Focus on the Family again equated same-sex-attracted and gender-variant persons with sexual predators this week, when it condemned the signing of a new Colorado law that guarantees restroom access to gay and gender-variant persons.
Focus on the Family — de facto headquarters of the ex-gay movement through its Love Won Out roadshow and its political and financial influence over Exodus International — declared:
Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence.
Despite growing disenchantment among evangelicals and repudiation by a new generation of Christian young adults, the aging and morally corrupt leadership of Focus on the Family seems unwilling to free itself from obsession with toilets, ex-gay sex, and abortion.
Sigmund Freud’s outdated 19th-century hypotheses about gender and sexuality form the crumbling foundation of Focus’ own antiquated ex-gay philosophy. Since Focus offers backhanded respect to Freud — cherry-picking and co-opting Freud’s work while condemning atheist and secular mental-health thinkers — I think it’s worth remembering what Freud had much to say about fixation on toilets.
At one and one-half years, the child enters the anal stage. With the advent of toilet training comes the child’s obsession with the erogenous zone of the anus and with the retention or expulsion of the feces. This represents a classic conflict between the id, which derives pleasure from expulsion of bodily wastes, and the ego and superego, which represent the practical and societal pressures to control the bodily functions. The child meets the conflict between the parent’s demands and the child’s desires and physical capabilities in one of two ways: Either he puts up a fight or he simply refuses to go. The child who wants to fight takes pleasure in excreting maliciously, perhaps just before or just after being placed on the toilet. If the parents are too lenient and the child manages to derive pleasure and success from this expulsion, it will result in the formation of an anal expulsive character. This character is generally messy, disorganized, reckless, careless, and defiant. Conversely, a child may opt to retain feces, thereby spiting his parents while enjoying the pleasurable pressure of the built-up feces on his intestine. If this tactic succeeds and the child is overindulged, he will develop into an anal retentive character. This character is neat, precise, orderly, careful, stingy, withholding, obstinate, meticulous, and passive-aggressive. The resolution of the anal stage, proper toilet training, permanently affects the individual propensities to possession and attitudes towards authority. This stage lasts from one and one-half to two years.
May we all hope that Focus on the Family one day completes its toilet training, stops trying to block others from using the bathroom, and moves on to more mature endeavors like riding a tricycle.