Maddow: Why is a quack ‘ex-gay therapist’ on staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy?

By David Ferguson
Friday, November 22, 2013 9:40 EDT
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Maddow on AF Academy ex gay
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On Thursday night’s edition of her show, Rachel Maddow talked about the long history of undue influence by evangelical Christians over the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO. That influence has demonstrably gone too far, she said, when an advocate of the discredited, psychologically harmful practice of “reparative therapy” is in charge of the counseling program for incoming cadets at the university, which is what came to light earlier this fall.

The U.S. Air Force Academy is located quite close to the national headquarters for the anti-LGBT hate group Focus on the Family. The evangelical organization — which regularly distributes propaganda accusing gay men of child molestation and abduction — and the military college enjoy an overly friendly relationship, according to some.

Attendees and graduates of the academy have filed multiple lawsuits over the years alleging a toxic culture of Christian proselytizing at the institution, with cadets being awarded lower grades and performance scores for not attending prayer services and Bible study groups. In 2010, 41 percent of non-Christian cadets said that they had been pressured to convert to Christianity and told that they could not properly fulfill their Air Force jobs unless they did so.

This week, AmericaBlog noted that Dr. Mike Rosebush — who has devoted his career to “curing” people of their “addiction” to homosexual behavior through Christian prayer and Bible study — is leading the academy’s character and leadership coaching program.

Christian conversion or reparative therapy has not only been found to be ineffective at changing people’s in-born sexual orientation and gender identity, but people subjected to the various treatment programs often experience depression, anxiety and sexual dysfunction for years afterward. The practice has been outlawed in California and New Jersey.

“This was his professional career before coming to the Air Force,” said Maddow on Thursday. “He wrote books about ‘curing’ gayness.”

Rosebush was a director at the now-defunct “ex-gay” groups, the National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuality (NARTH) and Exodus, International, which closed its doors earlier this year with its president apologizing for the harm his group has done to the LGBT community.

So why is this guy in charge of molding the minds and leadership skills of incoming cadets, Maddow asked.

“Why would a quack ‘ex-gay therapist’ with decades of experience doing that kind of quack ‘ex-gay’ therapy be hired to oversee anything, much less the mandatory counseling program for all U.S. Air Force Academy cadets?” she said.

Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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