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Posts for March, 2010

Another passenger on board LaBarbera’s Wackadoodle Train

Timothy Kincaid

March 12th, 2010

circus trainNearly every week on the elimination competition television show So You Think You Can Dance, highly excitable judge Mary Murphy will see some performance that especially liked and shriek at the top of her lungs, “Wooo-woooo, you’re on the Hot Tamale Train.” Well I figure that if Murphy can have a train just for “hot tamales”, then Peter LaBarbera can have one for wackadoodles.

And today yet another wackadoodle has jumped on the train racing forward in its quest to discredit Dr. Warren Throckmorton. Today’s passenger: Laurie Higgins.

We all know Laurie from her declarations that it is the Christian duty of children and teachers to “condemn volitional homosexual conduct” of gay students (i.e. bully them). And we remember when we awarded her the LaBarbera Award for equating homosexuality with Nazi atrocities.

So it’s not too surprising that this defender of “culture of disapproval and condemnation” had chosen to yet again climb on board with The Peter and his collection of wackadoodle extremist nutcases to attack the latest conservative evangelical Christian who is not adequately pure in his animosity towards gay people, Dr. Warren Throckmorton.

Now Laurie is not one to consider perspective, allow for differing understanding, or honor any opinion that veers in the slightest from her own. Black and white, all or nothing, these are notions that Laurie values. She’s don’t need no complexity; she’s a simple thinker.

“Nuance” — yet another manifestation of rhetoric serving the cause of sin.

You see, for Laurie, Christ means everything (a notion with which I’m sure she’d agree). And this Christ of Laurie’s is no namby-pamby, eat with sinners, forgive them for not knowing what they do, liberal activist kind of Jesus. No! He’s a hardcore conservative, follow The Law to the letter, kick over the tables of the religious folk I disagree with, stern Jesus who demands complete obsequience.

And Laurie loves this Jesus so much, so very very much, that she’d be privileged to pile the firewood and light the torches to defend his TRUTH.

And as for valuing professionalism or respecting the mental health of the patient, that’s not for Laurie. That sounds too much like nuance. It’s much much easier to demand that clients yield to the religious dictates of their counselor.

Throckmorton and Yarhouse’s statement could be made only by those whose allegiance to a secular worldview takes precedence over their allegiance to Christ. Unfortunately, Throckmorton and Yarhouse are not alone in their subordination of faith and truth to the demands of secular professional guidelines or requirements.

But what really gets Higgins’ goat is that Throckmorton considers that gay people may have some civil right to self determination and equality under the law:

In his interview with One News Now, Throckmorton also said that “he takes a more ‘nuanced’ view” on the topic of same-sex marriage. He said “that he opposes same-sex marriage but believes the Equal Protection Clause permits homosexual civil unions.” Tricksy rhetoric again. He cleverly avoids saying he supports homosexual unions, instead saying that the Equal Protection Clause permits homosexual unions.

Laurie is having none of that. It’s time, she thinks, for Christians to denounce civil law, to abandon professionalism, to throw freedom in the hopper where it belongs, and to become downright nasty to friends and family who don’t share her own passion for denouncing the sinners around them.

What seems clear is that many Christian mental health professionals are subordinating their faith to the professional standards established by a world largely hostile to faith. No serious Christian — no one who understands that Christ expects full submission of every aspect of the lives of those who accept the gift of eternal life that came at the cost of His life — would affirm to others either implicitly or explicitly profoundly sinful behavior, behavior that orthodox Christian doctrine teaches will lead to eternal damnation.

Increasingly, Christians from all walks of life are going to have to choose between their work and their faith, between friendships and faith, and perhaps even between family and faith.

But Laurie Higgins isn’t the only new passenger. Peter also hauled aboard “a reader” who had this to say:

Warren seems to compartmentalize “mental health/mental illness” as if it is entirely separate from the consequences of sinful attitudes, lustful thoughts, wicked behaviors — whereas a mature Christian (especially a counselor) ought to see a strong connection between the two.

Personally, if I were The Peter, I’d not want to look too closely at the strong connection between mental illness and religion. There’s a reason why asylums are full of sad folks who think they are Jesus or Joan of Arc.

Oh, yes. Peter has himself a whole train full of wackadoodle nutcases. But before he gets a full head of steam, he may want to peer down that track a ways. Rather than ‘roll across the trestle, spanning Jordan’s swelling tide‘ he may find that he’s heading for a derailing.