[This is a comment sparked by a conversation here.]
Saying that evidence exists is not evidence. There is evidence that sexual orientation (for some people) changes in time – it’s not strictly immutable in the sense that it isn’t always stagnant. However, the idea that sexual orientation or gender identity is a choice; or that any “treatment” short of inducing brain damage or psychological trauma is effective; contradicts the consensus understanding of the psychological community. If, of course, you feel they are not trustworthy to interpret their own studies, we would have to dig into the literature about the subject ourselves. However, considering that the most-quoted study on the subject by the crowd championing the idea that “gay” can be “cured” has been condemned by its primary author as being misused by the public and prone to strong response bias; and the lack of a control group. http://prospect.org/article/my-so-called-ex-gay-life
We’re also not agreeing on definitions here. Sexual orientation is not an act. Slowly, many of the people that once championed the x-gay movement are realizing this and abandoning the practice of attempting to abate or reverse same-sex attraction; and instead calling gays and lesbians to celibacy. However much I disagree with that approach, at least it doesn’t fly in the face of reality.
Also, please explain to me what the causal mechanism is that makes sex between gay male couple more dangerous than sex between a straight couple? I assume that you could try to explain it will the concept that somehow HIV can be transmitted more readily depending on how the act is undertaken. However, again, at that point, we’re left with the “logical” conclusion that all women should be lesbians for their own health. By that same “logic” no black woman should ever have straight sex (regardless of the circumstances) because statistically that group of people have high HIV infection rates.
Unless you are also a germ-theory denialist, there is no risk of AIDS when two men have sex (or even a dozen or so) provided nobody in the group is infected. So, why on EARTH would I be rude enough to tell my gay friends to refrain from sex any MORE than I would advise my straight friends from refraining from sex? Why wouldn’t I just tell them what I tell everyone – be careful, don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt other people; physically or emotionally?
I tell you that I won’t be swayed due to my personal experience because when I am confronted with a prejudice – a generalization – the only thing necessary to combat it is a counter-example. I know individuals who do not fit the mold you want to create for them – and not just a couple people, but a great many. Not only do my own observations support what I have come to realize, but those that actually systematically study such things within an academic community present conclusions consisted with my own. What reason would I doubt that?
I know why you doubt it – because you need to. You’re invested in the Bible being the Word of God – in so many extreme ways that it has become part of your own identity and how you interact with the people around you. The concept of abandoning it (even in part) is terrifying – am I right? Just like so many gay people living in silence and fear; telling YOU what you want to hear for fear of being socially and spiritually ostracized for heretical honesty; expressing their triumph over sin while internalizing a sense of defeat and self-hatred; that need to maintain your faith and your faith community trumps almost every other consideration.
Obviously, I don’t have the power to know that nobody has successfully changed their orientation – but I have good reason to believe that it is less that the number that claim so; and I know that it is not the norm. The norm is much different, and if you want to attempt to wash your hands in causing suffering, you’re going to have to do better. At some point your choices will be clear – continue to cause suffering, or abandon the Bible.
If the morality of God is actually written on our hearts and not in a book; why are you making the choice to cling onto a book instead of compassion and empathy?