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Health Problems Experienced by LGBTQ People 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!

In 2016, the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine Journal released a report detailing the health problems faced by LGBT people.  CNN reported:

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, the female 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 are 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 she 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 of 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.

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 (please 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 peculiar version of God. It should be clear to all who dare to see that Evangelicalism, Mormonism, and conservative Catholicism breed 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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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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33 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Theo

    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.

  2. Avatar
    Neil

    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.

    • Avatar
      Theo

      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.

      • Avatar
        Neil

        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).

  3. Avatar
    Connie

    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.

    • Avatar
      Theo

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

    • Avatar
      Astreja

      Lonnie, if there ever was a real-life Jesus, he’s been dead for nearly 2000 years. Silly bugger couldn’t even save himself.

    • Avatar
      Sage

      Lonnie, it is people,like you that cause the hell and pain that LGBTQ people suffer in this world. Your desire to loudly belittle others and spew your hatred and condemnation cause unspeakable anguish to very vulnerable people around you. The target if your vile rhetoric doesn’t matter – you target children and and adults and leave them to struggle with their destroyed lives. You pretend to care, but all you care about is browbeating people into living as you demand. In the end, the teaching you express are directly responsible for the death of many people. And you,as a purveyor of this Christian faith, are personally responsible.

      If anyone represents Satan, then it is you. If anyone is the antithesis of Jesus, then it is you. You are nothing but a disgusting hate filled bigot who uses Christianity to rationalize your hate. You are the perfect example of Jesus’s whitewashed tomb.

      No one in the LGBTQ community needs your god or your help. They do not need people like you pushing laws or trying to eradicate them. Just crawl back into your church cave where you can be safe with people,who look, act, and think like you, and leave the rest of us alone.

      Some of us have grown in strength and power so that your hate no longer has power. Some suffered for far to long under the toxic direction of your particular form of Christianity, but survived and became stronger when we escaped. You and your particular form of god have no power here. We will make sure that, when you and your kind spew your rhetoric to control others, we are there to show that there are alternative and there is freedom from the bondage of Christianity.

      I hope Bruce doesn’t block you, because I am sure any response you have will show the true nature inside you.

      By the way, if you really care about my soul, why not invite me to your church? 😁😈😁

    • Avatar
      BJW

      I’m sure you won’t believe this Lonnie, as your beliefs make you incapable of feeling empathy for others who are different from you. But the people I know who are LGBTQ (includes gay, lesbian, and trans) are good people who are trying to live their life by the LGBTQ agenda: love their partner, work, eat, take care of pets, be good neighbors, and make this a better world. They are doing MORE than you to make this world a better place, and I’d much rather have people from the LGBTQ community live close by, than a bigoted fundie.

      Having said that, except at your place of employment, you can refuse to have anything to do with that community. So WHY THE FUCK do you care if they exist and try to live a better life like the rest of us? Meanwhile, Christians like you are known to condone sexual abuse, bullying, overeating, gossip, jealousy, and a whole host of stuff your Jesus condemns. Why don’t you just stay with your fellow Christian bigots while the rest of us try to live a decent life with our fellow man?*

      *PS–I do have some lovely Christian friends, and some of them are in the ministry. They are not bigots like you.

  4. Avatar
    Lonnie Pendley

    “Homophobia” or the term “phobia”. Means FEAR and that you are afraid of homosexuals or something in general.

    I am not afraid of them.

    I do not hate them.

    If I did I would let them enter hell unwarned and without the gospel.

    — sermon deleted —

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I used homophobia in a colloquial sense. Look it up. You are a textbook definition of a homophobe.

      It’s none of your business who fucks whom, when, where, why, and how. What has an LGBTQ person ever done to you?

    • Avatar
      GeoffT

      So Lonnie, what happens if you get to the gates of heaven and St Peter, or whoever’s doing door duty at the time says ‘sorry Lonnie, only gays allowed here?’ I’ll bet it’s never even entered your head that perhaps your despising of LBGT people is a seed planted by Satan.

    • Avatar
      Sage

      Mmhm, this shows your complete ignorance. You twist words and meaning to fit the narrative you want to express.

      And you do hate, you just pretend you do not. Perhaps you are to indoctrinated to see just how hateful your words and actions really are.

      And you do fear, because your won’t listen to others and treat them with respect as good people, instead you demand they first change to your whims, so you feel comfortable..

      All of this is evident because you choose to pontificate, judge, and condemn people for just existing. If you cared, you would take time to get to know people and their struggles, and make sure you were not making their lives worse. I am sure there are LGBTQ people around you who suffer heavily under your religious screed. But you truly do not care. All you want is for them to do as you tell them and say the right words, and pretend everything is ok.

    • Avatar
      sjl1701

      How nice. You’re going to save real people from your imaginary friends punishment for being human. I’ll bet your thrilled about all the states that are now going to make merely talking about “The Gay” crimes. Spare us, go put your brown shirt with the swastika on and crawl back under your rock.

    • Avatar
      Ben Berwick

      You may not fear them but preaching that they are ‘satanic’ is a form of hatred. Wishing to force them to bend to your religious beliefs is a form of cruelty. Denying them rights based on your beliefs is wicked.

  5. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    My mom was a “hate the sin love the sinner” anti-LGBTQ type. She worked as an administrative assistant in a prestigious university’s Biochemistry department for many years. One of the professors was an openly gay man living with his partner (these were the days before same-sex marriage was legal). They applied to be foster parents, and my mom just about lost her mind. She personally liked this professor, but she couldn’t get past “he is gay and is going to turn some kid gay”. I tried to explain to her that it doesn’t work that way – you’re gay, you’re straight, you’re bisexual, you don’t choose who you’re attracted to. I asked her, who are you attracted to, men or women. Men? Did you choose that or is it just how you are? OK, it’s how you are. What if laws were changed and you had to only be with a woman? No, you couldn’t do that? You couldn’t just switch if being with a man was illegal? You think that people who can’t comply should just be celibate their whole lives? Interesting….. Oh, you don’t want to have this conversation anymore?

    I just went to a wedding this weekend between a gay woman and her nonbinary partner who is transitioning toward a more masculine appearance. The love between them was vividly apparent. It’s difficult to understand why any compassionate person would be against these 2 spending their futures together.

    • Avatar
      GeoffT

      Yes OC, I often use that argument with people, how would you feel if you were forced to marry people only of your own sex? The response is a mixture of bluster, prevarication, not natural, but never actually addresses the point. I think they realise the strength of the argument but years of cognitive dissonance makes them unable to confront it.

    • Avatar
      BJW

      OC, I’ve mentioned my nutty Christian friend here before. Anyway, I once tried to ask her why she couldn’t just let trans people live their lives, as they weren’t hurting her? She refused to talk about it, probably because that thought process would require opening her mind a little.

  6. Avatar
    Lonnie

    Hell is HOT,ETERNAL AND VERY TERRIFYING!

    You will gnash your teeth.
    You will gnaw your tongues.
    You will wish you had never been conceived.
    You will remember every sin.
    You will remember every time you heard the gospel and rejected Christ.
    You will beg for water for physical dry throat thirst like you have never had before.
    You will pray for God to send someone to witness to your lost families.
    You will pray for Christ to send someone to witness to those caught in sodomy.

    You will curse the day you were born.
    You will curse the moment you were conceived.

    You will beg for a chance to repent that will NEVER come because it is too late.

    Keep believing and supporting the lies and hell will be your eternal home. 😭

    Trust and receive Jesus Christ!
    Accept that he died and rose again you will be saved and your life will be changed.

    You will never find a greater LOVE than what Jesus has done for you!

    I know this is most likely falling on blind eyes and deaf ears and the floor of the swine pit. 😭

    I hope and pray that one of you will think and be convicted and be transformed by the gospel.

    Blessings,
    L Pendley.

    • Avatar
      Sage

      Yes, there it is – just as I predicted. Your hatred and vitrol grows with each post. Why do you think anyone would want to be associated with a religion that has such an angry, spiteful, vengeful belief?

      You apparently believe in your god and follow them out of overwhelming fear?? Is this why you stand on internet street corners and bellow your hate just to make sure your god hears you, see’s you, and you therefor avoid the random angry outbursts of an extremely abusive god?

      This is the god of love?

      If I walked up to you and your friend, and told you that you must follow me and treat me as mistress (no, not that kind of mistress…keep focus), then, after you both say no, I beat your friend with a bat, kick them, and abuse them in horrible ways, but leave them alive to suffer, will you then call me mistress and follow my rules, loudly proclaiming my greatness to all who you encounter?

      The reality is, you don’t give one fuck about others, you only care about your own glory. And due to your extreme form of hate, you gladly support any form of abuse or control that will restrict the rights of others to exist. You are so scared of a future lake of fire that you do not notice you are drowning in a lake of bullshit.

      So, yet again, you show yourself to be a judgmental, self serving, hate-mongering, fear filled, self righteous, Christian bigot.

        • Avatar
          Sage

          Ooo the good list! Thank you Santa.

          Maybe god is trying to use moderation to protect his sheep from being seduced into my lifestyle . Or, maybe it is my IP changing while I am in different locations.

    • Avatar
      Astreja

      Lonnie, your threat against us has been noted. You’re an asshole. Fuck you and fuck the Holy Spirit.

      I reject “salvation” unconditionally, as I do not consent to someone dying in my place for any reason whatsoever. You do you, coward.

      I reject your bogus “blessings” too. You’re just a superstitious little turdslurper with delusions of adequacy and a hard-on for trying to scare people into your sick little undead-rabbi-on-a-stick cult. It gives me intense pleasure to imagine you one hundred years from now, silent and unthinking and rotting in your eternal grave, unclaimed by Jesus or Satan or in fact anyone at all. I believe with 100% certainty that both heaven and hell are simply impossible places ruled by nonexistent beings.

      And in the meantime, if life in the real world were to treat you a bit roughly I would not object. At all.

    • Avatar
      Trenton

      Snark alert, also slightly innapropriate.

      Lonnie, do everyone of us heathens here a favor and download grindr onto your phone. Now once you have done that step, meet some random stranger of questionable hygiene on the app who will probably be willing to give you the best blow job you have ever had. After satisfying your primal and completely natural urges, ask the sweet baby jesus for help getting back into the closet with your skeletons and fuck off.

      Wow, my mind must really be in the gutter tonight. If I went too far please let me know.

  7. Avatar
    Lonnie

    Yeah Trenton I’d love to see if you have that same gall in person you just might be picking your little hind end up off the ground.

    I will be praying for your salvation.

    • Avatar
      Sage

      Your post is one of the best examples of irony I have seen in a long time. And in a double irony, you probably won’t even know why.

      I have the gall, Lonnie. And I won’t threaten you then pray for you. I will just reveal the truth about you for the world to see. You hide well behind that screen. I, however, am out, and proud, and not afraid to confront knuckle dragging, bigoted, troglodytes.

      So, do,you dare invite me to your church? Or are you just going to keep hiding where you are safe? I guess, in the end, you don’t really care to save my sou?

    • Avatar
      Trenton

      I was saved around age 5, Jesus didn’t do a damn thing to fill the allegedly Jesus shaped hole in my heart. I am a lot happier after accepting myself for who I am. Jesus didn’t do a damn thing to make me straight(despite hours and hours of anguish and prayer) tell yourself what you must but I think your are full of shit and until you can love others for who they are and not who you want them to be, we have no reason to talk.

  8. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    It’s taken me a few days to comment because of, well, my experience.

    Living in one’s true gender—whether or not it’s the one on one’s birth certificate—and loving whomever one is moved to love—are not “sins” or “choices.” They are NEEDS, just like food, air, water and beauty. Any God who creates people with those NEEDS and condemns said people for fulfilling them—or denies those people the means to fulfill those needs (cf. the billions of food-insecure people)—is not a God of “love” or “mercy” and can’t “cure “ people of a anything. (Check out my guest post, “The Prayer Circle” for an example of what I mean.)

    I would venture that for every “out” LGBTQ person who eats or drinks too much, or smokes, to cope with the stress of moving through this world in skin that’s not approved, many more engage in such behaviors, and worse, while “in the closet” because that edifice is constructed by folks like “Lonnie.” I think now, in particular, of one of the best friends of my youth, who committed suicide because he* despaired of living as a woman and feared the consequences (this was about 40 years ago) of undertaking the “transition.”

    *—I refer to him with a male pronoun because at the time, gender-neutral pronouns were not used and most of us used the gender pronouns we were assigned at birth until—if we were fortunate enough—to affirm our true gender identity.

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Bruce Gerencser