Assembly member Evan Low (D-Cupertino), Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, has recently introduced Assembly Bill 2943, declaring “homosexual conversion therapy” a fraudulent and therefore unlawful practice in the state of California.
Advertising or practicing such therapy would be fraudulent practice under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and treated as consumer fraud. As a lawyer of the Alliance Defending Freedom noted, “the breadth of this censorship is staggering.” This bill not only limits personal choices at the deepest level but closes off debate regarding the nature of existence.
Speaking of fraud, the CA bill is based almost entirely on what some consider to be a fraudulent report of the American Psychological Association Task Force of 2009, entitled: “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.” (The page numbers in this text refer to the full report, which you can download here, on the right side of the webpage.)
A now deceased, highly respected clinical psychologist, Joseph Nicolosi (who saw hundreds of homosexual clients in his long career and saw many of them abandon their unwanted homosexual desires), wrote an essay on the APA report entitled “APA Task Force Report—A Mockery of Science.”
In this article he points out a series of scientific anomalies:
- The Task Force was composed entirely of activists in gay causes.
- In choosing members for this committee, the APA rejected the application of every practitioner of sexual-reorientation therapy.
- Prior to any research, the committee stated as “scientific fact” that homosexual attractions and behavior are no different from those of heterosexuality.
- The Task Force did not study individuals who reported treatment success.
This report by the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States, knew what it would find before it began and thus concluded what the members had presupposed, namely that same-sex attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality. In other words, they do not indicate either mental or developmental disorders. This deeply flawed report recommended “that researchers and practitioners investigate…treatments for sexual minorities that do not aim to alter sexual orientation” (7). This conclusion is what AB 2943 now proposes as state law.
Denial of therapy for those who seek it is hardly “democratic,” especially since therapy works in a number of cases. Reparative therapist, Dr. David Pickup, a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor, recently declared in public that every week, at the end of the counseling process, he sees once-homosexual men delivered from homoerotic feelings. Dr. Pickup lectured at the Nov, 2017 MassResistance Teens4Truth Conference in Ft. Worth, TX.
If the bill is applied, such therapy as that of Dr. Pickup or Dr. Nicolosi will be punishable by law: such is the power of this ideology and its intention to silence all opposition. Based on a mockery of science, the bill will become a mockery of Constitutional law. Why? Read on.
Kevin Snider, of the Pacific Justice Institute, a lawyer and professing Christian, sees where all this is going. He cites Supreme Court Justice Jackman who wrote in 1943:
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be the orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
Snider concludes: “This bill will suck the state deeper into the black hole of political and religious orthodoxy.” The great danger is that the state, in classic Marxist fashion, and in the name of psychological science, will take on the religious role of defining the “true” mystery of human life and will impose that definition on other religious views of human life, punishing by the power of the state those who disagree. A totalitarian state always claims religious authority. Marx claimed that “Communism begins where atheism begins.” A few elements will show just how ultimately “non-scientific” and perversely religious this approach is.
- In its report, the APA includes a “Resolution Rejecting Intelligent Design as Scientific and Reaffirming Support for Evolutionary Theory” (19). This resolution is completely sure that there is no original divine rationality. It puts in its place chance evolutionary irrationality, and then expects one to accept this explanation on the basis of totally believable human rationality. The resolution, trying to sound objectively scientific, is in fact a religious affirmation of monumental faith, and a prodigious sign of human hubris, especially since scientists know so little about origins. How could one keep a straight face and even threaten punishment for those who refuse such a preposterously silly argumentation? As human beings, we are faced with only two logical choices: Oneism (the material cosmos miraculously, by accident, creates itself) or Twoism (an intelligent, personal Creator made the cosmos and is separate from all things created).
- A similar religious commitment is expressed in the report’s understanding of ethics. It declares that counselors “strive to provide interventions that are consistent with current ethical standards.” By this, the committee means standards based on an evolutionary, changing view of ethics. One is forced to ask: Who decides? Who establishes what is ethical? How can the notion of ethics exist in an impersonal, evolving universe? These are massive religious questions that go unanswered by the APA report.
- The APA, seeking to show a certain openness, admits that “psychology can explore and understand religious beliefs and faith in an evidence-based and respectful manner.” It even says: “psychology has no legitimate function” in “arbitrating matters of faith and theology” or to “adjudicate religious or spiritual tenets.” However, the APA report seems to weigh in on one side of the religious debate about homosexuality, arguing that while some religious options see homosexuality as a sin, a “growing body of evidence” suggests that other “religious denominations’ beliefs and practices have changed over time, reflecting evolving scientific and civil rights perspectives on homosexuality and sexual orientation” (17).
Here, we find “science” adjudicating religions according to whether they agree or disagree with the evolutionary psychology, which has “proven” that homosexuality is normal. A religion is valid if it expresses “tolerance;” it is to be silenced if it expresses “prejudice.”
The APA report, on which the proposed California law is based, does recognize worldview differences and identifies two:
- “Some religions give priority to telic congruence (i.e., living consistently within one’s valuative goals) but that life-style “produces stigma and shame” (16).
- “Affirmative and multicultural models of LGBT psychology give priority to organismic congruence (i.e., living with a sense of wholeness in one’s experiential self),” giving “priority to the unfolding of developmental processes, including self-awareness and personal identity” (17).
In some odd way, the APA report is accurate. Theologically, these two religious options are the only ones on offer. One worldview, Twoism, presupposes a world with a telos—an established goal given to it by an all-wise, personal Creator, who made human identity in his own image and for his glory. The other, Oneism, is its own arbiter, needing only to have congruence with itself. Human beings are autonomous and self-defining, unhindered by the “stigma and shame” that answering to a holy God entails. In the words of the report, this second worldview represents “Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity, including self-determination, [which] is the process by which a person controls or determines the course of her or his own life” (6).
The deep conflict between these two views of existence is more precisely and accurately described by the Bible: either people self-define by “worshiping and serving creation” or they conform their identity to God’s image by “worshiping and serving the Creator” (Romans 1:25). This is ground zero for the definition of life. You cannot get more religious than to define life! This same biblical text immediately states in verse 26: “For this reason…,” then describes logically how the practice of homosexuality, as an embodied expression of the worship of creation and the self, is the denial of God the Creator. AB 2943 is not as innocent or limited as it might first appear.
The question is not whether worldview is involved. Everyone puts the world together using a worldview based on a religious stance of faith. The report itself implies this by showing the two possible ways of approaching the homosexuality issue. “Non-religious” worldviews claim to be objective and scientific, but they are ultimately religious because they have to create an overarching view of existence that cannot be proven by our human minds. Can you get your mind around the fact that there are at least one hundred billion galaxies? We need an overarching, religious view of existence that can only be expressed in a cautious and humble way.
The question posed by AB2943 is whether the state has the right to impose on each citizen, under threat of punishment, a worldview of pure materialism. Christian believers will no longer have a legal right to their own worldview. If the state does this, we will find ourselves living either in a new form of oppressive totalitarian Marxism (a living hell), or in our ultimate state—the new heavens and new earth at the end of time, when God’s justice will finally reign. Before that time, some Christians, even here in the USA, may suffer under state oppression. We will need confidence, joy, commitment and courage. In Christ, we have already died, been raised and are glorified. Yet we live in a “not yet” stage. As we wait for his return, we must love him and others through the power of the Spirit, maintaining faith in his Word and praying for true repentance and revival. Are we ready?
 Pacific Justice Institute: Center for Public Policy, March 23, 2018.
 Paul Kengor, Takedown, (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2015), 21.
 See Peter Jones, One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (Escondido, CA: Main Entry, 2010).
Dr. Peter Jones is scholar in residence at Westminster Seminary California and associate pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, Calif. He is director of truthXchange, a communications center aimed at equipping the Christian community to recognize and effectively respond to the rise of paganism.