Exodus membership director Randy Thomas’ blog on Thursday identified Exodus’ new spokeswoman: Julie Neils, who was a spokeswoman for Focus on the Family during the John Paulk scandal in 2000 and 2001. Thomas discloses neither this pertinent fact nor whether Focus on the Family continues to employ Neils.
Discussing his trip to visit Neils in Colorado Springs, Thomas discloses the development of a new antigay, religious-right program for U.S. public school systems:
The part I didn’t mention yet was about going to Focus On the Family to discuss the development of a grassroots conference to equip and help communities combat the one sided “gay” activist agenda in the school systems around the country. Scott Davis who is helping to coordinate the conference wrote an article in this months Exodus newsletter (Impact) and I won’t argue or debate this effort here on my personal blog.
And remember, I will delete any comments that are intolerant of those of us who seek to testify of our own lives beyond homosexuality. We will, are and continue to offer help to those with unwanted same sex attraction and it is time school-children learned the truth that same sex attraction doesn’t automatically mean you must become what a politically correct paradigm dictates you have to be. Homosexuality is a condition that if a person chooses to overcome it they can. For many of us we will never buy into any “sexuality” being an innate identity to embrace but instead see it as an expression of intimacy to steward in a way that honors God, our bodies and our one and only opposite sex spouse.
And that is as much a personal “right” of stewardship and belief as a person who chooses to identify as “gay.” The arrogant assumptions of some gay activists that their beliefs are the only true beliefs concerning homosexuality will be challenged in the schools. It’s time.
Thomas’ only evidence that schools promote homosexuality, or that gay people are solely to blame for the exclusion of ex-gays, is a single press release by PFOX that relies upon one 10-year-old quote from the head of GLSEN, Kevin Jennings, opposing exgay politics in the schools.
Instead of quoting Jennings about his reasons for distrusting exgays, PFOX changes the subject and attacks Jennings’ character. PFOX challenges Jennings’ handling — 16 years ago — of a high school student who confided he was sexually involved with an older man. PFOX suggests that Jennings was legally required to report the closeted student to parents and police, but it’s questionable whether modern-day mandatory-reporting laws were in effect in 1988, and public hysteria against homosexuals and youths like Ryan White was at an all-time high in the late 1980s. PFOX offers Jennings no opportunity to defend himself.
Randy Thomas’ own tone is counterproductive. He does not acknowledge that people who disagree with him also honor God. He does not offer to work with a cross-section of concerned parents, students or teachers to promote mutual tolerance of gay and antigay students and faculty in the schools. He does not say that he seeks to reduce antigay bullying. Instead, he lobs a strawman — a "politically correct paradigm" — and vows to thwart equality for gay students before equality somehow destroys Thomas’ agenda.
Thomas says: "Homosexuality is a condition that if a person chooses to overcome it they can." In other words, the majority of exgay program participants who fail to become heterosexual, despite years of effort, are to blame for remaining gay — not the ineffectual programs. Thomas accuses ex-exgays of simply not trying hard enough to be heterosexual. He makes no offer to dialogue with them or learn from exgay ministry mistakes and stereotypes. Thomas instead vows to push exgay-only programs in the schools.