Exodus News reports that ex-gays and religious-right activists will visit their congressmen and senators in Washington.

They will be exhorting our leaders to hear more than the lopsided viewpoint of the gay elite with regards to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Exodus avoids specifying the “lopsided viewpoint” that it opposes, and who the “gay elite” is. Instead, Exodus implies that nondiscrimination in employment and family policy somehow represents a threat to the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of ex-gays. Exodus does not explain how this is the case.

We are entering a new time. A time that recognizes the depth and complexity of a changeable sexual orientation. A time that recognizes the right to self-determination trumps gay orthodox demands. A time that increasingly authenticates the existence of people who are no longer gay.

This comment is ironic.

Ex-gay activist groups, including Exodus, have spoken out against proposed antidiscrimination laws that grant “self-determination” to gays.

Furthermore, Exodus again avoids spelling out what these gay “orthodox” demands are. And the organization’s use of the word “orthodox” to vaguely describe gay equal rights is illogical and self-contradictory. Exodus’ de facto present-day mission is to enforce what it considers sexual and religious orthodoxy — and, through discrimination and criminal penalties, to punish those who are not “orthodox.” Why isn’t Exodus proud of its orthodoxy?

There is one organization, Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, that pressures media companies and advertisers to deny time and space to antigay messages. A scattering of individual gay activists also share GLAAD’s approach. This tactic is arguably intolerant and a threat to free speech.

Nevertheless, Exodus News seems to me to be using isolated actions of intolerance as an excuse to make blanket statements about gays, and to avoid discussing its encouragement of discrimination and sexual and religious harassment by conservative Christians against gays of all faiths, including Christian gays.

To its credit, Exodus cites some facts.

There is, in fact, a two-year-old free-speech case in which a suburban Tampa bus service denied ad space to the antigay political organization Focus on the Family. The ad company that issued the refusal is owned by Clear Channel, a media conglomerate that also owns and tightly controls the nation’s largest network of radio stations — more than 1,000 of them.

Clear Channel is notorious among liberals for its frequent refusal to air their viewpoints and its firing of liberal talk-show hosts. This is something that Exodus would know, should it choose to understand the liberals that it wages war against.

Exodus is entitled to encourage ex-gays to exercise their political freedoms. However, the organization’s defense of free speech would be credible if the organization upheld the free-speech rights of all — including “liberals” and gays.

Comments submitted to XGW’s former blog location:

What Exodus is ignoring is that an ad has a different standard. Unless it is outright political, which Exodus can’t be without endangering its tax status, the claims must be provable. And the claim that change occurs in any predictible percentage of people who try should be provable. It is the sloth of Exodus on keeping figures that makes putting in ads risky.

Why are gay leaders an elite? They are elected by a board of directors who are accountable to the membership. Unlike Alan and Randy, who seem to have inheirited their offices. And are immune from ouster by the general membership.

Perhaps, we should recognize that Exodus is run by people who really have no concept of political philosophy. They just throw out stuff that sounds good. Behind it appears to be no systemic thought.

—Dale • 5/14/03; 7:19:01 PM

Dale, you said it all much more succinctly than I. I think you should write for this blog. 🙂

—Mike A. • 5/14/03; 8:22:16 PM

Thank you Mike, why not?

H L Mencken probably wrote more about Evangelical Christianity than any other reporter before 1950. I would recommend his essay Hills of Zion on the evolution debate.

Here are two quotes:

“It was hot weather when they tried the infidel Scopes at Dayton, Tenn., but I went down there very willingly, for I was eager to see something of evangelical Christianity as a going concern. In the big cities of the Republic, despite the endless efforts of consecrated men, it is laid up with a wasting disease. The very Sunday-school superintendents, taking jazz from the stealthy radio, shake their fire-proof legs; their pupils, moving into adolescence, no longer respond to the proliferating hormones by enlisting for missionary service in Africa, but resort to necking instead.”

“The preacher stopped at least, and there arose out the darkness a woman with her hair pulled back into a little tight knot. She began so quickly we couldn’t hear what she said, but soon her voice rose resonantly and we could follow her. She was denouncing the reading of books. Some wandering book agent, it appeared, had come to her cabin and tried to sell her a specimen of his wares. She refused to touch it. Why, indeed, read a book? If what was in it was true, then everything in it was already in the Bible. If it was false, then reading it would imperil the soul.”

—Dale • 5/14/03; 9:11:21 PM

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