Bil Browning

We all just need a little exorcism

Filed By Bil Browning | October 13, 2005 5:59 PM | comments

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You know, I don't even know that I need to comment about how stupid this guy obviously is. Media Matters can just tell the story. Feel free to add your comments below...
Lou Sheldon suggested exorcism is necessary to "release" a person from homosexual lifestyle

On the October 11 broadcast of Today's Issues, a program on the Christian broadcasting network American Family Radio (AFR), Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of the conservative "church lobby" group Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), suggested that Christian therapists believe exorcism is the only effective technique that can "release" a person from the homosexual lifestyle. During a conversation with host Tim Wildmon, president of the AFA, about the so-called "homosexual agenda," Sheldon claimed that he had consulted with "many psychotherapists who are Christian, and they say once you enter into that [homosexual] lifestyle ... once you enter into the culture, into the music, into the gay bars, into the gay literature, into the gay theater ... and gay travel ... you have really put yourself into a gr! oove that only a sort of an exorcism can release you from."

In his comments, Sheldon also implied that the professional psychological community characterizes homosexuality as a mental disorder. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association and its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 3rd Edition (currently in its fourth edition) stopped categorizing homosexuality as a mental disorder; the American Psychological Association followed suit two years later. Also, in referring to what he called "gender identity conflict," Sheldon appeared to confuse homosexuality with Gender Identity Disorder, which a University of Maryland Medical Center website defines as "persistent feelings that your body is a different gender than your mind. It is a sense of inappropriateness of one's anatomic sex." Contrary to Sheldon's assertion, "gender identity conflict" is not "the medical-scientific name for homosexuality, where you're attracted to the same sex person."

American Family Radio, operated by the American Family Association (AFA), is a network of nearly 200 radio stations across the United States whose stated mission is to "inform Christians about what is happening in America."

According to its website, TVC, which Sheldon founded in 1980, is the "largest non-denominational" church lobbying association in the country, boasting more than 43,000 member churches. TVC states that it "focuses on issues such as education, homosexual advocacy, family tax relief, pornography, the right to life and religious freedom" and lobbies Congress on behalf of its members.

From the October 11 broadcast of AFR's Today's Issues:

WILDMON: And let me just say one other thing, and we'll go on to our next caller. And I'm not a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, or a social scientist, or anything like that. But I have heard from people who know and understand these things that two of the most difficult sins or bondage to break out of are alcoholism and homosexuality.

SHELDON: Oh definitely, because the groove is built, and I've talked to many psychotherapists who are Christian, and they say once you enter into that lifestyle -- Now, you may have gender identity conflict -- that's the medical-scientific name for homosexuality -- where you're attracted to the same-sex person, but once you enter into the culture, into the music, into the gay bars, into the gay literature, into the gay theater, and all of that kind of -- and gay travel -- once you immerse yourself into that, you have really put yourself into a groove that only a sort of an exorcism can release you from.

WILDMON: Wow.


Yeah. Wow. That was about the reaction that I had too, Tim. That's about the only thing you can say other than, "Do you even have a clue what the hell you're saying? You've got to be pulling this out of your ass..."


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AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 10/13/2005 06:56:13 PM

Funny thing is, he lost me at the term "homosexual lifestyle". Anyone who knows me knows that I've met about as many gay people as a person possibly could and, for the life of me, I have yet to figure out in what ways we all live alike. They refer to it as "the" one -- as if there's only one and we all -- gay, straight, and otherwise, are supposed to know what that means.Ever try asking someone who uses the term what they think it means? I usually get stammers and maybe some jibberish alluding to sex, as if every gay person has actually had sex or, once having had it, continues to, presumably on at least a semi-regular basis. (For an interesting visual experience, try suggesting that there are gay virgins out there -- that all gay people start out that way.)In my experience, gay people are an incredibly internally contentious lot for whom, if the term "herding cats" wasn't coined, it should have been. We don't agree on much of anything, much less the myriad components that, combined, constitute a lifestyle. This renders "homosexual lifestyle", much less "the homosexual lifestyle", nonsense terms.Wow.As for the exorcism bit, it's mighty suspicious that Lou and Don were chatting about it in the same week that the Rat Pope's church announced that they were having how-to-conduct-exorcism classes.Bottom line: If Lou and Don stay really far away from me and mine -- meaning the entire gay population, particularly those most abused by those as ignorant and hateful as they are and thus most vulnerable to their claptrap, I promise not to spew split pea soup in their direction.