Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News August 24, 2009
Nixon Retains Full Funding for Abortion Alternatives
Governor Jay Nixon has decided to spare the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion (ATA) Program from budget withholdings.  Nixon recently announced $60 million in reductions to the budget approved by the Missouri General Assembly during the recent legislative session.  Despite suggestions that he pare back the $1.9 million ATA appropriation, Nixon retained full funding for the program at the level established under former Governor Matt Blunt.  Margaret Donnelly, the Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, had recommended "moderate to severe cuts" in the program to address state revenue shortfalls. The ATA program provides a wide range of services to pregnant women and their children for up to one year after the birth of the child.  The state contracts with local agencies, including many pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes, to provide the specialized services.  We realize that Governor Nixon had difficult choices to make to bring the state budget into balance, and we are grateful that he made the decision to prioritize this life-saving program.
World Congress
Supports Traditional
There is good news to report concerning the family, and it comes from, of all places, Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  That's where the World Congress of Families met earlier this month.  Delegates from more than 60 nations gathered to discuss the future of the family.  The delegates ratified "The Amsterdam Declaration," which supports the preservation of the traditional family.  The document states that "the natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered on the voluntary union of a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage."  The document goes on to state that "the society that abandons the natural family as the norm is destined for chaos and suffering."  The delegates also agreed to statements discouraging divorce, protecting the rights of parents to guide their children's education, and guarding human life at the beginning and end of the life cycle. The Congress identified declining birthrates as a serious problem in the 21st century, and said that strengthening the natural family is the best solution to poverty. Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Policy for Focus on the Family, attended the Congress, and said he was encouraged to see a growing worldwide movement of family advocates.  For more information on the World Congress of Families, visit this link:
Missouri Christian Festival this Saturday 
Missouri's State Capitol grounds will be the site of the 7th Annual Missouri Christian Festival this Saturday, August 29th.  The festival, which runs from 9 AM to 9:30 PM, is a free outdoor concert that includes a variety of Christian music artists.  The program includes prayer times and inspirational speakers, including noted Christian author Bill Federer.  Steve Meyer, an organizer of the event, says "our hope is to bring together a number of people to not only praise our Lord and Savior, but to learn and reinforce our faith, and be a more effective voice to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ."  The festival will include games and jump houses, a motorcycle show, information booths and food vendors.  Notable Christian music artists Kathleen Carnali, Mathew West, Sylvia Ferguson, and Mission 5:16 will play in the evening.  For more information, go to the United as One website at this link:
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New Report Shows Sexual Preferences Can Change
A new report has been issued which demonstrates that individuals with homosexual desires can change their sexual preferences.  The study, which was prepared by the National Associaton for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), also reveals that reparative or conversion therapy can be both effective and beneficial.
The researchers examined more than 600 studies from more than 125 years of clinical and scholarly literature published in professional and peer-reviewed journals.  The results refute the claims of the American Psychological Association (APA) and homosexual activists that homosexual desires are innate and immutable.
"This research is a significant milestone when it comes to the scientific debate over homosexuality," says Dr. Julie Hamilton, the President of NARTH.  "Treatment success for clients seeking to change unwanted homosexuality and develop their heterosexual potential has been documented in the professional and research literature since the late 19th century.  It also confirms what we have seen evidenced in hundreds of individuals who have benefited from the help of therapists."
The APA contends that it is unethical for therapists to assist patients to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, claiming that such therapy is detrimental.  However, the research evidence demonstrates that efforts to help persons change unwanted homosexual preferences have not been shown to be harmful.
"We acknowledge that change in sexual attraction may be difficult to attain," the NARTH report says.  "As with other difficult challenges and behavioral patterns... change does not come easily..."  Nonetheless, "we conclude that the documented benefits of therapy...support its continued availability to clients who exercise their right of therapeutic autonomy."
Jeff Johnston of Focus on the Family says that therapy should support a person's spiritual values.  "Many men and women with same-sex attractions hold to a Biblically orthodox worldview--that God created us male and female in His Image and established one-man, one-woman marriage as the sole context for sexual relationship.  For these Jews and Christians, what Scripture says about how they should handle same-sex attractions trumps what our society says about 'sexual orientation.'  Learning how to steward their sexuality in accordance with their ethics and values is...important"
The study also concluded that there are significantly greater medical, psychological, and relational problems in the homosexual population than the general population.
"Overall, many of these problematic behaviors and psychological dysfunctions are experienced among homosexuals at about three times the prevalence found in the general population--and sometimes much more,"  the report states.
The study included these findings:
*Homosexuals represent the highest number of STD cases.  Despite knowing the AIDS risk, homosexuals repeatedly and pathologically continue to indulge in unsafe sex practices.
*Many homosexual sex practices are medically dangerous, with or without protection.
*Homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to have mental health concerns, such as personality disorders, paranoia, depression, and anxiety.  Forty percent of homosexual adolescents report suicidal histories.
*More than one-third of homosexual men and women are substance abusers.
*Homosexual relationships are more violent than heterosexual relationships.
Defenders of the homosexual lifestyle often claim that the prevalence of these problems is the result of society's "homophobic attitudes."  Yet the report demonstrates that cities and countries which are accepting and approving of homosexuality show similarly high levels of these pathologies.
Johnston says the findings should influence the outlook of "those who claim to have the best interests of the gay community at heart."
"True social justice, compassion, concern, and intellectual honesty dictate that men and women who want to pursue freedom from homosexuality should be afforded that opportunity."
For more information on the report, you can go to the website of NARTH by clicking this link:
For more information on Christian resources to help individuals seeking freedom from homosexuality in Jesus Christ, visit the website of Exodus International at this link:
Focus on the Family recently announced that their Love Won Out Conferences on freedom from homosexuality will be moved to Exodus International beginning this November.  Focus launched the Love Won Out program in 1998 to educate and equip Christians on how to respond to the issue of homosexuality in a Biblical way.  Focus employees who have been freed from the homosexual lifestyle have traveled to over 50 cities worldwide with a genuine message of truth and grace.
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