Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus, who says his counseling business uses conversion therapy for clients who request it.
July 18th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Amid Bachmann controversy, many Christians cool to conversion therapy for gays

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - When presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, addressed accusations that his Christian counseling business encourages homosexual clients to try to change their sexual orientation, he appeared to play down the role of so-called conversion therapy at his clinics.

"Is it a remedy form that I typically would use?” Bachmann told Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper. “It is at the client's discretion.

"We don't have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone," Bachmann said, noting that such therapy was not a focus of his two clinics.

Michele Bachmann officially quits her church

Bachmann’s seeming ambivalence about conversion therapy - sometimes called reparative therapy - after a week’s worth of news stories that raised questions about whether his clinics promote the practice may illustrate a broader trend in the conservative Christian subculture.

While many evangelicals once viewed conversion therapy as key way to deal with homosexuality, many of the religious movement's leaders and organizations have cooled to the practice in recent years, as more science suggests that homosexuality may be innate and as new therapeutic approaches have emerged.

“Evangelicals, in quiet ways, are shifting to this position to where there is just not a lot of support for the change paradigm,” said Warren Throckmorton, an influential voice in the world of Christian counseling, referring to so-called change therapy.

“In the late 1990s, the debate was clearly, ‘Could gays change from being gay?’ and the focus was on orientation, and it was a big part of politics,” said Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, an evangelical school in Pennsylvania.

One sign of that shift, Throckmorton says, is the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family’s 2009 decision to stop funding a program teaching that “transformation is possible for those unhappy with same-sex attractions." (Focus, which said the move was due partly to financial pressures, handed the program off to another Christian group.)

The head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, meanwhile, a leading conservative Christian, has recently chided some evangelicals for characterizing homosexuality as a choice that’s relatively easy to change.

“We have spoken carelessly and unknowledgeably in the past to just say, ‘Just change. Just decide right now your pattern of attraction is not homosexual but heterosexual,’ ” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler said. "We have to know better.”

“We understand that sexual attraction and a profile of someone’s sexuality is a complex of factors, some of which are certainly not chosen,” he continued. “It’s not just a matter of choice. It’s not something that’s turned on or turned off.”

Exodus International, the national Christian organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," has de-emphasized conversion therapy in recent years as more of the counselors in its network have abandoned the practice.

“In the 1980s and '90s, the counseling emphasis was heavier than it was today,” said Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus. “Transformation in Christ is possible, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will never be tempted or completely move beyond a certain struggle that we might have.

“But we can live through the filter of our faith and abide by that most, and leave behind all sorts of things that have power of us,” said Chambers, who once identified as gay but who says he no longer does.

Most conservative Christians point to biblical passages that condemn homosexuality and believe the Bible teaches that sex is to be reserved for married men and women.

The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution condemning conversion therapy in 2009, saying that “mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.”

But the same resolution also encouraged therapists to consider the religious beliefs of clients who say such beliefs are important to their views of homosexuality.

Some Christian counselors have moved away from reparative therapy and have adopted a therapeutic approach that Throckmorton describes as a “congruence paradigm.” The model encourages counselors to appreciate a client’s wishes to harmonize their values, often shaped by religion, and their sexuality.

Under the congruence approach, a religious person who considers homosexuality sinful could attempt to square their beliefs and sexuality by trying to remain celibate. A bisexual client who perceives a similar conflict could try to focus on heterosexual relationships.

But under the congruence model, it’s up to the client - not the therapist - to decide how to view his or her sexual orientation. “If they say 'I think being gay is OK and it’s what I want to pursue,' we’ll work with them to do that, too,” said Throckmorton.

Evangelical re-examination of conversion therapy is part of a larger conversation under way among conservative Christians on how to respond to homosexuality at a time when more gay people are coming out, when there's a new awareness of the bullying that many young gay people face and when the gay rights movement is making some big strides, including, in some states, legalized gay marriage.

“We’re silly to think that there are not gays coming to church, part of our congregations,” said Marcus Yoars, the editor of Charisma, a popular Christian magazine. “It’s the elephant in the room. Its ridiculous that we can’t address it in a manner of love first, which doesn’t mean watering down biblical teaching.”

For the first time in years, Charisma put the issue of homosexuality on the cover of its magazine for the July issue, in a package that includes a story of a woman who says she was “rescued from lesbianism.”

But Yoars said that conversion therapy should be seen as only a small part of the Christian response to homosexuality.

“We have to realize that reparative therapy is a fraction of what’s out there, especially in Christian counseling,” he said. “When it’s reduced to sound bites, it gives (the therapy) a bad rap and falls into the stereotype of all Christians feeling that this kind of therapy is what all Christian counselors should use.”

Another factor behind the new evangelical conversation around homosexuality and conversion therapy is a generational shift on attitudes toward the issues. Recent polls show that young evangelicals are much more supportive of rights for gay partners than their parents are, even as they mirror their parents' opposition to abortion.

"Retaining young people is crucial, and a more accepting generation will not tolerate business as usual when it comes to the debate over homosexuality," wrote Jonathan Merritt, a young evangelical leader, in a recent opinion piece. "Pastors need not compromise their convictions, but they can expect congregants to call for a more accepting, forgiving message – a more Christian message.

"If Christian leaders can’t make that transition – and quickly – instead of an awakening," Merritt wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, "evangelicals may be facing an exodus."

–CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Michele Bachmann • Politics • Uncategorized

« Previous entry
soundoff (2,293 Responses)
  1. BobZemko

    What about a good old-fashioned shock treatment?

    July 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • AWMessenger

      It is obviously behavioral and can obviously be modified, if someone chooses to modify their odd behaviors.
      We live in a day and age that doesn't want to listen to reason; so when reason offers a reasonable way to treat odd behaviors, we have to deem it as hatred and write big stories about it.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'It is obviously behavioral and can obviously be modified'
      what is and what can?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • lalo

      So heteros3xuality which is also behavioral can also be changed. I you wish to, you also can be gay.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • saaly

      hopefully they'll discover it's genetic and identify a "gay gene" i can't belive it's a choice. no way.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Ryan

      It's obviously behavioral?? That is obvious to you?

      hahah....are you an alien??

      July 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Ryan

      And thinking that a magical book is "resonable" is absolutly insane!! So much that...I'm to the point, where I think people like you and many others that believe in the flying spagetti monster, should be checked out by a medical professional.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Nyarlathotep

      Alright, Bob - you first. It's the Christian thing to do.

      July 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      What about me? I enjoy a nice c*ck just as much as the next guy, but I also have three kids and two ex-wives and loves me some va-jj too, so, hrmmmmm...did I choose to go down on that guy because I am born gay or did I choose to get married and have kids TWICE because I am straight, or is my behavior genetically predetermined, or should I get down on my knees AGAIN and start to pray, or WHAT here people?

      Life is pretty complicated, isn't it?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      If I could change, I'd go bi (play for both teams). It would give me twice the chance of getting a date on Saturday night.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Jesus

      Who stole my GOP?? This use to be the party of Dewey, Eisenhower, and Goldwater, guys that were ardently dedicated to balancing the budget and keeping the government completely out of one's personal life. Now it's the party of the over $250K per annum earner and those who have a hatred of gays, abortions, and a separation of church and state.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  2. petercha

    People, look up Jude 1:7. For some reason, CNN is not allowing me to post that warning scripture.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Steve

      Probably because the magic book stating the passage you speak of referencing eternal punishment (i know the passage) is just that....a book written by mortals that wanted a way to control a society. The Bible has many good common sense moral lessons and advice to live by....but again, written by humans; nothing magical. Keep the Bible out of politics and quite frankly, keep it to yourself...if you believe I will not judge you, if you don't believe, I will not judge you. You live your life, I'll live mine.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Brian

      7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Alienbrother

      Hmmm.. don't feel singled out, CNN rarely posts any opinion I have on a daily basis, despite the fact they are civil and intelligent – including by all accounts on this matter – methinks the moderator might be a bit bias.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Explain to us how those who died for what they saw and believed in are now in control of society?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • rico

      Mike from CT,

      Explain to us how you managed to get thru school without learning reading comprehension. Steve said nothing about the ancient people controlling our society today, he was attempting to enlighten as to the purpose behind the writers of the Bible.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Rico, now answer the question instead of dodging it, how did the original writers of the bible accomplish this?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      dude, learn to debate without quoting religious text.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Mike from CT – Rico, now answer the question instead of dodging it, how did the original writers of the bible accomplish this?'
      By being the priesthood in charge of people, thats how. You can gain a large amount of power by claiming that if people do not listen to you that they will be in trouble even if you cannot prove the trouble. Priests and the church in general have always carried a huge amount of political and personal power.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Ryan


      Well done. You just put that whole argument to rest as far as I'm concerned. That's EXACTLY what the bible is and always was. A tool to control populations.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • The Guy

      A little nugget for @Mike to chew on:

      The bible was actually commissioned by Emperor Victor Constantine – about 275 – 300 years after the death of jesus – because there was no written account. If you can't do the math, the disciples would have been dead for at least 4-5 generations.

      Scribes who had probably never even heard of luke, matthew, or jesus for that matter were paid for with Roman money to fancy six books of parchment and ink with their human hands just as I write my grocery list. I'd have to check, too, but I seem to think poor fishermen and carpenters weren't highly literate back in the iron age either.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      The Guy
      I am not going to chew on a nugget of falsities, you have St. Irenaeus of Lyons saying in 160 AD there are only four gospels that we know of, so your nugget is incorrect.

      Cedar Rapids
      Your not following the conversation. Steve and Rico are claiming that the original writers were after power not the current church or priesthood after words. The fact is the writers of the new testiment were exiled, inprisioned, left for dead and poor, kind of misses the mark of the original claim against them

      July 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • LThomson

      UH, mike from CT, I hate to burst the devout bubble there, big guy, but he's referring to the Council of Nicea, and is quite correct. The current bible has morphed and been re-translated and mis-translated numerous times even since then. It's now believed by historians that there were at least 23 different gospels about Christ.

      I'd also point out that there is no Hebrew letter "J", and the original translation, from Greek, of the gospels, contracted the original name of Christ to make it compatible with the lack of an "sh" sound. So, there was no Jesus, either. The closest we could get to the name of the guy they were all talking about (likely a real political figure with many magical tales attached to his name since) was called Yeshua, which would be closer to Joshua.

      No Jesus. Fact of linguistics, just as carbon dating disproves the silly 6,000 years old belief.

      July 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Jesus

      Are you citing Emperor Constantine's novel of myths and tales designed to control the masses?

      July 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Willard

      Y'know, it's really ironic to me how much attention we pay to a book written by a bunch of Middle-Easterners 2000 years ago, but won't allow their descendents within 1000 yards of an airplane without a strip search.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      To Clearify I was not trying to say that the Council did not exist but the statements like "They remolded it" or they did not know of "at least 23 different gospels about Christ."
      They did in 160, thus the need to declare, there are only four gospels so early on well before the Council.

      As for your no J in Hebrew, you lost me, so because there is no J in Hebrew we can't have a J in our alphabet, but then you claim that the name would be Joshua which in fact has a J in it. So following that logic there is no


      If it bugs you that much call him Emmanuel
      BTW how can you have a mistranslation if the events never occur, or better yet how can you claim a mistranslation without the correct translation?
      Can you tell what a crooked line looks like without comparing it to a straight line?

      July 19, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • LThomson

      I didn't say it would be Joshua, Mike, I said it would be "Yeshua," and the closest thing we have to that in English is Joshua.

      Don't rephrase a person's statement to make it illogical, just so that you can keep deluding yourself. It's sad-but-common practice of people addicted to the security offered by their belief system.

      ANd you've done nothing to counter the argument except suggest the name isn't important. OK. Go to church next Sunday and ask your pastor whether it's important to consider "Jesus" real.

      Incidentally, it IS possible to debate that something exists in a book without also claiming it exists in real life, so the spelling is irrelevant to the likelihood - slim as it is - that the Jesus of the Bible ever existed.

      July 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Again, I don't think you made your point very clear by stating we have Joshua in English therefore can't exist in the Greek?
      Does not Ἰησοῦς appear in the text... What is your point man.

      Side stepping the fact that we have places with J in the name like

      Then you twist the losing argument to say well he never existed anyway. When you have overwhelming argument that that man did exist both from the secular and non-secular historians and archeologist. That point is not even worth time discussing since that is agree upon by all major historians, with very few exception trying to get their face on CNN or the history channel.

      July 20, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  3. Joe

    When Marcus Bachmann eventually gets caught on the down-low, will he give Ted Haggert's excuse, or Senator Craig's excuse, or Rep. Foley's excuse, or come up with something original?

    July 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • kch

      Well, he can give one of the same nonsense that you mentioned and get away, because the sheeps that support him and his dumb woman will still support them without any questions asked.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • blf83

      Maybe he will have a narrow stance.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  4. David Johnson

    From the article:
    "If Christian leaders can’t make that transition – and quickly – instead of an awakening," Merritt wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, "evangelicals may be facing an exodus."

    An exodus you say? From your mouth to god's ear!


    July 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Jesus

      We need to become a happy nation like the Scandinavian countries. They substantially reject ALL religion (70-80% of the population there are irreligious, atheists, or agnostic).

      July 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  5. Marty in MA

    If God created gay people, can they be bad? (sarcasm) Gay is rarely a choice, folks.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • petercha

      Participating in sinful behavior is ALWAYS a choice, Marty.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • laurab68

      You have no idea how wrong you are. BEING GAY IS NOT A CHOICE. Having milk and sugar in your coffee is a choice.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • martineeeeee

      STFU Petercha... you are no more a saint than anybody else. Don't come here and tell people that they should love specific people.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • seriouslyomg

      Peter – why should anyone conform to your ideas of what is "sinful"? Because you (not me and not lots of other people) believe in a thousands-year old book of fairy tales? You think that your belief in unicorns should stop me from having a loving and intimate relationship with the person who makes me happy? I don't get a referendum and your life and you don't get one on mine. period.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • ThatGuy

      I don't have a problem with other people's viewpoints, just when people aren't willing to take those viewpoints to their logical conclusion.

      Are suggesting people choose OCD? Do people choose ADHD? Do people choose to be pedophiles? Do people choose phobias? Yet society regularly, and which much praise, attempts to correct these.

      If you want to have an intellectually honest dialogue, you need to establish other criteria than simply: "it wasn't chosen."

      July 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Yeah Peter how dare you tell someone something like martineeeeee and I tell you that we think it is not ok for you to tell us what you think.... (therefore the argument collapses on itself)

      July 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Amie

      If you still want to go on believing that its a 'choice'. CHOOSE TO BE GAY. If its as simple as a choice, prove it to the world and choose to be gay. Let us know how that works out. Why would people choose to be something they will likely be persecuted for?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • blf83

      Gay is "rarely" a choice? I have never seen it as a choice for anyone; did any of you CHOOSE to be straight?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • ThatGuy

      So, just to be clear, you are all proposing that ANY desire that isn't a deliberate "choice" should be accepted and embraced by society?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • ThatGuy

      Amie, you could ask the same question about pedophiles. Why on earth would anyone choose that? Furthermore, if it's not a choice, who are YOU to be condemning them?

      It works both ways. You need another criteria other than "choice."

      July 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • ScifiChickie

      It is ridiculous for anyone to say being Gay is a choice.
      Did you choose to be straight? NO it's who you are,
      Why would anyone choose to be gay especially when they are compared to child molesters, & people who commit bestiality by the so called Christians who feel they have the right to Judge others even though Christ taught Judge not Least ye be Judged

      July 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • ThatGuy


      You're the victim of your own logic. Did child molesters choose to desire that? Did people who commit bestiality choose that desire? Why would anyone choose that when people like you judge them? And who are YOU to judge?

      Does anyone have a stronger argument than "it's not a choice?" Anyone at all?

      July 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Ryan

      How is she a victim of her own logic? I don't believe she is in the least there buddy. Makes perfect sense

      July 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • ThatGuy


      I'm sorry, it appeared to me that she thought child molestation and bestiality were bad things. I guess I misunderstood her post.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Patrick

      @Thatguy: I suggest you rid yourself of your anti-intellectualism, as it appears to be a choice to be completely self-absorbed and unaware...oh wait.
      Stop comparing criminal behavior to behavior which only hurts/disrupts/soils your biblical and magical view of the world and soceity as a whole.
      Being gay is not a choice, neither is pedophelia or zoophilia/beastiality. However, you choose to ignore one small piece of information; being gay is not a crime, having carnal knowledge of a child or animal is...get a grip, dude!

      You should know better so stop acting like a prepubescent throwing a temper-tantrum and have the ability to engage in rational discourse without looking like a fool!

      July 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Joe

      Some of you say you can't judge a desire depending on whether it is a choice or not a choice. You have to look at the results of that desire. Pedophiles, gay or straight, can do damage to kids. Serial killers, gay or straight, take innocent lives. Two gays loving each other harm no-one. See the difference?

      July 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Frogist

      It is a choice if you decide to sleep with men or women. It is not a choice who you happen to be attracted to. That's the important difference. The physical act of s-ex is not necessarily connected to whether or not you find someone attractive. We all know the phrase "Close your eyes and think of England", right? Experimentation happens regularly between gay and straight people. But you don't get to choose who you are attracted to which is why this reparative therapy is a farce. I think you could be conditioned to be less attracted to a particular gender, but the idea of what that might entail turns my stomach.

      July 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • ThatGuy


      I'm simply comparing one behavior that isn't "chosen" to other behaviors that aren't "chosen." If you believe that the ability to choose a desire is the only requisite for validating it as acceptable, you're gonna' need to come up with some other criteria to filter out other socially unacceptable behaviors that aren't chosen.

      Please prove me wrong and list the additional criteria here:

      July 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • ThatGuy


      So, you're saying it's okay to oppress people for acting out on a desire they didn't choose to have ONLY IF it has an adverse affect on people?

      Polygamy doesn't "hurt" anyone, as long as its consensual. Do you agree with this being illegal?

      July 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • TheyNotHim


      I am choosing, right now, not to accept your choice to hate a specific group of people simply based on your erroneous and misguided belief that a 2000 year old book of fairy tales should for any reason guide our collective society today. The bible is a tool of oppression and no good or loving god would slum to put his name by it. It was written by Man and is not the word of god, GET IT YET?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  6. Brandon

    Who is this guy kidding, Marcus Bachmann makes George Michael look masculine.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Jesus

      He wreaks sleaze.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  7. Loveitall

    I have hard time pretending to be straight.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  8. IceT

    And the evolution of God continues ...

    July 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Jim


      July 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "And the evolution of God continues ..."

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing.

      Hebrews 13:8 – "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

      Hmm... I guess not!

      Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason. - Martin Luther


      July 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • tommas

      Sadly, since humans will probably never know everything there will always be gap to hide it in.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Edwin

      Jesus might be the same year after year, but why should our understanding of him be? If Jesus is a divine being, then does he not automatically exceed true human comprehension? The best we could possibly do is try to understand aspects, and it is fully reasonable that our understanding shifts as humanity changes.

      This is not to say that Christianity changes with every new fad, but it CAN changes as we change.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Jesus

      Man created his Gods to control other men.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  9. Loveitall

    Love is Free no matter who it comes from, They've been trying to change me for years but it doesn't work. I'm happy the way I am. And just because people are gay doesn't mean they don't have faith. My girlfriends mom is very active in the church and is very supportive of us. There are lots of people who disapprove of it. But there are lots that don't. It not about making everybody else happy anymore but doing what's going to make me(you) happy.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • fred

      Good luck with that one, so long as I am happy the heck with the rest of you.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Brian

      my friend wait till the day you die that's when you'll find out the real truth
      Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Edward

      Brian: It's 2011 and you still believe in man created fairy tales. God created gay people to be gay. Gay people are born gay, It is an innate, God given, biological wonderful part of a person. We are your kids, family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, we are everywhere and part of you. Straight people give birth to gay babies. Grow up and educate yourself.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Chaz

      How do you know Brian? Have you been to "Hell"?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ryan


      how the "hell" could you possible know that?? Seriously!

      July 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Ryan


      July 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Loveitall: I appreciate your courage to stand in the open as who you are. It takes strength. My best to you, your girlfriend and her mom too!

      July 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Nyarlathotep

      I've been to Hell, actually. It's the name of a volcanic region in the Caribbean Islands (look it up).

      July 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  10. Steve

    I guess this means that Ted Haggart is still gay too.

    Oh, of course he is. Silly me.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  11. babyjesuslover

    look ~ it is a republican event

    fat white men and women pasted up to look like h00kers

    July 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • sigh


      July 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • fred

      At least they are not intentionally destroying our country

      July 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Mark

      Wait, wait, intentionally destroying? You think you could do a better job?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Sean Russell

      They are intentionally destroying this country. Anybody paying attention can see that. They won't be happy till they've established their right-wing religious oligarchy over us.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Jesus

      That's true. They are obese. They are substantially white. Few ever went to top quartile universities.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  12. butterfly

    The only lasting relationship for all mortals is with its 'Creator' .Try to find a meaningul relationship with him and lets not pretend to be smarter than the creator and invent lifestyles....

    July 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • petercha

      Amen, Butterfly, right on.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • babyjesuslover

      Your @ss will be smoted....

      ....the butterfly is of satan...

      July 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • seriouslyomg

      G-d r_ped Mary – that's not a lifestyle that I care to imitate.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Normon

      So, are you saying we need to go back to being hunter gathers or Adam and Eve type farmers, since that's the "lifestyle" that God came up with?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • think for yourself

      I agree, I do have a close relationship with my creators. I make sure to visit my parents frequently and help them out when needed.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • News Flash

      I see you don't pretend to be able to write a coherent sentence in English.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ryan

      Invent life styles??? wow.......it's not a choice. Go back to the cave a pray to your rock god or flying spagetti monster

      July 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Ryan

      But someone beat me to it....my CREATOR is my parents. Not a mythical being. Pay credit to the ones that raised you and love/loved you. Not an idea of something you have never seen nor will see. Stop drinking the kool aid. It's time.

      July 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jesus

      My "creator" was a 32 year old guy who took my Mom home from a date and had his way with her. Nothing immortal about either one of the participants. The tale of a God controlling all things and who will sit in judgment of you after you die is sheer childish nonsense. I've seen lots of death. What happens afterwards? Dead people decompose. Get over your fears....everyone dies and decomposes. No soul or spirit rises from a dying body upon death-that's been PROVEN! Reality is tough to swallow, but grow up and gulp it down!!

      July 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  13. mbane18

    For crying out loud. This is not a Christian thing. This is an Evangelical issue. Stop equating Christians whith those nutcases.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • petercha

      This most certainly IS a Christian thing. Read your Bible, mbane, particularly Jude 1:7.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Corey

      More christians like you need so speak up louder against the nuts in your religion. Isn't that what we ask muslims to do about the radicals in their religion.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Laura Hechler


      July 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • bigshot

      40% of christians in the US are evangelicals (90% in south). How is this not a christian thing?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, bigshot.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      sadly, this is a christian thing. it is the christian church that leads the charge on this issue most of the time.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nyarlathotep

      It's a Christian "thing," and also a Muslim "thing," and even the Dalai Lama has claimed that gayness isn't the way to enlightenment in his version of Buddhism. Let's face it: it's an all-round prejudice in practically all religions, which seems inevitable when you remember that the biggest of the world religions were all founded thousands of years before science or liberal democracy. If you're religious, but want the equality of all people, I've got two suggestions: invent your own religion (that's how they all started) or better yet, just leave religion entirely.

      July 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  14. GRS62

    "Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? It is at the client's discretion". I'll take that as a yes.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  15. svscnn

    I just feel sorry for them. She's stuck with a gay husband, and he's stuck with... well...

    Let's just say they're both stuck with each other.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • blf83

      and he's stuck with ... rhymes with witch?

      July 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  16. Chuck Anziulewicz

    Marcus Bachmann reminds me of that guy who runs Hair Club for Men. You know, when he says, "I don't just own the company, I'm also a CLIENT!"

    July 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • bachmanntwit

      Is it because he's trying to pray away his own gayness?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  17. bachmanntwit

    "Human Centipede 2" starring the entire Palin family with special guest star Michele Bachmann 'bringing up the rear'.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • blf83


      July 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • JT

      Why are you so intolerant?

      July 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Free

      Intolerant, and in very bad taste.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:39 am |
  18. Free

    "after a week’s worth of news stories that raised questions about whether his clinics promote the practice may illustrate a broader trend in the conservative Christian subculture."

    Emphasis on the word 'subculture'. Remember folks that you are only part of a greater America.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Philojazz

      "Emphasis on the word 'subculture'. Remember folks that you are only part of a greater America."

      Actually, make that "MUCH greater America", in both senses of the term.

      Nicely done, Free!

      July 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Neeneko

      The problem is that this subculture is extremely politically active and holds a disproportionate amount of power. They tend to be very engaged in primaries.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • fred

      Free, you know who said this right? :: "America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its Patriotism, its Morality and its Spiritual Life."

      July 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Free

      Actually I don't know who said that for sure. It's all around the web that Stalin said it, bit I've never found the source. Can you help me out? Where, and when did Stalin supposedly say that?

      You know, like this. I quote Stalin as saying of his wife Kato, on her funeral in 1907

      "This creature softened my heart of stone. She died and with her died my last warm feelings for humanity."

      And I state the source as the book Young Stalin (2007) by Simon Sebag Montefiore, p. 193.

      See, now you are free to double-check my quote and not just take it, or throw it out, on face value.

      July 19, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  19. Luke

    Let me get this straight.

    Christians no longer believe that witchcraft works in healing gay tendences. You don't say...

    When I read articles like this, I am reminded of my time spent reading about the Salem Wtich Trials. One would think we have grown out of this by now.

    July 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Free

      Like everything, it evolves. Change can only be felt between the generations. 🙂

      July 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Free

      Each new generation rejects their parent's att.itudes as being out of date for modern society.

      When will they finally realize that the generational drift extends all the way back to the ancestors who wrote the Bible?

      July 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • alex

      The "Christan Right" is Stuck with Ancient Practices and Beliefs.
      BTW, Marcus Bachmann appears to be a "Flaming Queen"! IMO

      July 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Philojazz

      Spot on, Luke, but the problem is that WE HAVE grown out of this, but THEY haven't. Not sure THEY ever will. Don't hold your breath.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • fred

      What this is progress or change we can believe in? The Greeks brought up young prepubescent boys under an older man who guided them in the wonders of $exual experience. Thank God for the Puritans.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Sean Russell

      Thank god for puritans? A group of religious extremists that were kicked out of their country- because nobody could stand them. Came here and set up the most hate-filled, intolerant of the colonies and burned people at the stake for being 'witches'. I don't think that's progress.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Luke


      So you are arguing that $exuality is a bad thing? I really don't understand.

      Regarding the actual topic that Fred is trying to hijack, I continue to believe that the Bachman's could be investigate for Fraud. This unlicensed treatment center tries witchcraft in order to sway ho.mose.xual tendencies with Madicaide money. The treament is not conducted by reputable phyciatrists and has long since been bunked. Yet the presidential candidate argues for small government? I am really confused here.

      July 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Free

      Sean Russell
      "Thank god for puritans?"
      Didn't they also outlaw Christmas? Oh, yeah, the Christian Right would just love them nowadays!

      July 19, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Free

      "I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women." 2 Samuel 1:26

      Have you any proof that David's was not a "Greek" love for Jonathan?

      July 19, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  20. Marcuth Bach-man-not

    Thtop making fun of me. You guyzth are tho mean.

    July 18, 2011 at 11:38 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.