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Exodus International Shuts Doors: We've Been "Imprisoned in a Worldview That’s Neither Honoring Toward Our Fellow Human Beings, Nor Biblical"

Posted on the 20 June 2013 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy

Big news in the world of "ex-gay" therapy: the leading organization in the U.S. that has long dangled false hopes of curing the gay in front of gay folks desperate to be turned into heterosexuals announced last night that it's shutting its doors. Fred Clark tells the story at his Slacktivist site today con his usual brio, noting that Exodus International president Alan Chambers made a stunning admission as he announced the closing of the group--that it has been 
imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.

Imprisoned. A group that's about exodus and freeing people from slavery. We've been imprisoned in a worldview that does not honor our fellow human beings.
This is a stunning admission, as is Chambers's next admission: What we've been about hasn't been biblical.
We've deliberately singled out our fellow human beings who are gay, removed them from the rest of the human community, heaped scorn on them, lied about them, dangled false promises of "cure" from a sickness that isn't even a sickness in front of them. We've used those fellow human beings, in other words. We've turned them into things, to score political points in cynical political games. And as we've done this, we've claimed we're acting on the basis of biblical texts that don't even exist, while ignoring one text after another that tells us to love mercy and do justice.
We've told the world that gay and lesbian human beings represent sin and moral decay in an incomparable way. We've told people that same-sex marriage is undermining "traditional" marriage even as solid data show that though 44 percent of women in the U.S. have had a baby by age 25, only 38 percent of these women have married. Among women who have turned 30, about two-thirds have had a baby, and have done so typically out of wedlock. 48 percent of first births in the U.S. are to unmarried women, most of them in their 20s.
Where's the gay in any of these statistics?!
Alan Chambers has also just issued an equally stunning apology to all of those fellow human beings who happen to be gay, whom he and his group have targeted, denigrated, lied about, and used for years now. As Katie McDonough reports at Salon, Chambers states,
I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced.  I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt 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 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, I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry 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.  I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives.

I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced.  
I am sorry 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 profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives.
As I read these statements, how can I possibly avoid noticing that the pastoral leaders of my own Catholic church have been absolutely incapable of making them: we're sorry. We know we've caused you deep pain. We've used hateful rhetoric about you that engenders more hate and outright violence. We've lied about you as people destroying marriage and family, and about your ability to raise children. We've represented Christ and his church in such a piss-poor way that many of you and people who love you have walked away from the church. Even when you've committed suicide--when young people have done so because they were taunted in school with homophobic slurs--we've kept our pastoral mouths, which claim to speak in the name of Christ the good shepherd, firmly shut.
Or how can I not wonder about the stolid refusal of our major "liberal" Catholic publications in the U.S., some of which have no problem at all censoring comments that are "unfair" to the Republican party, to censor Catholics who claim to represent orthodoxy and who freely throw the term "sodomite" around as they talk about their fellow human beings who happen to gay? And who freely lie about gay men being pedophiles, and about homosexuals as the cause of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church--though the exhaustive study of the data commissioned by the U.S. bishops themselves, the John Jay study, found no correlation at all between sexual orientation and clerical abuse of minors . . . .
Yes, I do mean you, National Catholic Reporter. And I mean all the leading journals of the Catholic center, which talk about those who are gay as if "gay" and "Catholic" are self-evident alterities--and who never even invite into your conversations about those who are gay the voices of those being placed under the microscope and dissected by you (who are self-evidently the definition of Catholic, since you're heterosexual and not homosexual). 
Exodus International, for God's sake, has now been capable of admitting that demeaning, othering, anti-communal tactics like these are harmful to fellow human beings and have no foundation in authentic Christian faith. Doesn't it shame you, even just a tiny bit, that your moral bar now stands lower than that of Alan Chambers and Exodus International?
The photo of Alan Chambers is from Katie McDonough's Salon article linked above.

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