Bíblia de Estudos e-Sword

sábado, 29 de agosto de 2009

"Não tendes lido que o Criador os fez desde o princípio homem e mulher" (Jesus Cristo)

Jewish Psychiatrist, Influenced by C.S. Lewis,
Says Gays Can Change

An Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Satinover

By David W. Virtue in London

Jeffrey Burke Satinover, M.D. is a Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry. He is also Diplomate, American Board of Neurology and Diplomate C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich. To cap off his distinguished career, he has earned a Ph.D. in Physics and is the author of "Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth". He teaches math and statistics at Kings College, a Christian institution in New York and has a private clinical practice. He also has a research position in Zurich, Switzerland.

I sat down with this distinguished psychiatrist, physicist and author at the Sex and the City Conference in London, a conference put on by Anglican Mainstream (www.anglican-mainstream.net) designed to show that reparative therapy for homosexuals and lesbians, if voluntarily entered into without coercion, does work. I saw it first hand and will attest to that fact.

Satinover is a gracious man, humble, erudite, non-partisan, a skeptic about faith, but acknowledges that his view of human nature grew directly from his reading the works of Anglican layman, scholar and author, Clive Staples Lewis.

"I have been a fan of CS Lewis for many years. I am Jewish but I could see his approach to spirituality to be very sophisticated psychologically and I have often thought to myself that it would be great to actually take his work and translate it into a clinical approach." Then he discovered that author and teacher Leanne Payne had already done a lot of that work. She is an Evangelical Anglican.

Then I asked, since he feels that Lewis understood human nature, why he is not a Christian. He smiled winsomely. "My worldview is confused and eclectic. Yes, I am Jewish, but my worldview is not coherent." A short distance from us sits Rabbi Arthur Goldberg, an orthodox Jew whose JONAH clinic in New Jersey treats homosexuals with same-sex attractions. He employs Evangelical, Mormon and Jehovah's Witness therapists at his clinic. He wisely nods his head as if to say he understands Satinover's dilemma.

"I am not attracted to creeds, but I am not the slightest bit repulsed by those who do. I am very comfortable in a setting with orthodox Jews, Catholics and Evangelical Christians. You and they are men and women of profound conviction and I feel completely at home with you."

When I asked what his central message is with regard to homosexuality, having written a book on the subject, he said that he believes homosexuality is potentially changeable, maybe not for everybody, but for people who are highly motivated.

VOL: How did you get involved in the issue of homosexuality?

Satinover: I had been reading Leanne Payne's "The Healing Presence". The book describes a sophisticated system of depth psychology from a religious context, where psychological insights are united with healing prayer. After striking up a correspondence with Leanne, she invited me to a conference where I met a large number of people who had left the lifestyle and changed their sexuality. There I met hundreds of people struggling with that issue, and many who had successfully emerged on the other side and were married with children. As I got to know them, I found them to be quite remarkable. The struggle to be healed had left an indelible imprint. I saw a humility, an empathy and a fearlessness about life. They knew exactly what it meant to stand up for what they believed in, since the struggle to become who they truly were had exacted such a cost in suffering.

"Since then I have met plenty of people who have moved away from same sex attractions. Not of all of it has been good. Some of it has been coercive. That is the bad side and some of the churches have gotten into this. They will never succeed. One has to be highly motivated and not overtaken by external pressure and shame. There must be a core conviction to lead your life differently." Shame and guilt are not good motivators, he says.

What got him looking into the subject of homosexuality, he says, was his search for truth, which resulted in his book, "Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth". What I saw changed my mind and my time and conventional repulsion for the subject.

In his book he wrote, "In sum, it is a simple and sobering fact that no society that has sanctioned unconstrained sexuality has long survived."

His book explodes three myths: First, as a matter of biology, homosexuality is an innate genetically determined aspect of the human body. Secondly, as a matter of psychology, homosexuality is irreversible. Thirdly, as a matter of sociology, homosexuality is normal. His book also explores the tactics of intimidation by gay activists.

Currently, Satinover said a recent article in a psychiatric publication informed us that 30% of all 20-year-old homosexual men would be HIV- positive or dead by the age of thirty. You would think that the objective, ethical medical approach would be: let's use anything that works to try to take these people out of their posture of risk. If it means getting them to wear condoms, fine. If it means getting them to give up anal intercourse, fine. If it means getting them to give up homosexuality, fine. That last intervention is the one intervention that is absolutely taboo.

In America, truth has become subject to terrible political pressure. The question isn't just homosexuality, but rather, freedom from all sexual constraint. This has been an issue for civilization for thousands of years.

"I think many people have a sense, especially in America, that too many barriers have come down. We now have so little of a moral compass that we're really completely at sea. We're awash in the tide of unconstrained instinctive behaviors which are all being labeled '"okay'" because nobody really has a sense, any more, as to what's right and what's wrong. In Joseph Campbell's words, 'Follow your bliss.' This has led us into a growing barbarism.

"Now we are now looking at a generation of young people who are exposed to a sometimes explicit, and sometimes implicit set of values that says that homosexuality is perfectly okay--it's just a complement to heterosexuality.

"I also believe that the debate over homosexuality has been profoundly affected by the current culture of complaint. Many, many areas of political life, social life and scientific life today are being profoundly influenced by the various competing claims and cross-claims to victim hood."

VOL: You have a private practice; can you tell us something of the dynamics of what goes on in your practice?

Satinover: I am a practicing psychiatrist and I have a Ph. D. in physics. With all my travels, my practice is small. I keep an interest in societal cultural changes taking place. I also go to VOL'S website to find out what is going on in your church and the Culture Wars.

VOL: I am honored that you do, Dr. Satinover. Tell me about the process whereby people come to you seeking help for same sex attractions.

Satinover: Typically, I get a call from a devastated family. They have heard from one of their kids that they are gay. Usually, what the parents want is a magic bullet, along the lines what can you do make sure that our son isn't gay or make sure he changes. I explain there is nothing they can do to make their child change. Be loving, the child knows and understands that. If the son is living with them, I invite them all in to talk with me. The goal is to understand what is happening and to keep their relationships intact. In some cases, the dynamic is that the parents have half dragged the kid, forcing and coercing him to see me. This, more often than not, mirrors a long- standing pattern of bad family dynamics. In these cases, I will be their child's ally. Occasionally, a child will see that the pathology resides in the parent. Sometimes, the father admits he is the problem.

VOL: Can this be overdone?

Satinover: Yes, it can be overdone. Remorse and feelings can be exaggerated along with feelings of responsibility. Saying you have been wrong can often relieve one of the responsibility of going forward into the future. The No. 1 task for a parent is not necessarily to come up with who is to blame.

VOL: Does one choose to be gay?

Satinover: To say that no one chooses to be gay is true. They find themselves with it. Homosexuality, however, is not genetically traceable. No one is compelling one to be gay. It is false to say that they have chosen this.

VOL: So is change really possible?

Satinover: Yes, change is possible. In almost any human condition people do have the choice to make the attempt to do something about it. If you have an addiction, you have a series of choices that led them to it. No one says I want to be a heroin addict, but once they find themselves in the situation, they need help. They can make a distinction in wanting to change and they may or may not succeed.

VOL: What about Christian conversion. Do you rule that out?

Satinover: I have a confused spiritual point of view myself. I have worked out my own way of understanding these things. Some people pray and it makes great sense.

VOL: So, you are not opposed to the idea that faith can make a difference?.

Satinover: Not at all. Look at all the great Western art inspired by people of faith. Western Art has been enormously worshipful of its creator. People who write off faith forget about Chagall's Windows and the great art that has flowed from the Christian Faith. Yet I am confused about faith. I am a skeptic. In fact I am skeptical of my own skepticism. I am not involved in any religious practice, but I am very aware of people of religious faith like yourself. I like hanging around people like you. (laughter)

I view addictive behaviors through a simple lens that I view almost all human behavioral patterns that cause stress through. If people are hostile to biblical language and what they think of sin, then for them it is an arbitrary authority dictum. The ancients used worship to point to behaviors that are pleasurable. There is always the power to become dominant.

VOL: What about the cure rate for homosexuals?

Satinover: I know no meaningful numbers. My population sample is totally biased. People who choose to work with me frequently abandon their same-sex attractions. I have seen a substantial number of people and experienced a high degree of success and I am happy about that. I have also seen some degree of failure.

VOL: What does success look like?

Satinover: It is a slow process. The greatest likelihood of success is having a relationship with me as their therapist and sticking with it. It may take a few years. There are a wide range of outcomes from no significant change to complete change.

VOL: Do you work with any organizations?

Satinover: I have worked with the Roman Catholic organization COURAGE, an apostolate of the church whose purpose is to minister to those with same-sex attractions and their loved ones. If a certain group of people are called to celibacy, it must be a calling. If it is not a calling, it is only an option. I get calls from people with large families who had started straight out and those who never got married or who have a mistaken fantasy that marriage will cure them. We will not deal with people at a superficial level with a brief amount of therapy. If homosexuality is not dealt with in a deep and thorough way, it sets the marriage up for disaster.

VOL: You wrote an article called the "Trojan Couch" in which you set out to show how the Mental Health Associations Misrepresent Science. Can you tell us about this?

Satinover: The "Trojan Couch" details explicitly the misrepresentation of science about the causes and roots of homosexuality. Some of my psychiatric and psychological colleagues have woven for themselves their own set of illusory robes of authority, and for the past 35 years have been proclaiming doctrines in the public square that depend upon the authority that derives from the public's belief that these robes exist. In particular, they have claimed to the Supreme Court decisions pertaining to same-sex marriage have taken it for granted. The diagnostic change that in 1973 removed homosexuality as a formal disorder from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a change that many now accept as simply indisputable in spite of the fact that it was based wholly on fiction. You can read the full article here: http://www.narth.com/docs/TheTrojanCouchSatinover.pdf

VOL: Do we need a spiritual or moral framework for our behaviors?

Satinover: Yes, we do. You can't get around those arguments unless you're actually willing to say that promiscuity is an inferior way of life. You need to be able to say that some certain standard is better. If we can't settle on a shared higher vision, then it's amazing what we must be prepared to accept. For example, there is actually a growing body of literature in sexological journals arguing that the psychological and emotional benefits of promiscuity more than outweigh the risks to life from AIDS. So that is the fundamental flaw of psychology--it is meaningless without the backdrop of a framework of values. There I believe homosexuality--like narcissism--is best viewed as a spiritual and moral illness. Now psychology as a discipline must step up to the table and accept responsibility for the extent to which it has been propagating an amoral ethos. Dostoevsky put it best in The Grand Inquisitor: "Without God, everything is permissible."

VOL: Thank you, Dr. Satinover.


quarta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2009


Dr. Norman Geisler traz um interessante argumento a respeito da posição teísta, como ele coloca em dez passos a seguir:
1. Algumas coisas inegávelmente existem.
2. A minha existência é possível.
3. Qualquer coisa que tenha a possibilidade de não existir é corretamente levada a existir por outra.
4. Não pode haver um retrocesso infinito das correntes causais da existência.
5. Logo, uma primeira causa não causada da minha corrente existência existe.
6. Esta causa não causada tem de ser infinita, imutável, todo-poderosa, onisciente e absolutamente perfeita.
7. Este ser infinitamente perfeito é apropriadamente chamado "Deus".
8. Logo, Deus existe.
9. Este Deus que existe é idêntico ao Deus descrito nas Escrituras cristãs.
10. Logo, o Deus descrito na Bíblia existe.

Algumas pessoas tem anunciado algo como o Big Bang, uma existência sem causa, uma origem do nada, de tal maneira que não poderia haver um outro Big Bang e esta idéia é primáriamente atraente ainda mais porque esta idéia deste Big Bang assume o tradicional papel de Deus e recebe uma auréola e parece eliminar as perguntas normais que costuma-se fazer de todo evento físico. Estamos a beira do misticismo científico. Neste ponto é importante salientar que então falar em um ser eternamente auto-subsistente não é mais tão improvável do que um evento com auto-subsistencia emergindo de causa alguma.

É possível considerar ainda que admitir um universo assim quase personalizado, pede uma realidade mais que apenas física ou natural, mas algo com um caráter e completamente diferente daquilo ou de quem todo o universo físico deriva. Assim, a coisa em si mesma não tem competência para criar algo e se a coisa em si mesmo não tem como criar outra coisa a idéia permite e até exige que admitamos que uma realidade não física seja a causa primeira de tudo. Uma causa inteligente passa a ter uma inteligente sustentação e é plausível que a chamemos de DEUS.