On May 2, Focus on the Family offered half-truths and misrepresentations to explain its arrest of a family during a gay-tolerant Christian protest at the organization’s vast Colorado campus last week:

  • Focus neglects to report that several Focus executives refused numerous invitations, in advance, to meet with the arrested family and other letter-writers who were concerned about Focus’ attacks on families;
  • Focus neglects to report that it locked down its campus in a show of symbolic inhospitality and paranoia;
  • Focus vice president Tom Minnery falsely states that Soulforce considers the “gays can change” message a form of “spiritual violence” — Soulforce defines “spiritual violence” here;
  • Minnery makes the unfounded accusation that Soulforce leader Mel White is intolerant of exgay individuals;
  • Minnery fails to document the “thousands” of people “who have made the journey out of homosexuality” — and he fails to mention the non-rightist, non-exgay bent of many of those who do experience sexual-orientation fluidity;
  • Focus exgay political operative Melissa Fryrear turns a deaf ear to the testimony of Mary Lou and Bob Wallner, parents of a lesbian daughter who killed herself after enduring years of arrogant demands for “change” in “mind and attitude” from Mary Lou, based on beliefs derived in part from Focus on the Family;
  • Fryrear baselessly blames the truthful messages that few gays seem able to “change” for any suicides that occur among gay people;
  • Fryrear and Minnery both pretend no knowledge of Focus’ own statements smearing same-sex-attracted people and their parents;
  • Neither Fryrear nor Minnery acknowledge Soulforce’s actual agenda for the visit with Focus on the Family; instead, they create strawman arguments and attribute those to Soulforce.

Exodus president Alan Chambers weakly chimes in with a defense of Focus and its strawmen. In a mini-testimony having nothing to do with the topic at hand, Chambers claims that he came out of “homosexuality” (whatever that is) at the very young age of 17. Like Focus itself, Chambers generalizes from his own stereotypes to the different beliefs, values and lifestyles of all gay individuals.

In other words…

No one at Exodus or Focus on the Family seems interested in the actual values or goals of Jewish and Christian protesters — or these protesters’ freedom of speech — unless the protesters happen to be antigay militants shouting down peaceful festivals in places like Philadelphia.

Instead of discussing actual issues with real people, Focus talks at its imagined bogeymen.

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