By Lynne Schreiber
Lynne Schreiber • Rethinking Same‐Sex Attraction and General Principles of How to Overcome It
The fact that some people experience same‐sex attraction as unwanted and take measures to overcome it
remains somewhat hidden from society, including much of the mental health profession. Shedding light
on this process may be encouraging news to those who struggle with such attraction. Understanding the
complex factors that commonly shape same‐sex attraction unlocks the possibility to conceptualize a new
framework for growth.
LYNNE SCHREIBER’s expertise comes not through academic study or professional years of service, but
through 20 years of struggle and spiritual transformation. The presenter has also gained much learning
through extensive study of the Bahá’í guidance, Christian materials and cutting edge research on
overcoming same sex attractions.
General Principles of How to Overcome Same-Sex Attraction
1.Education & Independent Investigation of Truth
3.Healing & Growth through Relationships
4.Personal & Spiritual Development
- "To the question of alteration of homosexual bents, much study must be given, and doubtless in the future clear principles of prevention and treatment will emerge.“ (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 March 1987)
- “God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. ... Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another's ears nor comprehend with another's brain. ... Therefore depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of all the bounties of God.” (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 75)
- “One could have concluded that homosexuals could well establish stable relationships with one another for mutual support, … This, indeed, is the conclusion that some churches and governments have come to. But Bahá’u’lláh, having divine knowledge of human nature, shows that such a relationship is not a permissible or beneficial solution to a homosexual’s condition.” (Letters of The Universal House of Justice, 5 June 1993, Homosexuality, p. 11)
- [Homosexuality]… “is regarded by the Faith as a distortion of true human nature, as a problem to be overcome..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 11 September 1995)
- 5-"Whether deficiencies are inborn or are acquired, our purpose in this life is to overcome them..." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 11 September 1995)
- “To be afflicted this way is a great burden to a conscientious soul. But through the advice and help of doctors, through strong and determined effort, and through prayer, a soul can overcome this handicap.” (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, 26 March 1950)
- 7- “[T]he Faith does not recognize homosexuality as a “natural” or permanent phenomenon. Rather, it sees this as an aberration subject to treatment…” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 March 1987)
- 8-"The view that homosexuality is a condition that is not amenable to change is to be questioned by Bahá’ís. …The statistics which indicate that homosexuality is incurable are undoubtedly distorted by the fact that many of those who overcome the problem never speak about it in public, and others solve their problems without even consulting professional counsellors." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 11 September 1995
- “Observe My commandments, for the love of My beauty.“ (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 20)
- “Psychiatric treatment in general is no doubt an important contribution to medicine, but we must believe it is still a growing rather than a perfected science. As Bahá'u'lláh has urged us to avail ourselves of the help of good physicians Bahá'ís are certainly not only free to turn to psychiatry for assistance but should, when advisable, do so. This does not mean psychiatrists are always wise or always right,…” (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, June 15, 1950, Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 284)“Turn to your Bahá’í brothers and sisters, who are living with you in the kingdom. Indeed, the believers have not yet fully learned to draw on each other’s love for strength and consolation in time of need.” (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated May 8, 1942, in Directives of the Guardian, pp. 40-41, #109)
- “As for the responsibility of Assemblies and of individual Bahá’ís, certainly all are called upon to be understanding, supportive and helpful to any individual who carries the burden of homosexuality.” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 March 1987)
- “If, therefore, a homosexual cannot overcome his or her condition to the extent of being able to have a heterosexual marriage, he or she must remain single, and abstain from sexual relations.” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 11 September 1995)
- 14-“There are, of course, many kinds and degrees of homosexuality, and overcoming extreme conditions is sure to be more difficult than overcoming others.” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 11 September 1995)
- Any individual so afflicted must, through prayer, and any other means, seek to overcome this handicap.” (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to a National Spiritual Assembly, 6 October 1956)
- “The Universal House of Justice will pray that, armed with the guidance contained in this letter, the National Spiritual Assembly will act with love, sensitivity and firmness to assist the believers both to gain a deeper understanding of their true and ennobling purpose in life and to make a strong and determined effort to overcome every handicap to their spiritual development” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 11 September 1995)
- “By responding to the Message of the Manifestation of God we learn how we should live and draw on the spiritual strength which comes with it. Through studying the Word of God and training ourselves to follow His commandments, we rise to the full stature that He has designed for us.” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual, 17 September 1993)
- "If others hurl their darts against you, offer them milk and honey in return; if they poison your lives, sweeten their souls; if they injure you, teach them how to be comforted; if they inflict a wound upon you, be a balm to their sores; if they sting you, hold to their lips a refreshing cup.” (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 24)
- “Through sincere and sustained effort, energized by faith in the validity of the Divine Message, and combined with patience with oneself and the loving support of the Bahá’í community, individuals are able to effect a change in their behaviour; as a consequence of this effort they partake of spiritual benefits which liberate them and which bestow a true happiness beyond description.” (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual, 3 July 1990)
Heart of Female Same-sex Attraction, Janelle Hallman
Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-sex Attraction, Anne Paulk
Emotional Dependency, Lori Rentzel
Coming out of Homosexuality – A New Freedom for Men and Women, Bob Davies & Lori Rentzel
Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach, Joseph Nicolosi
Growth into Manhood, Alan Medinger
Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Additions, Patrick Carnes
When Homosexuality Hits Home, Joe Dallas
Someone I Love is Gay, Anita Worthen & Bob Davies
www.peoplecanchange.com/ (Support for men who seek to grow, heal and change regarding same-sex attraction.)
Understanding the roots of lesbianism, Free audio format, www.laughterfrompurity.com
Development of male homosexuality, Free audio format, www.laughterfrompurity.com
Bahá’í Resources (dealing with trauma and spiritual development)
It is Not Your Fault, Patricia Romano McGraw
Drawing Nigh to Baha’u’llah, Adib Taherzadeh (Audio series, June 16-17, 1984 Alaska Summer School)
American Psychological Association (2009). Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.
Karten, E. Y., & Wade, J. C. (2010). Sexual orientation change efforts in men: A client perspective. The Journal of Men's Studies, 18, 84-102.
Moberly, Elizabeth (1983). Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic.
Throckmorton, Warren (1998) Attempts to Modify Sexual Orientation: A Review of Outcome Literature and Ethical Issues, Journal of Mental Health Counseling, October, volume 20, pages 283-304.
Throckmorton, Warren & Yarhouse, Mark A. (2006). Sexual Identity Therapy: Practice framework for managing sexual identity conflicts.
Whitehead, Neil & Blair, My Genes Made Me Do It! A Scientific Look at Sexual Orientation.