FIER, Albania (ChurchMilitant.com) - Facebook is labeling a book linking the modern diet to homosexuality as hate speech.
Rita Strakosha, a clinical psychology professional in Albania, was banned from Facebook for six days for posting a link to her paper that theorizes modern diet and stress cause homosexuality. Strakosha wrote the paper as her master's thesis to earn her degree in clinical psychology at Albanian University and looked at hundreds of studies on sexuality and its causes.
Strakosha told Church Militant she posted a comment on someone's Facebook page, saying, "You may find of interest this study which shows how stress and diet cause homosexuality" with a link to her study. She said Facebook messaged her, saying it considered her post "hate speech" and banned it from her Facebook page. She was also notified that the ban would be permanent if she continued to post it.
Strakosha also told us that she felt there was too much political pressure from LGBT activist groups to silence any view that implies homosexuality is a disease. "Most people here in Albania, around 80 percent or more, are against gay marriage while there is some pressure from higher circles who want to legalize it," she said, adding, "This is not part of our culture."
"I noticed the scientists do not speak," she said. After sending 500 emails, Strakosha said she got only short responses back and noted not one sent her any constructive criticism, saying, "I got mostly emotional feedback."
She said she sent her paper to PLOS Medicine, an international journal focusing on general health, but the response she received from Paul Simpson, the deputy editor, said, "we do not think that they would be of the wide general interest that we are seeking for PLOS Medicine's general audience." She listed a number of factors that led her to realize that "my chances of publishing in a journal would be very slim," and she decided to publish her findings as an e-book.
She first published it on Amazon, but after she published it she noticed a number of comments were "very derogatory" and were "attacking the content without reading it." She said to protect her conclusions so that they would be taken seriously, she pulled the e-book and republished it on her blog for free.
Strakosha cited 319 studies and spoke with people through message boards and interviews to develop her thesis and to show that moderating diet and sleep patterns could be used to help treat unwanted same-sex attractions. She said she was "very surprised" after she published and learned that this link has been known about since 400 AD. "Fasting has been part of the plan for homosexuals since that time, for several centuries," she said. "Fasting was used by the Orthodox preachers, Catholic Christians and even the saints in China."
She published a blog post showcasing some of the historical perspectives of homosexuality and the use of fasting to help prevent and stop homosexual desires.
A number of saints have spoken about the connection between gluttony and lust. They are linked by the cardinal virtue of temperance. The website Unam Sanctam Catholicam wrote a blog post "On Gluttony and Lust" where they noted that "Lust is nothing other than disordered, immoderate sexual desire. Because it deals with excess with regards to bodily pleasure, we may rightly understand out sexual appetite to be governed by the virtue of temperance." They quoted the saints:
Saint Jerome said, "The eating of flesh, and drinking of wine and fullness of the stomach is the seed-plot of lust. Saint John Climacus said, "To be gluttonous, yet expect to be chaste, is to wish to extinguish fire with oil. It matters not whether the object of our desire is food or sexual pleasure: when we do not mortify our bodily instincts, we become immoderate people and fail in any struggle that requires temperance.
Unam Sanctam Catholicam summarizes it as: "lust is a problem with temperance, and if we are intemperate with regards to our sexual desires, it is likely that we are intemperate in other areas, too. But the flip side of this is that, if we can identify and rectify the other areas of our lives in which we find problems with moderation, we are in a much stronger position to attack the vice of lust."
Strakosha said she found that diet changes affect the hormones that when out of balance can cause gender non-conformity or in other cases, increase the sex drive to cause sexual addiction. "It also contributes indirectly by lowering the ability of the person to withstand stress," she said. "So if the diet is not healthy ... the person will be less resilient."
Strakosha said she also found a study showing "food allergies in the mother were causing problems in their offspring." She said there was some evidence that showed gender sexual behavior was affected by maternal food allergies. She said boys "were not as masculine as they should be and females were not as feminine." She noted this study was found in the archives because the study authors couldn't find any journal willing to publish it.
Strakosha said she got some positive comments from pharmacologists and a psychologist with 30 years of experience. She also said Matthieu Smyth, a professor of religious anthropology from the University of Strasbourg in France, wrote her saying, "he always thought stress had something to do with homosexuality, and he's almost sure that this is the case."
Smyth told Church Militant that he "carefully" read through the paper and found it "brilliant." He said, "It's both scientifically well-grounded and courageous. It provides a new and straightforward approach to these research subjects that are often blurred by ideology."
When we asked Strakosha if she would risk her Facebook page being shut down by reposting the link to her study, she said she was curious as to what would happen and said, "I can do without it."