A church in Michigan has come under intense attack this month after posting on Facebook that it was holding a workshop at the church for girls who are struggling with essentially LGBT thoughts:
NBC NEWS – A Michigan church is being protested for hosting what some LGBTQ activists are calling a conversion therapy workshop.
In a since-deleted Facebook post, Metro City Church in Riverview, Michigan, announced a six-week workshop for 12- to 16-year-old girls “struggling with the thoughts that they are Trans – Bi – Gay or other.” The workshop was originally advertised for $200, according to the post.
Lead pastor Jeremy Schossau refuted the idea that the workshop, which started earlier this month and continues until mid-April, is a conversion therapy program.
“When people say conversion therapy, I don’t even know how that got started,” Schossau told NBC News. “It’s just completely a wrong narrative. It is a lie, because we’re dealing with pre-sexual kids mostly.”
Since announcing the controversial workshop, Metro City Church has received thousands of harassing phone calls and emails, according to Schossau.
“It is hard to believe how much vile filth has been sent our way,” Schossau said, adding that many of the emails contained gay pornography. “We’re talking 10,000 emails and posts and messages and phone calls. It’s just been virtually nonstop,” he said.
Despite the uproar, Schossau said the church will continue to hold the “Unashamed Identity Workshop.” It will be held every Thursday until April 19, according to the deleted Facebook post.
Schossau described the workshop as “a conversation” where teenagers are encouraged to “slow down sexually.” He said it seeks to help kids understand “no matter what pressures they are feeling in the world, whether it be from the gay community or the straight community, that they don’t have to respond to anybody.”
Schossau did not specify the purpose of the workshop but insisted it is not a conversion therapy program.
“It can’t be conversion therapy since these kids aren’t gay,” Schossau said, claiming the participants, who range in age from 12 to 16, are too young to know what their sexual orientation is.
In a video posted on the church’s website in response to the backlash, the pastor stated he believes sexuality is a choice.
Here’s the video that Schossau posted earlier this month explaining this program:
I don’t know this church nor this program. But generally speaking, holding a workshop to help people deal with these kind of thoughts is a great thing. It’s a major problem and it needs to be addressed and I can’t fault a church for wanting to help their members deal with this issue.