I think by now most people active in the atheist community have seen the video of what has been appropriately labeled a 'homosexual exorcism'. If not, here you go:
More information has come to light regarding the incident and the youth who was filmed which makes me wonder - what exactly about this kind of behavior is at all acceptable to anyone? This is shocking to me. First of all, the kid in the video is only 16 years old. Can you imagine being at that awkward age and going through something like this? According to the article, this is the third time he's requested this kind of 'treatment' regarding his homosexuality and the third time it's been given to him. At some point do none of these people see this as the combination of a person who is not at all well and people who are willing to take advantage of anyone they can to push an agenda?
They refute the term exorcism, preferring the term 'casting out'. Isn't that just a simple argument regarding terminology? I'm almost sure if you label that cultist activity 'homosexual casting out' rather than 'homosexual exorcism' people will still have the same issues in regard to what is being done to that boy.
On the other hand, the kid (and presumably his parents or guardians support him in this) has himself requested the treatment. Perhaps he thinks it really works and perhaps he feels that this kind of activity is just an expression of his religious beliefs.
That seems to be the case - though the kid has expressed an unwillingness to communicate with the media "citing the advice of his pastor" which causes me to question again whether this is the activity of a church or the activities of a cult.
Regardless on where you stand on the subject, it seems obvious to me that this kind of treatment of a person, especially at this age facing the stressful and emotional issue of sexuality, is wrong. It may be protected under freedom of religion and it may not be considered cultish behavior, but it's still wrong to put a kid through that, even if he asks you to.
How Atheists Seeking Therapy Have Responded to the Rise in Faith-Based Counseling - *Angela Almeida* does an excellent job in a piece for *The Atlantic* describing the problem of atheists seeking secular, evidence-based therapists in areas...
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