Randy Thomas is a friendly, good-natured, nonviolent fellow who happens to be a spokesperson for Exodus International.
His personal weblog offers a frank view of the disarmingly ordinary activities at Exodus offices in Orlando. It’s worth a look.
Recently, Randy said:
Now, to be sure with all the great things happening at the office, the adversary of our souls is not at rest either. Of course satan seeks to stop all of this so please support Exodus with prayers for protection and wisdom. This is definitely trench warfare in some aspects and it must not be forgotten that we win the war in Jesus, but in this present age it is still a war!
Randy is talking about a literal Satan here, but I hope he’ll understand when people in general, and gays in particular, think he’s talking about them.
We vs. them. “I’m on God’s side. Therefore I fear my rival is not. If he is not on my side, then, he is working for Satan. I am at war with him.” Simple logic understood by people who hear Exodus talk about its war against Satan.
Randy’s blog is looking a bit sparse at the moment, so I offer some food for future thought. Here’s an idea worth a blog spot or two:
Satan does not assault Exodus; Exodus assaults itself. Ex-gay ministry leaders periodically present themselves to the public not as spiritual healers, but rather as warriors against the jobs and family ties of people who struggle with same-sex attraction. They base their harsh position on flawed logic and inaccurate news sources.
- The head of Exodus, Alan Chambers, defends Christian employers in Florida who fire workers whom they perceive to be gay or effeminate.
- In the Jan. 23 CitizenLink, John Paulk — an Exodus speaker and former board member — favorably cites an article in Rolling Stone boasting that 25 percent of people newly infected with AIDS (a percentage including thousands of ex-gays) actually tried to become infected. But even before Paulk spoke, the article had been publicly disavowed by its sources. The cited experts said the opposite of what the author had quoted. The fact checker didn’t check some facts. The author didn’t record his interviews. Paulk endorsed the article anyway.
- An Exodus press release opposes anti-discrimination policies on the illogical premise that someone might misuse antidiscrimination policies to engage in reverse discrimination. In the case cited by Exodus, however, these same First Amendment-based policies have upheld the rights of all sides and resisted the forces of reverse discrimination. Exodus shows a selective recognition of the facts.
- The same press release cites an Agape Press article about Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that falsely portrays O’Reilly’s position on gay rights; conceals ex-gay activist Stephen Bennett’s on-air profanities; and implies that, in contrast to Bennett oft-cited Christian faith, O’Reilly isn’t Christian. Exodus damages its credibility by relying on others’ false reporting and judgmentalism.
- Another press release overgeneralizes about gay viewpoints on the Boy Scouts. The press release illogically concludes that the Boy Scouts must be acting Biblically, simply because they’re under fire from gay-tolerant people of faith and from agnostic parents. Admittedly, a goal of some gay activists has been to withhold taxpayer funding from private religious organizations, like the Boy Scouts, that use taxpayer money to discriminate against gays and non-Christians. Many gay activists defend the Boy Scouts’ right to discriminate, provided they don’t bill the taxpayers for it.
- The press release goes on to note Michelangelo Signorile’s intolerance for ex-gay advertising. Duly noted. In the interest of balance, Exodus might have noted that Signorile is a gay progressive whose views on freedom of speech are a bit self-serving. Unlike Signorile, many if not most gays support equal opportunity in advertising.
If Exodus is battling Satan, that battle is not apparent in these ongoing missteps. If anything, Exodus seems to be battling itself.
Randy Thomas’ blog could be a sign of light at the end of this tunnel. In time, besides showing us that Exodus leaders are human and likable, it may anecdotally explain the rationale for Exodus’ approach.
Here are some longstanding questions that I’ve had:
- Precisely where does Exodus see Satan — in battles against what or whom? What exactly does Exodus see Satan doing?
- How does job discrimination by Orlando Christian employers help workers who are struggling with their sexuality, or protect their coworkers?
- How do efforts by NARTH to scapegoat fathers for their sons’ sexuality help mothers avert family breakup?
- The active members and moderator of PFOX’s online discussion group advise mothers that their gay sons eat feces, sleep with 10,000 men, abuse drugs, fantasize about children, promote leftism, and die by age 35. PFOX is a regular participant in Love Won Out. In what respect does Exodus feel that PFOX’s approach helps families understand one another truthfully and lovingly?
Randy, at your convenience, please help me out here.
Best wishes to gays and ex-gays alike…