When you find yourself sitting next to a woman who is reading a book entitled
and you can't believe, based on the title, why anyone could associate homosexuality in all seriousness with some defect of character. In that manner of "thinking", being gay is like an addiction or a vice that one can easily overcome. The book might just as easily be titled, You Don't Have to Gamble or You Don't Have to Overeat. Or even, You Don't Have to Be Afraid. Her justification for being a paid counselor in an ex-gay group is to save teh gays from the feelings of self-loathing and shame they experience by not being heterosexual and living a heterosexual lifestyle. "Nobody feels good about it," she kept repeating.
It was a strange flight, made even stranger by the presence of a conservative Christian youth group headed to China for a mission trip. I arrived at the airport just in time to see them anointing every member of the pack in the red t-shirts specially made for the occasion-- by making the sign of the cross on their foreheads with oil. Not only that, the pilot of the flight was younger than me and making his first solo outing. Naturally, they didn't tell us that until we had landed safely.