Looking towards a new day, when conversion therapy will be banned.

Dear God,

The politicians where I live were voting to begin the process of banning “conversion therapy” today.

(It isn’t really therapy – it increases distress and diminishes and destroys, so kind of the opposite of therapy really)

We have had to hear all kinds of nonsense, purportedly on your behalf, as if you are on the side of distress and harm, as if you are not Love, as if discomfort with difference and diversity is somehow divinely ordained.

I want to borrow that religious language we hear framing opposition: of binding and resisting and casting out. I want to pray for the binding of bigotry, for the resisting of ridicule, for the casting out of cruelty.

I want to pray a hedge of protection, a shielding of your vulnerable ones. That those who do not know how good they are, how delighted in they can be, that the ones who do not know unconditional love and acceptance will be safeguarded from the hurt and harm of people trying to change their sexuality or gender and from the hurt and harm of the way people talk about their identities and their loves.

Dear God, be at work in the fullness of your love,

Safeguarding, shielding, loving

And calling to repentance all whose words and actions, whose politicking and posturing cause harm to your beloved children (whatever our gender or sexuality might be)

Amen

Jemma Allen is a priest in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and is a Member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors who support a ban on conversion therapy.

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