The Truth will set you free… but are conservative Christians ready for the truth… as more and more from the medical and psychiatric field unravel more statements on facts involving homosexuality, we pray the church would be ready to listen.

(This article is taken from various sources; and the original article from The Royal College Of Psychiatrists’ Gay and Lesbian Mental Health Special Interest Group.)

This report is prepared by a Special Interest Group in the Royal College of Psychiatrists. We have limited our comments to areas that pertain to the origins of sexuality and the psychological and social well being of lesbian, gay and bisexual people (LGB), which we believe will inform the Church of England’s listening exercise.

Introduction
The Royal College of Psychiatrists holds the view that LGB people should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This includes equal access to health care, the rights and responsibilities involved in a civil partnership, the rights and responsibilities involved in procreating and bringing up children, freedom to practice a religion as a lay person or religious leader, freedom from harassment or discrimination in any sphere and a right to protection from therapies that are potentially damaging, particularly those that purport to change sexual orientation.

We shall address a number of issues that arise from our expertise in this area with the aim of informing the debate within the Church of England about homosexual people. These concern the history of the relationship between psychiatry and LGB people, determinants of sexual orientation, the mental health and well being of LGB people, their access to psychotherapy and the kinds of psychotherapy that can be harmful.

1. The history of psychiatry with LGB people.
Opposition to homosexuality in Europe reached a peak in the nineteenth century. What had earlier been regarded as a vice, evolved into a perversion or psychological illness. Official sanction of homosexuality both as illness and (for men) a crime led to discrimination, inhumane treatments and shame, guilt and fear for gay men and lesbians (1). However, things began to change for the better some 30 years ago when in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association concluded there was no scientific evidence that homosexuality was a disorder and removed it from its diagnostic glossary of mental disorders. The International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation followed suit in 1992. This unfortunate history demonstrates how marginalisation of a group of people who have a particular personality feature (in this case homosexuality) can lead to harmful medical practice and a basis for discrimination in society.

2. The origins of homosexuality
Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation (2). It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors (3) and the early uterine environment (4). Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice, though sexual behaviour clearly is. Thus LGB people have exactly the same rights and responsibilities concerning the expression of their sexuality as heterosexual people. However, until the beginning of more liberal social attitudes to homosexuality in the past two decades, prejudice and discrimination against homosexuality induced considerable embarrassment and shame in many LGB people and did little to encourage them to lead sex lives that are respectful of themselves and others. We return to the stability of LGB partnerships below.

3. Psychological and social well being of LGB people
There is now a large body of research evidence that indicates that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment. However, the experiences of discrimination in society and possible rejection by friends, families and others, such as employers, means that some LGB people experience a greater than expected prevalence of mental health and substance misuse problems (5, 6). Although there have been claims by conservative political groups in the USA that this higher prevalence of mental health difficulties is confirmation that homosexuality is itself a mental disorder, there is no evidence whatever to substantiate such a claim (7).

4. Stability of gay and lesbian relationships
There appears to be considerable variability in the quality and durability of same-sex, cohabiting relationships (8, 9). A large part of the instability in gay and lesbian partnerships arises from lack of support within society, the church or the family for such relationships. Since the introduction of the first civil partnership law in 1989 in Denmark, legal recognition of same-sex relationships has been debated around the world. Civil partnership agreements were conceived out of a concern that same-sex couples have no protection in law in circumstances of death or break-up of the relationship. There is already good evidence that marriage confers health benefits on heterosexual men and women (10, 11) and similar benefits could accrue from same-sex civil unions. Legal and social recognition of same-sex relationships is likely to reduce discrimination, increase the stability of same sex relationships and lead to better physical and mental health for gay and lesbian people. It is difficult to understand opposition to civil partnerships for a group of socially marginalised people who cannot marry and who as a consequence may experience more unstable partnerships. It cannot offer a threat to the stability of heterosexual marriage. Legal recognition of civil partnerships seems likely to stabilise same-sex relationships, create a focus for celebration with families and friends and provide vital protection at time of dissolution (12). Gay men and lesbians’ vulnerability to mental disorders may diminish in societies that recognise their relationships as valuable and become more accepting of them as respected members of society who might meet prospective partners at places of work and in other such settings that are taken for granted by heterosexual people.

5. Psychotherapy and reparative therapy for LGB people
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy recently commissioned a systematic review of the world’s literature on LGB people’s experiences with psychotherapy (13). This evidence shows that LGB people are open to seeking help for mental health problems. However, they may be misunderstood by therapists who regard their homosexuality as the root cause of any presenting problem such as depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, therapists who behave in this way are likely to cause considerable distress. A small minority of therapists will even go so far as to attempt to change their client’s sexual orientation (14). This can be deeply damaging. Although there is now a number of therapists and organisation in the USA and in the UK that claim that therapy can help homosexuals to become heterosexual, there is no evidence that such change is possible. The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field. There are however at least two studies that have followed up LGB people who have undergone therapy with the aim of becoming heterosexual. Neither attempted to assess the patients before receiving therapy and both relied on the subjective accounts of people, who were asked to volunteer by the therapy organisations themselves (15) or who were recruited via the Internet (16). The first study claimed that change was possible for a small minority (13%) of LGB people, most of whom could be regarded as bisexual at the outset of therapy (15). The second showed little effect as well as considerable harm (16). Meanwhile, we know from historical evidence that treatments to change sexual orientation that were common in the 1960s and 1970s were very damaging to those patients who underwent them and affected no change in their sexual orientation (1, 17, 18).

Conclusions
In conclusion the evidence would suggest that there is no scientific or rational reason for treating LGB people any differently to their heterosexual counterparts. People are happiest and are likely to reach their potential when they are able to integrate the various aspects of the self as fully as possible (19). Socially inclusive, non-judgemental attitudes to LGB people who attend places of worship or who are religious leaders themselves will have positive consequences for LGB people as well as for the wider society in which they live.

Professor Michael King
Report prepared by the Special Interest Group in Gay and Lesbian Mental Health of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
31st October 2007

Reference List

(1) King M, Bartlett A. British psychiatry and homosexuality. Br J Psychiatry 1999 August;175:106-13.
(2) Bell AP, Weinberg MS. Homosexualities : a study of diversity among men and women. New York: Simon and Schuster; 1978.
(3) Mustanski BS, DuPree MG, Nievergelt CM, Bocklandt S, Schork NJ, Hamer DH. A genomewide scan of male sexual orientation. Human Genetics 2005 March 17;116(4):272-8.
(4) Blanchard R, Cantor JM, Bogaert AF, Breedlove SM, Ellis L. Interaction of fraternal birth order and handedness in the development of male homosexuality. Hormones and Behavior 2006 March;49(3):405-14.
(5) King M, McKeown E, Warner J et al. Mental health and quality of life of gay men and lesbians in England and Wales: controlled, cross-sectional study. Br J Psychiatry 2003 December;183:552-8.
(6) Gilman SE, Cochran SD, Mays VM, Hughes M, Ostrow D, Kessler RC. Risk of psychiatric disorders among individuals reporting same-sex sexual partners in the National Comorbidity Survey. Am J Public Health 2001 June;91(6):933-9.
(7) Bailey JM. Homosexuality and mental illness. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999 October;56(10):883-4.
(8) Mays VM, Cochran SD. Mental health correlates of perceived discrimination among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. Am J Public Health 2001 November;91(11):1869-76.
(9) McWhirter DP, Mattison AM. Male couples. In: Cabaj R, Stein TS, editors. Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health.Washington: American Psychiatric Press; 1996.
(10) Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Newton TL. Marriage and health: his and hers. Psychol Bull 2001 July;127(4):472-503.
(11) Johnson NJ, Backlund E, Sorlie PD, Loveless CA. Marital status and mortality: the national longitudinal mortality study. Ann Epidemiol 2000 May;10(4):224-38.
(12) King M, Bartlett A. What same sex civil partnerships may mean for health. J Epidemiol Community Health 2006 March 1;60(3):188-91.
(13) King M, Semlyen J, Killaspy H, Nazareth I, Osborn DP. A systematic review of research on counselling and psychotherapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people. Lutterworth: BACP; 2007.
(14) Bartlett A, King M, Phillips P. Straight talking: an investigation of the attitudes and practice of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists in relation to gays and lesbians. Br J Psychiatry 2001 December;179:545-9.
(15) Spitzer RL. Can some gay men and lesbians change their sexual orientation? 200 participants reporting a change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation. Arch Sex Behav 2003 October;32(5):403-17.
(16) Shidlo A, Schroeder M. Changing sexual orientation: A consumers’ report. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 2002;33:249-59.
(17) King M, Smith G, Bartlett A. Treatments of homosexuality in Britain since the 1950s–an oral history: the experience of professionals. BMJ 2004 February 21;328(7437):429.
(18) Smith G, Bartlett A, King M. Treatments of homosexuality in Britain since the 1950s–an oral history: the experience of patients. BMJ 2004 February 21;328(7437):427.
(19) Haldeman DC. Gay Rights, Patient Rights: The Implications of Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy. Professional Psychology – Research & Practice 2002;33(3):260-4.

Commentary from TeachTheFacts.org

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Posted by: Yuki Choe | December 25, 2007

A Truth Worth Sharing This Christmas.

Discovered at Pam’s House Blend.

From Faith In America.

A truth worth sharing this Christmas

The harm experienced by two Florida and South Carolina families this
Christmas because of religion-based bigotry against gay and lesbian
individuals is very real.

Many evangelical Christians this year may have to admit to their
children that they’ve been perpetrating an “untruth.” Perhaps they
are made just a smidgen more uncomfortable by the fact that they
believe truth was embodied in Christ – who according to their
religious teachings was a person born different than any other human
being.

So at a time when many Christians are cautioned not to forget the
“reason behind the season,” they are confronted with the fact that
they must close the door on a part of their son’s or daughter’s
childhood by telling them that certain stories about the partially eaten
cookies, the hand-scrawled note left behind and the soot smeared on
the floor were really not true.

But the young lives of a future generation will go on albeit perhaps
a bit more cynical and somewhat dejected from discovering such a truth.

For the families of Pat and Lynn Mulder of Auburndale, Fla., and Elke
Kennedy and Jim Parker of Greenville, S.C., the lives of their two
children will not be going on. The day-to-day gifts of joy they gave
their parents, siblings and friends ended with their deaths – and no
amount of perception will make their future lives and their gifts to
those around them a reality.

Pat and Lynn’s son Ryan Skipper, who was killed in April 2007, and Elke and
Jim’s son Sean Kennedy, who was killed in May 2007, will not be with their
families next week to celebrate the season – and there is an underlying
reason which we as Americans must confront honestly and truthfully.

Both young men died after attacks that have been reported as acts of
violence against them because they were born different. The
difference was that they enjoyed dating, being around, spending time
with, and bonding emotionally with men instead of women. That
difference, according to certain religious and religious/political
factions in America, condemns them as sinners, unclean, undeserving
of the same rights that other Americans enjoy and unworthy of God’s
love.

Gays and lesbian individuals are not the only Americans who have been
delegated as second-class citizens at the hand of misguided religious
teaching. African-Americans were once labeled as a cursed lot. And
with the “Adam first, Eve second” thinking, women also have been
denied equality in this country as many people believed they stood
more in favor with their God by standing opposed to full equality for
women.

The majority of religious-minded people look back on those periods in
history and realize that religious teachings were misused and
misconstrued to deny African-Americans and women full equality.

Yet many Americans today fail to see the history of religion-based
bigotry against gay and lesbian citizens and the harm that it causes
to millions of wonderful people simply because they are different.

The families of Ryan Skipper and Sean Kennedy this Christmas are
experiencing the harm that comes when a social climate of
rejection and condemnation is allowed to flourish because a society
accepts bigotry against gay and lesbians as religious truth.
While those families experienced the physical violence that is
promoted by such a climate of rejection and condemnation, millions of
of other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans and their
family and friends experience this violence and in other forms as
well – emotional, psychological and spiritual violence.

In South Carolina, where Sean Kennedy parents will spend Christmas,
the state in 2006 voted to ban gay marriage and the opposition from
Christian churches in that state was instrumental in writing such
discrimination into South Carolina’s constitution – which
coincidentally still banned interracial marriages until just a few
years ago.

Next year in Florida, where Ryan Skipper’s parents reside, a ban on
gay marriage is being proposed for that state’s constitution and no
doubt religious and religious/political groups will lead that effort.

While denying gay and lesbian citizens the right to marry is but one
of the many rights they as American citizens are not allowed to
enjoy, it is an issue that clearly defines how a majority religious
belief is used to justify legal discrimination against a minority.

Let’s hope that people across this nation will pause for a moment to
recognize that misusing religious teachings to justify discrimination
against gay and lesbian citizens must be recognized just as wrong
today as it has been in the past.

Great social injustices of the past have fallen faint when America’s heart and
soul bestows its most wondrous gift – equality.

Sharing that truth will most assuredly enrich the lives of future generations.

Brent Childers
Executive Director
Faith In America

May the Christian conservatives, religious right and ex-gay ministries one day have the wisdom to see the light.

And these groups forgiven for their organized intolerance campaigns against gays, lesbians and transgenders worldwide.

Hope someday tomorrow all gays, lesbians and transgenders, shall be reconciled to society and Our Saviour on earth.

And be kept in security, equality, grace and affirmation, in accordance to the two greatest commandments of Christ Jesus.

This is my Christmans prayer,

And may the New Year usher in a new age of compassion, understanding and truth about people like us.

We all are God’s children.

Posted by: Yuki Choe | December 20, 2007

Intelligence Report Regarding The Ex-Gay Movement.

From The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Straight Like Me: ‘Ex-Gay’ Movement Making Strides – By Casey Sanchez.

Commentary from Ex-Gay Watch here.

Read another intelligence report on a former ‘ex-gay’ minister here.

Posted by: Yuki Choe | December 20, 2007

Breaking The Transsexual Myths.

An Article On The Sydney Star Observer.

We started a network for the guys in November 2001, and were surprised at how many people turned up. We now have 230 members across Australia, and a lot more who just use the website. FTM Australia (FTMA) is basically a support group for men with transsexualism, as well as female-to-male transgender guys, their partners, family, supporters and service providers.

I was assigned female at birth but it wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 years old that I experienced a very strong sense of dislocation. I was deeply depressed, but I honestly didn’t have words for any of it.

My friends now tell me I was constantly telling them through high school that I should have been born a boy. When I later told my friends I wanted to transition, one said, “Come to think of it, I have never thought of you as any particular gender,” and another said, “I wondered when you were going to do that.”

I would have been 23 or 24 years old when I found out it was possible to have treatment. Transitioning was a natural process. I wouldn’t call it exciting. “Exciting” implies that you are doing something outrageous, whereas this was just “relief at last”.

The surgery options for guys [FTM] are a bit limited, but it is not because there is no demand. One member recently put all his savings into surgery and has flown to Belgium where the best work is being done at the moment.

Testosterone affects the genitals to a degree that a surgeon can shape the flesh that is there. It is probably not what you would look at and think “wow”, but for our guys who, in a sense, have never had anything, to then have something that is sensate, erectile and still orgasmic is something to go “wow” about at the end of the day.

Genital reconstructive surgery is not one surgery, it is a series of surgeries, and there are a number of different options depending on what you want. If penetration of a partner is really important, you might go for phalloplasty. However, if orgasm and sensation are really important, then you are more likely to go for metoidioplasty.

With either of these procedures, vaginectomy, the removal of the vagina, is possible. There is a very high blood loss risk in the actual procedure itself, but for some the removal of the vagina is extremely important.

The legal system in Australia today is very affirming. One of our members “Kevin” and his wife “Jennifer” courageously pressed the Re Kevin case forward. This is now Federal legislation in Australia. It is no problem for men who have transitioned to correct their legal sex on their birth certificate. With that certificate the man can marry a woman who holds a female birth certificate. The question of marriage and same-sex couples somehow attaches itself to the Re Kevin case, which was an opposite-sex situation. But the question of marriage for same-sex couples is actually a separate issue entirely.

The most common misconceptions about men of a transsexual background is that you don’t know one, that they all want women as sexual partners, that they aren’t fathers, or that they are “trannies”.

The FTM community is huge. Everybody knows one and they are probably the last person you think is one. I live in Glebe, and I can go down the road for a coffee and see between two and four guys. I know who they are, they know who I am, but they don’t know each other.

There are people I know in media, in organised religion, in government, lawyers, doctors, allied health professionals, people I see on the street. You wouldn’t have a clue unless you were their boyfriend or girlfriend. Then you would have a right to know – otherwise the man you see is the man you get.

It is actually very difficult to classify our men into one group. The label “transgender” is very problematic because it implies you have changed your gender. For some men, they feel that they have been male since birth, so they are not “changing” anything. In their case, they are affirming their real sex, that’s male.

The men are all so different; there is a lad I’m thinking of in Perth at the moment who you would never know had not been on T [testosterone]. He’s just your average country boy, despite being assigned female at birth, and obviously has always just had very high levels of testosterone.

There are also transgender people who may have come through the lesbian route, who say, “Yes, I was a more masculine lesbian, and I identified as a woman, but I have always felt male, and now I want to be male.” People are who they say they are.

The overwhelming sense after people transition is that it was the right thing to do. I hear people say, “I have come home to myself,” or “I am now comfortable in my own skin.” It’s still a huge decision. You can’t take surgery and hormones back once you have had them. They will always have an effect on your body no matter what.

I have no kids, but I was married for eight years to a lovely man. I would love to meet another one some day. I have an extremely full life, I’m employed part-time, run several different Australia-wide networks and I have been writing a book for FTM Australia, Transitioning Female to Male in Australia, which will be published very soon.

As told to Cara Davis

Info: www.ftmaustralia.org

Posted by: Yuki Choe | December 8, 2007

Examining The Imagination Of Pursuing Liberty Under Christ.

Besides Real Love Ministry in Malaysia, another ex-gay organization on the Malaysian map is Pursuing Liberty Under Christ. This ministry is run under Pastor Tryphena Law, a self identified ex-lesbian.

An interview with Tryphena Law can be viewed here. In this interview, as with the case of Edmund Smith, the director of Real Love Ministry, references of homosexuality becoming in them is obvious; the repetitions of stories about failed relationships with parents and looking for love in the wrong places to encourage the dogma that homosexuals are inlearnt through bad experiences in life, contrary to the lives of most homosexuals, male or females, that are born of perfectly normal childhoods.

As a similar pattern is established of heterosexual confusion into experimentation with homosexual relationships emerge in Tryphena Law’s case, we can see also confusion in the representation of what is homosexuality, and thus, dangerously preached to the public and social circles as ‘facts’ and ‘truth’. PLUC is affiliated directly with Exodus International and derives its twisted and ultimately non-peer reviewed sciences from there.

Just as Real Love Ministry takes articles from the extremely homophobic PFOX, Pursuing Liberty Under Christ takes their articles from Love Won Out, an ex-gay ministry birthed by Focus On The Family, an advocate of anti-gay rights, as bluntly put out by its leader, James Dobson.

http://www.pluc.org.my/articles.html#youcanhelp

An interesting point of view in their website article is the inclusion of one that mentions about transsexuals. Observe the article below (commentary in brackets and italics):

Transsexual

The situation

A man rejects his original gender and identity as a result of a deep and severe split from negative childhood experiences. Physical development is normal but psychologically, he develops an intense conviction that he is a member of the opposite sex, thus desiring to have his sex changed. One major difficulty in determining this condition, known as transsexualism, is the inability to conclusively sift out true transsexualism from delusional thinking.

(This shows the total lack of understanding towards what constitutes transsexual, and seeks to readdress the issue with a whole lot of self made sciences. As if having Gender Identity Disorder, a inert condition by birth, is not worse enough, they went on to describe it to be inlearnt and in their own words, some of us are delusional.)

How is gender determined?

In humans, there are only two definite expressions of gender: male and female. This is clearly different from the animal and plant kingdoms wfere a creature can be asexual (no sex organs) such as the single-cell amoeba, or bi-sexual (having both) such as some papaya trees.

To determine your own gender (just in case you don’t know), consider how sex is expressed:

– Societal. Society designates symbols and roles for men and women. For example, blue is for boy while pink is for girl. In most societies, the man is the main breadwinner while the woman, the homemaker. At work, a man does certain jobs (construction worker) while a woman, others (receptionist). These stereotypes change hom time to time and are different hom culture to culture. However, do symbols and roles define your gender?

– Psychological. Emotions when expressed in the form of behaviours can take on gender attributes defined by people and culture. Feelings like anger, libido, sympathy, can have conclusions like these: men talk loudly and ogle a lot. Women cry more, hug a lot. But do feelings have sexual differentiation? Do your emotions determine your gender?

– Physical. This refers to your external physical characteristics such as facial and body structure, shape and form. Does having hairy legs make you a man? Or smooth fair skin, a woman? What if you have both? Don’t fret. It’s just the level of your hormones which determine these characteristics. Nothing is wrong with your sex.

– Genetics. Every normal cell contains two sex chromosomes: the male, XY, while the female, xx. Very, very rarely, mix ups occur, resulting in physical abnormalities and ambiguous genitalia known as “Intersex”. Usually, your chromosomal sex, also known as genetic sex, matches with what you see in the full-length mirror when undressed.

– Genitals. The primary sexual characteristics for males are the testes, and the female, ovaries (not breasts). Therefore, the saying that “a man’s two are located downstairs, while the woman’s two are upstairs” does not correspond scientifically. Everyone knows (at least the doctor and midwife at your birth) how to identify a boy and girl. So if you still don’t know your gender by now, ask your doctor, fathelf mother or helpful neighbuor.

(As we can observe here, the whole article went on to confuse gender dynamics which can exist in every living person, and produces gender stereotypes which has totally nothing to do with transsexuals, ignoring the increasing scientific findings about transsexuals as below, which made the whole article essentially claptrap.)

A Discussion on the Relationship Between Gender Identity And Prenatal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) in 46XY Individuals.

Gender Identity Disorders and Bipolar Disorder Associated With the Ring Y Chromosome.

Genetics Of Sex And Gender Identity.

Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus.

Sexual Identity Hard-Wired by Genetics, Study Says.

The Heritability of Gender Identity Disorder in a Child and Adolescent Twin Sample.

With the increasing advance in science, awareness and scholarship thinking into transsexual issues, it is a danger that these groups continually produce such mass misleading preachings and teachings to the common public. Their misrepresentation dismisses the existence of our beings in the eyes of the common man. Therefore, the irresponsible behaviours and musings of these ex-gay groups should be best ignored or avoided completely.

Posted by: Yuki Choe | December 8, 2007

Malaysian-born Penny now Aussie minister.

From The Star newspaper, Malaysia:

Malaysian-born Penny now Aussie minister

By MUGUNTAN VANAR

KOTA KINABALU: The father of Malaysian-born Penny Wong Ying Yen who has been appointed as a Cabinet minister in Australia is thrilled with his daughter’s political success.

“I am very happy. I hope her appointment will be a blessing for Australia,” said Francis Wong Yit Shing, 66, an architect here.

The 39-year-old Penny, who was born in Sabah but grew up in Australia from the age of eight with her mother, was yesterday named Climate Change and Water Minister by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd whose Labor party won the recent elections.

Penny Wong Yin Yeng
Francis, who described his daughter as a go-getter, said that the portfolio given to his daughter was very “current and important” not only for Australians but for everyone concerned about global warming and climate change.

“I know she is a very responsible person and she will work hard to achieve her objectives,” said Francis, who keeps in touch with his daughter through SMS.

He said he never expected her to become a politician.

“I wanted her to be a doctor and she enrolled for it. A year later she switched to law after going on a student exchange programme to Brazil where she saw the need to help people,” said Francis.

Proud as punch: Francis and Penny keep in touch via SMS and mostly talk about family matters.
On completing her studies, she became involved in unions and industrial court cases in Australia.

Penny became the first Asian-born woman Senator when she won a seat in South Australia in 2002.

Last week’s Australian elections saw her winning a second term with her party toppling John Howard’s government.

Asked if he had ever given his daughter any political advice, Francis said the politics that he knew about was only that of South-East Asia.

“We mostly talk family matters.”

Francis said Penny and her mother left Sabah for Australia in 1977 for Penny’s education while he remained in the state.

Over time, he and his wife separated and Penny took up Australian citizenship.

(Of course, Malaysia being Malaysia, they would definitely delete primary and important facts from their media reporting. But the rest of the world knows, and the LGT community is proud to herald the first openly lesbian minister in Australia. And in Australia under Kevin Rudd, we are happy to announce it:)

Ladies Lead PM Rudd’s Top Team

“Ms Wong a South Australian senator, will be Australia’s first openly lesbian minister.”

More links on Penny Wong below. If Malaysia is not fully proud of you, we are!

Fridae

Sydney Morning Herald

PinkNews

Posted by: Yuki Choe | December 1, 2007

The Singaporean Ex-Ex-Gay: The Story Of Patrick Lee.

A testimonial of an Asian Ex-Ex-Gay.

From an archive Yawning Bread article (December 1999)

Over dinner, Patrick told me his story, a story that stretched over 14 years. These three hazy episodes he recollected above were from October 1994. That month, he was hospitalised at the Adam Road Hospital and received electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). It erased about 4 weeks of his short-term memory, and what he now knows about this period of his life, is from what others have told him. He first thought he stayed just a few days at the hospital, but later learnt he had stayed 3 weeks.

“It took me no less than 2 months,” Patrick emphasised, “before I realised that I was seeing a psychiatrist. All this while, I knew that I felt like a ‘sick person’ who needed medical attention and that my mum was lovingly taking me to every one of the appointments. She would also sit in together. And every day, she was also the one who gave me my medication.”

“One day, two months later, I noticed that the signboard at the Adam Road Hospital said ‘Mental Wellness’. Only then did I realise I was being treated by a psychiatrist. I also began to wonder why I had such a severe loss of memory of the past 2 months.” At that instant, Patrick thought about two of his church members who had mental instability and who had been subjected to electro-convulsive therapy. “Did Dr. Wong [1], do to me that most inhumane act of ECT??? I needed to know and wanted to know, and so at my next visit I questioned him. But beyond ‘yes’, Dr Wong was reluctant to release any more information to me. He tried to appease me with some magazine articles extolling the great benefits of ECT and the near-zero side-effects. He said that ECT is the quickest and most effective method to terminate the ‘trauma’ a patient suffers from. The only side effect is the loss of the immediate memory which could be weeks or months.”

* * * * * * * * * *

In 1982, the Billy Graham Crusade came to Singapore. Patrick, who had been with the Church of Our Saviour [2] since 1975, and Christian even way before that, found his convictions rekindled. “I was awakened to the seriousness of homosexuality. It was wrong, immoral and a sure road to hell. If I were to persist in my pursuit of casual and paid sex, I would end up in hell. It really affected me. I sought spiritual help. I told God that I would know he was real if he could break the power of my dependency on gay sex.”

His friends, many of them from the same school, but all gay, sniggered at the idea that God could help overcome homosexuality.

After turning the issue many times over in his mind, Patrick decided he didn’t want to hide it. “I didn’t want to go to hell.” So he confessed to his Pastor the same year.

“He was so happy,” Patrick said, raising his arms, recalling the Pastor’s grateful heavenward glance, “that someone who was gay had seen his sinful ways and turned to God for help. ‘Hallelujah, you’ve seen the light, son!’ ”

On the Pastor’s advice, he destroyed everything that connected him to his gay past: the photographs, the clothing accessories, contact numbers, gifts from boyfriends. “I was serious. I wanted to go to heaven.”

Patrick was also required to separate himself from all his gay friends. “It was one of the 12 steps of therapy. I never saw those friends again till last year.”

Patrick’s church touted him as a model Christian, someone who, by the power of God, had found the determination and strength to reform himself. “Although I only gave my ‘conversion from homosexuality’ testimony 3 times in my home church; the ‘good news’ was told by my Pastor to all his other clergymen, and church members were encouraged to go and testify to their friends and relatives of the power of God that has delivered a homosexual from his sinful ways. Consequently, I became more and more popular, and this resulted in a flood of people coming to see me for counselling. It was people with all kinds of problems who came to see me: women involved with married men, young man confessing their bondage to heavy petting or premarital sex, and of course, homosexuals who wanted help. The logical reason was that if God could break the power of the worst sin, i.e. homosexuality, then any other sin is of no problem. So why don’t we talk to Patrick, and ask him how did he avail himself of the power of God?”

Soon the number of people who came to see Patrick was more than he could reasonably handle. His Pastor said to him, “You have a proven ministry. Give up your secular job and come serve the purpose of the Kingdom of God.” A scripture from Matthew’s Gospel was quoted to Patrick, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” So in January 1984, Patrick officially became a member of the pastoral team. Not longer after, he was awarded the title ‘Pastor’.

Patrick was proud of what he had achieved. He was sure that he had made the right decision. It wasn’t going to be easy living a new life, it was going to take continuing effort and willpower, but the reward in the end would be his.

This is not to say it was smooth sailing. Even though he never went cruising again, nonetheless there were lapses, occasional moments of weakness. They were not frequent — fewer than twenty times in the 12 following years — and never premeditated. It was just by chance, meeting someone while swimming or cycling, or being cruised in a public toilet.

Yet after each slip, there were overwhelming feelings of guilt for 3 to 4 months. It would weigh heavily on his mind. He saw himself as diseased, for sin is a moral disease. He had committed the sin of sodomy, the sin of perversion, the sin of homosexuality. And he needed healing. “The teaching in the Book of James, chapter 5 verse 16 said, ‘Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.’ ” [3]

His conscience prodded by this biblical injunction, Patrick always confessed his slips to his Pastor. Typically, the Pastor would frown and sigh, “you need more accountability and more deliverance.”

Patrick also needed to work towards achieving the Crown of Victory over homosexual orientation, i.e. marrying and procreating. For the first three years, Patrick didn’t think he was ready to get involved with a woman. He could give up his gay life, but it would take a while before he was ready to date someone of the opposite sex.

At first, his Pastor planted ideas very subtly. “But one day,” Patrick told me, “he lost all his politeness. ‘Are you impotent?’ he asked.” So the pressure began to build, and Patrick felt he had to prove himself otherwise. Even the Bishop got involved. In a private interview he asked WHEN Patrick intended to get married and have children, because this would greatly enhance his ministry as a Pastor.

“The first woman I dated was Marjorie [4], a concert pianist. It lasted one week! I was frightened at the thought of this girl.”

“Janice, my second, lasted 3 months. She was from the same church and a Clinique sales assistant.”

After Janice, there was a break of about 3 years.

“Then there was Erin, a Creative Director. That lasted 7 months. After her, I saw no one for 5 years.”

In the meantime, Patrick went to Belfast, Northern Ireland, and stayed three years. “In 1990, which was the 7th year of my pastoral service, I was granted a ‘special sabbatical’ in appreciation of my contribution to the growth and development of the church. This followed from a mission trip which I led to Ireland. There was a church in Belfast which was interested in the ‘ministry of deliverance’ [see box alongside].

Patrick was an outstanding example of a ‘deliverance candidate’, so it seemed the right thing to send him to teach the “Western” church this powerful warfare tool called the ‘ministry of deliverance’. Since this request coincided with his due sabbatical leave, he volunteered to go and spend 3 years there. While there, he took the opportunity to further his theological knowledge, signing up as an external candidate for the Diploma in Religious Studies with Cambridge University.

“The Church’s recognition of my contribution,” said Patrick, “was seen in their generosity in that they paid for 3 years’ study at Cambridge which included tuition fees, books, food & board. This was in addition to the fact that every month I continued to receive my full salary with year-end bonus too. I was the only one in the Church’s pastoral staff awarded with such a generous support.”

He spent about 70% of his time on theological studies and 30% in helping the local church in Ireland. “In June 1993, I graduated with a full diploma with distinction for consistent high performance throughout my course. The diploma also made special mention of my proficiency in the New Testament Greek.”

Upon his return, Patrick resumed his role as a Senior Pastor but had five new portfolios added to the previous two.

He began seeing Regina, an engineer. “I saw her for over a year, and she was the first woman I had sex with. I thought she was a virgin like me, but I discovered much later, and to my regret too, that she had slept with all her previous boyfriends.” Good Christians are supposed to remain virgins till after marriage.

“Then one night,” Patrick continued, “while we were lying naked in bed, she suddenly turned me over, and with deft fingers, she took my manhood and plunged it right into her private garden. Being a virgin boy, the first experience of intercourse was like a journey to seventh heaven. If you’ve never had a woman before, you can’t know what a great feeling it is!”

But ….

“Though in body I felt like I had taken a trip to heaven, in my spirit I had fallen into the depths of hell. In the Bible, Apostle Paul made sexual sins — the sins of adultery, fornication and homosexuality — to be the worst a Christian could commit. So once again, I was troubled by guilt; yet I was afraid to confess it especially now that I had become a Senior Pastor. I finally did so, to my fellow Senior Pastors, only 3 months later, instead of my usual immediate confession. But the procrastination only meant that the guilt continued to burn and torment me for 3 months.”

Soon after, Patrick decided to marry Regina and the wedding was set for 7 January 1995, even though he was increasingly aware that Regina was the wrong choice for him. “She was controlling, possessive, demanding and most often, unreasonable. On the one hand she gave me sexual ecstasy but on the other hand she tormented me in ways no less than Delilah’s as she tormented Samson. As a result, I needed to find comfort in men again, whom I knew would be reliable.”

So in a way, it was waiting to happen. “We took a short holiday in July 1994 and stayed two nights at a well-known hotel in Kuala Lumpur. There, I discovered their spa pools. There was a big one that could sit 20 people and three smaller pools, each in its own room. And the doors could be locked! You can imagine what went on. There were so many men! I had a glorious time!”

“But immediately after, I was extremely guilty and extremely stressed again. I was guilty of the sin of fornication and the sin of homosexuality compounded together. I was an incorrigible sinner. Everything was caving in. The torment was terrible. The scripture in James kept coming back to me. Otherwise there would be no healing. None.”

Three months later, he was in Adam Road Hospital. Patrick was later told he had a complete breakdown, though he has no memory of it.

* * * * * * * * * *

After discharge, in addition to follow-up appointments with Dr Wong of the Hospital, Patrick was made by his church to see a Christian psychologist. This guy was American and charged $200 an hour, but since Patrick was a Pastor, the rate was reduced to $100 an hour. Patrick had to see him once a week, and it went on for six months.

“This psychologist once wrote to Dr Wong,” Patrick recalled, “asking for details of my history and prescriptions. On seeing the letter, Dr Wong pointed out to me that this so-called doctor had no obvious medical qualifications. Clearly, the psychologist’s only qualification that mattered was that he was Christian; that’s why the Church insisted that I saw him.”

“He was no help at all.” Patrick said of the American psychologist, emphatically. “Every week that I saw him, he always drew this diagram: ‘Now you’re in a well,’ he would say, ‘and you need to build a staircase to come out of it…’ ”

“Week after week! What a waste of time and money!”

The ministry of deliverance
as explained by Patrick:

“The ministry of deliverance is a new powerful weapon discovered through the charismatic movement. It is one weapon which can fight many battles which will result in a victorious Christian life. As a consequence of charismatic renewal, every problemm is now ‘spiritualised’.

‘Spiritualised’? Yes, meaning behind every conceivable problem there is a ‘ruling or controlling spirit’. For example, it is the ‘spirit of adultery’ that compels a person to persist in living an ‘adulterous lifestyle’ though he/she knows that it is both morally and spiritually wrong. The extreme application of this spiritualisation is seen in that ‘chain-smokers’ are bound by the ‘spirit of nicotine’. Laugh as those outside of this spiritual experience may; but those who have undergone the ministry of deliverance profess that they felt something left their bodies, and from that moment on, they no longer continued in that ‘problem’ or ‘sin’, be it adultery, gluttony, gambling, homosexuality, etc. The success and phenomenal growth of the charismatic, sometimes referred to as ‘Pentecostal’, churches was attributed to the fact people were delivered from all kinds of ‘bondages’ or ‘demons’ through the ministry of deliverance. Personally, I underwent three sessions to cast from myself the spirit of homosexuality.”

Finally Patrick was advised to “leave familiar territory and go to foreign ground”, to help in his recovery. So he left the Church of Our Saviour, where he had been for 22 years, and went over to join the administrative staff of another in Marine Parade Christian Centre, where he stayed for two and a half years.

“In all those two and a half years, my old church never once contacted me to find out how I was doing. Where was all that Christian love and brotherhood?”

For years after his hospitalisation, Patrick was on medication. Some drugs lifted his mood, others were downers. The balance swung this way and that, and he never felt quite right.

“By 1998, I felt I had to do something for myself. Heal myself, so to speak. I had to RECLAIM my own happiness. It gradually dawned on me that I was happiest when I was gay. So why don’t I go back to a gay life?”

“I had by then lost touch with the gay community, or the places where they hung out. I didn’t know where to go. Somehow, by intuition perhaps, I went to Peace Centre — that shopping mall on Selegie Road. It had been quite a haunt even before. That day there, I saw this nice Malay guy … and from then on, you could say, yes, I knew I had found my centre again.”

* * * * * * * * * *

What did Patrick learn from those fourteen years of his life?

“The Church is never there for you when you need them most. The Gospel speaks of the power of love, but in the Church, you only find the love of power. Even in a small church, it’s incredible, the amount of politics.”

“It’s so amazing, how scripture was used to make me feel so corrupted, so horrible, so beyond help or redemption. How did they do that to me? By instilling guilt. Guilt can really torment you, but guilt is imposed by religion and society.”

And guilt often serves as a device for control.

“Most people are generally conformist,” Patrick pointed out, “and I can now understand people better when they try to conform but are also struggling against the controls. Guilt is very real. In my case, it drove me to breakdown.”

But amazed as Patrick was at how instilled guilt almost destroyed him, he was doubly amazed at how he managed “to make a quantum leap out of there,” by just choosing to be true to himself.

“I am amazed, from my own experience, how scriptures can be used to inculcate a sense of guilt, failure, depravity and corruptibility, when they should be used to bring the message of love of God for humankind in spite of our sinful ways. After the Great Flood destroying a wicked earth,” Patrick explained, “God said He would not destroy Man again in spite of his sinfulness. And the sign of the Rainbow in the sky was given as a promise, that God will love instead of deal harshly with sinful men (Genesis 9:12). Instead the Church says your sinfulness casts you away from God. That’s not right. God loves you in spite of your sinfulness.”

“You don’t have to do what the Church wants you to do. Do what God wants you to do. The Bible has undergone, too many times, the surgical hands of the Church. It was translated from Hebrew and Greek into modern languages especially ‘English’. So much so that the Bible now says what the Church wants it to say, rather than speak forth the original Word of God. My advice is that the time has come when we must follow our own hearts where the Spirit of God abides. It’s no coincidence that the Book Of Jeremiah says that in the last days nobody will try to tell his brother what to do, but instead a still small voice within each man will point him in the right direction.”

In closing, Patrick had this to say, “Right now, I only follow what is in my heart and I possess a peace that surpasses all understanding. If you want to share in this peace, then you too must follow the still small voice within you which is the Spirit of God. Never surrender your right and duty to listen to the voice of God for yourself and never let anyone deceive you that you are incapable of listening to the voice of God. That is not only deception, that is also the evil spirit of ‘control’.”

So my Dad says to me, “Son, you did your best. Besides, you can’t make a fish fly.” And Dad’s right. You can’t make a fish fly. But you could chuck a fish across the room, and for a few fleeting moments, it really believes it’s flying – until it smashes its head against the wall. – Peterson Toscano with his dad in ‘Fish Can’t Fly’.

Posted by: ratwoodies | September 28, 2007

Transitioning Barramundi

TRANSITIONING BARRAMUNDI

Several years ago I found myself standing on a walkway above a body of protect water looking down at some barramundi fish. They were enjoying a strong invigorating current stirred up by a flow of water toppling over a concrete damn designed to allow water to hurry over its wall after a heavy wet season shower. These barramundi that inhabit the waters of the Northern Territory of Australia are prized game fish. The ones only feet away were huge, may be nearing three foot in length with bulging sides, and I knew all of them to be female with their massive silver scales catching the sunlight. But not all people know of the amazing barramundi and the life changes it goes through underneath its shimmering exterior. Unfortunately not all people feel the need to find out about many wonderful things that are right under their very noses.

Staring into the water below I dreamt and prayed that one day more people would come to realize the similar wonders that hid within all gender variant people [indeed, wonders within all peoples on the planet]; just enough people to help us fight off the dangers and turn the tide of extinction; safe reserved waters far from baited hooks. To one day be seen with aw and wonder. To nurture a desire to preserve us, not only because it is every humans right to be treated with dignity, love and equality, but to be preserved so we can share with society all our stifled talents in a manner free of repulsion, hate and fear. Free of the endless tears, yes, the endless tears.

Over the past few months I had been facing more than the usual challenge of being a man with a female’s body. I had the title of ‘Sister’ given to females in my church and the ever increasing threat of excommunication from my church hung constantly over my head like the dark threatening clouds that literally gathered above me during the oppressive season of the wet. I hung over a railing to continue my observations and accepted the Creator’s unfathomable ways. I knew such meditation would diminish in some large way the relentless grief cradled within my heart and soul waiting patiently for the Almighty to remove it in His own time and way. God knew the barramundi and He therefore sure knew me and the torrents of tears shed by countless other transsexed that would fill amply a body of water just like the one these fish cruised casually within.

I longed to cruise through life in like manner, unhindered and free of the oppression that grew heavier with each passing day. But the reality for a gender-variant human like me was psychological and physical incarceration by humans no more important than me but far more influential. To presented myself as a man either verbally or visually meant being drawn up in a net and injuriously ripped out as apparently inferior in quality, strength of soul, mind and morals and fed to whatever shark happened by. But the barramundi in these safe waters gave me comfort, hope and reassurance. Though I was bruised and battered I was sure He would soon pluck me from the waters that held both seen and unseen dangers. Many years pass for the barramundi to reach its full potential and purpose in life having endured many dangers; not least that being eaten by predators mostly of the human kind. I was determined to endure and stay alive and reach my full potential that was the birth right of any human.

The Creator of all things designed these fish. For the Great Designer there is nothing impossible or unattainable to Him. In his creations He makes us aware of such creative power and the possibilities around us.

So what of the barramundi? It has an interesting life cycle. All barramundi are male in the first few years of their life but when the time is right and they reach an appropriate size at about seven years of age, they change to become female. As males they mate with the larger older females who were once their smaller size and same gender. They have the opportunity to become fathers and mothers.

In the Bible Jesus speaks of sparrows being important to God though of little monetary value; this being the case how much more important are his human children made in the image of himself. Matthew 10:29-31. “Have no fear: YOU are worth more than many sparrows.” Almighty God is neither male nor female and the angels are likewise. Mankind was originally created to be born male or female and a complement to one another. But man showed a desire to be independent from him who so lovingly created us, thus we have come to be born of various shades of gender and have many thorns of the flesh. Genesis 3:17b. …cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. Romans 8:22 …for we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.

As the Creator, Jehovah God is all seeing, all hearing, all feeling and all understanding. He has made some fish that will change their gender for reasons of survival and/or practicality. He has made the hermaphrodite snail and many plants that self pollinate. When a man is born in a woman’s body or a woman in a man’s form and some intersexed our Heavenly Father doesn’t balk in disgust or reel back in amazement. The variability of gender is nothing new to God; there is nothing we can teach or reveal to Him. Our scrambled DNA has borne Him no surprises. Instead, He holds out a hand of love and compassion that few humans can or will do. For Him nothing is impossible to help sustain those He loves despite the roars of many that would devour that which they fear or can’t control; anyone who is different or helpless and vulnerable. Job 42:2 “I have come to know you are able to do all things, and there is no idea that is unattainable to you.” For this reason I will accept the hand of comfort offered me.

Jeremiah 1: 4-10. And the word of Jehovah began to occur to me, saying: 5 “Before I was forming you in the belly I knew you, and before you proceeded to come forth from the womb I sanctified you. Prophet to the nations I made you.” 6 But I said: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here I actually do not know how to speak, for I am but a boy.” 7 And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Do not say, ‘I am but a boy.’ But to all those to whom I shall send you, you should go; and everything that I shall command you, you should speak. 8 Do not be afraid because of their faces, for ‘I am with you to deliver you,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.” 9 At that Jehovah thrust his hand out and caused it to touch my mouth. Then Jehovah said to me: “Here I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have commissioned you this day to be over the nations and over the kingdoms, in order to uproot and to pull down and to destroy and to tear down, to build and to plant.”

Father has shown the maligned transsexed the barramundi. He has put within its blue print gender change. Let us observe, know and accept the survival possibilities held out to us. His set time to put matters straight is near. Revelation 21:3-4.God himself with be with them [mankind]…he will wipe out every tear from their eyes… neither will there be mourning…outcry nor pain… for the former things have passed away.

Though we do not have an innate natural ability to change our bodies to align them with the gender of our brains we have available to us hormones and surgeries that our predecessors didn’t. These offer the transsexed transformation and the realization of their need to escape an inconceivable predicament incurred due to the ancestral blunder of Adam and Eve. This escape is not possible for many transsexed presently but will come. And like the barramundi fighting for its very life when hooked we must struggle to break the lines that would kill us. Struggle both for our self and others; unlike the barramundi we have gifts within to help break these deadly lines; two of the greatest gifts given if we ask are courage and wisdom fired by a love of self and others.

Luke 21: 15…for I will give YOU a mouth and wisdom, which all YOUR opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute. Mat 7:7 “keep on asking and it will be given YOU; keep on seeking, and YOU will find: keep on knocking, and it will be opened to YOU. For everyone seeking receives, and everyone seeing finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened. Indeed, who is the man among YOU whom his son asks for bread – he will not hand him a stone will he? Or, perhaps, he will ask for a fish – he will not hand him a serpent, will he?

‘But you are not fish!!’say those who would have the transsexed condemned to death physically, emotionally and spiritually. No we are not fish. We are more valuable than fish and our survival and happiness more cherished by Him who created us and mourns with us in our time of pain and sorrow. We are children of God and therefore more important than the sparrows in Jesus’ illustration. Does not Father even kept count of the number of hairs upon our head? For the transsexed it is always a time to survive and swim up strong currents of opposition that would have us swept away with the debris down into some unknown body of water to sink to the bottom buried under thick mire. But like the fish, the snails and the plants, our Creator knows our needs more than any man; more than even our own self. Jeremiah. 10:23. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his own step. Luke 21 18-19. And yet not a hair of YOUR heads will by any means perish. By endurance on YOUR part YOU will acquire YOUR souls.

We, therefore, knowing the wonderful shades of gender created by the Great Designer on purpose as seen around us, continue to proudly advance against strong currents with strength and determination. Follow, like another admirable creation the salmon, upstream to meet a deadline to spawn and take our rightful place in society as productive individuals with much to contribute if given the opportunity.

We are acceptable whether transitioned like the barramundi or not. We are loved, accepted and cherished by our Father, for we are a product of scrambled DNA or some other influence yet unknown. God doesn’t tread down and destroy the down hearted and crushed in order to please those of mankind who have judged their fellow man. (Isaiah 42:3; 57:15) Judgmental, lack luster humans, who refuse to see beneath skin and fail to realize we all have the same colored blood coasting through our veins and who refuse to peer into the depths of another’s heart, mind and soul; controlled by an unfounded fear that they might be swallowed up by some darkness. Wearing blinkers they are unable to see that one day soon they will be consumed by their own hate and arrogance that they have kept alive by twisting holy writings and, by putting the words of man in the mouth of the Almighty, will come back and eat them up.

1 Samuel 16:7. But Jehovah said to Samuel: “Do not look at his appearance and the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For not the way man sees [is the way God sees], because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.”

Let those who feel they have a privileged insight into the mind of God not fool themselves. For those placed on high due to their outward appearance are and will be rejected along with those who beat those truly reflecting the personality of Christ and his Heavenly Father. Revilers, slanders, liars, haters and the judgmental are far removed from God.

Our Creator has the exclusive right to regulate our lives and lead us with His spirit of understanding. He is our damn allowing just enough water in and out to prevent the waters of life and knowledge from drying up. We are watered in Father’s due time and nourished with what we need in the right quantities and in the most appropriate way. When we are transformed like the barramundi within safe waters we find peace of mind; when we struggle up that relentless current that would seem to never end we produce life; when we live truth we find love that only a God of love, wisdom and compassion can provide. Psm119:105. Indeed, Father, ‘Your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our roadway.’

Let no man tell us other wise.

Sam Davies.
FTM Minister of Jehovah.

Posted by: Yuki Choe | September 27, 2007

The Bible Says So (Part Two: The Earth, The Sun).

Eartharoundsunophobia period: before the 17th Century:

 

One of the greatest astronomers of the world, Galileo Galilee was jailed by religious authorities, and because of his assertion that the Earth goes around the sun and not otherwise.

 

The statement released by the Christian fundamentalist group, who was conducting ‘research’ at that time called the Qualifiers, declared the infamous statement about the idea that the Sun is stationary: ‘Foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts many places the sense of Holy Scripture.’ God knows what would have happened if we had more of these ministries parroting more rubbish then.

 

“Joshua 10: 13

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, As it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down for a full day.” 

It is obvious here in this verse that the sun was a movable object that suddenly stopped in the middle of the earth’s sky. As we know now, even if the sun DID steadies itself in the middle of sky, it would have been the earth that could have stopped, not the sun. This was the Word Of God and cannot be disputed back before the 16th century. But are we ready now to stake claim that science is wrong, all the media is just painting an illusion of the Milky Way galaxy, and the Sun really goes around the Earth?

 

“1 Chronicles 16:30

Tremble before him, all the earth The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.”

 

“Psalm 93:1

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;

The Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength, The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.”

 

“Psalm 96.10

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the people with equity.”

 

“Psalm 104:5

He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

 Four verses stated very clearly that the earth is firmly established in its foundations and cannot be moved! 

The world, a gigantic spherical rock, is moving in two ways, all the time. It rotates on its axis based on the north pole and the south pole, and it goes around the orbit around the sun. The Bible cannot be wrong, therefore should we fear the kinds of science textbooks they are bringing home? Or are we willing to admit now that seriously some parts of the Bible is just not applicable in today’s time because it is only the inspired Word Of God?

 

“Ecclesiastes 1:5

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.” 

Here the sun is described like a terrier, hurrying up into the sky, then hurrying down, then hurrying up again. This is the obscenely coherent Word Of God. So are we going to start a ministry to teach about this now, and say that those who disagree with this fact are pro-science or ex-Christian, that are not telling the truth?

 

Or to put it Edmund Smith (Real Love Ministry) style:

Fact: The Earth is rotating and at the same time traveling around the Sun.

Truth: The Earth has foundations and is immovable, while the Sun travels around it.

 

Or how about another way of Christian conservatives talk; when we landed on the moon and saw that the earth was spherical and moving, it is an illusion created by Satan. We are blinded from the truth and the earth is actually still flat, grounded and not moving.

 

Well, it is the truth, as The Bible Says So!

Posted by: Yuki Choe | September 27, 2007

The Bible Says So (Part One: Introduction).

The Holy Trinity consists of the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit. But for some sects of Christianity, it had become the Holy Five-O with additions of The Religion, The Bible. The last of the five are for the Bible worshippers. These are people who believe that The Bible is The Word Of God itself. It is the far cry from the truth of the Bible as the inspired Word Of God.

For example, when Paul (formerly known as Saul), writes to his son Timothy, he is writing a letter to another fellow human being. Paul was inspired by his own personal convictions in God in what he wrote, similarly to what he wrote to the Romans and the Corinthians. Paul is not God.

But those who worship the Bible, confuses Paul’s words as God’s words. To this end, cherry picking Bible verses to be used to condemn situations they find intolerable happens. The same way it is used to condemn homosexuals. The amazing thing is the amount of words off the Bible that seemed to be virtually ignored for convenience’s sake, some that even God himself demanded a death sentence.

This is a presentation of a list of verses, sentences and passages in the Bible concerning most of the things that are taken lightly in today’s culture in the name of comfort. And some because of change of times. There is no denying that these are the very words from the Bible, therefore there could never be an excuse for it. Which is why it is believed the Biblical intolerance towards homosexuals would one day come to past.

There are also those attempts to go further as to justify some why verses from the Bible that are in non-effect today. Some of the excuses given are:

– Some parts of the Bible cannot be applied today because of different culture and times.
– Some parts of the Bible are only applicable to certain groups like the Jews.

Funny thing is there are still no justifications from anyone on why the Bible is pro-slavery. But most Christians claim the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word Of God.

It is very interesting however, to note that homosexuals are not given the same justifications. The general rule applies here now. If some parts the Bible is not relevant for today, why not all of it? Why pick on homosexuals? If some laws or verses only apply for different groups of people so to speak, that would mean all of the sentences from the Bible that is used to condemn homosexuals, are actually invalid!

The Bible is supposed to be the ultimate guide in knowing God is our own personal journey; it is therefore disappointing that it is being used as a weapon of oppression. To many, Christ represents hope for mankind in times of turmoil; unfortunately, there exists religion worshippers bent on taking away hope from a specific community, just because of differences in people, from blacks and now sexuality. It has happened before, as we will examine Bible in this article’s next part.

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