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Recently, a federal judge in Florida issued an order granting summary judgment in a lawsuit that invalidated a city ordinance. This ordinance prohibited licensed counselors from providing voluntary talk therapy to minors who were seeking help to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity. Over the last several years, there have been attempts by numerous government entities to create bans against professional counselors providing this kind of therapy (also called “conversion therapy). While in some places the bans have been across the board, it seems most of these laws and ordinances have been aimed at curtailing the practice as it relates to minors.
The purpose of these bans are, of course, to promote the homosexual lifestyle. Those who believe in such bans begin with the premise that same sex attraction is normal and proper. They assume that people who have these attractions are born with them. They are convinced that by treating the behavior as a deviance from human norms, it causes actual harm to people by making them think there is something wrong with them when there actually is not. So, for those who promote this kind of legislation, the real issue is not the practice of conversion therapy itself, but the protection and promotion of the beliefs and values of the homosexual community.
There is another matter, though, that needs to be addressed. While all of the fireworks center around conversion therapy itself, that is not the most important thing that comes out of a discussion on this topic. The more important issues relate to parental authority, freedom of conscience, and the objective structure of nature itself.
Regarding parental authority, who do these activists think they are trying to impose their values on other people – to the extent that the values of minors’ parents are just tossed aside? These same Naturalists try to do the same thing when it comes to the matter of allowing schools to provide young girls abortions without parental consent. The truth is, naturalistic morality is relativistic morality, and there is no objective reason why it should be followed above the moral beliefs of other people – particularly when it comes to parents who are responsible for raising their children.
When it comes to freedom of conscience, who do these people think they are to impose their view of what is right and wrong on society, to the extent that they abridge the very freedom of people who want to decide for themselves what path to follow? If a minor child desires to participate in conversion therapy, why should the government have the right to tell them they can’t?
And when it comes to the structure of nature, in spite of activists’ attempts to redefine sexuality and gender, there are only two genders. Biologically, these genders are complementary in a way that a male and female are required to interact in order to reproduce. Two males or two females participating in sexual activity does not correspond to the actual way reality is structured.
Attempts to force society to accept a particular approach to morality using a totalitarian approach is certainly contrary to biblical teachings. It goes well beyond legitimate government regulation regarding acceptable moral behavior, and into actually violating people’s very freedom of conscience.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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