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Maine bans ‘conversion therapy’ for minors


Maine Gov. Janet Mills Associated Press/Photo by Robert F. Bukaty

Maine bans ‘conversion therapy’ for minors

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, signed a bill into law Wednesday that prohibits so-called “conversion therapy” for minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction. The law defines conversion therapy as “any practice or treatment that seeks or purports to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” but it says the definition does not include “any practice or treatment that provides acceptance, support, and understanding to an individual.” It is unclear who may determine what constitutes “acceptance, support, and understanding.” The law specifically mentions “marriage and family therapists” and “pastoral counselors” on the list of licensed professionals who cannot provide such therapy to anyone under the age of 18.

“This bill would equate sound Biblical counseling with torture and abuse under the name of conversion therapy,” the Christian Civic League of Maine said on its website. Although the bill does not explicitly equate conversion therapy with child abuse, it places it in the same section as abuse as grounds for revoking a professional counselor’s license.

Maine joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in banning the therapy.


Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a WORLD Digital news reporter. He is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Kyle resides in Purcellville, Va.

@kylezim25

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not silent

As I said, I don't have personal experience with same sex attraction.  However, I do have experience with depression, eating disorders, and alcoholism; so I'm going to comment about them.  I didn't do a scientific study, but I think there can be some kind of genetic component involved in depression and alcoholism-in addition to choice and environmental factors, of course.  There are people who pray and go to counseling and are completely healed of depression. But I also know people who were strong believers and who made a choice to go to counseling, to attend groups, to pray very hard and seek the Lord, to focus on the positive, to reach out to others, to have others pray over them-basically ALL the things you are supposed to do-and, although they were helped by those things, without meds they would still become psychotic and/or suicidal. 

Regarding alcohol, there are people who are healed to the point of never desiring another drink.  Praise God for them!  But most that I know have to work at sobriety.  And some people seem particularly predisposed to addiction.  One person I know initially swore off alcohol because there were so many addicts and alcoholics in her family; but she was given a drink by a family member on vacation and was shocked to find that she felt an intense craving for it the very first time, and that she couldn't stop.  Even when she drank to the point of blackout (which was almost always), she never got sick or had hangovers like her friends did.  She was not healed of all deisre to drink but she considers her sobriety a miracle. (I do believe that some people are healed instantly, but I have also seen cases where people who talked the most about being fully healed wound up falling really hard. And I have known believers who never not got sober despite intense prayer, counseling, rehab, etc.)

I am unsure about eating disorders because with everyone I knew who had anorexia and/or bulimia, it wasn't about the food but about some other issue or conflict; and they were using food to try to take control and/or numb pain. What I've seen was not encouraging as far as cure rates go and even the few I knew who eventually began eating normally still struggle with body image.

Regarding things I have experienced like heterosexual attraction, depression, alcoholism, and eating disorders: I have seen believers try to use shame to guilt people into addressing those things, but I don't think that's God's way.  Besides, the issues are often very complicated and multi-faceted. God can heal and he does heal, but he doesn't miraculously heal everyone-not with physical illness and not with mental illness. He doesn't miraculously remove temptation from everyone in every case.  Sometimes (usually) it's a day-by-day struggle.  God may send others to help like doctors, counselors, and friends/family.  While he certainly uses miraculous healing, he can also use daily struggles with illnesses and temptation to help people grow closer to him.  

DaleCutler

Laura –

The gender to which you are attracted is not a choice. Could you, merely by willing it, choose to be attracted to the opposite gender from which you are now? 

"A mind that is persistently filled", dwelling on an attraction, is a behavior and a choice*, so you are actually changing the subject. We were talking about attraction. And gender identity is another topic, too.

Regarding choice, this from Tim Keller is good:

https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/the_gay_anglo_saxon_warrior

 

*What we pay attention to is a continuous moral choice that we make.

 

[I inadvertently touched the Report Comment button on your comment. Sorry. ; - ) ]

DaleCutler

Yes, he can and does heal all sorts of afflictions, but not every one nor every one the same way. He is not a vending machine that we can plug our prayer quarters into and expect the requested product to be delivered. It is cruel to suggest that someone has not been healed of whatever affliction because they did not have enough faith.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSVqHcdhXQ&app=desktop

TheAbundantLand

I've seen people freed from drug addiction, habitual pornography use, significant smoking addiction, alcoholism, chronic over-eating, eating disorders, debilitating anxiety, self-destructive behaviors, and more.

Our Savior is in the business of setting the captives free from any type of bondage! 

"for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (Phil 2:13)

God is indeed God of our will, wants, and desires. 

As we give our will and desires over to His Lordship, He changes us to how He wants us to be, He "works in you to will" Godly things. 

 

 

DaleCutler

I do not believe SSA can be 'cured' by therapy. The Bible condemns homosexual behavior, and lust would be included as a behavior of the mind, but it does not condemn SSA any more than it condemns heterosexual attraction. It is, however, an affliction of varying degrees of severity.

A praiseworthy obedience:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/october/i-never-became-straight-perhaps-that-was-never-gods-goal.html?share=44rkqx2CuX6frhIrpgLL8EM5B6hZ7KAm&start=4

"The obedience of faith only works when it’s rooted in a person, not a rule."

"There is no biblical command to be heterosexual."

Brendan Bossard

The Christian Civic League's statement does not make sense to me when I read its summary of the bill.  Is it a Trojan Horse?