Christians oppose Northern Ireland ‘conversion therapy’ ban

20 April 2021

This week, the Northern Ireland Assembly is debating a motion to outlaw so called ‘conversion therapy’. If a ban is put in place, this could have a serious effect on Christian freedoms.

‘I should be free to follow my faith’

Mike Davidson, director of Core Issues Trust spoke to Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio Ulster about the kind of therapy and counselling that he and his organisation offer to those with unwanted sexual attractions.

Mike was also able to give his own testimony about seeking change from homosexual attractions with the help of counselling, in order to remain in a committed heterosexual marriage. When asked whether he was simply suppressing his ‘true self’ he answered: “one man’s suppression is another man’s discipline, and I have a faith; I do believe the Biblical orthodox view on sexual ethics is the one that I want to follow.”

20 April 2021
BBC Radio Ulster, The Nolan Show

‘Conversion therapy’ is an ‘ideological term used to push out Christian teaching’

Christian Concern’s chief executive Andrea Williams debated Andrew Cunning of Left Side Up, on the effects a ban would have on church culture.

In the heated debate, in which Andrea was frequently interrupted, she argued that taking away people’s freedom to choose to move away from unwanted sexual attractions is ‘disingenuous’. The issue, she argued, is that nobody can define ‘conversion therapy’: “It’s an ideological term coined in order to push out this voice of what Christianity actually says about sexual purity. It’s loaded so that those who want to access help … they can’t.” But ultimately, the Church must hold onto the truth: that any sexual activity outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage is sinful. This is what the Bible teaches; we must be free to uphold that teaching, she said.

20 April 2021
BBC Radio Ulster

‘We will not be dictated to by the rainbow society’

Mike also spoke to BBC Radio Ulster about why a ban would be so dangerous. He explained that what people are labelling ‘conversion therapy’ is a mixed bag – but what Core Issues Trust (CIT) practices is standard therapy and counselling. This should never be criminalised. He explained that the assumption that people are ‘born gay’ and sexuality cannot change is the lie that is “undergirding this debate” – but this theory is not backed by science. “We cannot simply wipe out people’s freedom of belief in terms of what they understand of their own experience of homosexuality,” he explained, “we will not be dictated to by the rainbow society.”

When asked if CIT tells those it helps that homosexuality is wrong, Mike answered: “No, we listen to what it is they have come in for – why are they coming [for counselling]? Usually they have had enough of [identifying as] gay; they’ve tried it, they’ve lived the lifestyle, it doesn’t work for them and they are unhappy. They’re not saying that should be everybody’s experience – we’re not saying that should be everybody’s experience – it’s just that they want to go in a different direction.”

20 April 2021
BBC Radio Ulster

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