So That’s What Happens at a Gay-to-Straight Deconversion Camp…

At the Secular Student Alliance 2012 conference last week, comedian Keith Lowell Jenson performed an atheist-friendly set. I really loved his opening lines (0:44 mark) but the part that probably stuck out the most was when I inadvertently volunteered to go through a gay-to-straight conversion (31:27), just as they do at actual Christian de-gay-ing camps. (Ted Cox, on the mic in the black shirt, actually attended one of these.)

All I have to say is David Fitzgerald was a good father to me.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I think it moved.

  • ursulamajor

    Is there an option to wear assless leather chaps while in the “motorcycle” hold?

    • Zachdecou

      All chaps are assless. Assed chaps are called pants.

      • ursulamajor

        I guess I took a wrong turn into the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • Justin Miyundees

    Just watching the video and see that so far $4K has been donated to clean up spray paint in Irmo, SC.  I think four large ought to cover it don’t you?  

    When Christians start volunteering to repair billboards expressing atheist sentiments, maybe we can go all Bus Monitor Vacation Fund (which I think is AWESOME!)  on their stuccoed thrown up in a week steel building “Family Life” honey pots of tithing.  Let’s not go nuts.

    • Patterrssonn

      4k? Sudden vision of Father Ted and Dougal outside their church with spray cans.

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

      The money’s not going to the church. It’s going to a charity we’ll pick together.

      • Justin Miyundees

        My apologies – I misunderstood.  

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    And Hemant, is now gay.

  • Ryan Jung

    I’ve had that Ted Cox article bookmarked for years under a folder called “Misanthropy”. It’s a folder full of things that justify my misanthropy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sandy-Kokch/100000074576649 Sandy Kokch

    Sorry guys but if you think this guy is a good comedian you really need to get out and about more. His next gig should be one where he repeats the line “You want fries with that?” a lot.

    Jim Jeffries, Marcus Brigstock, Lewis Black, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervaise, Bill Maher, Bill Hicks, and of course the great grandaddy George Carlin….. THEY are funny atheist comedians.

    This guy is strictly D- Must Try Harder material.

  • Nathan Pinkerton

    I’ve been a closeted atheist for a long time (but a reader of this blog for a short time). I’ve been slowly coming out, and one by one, noticing biases, prejudices and instances of unfair judgmentalism that has been ingrained in myself… Ironically, I have noticed these things by noticing when I no longer experience them… absence of evidence, in this case, is evidence of absence (or, at least, evidence of former presence), since it is the variation from my (former) norm that I am noticing.

    There was a time that Hemant’s good-natured compliance with the premise of this skit would have caused me to assume that he is, in fact, gay, and to think less of him for it.

    It occurred to me, today, that, not only do I not have enough evidence, from this video to know if he is gay, or not; I don’t care if he is, or not.

    I used to say things like. “I don’t care if you are gay, bi or straight, but it’s not a political issue. I like redheads, where’s my parade?”

    This occurred to me, just now (and I say this with shame): despite my extended (yet, closeted) atheism, I have missed the point of LGBT activism, while hanging on to bigotry.

    To anyone that is in the LGBT community, I have to say this: There was a time in the, depressingly recent, past, that I would have watched the end of this video and been silently judgmental… and there was a time, prior to that, that I would have been outspokenly judgmental and hateful.

    I just want to boast that I have passed the milestone of having noticed the lack of that judgmentalism, and lament that the fact that I DID notice it indicates that it is still on my mind.

    I am glad to be where I am, but I hope to get completely clear of the thoughts that have been planted in my mind by years of religious indoctrination.

    I just now noticed that this will be posted using my real name due to being logged in with my google account… guess I’m cracking that closet door a little more…

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

      Congratulations :) It’s always a slow process, but I’m glad you’re open about it!

      • Vashti

        So, you are gay. Why don’t you have the guts to admit it. You praise others for being bold. What about you?

      • Vashti

        Its not a sin if you don’t believe it

      • Vashti

        The answer has to be yes or no. I know the answer but the public don’t.


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