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The Daily Agenda for Monday, April 9

Jim Burroway

April 9th, 2012

TODAY’S AGENDA: (THEIRS)
Family “Research” Council’s Values Bus Ohio Tour Begins: Steubenville, OH. The Family “Research” Council, an SPLC-certified hate group, kicks off it’s Values Bus Tour of Ohio today with the Heritage Foundation. The tour is part voter registration drive, and part propaganda tour, where they will disseminate “materials on defending life, marriage and religious liberty.” The tour’s first stop is at Steubenville’s Ft. Steuben Park, 120 S. 3rd St., from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, the bus goes to Columbus for a noontime rally at the Ohio Statehouse, where they will be joined by Linda Harvey from Mission America (another SPLC anti-gay hate-group) and Janet Folger Porter from Faith 2 Action. That rally will be met with a counter rally, details of which you can find here.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Freud’s Letter to a Concerned Mother: 1935. The letter is often described as being to “an American mother,” perhaps because it was sent anonymously to the American sexologist Dr. Alfred Kinsey from “a grateful mother. Kinsey, in turn, shared it with the American Journal of Psychiatry, where it appeared in the April 1951 edition. The handwritten letter reads as follows:

April 9th, 1935.

Dear Mrs. ——

I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual. I am most impressed by the fact that you do not mention this term yourself in your information about him. May I question you, why you avoid it? Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them. (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.) It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime and cruelty too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.

By asking me if I can help, you mean, I suppose, if I can abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place. The answer is, in a general way, we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies which are present in every homosexual, in the majority of cases it is no more possible. It is a question of the quality and the age of the individual. The result of treatment cannot be predicted.

What analysis can do for your son runs in a different line. If he is unhappy, neurotic, torn by conflicts, inhibited in his social life, analysis may bring him harmony, peace of mind, full efficiency, whether he remains a homosexual or gets changed. If you make up your mind he should have analysis with me — I don’t expect you will –, he has to come over to Vienna. I have no intention of leaving here. However, don’t neglect to give me your answer.

Sincerely yours with kind wishes,
Freud.

P. S. I did not find it difficult to read your handwriting. Hope you will not find my writing and my English a harder task.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

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