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Health Problems Experienced by Gays Can be Cured by Jesus

gay blade chick tract
Gay Blade, Jack Chick Tract, circa 1972

Warning! Snark ahead! Evangelicals easily offended by having their bigotry exposed should NOT read this post!

Monday, the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine Journal released a report detailing the health problems faced by LGBT people.  CNN reports:

Researchers now have a broader understanding of the health disparities suffered by gay, lesbian and bisexual people. A recent study found that these groups are more likely to suffer psychological distress, heavy drinking and heavy cigarette smoking.

The study, published in the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine journal on Monday, sheds new light on such disparities in a population-based sample of adults in the United States.
“This study was one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of its kind to find differences in health and health behaviors by sexual orientation,” said Carrie Henning-Smith, health policy researcher at the University of Minnesota and a co-author of the study. “Our findings should raise concern that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults experience health disparities.”

The researchers analyzed data collected from more than 68,000 [67,150 survey respondents were heterosexual, 525 lesbian, 624 gay and 515 bisexual. The average age was about 47] adults nationwide as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 and 2014 National Health Interview Surveys. The surveys included questions about sexual orientation, chronic conditions, mental health, alcohol consumption, cigarette use and overall health.

The researchers discovered that gay and bisexual men were more likely than heterosexual men to suffer severe psychological distress, heavy drinking and heavy cigarette smoking. Lesbians were more likely than heterosexual women to experience psychological distress, poor or fair health, and heavy drinking and smoking. Bisexual women were more likely to suffer multiple chronic conditions.

“The data did not allow us to identify specific causes of health disparities in this study,” Henning-Smith said. “However, we know from other research that the experience of being part of a stigmatized minority population can lead to chronic stress, which, in turn, can have negative impacts on health and health behaviors.”
The researchers hope that the data could help to inform and encourage clinicians to be more sensitive to and aware of the specific psychological and physical needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual patients.


Evangelicals have quickly and viciously used this report as “proof” that being LGBT promotes unhealthy lifestyles. Evidently these homophobic bigots missed the line that stated “The data did not allow us to identify specific causes of health disparities in this study.” One such person is a woman by the name of Denise who spends a lot of time “anally” reporting on the vile, wicked, sinful behavior of people she labels sodomites. Denise is a Calvinist, a female of version of Steven Anderson. Unlike Anderson, Denise doesn’t show her face on videos nor does she let readers know her last name. That said, theology and her obsession with oral and anal sex and STDs is very Andersonesque. In a post titled, Survey: excessive health problems among deviants , Denise opines:

Sin has consequences. Trying to go against God’s created order, suppressing the Truth with their unrighteousness (Romans 1), will have physical ramifications.  They blame those who reject their deviant behavior, for their physical problems which is irrational. The problem is enslavement to sin, and the solution is to repent of one’s sins, confess one to be totally depraved with original sin, and cry out to God our Creator, for mercy and forgiveness. He is quick to forgive and save those who come to Him through Jesus Christ the resurrected Lord for salvation. Those whom HE sets free through faith in Christ Jesus alone by His blood, are made free indeed by Him.

Denise thinks that the reason LGBT people have certain health problems is due to the fact that they are sinful deviants. Denise totally rejects the notion that gay-haters such as herself are part of the problem. In Denise’s world, LGBT people are sick for one reason — sin!!  According to Anderson’s comrade in the war against “sodomy,” if sodomites would just repent of their sins (which means becoming as God made them — heterosexuals) and cry out to the Calvinistic God for mercy and forgiveness, all would be forgiven and their health problems would disappear. Now, I am sure Denise would say, No, LGBT health problems are the consequences of their deviancy. Yes, Jesus will save them and deliver them from their wicked desires, but former LGBT people still have to live with the physical damage done by lifetimes of wrong-way fucking. I suspect Denise would also say that LGBT deviants should repent while they are young before sexual “sins” ravage their bodies. Get out while you are young, Denise likely would say. Live the best years of your life in service of the heterosexual God.

If Jesus is the “cure” for LGBT health problems, why are so many heterosexual Christians sick? Churches are filled with people who are sickly, suffering the ravages countless diseases. Perhaps Evangelicals are sick due to heterosexual anal sex and blowjobs, Denise might say. Only married missionary position intercourse is permitted! Grandma Grace, why do you have cancer? granddaughter Evangeline asks. Grandma Grace shamefully hangs her head  and says, I gave Grandpa Joseph a blowjob in 1983. Cancer is God’s punishment for me swallowingIf you want to avoid cancer, Grandma Grace says, never, ever put anything but food in your mouth, and never, ever let your husband come through the back door.

I know, I am being silly now, but the very notion that LGBT people have certain health problems due to sin is ludicrous. I am sure that in the years ahead, researchers will continue to investigate exactly why LGBT people are more prone to certain illnesses. I suspect that researchers with find that AIDS, unrelenting persecution by Evangelicals, Mormons, and conservative Catholics, and lack of medical care contributed to many of the LGBT health issues detailed in the aforementioned study. For those of us who are heterosexual, perhaps we should ask ourselves how our health might be affected if we had to live in circumstances similar to those of LGBT people. I wonder, would we turn to substance abuse, suicide, and have increased mental health issues? Those of us who were savaged by Christian Fundamentalism (see Are Evangelicals Fundamentalists?) understand how constant assaults on your humanity can lead to mental health problems and thoughts of suicide. Those waging war against all things non-heterosexual are the very same people who preach and write against any and all behaviors they consider “sins” against their version of the Biblical God. It should be clear to all who dare to see that Evangelicalism, Mormonism, and conservative Catholicism breeds hate — hate not only of those they deem “sinful,” but also hate of self. Knowing who and what they really are, these defenders of virginity, heterosexuality, and Christian America rail against the very secrets they hide from their fellow Christians. As is often the case, people who scream and preach the loudest against this or that behavior are often secretly doing the same. Stay tuned. Perhaps we shall someday learn that Denise is really into making her own clothes — which is hard to do without a good bit of scissoring.


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    I tend to believe that physical and mental health go hand in hand. If the LGBT suffer great psychological distress, they may turn to drinking or smoking as coping tools, which in turn can lead to poor physical health. Bruce, I think your example of chronic pain and depression is another example of the physical-mental health connection.

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    Where is your evidence that physical and mental heath go hand in hand, Theo? During my prolonged period of severe depression I was in top physical condition. Certainly being physically ill can lead to depression as one reflects on the state of one’s health, but there is no evidence that one ’causes’ the other. There is no evidence either that ‘sin’ causes either physical or mental illness. That’s because sin is a peculiarly religious concept that has no traction in the real world.

    My own depression lifted rapidly, after many long, difficult years, when I finally accepted and embraced the same-sex attraction I felt. That’s not always easy to do, however, and even having done it, some people find they then must contend with discrimination, hatred and persecution. Is it any wonder that they fall prey to depression and addictive behaviours?

    Jesus is certainly not the answer. As represented by his self-appointed spokesmen, he is a significant part of the problem.

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      I did not mean “hand in hand” to mean physical illness causes mental illness or vice-versa. I was thinking along the line of correlation. It’s true that one can be mentally ill while physically healthy but where I was going was that some LGBT suffer from discrimination, shame, etc. and perhaps they self-medicate to cope with their depression and anxiety, and from the self-medication there could be physical health issues.

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        Okay, that clarifies it. I do agree, and did in my initial response, with the report’s findings (the one Bruce and ‘Denise’ are talking about) that “the experience of being part of a stigmatized minority population can lead to chronic stress, which, in turn, can have negative impacts on health and health behaviors.” This isn’t, however, and as you note in your second comment, proposing a direct causal relationship.

        A quick scout round the ever-reliable internet would suggest that some find a correlation between mental and physical illness whle others dispute it. There’s a fair amount too that says adopting positive mental attitudes doesn’t have any direct effect on illness. I wish it weren’t so, but wishing isn’t too far removed from praying and is just about as useless (unless of course it leads to seeking treatment for one’s ailments).

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    Neil asked: “Where is your evidence that physical and mental heath go hand in hand, Theo?”

    I can not speak for anyone else but myself. I am diagnosed with Mental Health issues along with several physical issues. I am a current outpatient with the my local mental health center. Three years ago the center partnered with a local hospital/health center that oversees much of the Medicaid and indigent population. The partnership is still going strong – suggesting there is something to the idea that mental and physical health are connected.

    I am a graduate of Dialectic Behavior Therapy with modules in Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. If you are looking for evidence I suggest you start there. I could write paragraphs showing the connections but tl;dr. Besides, according to my experience, if you do the research yourself you just might believe what you find.

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      I would also suggest a video by Guy Winch, a psychologist, on Emotional First Aid. He talks about the mental and physical health connection.

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Bruce Gerencser