Google yanks controversial app from the Play Store

Google yanks controversial app from the Play Store
Axios revealed last week that Google has removed the Living Hope Ministries app from the Google Play Store. Those who installed the app could listen to recordings of sermons and view texts of devotionals for men, women, parents and their children. However, despite the Ministry's denial, the app was also known for offering gay conversion therapy. This is a controversial method that some (including Vice President Mike Pence) believe will convert gay and bisexual men and women to a heterosexual orientation. The conversion is done by a brainwashing-like technique that uses psychology and religious belief to pound messages into subjects over and over again. Some say that this technique is harmful, ineffective, and could lead to depression, drug use and suicide.

Meanwhile, Google's action came after 142,212 people signed a petition on Change.org that called for the app's removal. Several LGBTQ organizations also demanded that the app is removed. But Google did not respond immediately; it took months of protesting before the company finally followed the lead of other tech firms that had already removed the app from their storefronts such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.


Before the Human Rights Campaign fought for the removal of the app, it had given Google a perfect 100% score for its annual Corporate Equality Index. The score was based on Google's offering of health benefits for same-sex couples, and for providing health care to Transgender employees. However, the organization pulled its support for Google because it would not originally remove the Living Hope Ministries app.

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23 Comments

1. ReticentHamster

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

Funny how things have changed, isn't it? A mere 30 years ago, Homosexuality was deemed a mental illness, and now it's promoted to the point that anyone who dares to voice any distaste for it is pretty much shunned and labeled as a closed-minded bigot. My views on such matters would probably be deemed old-fashioned at best by today's standards, but doesn't it seem a little militant to completely smash this app out of the store? I mean, to be subject to the supposed "brainwashing", wouldn't someone have to make a choice to search out and download the app? I have never heard of it until now, so it's not like the publishers were forcing it onto the mainstream. (or maybe they were, and I'm just underexposed) Perhaps there are those uncomfortable with their sexual orientation, and who actually would want an app like that? Whatever the case, times, they are a-changin'

2. Plutonium239

Posts: 1239; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Conversion therapy has been proven to not work and lead to suicidal thoughts and depression. We discovered throughout the 20th century many things about ourselves, psychologically speaking. For example, many women at the beginning of the 20th century that wanted independence from men and to be able to work the same jobs as men were regarded as having "penis envy". This is the same kind of misguided thought as conversion therapy. Except conversion therapy is almost as damaging as lobotomys performed on innocent women during the 20th century as well.

9. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Cool story. Don't download the app then.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

He won't. No one will, because it was rightly pulled.

23. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Cite the study that it was “proven” not to work. You can’t and won’t because you don’t know.

5. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I can see both sides to the argument of whether to allow an app like that to stay up. On the one hand, you are right that it requires someone to have to purposely download the app and use it. And for a lot of people that believe in the freedom of choice, you have to support everyone's own right to choose whether to engage in something or not. However, I also see the other side in terms of whether we are talking about someone being in the right mindset. Depending on what part of the world, homosexuality is seen as something that is like an illness. Someone who is gay might think that they are sick in the mind. The question becomes for someone who is self-critical and possibly even suicidal due to the thinking that they are not fit for this world, should we not try to do more to stop them from engaging in apps that could be harmful to their overall health? I think you could argue both sides.

14. RagingHeretic

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 02, 2019

Homosexuality has always been a thing. It's observed in no less than 500 different species of animals. So the Christian/Muslim argument that it is unnatural immediately goes up in flames. Undeterred by facts, religious conservatives refuse to just let the issue die, however. So it becomes a "freedom" issue for them. They feel they should have the FREEDOM to discriminate against other human beings they think are icky and whose sexuality they find "distasteful." Hey, bigot, listen up. We don't care what you think about homosexuality...or abortion...or any other thing a person other than you engages in that you don't like. Is it hurting anyone? No? Then we don't care. I speak for everyone. Your religious views are horrific and wrong. I'd never take a morality lesson from a person who thinks a book that sanctions slavery, genocide, and rape (the Bible) is the living truth of some invisible old man living on a cloud whom they think is perfect. Oh, and by the way, this ATHEIST (former Christian study leader) would like to refer you to said Bible about such hot-button issues like abortion...namely how it explains the procedure for accomplishing one (Numbers 5: 11-31). Ooops! The cat's out of the bag now...God supports abortion.

18. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

You’re the bigot. Look at the way you speak about the majority of the world who are Muslim and Christian. Hate speech laws are coming for you too.

3. LiveFaith

Posts: 492; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

This is the same Left who screamed, cried, and protested for a whole generation for ... wait for it ... Free Speech, Free Expression, and against Censorship. We'll, once they garnered power for themselves, then what do they do? They do EXACTLY what they protested about. They are now the new censorship, thought control, and expression oppressors. They control education, Silicon Valley, and a host of other power bases now. Wake up folks. Evil is standing at the door. And he despises anything contrary to his will.

4. jellmoo

Posts: 2645; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I'm sorry, but which political leaning is the one that loses their minds when football players take a knee during the national anthem? Pretty sure it isn't the Left.

8. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

You are right,, these are the same people who used to cry about freedom of speech, used to complain about being oppressed but now they want to oppress,, they think they are winning and will finish everyone who isn’t like them but what’s gonna happen is the opposite... try to be equal not superior,, upper class is silent for now but when they’ll attack it’ll be fatal

12. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Evil is sitting in the White House.

17. Blazers

Posts: 760; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

What does Trump have to do with this story?

20. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Trump Derangement Syndrome.

16. RagingHeretic

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 02, 2019

There's like 3 colleges in the U.S. where the students need a safe space from conservative speakers. Literally everywhere else, no one shows up to hear them talk...but they're allowed to talk. There's a reason the alt-right and Fox News junkies zero in on Berkeley...they know it upsets them. The right, in the age of Trump, is nothing more than a political party of trolls. They have nothing to say and stand for nothing...except to upset "libtards." Nice life.

21. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

If you need a safe space: the wrong people are in college.

6. JRPG_Guy

Posts: 147; Member since: Jan 13, 2019

Is that Saudi app still available?

7. Donbenie

Posts: 260; Member since: Aug 04, 2013

Political Correctness,it will be the bane of Humanity..

10. deago78

Posts: 172; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Downfall, I believe, is the word. At the very least it will be damaging in a multitude of unforeseen ways.

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1948; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Pray away the gay

15. RagingHeretic

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 02, 2019

And just think...it's the Christian conservatives who think THEY are the ones whose rights are being trampled... That's cute. Good call, Google. If Christians keep this up, keep banning them from selling their products. Deprive them of revenue and churches disappear.

22. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

You could. Not download the app instead of stripping everyone of their choices? Ah yes you’re a fascist. Makes sense.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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