A Christian ministry that led the so-called ex-gay movement, which professes to rid people of their homosexuality, has announced that it will shut down, and its leader apologized extensively to gays for causing “pain and hurt.”
The ministry, Exodus International, was founded in 1976 and claims more than 200 branches, churches and counselors in the United States and Canada. It had insisted that people could overcome same-sex attraction through prayer and therapy.
Mainstream psychiatric and medical groups have said that the movement, also known as reparative therapy, is unfounded in science and can be harmful. The American Psychiatric Association said 15 years ago that it could cause depression, anxiety and self-depressive behavior in patients.
The president of Exodus, Alan Chambers, who is married to a woman, acknowledged that he still has same-sex attractions, and he issued an apology for the damage his organization has done:
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.
More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection.”
This news comes as religious-right groups continue to howl over the decision by Texas-based Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on gay scouts (but not gay adult scout leaders). We expect the reaction from those groups over the news about Exodus and its leader’s apology will be just as vicious.
4 thoughts on “Cue the Outrage from the Religious Right: Major 'Ex-Gay' Group Shuts Down, Leader Apologizes”
The most anyone who has any sex struggles should ever be expected or encouraged to achieve might be a Christ-honoring celibacy but the gay to straight conversion process is for most gays not at all realistic.
Me thinks Alan Chambers just took a step closer to Jesus.
The biggest problem Christian fundamentalists have, other than hearts barren of love, is their constant attempt to pretend that the Old Testament covenant between God and the Jews (ONLY) has not been superceded by a new covenant of love in the New Testament that is for Gentiles and all others that would come to God.
Christian fundamentalists are quite likely the best Old Testament Jews in the United States. Everything else about them is law and obedience oriented. They just use Jesus as a sweaty fire insurance policy in the back pockets of their jeans. They sit on it a lot but rarely recognize it is there because they are all caught up in rules and morality of one kind or another. In practice, Jesus has become of none effect because there is no love.
By the way, it was on the inside pages of most metropolitan newspapers, but the number of annual new baptisms in Southern Baptist Convention churches was down again. It has been down again for numerous consecutive years. The Southern Baptist Convention is well on its way to being the poster child for how Christian fundamentalism and its emphasis on Old Testament legalism can destroy a church. Great multitudes followed Jesus. Go to the New Testament and read how little the words Jesus said have to do with Old Testament legalism.
“Sweaty fire insurance policy”. Pure awesome.
Look who just stepped way outside the closet !!! It is sort of like a former smoker!