Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out is reporting tonight that Exodus international may be on the verge of collapse, for financial reasons—chiefly a bad real estate investment. The hidden story, apparently, is that this “ex gay” ministry has not been able to continue to raise funds effectively enough, and is struggling to repackage or re-brand itself.
In light of the continued shift of some mainline denominations toward full inclusion of sexual minorities, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada a few months ago, and the Presbyterian Church USA a few months before that, it would seem plausible that the donor base for the anti– and ex–gay organizations may be shrinking if not imploding. More and more people who still don’t really “approve” of gay/lesbian folks, are resigning themselves to the shift of contemporary culture, and are less committed to funding every effort to block civil rights or offer alternative psychiatric methods to erase same-gender sexual orientation.
The “ex-gay” movement, characterized by the derisive slogan “Pray Away the Gay” is especially troubled in that its anti–gay message clashes with the core Christian Gospel that proclaims the unconditional love of God for all people. Their only “yes but” to the open-hearted love of God in Christ is to continue to insist that being a sexual minority is a terrible, wicked sin. That view stuck, of course, for generations. But people today are wise enough to realize that 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, everything was a terrible wicked sin. People today see the honest lives of lesbian and gay couples, transgender individuals who are calmly and rationally asking for understanding, and bisexual persons who are “whoring after” both genders. They see ordinary people who have jobs, homes, relationships and contribute enormously to society. They see married same-sex couples in 6 states, and the U.S. military having opened itself to transparency and honesty with regard to the humanity and sexuality of its service personnel.
So characterizing lesbian/gay people as extraordinarily evil, or crying continually that we will all go to hell is about as convincing as a tattered old Fred Phelps sign and a cranky voice behind a megaphone. Fewer and fewer people pay attention.
Read Besen’s entire posting here: http://www.truthwinsout.org/pressreleases/2011/11/20563/ where he also has links to every fact or rumor he cites.
—Pastor Dan Hooper