As recently as the mid-1970s, television confined its depiction of homosexuals to suicidal whimperers and psychopathic lesbians. This bizarre caricature has faded from mainstream culture and from many if not most places of worship.

It remains alive and well, however, in some quarters.

According to Exodus chairman Alan Chambers, antigay 1970s popular culture was already too tolerant of non-evangelicals. Some weeks ago, Chambers spoke favorably of the 1950s — a time when black, Hispanic, Catholic, female, and Jewish “lifestyles” were fair game for (evangelical) Christian moralizing that, in Chambers’ view, blissfully permeated American culture. Then Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas unapologetically defended Chambers’ sentiment right here at Ex-Gay Watch.

Weeks later, I confess that I am still stunned and disgusted at the Exodus leaders’ proud ignorance — and their hostility to history. Both Chambers and Thomas were born in the 1970s. They possess little personal recollection of the era. They demonstrate no broad-based historical knowledge of political, cultural, and religious movements in the Americas from any period, never mind the 1950s to 1970s. Their limited awareness of innumerable historical movements seems to originate primarily from caricatures provided by talk radio.

For reasons that to me remain inexplicable, Exodus staff demonstrate a persistent and public contempt toward the history, faith, and values of women, blacks, political independents, and anyone whom they deem to be non-Christian.

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