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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Link: https://www.whitehorseinn.org/2017/05/countdown-to-reformation-day-whos-in-charg...Format: Web PageTopic(s): Roman CatholicismRoman CatholicismAuthor(s)/Speaker(s): Dr Michael s Horton
Dear Friends,A man who lives alone and completely off the grid in the British Columbian woods is the subject of a short documentary I happened upon recently. Dag Aabye is 76 years old and spends his days clearing and building trails to run on so that he can train for 80-mile ultramarathon races. “I’m perfectly imperfect,” he says. “If you’re perfectly imperfect, you always have to work on yourself … tomorrow, I want to be a better person than today.” These are sage words for us all. But then Aabye says something interesting: “And if you work on yourself, you don’t have time to talk about other people or worry about other people … I don’t try to understand people. They do their thing, and I leave them alone. The only person you want to understand, really, is yourself.”In our modern lives that seem built around being “plugged in” —to the internet, our phones, TV, etc. —it can sometimes be tempting to make a radical break from “the rat race” and “break free” so that we can live a life like Aabye’s, one of complete separation from worldly concerns so that we can constantly search for ultimate meaning in which we only have ourselves to worry about. There are indeed important lessons to be learned from a life like Aabye’s—instead of gossiping about others, improve yourself; instead of wasting time surfing Facebook or cable TV, live with purpose and creativity to accomplish meaningful goals.But underneath the surface of words like “I don’t try to understand people” and “They do their thing, and I leave them alone” is a sense of loss. In a way, it’s an admission of defeat, of not attempting the difficult task of empathy and sacrifice for our fellow man. Ultimately, it’s an indirect dismissal of the greatest act of love we can ever perform in life: to lay down our lives for another (John 15:13). As tempting as it is to think of a life like Dag Aabye’s as one of ultimate “freedom,” Christ showed us that true freedom lies in self-sacrifice for the other. As Nathanael Blake has written recently, even something as seemingly ordinary as a man and a woman staying true to their marriage vows “is an act of defiance against all of the difficulties of life, from the catastrophic to the mundane. In marriage, men and women promise themselves to one another, and tell fate to go to hell. The traditional promises that solemnize a marriage are some of the greatest assertions of human agency, and therefore of human dignity, possible. Our freedom is not realized in the possibility that we might do anything, but in doing what we have said we will do.”Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesWhat an Idaho Federal Judge Should Have Said About Transgender Birth Certificates – Peter SpriggSixth Circuit Shows Why SOGIs Are a Threat to Religious Freedom – Travis WeberWomen Speak: A Panel Discussion on Real Issues that Women Face TodayShe Persisted: Star Parker’s Mission to End AbortionGentle Strength: Why I’m Not a Feminist – Cassidy RichRemarks by Tony Perkins at the 2018 NRB Convention Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareChristian Bakers Appeal Fine for Refusing to Make Cake for Same-Sex Wedding – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian PostFourth Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing in Bladensburg Veterans Memorial Case – First LibertyReport: Southern Poverty Law Center ignores anti-Semitic hate crimes on campus – Caleb Parke, Fox NewsCondo Bans Senior Citizen’s Bible Study, Christian Music – ToddStarnes.comChristian group sues Michigan university after it is kicked off campus – Caleb Parke, Fox NewsSchool District Bans Baptist Chaplain From Praying with Football Team – ToddStarnes.comCollege student kicked out of class for telling professor there are only two genders – Rick Lessard, Fox6161% of College Students Says Campus Climate Deters Conservative Speech – Tom Ciccotta, BreitbartPa. County Continues Fight Against Atheists' Lawsuit Demanding Cross Be Removed From Seal – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostInternational Religious FreedomMike Pompeo's Nomination is 'Very Positive for the Cause of International Religious Freedom' – George Thomas, CBN NewsRemains of 40 Iraqi Christians With Their Crosses Found in Mass Grave – Anugrah Kumar, The Christian PostChristian Parents Praying for Son on Death Row in Pakistan for 'Blasphemy' – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostMilitary Religious FreedomShould a 'secular humanist' serve as Navy chaplain? Absolutely not – Sen. Roger Wicker, Fox News LifeAbortionDiscriminating against people like my son, with Down syndrome, must end – Cassy Fiano, Live ActionAbortion Clinics Have Lost 3 Million Customers to This Pro-Life Helpline – Jay Hobbs, LifeNewsTo Call Abortion ‘Health Care’ Defies Logic – Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, National Catholic RegisterA Miracle Story: Baby Saved After Mother Had Already Started Abortion – Hank Berrien, The Daily WireAbortion worker pressured by other workers to abort her wanted baby – Sarah Terzo, Live ActionMichigan pro-lifers now saving babies from within a former Planned Parenthood – Katie Franklin, LifeSiteNewsKentucky House OKs bill to ban abortion procedure after 11 weeks – Bruce Schreiner, Associated PressHuman Rights Groups Thank U.S. for Rolling Back Abortion in Impending Report – Austin Ruse, C-FamWhy Is the Abortion Industry Run by Women? – Rebekah Merkle, Desiring GodAdoptionVideo: Family Adopts an Abandoned Newborn Baby – Sarah Zagorski, LifeNewsA 'perfect' ending for four Kansas siblings seeking adoption brings judge to tears – Rick Montgomery, Chicago TribuneBioethicsThe real Down syndrome problem: Accepting genocide – George F. Will, The Washington PostEuthanasia is Now Being Performed ... on Prisoners – Michael Cook, Intellectual TakeoutAppeals court: Hospital can yank baby Alfie Evans’ life support against parents’ wishes – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNewsVSED: A New Form of Assisted Suicide – Richard Becker, CrisisNetherlands Euthanized 252 Mentally Ill People in 2017 – Alex Schadenberg, LifeNewsBasic Bioethics: What Christians should know about abortifacients – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission FamilyEconomics/EducationTax Cuts Already Have America’s Small Businesses Moving Again – Chris Stansbury, The Daily SignalSaving men in the heartland: The case for place-based employment policies – The Brookings InstitutionMarriageThe Romance of Ordinary Marriage – Nathanael Blake, Public DiscourseDon’t Miss the Joy of Family Life – Justin Coulson, Family Studies7 Questions Every Husband Should Be Asking Himself – Christopher Greco, RelevantGod, Why Won’t You Fulfill Our Desire for Children? – Michael McAfee, The Gospel CoalitionHow to Increase Participation in Marriage and Relationship Education – Stephen F. Duncan, Family StudiesFaith/Character/Culture3 Things A Father Must Teach His Son So That His Son Doesn't End Up Dead Or In Prison – Matt Walsh, The Daily WireYou Must Fight Hard for Peace – Jon Bloom, Desiring GodWhat Your Kids Need from You – J. D. Greear, The Gospel CoalitionWhat Jordan Peterson Has to Say About Motherhood Might Surprise You – Ashley McGuire, Family Studies9 ways to establish sexual norms for your children before the world does – J.D. Thorne, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionThe Lost Art of Intentionality – Tod Worner, Word On FireThe Christian’s Hammer – Rob Schwarzwalder, The StreamHuman SexualityGuttmacher Report Misleads on Abstinence-Only Education – Michael J. New, National ReviewSex Change: Physically Impossible, Psychosocially Unhelpful, and Philosophically Misguided – Ryan T. Anderson, Public DiscourseBisexual Confessions, Ex-Gay Testimonies Receive Scorn – Dan Delzell, The Christian PostWhy He Doesn’t Call Himself Gay – Rachel Gilson, The Gospel CoalitionHistoric Stand? Kansas GOP Affirms 'God's Design for Gender' – Heather Sells, CBN NewsNew Resource Lovingly Presents the Truth About Homosexuality – Kathy Schiffer, National Catholic RegisterHuman TraffickingSurvivors of Human Trafficking, in Their Own Words – Rebecca J. Rosen, The AtlanticThe House acts to fight against sex trafficking – Josh Wester, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionDoes #MeToo Have the Power to Bring Down Corporatized Sex Trafficking? – Lisa L. Thompson, National Center On Sexual ExploitationPornographyWhat to do when you can’t “unsee” pornography – Kathleen N. Hattrup, AleteiaRestricting Online Porn Is Focus of Rhode Island Bill – National Catholic Register10 Things To Avoid Saying To Someone Struggling To Give Up Porn – Fight the New Drug
Dear Friends,FRC recently published a pivotal brochure, “How to Respond to the LGBT Movement” by Peter Sprigg. In this timely publication, Peter lays out the empirical evidence that refutes seven common claims made by homosexual activists and eight common claims made by transgender activists. As he notes, the claims that LGBT activists make have become a paradigm of assumptions that declare “that for someone to believe that heterosexuality is preferable to homosexuality is equivalent to believing that one race is superior to another, and therefore represents a form of bigotry and even ‘hate’ toward individuals who identify as homosexual.”The problem with making this claim is that it is based on the assumption that sexual orientation is in fact “inborn.” As this brochure makes clear, this assumption is empirically false based on observable human behavior and scientific evidence. Therefore, it is fundamentally dishonest and counterproductive to label social conservatives as “bigots” based on this assumption because social conservatives do not accept the faulty premises of this argument.Perhaps the most important idea that this publication conveys is this: in the cultural battles that continue to be fought around LGBT issues, social conservatives “ha[ve] consistently said that they love their neighbor; and ha[ve] consistently pursued policies which they sincerely believe will preserve the life and health and improve the well-being of those involved.”The brochure concludes with this stirring thought: “If anything should be clear from the information shared here, it is that there are legitimate grounds for debate on the origin, nature, and consequences of both homosexuality and gender dysphoria. Let all people of goodwill—regardless of their politics, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity—agree that the debate should continue, with a respect for honest research and for the freedom of thought, speech, and religion.”Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesBilly Graham — faithful to the end and still leading us behind him – Tony PerkinsBilly Graham’s Legacy — Faith Looming Large in Public Life – Travis WeberDespite Leftist Outcry, Americans Don’t Want Federally Funded Pornographic Sex Ed – Kelly MarcumDemocrats have moved far to the nation's left on abortion – Ken BlackwellReceiving the Love That We Need: How to Find Healing from Past WoundsAndrew Sullivan on Opioids: Pointing Us Toward God – Travis WeberThank you, Billy Graham – Patrina MosleyBilly Graham’s Stand on Religious Liberty, Life, and Marriage and FamilyHow Billy Graham’s Invitation Forever Changed My Life – Peter Sprigg#MeToo Ignores an Obvious Source of Sexual Aggression: Porn – David Krayden Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareNew HHS office that enforces health workers' religious rights received 300 complaints in a month – Jessie Hellmann, The HillParents Battle Court to Stop Transgender Teen’s Hormone Treatment – Grace Carr, The Daily SignalForced To Resign For Her Faith, This Magistrate Sued The State And Won – Bre Payton, The FederalistIllinois nurse fights firing over pro-life views – Bonnie Pritchett, WORLDYouTube Secretly Using SPLC To Police Videos – Peter Hasson, The Daily CallerWheaton’s Win Over The Contraceptive Mandate Is A Huge Step Forward For Religious Freedom – Nicole Fisher, The FederalistUniversity Re-Invites Christian Speaker Who Triggered LGBT Students – ToddStarnes.comWhen a University Group Rescinds Freedom of Speech – Ken Ham, The Christian PostFlorida House bill requires schools to display 'In God We Trust' – Kevin Tampone, Syracuse.comReligious Liberty Is a Powerful Anti-Gang Weapon – Noel Sterett, Alliance Defending FreedomInternational Religious FreedomA suspicious and sudden death in China – Mindy Belz, WORLDWhy Don’t We Care About the Slaughter of Nigerian Christians? – Michael Brown, The StreamAbandoned by the U.S., Syrian Christians and Kurds Seek Help from Pro-Iran Militias – John Zmirak, The StreamERLC religious freedom advocacy encouraged by major court decision in Malaysia – Palmer Williams, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionAttacks Against India’s Christians Doubled in 2017 – National Catholic RegisterPraying for the persecuted church: Jordan – Chase Stevens, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission LifeAbortionGood luck explaining your abortion vote high-fives to your constituents, senators – Ashley McGuire, USA TodayIncredible Surgery in the Womb Corrects Baby’s Spina Bifida After Her Parents Reject Abortion – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNewsWhy an unwanted pregnancy is about the baby and the father, too – Garrett Kell, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionDishonoring the Dead: Moral and Constitutional Considerations on Fetal Disposition – Deirdre Cooper and Kody W. Cooper, Public DiscourseThe Ostrich Defense of Abortion – Christopher Kaczor, Public DiscourseCalifornia Students Are Fighting to Keep Abortion Pills Off Their Campus – Grace Carr, The Daily SignalVice President Mike Pence: ‘Abortion Will End in Our Time’ – Amy Furr, TownhallAdoptionBipartisan effort to fix Kentucky's troubled adoption and foster care system moves forward – Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier JournalBioethicsPro-lifers dismayed over Oregon starvation bill’s return – Samantha Gobba, WORLDHow would you counsel someone interested in assisted suicide? – Matthew Arbo, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionScientists Make Human-Animal Hybrids That are Part Animal and Part Human Being – Wesley Smith, LifeNewsBritish Judge Allows Toddler’s Life Support Switched Off, Despite Parents’ Wishes – National Catholic Register FamilyEconomics/EducationDoes God Care Where You Go to College? – D. Michael Lindsay, The Gospel CoalitionResearch Keeps Showing This Kind Of Teaching Is Very Effective. So Why Won’t Schools Use It? – Joy Pullmann, The FederalistHow to Raise Devoted Catholic Kids When They Attend Public School – Sabrina Arena Ferrisi, National Catholic RegisterMarriageBilly Graham’s Incredible Ministry … and His Incredible Marriage – Dave Boehi, Family LifeA Man’s Place Is in the Home – Trevin Wax, The Gospel CoalitionBuild Your Marriage on the Beatitudes – Austin Bonds, RelevantA Photographer Asked 20 Couples For The Secret To A Long Marriage – Brittany Wong, HuffPostCDC: U.S. Fertility Rate Below Replacement for 9th Straight Year – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS NewsFaith/Character/CultureHow Do I Know If I Really Love Jesus? – Jon Bloom, Desiring GodThe desperate cry of America's boys – Suzanne Venker, Fox NewsThe Death of an Evangelical Titan – Bishop Robert Barron, Word On FireA Better Mom Is a Broken Mom – Kristen Wetherell, Desiring GodThe Joy of an Unaccomplished Life – Chad Bird, The Gospel Coalition'It takes a village': 3 P.E.I. grandmothers help exhausted mom care for triplets – Pat Martel, CBC NewsVillains and Heroes Among So Much Tragedy – Jared Zimmerer, Word On FireThe Hard Truth About Mr. Right – Joy Beth Smith, Christianity TodayLonging for likes: How to capture the hearts of Gen Z with a greater love – Jared Kennedy, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionHuman SexualityWhy Transgenderism Threatens Parental Rights – Joe Carter, The Gospel CoalitionToo Much Netflix, Not Enough Chill: Why Young Americans Are Having Less Sex – W. Bradford Wilcox and Samuel Sturgeon, PoliticoSexual Exploitation in the Sports Industry: An Abuse of Power – Mary Urie, National Center on Sexual ExploitationPressing Pause on the "Transgender Moment": Ryan T. Anderson's When Harry Became Sally – Matthew J. Franck, Public DiscourseTransgender Activists Conduct ‘Giant Experiment’ on Children, Author Says – Kyle Perisic, The Daily SignalHuman TraffickingHouse passes anti-sex trafficking bill in defeat for tech industry – Steven Overly and Ashley Gold, PoliticoThe Combined Crisis of Online Sex Trafficking and Pornography – Patrick A. Trueman, National Center on Sexual ExploitationShining A Light On Slavery: Who Are Sex Traffickers, And Why Do They Exploit Other Humans? – Fight the New DrugPornographyPornography Addicts Might Be Avoiding True Intimacy – Michelle Habel, Focus on the FamilyIn the massive global scourge that is pornography, men are not the only addicts – Jamie Dean, WORLDFlorida declares pornography a ‘public health risk’ – Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNewsIs Reading Erotica As Harmful As Watching Porn? – Fight the New DrugPorn’s “Butterfly Effect”: A New Podcast Exposes Porn’s Unexpected Consequences – Mary Rose Somarriba, Family Studies
How often does Congress have the chance to directly prevent, with a single legislative act, the certain infliction of extreme physical pain on thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of helpless and innocent victims?Last week, the U.S. Senate missed an opportunity to do just that when 44 Democrats and two Republicans closed down debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The Act would have prohibited abortion after 20 weeks (five months) gestation, a stage at which unborn children can experience excruciating physical pain.The science is so clear on this point that hospitals now give anesthesia to children at this age when they undergo surgery in utero. But not when they are aborted by dismemberment or by piercing their bodies with a large needle to inject poison that causes heart failure.What would possess an individual, much less 46 members of Congress, to oppose legislation prohibiting this cruelty?Only One PercentSenator Angus King (I-Maine) is quoted in The Washington Post saying that he voted against the Pain-Capable bill because “ninety-nine percent of abortions take place before 20 weeks, so this is a solution in search of a problem.”Really? Let’s take a look at his numbers.An estimated one million abortions are performed annually in the U.S. If one percent of those abortions take place after the fifth month, then there are some 10,000 abortions in which unborn children are subjected to the extreme physical pain of dismemberment or lethal injection. Preventing cruelty to 10,000 pre-identified human victims is “a solution in search of a problem”?King and his Senate colleagues are permitting the violent and cruel treatment of unborn children—behavior that we forbid against prisoners of war, that we strive to prevent in human trafficking, and that we prohibit in treatment of animals.“They’re about to die anyway,” some might argue. But we forbid this kind of treatment for death row inmates when they are being executed. Whatever you may think of the death penalty, at least efforts are made to protect its recipients from pain during execution. Not so for unborn children.Another One Percent ArgumentSenator Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska) tweeted that, though she opposes post-20-week abortion, she refused to support the Pain-Capable bill because it lacked “sufficient” exceptions for “victims of rape and incest and in cases where the life or physical health of the mother is threatened.”Murkowski illustrates her concern this way: “For example, requiring a teenage girl who was raped by her father to report to law enforcement or a government agency prior to obtaining an abortion simply is not workable.”Let’s take a look at her logic.In Murkowski’s world, it is better for a teen to be subjected to a high-risk, late-term abortion and to then return to her home—where she is at high risk for further sexual abuse—than for the girl, or her doctor, to inform authorities of the crime that has been committed against her and protect her from ongoing danger.And, in Murkowski’s thinking, ensuring that the girl can be placed in this physical double jeopardy is so important that it warrants leaving not only her unborn child and those of other rape victims unprotected from the extreme physical pain of abortion, but the 9,900 other five-month-old children, as well.Where did that 9,900 figure come from? Some estimates of abortions obtained in cases of rape are as high as one percent. So, of the 10,000 post-five-month abortions performed in the U.S. annually, approximately 100 are performed on rape victims. In other words, Murkowski voted to permit the excruciatingly painful abortion of 10,000 late-term children because 100 of them may be children of rapists.Senator King says one percent (10,000) is too small a number of victims to be worth protecting from the equivalent of torture. Senator Murkowski seems to think that most of them do deserve protection, but shouldn’t receive it because one percent (100) of them may have been conceived in rape. The logic itself is tortuous.Rare, But Not Non-ExistentOpportunities to pass legislation with such immediate humanitarian impact are rare, but not as rare as you might think. Versions of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act have been passed by the House of Representatives not once, not twice, but three times (in 2013, 2015, and—the bill the Senate just nixed—in 2017). Each time, the Senate has voted in favor of continuing the cruelty.How many times will it take before the Senate votes in line with science and basic humanitarianism?Jay Sappington is a bioethicist, researcher, writer, educator, and policy advocate. He has worked with Heartbeat International and The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, among others.
On January 25, 2018, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Sam Brinton under the headline, “Tortured in Gay Conversion Therapy.” (The online version posted January 24 read, “I Was Tortured in Gay Conversion Therapy. And It’s Still Legal in 41 States.”) Brinton frequently speaks and testifies in favor of laws to prohibit licensed therapists from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts (which opponents refer to as “conversion therapy”) with minors. (FRC’s defense of the right to choose such therapy can be found here).Brinton gives a shocking, first-person account. It includes this:The therapist ordered me bound to a table to have ice, heat and electricity applied to my body. I was forced to watch clips on a television of gay men holding hands, hugging and having sex. I was supposed to associate those images with the pain I was feeling to once and for all turn into a straight boy.I have just one question for the New York Times. Did you make any effort to fact-check Brinton’s claims?This is an opinion piece, you might respond. Since it reflects the writer’s opinion, it does not require fact-checking the way a news story does—does it?The truth is, newspapers fact-check opinion pieces all the time. Various publications and websites routinely ask for links or other documentation for factual claims made in an opinion piece.Brinton’s piece, though, was a first-person account of his own experience. How can you “fact-check” someone’s personal life experience?One way might be by checking it against previous accounts that Brinton himself has given of his own story. He has, after all, been sharing these allegations in the public square since 2010. If there are inconsistencies in the way he has described his own experience on different occasions, it might at least raise some doubts about the credibility of the overall account.Brinton’s Story UnverifiedI first wrote about Brinton’s story three and a half years ago on the FRC Blog, in an August 2014 piece titled, “Truth Matters in Ex-Gay Debate.” Part of what follows is an edited version of what I wrote then, with added comments at the end.Brinton’s story was apparently first captured, when he was a student at Kansas State, in a video interview by Nathan Manske of the “I’m from Driftwood” project, which seeks to create an “archive of stories” on “what it’s like to be LGBTQ throughout the world.” Brinton’s story was captured on video in 2010, but received a burst of attention in October of 2011, when Manske shared it in the Huffington Post. Although the Huffington Post article remains online, a passage I quoted in 2014 does not (the web page says it was “updated” December 6, 2017). However, a detailed recounting of Brinton’s story (along with an edited version of the original video) remains online at the website of The New Civil Rights Movement. That account includes these details:“Physical therapy was my hands being tied down and blocks of ice being placed on my hands. Then pictures of men holding hands would be shown to be so that way I would associate the concept of the pain of the ice with a man touching me.”“Then we went into heat. Coils would be wrapped around my hands and you would be able to turn the heat on or off. So now if we had a picture of a guy and a girl hugging, there was no pain. If we had a picture of a guy and a guy hugging, we had physical pain.”“We then went into the ‘Month of Hell,’” Brinton explains in the video below. “The ‘Month of Hell’ consisted of tiny needles being stuck into my fingers and then pictures of explicit acts between men would be shown and I’d be electrocuted.”This report was so shocking that even some pro-“gay” media tried to verify this report—but couldn’t.One of the inconsistencies pointed out by commenters on this article (on a gay website) was that “Brinton’s Facebook page ‘has a picture of the entire happy family at his college graduation ceremony, May 31, 2011’”—despite the fact that Brinton said on the video that “my dad has held a gun up to my head multiple times” and warned Brinton that “he would shoot me if I ever tried to walk in the door again.” (Brinton responded in the comments section that “my parents did come to my graduation since I am the very first person to graduate from college in my family. I am working on building a relationship to them . . . I was shocked they were there but so happy to see the love starting to rebuild.”)The Mystery TherapistMore importantly, Brinton, had not (in 2011) and (as far as I know) still has not, identified the counselor who allegedly engaged in these horrific practices—not by name, not by address, not even by city and state where they occurred (more on that later).Such omissions made even Wayne Besen, a prominent “anti-ex-gay” activist, reluctant to use Brinton’s story without further verification. Here’s the full statement Besen posted in the comments section of the Queerty article which questioned Brinton’s story.[emphasis added] Wayne BesenSamuel came forward and told a story presumably in an effort to help others. There are groups like mine who would be thrilled to use his example to demonstrate the harm caused by “ex-gay” therapy. We live for real life examples like this.However, until he provides more information to verify his experience, he makes it impossible for us to use him as an example. Indeed, it would be grossly irresponsible for us to do so.If a group like mine puts out or promotes a story that turns out to be exaggerated or fake, the religious right would rake us through the coals and by extension the entire LGBT community. This would cast an ominous shadow on all of the legitimate ex-ex-gay testimonies that have helped so many people come out of the closet.So, for the sake of the movement he is trying to help — it is critical that Sam reveal exactly who the therapist was that tortured him. He could do this publicly or privately, but we need more information before we can use his narrative.We very much hope he will provide enough information so we can help people by sharing his compelling story.Sincerely,Wayne BesenTruth Wins OutOct 11, 2011 at 8:51 pmHere is part of Brinton’s reply to Besen:I was indirectly in contact with Wayne and although I know he wants me to send the information of the therapist that is simply not an option. Counselor after counselor has seen me revert to near suicidal tendencies when I try to dig deep into the memories of that time and I simply don’t have his name. I can picture him clear as day in my nightmares but his name is not there. The movement can’t use me I guess.I have no problem with people not believing my story. It is not for me to try to prove. I don’t want to be the poster-child of the anti-conversion therapy movement since graduate school at MIT is plenty tough as it is.. . .Oct 14, 2011 at 2:11 amMemory and ForgettingNote that Brinton says of his therapist, “I can picture him clear as day in my nightmares”—but, as far as I know, he has also never provided a physical description of this individual.The entire subject of whether childhood trauma can result in repressed memories (as Brinton apparently asserts) is a controversial one. See, for example, the American Psychological Association’s Q&A on the topic here. It states:Many clinicians who work with trauma victims believe that this dissociation is a person's way of sheltering himself or herself from the pain of the memory. Many researchers argue, however, that there is little or no empirical support for such a theory.Even if the former theory is accepted, in Brinton’s case his amnesia is hardly “sheltering [him] from the pain of the memory.” It seems illogical that Brinton would be able to remember—and repeatedly recount in detail before cameras, in paid speaking engagements, and at legislative hearings—the excruciating details of the “torture” he claims he experienced, while repressing (to the point of becoming “near suicidal” at efforts to retrieve them) only the memories of the details—such as name or city—which might allow some verification of his account.Other Discrepancies in Brinton’s StoryDefenders of the right of people with same-sex attractions to pursue therapy aimed at reducing those attractions last year posted a YouTube video highlighting other problems with the story Brinton has told. For example, in one videotaped speech Brinton said that his therapy was provided by “a doctor.” Yet in one of the first written accounts of his story, from August of 2011, it says his therapy came at the hands of “the session leader¿who Sam specifies was a ‘religious therapist’ and not a doctor.” In yet another video—apparently of Brinton testifying in support of a legislative therapy ban—he says specifically that he was treated by “a licensed psychotherapist.” Note that legislative bans on “sexual orientation change efforts” or “conversion therapy” (a term never actually used by its practitioners) apply only to licensed professionals, not to “religious” counselors.Even the state in which Brinton underwent his alleged therapy is unclear. In the 2010 “Driftwood” video, Brinton says he grew up in Perry, Iowa. When the video was re-posted at the Huffington Post in October 2011, the article repeated that “Sam was raised in rural Iowa.” However, the Bay Windows account from August 2011 (reposted at LGBTQ Nation) said that Brinton “endured years of reparative therapy designed to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality while living in Kansas.” Only two paragraphs later, however, it says, “Sam was a pre-teen, living with his parents in a conservative religious mission in Florida,” when his ordeal began. In his New York Times op-ed, he says it all happened “when I was a middle schooler in Florida.” So which was it—Iowa, Kansas, or Florida?Has Brinton Changed?There is one more discrepancy. In his Times op-ed, Brinton says his “conversion therapy” was “a trauma that was meant to erase my existence as a newly out bisexual.” This is the first time I have heard Brinton refer to himself as “bisexual.” The August 2011 Bay Windows article begins with the sentence, “Samuel Brinton is not afraid to say he’s gay.”Ironically, if Brinton went from identifying as gay in 2011 to identifying as “bisexual and gender fluid” in 2018, maybe he himself is proof that change is possible after all.
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