Notes from yesterday’s Exodus news briefing.
1. Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), misportrays the reasons why station KBYU pulled a program by reparative therapist Jeff Robinson. Instead of addressing the radio station’s actual concerns, Griggs launches into the rhetoric of victimhood that is so common among culture warriors of all sorts.
2. Exodus member ministry leader Rob Taylor offers the puzzling observation that adult comics and dolls are made for kids. Truth is, kids generally don’t read comics anymore, and adult-oriented comics with sexual overtones have always held an important niche in the comic book industry. Meanwhile, gay dolls (like their heterosexual counterparts) are targeted and sold as a novelty in adult bookstores and web sites, not through Toys ‘R’ Us. Taylor seems to be demanding that a niche of gay adults be denied the right to have the adult comics and dolls that a niche of heterosexual adults has long enjoyed.
3. Exodus member ministry leader Nancy Brown practices some of the situational ethics that she criticizes, while using strawman arguments against all gay-rights proponents as a class. Brown blinds herself to distinctions among liberal, left, progressive, independent, moderate, conservative and libertarian gay activists. Brown also lumps together the wide variety of very different hate-crimes legislative proposals as if they were a single bill with one purpose. And Brown offers no specific examples to support her arguments.
In fact, some foreign countries like Canada, and some university campuses, have punished certain forms of “hate speech,” both pro- and anti-gay. The various U.S. hate crimes bills have not targeted free speech, nor does the Constitution permit them to do so. And contrary to Brown’s stereotype, there are moderate, libertarian and conservative gay activists who oppose hate crimes laws.
These local ex-gay ministers damage their public outreach through some unfortunate overgeneralizations, undocumented assumptions, and lack of clarity. Improved communication skills would be an asset to local ex-gay ministries. Exodus has thoughtful, compassionate and constructive staff members. Local ministers are capable of doing better.