Thursday, May 6, 2010

I need help with my luggage. Another scandal

In the last few days, another scandal broke regarding homosexuality and the Christian right. In short, George Rekers, a Baptist minister who provided testimony against gays, served on the Board of NARTH (National Association of Rehabilitation and Treatment of Homosexuality), and on the board of a predecessor to Focus on the Family was seen with a sex worker who advertised on RENTBOY.COM. The unfolding discussion can easily be Googled on the net.

The focus of my blog is on three parts.

First I feel anger and frustration at the ongoing hypocrisy of members in the Christian Right. A long laundry list is found here. Sadly, the frustration is often expressed through the comment “here’s another one.”

Second, I do have compassion for Dr. Rekers. Here is a man who has denied a major part of his identity for all of his life, only to have the issue exposed in a scandal. Dr. Rekers' behavior can easily be understood as a form of psychological defense: reaction formation --attack the parts of my life that I hate. His stance against homosexuality over his lifetime takes on a new understanding in light of the scandal. It is easy to see how his avoidance grows over time.

Third, I want to use Dr. Rekers’ experience to highlight the need for personal sexual health in the treatment of sexual compulsivity. (While I don't label Dr. Reker's behavior as sexually compulsivity, I do want to acknowledge how this defense is sometimes present in individuals who do struggle with sexual compulsivity.) A component of sexual health is to be able to talk about all aspects of your sexuality. The conversation doesn’t need to occur in the national press, but I stress the importance of talking about sexuality with your support network. Needless to say, sexual health implies the congruence between your identity and behavior. Please review the recent conversations on integrity. In promoting sexual health, my hope is that you can find that congruence. If it isn’t there, please seek help and support.

I found the euphemism on Andrew Sullivan’s Blog “The Daily Dish.”

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