Exodus seems to be updating its web site’s exgay testimonials — several pages of the Exodus web site have been added or changed, according to Google.
Among the updates is a testimonial by Roberta Laurila, who says she left "lesbianism" in 1969 after a dear friend, whom she had betrayed, committed suicide.
Laurila’s testimony seems sincere and heartfelt. I’m glad she’s happier now than in her younger days. At the same time, however, she avoids addressing several obvious questions:
1. What is lesbianism?
2. Is Laurila still attracted to other women? Is the attraction sexual, or romantic, or both? Why does her testimonial make no reference to sexual attraction, and only two references to possible sexual behavior — one of them being heterosexual rape?
3. Laurila mentions heavy drinking, partying, and irresponsible workplace behavior that led to her being fired. At some time in the past, did she accept responsibility for her choice of behaviors — as many of us do as we mature and learn from our mistakes — or does she blame these behaviors on so-called lesbianism?
4. Did she repent of the betrayal of her friend in 1969 — or blame the betrayal on lesbianism?
5. Does she require that other Christians be as preoccupied as her own denominational perspective appears to be, with demons and Satan — or does she realize that many Christians (and other people of faith) find such preoccupations spiritually misguided and unhealthy?
These are painful questions, perhaps, but perfectly fair ones to ask, in my opinion. These issues would have been healthy for Laurila — and her readers — to explore.
Addendum: Laurila’s testimonial says she has sought to maintain low public profile. But among her public statements, one finds a 10-year-old Exodus conference tape titled "God’s Agenda for Gays — Restoring Sodom." That antigay political tape is sold here under the somewhat dubious subject heading, "Personal Wholeness."