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12/22/2014

Video: TLC to air show about humans' ability to suppress truth in name of religion

by Jeremy Hooper

By now you've probably heard about this show:

Some people think this is offensive, particularly since the network airing it is the same one that has turned the Duggar family into stars who use their outsized platforms to lobby against LGBT rights. But I'll have to say that this show doesn't bother me. This network is always airing shows about unusual choices and extreme cases—this is just one more.

No one denies that men and women can personally choose to suppress their desires if that is what they want to do. I've always made it 100% clear that my objection to the "ex-gay" nonsense has absolutely nothing to do with the individual who makes that kind of choice. If an individual in my own life makes the choice to suppress his or her avowed homosexuality because he or she feels like it's the only acceptable option, then I'd certainly step up and have a conversation. But on the grand scale, I absolutely support people's right to channel their feelings however they see fit. None of my business.

When I see a special like this, I just feel bad for these men and for their wives. If any of them are truly bisexual, then that is an entirely different story; judging from the trailer, however, that doesn't seem to be the case. It seems that these are all men who, without the entrance of personal faith, would choose to follow their natural yearnings for men but, because of the entrance of faith, are choosing to instead push down these biological desires. It's not even the denial itself that I find to be the saddest or most dangerous part, actually. Instead it's the fact that these men and women seem to be building relationships that begin on the very shaky ground of taking what doesn't truly feel right, by their own admission, and trying to force it into something that will manifest as sustainable peace and happiness. Perhaps it will, but it would seem like there are some serious odds stacked against it. I can't imagine entering into a relationship, much less a marriage, that has that kind of weight attached to it from the get-go.

And to then put all of that in front of a TV camera so a reality TV audience can pick it apart? Wouldn't be my choice for my marriage or my family. But whatever. Good luck, I guess?

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