Exodus President Alan Chambers told California’s Proposition 8 supporters last month to vote against marriage equality because it would have made it harder for him to be ex-gay.
Despite earlier this year vowing that Exodus would stay away from politics, Chambers complained that marriage equality would have made it more difficult for him to “come to the Lord,” and that young people “don’t need this obstacle in their way.”
He went on:
I’m so grateful that back in 1990 and 1991 that wasn’t something that stood in my way in coming to Christ in the way that he had me come to him. If that had been an option for me, I certainly would have chosen it …
The logic of this argument is astonishing. Essentially, Chambers admits that giving other people the choice to marry weakens his own ability to choose not to marry, and he advocates taking away freedoms – by changing the constitution, no less – in order to make his own choices easier to make. Just how weak are ex-gays if having freedom to choose placed before them makes life too difficult? Just how weak is their god if taking away people’s choices is the only way people will come to him?
This is not only an incredibly selfish principle to work from, but also unworkable. The existence of butchers makes it harder for people to be vegetarians. Bars are a hindrance to teetotallers. And how many Jews stumble because of the easy availability of ham? Is this any sort of a principle by which to change the law and deny others their rights?
Having already demeaned gays and lesbians by using his own life choices to legitimize denying other people theirs, Chambers only became more patronizing in his next comments. Quizzed by the moderator how Christians can shower gays with an “avalanche of love,” Chambers said that Christians need to have both truth and grace, and declared that gays “remember the Church as that awful, hateful place that only spoke the truth.” It is true that many gays and lesbians know Christians only as hateful, but hands up how many of us remember our former churches as places that “only spoke the truth”? Sorry, Alan. Most of us found lies, slander and myths about gays and lesbians, not truth.
Chambers’s remarks were broadcast to a large number of churches via a live simulcast on September 25. New women’s ministry leader Yvette Schneider also spoke in support of Prop 8 just a few days later, again demonstrating that the new “non-political” Exodus is still very much political.