The lies of Exodus were a bearing wall for evangelicalism

Alan Chambers, ex-leader of ex-ex-gay “ministry” Exodus International, concluded his blunt apology yesterday with what seems to be a pledge to redeem himself and to help heal the people, and the church, he and Exodus have wounded:

For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.

Chambers, a former pastor at a large Assembly of God church, is an evangelical Christian who is here using evangelical language — the language of conversion, of Amazing Grace, of “I once was lost … I once was blind.”

That’s important. Evangelical Christianity is at its best when it speaks of “a wretch like me.” For decades, Exodus International has been a pillar of evangelical Christianity at its worst — the politicized, culture-warrior faith that speaks of a wretch like you or of a wretch like Them.

So what follows conversion? Will this be a Zacchaeus moment for Alan Chambers? What would it mean for him to say, like the redeemed oppressor in the Gospels, that he will repay those he has defrauded “four times as much”?

And, if he does that, will any of Exodus’ former supporters in American evangelicalism follow that example? Will the culture-warriors of the religious right and the tribal gatekeepers at Christianity Today also repent of the fraudulent cruelty of “ministries” like Exodus after praising them and supporting them for so many years?

But again, this is about repentance and conversion. That doesn’t mean cosmetic changes in tone or a tweaking in strategy, it means a transformation of identity. Alan Chambers seems to be a man whose sense of identity has been shaken and, if we can take him at his word, a man who is seeking to leave behind who he has been in order to become someone new.

I don’t see the culture-warriors and gatekeepers being willing to do that.

Exodus collapsed because it was based on lies. Lies about human sexuality. Lies about the Bible. Nothing based on lies can last.

But the lies Exodus represented and promoted were critically important for the white evangelical “worldview” here in America. Evangelicals’ treatment of LGBT people could only be defended by the false claim that such people were making a “lifestyle choice” — that they were willful sinners choosing sin who therefore deserved to be shunned, deserved to be denied full participation in the church, deserved to be denied full legal equality and civil rights. Without that lie, all that remains is transparent malice, a naked refusal to love our neighbors, and an unseemly eagerness to puff ourselves up by stomping down on those we can outnumber and overpower.

Exodus International is no more. But for American evangelicalism, Exodus was a bearing wall — a vital support column. It propped up the illusion that evangelical culture-warriors have any claim to the moral high ground. And, even more fundamentally, it propped up an otherwise unsustainable proof-texting hermeneutic. Without the support of Exodus’ lie, evangelicals would need to, in Tim Keller’s words, “Completely disassemble the way in which they read the Bible. Completely disassemble their whole approach to authority.”

Actually, Keller isn’t quite right there. Evangelicals won’t have to “completely disassemble the way in which they read the Bible.” It won’t need to be disassembled because it’s already falling apart on its own. It’s an unsustainable structure, a house built on shifting sand. All evangelicals would need to do is abandon the exhausting project of desperately trying to prop it up with bad science, bad-faith arguments, and false witness borne against our neighbors.

And Keller was completely wrong to suggest that this would involve evangelicals having “to completely kick their entire faith out the door.” Abandoning a failed hermeneutic for one that can be reconciled with reality and with the Golden Rule hardly constitutes apostasy or the rejection of faith. Does Keller mean to suggest that Steve Chalke is no longer a Christian? (If not, then what is the point of such hysterics? Keller seems to be confusing the boundaries of tribal gatekeepers with actual theology. Or perhaps engaging in a question-begging argument in which Chalke’s assessment of the anti-gay clobber verses can be pre-emptively dismissed because Chalke comes to tribally unacceptable conclusions and is, therefore, not really an evangelical and therefore can be ignored.)

The lie of “reparative therapy” and of “ex-gay ministry” was unsustainable. A clobber-verse hermeneutic built on top of that lie is also unsustainable. Evangelical Christians who are shocked or startled by Alan Chambers’ apology and shuttering of Exodus don’t yet seem to fully realize that they will — sooner rather than later — face the same decision, the same kairos and crossroads, that Chambers faced.

It will be very, very interesting to see what they decide to do.

 

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  • Lori

    Meh, IDK. It seems to me that the all work of load bearing walls in Evangelicalism is done by tribalism. All the rest is just convenience or decoration and can be moved in the remodel without risking the structural integrity of the building.

  • MikeJ

    Yes and no. If all the major fundegelical churches started accepting gays, in many ways they would still be horrible institutions, when it comes to how women are treated, or their thoughts on wealth, or charity, or partisan politics.

    On the other hand, they would be lessening the amount of suffering in the world. They wouldn’t reduce it to zero, but they would, as the kids say, “increase awesome and decrease suck”.

    I never expect any religious institution to ever decrease suck, so when anyone does it, even on a small scale, I’ll applaud it.

  • mcc

    I’m waiting for the “okay, you can join the church— but you can’t be a minister!” moment.

    (Technically, gay-accepting Methodist churches already follow this rule, although this is because of a quirk of how the Methodists are administered and these churches would surely accept gay pastors if they could get away with it.)

  • http://estneillaamata.blogspot.com/ JulianaSundry

    Consider the interest of a gay Methodist with a possible call to ministry piqued. What is this you are speaking of?

  • AnonaMiss

    While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

    http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=4746363&ct=3169111

  • Lori

    Sure, things will be better if they stop hating gays than they are now, when they do hate gays. My point is that the change won’t make any substantive difference in how Evangelicals see the world or their own beliefs. They’ll just adjust and move on to the next hate. AFAICT, aside from the very most basic defining things (God exists, Jesus was divine) there is no point of theology that is actually a bearing wall for Evangelicalism.

  • schismtracer

    Agreed. What I’m not sure Fred understands is that all the polite euphemisms and “love the sinner” facades are just a convenient way to get naked malice legislated.

  • Ben English

    I’m pretty sure Fred understand that, but while yes, Tribalism is the core framework, it’s also an ugly thing that the broader culture is slowly rejecting. Tribalism becomes harder and harder to prop up when there’s both pressure from outside and crumbling support from within.

  • the shepard

    every conflict eventually boils down to tribalism. don’t matter if it’s religious, political, national or social.

    “us vs. them” seems to be hardwired into our monkey brains.
    the trick is to learn better and try to teach others bettrr. uphill battle at best, quixotic idealism at worst. but, really, what else you going to do?

  • Lori

    The thing about modern American Evangelicalism is that you don’t have to do much boiling to get to the tribalism. Their theology changes to provide whatever backup and excuse is needed to justify their politics and their tribal identity and 5 minutes after the change happens they pretend they’ve always believed that. (See: Evangelical beliefs about abortion.)

    Sooner or later all but the farthest Right fundamentalists are going to decide that the Bible doesn’t really require them to condemn gay people and Evangelicalism will just keep rolling along. Nothing substantial will change. The edifice certainly isn’t going to collapse, which is what happens when a wall is load bearing and you pull it down.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    More of those cards should be spades. It makes pointing them out so much more satisfying.

  • The_L1985

    Calling a small digging implement a spade? :)

  • Otrame

    I think you are missing an important part of the dynamic by focussing on the theology of gay-hating. The part you are missing is political. It’s not that traditional religious thought was going to accept the idea of gay marriage easily. But what actually happened was cold blooded use of the issue by political operatives who did want working and middle class people to see what they are doing–that is the dismantling of everything in society that was built to create the middle class in the first place, and to help working class people live decent lives. They want us back when a very very few had all the power and money. Everyone else worked long hours to make not quite enough money to feed their kids.

    And part of how they are doing this has been “Don’t look at how we are destroying the safety nets of those that live from paycheck to paycheck! No, look over here! Gay people want to get married!!!!!!11111!!!!!”

    That’s not working as well, so they are shifting to GUNSSSSZZZZZZZZZ and “Those poor (hint, hint, wink, wink “black”) people are STEALING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!!!!!11111!!!!!”

    Real concern with a changing culture is being used to hide an attempt to take us back to a Victorian kind of capitalism. People really need to stop worrying about the gays and take a look at what is happening around them.

  • the shepard

    the gays and abortion are used like part of a magic trick. keep the marks looking at your left hand while you fleece them with your right.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    More like punching you with the left hand while fleecing you with the right. There is no way not to pay attention to this stuff — if we stop, they WILL hurt us. But I don’t think paying attention to human rights precludes paying attention to economic justice at all. In fact, it is necessary to deal with both, because they are interwoven.

  • the shepard

    i was referring to the people who they try to keep the blinders on, not their victims. round these parts the conservative christian/republican alliance has whipped up voters about the evils of the gays and abortions so they could destroy the state economy.

    i agree that human rights and economic economic justice are both faces of the same die. but it’s easier to convince Jimbo and Lurleen to vote against the gays than it is to convince them to vote against their own economic best interest.

    it’s all smoke and mirrors, hiding the lives ruined and the blood spilled in the service of Mammon.

  • Alix

    it’s easier to convince Jimbo and Lurleen to vote against the gays than it is to convince them to vote against their own economic best interest.

    I sort of agree? But given how many people I know who really truly don’t get economics, especially at a national level, it’s … not really that hard to get people to vote against their own economic self-interest either.

    I mean, ’round here I hear an awful lot about how taxes are stealing money straight from hard-working folks, and the evils of welfare, and all that, and it gets a big response from people convinced they’re being oppressed by the liberal elite.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I saw a cartoon a little while ago. Gist of it was: Left panel, guy driving car on road: Them liberals [or was it the governor?], always trying to raise taxes to pay for infrastructure! Right panel, same guy driving same car on same road: I wish they’d fix these potholes instead!

  • Alix

    It honestly baffles me, how very many people I meet who really like all sorts of government-run stuff, or think the government should do more stuff, but flat-out refuse to pay for it. I mean, do they go to the gas station and expect to fill their tank for free?

  • EllieMurasaki

    The other week I got thanked for my honesty when I went to the gas station and explained that I had a record in my financial software for a gas purchase some weeks old that the charge hadn’t gone through, when ordinarily charges from them go through in hours. Thanked for my honesty. Because apparently most people would just cheerfully use the software glitch as an excuse to steal a tankful of gas.

  • the shepard

    yeah. ain’t it a kick when all you have to do to get a commendation of any sort is not be a dick?

  • Alix

    *Sigh*

    I had one friend tell me that he’d rather just steal the gas (well, we were talking accidentally walking out with something that didn’t scan at the store, but same deal), because whenever he’d tried to be honest and correct the error, he got nothing for it. Not only do I not get his reasoning – a) he’d’ve had to pay anyway if there were no error and b) that’s not the point of being honest – but it’s emphatically not my experience.

    But he’s far from the only person I’ve heard using that whole “honesty gets punished, but dishonesty is just ignored/rewarded” canard.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    What gets me is that they either don’t get or don’t care that their gain in that situation is someone else’s loss.

    One of the things I’m extremely careful about is making sure the change a cashier gives me is correct. Even if they give me more than I deserve, I get it back. This is mainly because I know what some stores put their cashiers through if their drawer is off by so much as a penny at the end of their shift.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    A young woman at a bookstore followed me out into the snow to thank me for telling her she’d given me too much change. It was a big chunk, like $20. She said hardly anyone else would ever do that. It was really depressing.

  • the shepard

    yeah. pointing fingers at the other, again. welfare deadbeats, immigrants stealing our jobs, dope fiends getting food stamps, poor people without the humility to bob their heads and stay out of sight, uppity minorities, gays who insist on flaunting the gayhood in public.
    they’re all signs of what the godless liberal commies stand for, don’t you know?

  • Alix

    That, but so much of it is also coupled with “…and if you let them raise taxes/have universal healthcare/keep a social program, that money comes out of your pocket. Those people are stealing from you!”

  • Noyatin

    I agree with the shepard’s point, but let’s remember that Jimbo and Lurleen are also stereotypes. If this is simply a victory for our tribe, we perpetuate the whole sick game.

  • Alix

    Erm, while I think I agree with the gist of your comment, I rather think I should be paying attention to their war against gay people, and all their other culture-war stuff, seeing as how they absolutely will hurt people – me and others – with that stuff if they can.

    Sure, the economic stuff is also critically important, but it’s not the only important thing.

    Edit: In other words, that war on gay people, women, whatever? That’s not smoke and mirrors – they really mean that. I live in Virginia, home of a truly batshit state government, that very much would like to criminalize miscarriages and being not-straight or not-cis. Sometimes their economic shenanigans really are the least of my worries.

  • http://caffinatedlemur.wordpress.com/ caffinatedlemur

    That really bothered me last election. I was chastised by a loved one for voting on “personal issues” like not wanting other women to have to go through more hoops to get the care they need, instead of focusing on the ‘national’ issue of the economy that they deluded themselves into thinking is the only thing they cared about.

    I was half tempted to point out that it wasn’t macroeconomics that gave me trouble in school, it was microeconomics.

  • lodrelhai

    Interesting point. I seem to remember similar statements from politicians last year, when various states were passing laws to limit abortions and shame women for seeking one, like the infamous Virginia mandatory ultrasound law. When voters or reporters or interest groups would protest the bills, the early response was some form of “Why are you asking about that? The polls say the voters want to focus on the economy, so why should anyone care that we’re voting on abortions?”

    These things matter. They are not distractions from the economic issues, or minor in comparison. They are part of the same problem – people who believe themselves to be elite because of wealth/race/religion trying to hold power over and silence the masses.

    Religion has given them an effective inroad, so how religion handles these issues matters. If the fundamentalist/evangelical church does manage to let go of these failing foundations, that’s a major support to the political machine also cut away.

  • FearlessSon

    I seem to remember similar statements from politicians last year, when various states were passing laws to limit abortions and shame women for seeking one, like the infamous Virginia mandatory ultrasound law. When voters or reporters or interest groups would protest the bills, the early response was some form of “Why are you asking about that? The polls say the voters want to focus on the economy, so why should anyone care that we’re voting on abortions?”

    Which always made me wonder, “If these are such unimportant issues compared to the economy as a whole, and you want everyone opposing them to drop their opposition as such, then why are you putting so much effort into implementing culture-war policies instead of economic ones?”

  • mcc

    “Exodus International is no more. But for American evangelicalism, Exodus was abearing wall — a vital support column”

    I suppose it is worth noting Exodus has gone away but NARTH and PFOX and probably other groups are still around. As with anything on the right, any one pundit or cardboard “advocacy group” is just one of a dozen backups, and when any one implodes they can just swap in another.

    (This is besides the fact that “ex-gay” ministries have two components— the PR component where groups like Exodus go get in front of TV cameras and use the “ex-gay” shill line to package homophobia using the language of civil rights, and the “reparative therapy” component where they actually try to manufacture “ex-gays”. The first might be more useful to the right’s overall mission, but the latter is quieter and more dangerous.)

  • A Viescas

    I would actually say that the “first component” is the marketing arm of the second component. It remains to see how crucial that marketing arm is.

  • the shepard

    apropos of nothing, i’d just like to say that, as someone new here, i kinda love this place already.
    the stuff i’ve read (mostly the left behind stuff because that’s how i found the place) is engaging and thought-provoking and so are most of the people i’ve interacted with. looking forward to becoming a part of the place in my own small way.
    but, for now, i should go. the galaxy ain’t gonna save itself.

    (i am an awful typist on a keyboard, i am worse on my kindle’s touchscreen.)

  • Jim Roberts

    It’s a good community. And welcome!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Welcome. Please don’t kill us with sheep.

  • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

    Well, he is the shepard, after all. Allowing for vagaries of spelling, it does seem his likely M.O.

  • FearlessSon

    Wrong Shepard. This Shepard would kill us with a precision orbital strike.

  • phantomreader42

    “Precision Orbital Sheep” sounds like a good name for a band. :P

  • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

    Looks like some game developers have been watching Babylon 5, “Into the Fire” in particular.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I’ve always found it vaguely annoying that goat herders are goatherds, but sheep herders lose one of their vowels and become shepherds.

    What the hell is a shep?

  • Alix

    Welcome to the English language, where we screw with you just for the lulz.

    Fire to fiery gives me the same fits.

  • The_L1985

    Welcome, MA fan! We’re happy to have you here, just don’t kill us with sheep. :)

  • FearlessSon

    Are you trolling for corrections?

  • The_L1985

    No, somehow I had it in my head that Mass Effect had the wrong spelling. Mea culpa.

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    According to a Pew Research poll a released a couple of weeks ago, 62% of white evangelicals believe that being gay is neither nurture nor nature but rather “the way some people choose to live their lives”. This despite Alan Chambers saying SOCE was ineffective for 99.9% of people who wanted to changed their orientation. This despite the peer-reviewed version of Jones Yarhouse saying that there is no proof that that orientation change is possible for everyone or anyone.

    Conservative Christianity will see what it wants to see. If there is anyone bearing the weight of their perceptions, it is whatever poor, self-loathing queen has bought into the poisonous apple and is loudly pretending to be straight. Oh, the trophy he makes!

    And it won’t stop even if evangelicals finally acknowledge that orientation is not changeable. The new next way to shame Christians who are gay is to say “if you live your life authentically, you are choosing to make your sexuality your identity instead of Christ.” They say “you are making an unholy choice” and “you are choosing for your identity something that God calls an abomination.”
    Hate doesn’t need Exodus to persist. Exodus folding means very little.

    My heart breaks for the 14 year old gay kid in the front pew. Conservative theology continues to amass destroyed lives.

  • Persia

    62% of white evangelicals believe that being gay is neither nurture nor
    nature but rather “the way some people choose to live their lives”

    On the upside, I’m guessing that number was closer to 99% twenty years ago. Change takes a long time and it’ll be too late for the 14-year-old gay kid in the front pew, but there is some movement, even there.

  • Brett Falkenbergski

    Gays are like witches: neither deserves death but love.

  • Brett Falkenbergski

    cf. Lev. 20:13 and Exodus 22:18 vs. Jesus

  • the shepard

    too bad more christians don.t choose to be on Jesus’ side of the argument.

  • Dave Lartigue

    Why does anyone have to be a wretch?

  • The_L1985

    The “saved a wretch like me” is a way to remind Christians that they have their own faults and should try to become a better person. By creating a culture war, the conservative media makes it possible for people to ignore their own flaws and focus on the things they hate about other people. By reminding folks that “hey, there are things about YOURSELF that you’re not proud of, either,” it helps to bring the focus back to self-improvement and away from the pointless and damaging demonization of the “other.”

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The only times I’ve ever seen anyone bring out the “we’re all flawed” argument, they’re defending horrible people, or defending their own indefensible actions. Yes, I got some parking tickets. I’ve said some nasty things. I’ve been unjust in some arguments with my husband. The idea that I should therefore feel I’m the same as someone who killed or raped or systematically lied in a way that harmed people is just not on.

    Most of us are basically okay, and I don’t think the “everyone’s flawed” argument works in most contexts. I’ve had it used against me by an emotional abuser, and this is actually very, very common.

  • The_L1985

    Really? I’ve always used it as a reason for myself not to judge people who aren’t hurting anyone.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Thank you for saying it.

    “Saved a wretch like me” was written by a slave trader. He was a wretch. I hate seeing other people applying it to themselves. The vast majority of people are not wretches. This philosophical idea that is present to greater or lesser ideas in all Christianity that I’ve seen, that human beings are wretches, is appalling.

  • Carstonio

    Evangelicals will probably adopt the Catholic hiearchy’s stance on homosexuality instead, acknowledging that orientation is not a choice but still insisting that homosexual intimacy is a sin. Both this attitutde and the Exodus International approach demand that gays and lesbians deny a basic part of their being.

    Fred’s entry predicts a rosy future. He doesn’t seem to grasp that for his fellow evangelicals and many other people, their opposition to homosexuality is linked with their beliefs about gender roles. Often the first is almost a proxy for the second, which is probably a far stronger bearing wall. Imagine if Quivetfull embraced feminism next.

  • the shepard

    interesting thought about the effect of a belief in rigid gender roles influencing their hatred of lgbt folks.
    if a man can marry a man or a woman can become a man (not trying to be gender biased there), everything gets all higgeldy-piggeldy and their little heads might explode.
    from there it is a short step to mass hysteria and dogs and cats living in sin.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I don’t think Fred predicts a rosy future, I think he predicts an uncertain one.

    The kind of faith Fred is discussing comes crashing down on an individual level all the time and when it does the individual is left with a choice of what to do next.

    If the events at Exodus cause a more widespread collapse then more people will be left with a choice of what to do next. And what they do is something that we can’t know yet. It’s possible they’ll adopt Catholic doctrine, they’ve done it before, it’s possible they’re lose faith entirely, that’s happened too, it’s possible they’ll become more like Fred (Fred himself is proof that that can happen.) It’s possible any number of things.

    My only prediction is that whatever is done it won’t be done as one. If the gatekeepers and culture warriors replace the support beam of Exodus International with select Catholic doctrines as you predict then it is probably true that the majority of white Evangelicals in the USA will follow them, but I doubt it will be all those who followed them before. I think some people who are on the same page as the culture warriors and gatekeepers now will go in different directions. (Some might be worse for all I know.)

    Maybe it’ll just be some splintering around the edges but I don’t think the entire community moves passed this as one.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    While I definitely don’t think sexuality is a choice, I’m with Will Wildman on this one: it doesn’t fucking matter. If being gay were a choice all the anti-gay crusaders would still be morally wrong. I think that sometimes we get so hung up on the fact that people lie to say it is a choice that we forget that what these bigots are doing would still be wrong if sexuality were a choice.

    Obviously for Exodus it matters because part of what they were doing was giving false hope that people could change something about themselves that they couldn’t actually change. But the only reason people needed that false hope is that other assholes were saying that being gay or bi was a bad thing when it’s not. Choice or no choice.

    It’s not a choice, but morally that doesn’t matter. When we tunnel in on whether or not it’s a choice I think that we miss the larger point that what anti-gay crusaders are doing is wrong period.

    It’s like we’re fighting on their terms, “Well if it were a choice then you’d be totally justified but since it’s not you’re wrong.” No.

    “You’re wrong. And, incidentally, it’s not a choice.” That’s what we should have been saying, that’s what we should be saying, that’s what we should say in the future. The big point is that what they’re doing is wrong, the fact that sexuality is not a choice pales in comparison to the importance of recognizing and opposing the wrong things these people are doing.

    I did not always think this way, knowing that it wasn’t a choice and knowing that people based their arguments on the lie that it was, I was focused on saying, “It’s not a choice! It’s not unnatural!” and things like that. But now, thinking it through from the position of, “What difference would it make if it were a choice? What difference would it make if it were unnatural?” I think that morally correcting the bigots is far more important than factually correcting them.

    Factually correcting them seems to yield that if they had their facts right they’d be morally fine. That’s bullshit. Even if they were factually correct (which they’re not) they’d still be morally wrong.

  • the shepard

    never thought about it from that angle.
    makes perfect sense now that i hear it.
    freedom has nothing to do with how you’re born and everything to do with how you choose to live your life.

  • dpolicar

    Yup, agreed.

    This has never been difficult for me to understand, but I’ve been fortunate enough to live the counterexample. I’m perfectly capable of having a happy, fulfilled, sexually active marriage with a woman. As it happens, I’m instead having a happy, fulfilled, sexually active marriage with a man. I could have chosen to do the former instead, and I didn’t.

    I’m OK with all of that. I understand that some people aren’t, and they are free to feel that way, though they’re mistaken, and when they try to impose restrictions on my life based on their feelings I oppose them.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the person who got me thinking about it this way is bi.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    And I’m seeing more and more people saying that okay, people have homosexual feelings, but it’s acting on them that’s the problem. It is true that people could choose to be celibate, and I expect that will be the next attempt at abuse to be heaped on those who aren’t straight. There will be comparisons to pedophiles, of course, and to other kinds of rape, and to other things that either really aren’t acceptable or that our society finds unacceptable.

    This is going to be a tougher thing to fight, and I think it might cause more harm, if it’s allowed to fester.

  • Gregory Peterson

    I like the comparisons of “homosexuality” with alcoholism…as if people can’t safely operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Gay.

  • The_L1985

    “I’m sorry, but I can’t come to work today. See, I had gay sex last night, so I’m not in good condition to drive.”

  • dpolicar

    Well, if it’s done right… :-)

  • The_L1985

    You are only making me regret having never participated in a Devil’s Threesome.

  • FearlessSon

    A “Devil’s Threesome”? Is that somehow more sinful than any other given arrangement of threesome?

  • The_L1985

    No, but that’s just what a lot of people call a threesome with 2 men and 1 woman. It’s a handy shorthand.

  • phantomreader42

    “Do not resume sexual activity while operating heavy machinery without contacting your physician” ;)

  • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

    I’ve long felt the same way, although I must admit I first came at it from an appeal to consequences point of view. After all, science (done right) is always open to falsification, refinement, and finding that what we had thought just ain’t so. So, there’s some small but finite chance that future research might establish (as nearly as it can) that it turns out to be a choice after all, and then that whole line of argument would go right down the drain. But once I started thinking about it, I realized the reasons for it on the principles you talk about were much better, anyway.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Here’s what I wrote on the Baptist Press Facebook page about an article by Erin Roach, “Exodus Int’l closes after Chambers’ apology” https://www.facebook.com/BaptistPress?fref=ts

    “Exodus International, a decades-old ministry of helping people overcome homosexual behavior…”

    It wasn’t about helping people overcome homosexual behavior, it was about
    helping people become invisible and silent about their unjust
    oppression.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Here’s an interesting, related article.

    Ex-Gay Christian Groups Will Continue After Exodus As Religious LGBT Support Grows

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/ex-gay-christian-exodus-lgbt_n_3475024.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

  • Kristin Rawls

    Oh indeed, the legacy of this will go on for generations, at least.

  • Kristin Rawls

    So, this is the open letter I wrote to Chambers. At xoJane, which I know doesn’t reach the audience that will necessarily be responding to this, so I want to post it here. A link and a quick excerpt below:

    “The ex-gay movement has the blood of LGBT children on its hands. I hope you will honor them by learning their names and coming to terms with what this movement –- and what Exodus –- has stolen from this world. I hope you will listen and learn for a while.

    I don’t trust that you understand it now. If you did, I think you’d see how insensitive and cruel it is for you to go on lauding the “life-saving” accomplishments of Exodus. You need to see these things for yourself. Offer to meet with parents or loved ones who are willing so you can look them in the eye and apologize. Take steps to confront the magnitude of what has been lost. Weep with those who weep.”

    http://www.xojane.com/issues/alan-chambers-open-letter


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