Herald Sun opinion piece exposes harm of conversion therapy



I’ll be blunt. Sometimes, I’m critical of Newscorp media, especially some of its commentators. I wonder why I’m a Herald Sun subscriber or watch Sky News Australia at all. During 2017 same – sex marriage debate, I found Newscorp media particularly unbearable to watch or read.

They also made some bad calls. I thought Sky News Australia’s decision to feature former United Patriot Front leader, Blair Cottrell was stupid. Surely they knew his record! After the backlash and the threat of a commercial boycott, the management vowed to never whave Cottrell on Sky News Australia again.

Herald Sun opinion exposes the harms of conversion therapy

Despite all my criticisms, the Herald Sun did something that I thought was good. On the 3 April 2019, they published an opinion piece from Chris Csabs, an outspoken opponent of conversion ‘therapy’. Csabs has appeared in the SBS series, Christians Like Us.

Csabs is candid and quite detailed in his account. He realised he was gay at thirteen and came out to his pastor at sixteen. He went to regular worship and prayer sessions and was told faulty beliefs about sexuality (that he and other attendees were gay because they weren’t breastfed, etc).


Like so many LGBTQ+ Christians, Csabs went through shame and suffered emotionally because he couldn’t change his sexuality.

Csabs was isolated. Leaders told Csabs to abandon his friends from Sydney to avoid ’temptation’.

After exiting Living Waters, Csabs got involved in other ministries and tried other sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). Needless to say, none of them worked.

The aftermath

Csabs claimed that he tried to ‘starve’ his sexuality. This made him have thoughts of castration and affected his relationships with other men. He became paranoid about seeing any men he may deem attractive, including on TV.

Csabs is in the process of learning to accept himself as a gay man and work on his relationship with God.

What people should know

Chris Csabs’ story should make it clear; LGBTQ+ people can’t stop being LGBTQ+. Any pressure on LGBTQ+ Christians to change who they are is nothing short of emotional and spiritual abuse. Conversion therapy doesn’t win people over to God, but rather keeps them distant from Him.


A note to Newscorp opinion writers: I hope this has given you an insight into what a number of LGBTQ+ people in Australia go through. Hopefully, it puts Israel Folau’s recent comments in context.


Please speak out against conversion therapies. Fight against the Australian Christian Lobby who repeatedly push conversion therapy on minors. We need to spread a strong message that abuse towards LGBTQ+ people will not be tolerated. Nobody should be shamed for who they are.

If this post has brought up any issues for you, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636. Information about LGBTQ+ mental health can also be found here.

For emergencies call your national crisis number (for Australians: 000. U.S: 911 and UK: 999).

If anyone knows of any other contacts or you want to share your own experiences of faith and sexuality, please leave them in the comments below.





Either speech matters or it doesn’t. It can’t be both

Computer keyboard with a ‘_hate’ key
Image: iStock

Finger pointing has been relentless since the Christchurch massacre last month. It’s become a Left vs conservative argument crap fight, starting less than a week after the atrocities. I wrote about this at the time, expressing my disgust and dismay.

Well, it didn’t stop there

First, it was David Koch and Derryn Hinch vs. One Nation’s Pauline Hanson on Sunrise. This was less than a week after the attack. Pauline Hanson was ambushed. She has had very controversial views in the past around immigration, starting in 1996 when John Howard was Prime Minister. Koch claimed that the mastermind’s manifesto “almost reads like One Nation migration and Muslim policy”.


Another spat was between Greens’ leader Richard DiNatali and Andrew Bolt on The Bolt Report. DiNatali attacked Bolt for nearly twenty minutes, then Bolt tried to defend himself. What about the victims?

Blame games continued. Also free speech as an absolute, has been tested.

Christchurch attack and debate about speech

On Monday (April 1), Andrew Bolt slammed the ABC for episodes of the comedy skit show Get Krack!n. Bolt accused the. show of trying to stir up racial hatred after Nakkiah Lui pretended to defecate on a cushion with a white woman’s face on it.

So, is that type of hatred dangerous? Is it possible that a skit like this could provoke dangerous hatred toward Caucasian people?

if you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you understand why people oppose reversing 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

If you answered ‘yes’, then you understand why some people of colour and Muslims (including white converts) have appeared on the ABC slamming people who they see as marginalising them.

If some speech is dangerous, (apart from actually advocating or threatening violence), is absolute free speech just too dangerous? Now, I have been on both sides of this debate. The problem I have with Section 18C and attempts to shut down speech is that it never gets anywhere. 18C doesn’t create empathy towards people of colour. In fact, it’s doing the opposite. It’s creating apathy towards people of colour, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I think American commentator and talk show host, Dave Rubin has it right (at least in theory). A ‘battle of ideas’ is the best way to go. That includes hearing people of colour and Muslims talking about their own experiences, even if it’s hard to hear. Then, people like Andrew Bolt and Rita Panahi can challenge those assumptions. Neither side should be accused of inspiring tragedies like what happened in Christchurch last month.



Rugby ball in front of goal posts
Image: iStock

This post has taken so long to write. Sorry about that. On the topic of free speech today, (11 April 2019), Rugby star, Israel Folau has come under fire again for reinforcing his beliefs about homosexuality on social media. He repeated a modern interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:9. Rugby Australia is planning on not renewing Folau’s contract with the Wallabies.

My stance is the same as last year. Rugby Australia should not penalise Folau. People, especially in the LGBTQ+ community, would never hear the end of it and Folau will look like a martyr. Debate is the only way.