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.
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.