Stephen Bennett has posted a transcript of his CNN appearance to his website’s discussion forum. He and Elizabeth Birch of the Human Rights Campaign were interviewed by anchor Anderson Cooper about the Southern Baptist Convention’s initiative to support ex-gay ministry.
Bennett misses a tremendous opportunity to speak intelligently and sensibly to the public about the potential role of ex-gay ministry and the value of Southern Baptists’ support. He contradicts himself by saying he was happy and in love with his male partner, yet refuses to acknowledge that gays can be happy and content. The balance of his contributions dwell on his personal experience — which Birch accepts as “authentic” — despite its irrelevancy.
Rather than pick it apart, I’ve put together samples of alternative responses which might have served Stephen’s purposes more effectively.
Ex-gay ministries and therapies, at best, offer effective alternatives to niche populations like Southern Baptists who wish to remain in the mainstream of their faith communities. Responses like the ones I outlined would be honest about that without demeaning others, and I don’t understand why intelligent folks like Bennett aren’t using them.
What do you think?
— Steve B.