Sunday, June 11, 2006

A post at Straight, Not Narrow has a report on a vigil being held outside the "Love Won Out" anti-gay conference in Silver Spring, Maryland. These conferences are attempts to convince friends and families of gay people (as well as conflicted gay persons themselves) that their gay children can turn straight, and therefore have no need of legal protections. However, the horror stories of former "exgays" prove to me that these kinds of conferences are misleading and, sometimes, full of outright lies as they demonize gay people and try to recruit families into the war against gay persons.

It's sad to see gay people turn against their own kind and become foot soldiers in some weird moral war. My position is that sexuality is hardwired. Some people are hardwired to have a more fluid sexuality, capable of moving back and forth between sexes, but it has been proven over and over again that this is not something that can be forced by "therapy." Holding a conference to convince people to change is silly and misleading, and it can lead to great confusion for same sex attracted people who either hate themselves or their same sex attraction.

As friends of mine like Christine will bear witness to, the entire movement is one of denying truth, breaking down one's spirit and impeding one's true emotional and spiritual progress. For politicos like James Dobson, "exgays" are nothing more than tools to use in his constant war against us.

My belief, as I've stated before, is that if someone wants to join something like this, then fine. But they should know what they're getting into, and they should know that they will be entering a world of self-deceit and half-truth. What they're selling is not what the customer will be getting. "Change" is what they promise, but when you look closer, the definition of "change" is very slippery in the world of Exodus.

Wayne Besen states it best in this press release:

In hopes of fitting in and finding acceptance, some people take desperate measures to “change” who they are. Sadly, there are groups that exploit these vulnerable people and their desperate families, offering false hope and miracle cures to “overcome” homosexuality.

One such group is Focus on the Family, which is bringing its traveling “ex-gay” conference, “Love Won Out” to the Washington area this week. Unfortunately, it will be a bastion of misinformation that flies in the face of modern psychology and presents a distorted picture of gay life filled with stereotypes in the guise of science.

Although Focus on the Family claims Love Won Out is about “helping” people, it is really about politics and polls. Conservative groups are acutely aware that people who view homosexuality as a casual choice are dramatically less likely to vote in favor of gay rights.

3 comments:

Peterson Toscano said...

And sadly when someone is going through most programs, they do so with the assumption that if they fail, they have not only fallen short of the program expectations, they have failed God, disobeyed God, turned their backs on God.

This may not ever be said right out, but often that is the message that program participants get. I will never forget the "funeral" we held for one participant who was struggling with the program. It was an attempt to scare him straight.

As he was laid out before us on a table, we had to say our final words of goodbye--if only he had followed the Lord's way.

How manipulative and cruel! (but powerful theater all the same) Of course these folks will say they did it out of love for someone about to go off the rails. But fear never saves anyone; it enslaves.

Steve Schalchlin said...

I will never forget the "funeral" we held for one participant who was struggling with the program. It was an attempt to scare him straight.

As he was laid out before us on a table, we had to say our final words of goodbye--if only he had followed the Lord's way.


ARE YOU SERIOUS? I may have to add this onto the end of the post itself. I never heard of anything so cruel in all my life. And you were at one of the biggest of these programs, weren't you?

EpicurianHeretic said...

That is terrible! Ugh...I know I spout alot of lovery dovery tolerant BS sometimes...and that point of view matters to me...but stories like this really get me steamed! I'm still a follower of Christ and it makes me very angry when someone like James Dobson portrays my Jesus as something so heinous as the God that condones "Love Won Out". When is REAL Love going to win out? Grrrr....

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