Well. This is something.
Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, issued an apology to the gay community for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole.
Exodus’ President, Alan Chambers wrote:
With that, here is an expanded version of the apology I offered … to the people within the LGBTQ community who have been hurt by the Church, Exodus International, and me. I realize some within the communities for which I apologize will say I don’t have the right, as one man, to do so on their behalf. But if the Church is a body, with many members being connected to the whole, then I believe that what one of us does right we all do right, and what one of us does wrong we all do wrong. We have done wrong, and I stand with many others who now recognize the need to offer apologies and make things right.
The New Civil Rights Movement quotes Jim Burroway, who has been following Chambers and Exodus’ anti-gay activities.
This is the end of an era, and major milestone in the history of the ex-gay movement. I imaging we’re going to hear a lot of reactions over the next several days to come, but tonight, Exodus has come to a quiet and — dare I say it — a very dignified end.
All of this is quite extraordinary on a number of levels: a public apology (despite my own reservations about such things), a shut down, a moral declaration of “we were wrong” from people who have every pragmatic and pecuniary reason to continue to profess they’re right (God, after all, is on their side).
I’m not sure what to think and presumably they’ll be some who find this merely “another stunt”. But we should be glad that a leading anti-gay ministry is, like Microsoft, doing a 180 and embracing those they were turning their backs on. No, the LGBT community and its supporters don’t need Exodus’ validation or their acceptance: but to ignore this as a milestone of wider acceptance, of good news for more people being regarded as, you know, people, we should at least be tentatively happy.
Further news or evidence might come in to change that, but for now, as we read this, it’s seems a good sign. I await reality to stop being distracted from Kim Kardashian’s baby to slap me with some facts and change my perspective.
Congratulations on all the press coverage your apology is receiving!…
…It’s almost like you’ve been strategically planning your heartfelt apology for months! I’m sure you haven’t, of course: nobody is so low that they would turn a moment of piercing remorse brought on by the realization of how destructively wrong they’ve been into a manifestly self-serving, blatantly opportunistic, emotionally manipulative media event. But the timing of it all sure worked out well for you, didn’t it? Yesterday you were the head of a once powerful organization that had become utterly discredited, maligned, and irrelevant, because it was founded upon the life-ruining lie that God is righteously angered by any gay person who does not pray away their gay. And now, with all lights turned toward you, you’re launching Reduced Fear, the brand-new organization run by you and all your friends at Exodus International!
Shore then calls out something contained within Chamber’s apology.
Amongst the many conciliatory-sounding things you wrote in your apology are buried these words:
I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex
…and also these:
I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage.
Now, my guess is that, wit everything going on, you got so busy that you simply forgot to edit out of your apology those two statements. I figure that must be the case; otherwise, one is forced to conclude that you haven’t in the slightest changed your belief that gay people can and should pray away their gay. And if you still believe that the Bible proscribes, denounces, and condemns homosexuality, then … well, then what exactly are you apologizing for? About what are you feeling remorseful that matters?
Then, as far as I can tell, the only thing that you can be actually saying is that you regret not what Exodus was, but only how Exodus went about being what it was.
And if that’s the case, then of course you’re not really apologizing at all.
If there’s a response, I’ll note it here, too. Otherwise, let me know in the comments.
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