Exodus announces its third recent ex-gay ad claiming “freedom” from “homosexuality.”
This time the ad appears in the conservative Christian men’s magazine New Man.
In commenting on the ad, Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas says, “After all, it is within the church that thousands have found relational freedom, which leads to sexual wholeness.” Unfortunately, the press release makes no effort to define “relational freedom” or “sexual wholeness.” And — without telling the reader — the ad seems to redefine “homosexuality” to mean only some forms of homosexuality, not those forms that are experienced and practiced by ex-gays.
Exodus says, “Three more ads will be revealed in coming months respectively featuring Mike and Angie Haley, Melissa Fryrear and a group ad of men and women from diverse ethnic backgrounds.” Mike Haley and Fryrear work for Focus on the Family, but the press release overlooks this pertinent information.
A PDF copy of the ad appeals to heterosexual Christian men to extend nonsexual male affirmation to “so many” gay men who need it:
Someone you know may be struggling with homosexual thoughts or behavior. If he can’t find the answer from a Godly man, where will he go? Please don’t look away. Take time to understand the roots of homosexuality, and you may find a mission field along the way.
The ad concludes with a pitch for an Exodus brochure that offers either “101 Frequently Asked Questions about Homosexuality” — or 101 strawman assertions of gay people’s beliefs, drafted by antigay activists… depending on one’s perspective.
Besides employing obscure language, quietly redefining key words, and neglecting to mention the ad campaign’s close connection to Focus on the Family, the press release also fails to mention something else:
Perhaps it is only a coincidence that the same issue of New Man contains a feature article claiming to debunk “gay theology” by stereotyping gay people’s religious beliefs. Only an excerpt of the feature is available online. It begins with extremely dated recollections of gay life by Frank Worthen, whose alleged mistreatment of ex-gays at Love In Action was devastatingly profiled, at length, in Wayne Besen’s book, “Anything But Straight.”