A letter signed by thousands of Christian ministers and pastoral workers in the United Kingdom, asking lawmakers to make sure Christian prayer and preaching are not censored by any bans on so-called “conversion therapy,” is as bad as the “Holocaust.”
That’s according to LGBT campaigners who are warning in the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world that they will tolerate no comment, no sermon, no prayer, no suggestion that their chosen alternative sexual lifestyles should or could be abandoned.
The Christian Institute reported that Robert Mee, of the LGBT-promoting Out of the Bay organization, said the recent letter to government officials was “barbaric.”
“Have we forgotten about the Holocaust and how LGBTQI people were persecuted and killed – history is repeating itself,” he claimed to the Lancaster Guardian.
The letter from the more than 2,500 ministers to Westminster simply asked lawmakers to ensure that prayer, preaching and pastoral care were not caught by some vague legislation.
Mee charged, “Conversion therapy is barbaric – punishing people for being who they are. Surely churches are supposed to love everyone – did God not teach this?”
Conversion therapy is the idea that counseling can provide help for those with unwanted same-sex attractions to deal with them. It’s used derogatorily by those who oppose any negative reference, anywhere at anytime, to those alternative sexual lifestyle choices.
It’s been outlawed in several locations, including some states in the United States. Its detractors reach back into history and lump today’s counseling with the long-discontinued shock therapy and other treatments from decades ago.
But those who signed the letter say their concern was over the possible ramifications of an extreme law.
“As the letter says, we would join with Christians across the country in describing some historic practices in this area as abuse so it is misleading to say we are against a ban on conversion therapy,” they said in a statement. But a reckless new law could “have a significant impact on our day-to-day ministry of teaching the good news of Jesus Christ as outlined in the Bible, which we think is both wonderful but also challenges every person.”
An official for Let Us Pray explained the group is not attacking LGBT people. However, “the government must not be taken in by the overheated rhetoric that says Christian values are abusive.”
The Lancaster Guardian reported the ministers’ letter, to Equalities Minister Liz Truss, points out that the banning of the expression of Christian faith would violate their legal rights.
The report noted that in addition to the 2,546 ministers who signed the letter, it now has been signed by thousands of members of the public as well.
The letter’s message is basic, stating, “We are Christian ministers and pastoral workers from a broad range of churches, who have in common that we hold to orthodox, historic Christian teaching on sexual ethics.
“In our churches we welcome and show love to many people who have different experience and views, including same-sex attraction and forms of gender transition. We always seek to act in love, with gentleness and respect, for the good of all, and never with any form of coercion or control.
“We are grateful to the government for having made clear in the consultation that it does not intend this legislation to impact the normal practice of religion. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned that the legislative approach outlined would do exactly this.”
They say the campaign appears to open the door to criminalizing their “loving advice and teaching” given to their own children, when it involves “proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and calling people to find life in him, which includes living by his laws.”
The ministers warn the category of “conversion therapy” is “bizarrely broad” and could end up breaching their religious rights.
“Christianity has always held that God created humanity with the lifelong marriage of one man and one woman as a gracious gift to humanity and a central part of his design for human society. To violate that pattern, by sexual activity outside marriage or denial of our created sex, is sin,” they explain. “As such it is not only morally wrong but carries with it deep and tragic consequences for individuals, families and society. It is a central part of our calling to bring Christ’s compassion to a broken world, that we call people to live according to God’s gift and pattern of marriage and offer them pastoral support to help them do so. This has nothing to do with therapy; it has everything to do with what it means to be a Christian.”
They added, “It should not be a criminal offense for us as Christian ministers to persuade, to teach and to help people of every age to become, and to live as, orthodox Christians. It should not be a criminal offense for us to instruct our children that God made them male and female, in his image, and has reserved sex for the marriage of one man and one woman. Yet this seems to be the likely outcome of the proposed legislation.”
WND reported just weeks ago that LGBT activist Alicia Kearns has said specifically Christian prayer should be banned, explaining, “Conversion therapy can range from ‘therapy’ and prayer sessions, to aversive treatments like electroshocks or even ‘corrective’ rape.”
The pro-LGBT Ozanne Foundation said, “This is not a matter of freedom of speech… this harmful practice is unfortunately promoted and practiced primarily by religious leaders… the ban must… ensure that no loopholes are created that allow those who practice conversion therapy to offer help in ‘changing one’s behavior.'”
And from activist Jayne Ozanne herself: “I would strongly refute that ‘gentle non-coercive prayer’ should be allowed. All prayer that seeks to change or suppress someone’s innate sexuality or gender identity is deeply damaging and causes immeasurable harm.”
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.