Exposes how ex-gay and postabortion ministries operate on a shared system of thought and analyzes their social implications.
A staple of the culture wars, the struggle between Christian conservatives and progressives over sexuality and reproductive rights continues. Focusing on ex-gay ministries geared to helping same-sex attracted people resist their sexuality and postabortion ministries dedicated to leading women who have had an abortion to repent that decision, Cynthia Burack argues that both are motivated and characterized by a strain of compassion that is particular to Christian conservatism rather than a bias and hatred toward sexual minorities and sexually active women. This compassion reproduces the sexual ideology of the Christian right and absolves Christian conservatives from responsibility for stigma and other forms of harm to postabortive and same-sex attracted people. Using the democratic theory of Hannah Arendt, the popular fiction of Ayn Rand, and the psychoanalytic thought of Melanie Klein, Burack studies the social and political effects of Christian conservative compassion.