Blog report: Missing Ugandan gay man found dead (Updated – Likely hoax)

UPDATE: 7/7/10 – Gay groups in Uganda have issued a statement on this situation. Go to this new post on this topic. All future updates will be reported there.

UPDATE: 7/7/10 – Box Turtle Bulletin and Changing Attitudes are now reporting that this story is most likely a hoax. Read these blogs for the details.

UPDATE – 6:40pm – Here is an update on the missing priest.

UPDATE: 6:25pm est – This report may not be accurate. There is now some doubt that the dead man was affiliated with Integrity Uganda. He may not have been gay, according to Box Turtle Bulletin. Apparently, however, the gay affirming Anglican priest is still missing. At issue is the orientation of the deceased and the motive for the crime.

…………………………………….

If accurate, this report is what many of us feared:

News from Uganda which surfaced today highlights why change in church teaching and practice towards homosexuality is imperative and urgent.

A search for a missing pro-gay priest, the Rev Henry Kayizzi Nsubuga, who disappeared almost two and half weeks ago after delivering a scathing speech at St. Paul’s Church, Kanyanya supporting homosexuality in Uganda, led the joint search team of Integrity Uganda and Namirembe Diocese to the severed head of another person. The head was found in a pit latrine on the farm of Badru Kiggundu, the Electoral Commission Chairman, in Makindye Sabagabo, Wakiso District.

Judith Nabakooba, a police spokesperson, identified the head as that of Pasikali Kashusbe, one of the workers on Kiggundu’s farm and a member of Integrity Uganda. Pasikali and his partner Abbey are youth workers with Integrity Uganda charged with the responsibility of mobilising young LGBT people in activities which build community capacity to face up to the challenge of homophobia, especially in the area of attitude change and care through drama and sports activities.

According to the police, a mutilated torso which was earlier in the week discovered in Kabuuma Zone, about half a kilometre away from Kiggundu’s farm was probably Pasikali’s The torso was described as belonging to a young man and had no genitals.

Here is a news report on what appears to be the same or a related situation without identifying the personal circumstances or identity of the victim. The names don’t quite match up and I am seeking to confirm the situation.

One of Martin Ssempa’s students said that gays should be killed if they are caught. Watch at about 38 minutes into the Missionaries of Hate and you will hear one say that

You’re caught and you’re homosexual, you’re hanged. We have not caught one as yet. That is the only good thing.

 

Those who marched with Martin Ssempa in February called for the death penalty for gays. The second man speaking on this video appears to be Bishop David Kiganda, who was identified by TheCall Uganda as someone who could respond to my questions about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. David Kiganda is the pastor of the Christianity Focus Center where Martin Ssempa conducted one of his hard core porn shows.

In 2007 and again this year in January, a Tabliq cleric and colleague of Martin Ssempa in the war on gays, Multah Bukenya, announced his readiness to unleash squads of young men to hunt down gays promising “to wipe out all abnormal practices like homosexuality in our society.”

The priest is apparently still missing.

Does anyone need any help in connecting the dots here? No one knows for sure, and we may never know, who was responsible for the death of this man. We do know that members of a Makerere Community Church youth group can sit holding Bibles and a prayer meeting and casually tell an American journalist that homosexuals should be hanged if caught. We know that their pastor receives financial support from a member church of the Willow Creek Association and that church fails to see the problem. Did the Makerere kids catch a gay man? It is a fair question.

UPDATE – 7/6/10: This news report in the Daily Monitor corroborates the identity of the missing man. However, I am hearing from sources in Uganda that there is still some question about the man’s identity.  Thus, I have changed the title of the post to reflect the uncertainty of the situation. There is some possibility that the murder was conducted by witch doctors and was unrelated to anti-gay sentiment in the nation. Nonetheless, I have been following the situation there for months and given the rhetoric I noted above, it is certainly plausible that this was a crime based on hatred of gays.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Michael Bussee

    Since February of 2009, I believe Jim Burroway has done a very good job connecting the gruesome “dots”:

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/slouching-toward-kampala

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Because of the genetic mutilation, I think that there is absolutly no doubt why this young man was killed.

    I don’t even know more what to say. I’m horrified.

  • Michael Bussee

    “When it comes to homosexuality, Uganda already has several riot inciters so the role of the Americans was to add a perception of credibility and urgency. What would really be helpful is for the three to say directly to the Ugandan people: we were wrong in what we told you. Gays didn’t cause the holocaust, they aren’t ill people who will respond to a forced cure and they aren’t the cause of all your problems.” — Warren Throckmorton, 1/4/2010.

  • Mary

    I don’t even know more what to say. I’m horrified

    And very, very angry at a church that supports this kind of theology! We do not going around killing nor endorsing the killing of others!

  • Michael Bussee

    Our responses run the gamut. Some Christians speak out immediately and boldly. Some Christians actually endorse it. Some may oppose it, but remain silent. Some evenutally speak out, but just take a long, long time — and a lot of pressure (or a word from God) before they openly oppose it.

    Some Christians are openly proud of dropping “bombs” in Uganda, but think that killing gays is a bit harsh. Still others urge churches and organizations here in the USA not to make public statements against it — because then gays would only demand more and more.

    Jesus, the author and finsher of the faith, did not wait more than a few seconds before challenging the crowd to drop their stones. Too bad some “Christians” didn’t get that part of the Bible.

  • Eddy

    Please forgive me for holding onto some doubts. Timothy no longer has doubts about this situation due to the genital mutilation. However, since Christianity and Witchcraft are both strong forces in Uganda…and since I’ve generally heard of genital mutilation in relation to witchcraft rather than Christianity, I’m going to hold onto at least a small doubt until more facts are presented.

    I do abhor the extremism of the Ugandans, including the Christians. I cannot fathom a culture that still lynches, murders and advocates death. I cannot fathom a culture that still practices witchcraft in its extremes that include human sacrifice. This is all beyond me.

    Warning: Complete switch in focus/observation:

    I noted something ‘unusual’ while trying to search out this story this morning. I was trying to see how Ugandan witches responded to homosexuality. So…googling ‘witchcraft homosexuality uganda’ seemed a logical search. I was struck by how many dozens of articles used the colloquialism ‘witch hunt’. We use the term now that we no longer have ACTUAL witch hunts to symbolize ferreting out those who hide among us. But it struck me as just a bit peculiar that we use it so often in reference to the situation in Uganda…where witchcraft is so prevalent. It seems to suggest that we remain blind to that very real aspect of their culture. (If Uganda ever steps up it’s campaign against witchery, will they have to invent a term other than ‘witch hunt’ since it’s already been colloquialized?) Please note: This isn’t a burning question that demands an answer…just an observation. My brain focus has often been centered on trying to grasp the extreme differences in our cultures and the impact those differences have on our cross-cultural communications.

    And now, back to the thread:

    Michael’s recent post seems like an attempt to sum up the gamut of possible church responses….and it does seem somewhat complete. Makes me wonder where the response of the gay church fits in. I googled to see if any had spoken out ‘immediately and boldly’ re this new travesty but couldn’t find anything (I’m not the best searcher, though!) but am wondering if this means that they too fall into the ‘oppose it but remain silent’ category.

  • Michael Bussee

    Many individual Christians (straight and gay) have already spoken out — quickly and bodly — across the blogosphere — as they as they learn the details of this horror. Dr. Throckmorton and Jim Burroway, for example.

    As word gets out, I am certain many more will do the same. I am not sure what is meant by the “gay church” — unless one means MCC — and most gay Christians attend churches that are not specifically gay”.

  • Eddy

    As to ‘gay church’, I was referring to any church that identifies itself primarily as a gay congregation. I didn’t cite MCC in particular since, in the city where I previously lived, we had at least one gay congregation that wasn’t MCC. I do understand that many or most gays belong to or participate in churches that are not, by nature, predominantly gay.

    I would think that response to these latest tragedies (until they make the mainstream news) would come via news coming through the congregation to the church leadership. Gay churches would likely have more people in tune with these issues and would learn of it first. Churches with gay members…assuming those members are in tune with international events…would follow. Churches and ministries that have ‘ex-gays’ would be next…again assuming that those members are following these international events.

  • Michael Bussee

    What you sake makes sense. I would also expect that LGBT news sources would speak out first. So far, from my online search, the first reports seem to be coming from Ugandan news sources, this blog, Box Turtle Bulletin and Advocate.com.

    So both straight and gay Christians are among the first to bring this to the public’s awareness. At this moment, Affirming Christian Network — an online LGBT radio source — is broadcasting news of the story. I will post any reports of ex-gay churches or ministries as they pick up the news.

  • Michael Bussee

    I agree that we should not necessarily conclude that this is an anti-gay killing. But I agree with Dr. Throckmorton that it certainly seems “plausible” that it was.

    (1) “Pasikali and his partner Abbey are youth workers with Integrity Uganda charged with the responsibility of mobilising young LGBT people in activities which build community capacity to face up to the challenge of homophobia, especially in the area of attitude change and care through drama and sports activities.”

    (2) “According to the police, a mutilated torso which was earlier in the week discovered in Kabuuma Zone, about half a kilometre away from Kiggundu’s farm was probably Pasikali’s The torso was described as belonging to a young man and had no genitals.”

    (3) “Pasikali went missing over three and half weeks ago when the country was celebrating Uganda Martyrs Day.”

    http://changingattitude-england.blogspot.com/2010/07/uganda-missing-gay-man-found-beheaded.html

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Michael,

    The reason that this site and BTB are the first is because we are the source for news on this subject. We often get info straight from Uganda rather than from American media.

    Eddy,

    It seems at times that you go out of your way to find, imagine, or create some remote possibility of doubt that can undermine criticism of the current anti-gay activism in Uganda. (Perhaps Lou Engle said something not on the tape. Perhaps we don’t know all the story.)

    But this one perplexes me.

    You seem to be proposing that this targeted attack on Integrity Uganda and its ministers does not result from the current rhetoric coming from Christian ministers in Uganda rallying to support the bill, but instead comes from those who practice witchcraft.

    I have to assume that you are seeking to shift victims. It’s not anti-gay, it’s anti-Christian.

    But, with all due respect, based on the evidence presented so far, that’s an extremely unlikely proposition. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever to suggest this is a witchcraft action and a great deal to suggest that Integrity Uganda is being attacked because of its position on homosexuality and that the attack is related to the current rhetoric which has been attacking Integrity.

    I think that this pattern of trying to derail criticism for the bill or for those who are supporting it is troubling.

  • Eddy

    I just googled ‘busabala murder’ and “New Vision Online” which claims to be Uganda’s leading newspaper reports of two bodies discovered at the end of June. Both were missing their heads and private parts.

    The article doesn’t provide enough information for me to determine if it refers to the same murder we are discussing here. However, in at least one of those murders, the police, led by the anti-child sacrifice unit, has arrested seven doctors. THEIR suspicion and focus on these deaths involving missing private parts is on ‘traditional healers’ which is the euphemistic name for those practicing the ancient witchcraft rites.

    My only agenda, Timothy, is NOT JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. (BTW: I only read the first line that you addressed to me. There’s a reason why American courts have “Objection! Goes to motive!” I prefer to focus on the facts…or lack thereof.) Let’s see “members of church related youth group admit that hanging would be appropriate” vs “bodies are found beheaded with private parts missing, traditional healers arrested by local police”. YOU seemed to indicate that since the private parts were missing, there is clearly no doubt why this young man was killed. Are your opinions, then, the same as those of the police? Does that mean that the anti-gay hatred isn’t just a Christian problem–that it is rampant among the traditional healers too? Or, are the police, without a doubt, going after the wrong perpetrators in these murders?

  • Michael Bussee

    Does anyone need any help in connecting the dots here? –W. Throckmorton.

  • Mary

    “I suspect, therefore you are guilty!”

    Too funny. However, I am inclined to put the sermon with the murder together. But absolute proof must be made.

  • Eddy

    ROFOL!!!!

    Oh, I had no trouble following Warren’s connect the dots. Picture came out very clear. Sorry to see though that some are limiting to only one connect the dot picture per day. I see the traditional healers and the Christians as two distinct groups. This blog seems to be blaming the Christians while the Ugandan police seem to be blaming the traditional healers. Is it a smoke-screen? A misdirected search? Are there many who have some weird blending of Christianity and traditional healing? It seems this one has opened up some thought provoking quandaries…but only if you’re not already closed-minded.

    Even Warren, in his closing, acknowledged that other possibility. I am not closed to the possibility that Christians were responsible for this; the statements I’ve made have gone to those who have pronounced a conclusion (and are encouraging public statements) while we’re still in the process of gathering facts.

  • Eddy

    I implore you to return to civility. Your link to flying saucers is way out of line. I cited a Ugandan news source that spoke of two murders that involved missing genitals with traditional healers as the primary suspects. That’s a far cry from flying saucers. Playing the ridicule game to shout down facts that don’t fit your premise isn’t the way to handle adult differences of opinion.

    Warren has said that all the facts aren’t in…that even the identify of the victim is in question. But even while the identity of the victim is still in question, you want to certify this as a hate crime and you are angry with me for wanting to wait until we have the facts. (Or actually, for possibly agreeing to hate crime but being open to the possibility that the Christians don’t have a corner on the hate market.)

    I found your responses childish especially in the way that they overlooked completely that I was referring to a Ugandan news link. In an adult conversation, I’d expect someone to respond with how that source couldn’t be trusted, or how perhaps their search was motivated by a coverup. So that’s why the ROTFL! I didn’t want to say ‘childish’ or ‘immature’ so thought I’d just go with the ROTFL.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I am amazed. Here we are on a blog and two ex gays that I know of are alrmed and cautious as well. Exodus does not represent all ex gays. I think we’ve killed that horse several times now.

  • Eddy

    Good idea!

    I hope they wait at least until the facts are in and my hope is that if Exodus addresses it, they address it in a blog rather than a policy statement or open letter.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: You are right. I should wait until all the facts are in. For now, suffice it to say that the situation is mighty suspicious — and I am mightily discouraged by the response (and non-response) of many “Christians” to the situation in Uganda up to this point.

    As you know, I am very passionate about these issues — and given our history on this blog, it is best that I refrain from commenting here. We rarely agree and I find your positions on most of these matter very disturbing to say the least.

    I sincerely pray that this is not what I think it is. If it is not, I don’t think it will be long before the call to violence is answered in blood. Christians everywhere should be at the forefront of the fight against evil — and I don’t mean the “evil” of homosexuality.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I’m cool with that. With the caveat added that you became quite disturbed by my position today–and my position was only that we seemed to have come to a conclusion and call to action before we even had all the facts. So yes, you do find my positions very disturbing…but quite often it’s because you think I’m saying things that I haven’t said. I can live with that.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    All: There is now some concern from reliable sources in Uganda that the situation is not as clear as first portrayed. I changed the title and narrative to reflect that earlier but some gay folk there are not sure about the identity of the deceased man. Let’s just wait and see.

    However, in researching this, I learned of a lesbian who was burned to death as the result of anti-gay violence. This incident was not reported but confirmed by two sources. I am looking into it now and am trying to get things where I can reliably report it.

    Here is what I am sure of. American funded ministries are inciting unChristian hatred toward GLB people in Uganda. Those American funders should hold their people accountable or stop funding them.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I may owe you an apology. It would appear that a hoax may be afoot and I jumped a bit too quickly.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I take exception to your analysis of me and my comments and especially of your supposed justification that “others who know me very well” concur with your analysis. If you’re going to bring others ‘into the room’ then bring them. In other words, please support that statement.

    Except for this blog and an occasional email to Alan Chambers, I am silent to the world at large. (I’ve got a rather large family and local community absorbing most of my attentions here. When I lived in Minneapolis, the joke was, that except for karaoke, I was pretty much a hermit.) There are 3 people who were once involved with Exodus that I remain in contact with. They are the only ‘others’ who might ‘know me very well’ that you might also know. If you spoke that statement in this public forum in a sincere effort to correct me, then it’s appropriate that you list the names that support your allegation. If you spoke the statement in this public forum and exaggerated to make your point, you owe me and the blog an apology.

    As to your charge that I am unclear, please consider today’s comments. They are here as part of the blog record. Over and over again, I repeated essentially the same point…that it was too soon to make any conclusion. Was I unclear in that? I submit that the only unclarity was when bloggers crossed the line and tried to guess my motives…not believing my actual words that we seemed to be judging and responding before the facts were in. Similar misfires do occur a lot here but let’s not assume that I’m to blame. I submit that today’s dysfunctional pattern happens a lot here. I am frequently attacked, as I was today, about some hidden motive…why I might actually think what I think. In many ways, it’s insulting.

    Warren: Two things. 1) I respect your belief that

    Here is what I am sure of. American funded ministries are inciting unChristian hatred toward GLB people in Uganda. Those American funders should hold their people accountable or stop funding them.

    I even agree with it. However, you tried to make that case with a flaming straw man with this particular post. Your case was so compelling…so emotionally gripping…that I feel you may have actually misled your readers. Your own caveat that the facts weren’t in…that there were unresolved issues…it got lost or buried under the swell of emotion.

    2) I urge you to start monitoring posts that go to motives or that go to unfounded characterizations such as Michael’s just did. I am quite sure that, in response to my request for ‘those who know me well’ that concur with Michael’s opinion of my communication abilities, he will either remain silent or provide some reason why it wouldn’t be appropriate to disclose them OR you will deem that ‘we’ve gone too far off track already and that enough is enough’. Frankly, the statement shouldn’t have been allowed through in the first place. But, now that it has, I believe I am entitled to either an elaboration or a retraction.

    Timothy–

    Thank you! I appreciate that. I didn’t want to move even further off of the focus but all day long I kept thinking of the situation a month or so ago when the engaged partner disappeared right after the court suspended their sentence. Blog heat was picking up, speculations of the worst were increasing, foul play was presumed–and any voice that suggested otherwise was shouted down. And then, it turned out that he had voluntarily ‘gone into hiding’ to avoid the press and the curious. I’m not sure if we even had a thread on the disappearance here…but I imagine if I had said “hold on, we don’t even know if there was foul play, maybe he just went into hiding”, my opinion would have been put down…and with some pretty convincing arguments (and a few questionings of my motives).

  • James

    Eddy,

    I do agree with most of your posts. I realise that most of the bloggers here base their posts on “half truth”. Uganda lately has experienced so many ritual killings. I find Warren’s post on Pasikali very wanting. His association of this ritual to homosexuality is kind of baseless. The Police in their initial statement didn’t even hint anything on this but Warren went ahead and published uncomfirmed reports. I think this is where we seriously miss the point. I agree with Eddy that it was very important for us to wait a little longer.

    Secondly Warren talks of Ssempa’s boys; “We do know that members of a Makerere Community Church youth group can sit holding Bibles and a prayer meeting and casually tell an American journalist that homosexuals should be hanged if caught”. Now these guys have never been part of Ssempa’s Church. Actually the documentary was short from several churches including All Saints Church where this bible study group was interviewed. It seem Ssempa controls everything to do with homosexuality in Uganda. Before Ssempa was my own Daddy. Ssempa has just been misrepresented by the American media.

    Lastly, I find it unacceptable when fellow bloggers want us to submit to their arguments. I think we are all open to what we know though above all truth must be embraced. I rejoice when truth is discovered but society is killed when we root for lies and lies. I for sure do not believe that Ssempa has an agenda to kill gays. I saw a number of ex-gays in his church.

  • Maazi NCO

    James,

    You miss the point. Propaganda is the weapon of the Euro-American Gay Lobby and their media allies. They are desperate to influence the course of events in Uganda and will tell all kinds of lies to subvert the Ugandan parliament’s determination to debate the Bahati Bill. Don’t be surprised if pro-gay propagandists start spreading false stories to the effect that thousands of practitioners of gayism in Uganda are being herded into gas chambers. In fact, some gay propagandist bloggers are already claiming falsely that the Bahati Bill (even in revised form) will do just that when it becomes law. However, we have to keep impressing it on these arrogant foreigners that gayism is unacceptable to Ugandans, and therefore legislation shall be used to keep such depraved sexual acts away from the public sphere. Simple and short.

  • James

    NCO,

    You are on spot. You have brought it out better. I have attended services at Martin Ssempa’s Church for the last 2 years and I’ve failed to see what has been potrayed in the media. I think going for funders/donors of anti homo fighters isn’t a smart move. Dr. Warren from my personal observation is actually determined to ensure that all the supporters of these anti gay members renounce their relationships with them.

    NCO, what is amazing is that in Uganda the Ssempas, Bahatis etc are heroes. They have become spokespersons of those who had no voice before. Vilifying them isn’t the best idea our American friends could do. The whole campaign against homos has been narrowed to one person and every insult is directed at him. I appreciate more if Americans concentrated on fighting human sacrifice, bad governance, poor education in Africa than promoting non profitable campaigns in the media. To most of the Ugandans, Bahati is a hero, Ssempa is a hero. They have voiced their concerns.

    Thank you.

  • Eddy

    James, Maazi NCO–

    What do we make of the fact that Ugandan law already addresses homosexual offenses? Why did Bahati and Ssempa feel that this new law was needed? I am an outsider and, admittedly, there is much that I don’t understand but ‘the other side’ isn’t the only one spewing half truths. One blogger said that they weren’t really seeking the death penalty or life imprisonment…if that is true, then their entire proposed bill is a half truth. If it isn’t true…if they really are seeking the death penalty and life imprisonment, then those who suggest that ‘we just don’t understand’ are speaking a half truth.

    Do you realize that if the proposed bill had not been so extreme, it would not have drawn the international attention and focus that it has? Many of us sense an abundance of half-truths and they come from ALL sides. Like it or not, the overwhelming international preoccupation with your situation will continue as long as the half-truths are spoken and as long as the severe penalties are still on the table.

    Your country will likely face the cutoff of economic aid and support if these extreme penalities are not removed. In fact, now that the international community is aware of your existing laws that contain the death penalty, there will be economic pressure to modify those existing laws.

    The easy answer to that is to say ‘so what, we don’t need you’. That smacks of bluster. I’m sure you wish that you didn’t need outside assistance (particularly economic and health-related) but the fact is that you do. Just as I find stubbornness and belligerence offensive from ‘the other side’; I find it offensive on this side too.

    James–

    You say that the Makepeace Church has ex-gays in its congregation. If this new bill becomes law, how does it impact their daily walk? When they resist a homosexual temptation, is it because they fear God or desire to live righteously before Him–or is it because they fear the government and it’s penalties? What eternal merit does right living have if done for the wrong reasons?

    What if one of these ex-gays falls and engages in a homosexual activity? How would this proposed bill help them to get back up again and to repent? Wouldn’t the fear that their fall could/should be reported motivate them to keep silent and, as a result, deal with this struggle alone?

  • Debbie Thurman

    The blogosphere is like the 24-hour news cycle on cable. There’s a big temptation to throw out half-baked assumptions as fact and stir up controversy on top of controversy. Every issue is an emotional one. “Stop, look, listen and think before speaking” ought to be our directive. Think twice, talk once.

    Isn’t it interesting how Kirk and Madsen couldn’t even envision the blogosphere when they wrote their media-takeover manifesto (and yes, they called it a manifesto in their own words — just got my copy of “After the Ball”) in 1989? Now, their plan is in the new media jet stream. Propaganda vs. propaganda, a continual war of words, images and emotions. Uganda is a world away, yet it’s in our backyard. And everybody wants a piece of it. Meanwhile, Kenya has just passed an abortion law. Does that culture of death rankle anyone?

    The problems in Africa are legion, as they are here. Here, people are perfectly free to kill themselves via our largesse — materialistic consumption, socialistic welfare, destructive pleasures of every kind. In parts of Africa, they are blowing each other away, starving and living in the dark ages.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Maazi – What lies are being told about Bahati’s bill? The main source of misinformation about it comes from Bahati and Ssempa. Is there some reason why they have not posted it online? Ssempa said he would but did not. Parliament does not have the bill on their website. The people who favor the bill do not post it and accuse those who do post it of lying about it. Very strange.

    James – Rather than pick over where the Current TV folks shot the youth group, how about a comment on what they said? Seems pretty clear to me that these kids do not think the bill is only about child abuse and rape. And it would be amazing if Ssempa and Kiganda and others who are concentrating on gays would concentrate on the issues you raised. Ssempa made a name for himself fighting AIDS among the group responsible for its transmission in your country – heterosexuals – and he has hurt himself and his cause by his crusade against homosexuals.

  • Mary

    Debbie – So true. Seems as christians we could have a more salient effect if we would practice Christianity to its’ depths at home.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Meanwhile, Kenya has just passed an abortion law.

    To set the record straight, actually, they haven’t — yet. Passing their proposed constitution requires a yes or no vote on it in its entirely in an Aug. 4 referendum, and it has problematic language in places, but also U.S. support. Mea culpa.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: I strongly agree. I would like to see American Evangelicals enter into a sort of “treaty” to stay OUT of Africa entirely — unless they are going to provide direct “hands-on” assistance — providing food, shelter, literacy, medical care, digging wells, building roads, etc. If “morality” is their calling, how about they focus on their own congreagations at home?

  • Mary

    Michael – I was preposing that to all of us – not just some.

  • Michael Bussee

    Even better. :)

  • Eddy

    While I am encouraged by the news that neither the priest or the Integrity worker appear to be the victims, it would seem that both are still missing. While there is enough in the story behind the priest’s disappearance to suggest that foul play may not have occurred; it remains a concern that he is missing. As for the Integrity youth. I presume still missing and pray that he has not become victim to foul-play–whether that be a morality based hate-crime or witchcraft.

    While the air is clearing, though, I do hope that we’ve all attended to any necessary clean-up. I appreciate Warren’s updates on this story. I already expressed appreciation for Timothy’s update and apology. Michael, there’s no need to answer publicly, but I do hope that you have reconnected with those you contacted yesterday to advise the of the updates to this story.

    And, I’m wondering–this directed to all–now that it seems that these two murders weren’t anti-gay hate crimes, how does that impact our response and why? Are the crimes any less atrocious? Is our anger and outrage less now that it seems they weren’t targeting gays? Should the church and ministries still be compelled to address this situation? Does anyone besides me still have extreme difficulty imagining a culture where humans are being sacrificed and dismembered in the name of witchcraft? (I would be against the death penalty simply for the crime of ‘practicing witchcraft’ but would favor it, not only for those who actually perform the life-taking sacrifice but for those who aid and support them.)

    James and Maazi NCO,

    Warren has asked some important questions (his are related to the ones I posed earlier and are much more to the point so feel free to answer his rather than mine) but, if you could, can you explain a bit more about witchcraft and traditional healing. I have two direct questions: 1) Are there some who practice both the witchcraft/traditional healing AND Christianity? 2) Do the traditional healers have a position for or against homosexuality?

  • Michael Bussee

    I post updates immediately checking several times each hour. I am interested in finding and posting the best and most accurate information.

  • Michael Bussee

    Jim Burroway has done a spectacular job — as has Dr. Throckmorton — of keeping us all updated. I commend them both.

  • Eddy

    SheWired.com has just reported that the head discovered in the latrine at the farm is that of the Integrity Uganda youth…HOWEVER…they attribute their source to BoxTurtle Bulletin and to the link Jim had sourced. Clearly they are reporting on what BoxTurtle said before the hoax update.

    It’s like chasing feathers on a windy day.

    BTW: If you ever hear me asking “When did you hear (or see) that?” and “Where?”, please don’t take it as a threat or a challenge. In this instance, SheWired is posting today but from a link from the 6th and with no indication of when they visited BoxTurtle. Had I not been a part of this conversation, I would have assumed that SheWired’s info, dated today, was the most current. Sometimes, even a brief look into chronology makes a lot of difference.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Isn’t it interesting how Kirk and Madsen couldn’t even envision the blogosphere when they wrote their media-takeover manifesto (and yes, they called it a manifesto in their own words — just got my copy of “After the Ball”) in 1989?

    What is even more interesting is how they could never envision that while gay people pretty much paid them no mind, a whole myth would evolve in the sphere of anti-gay activism that would elevate them to cult status and leave them far more famous in anti-gay circles than they ever were in gay circles.

    Time is funny that way.

    (just out of curiosity… if I were to write a book and call it a Christian manifesto – in my own words – would that then miraculously make it a Christian manifesto?)

  • Timothy Kincaid

    TO CLARIFY

    At this point it appears that neither the missing priest or the dead young man have any recent connection to Integrity Uganda.

  • Michael Bussee

    Box Turtle Bulletin, Advocate.com and other sources are posting updates as they become available.

    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/07/Uganda_Beheading_Story_a_Hoax/

  • Debbie Thurman

    What is even more interesting is how they could never envision that while gay people pretty much paid them no mind, a whole myth would evolve in the sphere of anti-gay activism that would elevate them to cult status and leave them far more famous in anti-gay circles than they ever were in gay circles.

    Not sure how old you were in 1989, Timothy, or what you were aware of during the time when gay media-savvy PR types might have utilized a manifesto clearly meant for them. Did the book find its intended audience? According to those who blurbed it and reviewed it and talked about it in the early ’90s when it had the window of exposure typical of most books, it was “the gay nonfiction book of the year … the object of lively debate in the gay community nationwide … the most sensible gay political book ever written.” And they said it “reflects a larger schism within the gay community today between the separatists and the assimilationists.”

    Now, which media were shining us on? Newsweek? Time? WaPo? Booklist? All of them?

    Has this supposed myth of yours made it all the way to Uganda? Did the media — the whole machine — have anything at all to do with that? Perhaps there’s another myth we need to consider.

    Who’s winning the war today, the separatists or the assimilationists? What plays in Peoria may not play in Uganda. That’s an observation, not an endorsement.

  • Michael Bussee

    Under the proposed law — is there any distinction made for an “ex-gay” who “falls” repeatedly (say once a month or so) and a “self-identified” gay person who has sex less often (say 4 times a year)?

    If you believe it’s sin and are trying really hard not to do it, do you get a break? I ask because some ex-gays I meet tell me they actually have gay sex more often than some of my gay friends do.

  • Mary

    @ Michael,

    Do they really identify as ex gay? Or are they conservative christians who are ego dystonic about their homosexual acts?

  • Eddy

    I ask because some ex-gays I meet tell me they actually have gay sex more often than some of my gay friends do.

    Michael,

    Can you tell us where you meet these ‘ex-gays’ and how it is that they come to identify themselves to you as ‘ex-gay’? I’m having a very difficult time envisioning where it is that you’d meet up with someone who currently identifies as ex-gay…and then volunteers such information.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Ex-gay meet ups.

    I will be keeping a close eye on this. The thread is not about ex-gays and whether they fall or not. Michael raised it because of the plank in the law that says if you learn of a gay act you have to report.

    Debates over whether he really knows them or how many he knows or where he met them or how many times they have gone against their values is not needed.

    We agree that the law will put an absolute chill on any ex-gay approach.

    The real issue here is that James or MCO have not anwered and I doubt they will.

  • Eddy

    Actually Warren, I raised it several posts back as a question to James and Maazi NCO. Michael asked it again and then added that his reason for inquiring was that he’d met several ex-gays and that they were having more gay sex than his gay friends. Didn’t that trigger your radar? Did the question need a justification or was it just an excuse to deliver a slam? And beyond that, was the statement true? Beyond everything else we’re discussing here, the issue of half-truths seems to be the elephant in the room. I’m sorry I suspect that the statement isn’t quite true but you’ve gotta admit that it’s a statement that raises a question or two.

  • Mary

    @ Warren,

    Of course it is off topic. But I too question the validity of the statment because those I know that do go to a conservative church and have gay sex consider themselves gay. Those that struggle with unwanted homosexuality consider themselves struggling with unwanted homosexuality and those who have decided to stop having gay sex (regardless of their feelings and temptations) are the ones who consider themselves ex gay.

    I don’t know of any ex gays who are having gay sex regularly – once a month, once every two months etc.. whatever. And I’m pretty close to the issue. So I was wondering what the truth about the statment is true. And then I remembered who the author was and thought that perhaps, as he does here, that he took someone’s statment and turned it around and re-phrased it in his very own words.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Let’s go at this a different way. Mary, I question the validity of your statement that you know of no ex-gays who are having gay sex regularly. I want to know just how close to the issue you are. Perhaps you really aren’t as close as you say you are. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

    The point is that these kind of detours and questioning of other’s statements are what gets threads off track, off topic, off center. Since it is a blog, no one can know for sure what the other one’s experience is. Michael could say he knows three people who are bonking dudes twice a week and then heading in to their Exodus support group to confess you would not know if it is true. It might be true, I have know several of those situations myself.

    If the thread was about the sex lives of ex-gays such questioning might be on topic and lead to something. If I let it, this would lead to more discussion of what an ex-gay is or isn’t.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am sorry for going off topic — and it was not intended as a slam. I really want to know. I was curious about the law — and whether it makes any exception for “strugglers”. Do those who try to remain holy — but who fall frequently — get a break?

    As to where I meet people who tell me these things, I am telling the truth. I receive Facebook messages everyday from men who identify as “ex-gay” but who are frequently “falling”. They tell me they are afraid to admit how much because of judgement they might recieve.

    Somehow, they feel safe telling me. Many of these men are in leadeship positions in their church and are married. They know that I was married and experienced the same pain. They also know that I am Christian. So they often contact me.

    They tell me they identify as “ex-gay” because they believe that calling themselves “gay” might give the impression that they are “OK with it” and they reject what they see as the “gay lifestyle”. Some are currently involved in counseling or ex-gay ministries. Some are completely isolated — but are tyring very hard to remain celibate or faithful.

    They sincerely believe gay sex is sin, but find themsleves repeating compulsive behaviors — often acting out in very anonymous and unsafe ways. During my time with EXIT and Exodus, it was not at all uncommon to have men report that they were “falling” on a regular basis — even though they chose to call themsleves and think of themselves as “ex-gay”.

    It was a frequent topic of discussion — as I know it is for many alcoholics who frequently relapse. I wanted to know if the law, as currently proposed, made any provisions for such “strugglers”.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren — this is precisely why I asked the question:

    Michael raised it because of the plank in the law that says if you learn of a gay act you have to report.

    I don’t recall anything is the proposed law that deals with whether or not those providing “ex-gay” pastoral or counseling care must report.

    Who would certify the programs? Who would monitor them? What would the counselor training involve? Who would provide it? Would relapsers who are currenly involved in programs be exempt — or would these clients be considered “repeat offenders”? Would the care providers be risking prison if they did not turn them in?

  • Michael Bussee

    Jim Burroway of BTB has posted an apology. Here’s an excerpt:

    “This hoax is damaging for many reasons. The least of those concerns is BTB’s credibility and my good name. In the larger picture, that is expendable when compared to the real damage it can cause. This hoax can provide ammunition to our opponents who would try to use it as proof that LGBT people are deliberately spreading rumors and falsehoods. It can be used as a “crying wolf” case to dismiss future reports in which LGBT people are really attacked and killed.” — Jim Burroway.”

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/

  • Maazi NCO

    Debbie Thurman,

    Let me just respond to your ignorant commentary about ” [Africans] blowing each other away, starving and living in the dark ages…” by saying the following:

    Peel yourself from American TV and Hollywood movies and you will see that your stereotypical view of our very diverse Africa is complete nonsense. Africa is rising and you cannot see it because you spend too much time watching TV in the USA where many people mistake Sierra Leone for a Latin American country and think that Africa is a country (not a continent). Can we recall that Sarah “soccer mum” Palin and Donald Rumsfeld made comments about Africa being a country? There are lots of investors from different parts of the non-Western world coming to Africa. They include China, India, Brazil, the Gulf Arab States, S.Korea, Malaysia, Israel, Russia, etc. And I am not even counting the growing African private sector championed by the Nigerians, South Africans, Kenyans, Egyptians, etc. In fact, if you read UNCTAD, World Bank and IMF reports, you will know that the economies of several African countries are actually growing rapidly despite the credit crunch. This is in deep contrast to the situation in the West where Obama and other western leaders are begging their economies to grow even if it by an infinitesimal percentage figure. Yes, there is still huge poverty in Africa, but that is actually reducing (This is true information which is hardly reported in the extremely biased American media).

    Debbie, Africans are a people with pride and dignity. We reject your superiority complex and the idea that you know better than us. On the subject of gayism, Ugandans know that it is a sexual behaviour that degrades human dignity. For that reason, we are going to adopt new legislation or bolster existing legislation to deal with any attempt to spread it in our own neck of the woods. So let it be known that there shall be no gay pride marches, gay marriage or gay adoption in our country—be it now or in the future. Please keep your culture wars within your own borders and stop trying to extend it to Uganda and other African nations. If I had my way, I will even prevent your American compatriots who support the Bahati Bill from coming to Uganda. We Africans possess the cognitive skills to deal squarely with the matter at hand and do not necessarily need a Rick Warren or Lou Engle or any foreigner to back us up and we do not need the nonsense of the Western politicians who have reduced themselves to ventriquolist dolls of the Euro-American Gay Lobby and their media allies.

  • Mary

    Warren,

    I may not know as many ex gays as I thought to get such a view. But I concede to your experience. And maybe people are lying. It still floors me to hear that.

  • Eddy

    Here’s the way I posed the question to James:

    What if one of these ex-gays falls and engages in a homosexual activity? How would this proposed bill help them to get back up again and to repent? Wouldn’t the fear that their fall could/should be reported motivate them to keep silent and, as a result, deal with this struggle alone?

    As I have read the reporting mandate, I don’t see where it offers any loopholes for ex-gays.

    Michael,

    Thank you for your explanation. In your earlier statement you said:

    I ask because some ex-gays I meet tell me they actually have gay sex more often than some of my gay friends do.

    I took the words “I meet” literally so didn’t consider the Facebook or online option.

    Maazi NCO–

    Your response to Debbie comes across as an emotional rant. And, BTW, there are a few questions ‘on the table’ for you that others have asked…including our blog host, Warren. I hope you plan to answer to your best ability.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    Your questions are not the subject of this thread, but I don’t know were else to answer them. This book seems to find its way into most threads on which you comment so I’ll try to answer these questions once here and hope that satisfies.

    I apologize to Warren in advance for the disruption.

    Not sure how old you were in 1989, Timothy, or what you were aware of during the time when gay media-savvy PR types might have utilized a manifesto clearly meant for them.

    In Sept 1989 when this book came out I was 25. I didn’t actually get much into gay activism until the next year. My first introduction to gay activism was through Log Cabin Republicans which was a natural outgrowth of my involvement in College Republicans and other local Republican groups.

    Very shortly after I got involved with Log Cabin, I began to represent that organization in a state-wide multi-organizational lobby effort. Through LIFE, I came to know many of the other leaders in gay groups running the spectrum from the gay Democrats, ACLU, AIDS groups, community centers, rural outreach groups, etc. To the extent that there was a united gay voice in the state, we were it.

    Then around 1994-5 the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) became a client of the accounting firm I worked for and I began to audit their books. As part of a financial audit, you ask a lot of questions about goals and review all of their literature. You review minutes of meetings, reports, key correspondences. To audit a non-profit, you really have to know your client. And I did. GLAAD remained a client for the rest of the decade.

    Also during that time I also developed a number of friendships and acquaintances of people who either were or currently are in positions of leadership in So. Cal. gay community. For example, my roommate back then is currently the President of Los Angeles’ gay pride organization.

    So really, Debbie, if you are ever to meet anyone uniquely situated to know whether there were media-savvy PR types using this book as a manifesto, I’m that guy. You will probably never run into anyone who could better answer that question for you.

    So you can either accept my word for it… or just assume I’m lying.

    Did the book find its intended audience?

    It’s hard to tell who the intended audience was supposed to be. It really seemed to be declaring “we ought to” without knowing who “we” was. But, no, it never found anyone interested in promoting its ideals or its central objective.

    As you recall from reading the book, it had two main themes:

    1. Its time to grow up and behave responsibly.

    2. A massive coordinated multi-million dollar media campaign should be crafted and enacted.

    (Side Note: It’s kinda funny that anti-gays get all hot under the collar about this book. It really wasn’t that radical or that peculiar. In fact, much of what it suggests to gay people SHOULD BE the same as what Christians say to gay people: grow up and get your act together.

    I wonder if those who oppose gay social equality object so very much to this book because they think it is what convinced gay folk to start behaving mainstream and responsible? I wonder if anti-gays are angry because now gay people are less objectionable and they blame the book?

    Because I am convinced that those who oppose gay social equality really really hate it when gay people are normal. They very much prefer that gay people misbehave.)

    Log Cabin certainly liked the idea of growing up and mainstreaming the image of the community (no surprise there) but they didn’t have the money for a national advertising campaign.

    And Log Cabin was far from in any position to dictate a united community goal.

    Others in 1989 were not so welcoming of the idea of becoming the same-sex attracted version of straight people. The rejected out of hand anything that replaced “be proud of who you are” with “pretend to be someone else.” They had had quite enough of that already.

    According to those who blurbed it and reviewed it and talked about it in the early ’90s when it had the window of exposure typical of most books, it was “the gay nonfiction book of the year … the most sensible gay political book ever written.”

    Well, no, that’s not quite correct.

    Ray Olson, writing for Booklist called it “A well-argued middle-of-the-road polemic and prescriptive: probably the gay nonfiction book of the year and certainly the most sensible gay political book ever written.”

    And while Booklist, as a product of the American Library Association, is interesting, it’s not exactly indicative of what will influence thought in the gay community for the next decade. Olson’s book review is nice, but it says absolutely zero about the community’s response.

    the object of lively debate in the gay community nationwide …

    Perhaps you failed to note the final paragraphs of that Washington Post article.

    Not surprisingly, their proposals, which the authors concede are ”politically incorrect,” have generated a wide range of opinions, sharply delineating the long-standing gulf between gays who want to work within the system and those who do not.

    ”It is easier to appear ‘normal’ to make the mainstream comfortable, but trying to be different is not bad and diversity is not an unhealthy thing,” says Tim McFeeley of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, a Washington-based national gay lobbying group. ”The book operates on the premise that Americans can’t accept diversity, and I think they can.”

    So we can pretty clearly see that HRC, unarguably the largest and most influential gay rights group for the past two decades certainly did not adopt this book as their manifesto.

    And they said it “reflects a larger schism within the gay community today between the separatists and the assimilationists.”

    That is, unfortunately, a misquote with does not honestly reflect what Newsweek was saying.

    After the Ball was NOT what “reflects a larger schism.” Rather, the “tension over tactics” (ie. Act-Up v. HRC) which reflected the schism. The book was mentioned in one paragraph about when “the debate reached a high pitch last summer” and in which “Madsen, an advertising executive, and Kirk have suggested that gays should mount publicity campaigns designed to allay straight fears – say, buying up as space for pictures of great figures like Alexander the Great that ask: “Did you know he was gay?””

    We already know that HRC rejected their proposal. It goes without saying that Act-Up had no use for it.

    Now, which media were shining us on? Newsweek?

    They mentioned the book in one paragraph of one article about a brouhaha the previous summer.

    Time?

    Time said:

    While praising the book’s analysis of antihomosexual sentiment, many gays reject its arguments. Self-acceptance is still a major hurdle for gay men and women, critics insist. But they are most riled by the suggestion that gays need to tone down and blend in: that would slash at the heart of the gay- rights movement, they charge. Says Sherrie Cohen of the Fund for Human Dignity: “We’re for embracing diversity and for protecting the civil rights of anyone who is perceived as ‘different.’ ” Toby Marotta, a sociologist in San Francisco, finds the book’s thesis the same “homophile argument used before Stonewall and abandoned afterward.” Some gays believe, too, that the conservative approach may actually encourage homosexuals to remain invisible; the better gays succeed in blending in, they suggest, the easier and more tempting it may be to hide their sexuality.

    Though they did mention the efforts of two tiny groups who attempted some disjointed and limited media campaign.

    WaPo? Booklist? All of them?

    No. Actually all of them agree. The book made a little splash, had some points that were liked by more conservative gays, and soundly rejected by every gay organization that gave it a glance.

    Well, except for Log Cabin and even they found some of the ideas a bit peculiar.

    So, unlike the big million dollar ex-gay advertising juggernaut in July 1998 conducted by a coalition of 15 religious organizations, the gay community never managed to wage any advertising campaign. It just didn’t happen.

    So whose shining us on? That’s pretty clear. The ones who are latching onto this book in the hope of finding some evidence of some great nefarious scheme which will explain just how those devious homosexuals were about to convince society that they aren’t monsters.

    Those who deeply fear the simple fact that once straight people know gay people they stop fearing them. They stop believing lies about them. And they welcome them into the family of society.

    Well, nooooooooooo, that can’t be it. So they’ve decided that it must be and organized “jamming” campaign based on a book which served as a Homosexual Agenda.

    Nonsense, but for those who cannot face truth it is a necessary nonsense.

    Has this supposed myth of yours made it all the way to Uganda?

    I really don’t know if Uganda has bought the After the Ball myth. I think they went with Nazi’s and Rwanda massacerists instead.

    Did the media — the whole machine — have anything at all to do with that? Perhaps there’s another myth we need to consider.

    I have no idea what you mean.

    Who’s winning the war today, the separatists or the assimilationists?

    Between 1987 and 1996, when HAART came about, many of ACT-UP crowd died of AIDS. And by that time, younger folk were not a accustomed to being separatist.

    Folks began to come out and move to safe havens in LA, NY, Atlanta, SF, Chicago, Houston and build neighborhoods. Actually, this started in the 50’s but really came to be effective in the 80’s and 90’s.

    And not having been excluded, they did not feel the need to be separate. They didn’t become assimilationist due to ideology, but because they had straight friends.

    Oddly, there never was a “winner”, just a gradual replacement. Mainstreaming was a natural process, not an ideological shift.

    True integration will not come for another few decades, but it is well on its way.

    I think there is still a tiny ACT-UP movement somewhere, but last I hear it had become a handful of extremely paranoid nutcakes who were convinced that HIV had nothing to do with AIDS, that medications are really poison, and that it’s all a government plot. Needless to say, folks with those beliefs don’t live to a ripe old age.

    NGLTF (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) is still pretty left-wing. But I would say that they’ve now assimilated into the far left culture. Occasionally I’ll run across some old Radical Faerie types but not very often and they pretty much stick to themselves, I think.

    The biggest chunk of the gay community is probably mainstream liberal Democrat, but about 1/4 votes Republican.

    What plays in Peoria may not play in Uganda. That’s an observation, not an endorsement.

    Again, I do not know what you mean by this.

    WHAT DID HAPPEN?

    Perhaps the biggest social change came about in ways that Hunter and Kirk never expected: nightly news and Hollywood. They expected to have to pay for imagery and do a concerted effort to put the best foot forward, but that was never adopted or even necessary.

    Instead the media began to just cover gay people in a less sensational and homophobic way. This was due in part to GLAAD’s lobbying, but mostly it was honest reporters without an agenda who may not have really liked gay people much and probably laughed at gay jokes, but when it came time to report they wanted to be professional. So they reported the news, not the sensation.

    And some of it was curiosity. Folks had already seen the furtive gays in the news, the drag queens, and the angry act-uppers. That didn’t get viewers or sell papers. But what should have been boring – regular gay men and women – was interesting by contrast. And because everyone loves an underdog, a sympathetic story about a nice gay accountant who lost his job or a sweet little old lesbian who was kicked out of her apartment made headlines.

    And then there was Will and Grace. Neither Madsen or Kirk imagined that Americans would watch a gay man, his effeminate friend, his best Jewish gal pal, and her alcoholic employee every week. But they did. In droves. For eight years.

    I want to note that this, again, was not some grand homosexual scheme. Nor was it “libral hollywood shoving its agenda down our throats”. Libral Hollywood has one agenda and one alone: to make money. Trust me on that, I live here, they ain’t so liberal. So if Will and Grace was not a money maker, it would have been gone immediately and never tried again.

    Also, we should recognize that M & K would NEVER have approved of Will and Grace. Jack was just far too much of a stereotype.

    But America was ready to see gay people as good people. So Will and Grace worked. As did a few minor characters in some movies (for some reason gay men now are every woman’s best friend who helps her with her romances but has none of his own).

    And gay people ran for office. And campaigned for rights. And as the community had less to be angry about, it became less angry.

    And the one thing happened that really changed the world – the thing that every poll agrees is the single biggest contributor to social attitudes about homosexuality. The one thing every anti-gay fears the most, happened. Gay people came out.

    Aunt Gladys may be a bit scared of those homosexuals in San Francisco, but Joey is a good boy! And it was the Joeys of the world, not the Madsons or the Kirks, who changed society.

    And all without even one little national advertising campaign.

    And that’s how it all happened. It turns out that Madsen and Kirk, while writing an interesting book which was well worth reading in 1989 or 1990, were not very influential at all.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Maazi,

    I think Africa is a bit more diverse than you seem to realize.

    Yes, some nations are moving in a direction of blaming gay people for their ills and seem, to us, as backward. Others actually have policies towards gay people that are advanced when compared to the United States.

  • Eddy

    As to where I meet people who tell me these things, I am telling the truth. I receive Facebook messages everyday from men who identify as “ex-gay” but who are frequently “falling”. They tell me they are afraid to admit how much because of judgement they might receive.

    Michael–

    This is absolutely staggering! I just now noticed how you emphasized everyday! Unless some of these are repeat emails from the same individuals, you are hearing from 365 ‘frequent fallers’ a year. If you’ve never cited this fact to the leadership at Exodus, I urge you to do so.

    It’s getting a bit late here on the East Coast but I intend to write to Alan and Randy in the morning. We all know and expect that a few will fall but your experience suggests something closer to an epidemic.

    I realize, of course, that not every ex-gay is a part of or goes through Exodus but I had assumed that the lion’s share did. Much to think about–still reeling.

  • Michael Bussee

    Yes, Eddy, everyday. Some are repeats. I should have said “practically everyday” since somedays there are two and somedays none. I deal with Exodus failures daily. It is now my full-time (unpaid) work,

    Thanks for informing Exodus. Out of a sense of shame and failure, they sometimes do not tell their helpers — and for obvious reasons, Exodus is not very open to listening to me.

    Perhaps my post was not clear — some are involved in Exodus programs. Some have been trhough NARTH programs. Some are in in professional or pastoral counseling. And some are trying to do it on their own.

    It should not be surprising to you or Exodus leadership that out of the “thousands upon thousands” of “successful” cases claimed by Exodus (and I don’t know how they would know who is “falling” and who isn’t) that a few hundred frequently fall each year.

    Since Exodus is the largest organization of its kind, I doubt that Alan or Randy are unaware of the “falling” problem. I would be pleased if Exodus would pay more attention to these folks — and to the many “survivors” who have come forward publicly to tell their stories.

  • Michael Bussee

    Let me repeat. My remarks had to do with how the proposed law would deal with such relapsers and those who are helping them. It was not intended as a “slam” of Exodus. In any type of counseling or therapy, recidivism is a problem.

    No program is 100% effective. I believe that published studies, including the Jones and Yarhouse study, revealed a significant failure and drop-out rate in SOCE progrms. How would this Bill deal with this reality?

    Additionally, are those in Uganda who support this legislation aware that Exodus and NARTH (the two largest ex-gay/reparative therapy organizations in the world) are officially opposed to criminalization and forced treatment?

  • Maazi NCO

    Maazi NCO–

    Your response to Debbie comes across as an emotional rant. And, BTW, there are a few questions ‘on the table’ for you that others have asked…including our blog host, Warren. I hope you plan to answer to your best ability.

    Eddy, no Ugandan owes you or Warren an explanation for anything. But nevertheless I will give you two:

    1) I cannot answer your religiously tinged questions since I do not have anything to do with evangelical christians. But like over 95% of my compatriots, I agree that gayism has no place in Uganda.

    2) The Republic of Uganda is a Sovereign State and not a protectorate or an overseas territory of the United States. In other words, the constitution written by Thomas Jefferson and his gang— with all its attendant amendments over the years—do not apply to the Ugandan State. If you don’t like what we are doing, you are free to lobby your government to take back your donor aid which is almost useless, fuels official corruption and is increasingly becoming a weapon of blackmail and intimidation. The Ugandan State will cope, especially now that the venal politicians have discovered commercial quantities of crude oil (Its better our corrupt politicians handle money made from our natural resources than have the double whammy of surrendering our culture for foreign aid which will still fall victim to corruption.)

    MOVING ON….

    My previous comment to Miss Thurman does not meet the Standard English Dictionary meaning of the word “ranting”. If you bothered to read it, you will find out that it was a goodwill attempt to educate you Americans who are notoriously ignorant about the rest of the world beyond your borders. Like I said earlier, keep your culture wars within your borders and if possible chain your compatriots on the opposing side (e.g. Exodus, NARTH, Rick Warren, etc) to the Statue of Liberty so that they do not have to come to Uganda to honour Ssempa’s invitation. I am also happy to explain to you that the Bahati Bill remains on course.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I hear you but the premises of probability suggest that only a portion (and likely a small one) of those who repeatedly fall would contact you. Got to consider that a fair number do not have the fear of judgement–or are not encumbered by a marriage or ministry position– and therefore confide in a counselor or someone local. Got to consider that a large number just go on falling and don’t tell anyone. Of those that fear being judged but feel the urge to confide in someone, they surely all wouldn’t choose the route of confiding in you . (And to presume that all ex-gays who fall have facebook accounts and know that you do isn’t logical….that would have to be just a fraction of all ex-gays who repeatedly fall.) That may be why I find it so staggering.

    It’s like the adage about those who actually contact customer service to complain…how many others had bad service but didn’t complain? My guess is that your revelation would not serve to favor the ex-gays of Uganda. If fear of being judged keeps so many silent, how much more would a fear of legal consequences? That would be further complicated by knowing that they also put their confidant in a conflicted position…do I report or don’t I? I’m afraid that if this news gets back to Uganda, we’ll see an added provision of forced lie-detector tests for those who are part of therapy programs or who claim to be ‘ex-gay’.

    I followed several news reports regarding the ‘counter conference’ to the Exodus conference and none cited this volume of repeat fallers who contact you. To me, the story of these repeat fallers trapped in shame would have been a significant and timely piece of information to share at that conference. Was there a rationale for not doing so or a possible reason why the media overlooked it?

    Warren–

    My apologies for beating this horse. But this horse ain’t dead! Just found out that this horse existed yesterday (here on your blog in this thread) and it sounds as if she’s alive and kicking furiously. Before passing this news on, I needed to understand it more completely.

  • Eddy

    Maazi NCO–

    You are right, no Ugandan owes us any explanation. However, an individual who comes to this blog and speaks is somewhat bound by the rules of mutual respect and courtesy. When someone speaks in one of our blog forums but then doesn’t hang around to engage in dialogue or to answer questions, we regard that as a ‘hit and run’.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Thank you for providing that long history, Timothy. It helps to know you better. I find you an interesting fellow. I don’t agree with all you’ve said here, obviously.

    It’s been more than six months since I’ve set foot in this blog, and, yes, I have talked about “After the Ball” some in the past when I deemed it pertinent. Didn’t begin the discussion this time. It would be childish for us to attempt to one-up each other as regards who knows the most about what. Doesn’t matter. You’ve paid your dues.

    I am not in that crowd who naively believe that one book on any subject can change the world — unless it’s the Bible, but that is far more than a mere book. I’ve read all the period reviews about “After the Ball,” so I know how it was rejected in the main by many gay activists. What I quoted was from the book’s front matter. Blurb talk, which is purely promotional and can only reflect so much of a book’s actual reception or impact in later reprints. The book is filled with a myriad of statements that you and I could play ping pong with till the cows come home. It was provocative enough to guarantee that right-wingers would latch onto it. As I’ve mused about, maybe that was the real media strategy the authors were after.

    While it is true that Kirk and Madsen hoped (again, unless it was just useful hyperbole) for an expensive advertising campaign, they had to know their proposed mass media takeover would have to effectively come from within. And that gradual shift would have come with or without their wordy tome. You are right. They were not so much directing it as prophesying it. But the more workable parts of their message somehow married themselves to the cultural shift. So the media helped to impact attitudes and attitudes were, in turn, reflected back in the media. The coming-out process (probably the best single point you made) did have its impact.

    You may recall the authors talking about the differences between self-expression and communication and how many gays, having repressed their feelings for so long, struggled (still do) with non-emotional, effective communication. This tendency has really hurt some gay advocacy organizations. It hasn’t helped the right-wing anti-gay ones, either. The Marin Foundation’s recent “I’m sorry” sort of anti-protest at Chicago’s pride parade tapped into a vein that is rich with promise. Those are compelling images that put a chink in the armor of homo-hatred. In fact, one image perfectly captured how self-expression suddenly became communication (the young man leaping off the float to hug Marin and others). Yet the mainstream media has been reluctant to make much of the moment, just as they don’t depict the outrageous gay fringes of pride parades. Where’s the productive middle?

    I raised the question of whether our cultural shift drama will “play” in Uganda — whether America’s changing attitudes can reach far enough to crumble that wall. Uganda has become a stage the world is watching, and some are obsessing over, while seemingly neglecting the human rights crises and dire conditions in other world regions. We have actual wars and real threats to national and world security, yet this culture war is the only thing some see at the moment. The media and blogosphere have latched onto Martin Ssempa. He is one man, but one who understands the power of the message he wields. Yet, there appear to be some sensible voices on both sides of the issue that need to be heard. They will hack this out over time. Politics is also hell.

    Timothy, I am content to consign Kirk and Madsen to the dustbin of history, if you wish it. Truce?

  • Debbie Thurman

    Not sure why some of my post shifted to italics.

  • Michael Bussee

    I stand by my statements and my questions. What I have reported is true. And my inquiries about how relapsers would be dealt with are sincere. I will leave it at that.

  • Maazi NCO

    You are right, no Ugandan owes us any explanation. However, an individual who comes to this blog and speaks is somewhat bound by the rules of mutual respect and courtesy. When someone speaks in one of our blog forums but then doesn’t hang around to engage in dialogue or to answer questions, we regard that as a ‘hit and run’.

    Well Eddy, I provided you with some answers in my previous posts. I believe if you read them, it will make sense to you. As for mutual respect and courtesy, it may be worthwhile to ask your american compatriots to stop making racially charged comments which panders to western stereotypes of Africa and Africans. A case in point is the comment of one Debbie Thurman. You should understand that after what we have being through in the past in the hands of foreigners, we are determined not to be controlled or told what to do by outsiders. This does not mean that we are not open to suggestions, but we draw the line when suggestion from foreigners becomes instruction which must be obeyed or else…

    I have lived in the States before. I actually did a stint in a firm in Manhattan, NY before I left the country. Like most Africans living in the USA, while I was there, I respected your laws—even those I disliked—and never interfered in your seemingly never-ending culture wars. If we Africans have no influence in what happens in the United States of America on issues such as affirmative action, death penalty, gay marriage, compulsory gay studies for school children, gay adoption, etc, then it follows quite logically that you cannot be allowed to influence what happens in Uganda. I hope you understand that.

  • Eddy

    Under the circumstances, I’ve changed my mind about passing this news onto Exodus. Not enough substance for me to be the bearer of a secondhand report. It does sound serious though and may be more convincing coming to them firsthand. I hope you consider passing it on yourself.

  • Eddy

    Maazi NCO–

    Since the most direct questions came from Warren, I’ll let him follow up on whether your answers went to the questions.

    I noted in your answer numbered 1, you mentioned that you cannot answer religiously tinged questions since you have nothing to do with evangelical Christians. So much of our debate here seems to portray the anti-homosexuality bill as largely motivated and supported by religion and by Christians. You seem to be suggesting that many favor the bill but not for religious reasons.

    I’ve admitted numerous times that my understanding of your culture(s) is severely lacking. I have often suggested that we have many people in our own country who object to homosexuality for reasons other than religious but am always met with the objection that even those who don’t identify as religious have been impacted by religious morality. Can you explain why you have such strong objections to homosexuality? On what do you base your objections?

  • Debbie Thurman

    As for mutual respect and courtesy, it may be worthwhile to ask your american compatriots to stop making racially charged comments which panders to western stereotypes of Africa and Africans. A case in point is the comment of one Debbie Thurman.

    Just so I can be clear, are you saying I made such a stereotypical comment about Africa or Africans here or somewhere? Or are you saying something else? I’m a tad confused, Maazi NCO. I can’t figure out which hat I’m wearing in your view. Having been damned if I do or don’t too many times, maybe it doesn’t even matter.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy and Micheal,

    I can’t really add anything factual to the “falling ex-gays” conversation, but I think we need to consider one perspective that is unique to ex-gays.

    We often hear that the same rules apply to SSA people and unmarried OSA people: chastity, and celibacy. But that isn’t exactly the case.

    When an OSA guy sees an attractive girl and registers his attraction is isn’t considered a failing or a sin. I’m not talking harboring lust, just noticing and responding to attraction. Just thinking to yourself, “wow, she’s really hot!”

    Yet if an ex-gay does this, it is a fall, a slip, and perhaps even a sin. It is generally considered to be entertaining or yielding to homosexuality.

    I suspect this plays a part in the psychology of ex-gays and sexual purity. In other words, if noticing a hot guy is no less sinful than going home with him…

    Another thing which may come into play is that often ex-gay ministries emphasize the most hedonistic acts as being “the gay lifestyle”. Being gay is to a strong degree tied to sex acts and there is a de-emphasis on relationships or faith or community or support as being “what homosexuals do.”

    And I think this may even put more pressure to have sex than a gay person might have. When urges arise, a gay guy may want to go be around gay folk, sit in front of the Starbucks on Santa Monica and watch people go by. Maybe even chat up someone near you. Most gay socialization has nothing to do with “getting laid.”

    But for some ex-gays there is no understanding that this is an adequate response, that this will actually fill the longing. So the presumption is that the way to satisfy such urges is not to go down to the gay coffee shop and have a meaningful conversation but rather to get on the internet and find someone to have anonymous meaningless sex with.

    (I’m generalizing, but I think you get my point)

    So considering that the message is two fold of “hey its all forbidden anyway” and “to get rid of that urge you need to boink”, I don’t think we should be surprised that ex-gays may have a harder time staying sexually pure than their single heterosexual counterparts.

    (I’ve never been in ex-gay ministries and am only going on what I see and hear from the outside, so if I’ve misstated anything, feel free to correct me)

    And while this may seem way off topic, I think it does go to the heart of the legislation. The bill, as currently written, would legislate the concept of failing that I see in some ex-gay teaching.

    Holding hands – a crime. Getting together with other gay people – a crime. And because these non-sexual aspects of gay life are the most visible, they would be the first to be eliminated or repressed.

    So all that is left is anonymous meaningless sex. Which, while a crime, at least has some chance that it won’t be discovered. Laws like these eliminate all other outlets for urges but the most base, least redeeming, and socially least valuable.

  • Teresa

    @Timothy, et. al.,

    We often hear that the same rules apply to SSA people and unmarried OSA people: chastity, and celibacy. But that isn’t exactly the case.

    When an OSA guy sees an attractive girl and registers his attraction is isn’t considered a failing or a sin. I’m not talking harboring lust, just noticing and responding to attraction. Just thinking to yourself, “wow, she’s really hot!”

    Yet if an ex-gay does this, it is a fall, a slip, and perhaps even a sin. It is generally considered to be entertaining or yielding to homosexuality.

    Even if this is off-topic, this statement is SO packed with meaning, it takes time to tease all the threads out and see their implication. Timothy, with this statement, you’ve just packaged everything that needs calm, objective, interested, compassionate discussion. We SSA people, ex-gay, gay, or whatever, need companionship as much as str8 people. Thanks, Timothy, for getting to the ‘heart’ of all this.

    Off-topic, but not really, it’s what this website is all about.

  • Mary

    We SSA people, ex-gay, gay, or whatever, need companionship as much as str8 people.

    This is the first thing I try to get across to straight people in the church. It is such a concept to them sometimes! Like – wow- gays have feelings??? Need others??? Want to be hugged and comforted, too??? What a concept!

    (Sorry – I’m venting because I just finished a little skiff with a parent who has a gay son and the parent was going to tell me that gyas are bad, wrong, negative etc….) Hold on buster!

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    I fear that no witness, no testimony, no actual facts, no written words on the pages of that book, no words missing from the pages of the book, and no observable rejection of the book by those who did bring about change, indeed absolutely nothing is going to dissuade you of the notion that Hunter Madsen and Marshall Kirk secretly masterminded a takeover of the media and culture. So I won’t argue.

    I agree. Truce. Let’s not discuss it further. Let’s let it go to the trashbin of history. If you don’t bring it up again, I’ll not mention it.

    As for you comments about “cultural shifts”, I think they are inevitable. Or if we are to have a world that is decent and humane they are eventually inevitable.

    If we perceive gay people to be such – and this is the basis on which the entire discussion lies – then Christianity will eventually instruct all societies in which it is dominant to treat them the way you want to be treated.

    Uganda – and anti-gay Americans – insist that homosexuality is just a behavior, a temptation, a sin. And as for those who are gay, well obviously they are just sinners engaging in bad behavior. Love them but punish them.

    This, however, runs counter to reality. Same-sex attracted people are same-sex attracted and – other than perhaps a very few – are going to live their entire lives as same-sex attracted people. Just a fact.

    And as that fact – that observable, testable, reliable fact – continues to spread then yes, Christian-based cultures will shift.

    Christianity tells us that we have to respond to people… not just what they do. In fact, if we were to distill Christ’s entire ministry down to eight words, it would be “respond to people, not just what they do.”

    And eventually it is this most basic of Christian principles that will (I predict within 20 years) have the Southern Baptist Convention having the same debate that the Presbyterian Chuch (USA) is having this week – and probably with the same results.

    Will the culture shift in Uganda? As long as the Golden Rule remains the central tenet of the Christian faith it eventually will have to.

    (p.s. The proposed execution of gay people IS a human rights crisis and it is extremely offensive to me to suggest that it is any less important than other issues. I am sure you would not suggest such a thing if Uganda was proposing the death penalty for aggravated Christian practitioners)

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I appreciate your efforts but I think it’s rather senseless to try to analyze and explain a phenomena (the rampant falling of ex-gays) before we establish that there is indeed such a phenomena. The telling went from ‘some that I meet’ to ‘everyday via Facebook’. Although the ‘everyday was later qualified, the reasoning still suggested approx. a half dozen per week. It’s a subjective report from only one source and that source is admittedly hostile towards me. Enough red flags for me not to run with the story.

    Thank you for acknowledging that there may be misstatements in what you envision. There are a few.

    1) Typically, it is not regarded as sin for an ex-gay to notice that someone ‘is hot’, nor is it a sin to admit that. What is discouraged is seeking out the hotties (i.e. purposely heading out to the ‘hot body’ section of the beach) and reckless commenting about who’s hot to someone else who is ex-gay. The first goes to feeding and nurturing personal lusts; the latter goes towards leading a fellow to stumble. (In my own counseling, and in the counseling of those who saw some sense in my theories, we actually focussed on ‘what is hot’. Many times, I’d have an invidividual attempt to analyze just what it was that made that person or image stand out as ‘hot’. The whole package? the hair? the eyes? the way they carried themselves? the smile? the self-assurance? the clothes? the other ‘package’?) I don’t expect you to understand this, recent comments I made about ‘triggers’ were dismissed, but I hope it puts to rest the notion that for an ex-gay to think or acknowledge that ‘he’s hot’ or ‘she’s hot’ is considered a fall or a sin.

    2) The sense that ex-gays recognize the most hedonistic parts of the gay experience as the ‘gay lifestyle’ also misses the mark by a small stretch. There is really no value assessment intended in the term ‘gay lifestyle’; it’s usage was an easy way to allude to those things, which while not sins in themselves, might easily lead to sin. It was (and is) code for ‘those behaviors and interests that have a heavy preponderance of gay interest or involvement’. The ‘rule’ is not to totally abandon all these things but to ‘be cautious’. (Example: There is no sin involved in ‘going to the theatre’ but if an ex-gay goes with a bunch of gay friends, there is the likelihood that pre-show, intermission and after-show banter might involve a good bit of ogling. This differs from the noticing cited above…because now we’re purposely searching the crowd for the eye-candy. And ‘going to the show’ might also mean “Oh, the night is still young, let’s stop at the bar”.)

    3) Much ex-gay association fills that ‘association void’ that you allude to. I don’t recall ever hosting a group that was not followed by most of the group going out for coffee and conversation afterwards. And it was not uncommon to hear of group members socializing with one another during the week. Bowling, movies, concerts, shows…

    4) There has long been recognition of the vulnerability of ex-gays falling with one another. When people asked why our ministry didn’t sponsor a live-in program, I often quipped ‘a halfway-house for ex-gays is like a halfway-house for drug addicts with marijuana plants growing on the windowsills’. Even in the group programs, we often struggled with how to monitor relationships without being stifling. Groups, by nature, involve people at varying stages of growth and resolve. Another very ironic factor was when individuals attempted to manufacture some of the ‘healings’ being suggested by the literature. More than a few found themselves a ‘prayer partner’ and confidant and started shutting others out while developing an unhealthy bond with their partner…which, not surprisingly, wound up turning sexual. The Moberly model spoke of ‘defensive detachment’ and had scores trying to have an intimate but non-sexual attachment; some managed but others succumbed to their brain’s learned connection between ‘intimacy’ and ‘sex’.

    5) Personally, I’m not sure if there is more ex-gay falling than hetero falling. Over the past 50 years, what was considered 1st base, 2nd base and 3rd base have all changed. The home run was (and is) considered ‘actual intercourse’. This puts oral sex at 3rd base. By extension, many heteros don’t consider oral sex to be SEX. (B.C.: “I did not have sex with that woman.”) However, for many gays, oral sex is the home run…it is the fall…the sin.

    6) Another factor in gay or ex-gay sex (especially males) is that sex doesn’t have the same encumbrances. It’s ‘let’s have fun’ and is a more cavalier attitude that one would normally encounter in a nice person of the opposite sex.

    (Please note where I placed the italics. I’m saying that in the gay scenario you can meet a nice guy with a good reputation and have sex ‘just for fun’; with the opposite sex, if it’s known that she has sex ‘just for fun’, she’s got a reputation.) That isn’t meant to be a judgement on gay morals either. It’s more of a gender thing…both partners coming into the situation from the same gender eliminates the long-standing gender hurdles and expectations.

    I was troubled most by Michael’s report that all of those who come to him share the same reason…that they fear judgement. I envision those who are ministers fearing repercussions; I envision those who are married being strongly admonished that they must tell their spouses but, in general, I do not envision anyone in Exodus who admits to a fall facing ‘judgement’. If a person is repentant, the overwhelming response is to pick them up, dust them off, and help them to learn from the situation. If they fall repeatedly, of course there are other issues to explore…and there’s the danger to the rest of the group to consider. If however, they’ve never confessed to ANY falling, I think perhaps the judgement they envision is an exaggeration. And I wonder if some are equating their own sense of shame and embarrassment to judgement. It is a lot to think about and consider.

    While I have a different take on several of your observations, I don’t fault you for having a different take. And, in some instances, I don’t even insist that it’s all my way and none your way. Individual humans are varied and complex and don’t always fit a prescribed pattern.

  • Michael Bussee

    Timothy, I am not saying ALL ex-gay ministries teach this, but I have had some ex-gays suggest that repeated, anonymous gay sex (as long as one continually repents) is somehow better (morally) than being in a committed gay relationship.

    They explained that this was because gays in relationship are “sinning on purpose” whereas the anonymous, shame-ridden, compulsive ones are at least trying not to.

    And it was also my experience during Exodus (and since leaving Exodus) that the “gay lifestyle” many ex-gay males had left behind was rarely a loving, committed relationship. Many of the testimonies ef ex-gays repeat this theme.

    That is why I brought up the issue of relapsers. Since it seems that most “SSA” people will remain “SSA” indefinitely, I have not heard any good discussion from supporters of this bill as to how such backsliders (and the ones trying to help them remain celibate or heterosexually married) would be dealt with — and how many “falls” they could have before suffering the most severe pernalties.

  • Debbie Thurman

    I fear that no witness, no testimony, no actual facts, no written words on the pages of that book, no words missing from the pages of the book, and no observable rejection of the book by those who did bring about change, indeed absolutely nothing is going to dissuade you of the notion that Hunter Madsen and Marshall Kirk secretly masterminded a takeover of the media and culture.

    Well, let me put your fears to rest. I really don’t subscribe to that notion. I have been much more about seeking to understand if there is a link between their strategizing and what ensued and if it merits any serious consideration. If you think about it, you’ll realize that often I have tossed out questions rather than making statements of acceptance. I was almost persuaded of something more. I think I see it differently than anyone else I know of, in fact. Let others rave on about the great conspiracy. You and I need never discuss it again. Trust me.

    Uganda – and anti-gay Americans – insist that homosexuality is just a behavior, a temptation, a sin

    Gee, homosexuality (or you could say a strong proclivity toward same-sex attraction) isn’t “just” anything, good or bad. It’s complicated. And what passes for “facts” can be very, very difficult to measure or test.

    Though his comments were precipitated by the recent flap stirred up by the discovery that Elena Kagan doctored the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists statement on partial-birth abortion back in the ’90s, The New York Times’ Ross Douthat (a rare conservative voice there) wrote the other day in a NYT blog post that “the prerogatives of science are being invoked on questions that science has no special competence to answer.” I agree. We see this clash of worlds very clearly in the gay vs. ex-gay debate.

    By the way, I have never said that this particular Uganda problem is not also a human rights issue. I only pointed out that it merits neither more nor less attention than other well-known human rights issues. As for your toss-out phrase, “aggravated Christian(ity) practitioners,” you would do well to contemplate for a moment how many people are being tortured, imprisoned and executed daily around the world for being Christians or sharing the Gospel. The Bible doesn’t say anywhere “they will hate you because you are gay.” Christians, however, are guaranteed to be hated, out of the mouth of Christ.

  • Eddy

    Michael-

    Your quote of ‘gay lifestyle’ is not appropriate in the context you presented it. I realize that Timothy used ‘gay lifestyle’ and I also did…but neither one of us was speaking about ‘leaving the gay lifestyle’…we were just referring to what ‘gay lifestyle’ means. And in NO sense does ‘gay lifestyle’ refer to a one to one relationship, committed or not, it is always used to refer to the other trappings of the gay life.

    You have a unique way of saying things backwards and sideways as you did here.

    I am not saying ALL ex-gay ministries teach this, but I have had some ex-gays suggest that repeated, anonymous gay sex (as long as one continually repents) is somehow better (morally) than being in a committed gay relationship.

    They explained that this was because gays in relationship are “sinning on purpose” whereas the anonymous, shame-ridden, compulsive ones are at least trying not to.

    Let’s play this forward. You began with not ALL ex-gay ministries teach this but you follow with ‘some ex-gays suggest’. To a careless reader, who doesn’t realize that you’ve shifted both the subject and the verb, it now comes across that SOME ex-gay ministries teach that balderdash. That erroneous miscue is further supported by ‘they explained this’.

    I maintain that there is a valid point buried in there. The doctrines surrounding confession and repentance do maintain that the penalty for sin has been paid completely and that if we sincerely confess and repent, regardless of how dark the sin, it is washed clean. Now, some have attempted to exploit that —and the Bible even offers cautions re exploiting the grace so it’s not something new to ex-gays. Others, who are weak, have simply needed that grace more often.

    But does ANY ministry actually teach that ‘repeated, anonymous gay sex (as long as one continually repents) is somehow better (morally) than being in a committed gay relationship”? (Please provide a ministry name so that I can address the issue with them.) And if none actually teach it, then the ‘they explain this by” is meaningless. I realize you are trying to address a quandary but the word choices and sentence structures manage to be misleading. Let’s see if I can sum up the same quandary in Biblical terms that translate to lay people.

    The sacrifice of Calvary is vitally important to true Christianity. Jesus can and does wash our sins and our guilt away. If someone truly repents, their sin is washed; their guilt is taken away. And, for someone who believes that the Bible does declare that homosexual behavior is sin those truths remain true and valid. And, for someone who believes that homosexual behavior is sin, a person involved in a committed homosexual relationship IS sinning and, more importantly, IS NOT repenting and, therefore, may continue to bear the consequences for sin.

    And, if it turns out it isn’t sin, the person who sincerely believed that it was sin, is still washed clean (and with a sadness that their belief pushed them towards occasional anonymous sex rather than committment) and the person in the committed relationship is just as clean without that sadness.

    I appreciate our concern for the ex-gays under this proposed bill but I do question the sincerity. Early comments in response to some of the Christian responses to the bill faulted them for only being concerned about the portions that concerned them, specifically the mandated reporting and the mandatory rehab. The blog made it clear that both provisions were way out of line and didn’t merit discussion. With that understanding, it’s not surprising that “those who support the bill” are unwilling to enlighten us on how they plan to address the issue of ex-gays. On the list of priorities as the bill is addressed and discussed, I would suspect that that issue would be very low on the list. While I identify as ‘ex-gay’, I believe this is fair. The ex-gays of Uganda, rather than focussing on what this new bill might mean to them, should look beyond themselves and be more concerned for others who would likely suffer more immediate and more severe consequences.

  • Teresa

    @All,

    The ex-gays of Uganda, rather than focussing on what this new bill might mean to them, should look beyond themselves and be more concerned for others who would likely suffer more immediate and more severe consequences.

    May I mention Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Why should ex-gays have to “look beyond themselves” … we’ve been told to look beyond ourselves in everything. Forget companionship, forget understanding, forget dignified treatment, forget just laws, forget I’m here …

    At some point, ‘forget I’m here’ is coming for everyone; only most people don’t understand that because they’e str8.

  • Mary

    Since it seems that most “SSA” people will remain “SSA” indefinitely,

    Must we argue this again. What is most, what is meant by SSA, where do your numbers and stats come from. Can you name all the people who are or were SSA?

    I rsent these kinds of statments because they do not reflect my life and limits the hope for others.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I’m not sure that your personal experience about what is sin jibes with all that I’ve heard, but you are closer to the teaching than I am so I’ll not quibble (or even dismiss you as “only one source”).

    But as for your perspective about judgment value on “the gay lifestyle” or the necessity to avoid gay people, this is completely and entirely contradictory to what I have heard from literally dozens of sources. Frankly, it is difficult for me to give this much credibility other than perhaps I’m misreading you.

    The freedom to socialize in gay settings certainly directly contradicts the printed rules of Love in Action, for example as well as the testimony of MANY former ex-gays. And I have read many many many documents from many ex-gay groups – be they Exodus or local – and have never ran into a mention of the “homosexual lifestyle” (that I can recall) that was not only laden with judgment but a wild caricature of reality.

    You do make some good points about the comradery of ex-gay groups. That would, I agree, directly fulfill some of the urges for same-sex social connection. I’d not figured that into my equation.

    But I want to address this comment:

    (quick side note: Eddy, we’re getting old. “Good” girls don’t have the rules they used to have.)

    Another factor in gay or ex-gay sex (especially males) is that sex doesn’t have the same encumbrances. It’s ‘let’s have fun’ and is a more cavalier attitude that one would normally encounter in a nice person of the opposite sex.

    I do believe that you believe this. It is a constant comment that i hear from ex-gays. And I hear it from some gay people as well.

    However, that is only part of the story. Some very young gay folk (or some older ones who are a bit immature) do see sex only as recreation. They see “no strings attached” sex as fun and casual and all they want.

    But while this is a life for some and an occasional perspective for other singles, it seldom is the only perspective for a large percentage of gay people. I think it would be fair to say that for most (if not the vast percentage) gay people, relationships are the goal and sex is both a tool to get there and a promise once achieved.

    In other words, most gay guys (I can’t speak for gals) want a partner with whom they have great sex. Fun sex, to be sure, but also meaningful sex. Yes there are some who do “play” outside of a relationship, but they see it as entirely a different type of sex (this seems to be true for heterosexuals as well).

    And I think that it is this picture of sex – as a part of a relationship which gives it connection and meaning – that most ex-gays don’t see.

    Interesting observation about heteros not seeing oral as being “sex” but ex-gays would. I’ve heard similar from some gay folk (“we didn’t have sex, we just fooled around a little”) who like to reserve “sex” for a relationship.

    I heard the head of the Straight Spouse Network speak a few weeks ago and she said that some SSA-married-to-the-opposite-sex people don’t consider it “cheating” if they have same-sex encounters (umm, yeah it is). I guess these folk have almost the opposite view of similar folk in an Exodus program.

    Perspective certainly influences our definitions.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    Christians, however, are guaranteed to be hated, out of the mouth of Christ.

    Quick, someone inform the Alliance Defense Fund

    😉

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary

    Since it seems that most “SSA” people will remain “SSA” indefinitely,

    Must we argue this again. What is most, what is meant by SSA, where do your numbers and stats come from. Can you name all the people who are or were SSA?

    I rsent these kinds of statments because they do not reflect my life and limits the hope for others.

    We use SSA instead of “gay” or “homosexual orientation” out of deference to those who do not prefer those terms (and avoid re-engaging old battles)

    As for whether most will remain same-sex attracted, perhaps the best source would be the Jones and Yarhouse study. After 7 years of Exodus ministry, 14 of 98 participants were able to function heterosexually. However, none of them had entirely lost their same sex attraction – they were not generally attracted to the opposite sex, just perhaps to one member of the opposite sex.

    This is not to say that no SSA people become OSA people. We certainly have heard witness from some.

    But rather that if in a study the ones trying really really really hard aren’t able to lose same-sex attraction, then it is fair to say that most SSA people will be SSA people their whole life.

    That is not to say you won’t be among the ones who find a functioning heterosexuality or that you won’t become straight. But regardless of hopes and dreams, we should tell the truth.

  • Michael Bussee

    Dr. Thockmorton has suggested elsewhere that the the harsher penalties may eventually be removed — and that the Bill may morph into something more like what Scott Lively proposes — “Arrest and Treat the Gays” — more along the lines of US drug/alcohol programs that offer treatment in lieu of jail time.

    With this in mind — I remain curious as to how supporters of the Bill (whether or not the harsher penalties are dropped from it) would propose that relapsers and those who help them might be dealt with. Would ex-gays who “fall” get a break? I fully understand that those who support the Bill may choose not to respond.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Michael,

    I too have heard that ex-gays who fall and repent are better than gay Christians in a committed relationship. The ex-gay has forgiveness while the gay Christian refuses to see their sin and will be condemned by it. Oddly, that even included single celibate gay Christians.

    I have seen some movement away from that. I think the newer belief is that God will convict the gay Christian and make him want to no longer identify as gay (which is a sin in and of itself) and until He does then we’ll just hope and pray.

    Eddy,

    If I may be so bold, I think that Michael was explaining why “the homosexual lifestyle” as characterized by ex-ministries so often is shallow and meaningless. It’s because that is what so many leave.

    To be honest, and I think you’ll agree, Exodus just doesn’t get all that many recruits from folks who have a meaningful relationship with a partner and with God. Or, if so, they don’t write so many testimonials.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Michael,

    That may be an inherent flaw within the bill.

    If repentant ex-gays get a break for falling, then that may be what everyone pretends to be. If they don’t get a break, then practical experience suggests that they’ll be incarcerating or executing a lot of ex-gays.

  • Michael Bussee

    As I re-read my post, I see that you are right. I should have phrased my remark more careullly. I was talking about some individual ex-gays I have met, and not the official teaching of any specific ministry. My apologies if I confused anyone.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    As women – again there is a difference and Lisa Diamond’s research shows otherwise. S & J is a good look at gays and some ex gays – keeping in mind that the study was only two years long and that all of the participants were in some sort of therapy or ministry – something everyone keeps overlooking.

    I’d like to see a true sample of ex gays some day.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Re the comment that you wanted to address particularly, please consider that our context was the ex-gays who are falling into anonymous hook-ups. Ex-gay groups are not their primary source for hooking up. If they hook up, it’s with a gay person who likely has the mentality I described. I specifically cited a gender related explanation for this casual attitude and experience.

    Re that gender difference, I know the rules have lightened. That’s why I said she’d have a bit of a reputation rather than saying she’d be regarded as a whore or a slut. And I can’t fully explain the real gender difference that exists but my strong impression is that if an attractive straight man were seeking a sexual hookup, he might need to hit up several bars before he finds one….and he might not even succeed. But, the odds are that if an attractive man went into a gay bar seeking a sexual hookup, it would happen in the very first bar. I don’t think that gay men have morals that are more lax than other men; I think that all men have morals that are more lax than women. And this is what I believe contributes to the availability of casual hook-ups.

    Being continually reminded, even when the context doesn’t call for it, that there are noble and committed gay people strikes me the wrong way. I’ve acknowledged that on numerous occasions. My best friend is an ex-ex-gay who married his partner last year. Mature gays and straits KNOW that committment adds rather than detracts from genuine sexual fulfillment. Please consider though that ex-gays are continually being portrayed in our conversations here as tortured, conflicted strugglers waging an exhausting and pointless daily battle over SSA. In this thread, they’re being painted as people doomed to relapses and falling into repeated anonymous sex. Do I demand every time that you acknowledge those ex-gays who are happily celibate, or content with not knowing whether they’ll experience sexual fulfillment, or those who are happily heterosexually married?

    I do realize that some have taken the ‘gay lifestyle’ thing to extremes. You cited Love In Action. Believe it or not, LIA is atypical of most Exodus ministries. For years they were the only one with a live-in program. AND they were based just across the bay from San Francisco. Of course, they were influenced by the flavor of the culture that surrounded them. So, when they envision or speak of ‘gay lifestyle’, their image has the hedonistic San Francisco flair. But the larger percentage of the ministries are spread across the U.S. (and internationally), they also speak to ‘gay lifestyle’ but their picture is what they see around them. I ministered in Dallas and in Minneapolis and came from central PA. ‘Gay lifestyle’ primarily meant gay bars, neighborhoods, shops and boutiques, and late night hangouts and it also meant not getting caught up in the gay news, events and unique interests. (My original church would caution it’s former drug users to avoid that lifestyle…much diversity there too! The lifestyle of a recreation pot user differs significantly from the life of a heroin addict. Both differ signifcantly from the lifestyle of a crack user and their lifestyle differs significantly from a crack addict. For some it might mean stores that majored on selling incense, pipes and papers even though they sold lots of other stuff too.)

    Many of us within Exodus regarded LIA as ‘a bit legalistic’…with a lot of do’s, don’ts and ‘thou shall nots’. Our take was just to explain that there were other trappings of the gay life, outside of sex, that COULD be a problem and we referred to those trappings as the ‘gay lifestyle’.

    I’m thinking that you nailed it when you closed with “Perspectives certainly influence our definitions.”

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    Men and women are very different. But I don’t think that Diamond’s research is definitive or that it says what you think it says.

    However, I was not speaking of women specifically.

    And actually S & J was seven years, not two.

    But you’re right, it was limited to Exodus participation.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Mary – Jones and Yarhouse was over a longer period – 6-7 years and they worked with Exodus to get as representative sample as possible.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Actually, LIA is in Memphis. They had parts of town that were restricted.

    Yep, part of Memphis were the hedonistic homosexual lifestyle. And, incidentally, their “trappings” of the homosexual lifestyle included Calvin Klein underwear.

    But now we are WAY off topic. Sorry, Warren.

  • Mary

    Warren, Timothy

    My mistake. Still, I’d like to see a better sampling.

    Timothy,

    Ummmmm, I know her research does not include those who seek ex gay ministries or counseling. Still interesting that women do “change” more than once previously thought or at least compared to men.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Quick, someone inform the Alliance Defense Fund

    I don’t think they are allowed in those countries. I was, as you know, referring to real persecution. Real death, not just reports of it. Disappointing response. And just when I was beginning to think you less capable of such, Timothy. Not much changes around here, does it?

  • Eddy

    Michael-

    While this is a valid point

    With this in mind — I remain curious as to how supporters of the Bill (whether or not the harsher penalties are dropped from it) would propose that relapsers and those who help them might be dealt with. Would ex-gays who “fall” get a break? I fully understand that those who support the Bill may choose not to respond.

    I’m puzzled why you continue to bring it up (at least 3 times) in a conversation that doesn’t contain supporters of the bill outside of James and Maazi NCO. Maazi is clearly not caught up in our American culture wars (and I’m sure he would regard this concern as part of that)…he’s also cited that he’s not an evangelical Christian…so again his interest or focus likely wouldn’t go there. Between your asking and my asking, the question is on the table at least five times…I think we simply need to wait…or realistically realize that it doesn’t have answers. We don’t have bill sponsors or government level bill supporters as part of the conversation.

    Timothy–

    If I may be so bold, I think that Michael was explaining why “the homosexual lifestyle” as characterized by ex-ministries so often is shallow and meaningless. It’s because that is what so many leave.

    To be honest, and I think you’ll agree, Exodus just doesn’t get all that many recruits from folks who have a meaningful relationship with a partner and with God.

    This is a worthy observation and raises lots of questions. I’ve given lots of thought to them over the years.

    1) In part, it’s an anecdotal observation. A number have come into Exodus having been a part of a committed relationship. Frank Worthen was likely the most public one. In Minneapolis, I had a gay couple come in because they both had concerns. They broke off their relationship and remained friends. One of them went off to Bible school, met a woman there and married her. By chance, after I revealed a bit of my ministry past to a co-worker last year, it dawned on her that I might know her cousin. And I got the update on her still happily married cousin. I have not had updates on the previous partner.

    2) it’s really not the way of Exodus to ‘recruit’. What usually happens is that either that a gay person gets saved and asks their church for resources for the homosexual issue or its a person already in a conservative church who has a struggle and either gets referred or finds Exodus on their own. In the first scenario, it is likely that the person isn’t a part of a committed relationship. Perhaps ‘being at the bottom’ is what motivated them to seek God in the first place. If getting saved was the result of the work of an evangelist, it does seem to be the nature of evangelists (except TV and tent meetings) to approach on a one to one basis…so they’re catching more singles than couples. And they have a tendency to evangellze on the ‘highways and byways’ rather than door to door.

    For the person already a part of the church, we go back to the fact that their belief restrains them from entering a committed relationship.

    3) And then there’s also the distinct possibility that somehow Exodus is drawing people who lived a seemier gay lifestyle than is customary.

    a) Could be God showing just how big and loving He is!

    b) Makes you wonder about these people. Perhaps gay people as a rule aren’t broken but these people are.

    c) If they are broken, why must we presume that they were broken from gay; perhaps they were broken from straight. (or at least some of them)

    d) And whatever the case, they do exist. What efforts had the gay community or gay church taken to lead them to Christ or to help them mature?

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    There is now a Love In Action in Memphis. But the original LIA, which I believe is still in existence, was in San Rafael. Frank Worthen was leader there for many years. It was also the home of Exodus for a time before separate offices were established. In the early days of Exodus, that Love In Action was responsible for most of the printed hand-outs (teaching sheets) …where I surmise that the Exodus use of ‘gay lifestyle’ was first seen by many. After I joined Outpost in 1978, we began concentrating also on providing monthly teaching sheets as a method of encouraging those who didn’t have access to any local support. Over the next few years, several other ministries also got a bit more prolific.

  • Michael Bussee

    b) Makes you wonder about these people. Perhaps gay people as a rule aren’t broken but these people are.

    Yes. I believe this is probably true. Over a 30 year span, I have yet to read an ex-gay testimony from a person who had enjoyed a well-balanced, spiritually meaningful, non-promiscious, committed gay relationship.

    From those testimonies that Exodus does put forth, one could easily get the impression that no one had — and that such a thing was impossible. And for many of them, their religious beliefs would not support trying to establish one — since that would necessarily be a sin that could result in eternal separation from God.

    I have often thought that perhaps Exodus exists, in part, because it does a much better job of reaching these “broken” people — and that the “gay community” could be more proactive in reaching out to such strugglers to show that there is a positive, gay alternative. When I speak at seminars, I make a a point of saying so.

    Many gays have been “broken” by a culture which mistreats gay people and by a certain gay culture which only makes matters worse. Many of the ex-ex-gays I encounter never realized there was a healthy, gay-affirming alternative until they left Exodus, since in their programs, they had tended only to meet others like them. This is not to say that all ex-gays are miserable or in denial. I have no doubt that many ex-gays are much happier living the lives they do now.

    Regarding my question about frequent relapsers, I did not claim that all ex-gays were caught in an endless “fall and repent” cycle. I am certain that some are and some are not. I brought it up several times hoping that someone who supports the Bill might answer it. Since that has not happened I will not ask again.

  • Eddy

    Another reason those other testimonies aren’t all that common is that the person who was involved in a relationship is reluctant to speak publicly out of respect for the privacy of their former partner.

    And many people, gay or otherwise, are broken by a culture that is rigid in its standards while pretending to be open; that is intolerant of difference when it proclaims to be inclusive; that bullies and torments those who are different–whether that difference be gay or not: that says that ‘being different’ means there’s something wrong with you or that no one will want you.

  • Eddy

    Over a 30 year span, I have yet to read an ex-gay testimony from a person who had enjoyed a well-balanced, spiritually meaningful, non-promiscious, committed gay relationship.

    I dropped off to sleep last evening mulling on this sentence and the characterization of so many ex-gays coming from particularly broken stock (…and it was, in good part, my characterization). But then I started thinking about real people, real individuals and realized that the fact that they hadn’t had a committed gay relationship wasn’t that they were somehow more messed up than others. It’s just the way it is especially among the young.

    Throughout my lifetime, I’ve only known 3 gay couples who committed to each other before the age of 25. Outside of them, it seemed that most followed the local norms of sleep-shopping around. Not in a whorish way…but the wisdom was that you don’t necessarily know what you want until you’ve tried a few. Even with the 3 couples, I’m not sure if they were each other’s one and only.

    I know that’s purely anecdotal. There’s no way of determining if my experience was an indicator of the norm. But, to whatever extent that plays out in real life, then those who get saved while under the age of 25 or 30 are going to have a testimony that, even it doesn’t speak to the bar and club scene, will likely include several partners. So, while it was suggested that many did not have committed relationships due to their religious conflicts, I believe that many did not have them simply because they weren’t yet ready to settle down.

    Given that opening quote, I could counter with:

    Over a 30 year span, I have yet to read a gay story from a person who had ONLY enjoyed a well-balanced, spiritually meaningful, non-promiscuous, committed gay life. (Note: I take exception to the word ‘promiscuous’ in both Michael’s quote and my own. I concede that there are many who, while they may have had multiple partners, were not promiscuous.) I have known gays who have had several committed relationships; I have known gays who have been involved in the same committed relationship for years but I have yet to hear the story of a gay person who had one and only one sex partner throughout their gay experience.

    That leads to two points. 1) If they do exist, we need to hear from them. Both the conservative Christian world and the gay world need to hear and be challenged by their stories. 2) If they don’t exist…if it’s true that virtually every gay person’s life includes several partnerings before settling down (or open relationships while settled down), then the characterization of ex-gays as uniquely broken doesn’t stand. Their stories of having had several sex partners aren’t all stories of excessive promiscuity; they simply reflect the truth of their experience.

  • Debbie Thurman

    I have known gays who have had several committed relationships; I have known gays who have been involved in the same committed relationship for years but I have yet to hear the story of a gay person who had one and only one sex partner throughout their gay experience.

    I think you’re talking about what is referred to as “serial monogamy,” Eddy. In other words, a series of monogamous relationships over time. It seems to be common among gay couples, and is growing more common among straights and sexual mores continue to loosen. Cohabitation and even trial marriages apparently are the norm in some circles. Gays are not making the marriage picture better.

    The New York Times ran an interesting article in January entitled, “Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret.” The secret? Open and mutually accepted “play” with other partners. The article discussed a study at San Francisco State University that gives “a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many.” This Gay Couples Study tracked the relationships of 556 male couples for three years and discovered 50 percent of them had other sex partners, with the approval of their “conjugal” partners. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

    The article link is here.

    And our African commenters can correct me if I am wrong or if they disagree, but I also have read that serial monogamy has been an issue in African culture and even one of many culprits for the spread of AIDS there. It has been suggested that to some Africans, serial monogamy can mean concurrent relationships, which is a clear stretch of the meaning of monogamy. All this is why the old Zero Grazing and Be Faithful campaigns were so helpful in turning back the tide of HIV in some African countries — most notably, Uganda — at least for a while.

  • Debbie Thurman

    and is growing more common among straights and sexual mores continue to loosen.

    The second “and” should be “as.”

  • Michael Bussee

    Gays are not making the marriage picture better.

    Debbie, I hope you will take into account that gays have not typically enjoyed the cultural, community, family, legal and religious support for their relationships over the centuries — as straights have. I suspect that we might be running neck-and-neck in terms of successful marriages and relationships with our straight counterparts if we had.

    Even with all of these supports, many straights seem to have a very tough time indeed. I suspect that this has less to do with sexual orientation than it does with other factors — like wisely choosing a mate, knowing how to communicate and compromise, treating each other with mutual respect, etc.

  • Eddy

    “Successful marriage and relationships” slides around the issues of multiple partners (even non-promiscuous) being the norm and of open relationships. Is the suggestion that culture and religion ought to have more of a bearing on gay morality…decrying ‘open relationships’ and ‘serial monogamy’ as much as they do with heterosexuals. Should they condone gay marriage and really emphasize ‘forsaking all others’ and ’til death do us part’? (I realize that a certain laxness has entered that picture as well but ‘open relationships’ are not tolerated to the same degree in the hetero world as they are in the gay. It’s still called ‘cheating’ there. And, heteros do have ‘divorce and remarriage’ which is akin to ‘serial monogamy’ but I’m not sure what comparisons can be made statistically.) In any event, many conservative churches still denounce ‘cheating’ and still regard divorce as somewhat serious…in many, a divorced person cannot minister in any public capacity.

    Sometimes it seems that instead of aspiring for the best, we justify by the least.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Yes, Michael, I do take that into account. There are always two sides to every story.

    Sometimes it seems that instead of aspiring for the best, we justify by the least.

    Good point, Eddy.

  • stephen

    Eddy. I have lived with my husband for 40 years. We have neither of us had outside partners. Now you have heard of a committed same-sex marriage.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    Quick, someone inform the Alliance Defense Fund

    I don’t think they are allowed in those countries. I was, as you know, referring to real persecution. Real death, not just reports of it. Disappointing response. And just when I was beginning to think you less capable of such, Timothy. Not much changes around here, does it?

    I gave you a flippant response because otherwise I would have had to call you out on your attempt to change the subject with an “No I’m the victim, I’m the victim” tactic.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    When I said,

    Another thing which may come into play is that often ex-gay ministries emphasize the most hedonistic acts as being “the gay lifestyle”. Being gay is to a strong degree tied to sex acts and there is a de-emphasis on relationships or faith or community or support as being “what homosexuals do.”

    I did not mean

    the story of a gay person who had one and only one sex partner throughout their gay experience.

    I apologize if you thought that by “the most hedonistic acts” I meant “having more than one sexual experience in their life. I did not. I’m sorry about the confusion.

    What I really meant was that Exodus tends to portray “the homosexual lifestyle” or “the gay life” or “the gay world” similar to this:

    I hardened my heart to everyone. I pursued relationship after relationship, never fully satisfied or fulfilled. I loved the attention that I received from other guys and their lustful desires for me gave me some kind of affirmation, but I was still empty inside.

    and this:

    My life revolved around sex, drugs and rock and roll. That milieu was the locus of my distorted, shaky identity. I began drinking in 7th grade, was introduced to marijuana in 10th grade (1967), and a cascade of drugs thereafter for the next five years. It was a turbulent time in our culture–a stormy, unstable season in my own life.

    and this:

    Even while attending counseling and groups, I went deeper into the gay life. I became more and more promiscuous and engaged in increasingly risky behaviors with people I barely knew. I became disillusioned with gay life, realizing that I was never going to find “the one” and live happily ever after. Surprisingly, this truth was told to me numerous times by many long-time life partners I knew. I knew them because they met me in bars, at parties, or on the internet and took me home to sleep with them. I lived this way basically from age 16 to 21, miserable but truly believing there was nothing else out there for me.

    and this:

    In those days, I was in a relationship with a guy from Amsterdam. After going together for a month, we found out that he was HIV positive, and not long afterward, we discovered he had AIDS. Three years later, David died. That was a very dark time, but I received much support from friends and family.

    NO HOLDS BARRED

    After David died, I went wild and plunged into the gay night life. I moved to Amsterdam, especially because I knew that the Gay Games were going to be held there. I developed a large circle of friends and was thoroughly immersed in the night life.

    After living like this for about six months, something began to feel like it was eating away at me inside. I realized that this kind of lifestyle was not healthy for me; I literally felt as if there was a rope attached to me.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Timothy, I have never been persecuted or victimized (harassed and annoyed, yes, but who cares?), nor would I stoop to such tactics as you suggest I am doing here. Isn’t it interesting how truly persecuted Christians in underground churches in China, and doubtless other places, have been known to ask others to pray for continued persecution so that the Church would grow? Your “flippant response” was out of line. It’s not a topic that lends itself to flippancy.

    And by the way, you did “call me out,” but the round fell short. And I was not changing the subject, but responding to your P.S. final paragraph:

    (p.s. The proposed execution of gay people IS a human rights crisis and it is extremely offensive to me to suggest that it is any less important than other issues. …)

    The occasional inanity of this blog boggles the mind, even when discussing (or trying to) serious “religious issues” (note the final two words of the blog title).

  • Timothy Kincaid

    OK, sadly, it’s time to take on some presumptions.

    I think you’re talking about what is referred to as “serial monogamy,” Eddy.

    No. Serial monogamy is when you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and are only having sex with them. It is not about “gays who have been involved in the same committed relationship for years.”

    In other words, a series of monogamous relationships over time.

    No, that’s called “not having found a long-term relationship.”

    It seems to be common among gay couples,

    Yes, right along with human sacrifice and eating babies.

    and is growing more common among straights and sexual mores continue to loosen.

    For a very long time now young people have dated and dating has included sex. And for most gay and straight folk, having a boyfriend or girlfriend means not sleeping around.

    I went to college in the 80’s and for most of the guys in my fraternity, sex was recreation. Until they were dating someone.

    Cohabitation and even trial marriages apparently are the norm in some circles.

    Those wacky heterosexuals!

    Gay folk don’t get “trial marriages” for the most part because we have fought far too hard and too long to get the marriages which we do have. And we have less pressure to just get married. Most of the gay marriages seem to have been couples who have been together for a very long time.

    Gays are not making the marriage picture better.

    Really? That isn’t what they say in Massachusetts. Or Vermont.

    There they believe that gays are making marriage much better by setting it as the standard for relationships.

    But what do they know in Massachusetts? They only have the lowest divorce rate in the country.

    The New York Times ran an interesting article in January entitled, “Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret.” The secret? Open and mutually accepted “play” with other partners. The article discussed a study at San Francisco State University that gives “a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many.” This Gay Couples Study tracked the relationships of 556 male couples for three years and discovered 50 percent of them had other sex partners, with the approval of their “conjugal” partners. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

    The NYT article was among the least responsible reporting on the study. The study DID NOT a rare glimpse inside gay relationships, much less gay marriages. The study didn’t address marriages at all, the NY Times just made that part up. Literally.

    And the study wasn’t about gay relationships, it was about gay male couples in which one partner had HIV and one did not.

    As I wrote at the time,

    In short, those reporting on this study got it wrong. If there is any story here, it would be that a study of San Francisco bay area gay male couples, a sample which was highly skewed to include many participants who are less likely to value monogamy and which defined “couples” to include those who have been dating as little as three months, still found that half of them set monogamy as the agreement for their relationship.

    I certainly can’t fault you for believing the Times’ sensationalistic nonsense, but now that you have been informed of the facts of the study, I expect that you will avoid spreading false witness in the future.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    Is the suggestion that culture and religion ought to have more of a bearing on gay morality…decrying ‘open relationships’ and ’serial monogamy’ as much as they do with heterosexuals. Should they condone gay marriage and really emphasize ‘forsaking all others’ and ’til death do us part’?

    That’s the great irony, isn’t it?

    On one hand there are accusations that gays don’t value monogamy and on the other hand any attempt that gay folks have to begin to value monogamy is called “counterfeit” and “an attack on marriage”. Folks were singing praise songs this week when Linda Lingle vetoed civil unions in Hawaii.

    I genuinely believe that some conservative Christians prefer it when gay people are promiscuous because it gives them something to condemn.

    It’s still called ‘cheating’ there.

    It’s still called cheating here too.

    There are always two sides to every story.

    But that doesn’t make both of the true or worth consideration.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Oh, Debbie Debbie Debbie

    You’re right. Let’s stop talking about the Uganda bill or people being attacked for being gay in Uganda because you’d rather talk about Christians in China.

    And that’s not changing the subject. No sirree.

  • Eddy

    Stephen–

    You seem to have misheard (misread) me. You suggest that I have not previously heard of a long term committed and monogamous gay relationship. But I said:

    I have known gays who have been involved in the same committed relationship for years but I have yet to hear the story of a gay person who had one and only one sex partner throughout their gay experience.

    Perhaps you took that to mean that I was implying they weren’t monogamous…what I was referring to was actually the likelihood that one or both had had several dalliances before committing to one another. I commend you for your committment…I honestly do. It’s an example that needs to be seen and heard of more.

    The usual response to the first sentence of my last paragraph would echo Timothy’s tales of those bastions of morality, the frat boys. Actually, I know many hetero couples who have only ever had one sexual partner…that partner being their spouse. It’s not that common anymore in secular society but it still flies in Christ-centered circles. I’m not saying that it does not happen in the gay world; I’m saying we never hear of it. Whenever I’ve brought it up, no one has yet come forward to say that they (or someone they know of) are gay, are in a committed relationship, and that neither of them has ever had sex with anyone else.

    Timothy–

    I actually didn’t use the term “serial monogamy” in my post of early this morning; Debbie did in response to mine. I avoided it because I knew it would lead to a detour–which is had. But now that we are on the detour: ‘serial monogamy’ refers to being in a monogamous relationship for a time (of unspecified length) and then moving on to another monogamous relationship (again for a time of unspecified length) and perhaps to another. I hear Christians use it particularly when they hear gay people say ‘but we’re just like you…we’re monogamous too’. This would be okay if it were someone like Stephen talking who ISN’T involved in either ‘serial monogamy’ or an ‘open relationship’. He could answer the challenge and say ‘I am monogamous in the same sense that you are; I have been with the same partner for 40 years and we have forsaken all others.’ But, it would seem that all too often, those they challenge CAN’T say what Stephen could say. They can point to the fact that they are in a monogamous relationship devoid of outside dalliances but can’t say that this has been their only monogamous relationship. For those who can say it, GO FOR IT! Give those conservative Christians something to think about. And for those who can’t say it, whether you like the term or not, it fits. (Note: I would not force anyone to identify themselves as a ‘serial monogamist’ but, in a discussion of how much like straight gay really is, the distinction between lifetime monogamy and serial monogamy is signifcant to the discussion.)

    I apologize if you thought that by “the most hedonistic acts” I meant “having more than one sexual experience in their life. I did not. I’m sorry about the confusion.

    No, I did not think this so there is no need for you to apologize.

    What I really meant was that Exodus tends to portray “the homosexual lifestyle” or “the gay life” or “the gay world” similar to this:

    I’m not sure if you noticed but none of the quotes that followed employed the phrase ‘homosexual lifestyle’ or ‘the gay world’. One of them did use ‘gay life’ but it was also quite clearly a personal story. I got the sense that those places and experiences were available to him within his local gay culture but I did not get the sense that his experience was meant to portray what is typical.

    I did find the testimonies a bit too much…actually I feel that way about most testimonies. It’s an aversion I’ve had since my earliest Christian days. I’ve cited several times that my church was also the home church for the local Teen Challenge…and also, this was back in the early 70’s during the huge evangelism wave. I referred to testimony time as ‘Can You Top This?’. What started as a means of saying “My God is bigger than this” turned into “My mess is bigger than your mess”. The focus shifted from the Fixer of the mess to the mess itself. And I felt like my heart would split in two the night I heard a young man say “I’m not sure if God could ever use me, I don’t have a testimony.” “My God,” I thought, “how far have we fallen into this mess?” I searched the young man out after the service and told him that he did indeed have a testimony…he had a testimony of the keeping power of his Savior. While the world around him was offering every manner of temptation, most of it somewhat easy to fall into, he was able to maintain his center in Christ and avoid falling into the mess. (Note: This was that same church. The ‘mess’ had no name…could’ve been drugs, alcohol, sex, witchcraft, gambling. I don’t even know if he had a particular penchant for one of those or for some other…the testimony was that he DIDN’T have ‘a testimony’.)

    My advice while in the ministry was that if you need to ‘give testimony’, make it brief. State the essentials clearly enough that people will hear that ‘you’ve been there’. State it vividly enough that someone in your audience who is in a similar place will hear it and identify with it. But then move on! Make the essence of your testimony was Christ is doing in your life today…what He’s done in your life since that time. So, on one hand I cringe at those testimonies but, on the other, I do see that they got right to the point; they pretty much summed it up vividly within a paragraph or two and I will assume that they moved on…that a number of paragraphs followed giving God the glory for the changes and victories He enables in the day to day.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Oh, Eddy.

    We have a new standard now which you insist that gay people live up to? We’ve shifted the goal post from “monogamous couples” to “only one ever”?

    Well, guess what. I don’t know of a single solitary heterosexual couple that I know for certain that both has only ever had sex with one person, their spouse. I tend not to ask but I learned a long time ago that you can’t assume that good Christian folk have never had sex before marriage or more than one partner ever. The ones that I do know about would not meet your newly adopted standard.

    However, I do know one gay couple who met when 18 and were each others’ first and are still monogamously together now, in their 50’s.

    Yep, the only one I know of who meets your new standard is a gay couple. All of which proves nothing.

    And as for the over the top quotes… I found all of them on the Exodus website.

  • Eddy

    Not a new goal post, Timothy, a real and basic difference that is continually minimized. Whether it’s a difference that makes a difference is yet to be discussed since we keep claiming that it doesn’t exist. I believe it does; you believe it doesn’t.

    You haven’t seen any heterosexuals that you know had a one and only one situation. I’ve known quite a few. Please don’t presume or suggest that I’m so blind that I don’t realize that some would lie to cover up some fooling around. I know that fooling around happens in the church too, and yet, I can still say with confidence that I’ve known quite a few who managed to have one and only one sex partner.

    Please forgive me for adopting an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ position in the face of your ‘guilty until proven innocent’ defense.

    Kudos on that couple that met at 18 and are each other’s one and only. Theirs is a story that many, on both sides, could benefit from hearing.

    Re those quotes, I’ve got no doubt that you did. But you didn’t find them portraying ‘THE gay lifestyle’ or ‘THE gay life’…they told their personal stories and, if the stories are true and not exaggerated, I’m not sure of your point.

    As I said in my last post, I don’t see in any of the quotes where any of them said that their experiences were typical of all gays or of gay life. That’s how far they’d fallen; that’s what Jesus lifted them out of.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Actually, Eddy, you are applying both positions: Gays are guilty until proven innocent; Straights are innocent until proven guilty.

    Which makes me think this whole thing is about your need to see straight people as inherently better than gay people.

    Re those quotes, I’ve got no doubt that you did. But you didn’t find them portraying ‘THE gay lifestyle’ or ‘THE gay life’…they told their personal stories and, if the stories are true and not exaggerated, I’m not sure of your point.

    In the order I presented them above:

    After rejecting God I went fully into the lifestyle.

    and

    Most of us had come out of the gay life

    Even while attending counseling and groups, I went deeper into the gay life.

    and

    the Gay World…I went wild and plunged into the gay night life…this kind of lifestyle

    I said, in the beginning,

    Another thing which may come into play is that often ex-gay ministries emphasize the most hedonistic acts as being “the gay lifestyle”. Being gay is to a strong degree tied to sex acts and there is a de-emphasis on relationships or faith or community or support as being “what homosexuals do.”

    All of the examples I found on the Exodus site did exactly that. No other picture was presented, just one consistent recitation of irresponsibility title THE gay lifestyle.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    I have been away and not monitoring this thread much. It has as I feared gone so far off track that it is unrecognizable.

    I am shutting it down until I get back.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    PS – THe discussion is not unworthy really, although I think it as most do, proceeds without much data. It is just not about the Ugandan situation.