Homeopathy for homosexuality

The Union of Catholic Physicians of Germany is offering a homeopathic therapy to “cure” homosexuality:

The religious association, which calls itself the “voice of the Catholic medical community,” writes on its website that while “homosexuality is not an illness,” a host of treatments are available to keep such “inclinations” at bay. Possibilities include “constitutional treatments with homeopathic tools … such as homeopathic dilutions like Platinum,” “psychotherapy,” and “religious counseling.” Among homeopathy’s controversial treatments are the prescription of “Globuli,” tiny pills that consisting mostly of sugar.

[…]As for the scientific basis of the treatments offered by the UCP, Winkelmann listed “medical-psychotherapeutic, philosophical and theological literature,” the “minority views of psychotherapists,” the “teachings of the Catholic church, the Holy Scripture,” and the “homeopathy of Samuel Hahnemann,” the German physician credited with creating the practice.

When your “scientific basis” includes “philosophical and theological literature”, “teachings of the Catholic church,” and “the Holy Scripture,” you know you’re dealing with top notch research.

This is patently ridiculous on a whole number of levels. One, homosexuality isn’t something that can be cured, nor is it something that should be cured. But even if you did want to cure it, pseudoscientific bunk like homeopathy is probably the least effective way to do so.

Homeopathic medicine is nothing but sugar and water. When they say it consists of dilutions of Platinum, they mean they’ve diluted it so many times that there probably isn’t even a single molecule of Platinum left in the pill.

Though I am curious as to why they used Platinum. Usually homeopathy goes by the notion of “like cures like” – that you put something that causes your problems into the solution and keep diluting it, and then the water will “remember” those bad molecules and flush them out of your system (Yes, it’s that nutty). But what does Platinum have to do with homosexuality? Maybe it was too hard to dissolve the soundtrack to Rent? Since obviously stuff like that is what makes people gay, not hard-wired biology.

Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining, though. I much rather have people receiving sugar pills as treatment than being forced to attend psychologically damaging gay reprogramming camps.

I’m such a meanie!

Apparently some Savage Love listeners are in a tizzy because I called religion “silly.”
Oh dear me! Pass the smelling salts! Silly? Silly? How utterly barbaric!

That religion/spirituality discussion got pretty damned dismissive. I do think it’s useful – probably necessary – to be skeptical about everything (even a person’s own skepticism), but I don’t think person shouldn’t be labeled ‘silly’ or ‘wrong’ or be dismissed outright just for being a part of a religion or for having spiritual interests or beliefs. They may very well be thinking critically about their beliefs (plenty of people do, and I certainly wish more religious people would), but STILL find those beliefs to be valid for them on a personal level and useful in their life (helping them to understand themselves, to figure out what their philosophy is about the world, to find a community of people to relate to and find support with, etc., etc.).


Dear Dan: Please don’t have an atheist on your show to explain why those silly religious people are so darn stupid. There are plenty of intelligent people out there who also have religious beliefs. This show was just plain insulting.


Ugh, please don’t have that hypocritical twit back on the show. She was there to challenge you on some ignorant commentary on a previous podcast, but then calls a religion “silly”; a religion of which she is admittedly ignorant.

Look, I get that as a culturally Catholic atheist, you have a narrow view of the variety of religious and spiritual experiences of the rest of the world. You said that you didn’t feel any pull to seek out another religion when you left Catholicism. Your guest so contemptuously surmised that only silly people with mortality anxiety could be drawn to religious practice. Some of us however, feel drawn to express the awe of the numinous, and communion with spirit/the divine/invisible friend(s).

I am really shocked that you chose to dismiss Wicca as something silly. Especially when Wicca is a sex positive, woman positive, queer positive spirituality. Wiccans aren’t out at the polls trying to take away your civil rights. Wiccans aren’t denying your rights to marry, adopt children. Wiccans aren’t beating the shit out of trans people in a McDonalds either.

So, way to go in perpetuating more misinformation about a minority religion. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you’d shit on people who are, on the whole, supportive of all the things you believe in.

I find this incredibly amusing, as I went out of my way to be nice and diplomatic knowing I was on a sex advice podcast and not an atheist one. Let’s hope they don’t actually click through to my blog, or their heads will surely explode from righteous indignation.

But in case they’re gluttons for punishment, here they go:

Religion – whether it’s something culturally acceptable for liberals to hate on like Christianity, or a minority religion like Islam or Wicca – are all wrong. They’re based on unsubstantiated claims that have no basis in reality. There is not a shred of evidence that any religions, past or present, are actually correct.

Regardless if your religion goes out of its way to oppress others, or just has private naked kissing rituals, I’m still going to point out how wrong it is. Why? Because the search for truth is important to me, and there are too many beautiful, wonderful real things in this world to be wasting our time on pointless rituals and optimistic daydreaming. It’s intellectually insulting to believe in something just for community, or wonderment, or tradition, or answers about the afterlife – when it’s a fucking fairy tale.

And I’m just as happy to point out when non-religious beliefs are wrong. Your bad ideas don’t get a free pass because you invoke an imaginary friend or magic.

Religious people aren’t necessarily stupid. Plenty of people have false beliefs – even us godless skeptics aren’t perfect. But I’m willing to listen when someone points out that those beliefs are fucking stupid.

And silly.

Over $30,000 raised for Camp Quest!

Here are the final results from our month long fundraiser for Camp Quest:

Team Awesome: $13,550.06
Team PZ: $13,016.01

Matched amounts:
Team Awesome: $1,868.73
Team PZ: $1,640.00
Total Match: $3,508.73

Grand Total Raised: $30,074.80

You guys are amazing! Thanks so much to everyone who donated and spread the word. Because of you, tons of young freethinkers will have an awesome experience this summer.

Double your impact in helping freethinking kids!

There’s only a couple hours left in our Camp Quest fundraiser. Team Awesome is now ahead of Team PZ, mainly because PZ is a nefarious bastard and hoisted the white flag of defeat after Team Awesome had promised to embarrass themselves in a number of ways if they won.

But there’s exciting news! Todd Stiefel of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation has pledged to match all donations in the last two hours of the drives up to $5,000 per team! That means if you donate before the competition ends at 2pm EST (11 PST), your donation is effectively doubled! That’s everything above $11,681.33 for Beat PZ (aka Team Awesome) and $11,376.01 for Team PZ.

For those of you who have donated so far – thank you so much! It’s amazing that we’ve raised over $20,000. And if you haven’t donated yet, please consider donating now! All the money goes to Camp Quest, a summer camp for the children of non-religious parents that teaches critical thinking skills and science in addition to regular camp activities. And if you want a corny video where I awkwardly say what Camp Quest is about, watch this!

And honestly, I don’t care which team you donate to now, as it’ll be a hollow victory if we win now (goddamnit, PZ). If I were you, I’d aim for a perfect tie.

Though I kind of hate all of you who really, really, really want to see me make a fool out of myself learning how to ride a bike.