Exodus President Alan Chambers retorted on O’Donnell’s blog:
Harm? Come on, Shawn. No one is being harmed by Exodus offering people a choice. You KNOW better.
But no one said that choice causes harm, and Chambers knows that. What at Exodus has caused harm?
- Exodus’ practice blaming of parents, sex abuse, and modern gender roles for the roots of all individuals’ homosexualities, and its suppression of information about biological roots
- Its abusive combination of youths with sexually troubled adults in group counseling sessions at Love In Action
- Its misrepresentation of diverse Christian views regarding homosexuality
- Its failure to provide informed consent to those who are pressured into making a “choice”
- Its refusal to provide aftercare to those who have been mistreated by reparative therapists
That harm often occurs is beyond debate: It has already been proven — by survivors of these programs, by mental health authorities, and by independent study of those who have survived ex-gay programs (Shidlo, Ariel; Schroeder, Michael. “Changing Sexual Orientation: A Consumer’s Report.” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 33, no. 3 (June 2002): 249-259; abstract available here).
By essentially telling his organization’s former patient/clients to shut up and go away, Chambers demonstrates a cavalier contempt not only for doctors and experts, but also for the very people whom Exodus claims to treat and minister to.
Chambers’ recent inhospitality to former ex-gays suggests to me that he is not, at the moment, in possession of Christian grace. To him, human souls — especially sexual strugglers — are just political pawns in his culture war.