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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Abuse, Christian Parenting and The Question "Can You Pray The Gay Away?"

In reading the reviews of Pray The Gay Away a few people have brought up questions about the way Jack and Andrew were treated by their parents. These boys go through a lot. Some of the things that happen in Pray The Gay Away may seem farfetched. Parents locking the pantry, kids being watched like a hawk, all liberty taken away until the kids submit. Only crazy parents would do stuff like that. Yes, that's true.

For years I've been involved with Christian home school groups and churches. I've met all types of people. I knew the family that had the lock on their pantry and their refrigerator and freezer. The family that didn't allow their children to talk to other children unless they were approved by the parents, yes they were in one of the groups. The family that locked their eleven-year-old son in his room and forced him to stay there even when they had guest over, knew them. There were parents who did all sorts of things to put distance in their relationship with their kids. These kids were taught that they must obey their parents in all circumstances, even if that obedience meant the child would be harmed.

Yes, some of these actions are so close to abuse it's scary. But many Christian parenting books and programs promote abuse, encouraging the parent to force the child into obedience in all situations. This blind obedience warps the child into thinking that they are doing wrong when that is far from the truth. Blind obedience from these children promotes the parents and pastor to God like status, leaving the children at risk. Children are induced to perform sexual activities with pastors and parents and are told that it's biblical. Those instances are less common, but when the news media picks up on a story like this the population at large is horrified, and rightly so. But the abuses don't stop there and they may be less horrifying, but many kids brought up in these environments have learned to accept the abuse willingly, believing that they are defective.

Gay children brought up by Christian parents are so manipulated by their parents into believing that they are flawed that they have no ability to stand up for themselves. They take the abuse their parents offer, believing that they have done something wrong. Many gay children in Christian environments try hard to hide the truth, praying for God to change them. As more states accept gay marriage and more people in positions of authority come out of the closet the pressure on these kids lessens. However, there are still kids out there, lost in the lies that pastors and parents tell them, thinking that there is something wrong with them. For those kids, they only see one option. This book is for them. This book is for those people who are wondering what it's like to grow up gay in a family that doesn't accept you. This book is for parents of gay kids wanting to know how they can help. It's also for those who wonder if you can pray the gay away. The answer is no, you can't pray the gay away and being hateful towards your kids isn't helping anyone. And finally, this book is for people who embrace love and goodness. Because in the end, love is what matters most and the gender of the couple in love doesn't matter, because love is love.


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