A ban on ‘conversion therapy’ is not the problem so much as any threat to the freedom to present the Gospel

A letter from Valerie Hanna

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 10:55 am
Sermons, pastoral advice and prayer which uphold the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics could be criminalised, as has recently happened in Victoria, Australia

I was appalled to read of the Ulster Unionist Party bringing forward a motion to ban ‘conversion therapy’

Conversion therapy is a complex issue, and certain abhorrent and violent practices which may be classed as conversion therapy, such as ‘corrective’ rape, or other forms of physical abuse, are already covered by existing criminal offences.

Activists pushing for a ban have often branded prayer and pastoral support as ‘conversion therapy’, alongside criminal behaviour such as the above.

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Letter to the editor

The conversion of someone becoming a Christian has been equated to conversion therapy — as highlighted in the furore against Nelson McCausland when he praised the personal testimony of a man who said he struggles with same-sex attraction — but these are two different things.

There is a huge difference between upholding Christ’s teaching on sexuality, and psychologically abusing someone.

The vitriol experienced by Mr McCausland shows that the real target for these activists is the Gospel. In fact, an MP in England has called on the government to include any prayer, inconsistent with LGBT theology, in its proposed ban on conversion therapy.

She said ‘abhorrent practice’ must be outlawed — including parents who seek to protect their children from taking harmful sex swap drugs.

So, the freedom to present the Gospel is under threat in the UK as those who disagree with the Bible’s teaching on gender and sexuality are attempting to have it censured under wide ‘conversion therapy’ ban proposals.

Every Christian who believes the Gospel is the ‘power of God unto salvation’, and who believes in the freedom to express that truth, should be very concerned about this proposed ban as those perpetuating the ban, want to make it illegal for that truth to be expressed.

Sermons, pastoral advice and prayer which uphold the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics could be criminalised, as has recently happened in Victoria, Australia. Therefore, I am calling on Christians to take your stand and fight this evil trying to come into our land. Pray, and write to your MLAs giving your position on this matter.

We need everyone who loves the Lord to become more vocal.

Valerie Hanna, Kilkeel

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