Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ex-Gays Have 2nd 'Freedom March' in Orlando

Most of us remember the horrible mass shooting at a Gay club named Pulse in Orlando, Florida in 2015. A deranged man who was possibly a closeted homosexual himself entered the club and began shooting participants during a Puerto Rican event. When it was over, 49 people were killed and many more left injured and traumatized.  (see:

The event sent shockwaves around the world, especially in the LGBTQ community which is often the target of hate and abuse by homophobic individuals or groups. Despite this tragedy, some good came of it. In 2018, one of the survivors who once identified as a gay man, Luis Javier Ruiz had a conversion experience. The shooting made him realized how the LGBTQ lifestyle took him away from God. His life was lost and seemed to have no purpose. This eventually led to him contracting HIV and suffering the health consequences because of it.  However, he found Jesus again.  (see: Ruiz now claims he is no longer gay and has made it a mission to bring to attention that it is possible to be an "ex-homosexual."

On September 14, he and another Pulse nightclub survivor, Angel Colon founded the ministry Fearless Identity and hosted a rally in Orlando, Florida just feet from the abandoned Pulse nightclub building. He was joined by the Florida Family Policy Council, which is a conservative organization that is against so-called gay marriage and other laws which were passed which have conflicted with religious freedom. The rally pushes for the conversion of homosexuals. Both Colon and Ruiz do not believe in conversion therapy and claim that their group only focuses on conversions in a religious sense. Both do not identify as heterosexual or homosexual, but just "God's children."

As one can imagine, this rally and the efforts of Ruiz and Colon have not been met with cheers from the mainstream LGBTQ and leftist groups. Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out tweeted, "Far from a 'Freedom March,' the Religious Right exploited desperate and vulnerable LGBT people to hold a 'Fraud March' in Orlando, where these folks renounced their humanity to get a pat on the back from homophobic bigots.  Fortunately, the Truth Wins Out."

Pro-gay group, Conversion Therapy Dropout Network put out a statement, "There is no doubt that Ruiz and Colon have experienced extreme trauma during the Pulse massacre. However, going to the opposite extreme and professing the same rhetoric that severely impacts their community is an insult to those lost in the massacre. We understand the fear they feel living as queer people, but to join the bigotry that oppresses us is not the answer."  Christopher Cuevas of QLatinx, an Orlando based LGBTQ advocacy group said, "While we honor the freedom for expressions of faith, and hold the beauty of religiosity in our community, we cannot condone the gross misuse of religious text and faith to exploit LGBTQ people or support conversion therapy. The expressions of our queer and transgender identities are the embodiment of divinity and grace because we are living our most radical truth by celebrating and centering our LGBTQ identity." 

Colon made it clear that his group's intention is not to force homosexuals to become heterosexuals. He said, "We're trying to equip churches, even if they're not gay-affirming churches, with the resources they need and teach them not to judge the LGBTQ community. We're trying to share our stories through ministry and share the testimonies of people who've come out of the homosexual lifestyle. We are not at all advocates for conversion therapy or shock therapy. We stand with the gay community, and our main message is about falling in love with Jesus, but if an LGBTQ person wanted to talk to a pastor or counselor, that's a whole different story."    

The whole gay-conversion issue is a complicated one. Mainstream psychological organizations frown upon it. They claim that it does more harm than good. However, some homosexuals claim that it worked for them. This therapy may involve electroshock therapy where a homosexual is shocked with electricity when he or she is presented with homosexual content. It is a form of operant conditioning. The goal is to associate homosexual content with the electric shock in order to train the brain to avoid it. The concept does work, but eventually can wear out and would need to be reinforced. However, constant shocking and so on can cause anxiety and other problems as well.   

In any event, good for these young men. They are not looking to torment gay people, but to share their experience. There is nothing wrong with this. As Plato wrote in his Apology, "The unexamined life is not worth living." This is why many LGBTQ opt to commit suicide. The hedonism and other evils in the LGBTQ lifestyle waste away at the gay person's soul. They live an unexamined life that leads to depression and other problems which makes them feel worthless.  My prayers go out to all those struggling with the LGBTQ lifestyle. There is also the Catholic organization Courage, a group founded to help those who have homosexual tendencies live a chaste life. No conversion therapy is involved. Members are simply fed spirituality and prayer. They take their own steps and make their own decisions with the help of God's grace.

The fact that this news has triggered LGBTQ leftists shows that they are afraid.  We need to support and pray for these two young and handsome men that they do not fall into temptation. Already, they are being attacked on social media by their LGBTQ peers who claim their efforts are due to PTSD.  We can presume some may be trying to tempt them to rejoin the LGBTQ or may try to blackmail them by posting any inappropriate content the young men may have shared with partners or others on social gay apps.  People can be shady. 

Cuevas revealed his poor understanding of God and Scripture when he wrote in an email, "The expressions of our queer and transgender identities are the embodiment of divinity and grace because we are living our most radical truth..." God does not make anyone gay or transgender. These are developments that occur in the human species. They are not embodiments of grace or divinity. Living "one's truth" is also fallacious. Truth has to be universal, not just for the individual.  The real Truth Does Win Out in the end, Jesus. Jesus loves all people, including the LGBTQ. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, only when it is acted upon. 
Chastity and homosexuality. In the catechism it states:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

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