Governor Chris Christie’s Outrageous Decision

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican governor and lifelong Roman Catholic who has been solid on pro-life matters and shutterstock_133013444 (1)many other issues, has signed a bill barring licensed therapists from offering so-called “gay-conversion therapy” in his state, making New Jersey only the second state to do so, along with California.

This means that a young person in New Jersey who might feel homosexual desires, but would like to avoid that lifestyle, or not act upon those feelings, will not be able to see a therapist for help in New Jersey—a therapist who specializes in trying to help people turn away from that lifestyle. Likewise, the option will not be available to the young person’s parents.

Gay activists were thrilled with the decision. New Jersey assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored the legislation and is openly gay, described such therapy as “an insidious form of child abuse.” Activists insist that conversion therapy is damaging because it tells young people that it’s not okay to be “what they are.”

Of course, that’s assuming they know what they are. You don’t need to be an “expert” in this area to know that many young people are racked by confusing questions about sexuality, especially because of this insane, sexually saturated culture. Many might want to avoid acting upon all sorts of feelings, homosexual or heterosexual. Likewise, their parents might prefer that. Once upon a time in America, when we had more freedom, those youngsters, with their parents’ support, could see someone for help for such things. But not in New Jersey—so long as the behavior is homosexual.

I have a close colleague who for years has been a leading expert in “gay conversion” therapy. He’s a devout evangelical. After intense research, he concluded that some people can change and others seem unable—a conclusion that has brought him heat from both gay activists and fellow evangelicals. But the point is: some would like to change and can. Some, especially those more religiously inclined, believe such behavior—not unlike premarital sex or cheating on one’s spouse—is sinful, and would like help.

As for Governor Christie, however, he said that he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. As Politico noted, “That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith, which teaches that homosexual acts are sins.”

Yes, it sure does.

But not only has Christie dismissed his longtime faith and teaching. He has also shown that he can be bullied by the gay-rights lobby—bullied into a position that is the antithesis of freedom. Think about it: a New Jersey teen, and his or her parents, no longer have this freedom.

To that end, where’s the outrage from liberals, libertarians, civil libertarians? Where’s the ACLU? Shouldn’t this be a matter of choice, of freedom of choice? They support choice everywhere else, including the so-called choice of a young person in New Jersey or anywhere else in America, to choose an abortion. They don’t bar so-called “health professionals” from providing that “service.”

This is an outrage. It’s such an outrage that I, as a Republican and a Catholic, will not vote for Chris Christie if he gets the Republican nomination for president in 2016. I will stay home.

image: L.E.MORMILE /

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • haubrock

    Dr. Kengor-

    I agree with everything but the last sentence. Staying home will elect someone worse.

    As bad as John McCain is, he is better than our President.

    Here in Arizona there were many Republicans who voted but left the governor part blank because they did not want to vote for a Mormon, Matt Salmon, and that left us with Governor Doubtfire, Janet Napolitano for two terms from 2003 to 2009.

    For me, politics is more style than morals. It can have moral implications but when we fail to vote, the greater of the two evils wins.

    In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

  • Obama_Dogeater

    Christie has already burned his bridges with conservatives. We see quite clearly what he truly is…a Northeast liberal. The left will go all out to push him for the presidential candidacy, but we won’t be fooled.

  • John

    I understand your position, and there are certainly no moral problems with it. However, I agree with Dr. Kengor and at this time, would plan to stay home if Christie gets the Republican nomination. As long as we show that we will support candidates like this, that’s all we will be given.

  • Poppiexno

    Before the last presidential election I begged conservatives on this and other sites not to stay home. With a sufficient conservative turnout Obama could have been beaten. In many cases those who chose not to vote did so to “send a message” to the Republican leadership or because MR was not conservative enough. So, did the leadership get the message? Are we better off with Obama?

  • andrea gregorio

    I am surprised to read such biased posturings from the author. He might have achieved better academic credibility for his piece if he had balanced up his one-sided view with accounts of the medical evidence which demonstrate that these so-called ‘therapies’ can cause significant and indeed substantial harm. Or does he disagree with the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the basis of DSM V when it comes to such matters? If he does disagree, I wonder with what competence since his subject is neither psychiatry, psychology nor any other medical discipline which would have allowed him to gain some technical insight into the scientific evidence. These continued attacks against gay people do not serve Christ’s Church, but do nothing more than segregate and divide human persons based on one aspect of their relational functioning. We must beware of frank homophobia masquerading as strict adherence to Moral Theology. We must also, additionally, beware of Cardinal O’Brien syndrome: the punishing in others of what cannot be coped with in oneself. This is a form of self-punishment by proxy and bears more resemblence to psychopatholiogy then Moral Theology. A less strident and dispassionate tone is called for in those who are or describe themselves as academics. There seems little objectivity in this author’s rant.

  • CT

    Back we go to the core problem…has Mr. Christie’s Bishop spoken out in a public way in condemnation of the Governor’s stance??? How is it that Mr. Christie so casually throws his Catholicism under the bus? I speculate that two tragedies are on stage here; 1) Could it be that he was not well and firmly catechized? 2) The allure of power/money has trumped the Governor’s identity as a Catholic. As much as I would love to believe that Catholic’s will consider whether or not a candidates position on an issue contradicts Church doctrine, looking at the last two elections it’s clear that a majority of Catholic’s in this country are either poorly informed, or more likely just don’t care where the Church stands on any given issue. Decades of wishy-washy catechesis…and it continues.

  • Marc

    This sounds exaclty like what a closed minded homosexual would say who cries for “tolerance” but won’t tolerate opposing views. Hypocrite!

  • flower_Mom

    I agree with Marc, but want to add that Andrea’s bit sounds like a “cut ‘n’ paste” from somewhere else. Her inability to read what Dr. Kangor REALLY wrote makes her comments dismissible.

  • kirk

    Please tell me, Marc – did Dr Kengor present both sides of the issue? No, he did not. You criticize Andrea for being a “closed minded homosexual” and not tolerating opposing views, while you yourself seem to be a closed minded heterosexual who thinks it’s okay to marginalize others because they are not like you. “Curing” homosexuals is most often ineffective, and those who attempt it are themselves, the closed minded. With that said, the homosexual needs spiritual counselling in the same way an unmarried heterosexual is counseled to refrain from sexual activity – because that is forbidden by our Lord. There is grace from resisting temptation and from having compassion on others, no matter which side of this divide you are on.
    So, when you can prove you have found a way to “cure” a horse from his “horseness”, make it moo like a cow and line up for the milking – then maybe you might have a point. Let us know when you do that.

  • Zak

    “When the world grows too worldly, it can expect to be rebuked by the Church; but when the Church grows too worldly, it can hardly expect to be rebuked by the world” – where are the Church leaders in this matter – especially Mr. Christie’s bishop? Why are they not providing clear statements to the public – in the very least as a form of education on what the Church stands for? Is it in the best interest of Mr. Christie’s soul to let him continue on this path without some form of spiritual correction?

  • Zak

    Is this the same American Psychiatric Association that tried to argue a few years back that not all pedophilia is harmful – much to the disgust of the American public? Didn’t the American Medical Association eventually give in to political pressure and OK abortion?

  • People are not born gay and homosexuality is a deadly sin.

    God doesn’t, didn’t and will not create imperfection.

    By sinning, MAN CHOSE imperfection that leads to the ultimate consequence of SIN: DEATH.

  • Pat

    we CANNOT afford to stay home this time, there is much too much at stake, there will be issues with every candidate and a compromise somewhere for various groups, please think about the devastation to the supreme court for the next 20 years if another Dem gets in-will it really be worth it to you to be able to say that you didn’t vote-? man-up

  • LPC

    Truth is truth no matter what so called “academics” such as those in the APA’s and contributors to the DSM-V say. Andrea, behind the decisions of the aforementioned persons there was pressure from so-called gays to do away with the deviance and disorder of gayness in the DSM. I’d ask you where is your objectivity and openness to Reparative Therapy for those who would believe in it and request it? Telling people the truth is not harmful; its the reluctance to accept the truth that is.

  • Francine

    Kirk and others who believe the gays are “born that way”, please tell us what is the developmental model for those who consider themselves gay? I had only one small paragraph in my upper division graduate textbook on the subject which was only full of theory – nothing proven. Now, contrast that to the development of males and females who you’d call heterosexuals – there’s no ambiguity in that. I have yet to meet one so called homosexual who wasn’t seriously harmed by parents or others as children either intentionally or unintentionally.

  • Doughlas

    Neither Paul Kengor nor any of the commenters here seems to be aware that Alan Chambers, founder of Exodus International, the pre-eminent “reparative therapy” group in the U.S., recently apologized to the gay community for the damage that his group had done to gays over the years. Exodus International closed its doors earlier this year. He said, “Exodus should have just stayed as a support system for people who were looking for an alternative to gay life. I think the therapeutic aspect of it, not to mention the short stint we had in the political world on this, really did a disservice.”

    And he added: “What I believe is that when it comes to promising or assuring someone, or causing someone to expect that they’re going to completely eradicate a set of feelings or temptations or desires, I think that sets someone up for tremendous damage, which can cause them shame and guilt,” he said. “I certainly believe we should never be offering [conversion therapy] for minors. For adults, they can decide based on all the facts presented.”

  • Doughlas

    Paul, who are you to question what God has created? Your conviction that people are not “born gay” is contradicted by all available scientific evidence. I am aware that science probably means little to you until you need a medical intervention, but on what other basis are you to conclude that people are not “born gay?” The Church has absolutely no expertise on such matters.

  • Doughlas

    CT, you are absotively right. Most Catholics just don’t care where the Magisterium stands on issues because the Magisterium has lost credibility time and time again. Its credibility will not be restored by issuing threats of eternal damnation. Most Catholics don’t believe in that anymore, either.

  • lightedlamp97

    Wow! That’s really all I can say!

  • Daisey

    There’s probably more to the issue than meets the eye, like what insurance companies will pay as far as therapy goes…also let’s not crucify Christie yet, he said he believed gays were born homosexual and the Church loves homosexuals the same as heterosexuals! The Church however, does forbid homosexual acts, just as she does fornication, they must be chaste.

  • Doughlas

    Francine, what can I say? You’re just wrong about gays being not being “born that way.” I know that from abundant personal experience, because I am gay and have known lots and lots of gay men and lesbians during the course of my 69 years. My own family was like something out of a ’50s TV sit-com: mom in an apron, dad grilling meat, station-wagon in the drive-way, plenty of love all around. And it was an “intact” family from start to finish. My husband’s family was also super-normal, and his mother and father, both now in their late eighties, have been married for nearly 65 years. He loves and respects both of them, and they him.

    My husband and I are both second sons. Recent research has shown that the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely he is to be gay. It has something to do with hormones that are released (or not) in the mother’s body during pregnancy. There are also genetic factors that cannot be dismissed.

    So I wouldn’t be so quick to conclude that people are not “born that way,” if I were you. You may of course hold any opinion you like, but an opinion that is divorced from empirical reality is not worth much.

  • Theoofbody

    Doughlas, what scientific evidence? Would you please give us a source? There is no conclusive evidence despite mainstream media bad reporting.
    “The Church has absolutely no expertise on such matters” you say – well obviously you do not believe that they would have “expertise” on anything that contradicts what you want to believe.

  • Doughlas

    Andrea, Paul Kengor is a professor of political science at a small but very religious college whose two major tenets, according to its president, are “faith and freedom.” (Note the conspicuous absence of “truth” there.) Since 1963, the college has been under censure by the American Association of University Professors for violations of … you guessed it: academic freedom.

    As you pointed out, Kengor’s training is in political science, not medicine. He has absolutely no expertise in the matter of reparative therapies and appears not even to be aware of recent events that have left those therapies thoroughly discredited.

    His piece is, as you described it, a rant. It makes no pretense of academic merit. It would be unpublishable in an academic journal. It is a pure propaganda piece that Kengor can peddle only because this magazine is a purveyor of propaganda and its readers will believe anything they are told by the most conservative voices of their church.

  • Therese

    There are some people who benefited from reparative therapy offered via Exodus and who do not regret being involved with Exodus despite the change in opinion of the founder.

  • Doughlas

    LPC. Give me a break. You’re telling me that the two APAs, all the other major medical and social welfare associations, and the World Health Organization have capitulated to pressure from “the gays,” who represent only a tiny fraction of their memberships? Do you also believe that the World Trade Center attacks were an inside job by the Bush Administration and that there are space aliens among us? Don’t you recognize a conspiracy myth when you see one?

  • Doughlas

    Zak, what was the APA’s argument, specifically?

  • Barrysullivan1

    Paul, hhere do you get the idea that Christie is pro-life? I have been in the pro-life movement for 40 years and he has never attended a March for Life, pro-life conference, etc that I know of. I have never heard any pronouncement by him on the pro-life side of the issue. I see him as an opportunist who will avoid the issue and prefers it stay out of any of his campaigns.

  • Lee

    It is very important to know and understand the voting process. If you know your candidate is truly going to support your ideals you must go vote. If you know that another is going against your ideals, do not vote for them, but understand the importance of your vote for the other guy or you’ll be voting for that very person you do not want in office. Catholics must stand for the Church and stand like a rock.

  • Who am I to question what God has created? You asked me…

    The answer is simple: God

    God Himself told us in the Bible that He creates PERFECTION and the Bible says that Humans made their personal decision NOT to follow God’s Commandments and decided NOT to be perfect and from that moment, deceases, wars, murder, abnormal sexual behaviors, etc, and all kinds of Evil entered Man’s life by Human hands..

  • Doughlas

    The answer to my question, “Who are you…” is “God??” Never mind. I get your drift.

  • faithandfamilyfirst

    Correct. We have mapped the human genome, and there is no gay gene. There is not one bit of evidence that anyone was ever been born gay. And when did Christie become a geneticist?
    Although this is anecdotal, two people that I know (former co-workers) who live the gay lifestyle both told me that they choose that lifestyle. One in fact intensely denied that they were born gay.
    Finally, if science ever does uncover a gay gene, that doesn’t change anything. We require people all the time to not act in ways that they “can’t help.” For example, a kleptomaniac is not permitted to steal at will (and will be jailed for doing so). A pyromaniac is not permitted to set fires at will (and is also looking at jail time). Just because you are born that way does not mean that you are free to act that way. Living the “gay lifestyle” is not healthy, and in fact can be downright deadly. Notwithstanding the disgusting bias reported by the mass media, it is not discrimination to prevent someone from living out the gay life. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you have the right to act gay.

  • Voice

    The core problem is Catholics. CC is a politician. He’s planning to run for president. He’ll sell his soul to do it like most politicians! He is supporting the gay agenda because a clear majority of Americans support it. If Catholics believed what the Church teaches, the majority of voters would not be in support of the gay agenda and the politicians would roll with it. That’s they way it was 10 years ago. Unfortunately most “Catholics” do support the gay agenda. Hence, so does CC. Catholics can, if they want to, control all branches of government. Imagine if all the Catholics on the Supreme Court were faithful? The core problem is not relying on Catholic politicians to be Catholic. That will never happen. The core problem is internal to the Church; faithful believers who vote. That’s when the politicians will fall in line.

  • Doughlas

    Well, chaps, the Pope just spoke. In an interview with Cività Cattolica, he “faulted the RCC for focusing too much on gays, abortion, and contraception, saying the church as become ‘obsessed’ with those issues to the detriment of its larger mission to be ‘home for all.”

    It’s all over the news. Go read about it yourself.

    Maybe it’s time to fold up shop here.

    Will all those Catholics faithful to Church teachings please stand up?

  • Peter Nyikos

    While some homosexuals were born that way, there are others who acquired the habit the way habits are generally acquired: experimentation, then repetition. The repetition is made easier through legal forms of gay prostitution such as “bath houses.”

    The Catholic outreach group Courage has many accounts of successful change of orientation, and the usual knee-jerk retort to that from the likes of Christie is revealing. The retort is that those who changed weren’t “really gay to begin with, just confused.” But it never seems to occur to such people that these “confused” people could benefit from the kind of therapy Christie wants to ban.

    So, don’t forget the last three paragraphs of Kengor’s article: ironically, Christie is anti-choice when it comes to people wanting to change their habits and “orientation”.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Reading between the lines, I believe Exodus was under tremendous outside pressure to disband, just as Courage is under tremendous pressure to abandon its ways.

    In the case of Exodus, I believe the statement you quote is an attempt to have it both ways: end the pressure exerted by the Gay Power movement and put in enough “code words” so that they can explain themselves to those who criticize them for caving in to pressure.

    One does not expect to “completely eradicate” any form of temptation, be it to alcohol or tobacco or any form of sin, but one can try to get it under control. Alcoholics Anonymous is very much aware of human limitations in this regard, and I would be surprised if Alan Chambers is not aware of it.

    The “shame and guilt” that supposedly comes from the attempt to “completely eradicate” a form of temptation can only be due to an unrealistic idea that one can do it, and a sense that one is a failure if he cannot do it. Such people need counseling, and Exodus was very much remiss if it did not provide it.

    Finally, what good does it do for adults to “decide based on all the facts presented” if the organization from which they desire to seek help has been disbanded?

  • Peter Nyikos

    The obvious thing to do is to support a better Republican in the primaries. Surely the Republican party can do better than Christie. For one thing, if he is nominated, he will probably run a wishy-washy campaign like Dole, McCain, and Romney did, and thus guarantee the victory of another Democrat.

    After all, what issue is he going to get all fired up about after having caved in so completely to the gay lobby?

  • Peter Nyikos

    “All available scientific evidence” is inconclusive on whether anyone is born gay. Also, as I wrote in reply to a comment by one of your fellow propagandists, “Daisey,” there are plenty of people who were gay (excuse me, I mean “confused”) and it is only because they changed that the Gay Power movement no longer insists that they were born gay.

    The Church has plenty of expertise in the form of the real life experiences of people who have had counseling and support through Courage. It also has deeply religious gays like Steve Gershom writing for Catholic Exchange. You should read some of his contributions some time, as well as some of the comments to them.

  • Peter Nyikos

    For once I agree with you, “Doughlas”–on your last claim, that most Catholics do not believe there is such a thing as eternal damnation. That is probably because they still carry a chidish “fire and brimstone” picture of hell around. Do you disbelieve in hell for this same reason?

    I believe C. S. Lewis had a much better idea of what hell, if it exists, is really like in _The Great Divorce_. It is a condition that most of the characters in the book freely choose, time and again, because even after experiencing heaven, they are unwilling to let go of their favorite vices, which are not allowed to people permanently in heaven.

  • Peter Nyikos

    That’s quite a dispassionate question, “Doughlas.” Could it be true that you are open to supporting the legalization of pedophilia? If not, where is your openness to the idea that Andrea’s “authorities” are not to be taken seriously as speaking for psychiatrists in general?

  • Peter Nyikos

    What I am aware of is the American Medical Association publishing an article in its main publication, JAMA, whose main author was a former employee of NARAL. The chief message of that article was the thesis that unborn children do not feel pain until some time after viability. This
    article has probably done much damage to the cause of “fetal pain” bills that restrict abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

    The article was chock full of references, but there was NO reference to the key assertion, without which this thesis collapses: the assertion that connections to the cerebrum from the rest of the nervous system are essential for feeling pain.

    This assertion was pretty much put to rest by a much earlier article in the same prestigious journal, giving evidence that anencephalics, many of whom lack a cerebrum altogether, cannot be assumed to not feel pain:

    “The Use of Anencephalic Infants as Organ Donor Sources”,
    D.A. Shewmon, A.M. Capron, W.J. Peacock,, B.L. Schulman,
    The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 24/31

    Needless to say, this article was NOT referenced by that later article in JAMA.

  • Peter Nyikos

    “Capitulation” may be the wrong word to apply to elitist, oligarchial associations that probably do not represent more than a small minority of all the medical professionals and social welfare workers.

    Perhaps these organizations were NOT pressured with strong-arm tactics the way one of them, the American Psychiatric Association, was bullied into removing gayness as a mental illness back in 1973. That was a two-step process: gays and people sympathetic to them packed an annual meeting at which only a small minority of psychiatrists were in attendance. These staged vocal protests reminiscent of the Vietnam protests that had only just then won the great victory of having America withdraw from the war.

    After the conference caved in to intense pressure, the rank and file of the American Psychiatric Association were asked to approve the decision, with unsubtle hints that the Association would lose prestige if the decision made at the annual meeting was not supported. Even so, the vote was not overwhelming: something like 60% supported the declassification.

    Perhaps the American Psychiatric Association and the other groups you name now have enough members who are on the political left and who naturally push various agendas favored by the left. And the members who are in the elite universities of this country probably have much more influence in these associations than those who are in less prestigious universities. So perhaps no great pressure is required for the leaders of these associations to speak in the name of their rank and file when alleging the things Andrea attributed to them.

  • Peter Nyikos

    “Doughlas,” you wrote to Andrea, “His piece is, as you described it, a rant. It makes no pretense of
    academic merit. It would be unpublishable in an academic journal.”

    The same, of course, applies to Andrea’s own rant, which ignores one of the favorite slogans of a notorious leftist organization: “It doesn’t take a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing.”

  • Peter Nyikos

    Andrea, you would do well to heed one of the slogans of an famous far Left organization: “It doesn’t take a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing.”

    If you want a more substantive critique of your rant, look far down to where I reply to “Doughlas” replying to “LPC” replying to you.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Why do you think the fact that you are gay makes you an authority on whether you were born that way? Do you have anything to back you up besides unidentified “Recent research”?

    Every time I see the words “research has shown,” I am reminded of a patently ridiculous statement in a best-selling book by Penelope Leach, whose book on raising small children is a competitor of the books of Dr. Spock: “Research has shown that smacked young children can never remember what they were smacked FOR.”

    Let’s have a reference to that “Recent research,” shall we?

    Also, from which of your parents do you think you inherited the genes that you think were a factor in your gayness? And what does your spouse think is the source of his gay genes, if any?

  • Peter Nyikos

    Methinks you, “kirk,” protest too much–all that divining of Marc’s attitudes from one short sentence!

    Also, are aware of just how much your “With that said…no matter which of the divide you are on” statement clashes in style and substance with the rest of what you write?

  • Doughlas

    C.S. Lewis was very creative with the idea of Hell. I thought the New Testament was quite clear about hell being a place of eternal suffering. Is that just a metaphor? And if so, how do you know when something that seems literal is “just a metaphor?” Is the Resurrection also a metaphor?

    I am of a scientific bent, so I can’t help but observe that speculations about what Hell “is” could be quickly ended if we only had some empirical evidence that it exists elsewhere than in the imaginations of certain believers.