One of the leading organizations in reparative therapy that advertised the claim that they, through divine intervention and lots of prayer can heal or cure the gay in us are shutting their doors down. In what appears to a vague statement as to the reasoning why the so called panacea to homosexuality is closing it’s doors, the organization is regrouping and renaming their organization. But not only are they closing down, they are also apologizing to the LGBT community. Here’s an excerpt of the statement released by Exodus President Alan Chambers in detail that apologizes for what he feels his once indignant organization has done to the LGBT community:
Friends and critics alike have said it’s not enough to simply change our message or website. I agree. I cannot simply move on and pretend that I have always been the friend that I long to be today. I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated.
Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt 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 that there were times 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 that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that 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. For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.
You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours. I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship. I pledge that future endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.
Moving forward, we will serve in our pluralistic culture by hosting thoughtful and safe conversations about gender and sexuality, while partnering with others to reduce fear, inspire hope, and cultivate human flourishing.
Now that the organization is planning on revamping itself is not welcoming the LGBT community with open arms and will become advocates. They are more than likely going to continually preach about homosexuality being a sin, though likely not with the same venomous veracity in comprehensive brainwashing they have used during their failed attempt to convert gays.
I have always been very outspoken in how harmful the notion of ex-gay reparative therapy is to society and most of all the individuals that either volunteer out of shame and fear or are forced by family out of fear to enlist in the program. I’ve talked extensively about the long-term emotional and mental damage organizations promote while never being able to fulfill the promise of cleansing our sexuality from our sinful souls.
I’ve mentioned how there are people that feel because of organizations like this men and women live in fear, crying themselves to sleep because they feel that they were born wrong, and subsequently do things to harm themselves that can end in them spending years of life they can never get back hating themselves for being who they are or worse, losing their life.
Part of me wants to laugh in this man’s face for this apology because the so called loved that he and this organization were supposed to to provide was a lie. They were hypocrites and taught people to hate themselves and those that were always ready to love and accept them for who they are Most of all a strong part of me wanted to tell this man to go straight to hell for predetermining man’s fate and playing God.
But the world can never change if we only accept the truth we believe. We can never change if we don’t acknowledge those that have seen the errors of their ways because they are just as much a part of the solution that we are. We can never change if we don’t at least listen to each other. We should never have to change who we are and our sexuality and we can’t change the myopic view of Chamber’s church.
But by listening we can hopefully demonstrate why Exodus is a corrupt thing so that others that believe they can “cure” will realize how ridiculous that is to even attempt change us. By opening discussion to Chambers and others like him to hear why he’s wrong helps the people that were conflicted with accepting and loving themselves the way biology and the parents that have had to bury their children because he decided to play God.
But it has to go beyond a three paragraph apology on the internet, Chambers. If you are truly remorseful for the pain that you have inflicted on a group of people that you played God with, then you need to truly listen to why you were wrong for what you’ve done, then maybe your apology can be given a modicum of credence. This is not church where you can go say I’m sorry and all is forgiven. The world does not work that way. You have to actively prove to us that you are sorry for what you’ve done and take steps to rectify the damage you’ve done through snake oil techniques to good people, children of God that you’ve dedicated so much time disgracing. You cannot bring the back those we’ve lost but you can help prevent it from ever happening to another family again. That is the righteous thing to do.