The Christian Institute in the United Kingdom revealed this week it will take legal action if lawmakers go ahead with a strategy to ban “conversation therapy” that would impact churches’ missions, ministries, and even praying to God.
Article by Bob Unruh from WND.
Jason Coppel, QC, wrote in a detailed legal opinion for the faith organization that activists who are proposing new definitions in law to address their fears of “conversion therapy” would criminalize the ordinary work of churches.
Activists claim so-called “conversion therapy” is an orchestrated strategy to persuade homosexual individuals to leave that lifestyle choice and become straight. But often it’s counseling that is in response to an individual’s own desire to rid themselves of unwanted same-sex attractions.
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Coppel warned that prayer, evangelism, church membership, baptism and communion could all breach a broad conversion-therapy law like the one recently passed in Victoria, Australia.
Churches that follow the Bible’s teaching on gender and sexuality were targeted recently in a debate in the British Parliament over legislation that would ban so-called “conversion therapy.”
Member of Parliament Alicia Kearns dismissed concerns over the impact of such a ban on freedom of religious expression, according to the U.K.’s Christian Institute.
“Religious liberty is fundamental, but so too is people’s liberty to live their lives free from identity-based violence and abuse,” she told her colleagues.
Kearns insisted that any prayer “inconsistent with LGBT theology” should be banned.
Supporters of counseling for people with unwanted sexual attractions reject the term “conversion therapy,” describing it as an ideological term used by the LGBT activists who seek to link compassionate spiritual care and talk therapy with disreputable practices.
The Westminster Hall debate focused on a petition to make it a criminal offense to practice conversion therapy in the U.K. or send people abroad for it.
Several MPs branded prayer and pastoral support as “conversion therapy,” which was also described as “torture.”
Last month, Kearns, writing for The House magazine, condemned “prayer sessions” used to help counsel people with unwanted attractions as abhorrent practice comparable to electroshocks and “corrective rape.”
Kearns defined “conversion therapy” as any attempt to stop someone from expressing their chosen gender identity or sexual orientation.
She said a ban must include “not only conversion therapy to change sexual orientation” but also “non-consensual attempts to prevent someone from expressing their own identity.”
But Coppel said in his analysis that such legislation would violate existing U.K. human rights laws that protect “the freedom of church organizations to preach” their beliefs on sexual ethics and gender identity.
Further, he said, a demand that “parents to affirm a child’s desire to ‘change sex’ would also endanger parents’ ability to bring up their children in accordance with their beliefs.”
Such beliefs, he wrote, “are not eccentric or peripheral matters of belief. They have a long history within Christian theology and sexual ethics.”
Courts, he said, have “consistently regarded such beliefs as protected by Article 9 ECHR and worthy of respect.”
The legal requirement, he said, is that the government treat those beliefs with “neutrality and impartiality.”
The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs Simon Calvert, said: “A ban on spiritual guidance and prayer would be tyrannical and unworkable. Do they expect police, prosecutors and courts to decide which kinds of prayer are criminal and which are not?”
He said, “Most people would be horrified by the prospect of someone being convicted for praying ‘the wrong kind of prayer.’ We must not allow activists to exploit legitimate concerns as a cover for pursuing anti-religious agendas.”
A court case would follow immediately of the government “caves into demands to widen the ban to include the ordinary, everyday activities of churches,” he said.
Lawmakers specifically said parents should face charges if they help their children with such therapy.
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Parliamentarian Elliot Colburn claimed conversion therapy can be anything “from pseudo-psychological treatments and aversion therapies to practices that are religiously based, such as purification or fasting.”
And MP Angela Eagle condemned “being told by faith leaders or your family that you are sinful.”
“Being told to pray harder to change and to question your innermost feelings and thoughts … none of that should be legal,” she said.
LGBT activists have been working on their agenda to criminalize the work of Christians and Christian churches for years.
Josiah Hesse, a writer for the London Guardian newspaper, in 2018 charged that prayer had become “conversion therapy.”
The reaction was prompted by a video of Emily Thomes’ testimony released by Anchored North, an evangelical media company.
The group releases BuzzFeed-style videos, and this one is titled “Love is Love.”
While packaged similar to pro-LGBT marketing campaigns, Thomes’ message is that a person can be freed from same-sex attractions through the power of Jesus Christ.
“It’s not gay to straight, it’s lost to saved,” she explains.
The concept of conversion therapy presumes there is an underlying cause for same-sex attractions that can be addressed. Such counseling has been banned for youth in several U.S. states, but those restrictions on the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and freedom of religion still are being challenged.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC