Dixon’s Book – Part 3

Views on Homosexuality

This is another example of what I believe is Ada Dixon’s misguided, unscientific approach to counseling. She claimed in her book, Overcoming and Dealing With a World of Abuse, that sexual addiction “manifests itself in various ways, including promiscuity, pornography, and homosexuality.” That statement is apparently Dixon’s own belief. It isn’t attributed to any outside source, but is embedded in a paragraph about God creating sex for man and woman to use within marriage. She also quotes Corinthians 6:9-11, and asserts that those “former homosexuals changed when they came to Christ.” She also compared homosexuals to the other reprobates in the Apostle Paul’s list of sinners. There are a number of quotes throughout her book which make it clear it isn’t a book grounded in science.

Dixon also briefly referred to gay conversion therapy in the book. Gay conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, has been completely debunked, but is still clung to by some Christians as if it really works. Dixon referenced two organizations, Exodus International and Another Chance Ministries. Both of these organizations insisted that homosexuality could be “cured,” and, according to Dixon’s book, both of them espoused the thought (nonsensical and dangerous in my opinion) that homosexuality can be born of childhood trauma among other factors.

Exodus International, which was founded in 1976, has since closed, with some of the founders apologizing because they had been unable to switch homosexuals to a straight orientation (because they eventually realized that it couldn’t be done). Michael Bussee, one of the founders of Exodus International, and Gary Cooper, an Exodus ministry leader, left Exodus in 1979 to be with each other. That was twenty-five years before Dixon’s book was published, but she cited them anyway. Bussee and Cooper also participated in a commitment ceremony in 1982 (twenty-two years before the book was published), and lived together until Cooper’s death in 1991 (thirteen years before the book was published), but Dixon still referenced their work as valid. Why was she still citing their flawed philosophy as late as 2004, long after the founders had abandoned it? Also, in 2012, the president of Exodus at the time, Alan Chambers, announced at a Gay Christian Network conference that conversion therapy didn’t work, and a year later Exodus International disbanded. Chambers, at the conference, said that “…99.9% of them [people Exodus worked with] have not experienced a change in their orientation or have gotten to a place where they could say that they could never be tempted or are not tempted in some way or experience some level of same-sex attraction.”

Dixon also mentioned a couple, John and Anne Paulk, and a 1998 article about them in Newsweek magazine. John was the chairman of Exodus International at the time. Newsweek quoted the organization as saying, “Boys with absent fathers, girls with absent mothers, get stuck in developmental limbo and seek masculine or feminine fulfillment through sex with members of their own gender,” claiming that homosexuality is a developed negative trait. The Paulks described themselves as “ex-gays,” and were married for 20 years while they posed as an example of how the curse of homosexuality could be overcome. In 2013, when the couple divorced, John Paulk admitted that conversion therapy doesn’t work. Anne, unfortunately, hadn’t learned anything, and became the executive director of the Restored Hope Network, an even more radical version of what Exodus had been doing.

In 2009, the American Psychological Association (APA) announced, as their official position, that professional therapists should not tell their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through reparative therapy. As early as 1973, the APA opposed portraying homosexuality as a mental disorder. In 1994, they said that “societal ignorance and prejudice about same gender sexual orientation put some gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning individuals at risk for presenting for ‘conversion’ treatment due to family or social coercion and/or lack of information,” and adopted as their official position “that the American Psychological Association opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation.”

In 2015, the APA issued the following statement:

Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers together, representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured.”

Why didn’t Dixon accept the position of the most respected organizations in her field? Her website states that she is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and of the Christian Counselors of Texas. She doesn’t list affiliations with any other esteemed psychological, scientific, or counseling organizations, which is understandable since they disagree with her flawed stance on religion being able to cure homosexuality.

Read the primer put together by the APA and twelve other organizations interested in setting the record straight.

You can’t pray away the gay.

Michael Sirois

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