I really hate to use the Bible as a credible source for most things, especially political debates, considering how it is too often selectively quoted or used as a weapon (think Hilary Faye) against the more moderate among us. But let me for a moment administer a dose of the religionists' own medicine:
2 Corinthians 11:14 says: "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."
Matthew 7:15 says: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."
Cohen, who claims to be "ex-gay" (I'll use scare quotes, because he peppers them throughout so liberally himself), was promoting his tome this morning on Howard Stern's radio show.
[Listen – 21:02, MP3 format]
Sure, he sounded somewhat reasonable, and was undeterred by Howard's audio clips of hot gay porn. (Gay Ramon's finely honed gaydar, on the other hand, was not convinced.)
But his book strikes a far more strident tone.
If the title alone doesn't tip you off to Cohen's agenda – gays are "ill" – then the five words above the title ("Foreword by Dr. Laura Schlessinger") should be a clue. (That would be a doctor of physiology – not something relevant like, oh, psychiatry or medicine.)
Not only has Cohen supposedly turned his back on being gay, but he also turned his back on Judaism when he "met Jesus" (which was after he "met" his boyfriend at the time, a man named "Tim.") He also dabbled with Moonie-ism along the way.
Cohen has the measured tones and cheerful personality of a man who hasn't considered for a moment that he might be completely wrong. His website confidently asserts that "no one is born with same-sex attraction."
Ya know what? As far as I know, babies and infants show no sexual attraction of any kind. That's just a bizarre topic to broach in the first place. But Cohen admits that his own attraction to men began very early in his life.
He further makes the claim that there is "no scientific data to substantiate a genetic or biologic basis for same-sex attraction." Really, now. None?
Booklist says Cohen's stance is "based in part on social science as dubious as the gay-supportive studies Cohen debunks."
"Coming Out Straight" (written in 2001) states that Cohen has helped "thousands" of men and women to become straight, although on Howard Stern this morning, he has revised that number downward to "hundreds." I wonder why? Could it be that the whole concept of "reparative therapy" is largely ephemeral, and that the vast majority of gay people who sign up are doomed to failure? Still, Cohen plunges ahead, advocating the creation of families, most of which will later catastrophically implode.
Gay people are clearly entitled to do as they wish, but this should apply uniformly. It is hard to cut Cohen slack – or to believe his chapter about "tolerance" for gay people is sincere – when he spends the rest of his book addressing homosexuality as if it were a disease or syndrome, a position long-ago discredited.
So it would seem that even the sunniest disposition can disguise devils and wolves alike.