The exgay movement’s small publicity coup in an Asian newspaper appears to be part of a growing effort by the religious right to "prevent" homosexuality and gay rights — not by strengthening the movement’s weak and sometimes scandal-plagued treatment programs, but by disseminating biased information.
While Asia may serve as one battleground for U.S. fundamentalists, another conflict is being launched much closer to home: U.S. public schools.
The front page of the Exodus newsletter for December 2004 (not available online) boasts that Focus on the Family is leading Exodus in a new direction in 2005.
Exodus president Alan Chambers says Focus will guide Exodus to "build strong grassroots coalitions in strategic cities that will force the public school system" to stop promoting "secular humanism and devaluing moral truth" and instead to "promote the truth about homosexuality." The goal is political "prevention" of homosexuality — not care and treatment.
An inside article by Scott Davis, director of Exodus Youth, details the agenda:
Create "a unique conference to train pastors, parents, educators, and students how to practically extend the transforming love of God to young people struggling with same-sex attractions." The Focus/Exodus conference will "equip and mobilize local communities to reform the public school system’s handling of homosexuality and hold school leaders accountable."
"This one-day conference will train pastors, ministry leaders, parents, educators, students, former homosexuals, and concerned citizens to effectively speak to the issues of homosexuality from a public policy, psychological, educational and redemptive perspective directly benefiting the public school system. Conference participants will be trained to:
- Speak the truth publicly about homosexuality in a compassionate, Christ-like manner.
- Mobilize Christian student groups to be a force for reconciliation, dialog, and truth within the public school system.
- Promote healthy school policy based on family values through involvement with PTA’s [sic], school boards, teacher’s [sic] union, and student groups.
- Educate the local church and combat the heresy of pro-gay theology.
- Rescue questioning students from pro-gay groups and provide them with hope and help for change.
- Encourage true dialog and healthy discussion within PTA’s, teacher organizations, and student bodies.
"It is past time for Christians both within Exodus and the larger church body to stand up for the lives of questioning students. These precious students have been lied to through a vast misinformation campaign, indoctrinated with the myths that homosexuality is inborn, unchangeable, and as moral and healthy as heterosexuality.
"We hear from many desperate students who long to overcome their unwanted same-sex attractions, but have been told that their only choice is to accept a gay identity. They often respond in deep sorrow and depression to these lies that their sexuality is fated and they have no right or hope of change.
"For students with unwanted same-sex attractions, the truth that they have the right and hope of sexual self-determination is a true lifeline. They do not have to adopt a gay identity! Exodus and the church can help them pursue healing and change. Students have the right to be taught the truth rather than politically correct lies, especially on a matter as important as sexual identity and self-determination.
"The Exodus Training Conference will equip the church to bring this hopeful message into the public school system, combating pro-gay misinformation with a legitimate alternative for questioning students. Please support this vital new training through your giving to Exodus and prayers for us."