South Australia is set to become the next state to criminalise LGBT "conversion therapy." I think it's time this whole thing was called out for the hoax and the anti-religion dog whistle that it is.

"Conversion therapy" is not a term known to any religion. It's a term made up and thrust upon us by haters of religion. It evokes thoughts of barbarism - boot camps, electric shocks, coercion. None of these misguided and barbaric things are happening in Australia today. When they did happen – decades ago – none of them were exclusively religious.

A move to ban such things in the modern era, whilst dog whistling at "conservative religious groups," is a hoax and a sham. It's simply not happening.

So, what is happening in Australia, in 2020? This:

  • Christians believe and teach that the life to which we are called is a life in which we refrain from sexual lusts of all kinds, regardless of sexuality.
  • Christians of all sexual desires seek, totally voluntarily, to live out that belief.
  • Some adults who, of their own free will, want to talk about living out their sexuality in light of their faith, do so. Sometimes in groups, sometimes privately with a trusted friend. Sometimes it's called counselling.
  • Parents who teach their faith to their kids normally explain that heteronormativity is God's design. They will normally ‘wait and see’ if a child claims transgender or homosexual inclinations, rather than rushing to affirmation.

The truth is this: these are the things advocates of the made-up phrase "conversion therapy" really want to ban:

  • They want to ban adults, who are in full possession of their faculties, from voluntarily talking about how to live out their sexuality.
  • They want to ban people of faith from teaching the Bible.
  • They want to ban pastors, counsellors, and professionals from speaking to their beliefs, or rendering any service to the aforementioned adults.
  • They want to ban parents from raising their kids according to their faith.

I raised this with a politician who drafted some of the most draconian "conversion therapy" laws, which specifically labelled parents who fail to affirm a child in a transgender identity as "psychological abusers." She did not deny it. In fact, she asked me, "What else should we do when parents take their LGBT kids to church?"

You know something... in my opinion, one of the most harmful things a parent can do to their child is teach them atheism. It is an awful tragedy. Yet it has never, ever – not once – ever occurred to me that children should be confiscated from atheist parents, or that they should be labelled psychological abusers. Why? Because the family is too important.

All the things attacked by these laws are important – family, faith, personal agency.

This is a hoax which is pushing ill-informed politicians to criminalise innocent parents, pastors, Christians and consenting adults. To what extent? SA is talking about up to 8 years in jail. Unfortunately, saying so simply makes people angry, because they are convinced I’m lying. 60 Minutes never believed my claim that Christians don’t harbour a deep desire to inflict harm on LGBT people.

That’s the power of the dog whistle in the phrase, “conversion therapy.”

It's time we rejected the term.