Secular Sin

In our post-Christian culture, many reject the notion of “sin” because that idea suggests accountability to a deity foreign to their worldview. It also suggests a judgment out of step with modern tolerance, inclusion and diversity.

Today racism is clearly “unacceptable.” Those who still believe the Bible agree, “… the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality…” (2 Chron. 19:7); “…how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?” (James 2:1).

Instead of “sin,” today’s politically correct thinkers quickly dismiss certain beliefs and behaviours as “inappropriate” or as manifesting a “phobia” (e.g., “homophobia,” “transphobia,” “Islamophobia,” etc.). Much of this is rooted in the 20th century “Sexual Revolution” launched by two American academics. Both claimed the authority of science but were exposed as producing shoddy research and wishful thinking in their debunking traditional sexual morality.

First, young anthropologist Margaret Mead’s 1928 book Coming of Age in Samoa established her as the “Mother of the Sexual Revolution.” But follow-up research by academic Derek Freeman revealed that Mead had been duped. Mead’s primary source was two teen girls who had great fun regaling Mead with imaginative tales of their idyllic island in which people lived in harmony, with very little competition, no class, and no moral codes that restricted people’s sexual behavior.  

Second, in 1948 zoologist Alfred Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (804 pages) followed in 1953 by Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Both were written in scientific jargon and included numerous tables of data. Both portrayed widespread sexual behaviour that many readers considered shockingly deviant. Kinsey was heralded as the “Father of the Sexual Revolution.” But follow-up research by Judith Reisman and others have exposed Kinsey as a passionate pedophile, bisexual and masochist with a mission to discredit traditional sexual ethics of all religions.

Beginning with Playboy in 1954, the Sexual Revolution was popularized to the delight and profit of many secularists who rejected traditional sexual ethics—and the result was the ruin of many families.

In spite of today’s prevailing relativism, Canada’s Criminal Code defines numerous behaviours that are not allowed (e.g., murder, rape, theft, fraud, etc.). From time to time the Criminal Code is amended for various reasons.  A 1969 omnibus bill tabled by rookie Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s father) amended our Criminal Code to legalize homosexual behaviours and abortions under strict conditions. Increasingly all criticisms of non-heterosexual behaviours were regarded as “secular sins” and dismissed as “phobias” (i.e., irrational fears).

In 2018 researcher Peter Sprigg wrote: 

“Sexual orientation change efforts” (or SOCE) are efforts to help people with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions overcome those attractions and/or abstain from homosexual behavior. SOCE may include professional therapy or less formal (often religious) counseling. Critics of SOCE make two claims—that it is ineffective, and that it is harmful. 

Critics of SOCE and the media usually employ the term, “conversion therapy,” that is no longer used by practitioners of SOCE.

Sprigg reviewed six studies from 2000 to 2018, “all of which show that SOCE can be effective for some clients in bringing about significant change in some components of sexual orientation. Few harms were reported. Older reports, including 600 studies and five meta-analyses, showed the same.

On October 28, 2020, the Trudeau Liberals succeeded in passing 2nd reading of “Bill C-6 (conversion therapy)” by a vote of 308 to 7. In Section 320.101 this bill defines conversion therapy as “a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce nonheterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” 

Only seven Conservative MPs had the courage to stand against the Liberal agenda to jail parents for up to 5 years, as well as pastors, priests and professional therapists who agree to help gender-confused or same-sex attracted persons who voluntarily ask for help to live according to their faith. In the debate before that vote others said they would support this bill on 2nd reading in hopes that its vague broad definition of mis-labelled “conversion therapy” might be clarified in committee. Earlier Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole wisely urged, “Kids need more support from adults, not less.… we should not be criminalizing talking.”

Many Internet sites include print and video testimonies of ex-gays and ex-trans people who have freely chosen to leave that lifestyle, some with talk therapy coaching, some without. They report that this talk therapy has been extremely helpful in improving their lives concerning their unwanted gender confusion or same-sex attraction. These counselling supports have saved lives. They testify that spiritual guidance or clinical therapy saved them from despair, depression and suicide. One clinic reports that some 135 clients per week come voluntarily seeking such clinical therapy help from their eight licensed professional counselors. 

Bill C-6 says nothing about such people who voluntarily seek help with their unwanted gender confusion or same-sex attraction or their loved ones who wish to help them. It only criminalizes the latter—which is clearly unfair. Hence, many Canadian voters see this bill as unconstitutional. If Bill C-6 were to be amended to define “conversion therapy” as coerced or degrading therapy, likely that problem could be solved.  At one point, Bill C-6 mentions “forced conversion therapy.” Elsewhere no such limitation is

referenced. That makes the present bill ambiguous. Some fear that parents, pastors and other faith leaders who mention traditional sexual ethics may be charged with violating this new secular sin if the present Bill C-6 becomes law.

All Canadian voters who care about sexual ethics need to determine how their MP voted on Bill C-6 at 2nd reading and why.

Peter Sprigg, “Are Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Effective? Are They Harmful? What the Evidence Shows” at (Accessed October 30, 2020).  See also Ann Gillies’ YouTube video on Change Therapy and her “False Assumptions about Science is the Basis for Conversion Therapy Bans” at   (Accessed October 30, 2020). Dr. Gillies is a Canadian trauma specialist psychologist. She asks, “Why is there such a need to suppress the ability of individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction to seek the therapy they wish?” Some readers my like to explore The Reintegrative Protocol™ at . Note that EMDR refers to eye movement desensitization and processing

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About the author


Al Hiebert, PhD, currently serves as President of Growing Up In Christ, Inc. Previously he served as the first Executive Director of Christian Higher Education Canada, as Assistant Director of the Association for Biblical Higher Education and for 33 years as Professor of Theology and Philosophy, first at Providence University College and Seminary and then at Briercrest Seminary.

About the author