Amer­ica with Lisa Ling: Pray Away the Gay

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic This se­ries, called Our Amer­ica in the US but changed in other mar­kets for ob­vi­ous rea­sons, is pre­sented by Asian-Amer­i­can host Lisa Ling, a for­mer spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent on The Oprah Win­frey Show. I find her ter­rif­i­cally even-handed and a plea­sure to watch. Her sub­ject mat­ter tonight is so in­flam­ma­tory, so po­ten­tially di­vi­sive, that her bal­anced ap­proach is wel­come. Not too sur­pris­ingly, some Chris­tians who are same-sex at­tracted en­dure a ter­ri­ble con­flict. Spir­i­tu­ally en­gaged in a faith that is hos­tile to their sex­u­al­ity, they are ad­vised to pray for God’s mercy to help them change. If change is not forth­com­ing they are told to pray harder. Though no longer con­sid­ered a psy­chi­atric dis­or­der, egodys­tonic ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity — hav­ing a sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion that is at odds with one’s ide­alised self-im­age — is nonethe­less well known in the psy­chi­atric es­tab­lish­ment. Ling at­tends ex­gay ral­lies, where gay men and women in droves af­firm that they hate the gay part of them­selves and seek de­liv­er­ance from it. She

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