AFA Leader Would Like to Fix Gays by Force of Law

I support the American Family Association’s right to pay for the Tebow ad—Americans have no right to not see promotions of ideas they might disagree with—but the AFA’s new leader, Rev. Bryan Fischer, should be watched. He has an interesting idea to fix a country that’s so broken that gays can…continue to exist: Fischer suggests we legally force all “active homosexuals” through an “effective reparative therapy program”.

Did your stomach just turn a little? Classically Liberal gives this the skewering it deserves, pointing out the necessary costs to taxpayers, to civil liberties, and the innocents caught up in the eventual SWAT raids. Don’t think for a moment there wouldn’t be raids. The war on drugs has gradually eroded away quite a bit of the privacies and 4th Amendment protections that could be expected in the earlier days of the war on gays. If you gotta catch ’em in the act, no knock warrants would be the norm. Oh, but what a new industry we could build on fixing gays—there’s a lot of em and more every year!

I eagerly await to read Fischer’s proposed law. Who would set the standards for these programs? What would suffice as proof of efficacy? Would the desire for non-traditional sex with the opposite sex be considered satisfactory or still in need of repair? What would be the penalty of “failing to stop acting gay”? Indefinite therapy? Body chemistry experimentation? Jail time? If a gay is homosexually assaulted in jail, would that get him/her more therapy, more jail-time, or both? Would we re-open the previous research done on gays in asylums and institutions? If gay sex is an offense, would we not need to label them all “sex offenders”?

The whole notion is thoroughly disgusting. Classically Liberal points out—if we’re to make our laws truly consistent with the guiding passages—surely there will be goodies for straight people, too.

The alleged Pauline verse also says that this applies to “whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.” I suppose we will need courts to determine “sound doctrine” from unsound doctrine. And, I know people like you well, I grew up with you guys and went to your schools. So I know that by unsound doctrine you mean, and this is only a partial list: Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, Scientologists, Quakers, Shakers, Unitarians, Muslims, humanists, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Taoists, Christadelphians, and hundreds of other sects, cults and churches. Even the mainstream Protestants aren’t of “sound doctrine” in the eye of fundamentalists. Once “sound doctrine” is put under federal law there is no limit to who can be incarcerated in your moral America.

And in case he missed anyone: anyone having had engaged in premarital/extramarital/oral/anal sex, of course. If we’re truly going to protect the American Family, we’re going to need to break down a lot more doors.

One thought on “AFA Leader Would Like to Fix Gays by Force of Law

  1. Aaron Zinck says:

    Wow, that boggles the mind. Even putting aside the big government and freedom implications (which are massive!), from a purely pragmatic perspective they’re forgetting that culture tends to drive laws rather than the other way around in this country. The AFA’s stance is actually typical of the attitude of many Americans right now; if something is not how we want it, then we want the government to “fix” it. A similar mentality led to a lot of the griping about the gov’t’s response to Katrina (there are good specific complaints to be made against the gov’t response, but much of the whining was just refusing to accept that Bad Things Happen Sometimes), overzealous litigation, and some of the economic bailout efforts.

    I’m an evangelical Christian myself and while I do believe homosexual activity to be a sin, sinful should not always equal illegal. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned Christians have lost sight of the importance and power of the Gospel. They place more hope and trust in government to bring about behavioral modification than they do in Christ’s death on the cross to bring about the true repentance and reconciliation that we all need. Sinful people (that’s all of us) don’t need a perfect culture, but a perfect savior. There’s a myth in some Christian circles that we once lived in a perfect America where the culture was perfectly aligned with their beliefs and values. That America never existed and never will exist; and it shouldn’t be surprising that people who don’t believe the Bible is true draw different conclusions about how to live their lives.

    Unfortunately, I think all laws involve legislating morality to some extent. Key issues I’d consider, however, are (my own personal test! IANAL!)
    1) is this legislation needed to protect the rights and freedoms of others in society (i.e., does someone participating in this action hurt someone else)?
    2) does this law promote a behavior that is broadly considered beneficial to society without unduly diminishing freedoms?
    3) how broad is the consensus that there should be a law against this.

    I think this proposed law fails all of those tests.

    One other note: as far as I can tell, Focus on the Family payed for the Tebow ad, not the AFA. While I don’t seek to be an apologist for Focus on the Family, I think it highly unlikely that you would see them endorsing this sort of extreme position.

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