Exodus International, the notoriously vocal organization committed to the idea that gay people can change their sexual orientation is closing its doors and changing it's message. Along with the press release containing their decision to end their "ministry", the leader of Exodus has also issued an apology to all of the gay people hurt and/or damaged by their ministry of 37 years. This news comes as a shock and a relief to me - a person who was taken there as a teenager when my parents started to realize that I may be gay (although I didn't realize it myself until later.) I see this as a huge step forward in the right direction - and I'm looking forward to what other people think.
press release: http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/ … shut-down/
I'm pleased to see that they didn't just apologize and keep going, and they didn't just shut down without recognizing the damage they've done.
This is huge. Like seriously huge. Thank you SO much for bringing this to my attention. I can't even express to you how I'm feeling right now. It's epic.
*tackle pounce hug* thank you, thank you, thank you
You're welcome, welcome, welcome! This is something that has brought shame to anyone who calls themselves a Christian for a long time. To recognize that perhaps, as a group, they've realized how destructive and unloving it has been, is a victory for ALL of the people who have been harmed by them. I hope with all my heart that this step they've taken will begin the healing process for everyone who's ever been their victim.
Poor messed-up guy.
He's so wrong if he thinks he speaks for all Christians, or even for the Christians period.
Problem is, he's giving the wrong message to everyone now, and the radical gay activists are gonna take it and run with it.........right over the cliff.
Yes, wanting the exact same rights that heterosexual couples have makes me a liberal radical. Of course. What a small, narrow little world you must live in. I feel sorry for you.
No, I don't think you feel sorry for me at all.
I think you highly dislike me for standing on strong conservative views and not slowly fading into moral compromise and apathy like Exodus International's leadership is apparently doing.
Your reply is just another example of how liberals are bullying conservatives by making it personal when we enter a discussion.
Feeling genuine pity and compassion for you is equal to bullying in your neck of the woods? Are you just looking for an excuse to pull that persecution complex out and put it to good use? No one is taking any rights away from you, and here us a clue for you - you cannot be the "moral majority" to force your way through legislation to keep gay marriage illegal while simultaneously playing the persecuted victim card. The two are mutually exclusive. Pick one, own it and run with it.
We were supposedly discussing Exodus International, not me, nor even you (I thought), even though you did mention something about your experience there. I have experience in talking with (and seeing the lives of) some people who've come out of the homosexual lifestyle and who are Christians who do not condone gay activity, much less gay "marriage".
Perhaps you should "own" your agenda. You should "pick one" and run with it instead of claiming to be in the right while you cut down conservatives. I'm not whining persecution; I'm boldly pointing it out and defending myself against it.
Exodus is supposed to be about getting help for people who struggle with homosexual temptations. If that leader is gonna let it be used for the opposite agenda, and it's becoming a political entity for catering to immorality, then it might as well shut down. He can't feasibly apologize for other people if it's something he didn't personally do. So apparently he's having problems sorting out his own personal life in this regard.
He may have good intentions, but he seems unaware that he's played into the hands of the Leftist agenda big-time. If he or the group hurt people, he should apologize to them personally, not to all gays everywhere, because surely he's not so naive as to not understand what the Left's agenda is. Either way, he's unfit for the job. Like even the misguided (and misguiding!) leader said, other groups will take its place (some that I bet he hadn't even intended). Seems that some already have. All is not lost. There are lots more people who've come out of the pit than liberals would like people to know about.
Lets take this one step at a time so that all parties involved can keep up.
You:We were supposedly discussing Exodus International, not me, nor even you (I thought), even though you did mention something about your experience there.
Me: Yes. We Were - but that's not where you kept the conversation is it? You said, and I quote, "He's so wrong if he thinks he speaks for all Christians, or even for the Christians period. Problem is, he's giving the wrong message to everyone now, and the radical gay activists are gonna take it and run with it.........right over the cliff."
that quote takes the focus off of Exodus international, and puts it instead on "radical gay activists" which I'm assuming that you think I'm a part of - just because I want *gasp* equal rights.
You: I have experience in talking with (and seeing the lives of) some people who've come out of the homosexual lifestyle and who are Christians who do not condone gay activity, much less gay "marriage".
Me: and for every "ex gay" you can point to, I can point to a gay person who went through "conversion therapy' only to feel worse, still have their sexual orientation intact for whom the experience was traumatic. Conversion therapy simply doesn't work. Psychological journals discuss it at great length - and so does anyone who actually experienced it (like I did, consequentially, and you did NOT) who is actually honest with themselves and with others.
You:Perhaps you should "own" your agenda. You should "pick one" and run with it instead of claiming to be in the right while you cut down conservatives
Me: I don't HAVE an agenda. I have the same desire that everybody else does - to be treated EQUALLY in the eyes of the law and not be FORCED to accept your version of the bible or morality or the law just because YOU think it's right - ESPECIALLY since I don't believe it for a second. You have the right to believe whatever you want, but that right does not include forcing other people to conform to your beliefs. I have a right to swing my arm, but the right to swing my arm ends at the tip of another person's nose. I cannot continue to swing my arm regardless of the fact that there is another person standing there so I hit them. That's where my freedom stops - and your religious freedom ENDS when it starts infringing or impeding on the rights of others.
You: I'm not whining persecution; I'm boldly pointing it out and defending myself against it.
Me: You are not being persecuted. I'd like for you to point out to me how you are being persecuted in THIS conversation, or in general. The problem is that you see disagreement as persecution or a restriction of your rights - while at the same time, you disagree with me on just about every point, but your disagreement is just because you're "right" and I'm "wrong". It is astounding to me that you don't see the hypocrisy and double standard here.
As for the rest of it - I'm led to believe that you did not read any of what the leader of exodus actually said in his apology (which I posted the link to) or the press release that exodus released about it's pending closure (which I also posted).
Eh, I'll speak to a couple of points here, but I'm not answering all of that, because it began from a misconception anyway (that I didn't read the article). I did. I read that and some other articles. And from that is where the subject of Christianity came into play. That was not my doing. It came from the things said by Exodus's leader! He mentioned that some people might think he shouldn't be addressing the issue as though he spoke for all Christians, and then he turned around and said he thought he should (or something to that effect). What he ignored was the fact that HE himself was staking claim to something that he wouldn't want other Christians to stake claim to-----another Christian of opposing views speaking for HIM and all other Believers.
So, even though I shouldn't have to explain that, there it is. Did YOU even read all the article?
Second point---------everyone has already had equal rights for a long time. To push for gay "marriage" is not a push for equal rights nor civil rights; it is to push for special rights for people who want to sleep with same-sex partners and thereby slap the faces of anyone who disagrees with it; it is to force everyone to condone homosexuality legally (and morally).
The ironic part about this discussion is how you're using it to condemn an organization that was conceived to help people come out of a bad situation, using that to try to gain political points for the very agenda that the group was meant to help people come out of.
But hey, like I said, if that group has become so wishy-washy that it's now feeding the liberal agenda instead of keeping its focus on helping people, then it needs to be shut down anyway. By making a public apology to all gays, he did a disservice to those individuals who sought his help personally and who deserved to be communicated with personally instead of lumping them in with political activists, plus others who weren't even involved. The man is apparently, as I said earlier, messed-up and not capable of honoring the original goal of Exodus International.
I don't recall reading anywhere that he claimed to speak for all christians. As the leader of this former organization, I DO think that he's in a position to reveal what this "ministry" was all about - and what kind of damage it caused, both psychologically and emotionally. He was there. He experienced it. I experienced it. All that you experienced was reading an article - and you have no IDEA what this kind of "treatment" did to me or countless others like me, many of which went on to commit suicide because they were unable to "cure" their gayness and they were told that it was THEIR failing - not the "ministry" or gods. People lost their lives over this. That's not okay. It's never okay to force an opinion on someone until they ultimately feel so hopeless that they see no other option but to put a gun to their own heads and take their lives. There's something inherently wrong with that.
No, gay people do not have equal rights to heterosexual married couples. Even though my wife and I are legally married, that legal protection only exists in the states where gay marriage is recognized. In my home state of Florida, my WIFE is not allowed to be in my hospital room with me if I experience a traumatic or life-threatening injury/accident. My wife does not automatically inherit my money or property if I were to die an untimely death. They would go to my next of kin, which according to Florida is my parents - the same parents that kicked me out of the house for coming out of the closet and admitting that I thought I was gay. I have to go through legal loopholes and jump through hoops to set her up as my power of attorney. Heterosexuals don't have to do that. They have a marriage certificate, and that's enough. That is not the case with same-sex couples. We do not want special rights, we want the same rights that every other person has. Our rights should not be limited because we're two women, and if you see it as a slap in the face just because we disagree with you, that's your problem. No one is forcing you to go have a same-sex marriage. No one is forcing you to attend the ceremonies. Churches are not being forced to perform the ceremonies. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one. But just because you're opposed to it because of your religion, that does not give you the right to impose those beliefs on others. They're your beliefs. They are not everyone's beliefs - and no one should be compelled to conform to your beliefs about morality. The fact that you believe in them does not make them necessary for everyone else. I get the feeling that you expect your version of Christianity's morality to be forced on everyone else, just because you think it's true. Muslims think that their religion is true too - does the fact that they believe them to be true mean that they should be able to force their morality and their law on you? It works both ways, here.
No, exodus was not conceived to help people out of a bad situation. It was conceived to tell people that how they felt from the time that they were extremely young (I was first attracted to another girl when I was in fourth grade) was wrong, and they needed to be "fixed" in order to be "normal" and accepted by their version of god. They promised that they could change someone's sexual orientation. They insisted that it was possible to "pray the gay away", and if it didn't work, it was obviously because they weren't trying hard enough or that they had a lack of faith. Their "failure" was pushed back on the victims here as well as the feelings that they already had. It made them guilty for everything and told them that they were wrong - simply for being who they were.
This man is not the first leader of Exodus to do a complete 180. Two other former leaders came out and admitted that conversion therapy was ineffective - and they're now two men who are in a relationship with each other. There is a problem with the PREMISE that conversion therapy works. It doesn't. Everyone knows it doesn't - at least anyone who has studied psychology, sexuality and sexual orientation.
Everyone knows it doesn't - except those that think God never makes a homosexual. Never makes the DNA come out that way.
He will make a person with Down's syndrome, He will make a person with an IQ of 70 and one with 200. He will make a schizophrenic and He will make a person totally without morals and completely unable to distinguish right from wrong. He will make someone without arms or legs and He will make someone with non-functioning eyes that are blind from birth.
He will make all these people outside the norm and totally unable to change themselves into "normal", but He would never, ever make a person in such a way they like the same sex. He will make a person with an uncontrollable urge for sex with children and even infants, and he will make a rapist, forever searching for the next victim, but He would never make a homosexual, wanting only a quiet life of peace and love.
I confess, I don't get it. I don't get it at all.
I don't think I've ever before heard anyone say God makes a rapist, etc.
You make it sound like Christians think rapists are normal, and pedophiles, etc.
And God didn't make them make the decisions they make.
Just like God doesn't make the drunkard pick up a bottle of whiskey, or the thief rob a store, etc.
God didn't make people into rapists, etc.
All people are responsible for what they do. Including people who engage in homosexual activity. If anyone, thief, liar, murderer, rapist, homosexual, etc., is mentally ill/incapable, then that responsibility is lessened while the consequences are weighed.
God didn't "make" anyone with the flaws you've described. Imperfection entered into the life of mankind when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.
Guess He didn't make the Downs kid, either. Or the schizophrenic. Both are genetic flaws, just as is homosexuality is and probably the twisted sex drive that drives rapists and pedophiles. Normal they are not, but they all exist and some of their actions come directly from that abnormality.
It IS interesting that you have a much different take on God's actions on this earth; most Christians I've talked to seem to think that God controls everything that happens (except, maybe, for "free will" and Satan's actions) and that most certainly includes that chemical makeup of every DNA string in every gamete. Nothing is left to chance there, and neither is which two gametes combine to make a new person. Plus, of course, if God isn't making that new life, the parents ARE - ordinary people are then responsible for creating life without God's help.
And no, the mentally ill (depending on severity of course) are NOT responsible for their actions regardless of what you OR any god says.
I have no idea why you think a romantic orientation is a defect. Unlike you other examples it does not harm and creates no innate limitations on the individual's characteristics.
From an evolutionary standpoint, any genetic combination that negatively affects an individuals ability to reproduce is a flaw. Homosexuality most definitely fits into this category.
That also includes downs syndrome, physical deformities and even such things as albinism. As mankind develops culturally and technologically these things take on less and less importance in many cases, but evolution does not operate on probabilities of 10, 20 or 50%. It operates on very small probabilities, repeated tens of thousands of times, and in that respect the likelihood of reproduction still goes down by a tiny percentage.
Now I realize that the gay haters will take that statement and blow it up into something major, change it from simple biology into a cultural flaw and certainly a spiritual one. I can't help the ignorance that will do that except to say that such simple things as a different eye color or a large birthmark are ALSO a genetic flaw and for the same reasons. Every single one of us has multiple genetic flaws - it's what makes evolution work.
So, don't wash my mouth with soap - it is a simple statement of fact and of no cultural consequence.
I agree with that last line. You said "depending on severity". I agree.
I never meant to imply that the mentally ill are totally responsible for what they do; sorry if it seemed that way. There are degrees of that, as you said.....
I should also add that I didn't mean their sin or their parents' sin caused their mental illness. Matter of fact, there's a place in the Bible that addresses that issue correctly.
My point about Adam and Eve's sin was simply that imperfection, and yes, sin, was set in motion in all of mankind after the occurrence in the Garden. God created the first two humans. Then their union started the cycle of childbirth etc.; and since they had sinned, that nature was simply a given in the rest of mankind; all humans were born into that "sin nature" (for lack of a better description), and are responsible for that when they reach an age that they can fathom right and wrong (and if, as we said, they're mentally capable)......
So, God didn't and doesn't literally create every human being. That's why I get irritated when someone says God "made them that way". There are Scripture passages like the one telling us we are "wonderfully made", yes; a testimony to God's power to create. But He doesn't literally create people with disabilities and deformities, nor does He create people with immorality; disabilities are just the result of the human condition, human nature since the fall in the Garden; and our morals and how we act upon those are simply our choice. Nobody is individually nor personally responsible for their physical or mental disabilities that they're born with. What we're personally responsible for (if we're not mentally disabled) are our continued thoughts and actions and beliefs; we make decisions; we're responsible for our choices.
If God isn't making those people, I'd be interested in your take on who or what is. Are the parents responsible for creating a new life? Random chance, operating outside of any plan God has for humanity? Satan?
Who or what is responsible for creation of souls outside the "norm", whatever that might be?
If you mean for bodies, physical deformities, I think that's just part of the natural course of life since the fall in the Garden; mankind no longer had the automatic covering of God upon them.
And even though, yes, that whole scenario where Adam and Eve sinned, caused all of mankind to be under that "curse"...........yet a deformity doesn't mean that that person or his/her parents personally nor directly committed a sin that caused the deformity. The Bible says something about this; I'll see if I can find it.........
If by "souls" you mean the intangible soul that each person has, then that is something that we have a choice about, when we reach an age of being able to understand what's right and what's wrong and know we can choose our behavior.
Here we go--------
John 9: 1-3:
"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
Now, that can open up a whole discussion about the last part of that last verse, but it does answer the question of whether the blindness was caused by the man's or his parents' direct personal sin. Which is, no.
this was, wilderness, the best thing i've read on the subject in ages,... i will be paraphrasing for some time to come, hope you dont mind.
on the other hand, if a wise man argues with a fool, bystanders may not be able to tell them apart.
I wrote an article about them once and got one reader all upset...lol I didn't write specifically about the organization but about "Conversion Therapy" which included this ministry. This has hurt a lot of people and am happy to see that they have finally come to their senses. Wish they could go back and unhurt the people affected.
I would also like to say that the OWN network is doing an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling who is interviewing the former leader of Exodus called "God and Gays" at 10pm tonight if you actually want to learn what exodus TRULY did and what the leader ACTUALLY has to say about it, rather than just making assumptions.
I've just been following this thread, not going to speak on anything that I don't have knowledge and I'm not familiar with Exodus or what it stands for. But I do have a question, Brenda how is pushing for gay marriage a push for special rights. Everyone has the right to choose there partner, whether same sex, black, white or whatever and should have the right to marry whoever they desire. How is it a slap to any ones face? Your not in the marriage nor are you in their household, so its really none of your business. In Florida its ok to marry your cousin, your not against that?? as long as its the same sex? It honestly just sounds like you have an issue with gay people.
I was very pleased to hear that Exodus was shutting down. I applaud the leader who apologized to those whose lives they may have ruined. Individuals who are leading gay life styles deserve to be treated equally. Being different is not a crime and not a reason for heterosexuals to bully, discriminate against or judge. Those of us in Mental Health realized long ago that you cannot change the chemical or physical make up of the human body. People do not just wake up on day and say, "You know, I think I'll become a lesbian, I might be happier that way." No, you don't become a homosexual, you are born a homosexual. God lives witin the hterosexual. He lives within the homosexual. We all are one with each other and one with God and all things. Therefore, if we hate the homosexual, we hate ourselves and vice versa. So, lets celebrate the closing of Exodus!
What is that "God" that you think lives within everyone? Because it ain't the Creator, the God of the Bible. He lives in those who are born again, who accept Jesus as their Savior. Yep, even if that person is a repentant gay who resolves to change their lives and change their status to non-practicing.
Actually.........the leader of Exodus said that some people HAVE been helped through Exodus International. People seem to ignore that fact. When liberals start celebrating the closing of a group, that's a good hint that the group was doing something right at least part of the time.
It's highly possible that the ones who didn't get helped simply were beyond help, period, their desires or their fears so ingrained that they couldn't receive the help that was offered. Who knows, really? No one probably. I will reiterate my view that the original intent of that group was valid and beautiful, but that the current leadership has dropped the ball, so it might as well be closed, since it's apparently become so politically correct that it's veered from its goal.
What do we know, really? We know that "reparative therapy" doesn't work. We know that you cannot, by sheer willpower alone or by prayer or supplication that you CANNOT change your sexual orientation. Even people who went on into heterosexual marriages under the blessing of Exodus admit that their desires and their attractions are still there - they just bury them and try to ignore them.
We do know the harm that Exodus caused. When my mother took me there at 15-16 (and thankfully she saw the damage that it was causing and took me back out) I was one member of a 20 person support group. In the six months I was involved, three of the members committed suicide because of the guilt and shame they were made to feel for attractions that they could not control. When prayer failed to be enough to reverse their attraction, they were told that they didn't have enough faith or they weren't trying hard enough. They were demonized for their own shortcomings, while Exodus took none of the blame. They were decried as weak - and condemned for it. And that was just in one group. I would like someone to release the suicide rates in Exodus international at large. Unless you're saying that gay people SHOULD kill themselves and rid the world of "their kind" because they're not in line with YOUR creator. But, no. Of course the intentions were pure and righteous. Just like the inquisition and the witch hunts - if we can make them feel bad enough, they'll kill themselves, and spare us the trouble of burning them on the stake - at least socially and metaphorically.
Actually, what I think gays who struggle with this should do is to stop blaming others, and accept the fact that it's a struggle, but that there are people who do care about their struggle, and accept the help of those people, including the fact that people can love someone and hate the actions of that person. Isn't there anyone that you love, but whose actions you hate? I have a family member who's a drunkard. I hate his actions, but I love him. He will not accept help from anyone, because he knows that it's gonna have to, ultimately, be up to him to change his actions. He will tell ya that he loves his bottle more than he loves his children. But ya know what?---I don't accept that; I think that's a cop-out. There is a difference between love and addiction. I think he loves his children dearly, but that he cannot change his habits, so he has given up. Sometimes there seems to be no answer. But Christians know that Christ is the answer to all difficulties, ultimately. I have another family member who's gay but who knows homosexual activity is wrong; he struggles with his temptations, and from there the Lord helps him, keeps him from falling back into rebellious living and unbelief. He renewed his Faith in the Lord years ago and is a powerful witness for the Lord.
You may have more intimate personal knowledge of this, JMcFarland, but that doesn't mean that people like me know nothing. Watching a person's life, loving them as they struggle, listening to them, encouraging them that it IS possible to live a Godly life and resist temptation, gives us a personal insight into this issue too.
A liberal once urged me to watch the movie "Prayers for Bobby", I think was the title.
Well, I did.
And it was.....twisted.
The young teenager, first of all, rebelled at his parents' authority; he started inviting friends with tattoos and weird hairdos and Goth makeup etc. to his house. Those ways of dressing and looking are often signs of a troubled mind and attitude, so the parents had every right to tell him to stop bringing that kind of friends around. Parents do have the right to parent, after all. The kid was already confused and having a hard time dealing with sexual temptation and submitting to authority.
Then the parents did everything they could to help him straighten out his head, his life. He still wouldn't or couldn't accept their help.
Then he had a sexual relationship with another young guy. That guy turned out to be just using him; he cheated on him, and when confronted, didn't even care. That's when the boy killed himself. It wasn't because of teasing or because he was bullied by other kids; it was, first of all, because he was sexually confused and immature, and secondly because he was so hurt by his "boyfriend". Yet, guess what?----after all that, after Bobby killed himself and the mother gave up and blamed herself instead of blaming the cheating boyfriend, and she joined in with a "tolerant" "church", and joined the gay movement, the cheating boyfriend tried to pretend to have been a real friend to Bobby and of course claimed to be sorrowful at his death, etc.
And the mother bought that game! Then she proudly walked in a gay parade, as though that group were her son's friends.
You see----in her sorrow, the mother had to have someone to blame. So she blamed herself and the well-meaning people who prayed for him. Neither she nor they had done anything wrong; they had tried to love the kid and pray for him and help him.
What the mother refused to see was that the gay paraders and the "tolerant" pseudo-Christian preacher she found afterwards were NOT her son's friends. She played right into their uncaring hands.
There is no magic formula to rid someone of homosexual desire. What there is is this----hope and repentance and forgiveness and a continuous striving for the mark of ultimate salvation, just as all Christians strive every day. And even if the liberal movement forces everyone to legally condone gay marriage, the people who struggle with this situation will still struggle within themselves; because this is a personal issue, a personal struggle, a spiritual struggle, even; it is not a legal matter; it is a heart matter. People need to label it for what it is; otherwise, they have no recourse to really deal with it, only to ignore the problem.
I am so sorry that you had to be subjected to those people at Exodus International. Beware of those who set themselves up to judge you and to play God by changing you into something that you're not. God is the father of us all.
God is in the heterosexual as well as in the homosexual. We all cam from and will return to him. God is love. He loves the heterosexual as well as the homosexual. Those individuals who hate or seek to tear down homosexuals are not Godly people.
Individuals need to study and research what it means to be a homosexual .
I have been Mental Health Therapist for over (35) years. When I first began my practice, homosexuality was considered a Mental Illness as evidenced by it being listed as such in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses. Millions and millions of dollars were spent in trying to rehabilitate homosexuals, ,all to no avail,, because after psychological testing, job training, and even the earning of college degrees, these individuals continued with their homosexual life styles.
Homosexuality was removed from the DSM and was no longer considered a Mental Illness during the early 1980's. It was the concensus of the Mental Health experts and the medical community that individuals were born with the traits and genes that determined their sexual preferences. I worked with many homosexuals, males and females. The greatest thing I learned was that they did not just wake up one day and decide to become homosexuals.
Some of them knew as young children that they were attracted the same sex,
There were a few who had been repeatedly raped as children and as a result, lead gay life styles. The vast majority of homosexuals did not have any such experiences.
Many of my clients told me that if they could be different if they could be because they were hated, bullied, and treated as out casts. These were during the times when homosexuals tried to hide it and the public was intolerant.
No human being can tell youn that because you are a homosexual, God does not love you or that you are going to hell. Why would God condemn any person whom he created to hell for no reason.
God loves you and so do I.
Things change, albeit slowly; as from slavery to civil rights to affirmative action to colorblindness (yet to come), the Spirit will always prevail over evil.
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