  would sit  in the back ....people always judge according what they hear and see .......God on the other hand knows us better then we know ourselves.

IX
helen
 

Anastasios

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Tikhon, I agreed with everything you said until:

"You simply cannot change the sexual orientation of people. I think any type of aversion therapy that seeks to change gay people into "straight" people is misguided and damaging, and will eventually lead gay people to hate and despise themselves. And I abhor the idea that all a gay man needs to do is marry a woman and that will somehow "cure" him."

The problem is, people often have shades of sexual orientation; I once learned in a psychology class that there are really not many people who are 100% gay or 100% straight; most people lean one way or the other but through life or circumstances, some people do flip flop and some (bisexuals) even enjoy both.  So in the case of someone who has dated women but has some homosexual inclinations, should we tell him not to marry because he might end up deciding he actually leans gay? Or would it be better to encourage him to persue the straight side of him?

I would agree with your assessment of Focus on the Family as well, I think that reparative therapy is strange, but at the same time, if people exist who claim to have once been gay but who are now straight, shouldn't we give them the benefit of the doubt? Is each and every person who professes to be ex-gay lying?  I don't think a priest should ever suggest to a person that they try to "stop being gay" but if someone believes they can do it and is willing to try, shouldn't a priest help him in that endeavor considering that **if** it is God's will, a temptation can be taken away? (although even St Paul did not have his removed).

I guess what I am saying is that while I agree with everything else you said, I am unsure about your strict deliniation of gay vs. straight and I am also unsure if we should generalize and say that all gay people should never try to become straight.  I think most won't, most shouldn't even try perhaps, but if someone is gay but really has some reason for wanting to change over (such as sharing an intimate relationship with another human being and having children) and they approach the priest for assistance, I think the priest would be obligated to help him--although as I have said, I don't think priests should ever peddle fundamentalist protestant style "reparation therapy."

Have I misunderstood any of your positions or points of view, Tikhon? Because I actually am just interested in this subject from a pastoral point of view, am interested sincerely in the dialogue, and would simply like to learn more about the subject.

Anastasios
 

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eleni said:
There is not any GENE that has been proven one is born gay.
There also isn't any one environmental cause that has been proven to make people gay either.
 

ozgeorge

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eleni said:
There is not any GENE that has been proven one is born gay.
But there is a gene which causes juvenile diabetes. And there is a genetic predisposition to mental illnesses (such as addiction, schizophrenia).
Are you saying that bad things cannot be genetically inherited?
Is it God's will that people become addicted, develop schizophrenia and die of unmanaged juvenile diabetes?
Just because people are born with a tendency towards same-sex attraction, doen't mean they are destined to practice sodomy or lesbianism.
Nor does having a genetic predisposition justify becoming an alcoholoc- we still have to take responsibility, as we must with diabetes.
 

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Anastasios said:
I don't think priests should ever peddle fundamentalist protestant style "reparation therapy."
Anastasios
No they should not nor should any priest peddle anything by Dobson or other such evangelical "guru". Light and Life now carries books by the Dobson monster. I have complained bitterly.

"reparation therapy" I have known more than a few people who have gone through such therapy. It causes more harm that good.  I have read some statisics that the failure rate for such therapy is as high as 98% of all participants.

This sort of therapy is essentially teaching men how to "act manly"- For example they would have speech lessons to lose the lisp or learn how to play football.  and teach women how to walk in high heels and apply make up. I'm sorry this has nothing to do with ones sexuality. If wearning high heels and lipstick was a requirment to be straight then there are lots more lesbians out there. 

Another disturbing compononent to this therapy is the use of pornography, a college friend of mine who participated in such therapy was forced to sit in a room for 2 hours at a stretch  watching nothing but straight pornography. He was accompanied by a "counselor" who sat with him to make sure he watched.
 

choirfiend

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There's only one book listed at L&L under Dobson, and it's a 3.99 booklet on raising teenagers....It doesn't look that bad?
http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=RAIS110

Though the Focus on the Family people are frightening....ah, pop Christianity, how I avoid thee, let me count the ways...
 
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