President of Group That Used to ‘Pray Away the Gay’ Apologizes to LGBTQ Community

Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, a Christian ministry that, until last year, said they could “pray away the gay,” has issued a formal apology today to all the members of the LGBTQ community who have been hurt by his organization:

Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite — or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

Wow… good for him. It doesn’t undo the damage, but it’s still a step forward. The bigger question now is whether anyone will actually accept it. It’s hard to imagine conservative Christians are going to look upon Chambers kindly, and I don’t think the LGBTQ crowd is about to throw a party for the guy anytime soon.

Chambers’ written apology comes a day before a spoken one will appear on “Our America with Lisa Ling.”

(Thanks to Alan for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • DavidNorris

    I’ll probably be in the minority here, but as a member of the gay community who (though I wasn’t stupid enough to ever attempt ex-gay therapy) lost years of my life because of the teachings of the Evangelical Church about homosexuality that Chambers helped promote, there is simply no apology that will ever be adequate to undo the years of damage this man and his colleagues have done, or to repair the untold ruined and broken lives they’ve left in their wake.

    The fact is that I have friends who attempted conversion therapy, and as a result of the brand of psychological terrorism that Chambers has promulgated they’ll likely never lead full and happy lives. For that and for witnessing first-hand the kind of raw and bloody misery he’s caused, I can never forgive him and his kind.

    All I can hope for is that he commits the rest of his life to demolishing the atrocious lies he has spread about the LGBT community, but for those of us who were damaged by hateful religious bigots and self-loathing men like Chambers, this apology is next to worthless.

    • ortcutt

      It isn’t adequate to undue the damage, but it is welcome nonetheless. The more ex-ex-gay leaders that speak out and try to make amends, the better.

      • onamission5

        Acceptance of apology isn’t requisite of anyone. Immediate forgiveness and trust is a bit too much to ask from people whose lives were ruined. You don’t get to demand it of them any more than Chambers would.

        • onamission5

          No, nobody HAS to accept the apology, you’re just going to keep berating people until they do.

          Is there a point at which you stop making this comment thread all about you and your terribly affronted self and let it be about the people who would like to discuss this reasonably, or is that too much to hope for?

          • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

            There’s also a point when people are insulted and harden into a position they might have been flexible about.

        • thebigJ_A

          It doesn’t *mean* anything like what you repeatedly, ad nauseum, keep saying it does.

          A man kills my sister and later apologizes. I do not forgive him. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it says nothing negative about me whatsoever. Most especially so if he goes on killing people.

          This guy did the equivalent of that, by the way. Not that it matters. Even were he guilty of petty larceny his victims wouldn’t deserve to be berated by a bigot like yourself for refusing to accept his apology.

          • thebigJ_A

            The words you’ve used are here for anyone to read. “Retarded”, for instance, is ableist. That is to say, bigoted. You’ve also used sexist terminology. That’s two strikes.

            So I repeat, without the need for silly little caps, you are a bigot.

            • thebigJ_A

              And immature.

              Yes, we ought to all take lessons from you on how to be a bigger person. /sarcasm

      • C Peterson

        I have mixed feelings about this apology, because the guy clearly continues to believe wrong and harmful bullshit. But not as harmful as he used to believe, so it’s a start. What apology can ever undo damage or erase the past? That isn’t the purpose of an apology. An apology sets the stage for the future. I can think of little as ungracious as refusing to accept an honest and sincere apology, which I think this is. Such acceptance doesn’t mean forgetting or ignoring the past, and it doesn’t mean agreeing with his current views. It doesn’t require complete forgiveness.

        If we can’t rise above our emotions to accept sincere apologies from our opponents, we can’t expect them to be offered at all. And there’s nothing forward looking in that.

        • Rain

          He’s still president of Exodus International. That’s like Hitler apologizing to everyone and then still being president of the Nazis because he doesn’t want to lose all the perks. /godwin

          • Rain

            Exodus International is shutting down.

            http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/exodus-international-to-shut-down/

            I hope that’s good enough for you Mr. cynical Rain person. :D

            • onamission5

              Good, but also, meh. I am withholding my applause until I see with my own eyes what this whole new reduce fear program is all about.

              Like, will they now be sending missionaries into, say, Uganda to try and undo the horror they helped cause there, or have they washed their hands of that entirely?

              • Rain

                Ah I didn’t see that. (Didn’t read the whole thing.) Well if anything at the very least it’s a huge publicity coup. Back to cynical mode…

            • http://benny-cemoli.myopenid.com/ Benny Cemoli

              That’s not even close to fucking good enough. Especially when his apology that’s quoted above includes this little gem:

              The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

              Until Chambers realizes that he and his organization have done nothing that can even be remotely classified as “good” his apology rings very hollow indeed. At least when I read it.

              • Rain

                Yeah he got me with his little marketing campaign there for a minute. You gotta admit it’s a good one. I went and watched a couple of his videos and he claims God gives him orders and stuff. Other than that his language is too vague for me to make any definitive sense out of one damn word he says. The guy has “huckster” written all over him.

            • The Other Weirdo

              You’re suppose call the yourself you’re arguing with as “Other Rain”. (Thanks, Archer)

            • Matt D

              Of course you’re messed up, that’s why your spending time screaming at strangers and refusing to accept you aren’t the moral high ground.

              • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                Your arguments only continue to get stronger and more persuasive.

              • RobMcCune

                If stupid people don’t get to talk how are you the most prolific commenter on this thread?

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  He said stupid PEOPLE. Plural. We’re allowed to have one.

                • RobMcCune

                  Yeah, but does it have to be the stupidest?

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  Well SOMEONE has to be the stupidest person present. And the dumber they get, the more vocal they tend to get.

              • Matt D

                Nevertheless, I’ve spoken. I hope you were praying I would shut up, cause that didn’t work.

        • phantomreader42

          C Peterson:

          I can think of little as ungracious as refusing to accept an honest and sincere apology, which I think this is.

          How gracious should one be to a fraud, a thief, a bigot, and an advocate of mass murder? Besides, the whole POINT of most of the people not accepting the apologies is that they DON’T think the crooked lying bastard is sincere, partly because he’s a crooked lying bastard, and partly because he’s done so much damage.

        • Tait

          I generally ignore apologies because they are of so little value. Anyone can feel bad for a moment and say sorry. Its pretty easy. Abusers do it all the time.
          Corrected behaviour and action to repair the damage done is the only apology of any worth.
          I guess I’m ungracious. Oh well.

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        Why do you think I owe this guy anything? He advocates for a harmful quack “therapy” that has harmed a great many people. That won’t easily be undone. What difference does it actually make if I forgive him or not. I don’t even know him. How does my forgiveness or lack thereof change his life in any way?

        • DavidNorris

          “I am advocating for YOU, but you are all too butthurt to realize it.”

          Oh, you’ve been advocating this whole time? I’d hate to see what an attack from you would look like!

          “Butthurt.” *giggle*

      • DavidNorris

        Well, hello, Mr. Straight Privilege. Please, tell us how you managed to survive a lifetime of abuse, shame and torment from Christians like Chambers (including your own family) because you’re in the “traditional,” heterosexual majority.

        • Dave

          So did you actually have a point to make or are you just going to carry on throwing poo at the wall?

        • 3lemenope

          I know what a bisexual atheist is. I’ve never heard of a BISEXUAL ATHEIST, though. A bisexual atheist who lives out loud, perhaps.

          yolo?

          • benanov

            WELL SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE bisexual atheists. AND OTHER TIMES THEY JUST HAVE THEIR CAPS LOCK KEY IN THE WRONG TOGGLE INSTEAD OF REMAPPING IT TO CONTROL LIKE THE UNIX GODS INTENDED

          • DavidNorris

            Not just out loud. Yells in all caps too, apparently.

            • 3lemenope

              Lives out VERY LOUD.

        • DavidNorris

          Oh, sorry, I mistook you for being a straight male. I guess your responding to someone on this same post with “shut the fuck up running your mouth at me you little pussy” drove any mentions of your being a BISEXUAL ATHEIST out of my mind. My bad. Although, are all BISEXUAL ATHEISTS misogynistic, sexist jerks though? Or is it just you?

          David, your constant resorting to ALL CAPS to “prove your point” is all the more evidence that you have none to make. You’re a troll, plain and simple.

          And there are plenty of other places where people are wrong on the Internet, so why don’t you go harass them.

          • DavidNorris

            Bwuh?? I don’t even know what to do with that. All my years of reading Judith Butler and Eve Sedgwick never prepared me for this level of insanity.

        • baal

          Ok then. As one bisexual atheist to another. Please stop with the all caps and repeating yourself. Also, leave it to others to decide who is right or not. Your asserting it doesn’t help your argument.

      • Matt D

        Since the man apologizes right before his institution shuts it’s doors, I’m skeptical about his sincerity.
        Of course, if he’s shows that he is truly sorry by being supportive of those he’s harmed (he’d need to send people to abroad to fix the harm he’s done all over), I’ll be happy to accept, if he earns it.

        • ortcutt

          I made two fairly uncontroversial statements. One, that present actions don’t undo past damage, and two, that it is certainly better that he has stopped doing harm. As for whether someone accepts his apology, that’s for each person to decide individually. I don’t understand all of the comments (not yours, but others) on this article arguing about when you’re required to accept someone’s apology. That’s just weird.

          • Matt D

            I agree and most everyone else seems to as well….besides
            nobody rational allows decades of abuse to be shrugged off with an apology.

    • Rain

      I’ll kinda sorta half believe him if he fires everyone and then resigns. Yeah didn’t think so…

    • Gus Snarp

      No apology can ever fix that kind of damage. Although the act of forgiving by an individual can help them to heal. When I think of apologies and forgiveness, especially for horrors this big, I think of Northern Ireland and South Africa. Not everyone has forgiven, but many have and have found it to be the only path forward for their nations.

      In this case, however, the one thing missing was a statement that Exodus was fundamentally wrong to ever try to change anyone’s sexual orientation. Sure, it apologizes for details of how they did it and who was hurt and stigmatized, but he never says the whole notion of what they were doing was wrong. And as heartfelt and well written as most of this apology is, I can’t help but notice that it also mentions these things overshadowing the good Exodus has done. Frankly the whole thing rings hollow as long as he’s still claiming to have done good by getting people to repress their sexuality.

      On the other hand, they’ve shut down, which is the most important thing, far more important than his apology.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    A step in the right direction at least. We’ll never progress until we reach out to the other side.

    • Matt

      Or laugh them under a rock.

      • Kevin R. Cross

        Then they just come out later and cause more harm. Suppression of a position does not defeat it.

        • Matt

          Well I guess I’m not the right human to hold hands with bigots in the name of progress. I’ll leave that to you fellas.

          • phantomreader42

            I’m sorry that you’re a delusional hypocrite suffering from massive projection, David. The hallucination you believe you live in must be terrifying for you.

          • Matt D

            I do not believe he cannot change….I’m simply unwillinging to assume he will based on his actions leading to his apology.

  • Croquet_Player

    But this idiot still thinks being gay is a “sin”. He hasn’t learned anything, he’s just being unbearably smarmy about it in an effort to get press attention. Are you aware how heavily Exodus Int’l was involved with the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda? They traveled to Uganda and provided many HOURS of instruction and support on how to persecute gay people. The audio tapes are available on the New York Times website. Screw all these Exodus people, they’re criminals.

    • Mr. Pantaloons

      Pretty sure Croquet’s not the kind of person to lead a charge to suppress people into entire lifetimes of frustration, guilt, and self-loathing on the basis of a moral system that stopped being relevant sometime during the Iron Age. I’m still torn on the apology, personally, because unless he is willing to PROVE that his definition of sin has changed or disappeared altogether, then his apology basically boils down to “I’m sorry you were offended by my argument that my happiness is worth more than your existence,” which misses the point entirely. So that’s still up in the air.

      But you have every chance to know better just by BEING in this thread, and you throw it away just because you want to play the white knight for Chambers’ feelings, utterly disregarding the damage he’s caused? Your equating the two people, simply on the (false) basis that every belief is equally valid and worthy of respect just by its existence, is cancerous to humanity: ignorant, self-righteous, and cheapens the word “hypocrite” by associating yourself with it. Unless you were going for meta-humor, possibly, in which case bravo for such a fine showing of complete lack of empathy and/or self-awareness.

      • Croquet_Player

        Thank you. Exodus is a horrifying organization. This “apology” is totally inadequate to the massive levels of havoc and harm it has wrought on gay people, at home and abroad.

      • J-Rex

        I can’t help but be amused that you repeatedly feel misunderstood, but you’d rather assume it’s everyone else’s fault and not due to any miscommunication on your own part. You’re being insulting and condescending. “You’re being a hypocrite” “I feel sorry for you.” That’s not a good way to start a debate with someone. You can’t be upset when people don’t react positively to that.

        • J-Rex

          Well if you’re not trying to start a debate, I’m not sure why you bother to keep arguing with people. Why not make a statement and leave? Instead you defend your statement, turning it into a debate.
          Debates are fine, but they generally go over better when everyone involved is civil. You started talking by saying rude, condescending things and then continued by using all caps, the internet equivalent of yelling/getting way too angry over a disagreement. Look at the way other people interact here. Not everyone agrees, but they’re civil and conversational about it. C Peterson may have had a diverging opinion, but he wasn’t rude about it. He simply stated how he felt about it and no one got yelled at for disagreeing.

          • phantomreader42

            J-Rex to David Chappy:

            Well if you’re not trying to start a debate, I’m not sure why you bother to keep arguing with people. Why not make a statement and leave? Instead you defend your statement, turning it into a debate.

            Actually, no, he hasn’t defended his statement, he’s just whined and spewed condescending, sexist insults at anyone who doesn’t mindlessly fall to their knees and lick his filthy boots.

            J-Rex again:

            Debates are fine, but they generally go over better when everyone involved is civil.

            David Chappy is incapable of being civil, because his entire position is founded on lies and condescension, and those things are not civil. To be civil, he would have to give up his entire elaborate edifice of delusions, and that would mean facing reality, something his ilk cannot ever bring themselves to do.

        • phantomreader42

          David, you say forgiveness makes you a better person. But from your remarks here, it is clear that you yourself are a rather shitty person. Either this implies that you are wrong about the benefits of mindlessly forgiving anyone who asks for it without any consideration for the harm they’ve done, or it suggests that you yourself are not very forgiving, and are thus a hypocrite. Since this “statement” you keep repeating so loudly and obnoxiously is obviously either factually incorrect, or something even YOU don’t actually believe, why should we believe you?

      • DavidNorris

        First, I’m positive that not everyone here is gay. Second, Chambers wrote an apology to the LGBT community, but is still the president of the world’s largest ex-gay organization, and he made it clear that he hasn’t changed his beliefs about homosexuality one bit. He still believes that it’s a sin, that he still has same-sex attractions but that penis-in-vagina sex is God’s design for human sexuality, and is determined to stay pretend-heterosexual married to a woman. The only thing that’s changing is his being stridently vocal about his views, but he hasn’t changed.

        It’s like Julia Sweeney says at the end of Letting Go of God about the Pope: “I almost wish there were a God so I could be punished for all the suffering I have obliviously caused in the world. But since there will be no cosmic punishment for me, I will spend what time I have left working in a family planning clinic in Latin America. Good day.”

        If Chambers had said something like that; that he’s leaving his wife (so she can marry a real heterosexual man) and devoting the rest of his life to helping gay men overcome their internalized homophobia; then I might be inclined to buy his apology.

        You can be as sorry as you like about stealing a billion dollars, but until you give the money back and/or take your due punishment for said crime, an apology is moot.

        • Rain

          but is still the president of the world’s largest ex-gay organization

          And backs up his authority by saying he gets direct orders from God. So since he could be a con artist, it’s debatable whether or not he thinks something is a sin or not, or whether anything he says at all is true or not. An apology coinciding with the closing and re-branding of his organization is a obviously planned publicity strategy, so that kinda takes a little off the top of any “sincerity ratio”. Very low “sincerity index” on the ol’ sincerity-O-meter, lol.

        • DavidNorris

          Sigh. Did I say that he has to marry a man? Nope.

          Oh gods, David Chappy, you’re hilarious.

          • DavidNorris

            You’re using words, but I can’t understand a thing you’re saying. Troll dialect is difficult to parse!

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          ‘Hang on to your hate’? Look who’s talking. You’re the only one raging on ppl here.

          • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

            Right, because I insulted you twice just now. An eye for an eye mentality? When no eye has been lost in the first place? Your arguments are random and bear no connection to reality.

      • Minh Dao

        And you want to know why that is? Because he said it NICELY. You should try it yourself, some time.

    • Croquet_Player

      Yes he’s entitled to think what he wants, and since he’s saying it in public, loudly, in the press, I’m entitled to tell him his thinking is idiotic and he’s a total jerk. I’m heterosexual, so according to his own skewed perspective, he’s more offended by his own sexuality than he is by mine. And if I offend self-hating homophobes who travel to other nations in an effort to enact death penalty legislation against gay people because I tell them them they’re acting like criminals – WELL THAT’S FANTASTIC. Anything I can do to encourage him to spend his waking hours being too busy being offended by me to try to murder or imprison gay people, I’d consider that time very well spent. And you, David Chappy, are defending a man who has, by his own admission, harmed countless American lives, and likely has Ugandan blood on his hands as well. FOR SHAME.

      • Rain

        We hear you dude, but he’s still president of a bigoted fundamentalist cash cow machine. So what do you expect.

      • 3lemenope

        He said it better and far less annoyingly. That matters when you are talking to humans.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Oooh, that’s a shiny mirror you have there…

          • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

            Lol. He’s been projecting this whole time. His favorite defense mechanism apparently.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              So… should we start selling tickets?

              • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                Well it might work, but only if we found a segment of the population that had a weird fetish for being insulted, argument clinic style. But fortunately that seems to be a non issue now with his comments being deleted.

    • Croquet_Player

      Oh and you should also take note that he hasn’t said he’s changed his opinion on the inherent sinfulness of gay relationships. If he wanted any credibility with this weak apology, he’d be on the next plane to Uganda, desperately trying to undo the vile work he accomplished there. I’ll believe his apology when he tries that.

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        Except that he wasn’t rude and insulting to everyone who disagreed with him.

        • DavidNorris

          C Peterson also wasn’t copy-pasting the same reply over and over. Oy.

          • Space Cadet

            Wrong. Demonstrably wrong. You posted this:

            and I notice none of you said anything to C Peterson when he said “I can think of little as ungracious as refusing to accept an honest and sincere apology, which I think this is. Such acceptance doesn’t mean forgetting or ignoring the past, and it doesn’t mean agreeing with his current views. ” I was saying the SAME EXACT THING!!

            …no less than three times. It’s going to be very difficult to take you seriously if you can’t even be honest about things that don’t really matter.

          • DavidNorris

            So much LOL, I don’t even know where to begin.

        • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

          I’m not about to trust someone who has shows what they are capable of just as I wouldn’t live my alcoholic relatives alone with an open bar. I don’t trust him based on his past actions and statements.

        • J-Rex

          People did disagree with him. Maybe you didn’t notice because they did it politely without the use of caps.

          • phantomreader42

            But J-Rex, if David admits that then the last shred of flimsy support for his pitiful screeching about how persecuted he is crumbles to dust, and he’d have to face REALITY! How could anyone be such a MONSTER as to expect someone like him to deal with the real world for even an instant? ;)

            • allein

              *you’re

    • RobMcCune

      This man is entitled to think anything he wants.

      And this entitlement prevents anyone from disagreeing with him?

      you have no consideration of the fact that you offend him just as you think he has you. Youre being a hypocrite.

      You certainly don’t have any problems with being a jerk, maybe you’re not the best person to try call people out on it.

      • RobMcCune

        I was saying the SAME EXACT THING!!

        Yes, you say it over and over.

        • RobMcCune

          We ignore you because you’re an abusive hypocrite. C Peterson actually tries to engage people in conversation. I suppose you believe other people should forgive totally and instantly with just an apology because that’s the only way people can put up with your behavior.

          • RobMcCune

            You don’t know how context works do you?

        • baal

          Would you like to remind us that you’re a BISEXUAL ATHEIST again?

    • Monika Jankun-Kelly

      We offend him. He doesn’t just offend us. He has ruined relationships, ruined mental health, infringed liberties. What he’s done is orders of magnitude beyond offense. How you can even compare the two is beyond me.

      • Monika Jankun-Kelly

        Please stop trying to mind-read. First, it’s hurt, not hate. Second, no one ever said anything about never forgiving anyone. If someone who lost a friend or relative to suicide, in part due to Chambers’ teachings, wants to forgive Chambers, I won’t argue with them. If on the other hand that same person cannot bring themselves to forgive such grevious harm, I don’t blame them. No one’s saying Chambers can’t ever be forgiven by anyone, just that he isn’t even remotely entitled to forgiveness, and that forgiveness is a personal choice, not something you get to demand of others. Kindly quit demanding it.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      I’m pretty sure no one has killed themselves because of my opinions. But people have committed suicide because the quackery of ex-gay therapy didn’t work (it can’t). There’s real harm caused by this guy and folks like him. This isn’t an “agree to disagree” situation.

      • baal

        “all of your failure to forgive”

        I think you’re not properly assessing the degree and scope of the harm Alan Chambers is responsible for. He is personally responsible for hundreds if not thousands of people having substantially crappier lives (if not suicides). You are not a bad person for not accepting that apology.

        I, and some number of the commentors, would be more forgiving if he did (does) a much better job of atonement.

  • Dorothy

    wow- reading the excerpts above left me with the impression that he has changed his mind about the gay community. but no, he’s only stepping down from fighting the gay marriage issue. he hasn’t changed his opinion on homosexuality one iota. continue reading and you’ll find this gem: “I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the
    boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex, but I will exercise my
    beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them. I
    cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage.”

    that’s a non-apology to me. he’s just conceding political defeat, nothing more.

    • Miss_Beara

      The Deeply Held Biblical Beliefs ™ reason again. Yawn.

    • Alice

      “Don’t blame me, it’s all God’s fault. I’m just following orders.”

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      I don’t give a crap what he believes. That’s his business. I do care if he interferes with my rights. I do care if he advocates a harmful quack therapy to “cure” people of their homosexuality. I care if he hurts other people. But I don’t care what he thinks or believes because that doesn’t affect anyone else. What he does, is another matter entirely.

    • meekinheritance

      I think we will see more statements like Chambers’, as future religious apologists try to claim they supported LGBQT rights/marriage/equality all along.

    • Antitroll

      “As a bisexual atheist who has vastly superior strength, speed and agility, I’m simply the better cyborg”.

    • Minh Dao

      And you’re such a stellar example of understanding and respect right now.
      /sarcasm

  • AshleyWB

    Spare us your combox psychoanalysis and get off your high all-opinions-are-equally-valid horse. That man did enormous damage to many people’s lives, and nobody is required to forgive him, particularly the people who he harmed. Stow your arrogance for a bit and have some compassion instead of insisting that your emotional reaction is the only valid response.

    • RobMcCune

      .

      ALL I DID was try to espouse the idea that forgiveness is a good fucking thing!!! Plant the seed, but as usual, the selfish, pathetic, and rebellious spit the seed back in our faces.

      Bullshit all you did was show up to attack people. Also funny that the guy who spews nothing but insults plays the martyr. Maybe other people aren’t selfish, you’re just a narcissist.

      • RobMcCune

        You’re a troll who thinks he’s Jesus, you’re not that hard to figure out.

        • RobMcCune

          I never said anyone HAD to do anything…but of course, you all read it
          that way anyway and started this whole shit storm based on that misunderstanding on your part.

          Because a misunderstanding justifies you escalating the shitstorm at every turn, and making no attempts at genuine communication and just spewing insults.

          It is so easy to ignore your own mistakes and attack me isnt it?

          Given your behavior, inferring a demand in your ranting is small potatoes.

    • AshleyWB

      David, when you’re in a hole, stop digging. Screaming and repeatedly insulting people isn’t discourse, it’s just childish acting out.

  • Minh Dao

    Because words are cheap. Everyone can open their mouth, relax their diaphragm, move air through the two membranes that compose their voice box, and say some words.

    But NOT everyone will back up those words with actions, and actions speak much louder than words. Plus, actions show sincerity.

    If someone came up to you, ripped on you for being bisexual, and then later said “oh sorry, I was drunk,” and then kept on doing it, would you accept that apology? I’m going to be presumptuous and say “NO.”

    I think I speak for everyone else here when I say that until the LGBT community sees him BACK UP HIS APOLOGY WITH ACTION, they will not accept it. That’s not an inability to forgive. That’s prudence and caution.

    Shame on you for thinking that anyone’s words should be accepted at face value. Your gullibility derives from your lack of thought and consideration.

    • Minh Dao

      Really? Because all I see is just their home page. Nothing at all about them shutting down when I click on the link.

      Are you really such a narcissistic moron that you can’t even copy and paste a link correctly? Or are you lying out of your ass?

      • http://benny-cemoli.myopenid.com/ Benny Cemoli

        If you end up on the front page you have to click the “BLOG” link on the top menu and the announcement is, at least currently, the second blog entry from the top and Chamber’s “apology” is right below it.

        Or you could just click HERE .

        But a word of caution. Their server must be getting hit with a lot of traffic as the site loads quite slooooooowly.

        LOL

        Benny

  • stop2wonder

    Now that is an apology. There isn’t a bit of nonpology to be found. Whether it sticks or makes a difference remains to be seen but nice job on a good first step to fixing things.

    • 3lemenope

      A soul?

      • Dez

        Prove that souls exists.

      • Antitroll

        Do you even understand what being an atheist is?

    • Spuddie

      How the hell would you know?

      Mr. “there is nothing wrong with HAVING a pussy.There IS something wrong with BEING one.”

      You are nothing but a hateful little troll.

      • thebigJ_A

        cents. two cents.

  • Miss_Beara

    This is similar to the Heartfelt Apologies™ by priests, cardinals and bishops regarding child abuse in the church. Words mean nothing when you and your ilk are a part of something horrific.

  • Edmond

    Some people are going to be able to forgive him, and that’s fine. Some people are NOT going to be able to forgive him, and that’s fine, too. They may have had their lives (or seen the lives of loved ones) ruined too badly by this sort of nonsense. They may have heard this kind of thing too many times to take it seriously. They may think he has a lot more work ahead of him before he merits forgiving. Forgiveness is not automatic just because someone asks for it, and it often isn’t easy.
    What people don’t need is you trying to SHAME them into forgiving him, or for you to suggest that they should forgive him just because you did. You need to allow everyone to find forgiveness in their own way and time. If they can’t, then you should understand that they have their reasons, they need to go through their own processes, and it doesn’t mean that they’re UNABLE to forgive others.
    This was hardly a “mistake” he made. He participated in the egregious condemnation of MILLIONS of people, which took untold tolls on their lives, and which has inspired others to continue his dubious work. He has a LOT ot atone for. Personally, I forgive him and I respect his attempts to make amends. But those that do not, I understand why.
    And if you can’t understand it… I forgive you. :)

    • onamission5

      Um… You said this:

      “Shame on you for not accepting his apology. your inability to forgive others derives from your inability to forgive yourself”
      It’s right there for anyone to read.

    • J-Rex

      “How in the FUCK do assume I am trying to SHAME anyone?!”
      “Shame on you for not accepting his apology.”
      :D

      • 3lemenope

        They were quoting you.

      • Vanadise

        You can say it all you want, but you really shouldn’t pretend like you’re not trying to shame anybody immediately after you explicitly shame them.

        • Vanadise

          Like what? Was there something I missed in English class about how “Shame on you” doesn’t mean you’re actually intending to shame somebody?

      • Edmond

        Anyone can say it… though they should have good reason to do so. I didn’t think you did. The people who have chosen not to forgive him have probably been through HELL, or have known someone who has, or are simply too aware of the hell that’s been administered to others and are fed up with forgiving. If they’re not ready to find forgiveness yet, there’s no reason to “shame” them.

      • Antitroll

        Do they give nap time at the school you attend?

      • Antitroll

        “How in the FUCK do assume I am trying to SHAME anyone?! ”
        .
        Well, let’s take a look at your posts.
        .
        “Shame on you for not accepting his apology. your inability to forgive others derives from your inability to forgive yourself”
        .
        Anything else to lie about?

        • onamission5

          This is how you talk to people, lobbing sexist (and ableist)slurs right and left, then you turn around and accuse them of being rude to you?

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          WTF? Are you serious? Get the fuck out of here, nobody wants to hear it anymore. If you have anything constructive to say, we’d love to hear it, but this is insane. You’re just insulting for the sake of being insulting, and it’s asinine.

  • Space Cadet

    Is there any chance you could calm down and stop yelling at and berating people?

    This is a person and an organization that has for years been a major thorn in the side of homosexuals and their allies. People have every right to be pissed and stay pissed, regardless of whether or not the apology sounded sincere. These people destroyed lives. Give folks here a chance to digest and discuss the apology and what it means or doesn’t mean. Give them time to vent, FFS. Not accepting the apology 5 minutes after reading it doesn’t make one a bad person.

    • Minh Dao

      When you apologize for YOUR insults and attacks, and commit yourself to a calm and rational discussion, then maybe we’ll stop insulting and attacking you in turn.

      You came in and effectively said that anyone who does not accept the Exodus International leader’s apology right now is a cold-hearted son of a bitch with no sympathy. You may not have literally said that, but you implied it. That is your attack and insult against everyone on the page.

      And we have yet to see you apologize for that.

    • Space Cadet

      Sorry, but you don’t get to play the persecution card. Your first, maybe second, comment on this article was insulting ortcutt. And ortcutt’s comment actually said the apology was “welcome”.

      I hate to turn this into an argument a 5 year old would have, but it’s really starting to seem appropriate: You started it. Not only did you start it, but you caused it to escalate in ways it never, ever should.

  • RobMcCune

    Can you possibly be anymore judgmental?

    She could act like you, but that’s about as judgemental as a person can get.

    I simply stated that you do yourself a disservice by not doing so.

    All the while berating and insulting people, but then again you really don’t care about forgiveness, do you?

    understand that my concern is NOT with him, but with ALL OF YOU,

    Yeah, being a self righteous asshole because people don’t feel exactly like you do.

    But I see what kind of people (children) I am dealing with.

    Says the guy throwing a temper tantrum because he can’t get his way.

    • RobMcCune

      The guy who calls people assholes, pussies and retards has the gall to call other people hateful. Though it does make sense that someone with a hateful disposition and uncontrollable temper would believe in instant absolution as soon as someone says sorry. Forgive and forget must be the only way you can keep friends. Kudos on consistency.

      • RobMcCune

        The guy with the explosive temper (about forgiveness no less) calls other people “a real mess”? That’s rich.

        Me acting hateful has nothing to do with YOU acting hateful.

        And if I were acting hateful that might be relevant. I’m only doing what you claim to be doing, pointing out hypocrisy. Most of your actions here are contradictory to your stated goals and values.

  • onamission5

    First we get some godawful ablesim, then derision, then some ageism to close. In between there’s a bunch of yelling and superflous punctuation.

    Yes, this is definitely the person I’m going to next time I need advice on how to treat others. The person who screams abuse at injured parties when they don’t immediately accept an apology from someone who has psychologically tortured other human beings for years. What a compassionate, truly stellar example of humanity you are, David.
    /sarcasm

  • Minh Dao

    Maybe you should “shut the fuck up running your mouth at me you little pussy,” and everyone else.

    You accept his apology out of hand, and that’s you. We do NOT accept his apology out of hand, and that’s us.

    We are not you, nor do we have any obligation to be like you, particularly when it comes to personal judgements. The fact that you appear to outright EXPECT us to emulate you is the lack of consideration I spoke of. The fact that you think this expectation is AT ALL REASONABLE is the lack of thought.

    By the way, thinking circles is not good logical reasoning. See the fallacy of circular logic.

    And you amuse me. Your pithy attempts at insults and your apparent immaturity amuse me greatly. By all means, continue to dance for my amusement.

    • DavidNorris

      *slow clap*

    • Minh Dao

      “If you cannot forgive a mistake and accept an apology, I feel sorrier
      for you than anyone that lives under the deception they have, for you
      are still living under one yourselves.”

      “Shame on you for not accepting his apology.”

      Not saying that anyone HAS to do anything? Really? Then what do you call your words from before? You tried to use shame to against anyone who is NOT taking his apology at face value. You think that shame and your misplaced sorrow will have some sort of behavioral modification value.

      Your literal words may not say that, but the way you said it and your attempts at shaming people imply differently.

      And shaming is the use of an expectation vs the reality of someone’s actions to force a change. The reality of our actions is that we do not accept the apology. The expectation you are making is that we SHOULD.

      And that makes me a judgemental fool? Says the person who comes here posting comments that we should all be ashamed for not doing as you do.

      So once again, dance little puppet. Dance for me.

      • Miss_Beara

        And that makes me a judgemental fool? Says the person who comes here posting comments that we should all be ashamed for not doing as you do.

        And using the slurs pussy and feminazi, but that is ok because… for some reason.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Well normally it’s ok to say because Jesus hates women, but he’s a BISEXUAL ATHEIST, so he probably doesn’t care about that.

          • Miss_Beara

            What was that? A BISE- what now? I couldn’t quite hear it…

            :)

  • J-Rex

    Forgiveness is more of an action than an emotion. We’ve all had those moments as children where our parents tell one kid to apologize and the other to forgive. You always wondered what the point was because saying “I forgive you” never meant you forgave them. Forgiveness takes time and ideally behavioral change in the other person. Saying you forgive someone doesn’t make a difference with whether you feel it or not. The people saying they don’t forgive him are just being honest about their feelings.

    Whether or not people have to accept heartfelt apologies is up for [calm] debate.

    • RobMcCune

      Incidently, you are the FIRST person to make a statement on here that WASNT an attack,

      That really should have been you if you had actually wanted to change people’s minds.

      Had others done the same, I would not have responded as I did.

      This from the guy who said…

      My god, we have indeed lost our humanity completely and become a “he did it to me first” bunch of children.

      You know I think that’s an apt description of your behavior, might want to practice what you preach.

      • RobMcCune

        Your continual need to attack me is proof your an asshole with no life of your own.

        Says the guy with a continual need to attack everyone, and spends most of his doing just that.

    • J-Rex

      You were rude to other people and you expect them to react nicely?

      • phantomreader42

        It’s his “do as I say, not as I do” policy.

    • Antitroll

      Your respect means nothing….your manners are horrible, your attitude is childish and your morality is sociopathic and confrontational.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    How much forgiveness should be given to practitioners of a quack therapy that inflicted pain and suffering on a great many people. I forgive him. That doesn’t undo the damage or absolve him of responsibility for the harm he has caused.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      I don’t think about him all that often. There’s no hate to hang on to. I’m just not giving him a hug any time soon. For one thing I don’t believe he’s really sorry. I suspect the organization has lost its funding and now he’s doing damage control. But I reserve the right at some future point to alter my opinion about Chambers. At the moment I remain skeptical. I’ve already seen what kind of person he is. I’m not sure I want to trust him. I think that sort of caution is wise.

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    Is this enough? No. Does he get automatic forgiveness? No, that’s up to the people he’s harmed, and I won’t blame any who never forgive him. Yet this is still significant. It’s far better that he admit some wrongdoing, and publicly apologize for some harm, than for him to continue on exactly as before. No harm would be best, it’s what people deserve, but less harm is something. I honestly think he’s sincere and has more understanding and empathy than he had before. He’s still heading Exodus, but it may become slightly less horrific. It may lose support and funding because of what he’s said, and that’s a good thing. Some people may even start to slowly change their minds after hearing yet another Exodus leader admit wrongdoing, and that too is a good thing. I wish change were faster, I wish it were instant and total, but it’s not, it’s small steps.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    We’re talking about homophobia and you go and bring sexualized slurs into this? For shame, David Chappy. For shame.

    There is nothing wrong with having a pussy.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      You can’t separate the two. When you say being a pussy is bad, you’re saying being like-a-woman is bad. You’re saying the worst thing you can be is … a woman. As a woman, I am quite insulted. I am also trying to explain to you why that sort of language is inappropriate and feeds an already extant culture of devaluing women. My offense may or may not bother you- the fact that you’re feeding into a patriarchal cultural theme of devaluing women should definitely bother you.

      • 3lemenope

        You talk and act like this, and you want people to take your positions seriously?

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        Jesus fucking christ, do you EVER stop?

        • Matt D

          Trolls? No, they look for people to bait and tend to fish until that well dries up.

      • Scott_In_OH

        What the hell? “Look, lady”? “I understand you have feminism on the brain”? “Feminazi”? And you’re pretending that *you’re* the one with the obviously correct argument that the rest of the commenters just can’t understand?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh, you’re that kind of person. Well, misogynistic assholes get to go that way ———————————–>

        • DavidNorris

          It’s okay. He’s a BISEXUAL ATHEIST. It’s apparently like some kind of carte blanche.

          • phantomreader42

            I suspect he’s as much a BISEXUAL ATHEIST as I am a lesbian jedi. :P

            • DavidNorris

              You’re a lesbian Jedi!!?? :-D

              As a man who is attracted to other men, I’m quite willing to concede that someone could be attracted to both men and women, just as there are those who have no sexual drive. But drunkenly groping and making out with your buddy one night does not a bisexual make.

              • phantomreader42

                No, I’m actually a straight male atheist (though the next time I have blood work done I suppose I should get my midichlorian count checked). I guess the joke kinda falls flat when it’s not obvious I’m a man and thus incapable of being a lesbian (though it should be reasonably obvious I’m not a JEDI). Come to think of it, even if I were using my real name it wouldn’t be very clear, since said name works for both genders.
                Due to Chappy’s contempt for women and complete lack of empathy for gay people tortured and murdered as a result of the actions of Exodus, I suspect he lied about being bisexual. Due to his eagerness to defend a religious fanatic, his obsession with instant absolution via magic words, and his babbling about souls I suspect he lied about being an atheist. And due to his repeated, obnoxious screaming that he’s a BISEXUAL ATHEIST as if that claim were a magical talisman that would shield him from all dissent, I suspect he was lying about being a bisexual atheist. It’s possible he was telling the truth, but it doesn’t seem likely to me, as he doesn’t seem the kind of person to tell the truth if lying would benefit him in some way.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          So you call someone a “feminazi” and they get offended? WHAT??!! Of course they must hate men if that pisses them off.

      • RobMcCune

        You make a distinction but there is no difference. For someone who is so concerned with the personalities of others you take quite a bit of delight in demeaning women because of their sex.

        • RobMcCune

          I’m sorry, you seem to have me confused with someone else. Also why do you think god is not a misogynist? Is that the reason you became an atheist?

          • RobMcCune

            No I’d be fairly consistent if you acted like this in real life.

          • RobMcCune

            I have no interest in learning how to keep you in suspense, I’ve got better things to do.

      • phantomreader42

        David Chappy, who repeatedly screams demands that everyone should instantaneously forgive a supporter of mass murder without question, and anyone who doesn’t is shameful and soulless (a word he uses as an insult despite claiming to be an atheist), then whines and screeches insults because people don’t fall to their knees in worship of him:

        Youre insulted not by what I said, but by the fact that the world doesnt work the way you want it to. I feel sorry for your over sensitivity about everything.

        The projection is STRONG with this one!

  • 3lemenope

    Only children or their emotional equivalents scream their argument points at the top of their lungs and expect them to be received with anything except contempt.

    • onamission5

      To be fair, I have seen this sort of thing happen with much more frequency with grown damned adults who don’t get their way than I have with any kids in my 21 years of parenting (and 11 years of babysitting before that). Young children tend to tantrum as a last resort when they feel they have no other recourse or are just too tired and hungry to communicate their needs in any other way. It’s understandable. Grown damn adults such as Chappy here have no such excuses, and tend to use tantrums as a weapon with which to silence people when they aren’t allowed to run the show and people don’t bow to their self-assumed authority. Kids? Generally not abusive. Chappy, on the other hand, seems to come out of the gate swinging abuse and then get even more affronted when nobody cowers. Unlike a child, he knows better than to act an ass, he knows he’d be better received if he treated other people with a modicum of respect, he just doesn’t seem to care.

      • 3lemenope

        That’s a good point. I was being unfair to children with that comment.

  • Heathen Mike

    Chambers’ apology is certainly intriguing to me; not at all adequate, but still a start. It shows he at least has some capacity, finally, to realize his world view regarding homosexuality has been very destructive to many people. But he still has a lot of bullshit beliefs to sift through and get rid of before I can think of him as being on “the right side of the issue.”

    It raises a lot more questions for me. I want to ask him, “Now that you are beginning to see how destructive your organization has been, are you going to resign your position? Why not? If you expect to be able to reform it, then to what end? What do you think the purpose of Exodus Intnl. should be if not to convince gay folks to shun their true sexual nature and deny themselves the opportunity for honest intimate physical relationships? How do you still cling to a theology of a God who condemns homosexuality but who is somehow supposed to represent ultimate love and grace, when you know yourself that neither you nor others with same-sex attraction “chose” to have those feelings? It makes such a punishing god sound rather hypocritical and sadistic, don’t you think?

    It also makes me wonder about his history. I don’t know how long he has been president, or actively involved in the group. I never had the misfortune of getting sucked up into such a horrible organization, but I first became aware of Exodus when I saw the excellent documentary “One Nation Under God” back in 1993. I could respect Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper for having seen the error of their ways, leaving the organization, and then campaigning to spread the word of how destructive and dishonest Exodus is. Until Alan Chambers does something like that to back up his apology, I won’t fully respect his position. But at least his apology gives me hope that he might actually get his shit together and do the right thing some day. I try to remember, too, and most everyone who is or was involved in Exodus chose to join, for whatever confused reason. So each person who was hurt from their direct involvement in the group, and who claims the right to hate Chambers for his role in the group, who feels consumed by anger for what Exodus has done, might find it possible to let go of some of that anger by realizing they themselves probably had similar reasons for joining as did the people who had worked themselves to ranking positions within the organization. It’s all fucked up, and until Chambers starts working actively against the purposes of the group, he’s still not on the right side.

    No, Chambers’ apology is not enough. But It is an opening. I want to see what he does from here forward, starting, hopefully with him coming to recognize that his barbaric religious belief system is at the root of the problem and either needs some major revision or to be scrapped altogether.

    I wonder how long until the other “loving” people at Exodus throw Chambers out or their organization.

  • WoodwindsRock

    Apology not accepted. Putting their support behind the “Kill the Gays” bill of Uganda is absolutely unforgivable.

  • http://benny-cemoli.myopenid.com/ Benny Cemoli

    No he hasn’t realized what he has done is wrong because in that apology he also states that he thinks the organization that has caused untold suffering and pain has also somehow done some nebulous “good”.

    The exact quote being:

    The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

    That simple sentence included in his “apology” indicates to me that he hasn’t changed his mind at all about what his organization did to members of the LGBT community.

  • Spuddie

    Typical Christian phony apology. Christian love is only reserved for Christians. Anyone else in the past was expected to go fuck themselves.

    He only asks for forgiveness because his group is being pilloried in public opinion. Now even his conservative benefactors have fled. There is nothing resembling sincerity in his actions.

  • baal

    ” I am a bisexual man and an atheist,” but not in caps this time?
    I haz disappoint.

    • Antitroll

      Speaking of the runs, you’d better wipe your ass.

  • onamission5

    Hey, Hemant? Can this David Chappy character have some help stepping back from this comment thread, please? He seems to be caught in a serious negative feedback loop and is in need of assistance to get himself out.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Word. We’ve paid the troll toll already. Enough is enough.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Wow. It’s kind of weird (and kind of sad) to watch a meltdown from the outside.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          But one that shows no sign of stopping. How the hell is this guy so unhinged?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            I have no clue.

            I’m assuming he’ll eventually exhaust himself and decide to wander off and take a nap.

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              I’m not so sure. It seems like he feeds on the attention. I’d deny it to him, but I just can’t let his insults and outrageous claims stand. People need to understand how to treat other people. Will he get it? No. But that won’t stop me from trying.

        • RobMcCune
          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Oh, good lord, that was just painful to read.

    • Matt D

      Yeah, he’s been hanging out all day screaming his moral superiority on this topic and calling others names and insulting them when they disagree. Enough is enough.

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

      He’s been banned.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        Thank you. Insults and slurs do not add to the conversation.

      • onamission5

        Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

  • kaydenpat

    “it’s still a step forward.”

    Yes, I am sure if he’s sincere, that he’ll take many more steps in the right direction to heal the wounds caused by “ex-gay” therapy.


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