Holy crap: “ex-gay” ministry apologizes and announces it is shutting down. What does this mean?

When I first heard via Hemant Mehta and Fred Clarke that the infamous “ex-gay” ministry had apologized to everyone it hurt and announced it was shutting down, I almost couldn’t belief it. It was like hearing Ken Ham admit that actually the Earth is billions of years old, or Josh McDowell admit that actually there’s no evidence Christianity is true.

It actually isn’t entirely surprising, though, given that Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, had already admitted that “ex-gays” don’t really exist. Dan Savage covered the story here, drawing parallels between what Chambers was saying last year and what queer classic The Boys in the Band said more than 40 years before that.

But this is more than just admitting they were wrong, Alan Chambers is now apologizing in a way that acknowledges the hurt he caused, and Exodus isn’t trying to find some way to change course after correcting their mistakes, but is shutting down.

Hemant’s commentary is really good, and I strongly recommend watching his video if you don’t mind that it’s a video. (I strongly prefer text to video for just absorbing information, but Hemant’s video is at least short.) To me, this seems like a major milestone in the decline of Christianity and America… both because evangelicals still haven’t found a good way out of their homosexuality dilemma, and because “homosexuality is a disease that can be cured” was a major pillar of fundie alternate-reality alongside creationism and bad Biblical scholarship.

Oh, and by the way, William Lane Craig has promoted Exodus International’s brand of “Christian counseling” before. Who wants to write him and ask him if he’ll follow Alan Chambers in apologizing?

  • frekls

    That’s amazing. I agree, I would love to hear what William Lane Craig (and other supporters) say about this turn-around.

    Combine this with Bill Donohue (radical right traditionalist Catholic apologist) actually defending Obama (okay, maybe only once) http://www.catholicleague.org/obamas-anti-catholic-speech/ , and I think maybe the apocalypse might actually be upon us. :-)

  • http://www.atheistrev.com/ vjack

    Hey, I thought I was the only one who felt that way about videos! He does make some good ones, but count me as someone who prefers text too.

    I think you are right about this being a major milestone. Maybe it is wishful thinking to some degree, but I struggle to see it any other way.

    • http://youcallthisculture.blogspot.com/ VinnyJH

      I hate videos, too. I can’t skim through stuff I already know to get to the meat of the argument and it’s hard to go back to recheck the premises to see if they really support the conclusion.

  • JWP

    “apologizing in a way that acknowledges the hurt he caused” link is broken

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

      Fixed.

  • ptah
  • Rain

    But this is more than just admitting they were wrong, Alan Chambers is now apologizing in a way that acknowledges the hurt he caused

    Hey folks, if you click on the link to the apology, when you get there you can click on the donation button over to the right, and you can click on the books and other resources they have available for sale over there at the Organization-That-Is-Apologizing-And-Shutting-Down™ ® © (Patent Pending).

  • L.Long

    Xtian response….

    Eyes blazing, fists clenched, spittle flying, face twisted in rage…..

    You are all demons of satan!!!! you have tempted these good people from the true path!!! You will be with your mater in hell soon!!!! We will cure the gay, even if it kills them….YaDa..YaDa…YaDa and more non-provable BS. I’m so scared.

  • Mick

    “ex-gay” ministry apologizes and announces it is shutting down. What does this mean?

    My first thought (only a guess) was that contributions to Exodus International were dwindling and Chambers walked away because his salary and Christmas bonus had fallen to an unacceptable level.

  • Jimmy Cook

    Unfortunately, “homosexuality is a disease that can be cured” will remain a major pillar of fundie alternate-reality. I listen to American Family Radio sometimes, and they are already pushing other ministries like Restored Hope and Living Waters. Chambers is being called a spiritual compromiser whose real fault was outreach to the gay community.

  • MNb

    “Who wants to write him and ask him”

    I did last Saturday, though my question was more neutral. It hasn’t been addressed yet.

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