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Buck's gay comments not uncommon among Springs ministry leaders

By: MARK BARNA
October 18, 2010
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Comments on homosexuality by Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck have received some harsh criticism, including from state Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

Bennet said on “Meet the Press” Sunday that Buck saying homosexuality is a choice and his drawing an analogy between it and the disease of alcoholism are “outside the mainstream of views on this.”

But Buck’s views are closer to the mainstream in Colorado Springs. For years conservative Springs ministry leaders have compared alcoholism to homosexuality.

Jeff Johnston, Focus on the Family social policy analyst, said Monday, “Alcohol affects your whole body, and so does sexual behavior. The highly addictive (aspect of both) is an apt comparison.”

Springs psychologist Miriam Blum defended Buck for comparing homosexuality and alcoholism. “There are many who agree with Buck’s opinion,” she said.

Though most American psychologists say biology is a factor in people being gay, few objective studies, including that published in 2009 by the American Psychological Association, make a stand on whether homosexuality is a caused by developmental factors, biology or both.

Even so, Buck’s causal view is actually more extreme than that of Focus.

While Focus consistently says homosexuality is a sin, it has modified its public comments over the years about its cause.

In the mid 2000s when Focus advertised the now-defunct Love Won Out, a seminar held in American cities teaching that gays can overcome their same-sex attraction, the ministry said homosexuality is “preventable and treatable.”

By 2007 the phrase was scrapped.

Johnston said it gave a misconception that Focus promised “a quick fix” to homosexuality, when the process in some cases can take a lifetime.

Moreover, 10 years ago the ministry maintained that factors in the relationship between parent and child were the main causes of homosexuality. By the late 2000s, Focus was saying the cause was a mix of many developmental and possibly biological factors.

But on Monday, Johnston offered no concrete cause for homosexuality.

“Sexuality is complicated,” Johnston said. “There is a lot we don’t know about this.”

To read more local reaction to Buck’s comments, go to Barna’s blog, The Pulpit, at www.thepulpit.freedomblogging.com.

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