‘God is Working’ on Getting Gays to Heaven

There are a few things that I really get riled up about when it comes to religion.  

You know the obvious ones: priests molesting little kids, the Vatican covering it up, honor killings… But, for some reason, the whole “Pray the Gay Away” movement has always struck a real chord with me.  Maybe it’s because I have several friends who have struggled with acceptance after coming out of the closet and it hits close to home.  Maybe it’s because I think it’s fundamentally messed up to tell someone that their loving god planted “unnatural desires” into them only to then punish them for those very desires.  Regardless, few things make me less comfortable than witnessing the self-loathing that goes along with being violently shoved back into the closet.

And then I found this video.  

Watching this video made me do that thing where I laugh because I was so so so uncomfortable that I didn’t know how else to react. Go ahead. Watch it. You’ll squirm:

It features Jesse Connors power-walking around the room becoming increasingly frantic as he discusses his new website TrueLife.org and his struggles with homosexuality.  He showcases a video featuring the late Jonathan Ervin saying, “Maybe you are attracted to men like I am… and you wonder if God loves you.” My personal favorite bit is when Connors describes the rest of the video:

Alright… pause it. We don’t have enough time to go through the whole thing but I promise you if you watch it, you’re are going to love it.  Here’s the cool thing right now, okay?  It goes… through atheism first how atheism can’t–’cause homosexuals are like, “Oh, atheism.”

I was feeling a little masochistic so I watched Mr. Ervin’s video.  It sure did start off addressing atheism.  His guest, Dr. Will Honeycutt (real name), sure gave me something to think about.

… but for our discussion, consider something we can all relate to: Our Earth.  A ball in the sky spinning at a thousand miles an hour.  Now, the movement of this huge mass is so precise, we set our watches by it!  All of this is beyond remarkable and beyond chance.

Yes, Dr. Honeycutt.  The only answer for this precision is G to the O to the D. Hand the man his Nobel Prize!

And Professor Darren Wu weighed in with this enlightening information:

Fine points, all

That’s so funny because I was just talking to my atheist friend about how hopeless my life was and the lack of moral structure in the world.  Thank goodness I found YouTube!

And then this happened to lighten my mood:

She said that, as an English Department Chair, she knew that the Bible was factual.  That’s funny… I was a literature major and I don’t remember my professor telling me that Moby Dick was infallible.

So these characters made their compelling arguments for a loving god, calling the Bible “the most trustworthy book of all time” and saying that “God establishes boundaries for us because he loves us.”  Oh, also, Ervin is thankful for his AIDS.  It brought him back to Jesus.  Healthy world views all around.

And then there was the part that made me so uncomfortable I couldn’t look directly at the screen like some sort of closeted eclipse.  On the verge of a breakdown, Connors says:

You learn in this video that Jonathan is dying of AIDS.  He died of AIDS in February.  I found him.  He’s dead.  But he’s in heaven.  And other homosexuals need to go to heaven too… We had 50 churches last year.  Now we have 623.  God is working!  It’s not me!

Yikes.

I cannot imagine living the life that these men promote.  They openly acknowledge that they have same-sex attractions and shove those emotions down so deep because they sincerely believe that to cave into temptation is a one-way ticket to hell.

They think their god shows his love by messing with them.  And they want you to feel the love too!  We all can be as emotionally unhinged as this!

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

    The most fundamental evil of fundamentalism (and Christianity in general) is making people ashamed for who they naturally are.  Eat too much? Gluttony.  Have an emotional reaction to an emotional situation? Anger. Attracted to the same sex? Homosexuality.  Attracted to sex? Lust.

    The biggest step in my deconversion was realizing that there was no semblance of sanity for God making me ashamed of some things (healthy heterosexuality), but not of others,  with completely arbitrary distinctions between the two.  Then punishing us for the way He makes us? Ridiculous.
    I feel sorry for all my friends still stuck in this cult, and hope to get them out, slowly but surely.

  • bbbbbbbb


    Now, the movement of this huge mass [the Earth] is so precise, we set our watches by it!  All of this is beyond remarkable and beyond chance.”  Actually, the movement of the Earth is not particularly precise, which is why we rely on cesium vibrations, the Tycho time server provided by USNO, and network time protocol (NTP) for accurate timekeeping instead of planetary motion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      But we DO set our calendars by it, since there are exactly 365…check that…365.2422 days per year.  Which explains the little partial square at the end of December.

      • Patterrssonn

        It only appears that way because you lack faith. What actually happens is that the Self Begotten One changes the topology of the solar system every 4 yrs as proof of His existence, hence the miracle of February the 29th.

  • Drew M.

    I couldn’t finish watching the truelife.org video. These people are fucking sick.

    • Itarion

      I was just slightly off-put by the tone of the speakers in that one: It’s like they were pitying me or something. I will accept your sympathy, but pity I cannot deal with.

  • Fsq

    Dr. Swallow looks disturbingly like Nina Hartley….coincidence? Probably but the unfortunate similarity and her name is really fucking funny.

    • Drew M.

      Now that you bring it up, you’re right. She’s her evil twin, hellbent on undoing all the good Nina has wrought!

      • Fsq

        And I have made this query before, but is very apropos here…

        Since the fundies seem to believe life is the actual sperm or ova, if someone does swallow during fellatio, should they be charged with cannabilism?

  • CanadaGoose

    “Now, the movement of this huge mass is so precise, we set our watches by it! All of this is beyond remarkable and beyond chance.”

    And isn’t it remarkable that our ears and nose are in JUST the right place to support eyeglasses! Beyond remarkable and beyond chance!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

      And don’t forget the remarkably close fit of the male sexual organ with any number of orifices…their god must be one of them preverts they keep railing against.

    • Cincinatheist

      ^This. This is exactly what I thought. Facepalm. Just fucking facepalm. This is just more stupid teleological argument. “I mean look! The Earth rotates exactly once every 24 hours! It’s so perfect. God is awesome!”  Except that it doesn’t. Someone should tell these morons that the Earth only rotates once every 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 and some-odd seconds. And it’s getting slower every day. So now we need leap seconds to make up for it. Just another of the thousands of examples that God is a shitty engineer, not an intelligent one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithacollyer Keith Collyer

       It’s the puddle argument, it’s remarkable that the hole is just the right shape for the puddle to fit into

      • Cincinatheist

        Indeed. One of my most favorite Douglas Adams quotes. Thanks for reminding me: 
        Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise.

  • ortcutt

    This is all so disheartening.  Society is quickly evolving towards embracing (or at least accepting) gay and lesbian people.   Doing so is the most natural thing in the world.  Why would someone possibly think that two people loving each other is a bad thing unless your mind was destroyed by a toxic ideology like conservative Christianity, Islam, or Judaism?  

    Maybe naively, I thought that these people would evolve along with everyone else, but it’s clear that they are going to continue to reject love and double-down on hate.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      It is precisely because society is evolving towards acceptance of homosexuals that these crazy fringe groups are becoming more active. It’s normal… and probably healthy (as it drives out the moderates). I doubt the KKK was ever more active than during the mid-20th century civil rights movement.

      Extreme conservatives (who are, happily, just a small minority) tend to react violently to change. And in so doing, they probably help drive that change.

      • http://bareatheism.blogspot.com/ Deven Kale

         The frightening thing is that they really aren’t a small minority. While a minority they may be, they’re a large enough minority that when these issues come up for a vote, they’re able to garner enough people to vote against them that it’s nearly always shot down.

  • nfq

    Jessica, this post is so funny, it actually allowed me not to cry about the repugnant subject matter. I much prefer to laugh at them. Thank you!

    • Jessica

      Thanks very much!  
      We must laugh to keep from crying!

    • Drew M.

       Call me juvenile, but I can’t stop laughing at that particular screenshot of “Dr. Karen Swallow Prior.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

        A miracle?  Most swallow AFTER.

        • Mandocommando23

          Not all of us…;P

  • Salty

    so tragic… the polar opposite of psychological health

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    “Now, the movement of this huge mass is so precise, we set our watches by it!”

    … what is that… I don’t even…

    Is he seriously surprised that it takes exactly twenty-four day for the Earth to rotate?

    I can only imagine his puzzlement if he finds that a meter has exactly a hundred centimeters regardless of the phase of the moon. Must be God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    Also, I was briefly worried but relieved to see she’s not a department chair at a real university.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jadelackey Jade Lackey

    I managed to watch the whole video from Cody, and it is sad to see them pretty much say “hey stop with the “temptation” or you are going to die”.  Be a statistic , 100% of everything living dies.

  • http://twitter.com/kariedgerton Kari Edgerton

    I couldn’t watch the first video, he was moving around too much. It hurt my eyes. :(

  • http://truth-tables.com James Hotelling

    Minor quibble: I could have sworn he said “I found him”, not “I filmed him”. Not especially important, but it did send me down a weird mental path: I found myself simultaneously feeling for the pastor, to find the body of someone he’d obviously been intimate with (in some sense of that word or other), imagining him carrying on a relationship that could have been so loving and open if only he’d let go of this idea that Jesus wasn’t happy with two guys being in love, and feeling disgust that he would use a death and even his own pain to promote a religious idea. “This really hurts- let’s see how I can use it to further my career!” is both heartrending and revolting, and seems to sit firmly in the demesne of the huckster with one remaining scrap of humanity; to wit, advertising people and preachers.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Thanks — I made the edit (“found him”).

  • cipher

    Dr. Karen Swallow Prior – Hemant, that cannot possibly be her real name. Is Liberty now hiring retired porn stars?

    Also, I hate it when fundies quote Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox (-ish) Jewish physicist who’s written a couple of books about cosmology and theology supporting one another.  They think he’s going to hell, yet they feel they have the right to appropriate him on an as-needed basis. I think Schroeder’s assertions are nonsense, but as a Jew, I find this offensive. Piss off, fundies – find your own damn shills. I hear Hugh Ross is available.

    Anyway, back to weepy boy – so, last year he had fifty churches, and this year he has 600. What about the gay people who’ve died before he could reach them? They’ve gone to hell, right? So what does this teach us – that God can’t finish the job in a timely manner? What is he, union?

    I had a Mormon kid tell me the other day that “progression” in the afterlife is possible, but you need to be baptized in order to get to the higher levels – hence their push to do it posthumously. I asked him, “Do you really believe that God is subject to these limitations? ‘I’d
    like to give you a higher position, but I can’t because you didn’t fill
    out the proper forms.’ You think God is like the DMV?” Naturally, I didn’t get an answer.

    These people shouldn’t be allowed to use technology. I think it confuses them.

  • kagekiri

    Ugh, it’s not that God shows love by giving them gayness to struggle with; the Bible says they are CURSED and PUNISHED with that struggle because of their (or their parents’?) sins.

    It’s about as messed up as thinking that hitting a kid who is crying about being hit will stop the kid from crying: you’re setting the kid up to keep crying and keep getting punished for it (that’s from personal experience: my mom hitting my brother to stop him from crying about being spanked….it was messed up).

    Yet that’s what God says he does in fricking 1st Corinthians: he makes people who rebel against him sexually immoral and convinced of their atheism and otherwise more “evil”, so that they’ll keep rebelling and keep sinning and keep stacking up punishment for themselves. Wow, good disciplinary method, God! Literally program problematic subjects to be more problematic, that’s free will for ya! That’s God’s love and mercy!

    It’s a tremendously abusive idea, just like most ideas about original sin. We “decide” to be born sinful (though God still takes credit for making us), and we inherently “deserve” punishment because God made us inherit sinful natures from our ancestors, so somehow we’re responsible for the status of our creation. If a God like that exists and created us to be punished, I say fuck Him. To say he’s infinitely good while doing that kind of crap is just self-hating delusional bullshit.

    • http://bareatheism.blogspot.com/ Deven Kale

       You forgot to mention the part where this god removes someones free will in order to make an example of them, such as when he hardens the heart of the Pharoah in order that Moses will be able to show them his god’s miracles.

    • cipher

      Yet that’s what God says he does in fricking 1st Corinthians: he makes people who rebel against him sexually immoral and convinced of their atheism and otherwise more “evil”, so that they’ll keep rebelling and keep sinning and keep stacking up punishment for themselves. Wow, good disciplinary method, God! Literally program problematic
      subjects to be more problematic, that’s free will for ya! That’s God’s
      love and mercy!

      Yes, precisely. Very good, kagekiri. There you have 20 centuries of Christian theology in the proverbial nutshell.

      • Itarion

        Well, that is exactly the whole issue. It doesn’t make sense in a nutshell. Hence the twenty centuries in the first place.

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    I love (pun intended) how Christians often turn questions about political rights into the question of whether or not God loves homosexuals. As if that were actually comforting.

  • Mandocommando23

    That poor preacher hates himself so much…it is so uncomfortable to watch. 

  • http://twitter.com/TheSocialMitch Mitch Malone

    “Atheism says that your body came into existence from nothing and by chance.” Lolwut? No. Atheism says there’s no god. That’s about it. 

    • Glasofruix

      Fundies believe that the big bang happened from nothing, therefore they think that evolution = life appearing from nowhere.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    “I cannot imagine living the life that these men promote.  They openly
    acknowledge that they have same-sex attractions and shove those emotions
    down so deep because they sincerely believe that to cave into
    temptation is a one-way ticket to hell.”

    But that’s the “freedom” that “ex-gay” ministries promise.  Live a lie.  Ignore who you really are.  Shove your real feelings deep down inside and try to ignore them.  Live a life devoid of love, affection and intimacy.  Maybe even live a simulated heterosexual lifestyle by bringing an opposite-sex partner into your lie.  Anything to appease the bigots who only “love” you when you’re subjecting yourself to their intolerance.

  • randall.morrison90

    You know, Mehta, I might take your concern for the oppressed seriously if you ever commented on the people being oppressed and killed by Atheists as we speak.  Christians are still being persecuted, even to the death, in Officially Atheistic Countries.

    And if you deny it, I will know you are a fraud.

    • unclemike

      Mehta, the Fraud Patrol Capitan is here.

    • Joolz

       Wow, where is this “Be atheist – or die” country?  Is it new?  Or perhaps you are referring to countries that appear atheistic but actually demand worship of some “supreme leader” and ignoring that demand can lead to death. 

      If a “Christian” is persecuted to death – then that person is a complete idiot.  Here’s a suggestion – deny being a christian and then escape to a country where being a xian is acceptable.  If you choose to not-deny your religion when that’s a good way to escape persecution, then you are a moron. 

      Jews in western europe  – had no choice and were persecuted – bad beyond anything I can ever think of. 

      Christians in China during Mao Zao Dong’s time – idiots!  Christians currently in a “cult of personality country right now” – idiots!

      Atheism still isn’t the problem – the leader of a country believing he is some sort of god is the problem. 

      • Erp

         Bit tricky to escape North Korea as the country it is easiest to escape to, China, just returns them.  However North Korea is not atheist in any sense an American or European atheist would recognize (or if ‘atheist’ is certainly not humanist) but worships its leaders (current and former).

    • Ken

      Well, first you have to prove the strictly atheist agenda in any country, not just another totalitarian power tactic for control.  Then you have to compare and contrast the numbers of believers killed by other believers because they were believing the wrong thing.  I don’t think you’ll like the results for “believers.”  Of course we condemn atheists (no caps needed, we’re not God), but it’s kinda hard to find killers who aren’t nutjobs first, then atheists as an add-on justification.  Same goes for believers, except they are accepted by society as doing God’s work.  So, who’s the strawman here? 

  • randall.morrison90

    Oh, and if you want to deny, don’t try and pretend you think I don’t know what I am talking about.

    I had relatives who suffered under such regimes.  You can fool your followers but not me.

    I am organizing to let people in churches know what happens when atheists gain control. 

    • amycas

      “don’t try and pretend you think I don’t know what I am talking about.”

      We don’t have to pretend.

    • http://bareatheism.blogspot.com/ Deven Kale

       It’s really not atheists that are the problem. It’s those that believe that their worldview, their belief system, should be the only one that are the problem. That’s when things get really nasty. That’s when people with dissenting beliefs end up being persecuted. I don’t know anybody here on this blog, or any other atheist blog, who would agree with that idea.

      The common thread between Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, and the rest was not their atheism, especially since that claim is questionable at best. Their connection, and their most dangerous trait was extreme arrogance, the belief that their way of thinking was the only valid way and anyone who disagreed must die. Whether or not they were atheists was a very small factor.

      Most modern atheists believe that the idea the USA pioneered really is the best. Fully secular governments that protect religion by ignoring it altogether, letting the people decide what it is that they want to believe for themselves. The USA has faltered in this ideal recently, but most of us believe that it will eventually get back on the right track to where nobody is forced into participating in religious ceremonies and practices not of their own faith.


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