Last month, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed legislation that would prohibit conversion therapy for so-called gay minors. In other words, therapists cannot counsel a minor to either avoid or escape the homosexual lifestyle. The law is clearly an attack of parental authority.
Let us suppose that you are the parents of a thirteen-year-old son. One evening, while you and your son are having dinner, he suddenly announces that he thinks he might be gay. Naturally, you are stunned. After all, you are sincere, devout Catholics, and you have raised your son in the faith. He knows the teaching of the Church on homosexuality, and you have discussed with him on numerous occasions the beauty of God’s plan for sex.
Now let us also suppose that it is clear to you that your son is troubled and that you believe it would be beneficial for him to get some counseling. Fortunately, one of your friends is a well-known psychiatrist. Also quite fortunately, your son likes this man and is willing to talk with him.
But unfortunately, you live in New Jersey. Your psychiatrist friend is prohibited by law from counseling your son away from a homosexual lifestyle. Should your friend try to do so, he would be in violation of the law and would undoubtedly lose his license should his efforts become known to authorities.
“But he is our son!” you protest. “We know what’s best for him, and we can’t sit idly by while he slips into a sinful lifestyle. My gosh, he’s only thirteen! What kid at that age can make a serious decision about anything, much less his sexual identity?”
Governor Christie feels your pain, but when he signed the bill, he said that “government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children” makes him wary, but then gives this rationalization:
The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.
In other words, mom and dad, the “experts” trump your God-given authority over your children’s welfare.
“But how can Christie sign such a bill?” you ask yourselves. “He’s a Catholic, right?” Christie addressed that issue in 2011 when asked if homosexuality is a sin:
Well, my religion says it’s a sin. But for me, I don’t. I’ve always believed that people are born with the disposition to be homosexual. And so, I think if someone is born that way, it’s very difficult to say that that that’s a sin. But I understand that my church says that. But for me personally, I don’t look upon someone who is homosexual as a sinner.
No one can deny that the so-called pedophile priest scandal has seriously damaged the Church. (I use the word so-called because it was actually a homosexual priest scandal. But that’s a conversation for another day.) However, I submit to the reader that more significant damage has been inflicted upon the Church by politicians who claim to be Catholic and yet show invincible ignorance of, or outright disdain for, Church teachings. Clearly, Christie does both.
In his statement above, he makes no distinction between a homosexual disposition and an active homosexual lifestyle. The Church does not consider such a disposition a sin. However, the practice of homosexuality is a sin. A married man may have a disposition to cheat on his wife. That’s not a sin. But once he does cheat, then he has sinned. As for being born with such a disposition, there is no scientific evidence to support such a belief, regardless of the propaganda of the homosexual community. Christie concludes with the same bromide we have heard from hundreds of “Catholic” politicians: “Well, my Church may say that, but personally I disagree.” Translation: “I am smart, and my Church is stupid.”
The anti-conversion law leads to many questions. What if a minor wants to get out of the homosexual lifestyle? Can a therapist help him do so? What happens to a therapist who believes homosexuality is a psychological disorder? If he is honest about his belief can he even get a license to practice in New Jersey? Will a college in New Jersey allow a student who believes the same thing to be admitted into the psychology program? Will a priest or a minister be permitted to offer conversion therapy? (Don’t scoff. It may not be part of this bill, but such a prohibition will come. As the great philosopher Bob Dylan said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”)
As referenced above, Governor Christie signed the non-conversion bill because he was worried that efforts to convert homosexual minors might lead to “depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.” What he fails to point out is that the homosexual lifestyle often leads to AIDS infections. According to the Center for Disease Control’s 2010 report, males having sex with males account for 63% of all new HIV infections. Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 account for 26% of these new infections. Obviously, some of them are minors.
Oh, and Christie doesn’t mention that people with AIDS die. According to the same 2010 CDC report, 15,500 people died that year in the U.S. because of their AIDS infections. A Rutgers University study reports that 953 people died of AIDS in New Jersey in 2008 (latest available statistics). Since the outbreak of AIDS, nearly 40,000 people have died in New Jersey due to the disease. Here’s another question: Is it better to lose one’s self-esteem or one’s life? Just wondering.
A final note. For many years, the American Psychological Association’s official position on homosexuality was that it was a mental disorder. But in 1973, it changed its mind and said it wasn’t. Apparently, for many years, members of the Association were stupid. But in 1973, they became smart–just like Christie.