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If Conversion Therapy is Banned, it is the Bible that will be Silenced

In for a penny in for a pound.  Whilst Premier Christianity has cancelled me, Christian Today so far remains faithful.   This is my latest article for them (and it seems to be meeting a need – as it is their most read article).   The bogeyman of ‘Conversion Therapy’ is being used to attack biblical Christianity.  We need to be aware of it.  Hope this helps.

If Conversion Therapy is Banned, it is the Bible that will be Silenced

There must a be plague of conversion therapy in the UK – indeed throughout the Western world. Why else would politicians, journalists and activists be demanding government legislation immediately? At a time of Covid, climate emergency and other major global issues, surely conversion therapy must be a clear and present danger, threatening millions, in order for it to garner so much attention?

Conversion therapy is banned in four countries – Brazil, Ecuador, Germany and Malta. The state of Victoria in Australia has also banned it, and the US, Canada, and the UK seem set to follow.  According to the UK Government, it is “an abhorrent practice that this government will take action to stop”. So, what is this conversion therapy of which they speak?

What is Conversion Therapy?

When TV news programmes go ‘undercover’ to discover conversion therapy, wanting to make ‘good’ TV and be as sensationalist as possible, they hunt for the most extreme, obscure group they can find and then ‘report’ that this is what is going on in Britain today.

And last week, the Conservative MP Angela Kearns informed Parliament that it includes things such as electric shock treatment and ‘corrective rape’ as well as therapy and prayer.

But the truth is that most politicians are largely ignorant of what conversion therapy actually is. All they know is that it is ‘bad’, and they will get hassle if they don’t join in with the mob – and virtue points if they do. And so, they will. But there will be little thought, little reality and little awareness of the consequences of passing a law that they do not understand.

Religious Leaders Opposed to Conversion?

What particularly interests and disturbs me is the religious people who see this law as a way to impose their liberal theology on the wider Church, by using the power of the State. You will have noticed that Angela Kearns mentioned corrective rape and prayer in the same breath – as though the one was equivalent to the other. Her ignorance and prejudice have likely been misinformed by religious figures such as Steve Chalke and Jayne Ozanne, who last week quit the Government’s LGBT+ advisory panel, claiming that there was a hostile environment for LGBT people in the administration and apparently upset that the Government would not offer a complete ban.


READ MORE: Gay Christian campaigner calls for public inquiry into evangelical teaching on sexuality


Chalke meanwhile says that those who actually believe what the Bible teaches about same-sex relationships should not be allowed to pastor, preach or pray with LGBTQI+ people unless they are ‘affirming’. If we do not welcome LGBT theology, then he threatens us with prosecution. Remember those dim and distant days when Chalke spoke about how we had to accept difference, and be tolerant of one another? No more.

Now our liberal progressive theologians want to use the whole force of the State to ensure that we all follow their State-imposed doctrine. Some of us warned years ago that Chalke’s theology would soon move from ‘respectful disagreement’ to that of compulsion. It gives me no pleasure to have been proved right.

Ozanne and Chalke argue that anything that seeks a change in behaviour should be illegal. Teaching that homosexual acts are wrong should be illegal, as should refusing to have LGBT leaders.

So what should the faithful Church do?

Firstly, we must disown and dissociate ourselves from the extreme forms of conversion therapy that are used to justify this ban. I have yet to meet or hear of a single Christian leader who would support ‘corrective rape’, or porn therapy etc. But doubtless in this weird world there will be some people somewhere who use Christianity to justify their abuse. We must not justify them.


READ MORE: Churches could soon face prosecution over LGBT treatment, says Steve Chalke


Furthermore, our priority should not be to change people’s sexual desires, but rather to help all Christians to have self-discipline, self-control and uphold Christ’s teaching on these matters – whatever their perceived sexuality. Pornography, adultery, sex outside marriage, any perversion of God-given pleasure, any form of abuse or mistreating of others is sin and wrong. But to use sin to correct sin is anti-Christian.

Equally we must not allow the emotive and dishonest attempt to equate prayer, pastoral care, Bible teaching and fellowship with abusive conversion therapy, to succeed. What is being proposed in a society which is becoming increasingly authoritarian is an oppressive and bullying measure that will do a great deal of harm. This is the new sexual doctrine of the progressive elites being imposed on the Church by a State which will brook no opposition.

A time is coming soon when, unless we are prepared to ditch the teaching of Jesus and the Bible, and follow the teaching of the new orthodoxy, we will be breaking the law. Troublemakers who want to silence biblical teaching and practice will be cheered on from the sidelines by those like Chalke and Ozanne. Read articles like this while they are still legal! I’ll send you my prison letters!

We must also speak up for the poor and those who cannot speak for themselves – especially children. Conservative MP Caroline Noakes gives us this an example of the kind of harmful, irrational nonsense that is so harmful: “We have to recognise that we want to welcome and accept people, whatever their gender and whatever their sexuality, and it seems to be incredibly difficult for the government to move as quickly as the country is.”

What’s harmful about that seemingly innocuous statement – apart from the arrogance of assuming that she knows where “the country is”? Firstly, do we really want to welcome and affirm every sexuality? Ms Noakes may not think that there are sexualities that harm people – but most people with any moral compass and rational mind do. And what does she mean by “whatever gender”? Does she mean one of the 97 genders (or whatever the latest figure is)? Does she mean the gender that we are by virtue of our biology? Does she think that a boy can convert to being a girl? Does she believe men can get pregnant? Or that biological males should play women’s sport?

Ozanne and Transgender Ideology

Ozanne made a particular mention of transgender ideology. She seems to think it is ok for medical treatments to mess with a child’s body, and for social contagion, trans indoctrination and peer pressure to mess with a child’s mind. But she wants it to be wrong for a child who suffers from Gender Identity Disorder to be told that they are suffering from Gender Identity Disorder and be offered help. Conversion therapy laws could harm not just those of us who hold to the Bible’s teaching about gender, but feminists who want to keep their womanhood, and detransitioners who realise they have made a terrible mistake.

Real Conversion

A final word about conversion: I love it. It’s a great word explaining a great biblical concept. It’s about new life, renewal, new beginnings, change and hope. The Father wants us to be converted, the Son died and rose that we might be converted, and the Holy Spirit converts us. And that’s an important point by the way: biblical Christians don’t seek to convert anyone. We tell them of Jesus, we tell them what God says, trusting that the Holy Spirit will work the miracle of the new birth. We can’t convert, so try to stop us doing something we cannot do is a bit pointless. But not as pointless as trying to stop the Holy Spirit doing His good work. No State or doctrine can stop the triune God!

When Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem and reported how “the Gentiles had been converted” we are told that “this news made all the believers very glad” (Acts 15:3). Doubtless then, as now, there were religious leaders who objected to this obviously harmful behaviour and who sought to get the real Christians into trouble with the authorities.

Today there are state authorities in Communist and Islamic countries who have anti-conversion laws. How sad that supposedly democratic countries in the West are now about to add their own. We are regressing to the bad old days of State-imposed doctrine. But the faithful will continue to live and testify in Babylon – even as we witness it collapsing around us!

Jayne Ozanne – Just Love – A Journey of Self-Acceptance (and ITV on Conversion Therapy)

The Anti-Christ Message of Steve Chalke

 

44 comments

  1. Please keep on doing what you are doing, David! Praying for your ministry, as you continue to research and speak out truth, the most important thing we possess.

  2. The persecuted Church is the praising Church. The praising Church boasting not in her own power, wisdom, intellect or goodness but boasting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for her salvation.

  3. I remember back in the 1980s or 1990s the LGBTQI community said they only wanted their lifestyle to be decriminalised. That was all they wanted. When I completed my secondary education teaching degree a few years later out of interest I did a paper on homosexuality and education. I gave about 2 pages of medical statistics on why homosexuality was unhealthy and then on my 3rd page wrote since homosexuality is a healthy alternative lifestyle it should be taught as such in secondary! I wanted to see if the professor would see the contradiction!! He did not. There is a great deception going on at present. And the church must remain faithful even if as you said it might mean coming persecution . Where will this lead? I fear it will lead to the publishing of a Jefferson bible edition in the near future. Keep posting while it is still day David!

  4. It is interesting that gender fluidity is commonly supported and encouraged but not a fluidity in sexual attraction.

    Of course this goes back to gay lobbyists in the 1980s who responded to the belief about homosexual practice being sinful with the idea of being “born that way” and to not support being gay being a consequence of being a horrible bigot.

    Knowing in the circles I am in of both transitioning – men to being transgender women or non-binary and presenting as female and also someone wiht a gay lifestyle previously, and now happily married wiht children it seems that either is possible.

    But then, there is always the self-righteous finger pointing which can feel so empowering to do.

    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
    then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday” (Is 58:9-10).

    1. What? Where did you get this idea in your head? Lots of LGBTQ+ people have sexual orientation which might be towards both men and women, or irrespective of gender, and which might be fluid. The B literally stands for bisexual, whilst Q+ covers a plethora of queer identities many of which involve fluidity.

      But that isn’t what conversion ‘therapy’ is about, it’s about people denying themselves their sexual orientation in order to better appease a religious institution.

      1. Is conversion therapy a ‘thing’ in today’s Britain? If so, where is it to be found?

      2. Hey Adam

        At least they don’t want to kill us, which arguably they should be doing according to the Bible. Maybe we should be grateful 😂😂

        Leviticus 20:13

        If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them

        Romans 1:26-32

        Because of this, God gave them over(BB) to shameful lusts.(BC) Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.(BD) 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(BE)

        28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over(BF) to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,(BG) 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;(BH) 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love,(BI) no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death,(BJ) they not only continue to do these very things but also approve(BK) of those who practice them.

      3. Two things, Jennifer,
        Leviticus 20 is a martial law condemnation of the religious cult practices that were destroying Canaanite society from the inside and were lined up in the last ditch attempt to stop the Israelites from returning. (Why else would a prostitute’s house be built into the walls of Jericho? It wasn’t there for R&R.)
        Likewise the end of Romans 1 gives a long list of society-destroying actions that ends with the warning that the society that starts off by trying to dismiss God from its thinking, ends up compelled by its own logic to practice those things that will destroy it and approve of them.
        Yours,
        John/.

  5. Agreed. We lift up Jesus. May he be made known, and made greater. For he is better. A second birth, a new start – how we need it.

    Thanks David, for your wise comments, but mostly that you point us back to our Saviour.

  6. Speaking as a member of the LGBTQ community none of us want to see any of you rotting in jail, I know you fear us and maybe to an extent thinking this fuels the desire for the persecution complex some of you might have but honestly we don’t. We mean you no harm. Same sex marriage has been legalised for a while now; has any of you been dragged away to rot in a dark rat infested dungeon for opposing it? No. Christian countries are the best in the world for LGBT rights barring a few exceptions. We don’t want to hurt you

    1. Jennifer – thanks but you are entirely mistaken. I don’t fear you at all. SSM has been legalised for some time. It’s still wrong. Life is not just a binary between two extremes. Sure we are not dragged away to dark rat infested dungeons – but we are discriminated against and abused – for daring to think and teach differently from the current sexual philosophy. I am however delighted that you personally think we should have the right to do so.

      1. I am sorry to hear that you’ve been abused and discriminated against; ironically enough this is what happens to LGBTQ+ people too, even in this day and age. Maybe we have more in common than expected 😉 Whilst I obviously don’t agree that SSM is wrong, I don’t think you should receive abuse for your viewpoint either.

    2. Jennifer, the idea that you are feared is nowhere near the mark. It is not an emotional thing but a rational thing. The chilling statistical facts on unsafe sexual practices, on early death, on STIs, and on promiscuity have always given a negative picture when it comes to homosexual practice. That remains true today.

      1. Ah yes, the “G” part of the LGBTQ+ community can be a bit on the wild side, however the issue there is promiscuous behaviour, not homosexuality innately. Other studies done show no difference in STD rates of monogamous heterosexual and monogamous homosexual couples

      1. Alastair

        Whilst I don’t agree with the activists in this scenario I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it was a just few activists doing this, not ordinary members of the LGBTQ community. Considering we are estimated to be at least 2.2% of the U.K. population it’s ludicrous to generalise all 1496000 of us as out for your blood. Cheers

      2. Jennifer – that’s precisely my point. You earlier claimed to be speaking for the whole LGBTQ community – but many don’t agree with you.

    3. The difficulty with claiming to speak ‘as a member of the LGBTQ community’ is just that: you’re a member. Now, I know for a fact that many of us are tired of the political posturing and activism that defines the so-called LGBTQ+ community (being part of that so-called community myself); and while the reality is that it’s relatively few activists who are the most heard, it’s those few that are the ones with the power to shape the narrative and influence politics. This is true of every domain.

      What does it matter if there are 1,496,000 of us if the vast majority is silent or self-censoring? Or, silenced for speaking up (as I – part of the T – regularly am). But how big is that majority, really? If the internet in any way reflects reality, then there are quite a few of us who would be against David, and Christian countries, and the bible, etc. You and I might recognise that we’re privileged to live in the West — as white supremacist, colonial, patriarchal, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, problematic, and on and on and on that it is. I don’t think these things about the West, by the way.

      So the ‘we’ is nebulous. You don’t want to hurt David. I don’t want to hurt David. But you and I can’t speak for the crowd, and there are plenty who do want to hurt him.

      1. Katja

        It’s nice to know there are others of our community with respectful intentions and who have no desire to hurt people like David. I will concede with you that whilst unfortunately there will be members of the LGBTQ+ community who have been genuinely hurt by conversion therapy or coerced into it I see no harm in prayer that has been consensually sought after by an individual. I suppose I look at it the same way I look at the purchase of illegal drugs, the drugs themselves may or may not be bad for you but I’ll still support your right to purchase them. I know for a fact that none of my other LGBTQ+ friends have a desire to see David hurt or put in prison, and I have passed on their comments saying as such on his Facebook. Unfortunately there’s always people who intend harm in every community just as there are Christians who kill gay people in some parts of the world. I don’t know why we can’t just all treat people as what they are irrespective of if we agree with their views or sexuality or not; as human beings with feelings, no abuse, no name calling, no hurting people.

  7. You seem more interested in upholding a supposed biblical orthodoxy (which is poor exegesis anyway) rather than the command of love. These kind of views confirm that majority of Christianity and the church have done a shit job of bringing the radical inclusion of Jesus to the world. They also confirm why so many young people no longer see what the church does as being of any relevance.

    1. The biblical orthodoxy which you mock is the teaching of Christ. It is also the command of love. To go against Christ’s teaching is to hate – not love. You use the jargon ‘the radical inclusion of Jesus’ but it is meaningless. It’s not radical, its not inclusive, and it has nothing to do with Jesus. The church is in decline because people like you seek to accomodate the message of Jesus to fit how they see the world. It’s much more radical than that. Those of us who teach what Christ says – are seeing lots of interest from young people – who are much more radical than your narrow following of whatever fashion this world offers.

  8. We are not your enemy, David, nor do we have any desire to see you dragged off to jail. Most LGBTQ+ folks just want to live and get on with their lives. Prayer is harmless imho

    1. I am not sure who the ‘we’ is? Whoever you are, you are certainly not my enemy. All I am asking is that all of us be left free to get on with our lives – including those of us who want to live, teach and love Christ. Is that too much to ask? I’m glad you don’t support this government legislation.

  9. ‘Assimilation therapy’, into the body of Christ, through baptism and profession of faith, beats this so called “GCT”. Advocating “GCT” seems silly at many levels. It drew howls of laughter in the NHS facilities where I used to work. It was openly scorned by many senior psychology or psychiatry people. The plain teaching of scripture is heterosexual marriage or celibacy. It’s always best to stick to what the bible actually teaches. “GCT” is not in the bible!

  10. Well done brother – by God’s Grace keep boldly standing up for the truth!

    Carl Trueman and Todd Pruitt’s recent “Mortification of Spin” blog “At the First Puff of Wind” overlaps and expands on similar themes.

    It’s so important that Scottish Christians pray for boldness to stand for Christ in our pagan society and not capitulate to the normalisation and celebration of sexual sin.

    Jesus is Risen and in Him we are Triumphant! ✝️🙏📖❤️😊

    https://www.reformation21.org/blog/at-the-first-puff-of-wind

  11. Conversion therapy is promoted by the Government and lobby groups, not only by was of counselling, but extreme medical procedures!

    But only when it comes to Gender Identity.

    All the things opposed to sexuality, are imposed for Identity.

  12. Adding on to my reply above to Alastair I will also note the news article Alastair published was Canadian, not British. Surely if you have to go all the way to Canada to find an example of persecution then that should tell you something about the British LGBTQ community? (Of which I am a part of?) The activists themselves could well have been straight for all we know anyway

    1. As you may know — in the UK we hear about how J.K Rowling is a transphobic terf. We hear about the awfulness of other people, also said to be terfs, like Rosie Parker, Germaine Greer, Maya Forstater, and others. How about those non-crime hate incidents? Let’s not pretend that anyone needs to look to Canada to find worrying examples, for want of not having anything to point to in the UK. Didn’t Scotland just pass a worryingly free-speech stifling anti-hate-speech law? Well, at least they nixed those oft-enforced blasphemy laws.

      And what does it matter if the activists are cishet straight male/female white knights? They’re still informing the social consciousness, and laws are still being passed. It doesn’t matter, especially if the British LGBTQ community doesn’t speak up (in the way you’re suggesting that it might).

      1. Katja

        I’m not even going to begin to get involved in all the trans stuff because I’m not educated enough on it to feel personally confident enough to comment on it. My own personal opinion on this is live and let live, LGBTQ or Christian or both or whatever. If a dude wants to become a chick or vice versa and it stops them killing themselves then who am I, puny insignificant mortal, to stand in their way? Likewise I’m not educated enough on internal Scottish politics to comment on any hate speech law; I’m just gutted that air guns are banned in Scotland personally 😂

        I’m going to write to my MP about this conversion therapy business anyway, you can choose to do too so if you wish. Assuming David here doesn’t support emotional abuse of the LGBTQ folks that seek him out consensually (which he doesn’t seem to) as I said I see no logical objective reason he should go to jail for preaching Christ or praying or teaching someone even if his views aren’t affirming, especially when there’s far worse stuff going on in the country. If nothing else it’d be a complete waste of jail space and taxpayer money.

      2. Jennifer,

        The point I’m making is related to your addendum towards Alistair:

        Surely if you have to go all the way to Canada to find an example of persecution then that should tell you something about the British LGBTQ community?

        The fact is that we don’t have to go all the way to Canada to find an example of persecution. I realise there’s a rhetorical ‘if’ in what you wrote that you could very well fall back on, but the reality is that the LGBTQ+ community – especially the Ts – in the UK will go after anyone who says anything even remotely critical of whatever the current agenda is. I’m a transwoman who has been accused of cissexism, biological essentialism, being a terf, and on, and on, and on. My great sin is disagreeing with certain neologisms. I’ve been de-personed more than once.

        I think it’s fair to be humble and claim a kind of ignorance about this-or-that letter of the acronym (and is entirely understandable given it’s basically the entire alphabet at this point), but then, what position does that put you in with respect to talking about the LGBTQ+ community generally? I don’t intend that to be a personal criticism, as I’m limited in exactly the same ways.

        That air gun ban though — how ridiculous.

  13. So “Conversion” becomes the latest word stolen from us and it’s high time we went down to the enemy’s camp and got back what he’s stolen. Since what is being stolen in this case is meaning, the measure of recovery will be if we can begin to use these words once again in conversation and proclamation. As we begin to make an inventory of words taken, the list seems likely to grow to encyclopedic proportions — and wikipedia’s part in the steal ought not be overlooked — but it should be possible to select a representative group of words, the recovery of which will enable us to retrieve the rest.
    Lest some should think that word-theft is not a serious problem and that: “Everybody knows what we mean.” we just need to demonstrate that “Faith”, “Hope” and “Love” have all been attacked from different directions and at every level of verbal interaction.
    My suggestion for vocabulary lessons that claim back stolen ground is to work from the latest example — “Conversion” — through to that attribute of God that is probably the least understood: his jealousy.
    Perhaps then:-
    1. “Conversion”
    2. “Faith”
    3. “Condescension”
    4. “Love”
    5. “Hope”
    6. “Complacency”/”Complaisance”
    7. “Jealousy”

    Yours,
    John/.

  14. I think it is important to separate the notion of Christian conversion from conversion therapy.

    Conversion therapy is not a Christian practice and does not mean becoming a believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is the attempt to make a gay person attracted to the opposite sex by inducing trauma. To my knowledge there is no record anywhere of this ever working, though a great many who have been subject to it blame it for long term mental and physical health problems.

    The one cross over is amongst the minority of Christians whose theology holds that a person must be attracted to the opposite sex in order to be accepted as a full follower of Christ.

    I once read an horrific account of a schoolboy in the 1970s being given the choice of weekly electrocutions on the NHS or expulsion. He chose electrocution because it was his only route to university and therefore away from his abusive parents and abusive school.

    1. if conversion therapy were just ‘the attempt to make a gay person attracted to the opposite sex by inducing trauma’ then few would quibble about it being banned. But if you read the article and listened to Steve Chalke and Ozanne you will know that that it is not what they are talking about.

  15. Dear Katja

    Surely in a true democracy freedom of speech and freedom of opinion and debate around said opinions is to be encouraged? Please understand that by this statement I am not encouraging or endorsing people to insult or hurt those who they disagree with, on both sides, but I’m all in favour of rational intellectual debate. I will re- iterate once more what I said to you before that I’m simply not educated enough on gender dysphoria to feel comfortable commenting on matters relating to Trans individuals.

    I will concede that I made a wording error in pertaining to speak for all the LGBTQ+ community, my opinions otherwise remain as I said they are. I refuse to allow people like David the satisfaction of being able to villianise and portray us all as their enemies out for them to go to prison. I will not play into or contribute to their persecution complexes, looking at some of the comments on here they’re practically begging to be persecuted. I refuse to contribute to the far right wing evangelical perception that all LGBTQ+ folks want to persecute them

  16. Thanks for your clear stance, David. The Bible will never be silenced. Great Empires have sought to accomplish this throughout history, but have never succeeded to this day. It is the Word of God, and He knows best what is right & proper for His creation, and always has, and always will. As soon as man(kind) thinks he knows best, there is serious trouble; because it is “sin”, and “A little leaven leavens the whole lump”! No wonder we’re in such a mess, and that includes the professing church. Jesus is the ONLY answer, and He is The Word which became flesh & dwelt among us, and still does today by the power of the Holy Ghost through His Word.

  17. I received this response from my MP when I wrote to him explaining why I don’t agree with banning it even as a member of the LGBT community:

    Dear Ms ,

    Thank you for writing to me with your concerns on the Government’s plans to ban conversion therapy.

    The Government will ban conversion therapy. The ban will cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. How we ban these practices is a complex issue that we must get right.

    Be assured that officials continue to consult a range of organisations with diverse views. As well as this consultation, officials continue to assess the most up-to-date evidence, including that of the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. More information on the Government’s response can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lgbt-action-plan-2018-improving-the-lives-of-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-people.

    The Department for Women and Equalities has also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. The Government is working at pace on this issue and will outline its plans shortly.

    I know this might not be the response you expected, however I can assure you that I will bear your concerns in mind while discussing with colleagues.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.

    Kind regards,

    If it goes ahead I’m sorry I tried

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