Extending earlier discussion a bit:

Lars Gaardfeldt of Sweden wrote a 1998 lecture, The Bible as Medicine: Bible and Prayer as Miraculous Cure Against Homosexuality. The lecture begins with a summary of base assumptions that are common in the "reparative therapy" movement:

  • There is no such thing as homosexuality
  • Homosexuality is never a genuine part of a persons identity
  • No one is homosexual.
  • You should not let anyone say that she or he is homosexual.

Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas repeats a variation on this mantra in his weekly press releases.

Gaardfeldt analyzes the work of author and reparative therapist Leanne Payne, finding it neither scientifically sound nor well-rooted in Christian teaching.

Among his conclusions:

I claim that the religion you find in "The Broken Image" and in other books written by healers dealing with homosexuality, is what the German political theologian J.B. Metz has defined as "bourgeoisie religion."

It is a religion where justice and equality are subordinated and where moralistic terms as respectability and purity are at the centre of interest. In addition I claim that this bourgeoisie religion is a religion where the heterosexual relationship is very near to become an idol.

In this bourgeoisie religion homosexuality is a threat.

I’m not a fan of reducing the problem to one of trite labels like "bourgeoisie" or overgeneralizing about evangelicals. But I do see a tendency at the Exodus national office — despite its claim to be countercultural — to accept and affirm middle-class American culture with its inequalities and injustices. I see an additional tendency to slap an evangelical Christian seal of approval over culturally based religious prejudices, and to treat marital heterosexual sex as an idol.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Exodus membership reportedly includes dozens of local ex-gay counselors who are single and celibate, and who express no unrealistic hope that they will ever be attracted to the opposite gender. Unfortunately, this predominance of celibacy among ex-gay counselors is not reflected in the propaganda of the national office, which offers the marriages of its top activists as proof that "change" is possible for everyone.

Missing from the Exodus press releases is a discussion of the 70 or 80 percent (or more) of ex-gays who experience no change. Instead of openly addressing how to minister to those who are unchanged, Exodus lobbies for discrimination against the majority of "reparative therapy" patients (and would-be patients) who are uncured.

The effort to conceal a tide of celibacy behind a front of married activists; the omission of unhealed patients; efforts to legislate discrimination; and an absence of discussion about most of the social and economic sins condemned in the Bible, all give some weight to the argument that current Exodus leadership accepts and promotes a religion rooted more in the predominant culture than in the message of Jesus of Nazareth.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: