Alan Chambers: ‘Gay Marriage Bonanza Is a Trap’
This is the phrase the president of Exodus International used in a recent WORLD magazine article to describe his opinion of the recent cluster of victories for marriage equality. Who is being trapped? The gay men and women advocating for equal civil recognition of their loving partnerships:
“My major concern is that homosexuality is a counterfeit of what God intended us to experience in human sexuality,” said Chambers, president of Exodus International and a former homosexual who left the lifestyle 17 years ago. “There will be young people who are like I used to be, who will see homosexuality as their only option for happiness and relationship fulfillment. [Normalizing] gay marriage is a stumbling block for them. A lot of people look at this from a policy perspective. But I think of all of those hearts that are searching for something legitimate in a way that’s absolutely not able to meet their needs.”
These statements echo another recent interview in which Chambers said that he would not have had the strength to become “ex-gay” if gay marriage had been legal at that time, which is why he endorsed California’s Proposition 8.
Chambers is correct in one way. I’m sure that many young gay people, people like me, feel that embracing their sexuality honestly is indeed the only option for happiness and fulfillment. Some will be honest about their attractions but remain celibate to satisfy passionate religious convictions. But for those of us who seek a romantic partnership, many feel such fulfillment can really only fully be felt with another human being of the same sex. What Chambers misses, though, is the fact that embracing this option honestly feels freeing for us, not entrapping.
And in a nation built upon principals of personal freedom and the right to pursue happiness, all consenting adults, regardless of sex, should have the right to live a life with one another that grows a fulfilling human companionship. Those that choose to live a life rejecting their same sex attractions should also be able to pursue that path. But neither of those paths should actively seek to hinder the other.
I see, so the argument is basically “save them from themselves!”
Uh, we’re adults, we’re citizens, we have the right to make our own decisions, good, bad, or ugly. The focus of government is to not stand in our way unless we are endangering ourselves or others — neither of which is true.
Hmmm. I agree with this article when you say.
“… in a nation built upon principals of personal freedom and the right to pursue happiness, all consenting adults, regardless of sex, should have the right to live a life with one another that grows a fulfilling human companionship. ”
It is a basic human right. To be able to commit to our partner, and have our dignity respected.
Its about making that an option for everyone. If someone chooses to be celibate, or pursue change.. what have you. That should be respected aswell. BUt if the option of commitment, marriage and blessing are not present, then there is no choice to really make. It’s being made for us.
You said, ‘And in a nation built upon principals of personal freedom and the right to pursue happiness, all consenting adults, regardless of sex, should have the right to live a life with one another that grows a fulfilling human companionship. Those that choose to live a life rejecting their same sex attractions should also be able to pursue that path. But neither of those paths should actively seek to hinder the other.’ i AGREE! Although, i think people who desire not to be gay because of religious pressure rather than making ita free choice, is very sad.
It’s such a manipulative and condescending train of thought, really. I’m shocked that he would own up to it, and even more shocked that few on the right are calling him out. It’s almost Orwellian in its manipulation: “We can’t let them see happy gay couples because then they might get ideas.”
It’s rather silly, really, even from a Christian perspective. If you believe that the Gospel is true and that your views about sex are true, then what’s stopping you from living out those views? The simple fact that others can be happy without those opinions? I personally have never felt threatened by happy GLBT people. I live out my personal convictions on my own and it doesn’t matter to me if no one or everyone agrees with me.
In all honesty, Alan’s opinions don’t foster faith. If you take away the freedom to choose then you can’t say that those who pick your endorsed choice are “noble” in any way. If you slander and portray actively gay people as miserable, perverted, and gross then you can’t applaud people for not leading gay sex lives, because you’ve manipulated them and tainted their perceptions with lies.
Alan’s way: Seek to live in accordance with traditional sexual teachings, ie no sex outside marriage to the opposite sex. Strive to develop opposite-sex attractions, but do so knowing that the success rate for this effort is very very small and that the most likely acceptable life is one of celibacy.
So the choice is really between a “counterfeit experience of human sexuality” and never ever any human sexuality at all.
Frankly, I don’t think that if Alan were honest with his terms that many would find his option to be very appealing.
I agree with you. I think that he has no rational arguments against gay marriage, so he has to throw up anything he can. The biggest issue, as people on this site have stated, is that happy gays are threatening to someone like him. As you said, we have no effect on your decision on how to live your life. He should feel the same way.
Taken to the extreme, no one would ever be able to choose God. Because to choose God there has to be the choice not to.
Well said Jay, and Alan would benefit to read your comment. It does seem quite unBiblical, and his goals are to live Biblically, yes? Well, isn’t the human possession of free will quite a Biblical concept? Did not G-d tell has that he set before us good and evil, so that humans will choose good?
Another example of Alan Chambers, the pathological liar. He tries to paint his struggle as something under attack. He pleads for tolerance so that he can live his life in the quixotic pursuit of possible heterosexuality. He claims again and again that bogeymen out there are trying to deny him his choice and his path. He just wants the same right to pursue his choices as gay people have to pursue their choices…
…Then he turns around and in the next breath wants to deny gay people the same choice that he has. Deny them the same benefits. Set the situation up so that they are coerced into choosing the ex-gay path (to the point of supporting violent internal groups-Watchmen on the Walls, and external groups-Ugandan anti-gay vigilante mobs).
Alan Chambers, for all his flowery effeminate rhetoric, has taken Exodus down the path toward becoming another hate gruoup.
On the nose.
This is a key statement.
Alan is simply projecting his personal frustrations and fears onto any larger group of people who don’t buy into his worldview, whether they are simply gay, gay Christians, “Side B” gay Christians, or gay-supportive straight people. With increasing regularity, he’s warned each of those groups that they’re flirting with eternal damnation, and these warnings are becoming more and more desperate–not to mention out of touch with basic Scriptural teaching on the nature of sin. His recent statements concerning Side B gay relationships proved that he’s completely lost any ability to discuss Scripture rationally, and his recent mea culpa about the Uganda situation shows he’s completely lost his moral bearings as well.
Alan probably believed at one time that “faith” would lead other Christians to the same theological conclusions as his. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. The combined effects of ex-“ex-gays” detailing how Exodus-type programs don’t work, high-profile “ex-gay” failures, gay Christians asserting their place in the Body of Christ, and thoughtful evangelicals embracing gay Christians demonstrates that Christendom isn’t monolithic and all parts aren’t buying into Alan’s worldview anymore. Plus, the internet has made it very easy to call out Alan on his lies and distortions.
So, if faith can’t convince you, then maybe fear will. Unfortunately for Alan, this only works with fundamentalist Christians who are motivated by appeals to authority and a fear of eternal damnation. WORLD magazine has veered hard right in recent years, so it’s not surprising that their editors would embrace such a message.
In a way, this is a good sign that the Exodus message is becoming less and less reputable to all but the most ignorant of Christians, but we still have to deal with the desperate acts of a man whose worldview is falling apart around him.
To punctuate this bizarre argument from Alan, watch the first part of his statement on this Prop 8 video.
No one here is misunderstanding him, quite the opposite.
If he’s so golly gee gosh darn happy…then why such a hard sell to everybody about it?
You know how it is in theater…or even say, in the case of female impersonators, there is a quality of exaggeration.
Too much make up, lotsa hair. Kinda cool from far away, but a little much up close.
Ex gays of Alan’s meme, or perhaps almost all of them, overdo the “I’M NOT GAY!!” to the point of caricature.
They are just shy of screaming it from the rooftops and swinging from the rafters how NOT GAY they are, they don’t especially have the ‘art’ of being straight down so well either.
And what they USED to be is as irrelevant as a broken down old stripper trying to retell, over and over and over and over and over how tough life was…and she’da been a contender except for. Only without the pictures or testimony of witnesses to confirm it.
If you’re not what you used to be and can’t prove it, then who cares unless you ARE making a riot of it so someone will pay attention.
To prove one isn’t gay or whatever kind of life they are living requires going behind the closed door and veil of privacy reserved for hetero couples and left to assumption and lack of motivation to investigate further.
I don’t think Chambers fully realizes what consequences are likely for what he does.
He’s a bag of wind with a one note range and it’s way past it’s shelf life.
Perhaps HE knows and I hope so, how irrelevant he really is to what is good and important in life.
Which is too short for any of us to be so occupied with judging what makes someone else happy.
Those that ARE truly happy, tend to want to share it in such a way that others have the same or enough of the same thing for everyone, NOT take it away or judge that it won’t do any good. They especially wouldn’t say that gay couples can’t and neither would anyone else from happiness among gay people.
Stick a fork in the boy…
Oh, lordy, a feel another rant coming on. David, stop me before my brevity gland goes bad again.
Oh, well, too late.
Timothy wrote: So the choice is really between a “counterfeit experience of human sexuality” and never ever any human sexuality at all.”
More accurately, at least ask far as I can tell in AC’s case given his statements about always struggling, as well as the occasional question about the reality of his heterosexuality, the real issue is which counterfeit of human sexuality is going to be his choice.
And then, he said this: ““My major concern is that homosexuality is a counterfeit of what God intended us to experience in human sexuality.” Let’s just substitute the word “Jew” for homosexuality and “fundamentalist Christianity” for human sexuality. We already know for people like AC, the christian way is the only true faith, the last true message from G about what he expects from the world.
you would think he would be opposing laws which grant Jews any kind of legal protection. After all, they believe something that is false, that is not what G wants from them.
Somehow, the total rejection of the Christian message is just fine, and requires no action. But this tiny part of Christian theology requires internaitonal organziations and expensive political campaigns.
Quoting my favorite author on this very same subject: “Personally, all I’m really interested in is getting the same respect from Good Christians (TM) that they extend to all of the other people whom they think are going to burn in hell forever, sent their by your just and loving god because they didn’t happen to hear the ‘good news’, or didn’t think the message was particularly convincing, or even sensical, or happened to be gay, or Jewish, or a ‘witch’, or whatever the reason-du-jour is.
In short, it is not about sincere religious belief. It is simply about what it has always been about: how much the very existence of gay people offends, entices, obsesses, and frightens some straight people, as well as those-who-wanna-be-straight-but-ain’t. Calling Bitter, party of 1.
David– apparently my brevity gland is fully functional again.
Comment Moderated for inappropriate content. Please avoid personal slurs against a person’s children or family, no matter who that person may be.
I’ve just been chatting on the telephone to one of my brothers, and he made a remark on a completely different matter – nothing to do with LGBT issues – which, however, couldn’t be more apposite in the present context. He said:
Isn’t that precisely what Alan Chambers wants to do?
Jay makes a wonderful point. How can someone truly be saved, if they never had any other option?
Can anyone truly say they are doing God’s Will when they have no other alternatives?
It smacks of very shallow and weak faith when the mere existence, the existence of alternatives is scary, frightening, and intolerable.
I often wonder what sets our Hindu brethern apart from the rest. After all, Hindu Americans live in a country that not only doesn’t support their beliefs, we’re supremely ignorant to them. Hindus, by faith, are vegetarians. Do you see them making commercials with thunder-clouds saying,
As your Creator, I am here to inform you that you have been endowed by your creator, i.e., me– with free will. Go ahead, exercise it. Knock yourself out.
However, if you don’t do what I say, or if the message bearer doesn’t understand it, or if he didn’t make any sense, or you failed to get the memo, or you thought that “canon” are “cannon” and have an adversion to guns, or if you don’t know that I changed my mind, or didn’t change it,or if I was somewhat unclear (sleep the sleep of a woman, anyone?)…
then I regret to inform you that you will burn in hell in terrible torment for eternity, which is a lot longer than it sounds.
Because I am your creator, and what I say goes.
Now, don’t you feel better?
There’s Good Money to be made in the anti-gay/ex-gay Industry, and That, and that alone is why they’re so shrill and persistent. Everything else is secondary.
Alan has it backwards. The real counterfeits are the many people who are faking a hetero-appearing marriage, which often includes the deception of one’s spouse. Whereas my partner and I are among those living thoroughly authentic lives. And the “God intended” part of his statement is just silliness.
ben in Oakland, your brevity gland problem’s contagious! But I’m keeping every line of this, and I apologize to all in advance.
I am a bit embarrassed to say that my wife and I have been following the Stanley Cup with far more avid interest than we have the “gay marriage bonanza,” though we murmured, “Iowa? Wow!” and “Well, Paterson’s good for something” along with everyone else we know.
This is what Alan wants to protect us from: Tonight, we watched her Detroit Red Wings win their quarterfinals. At the same time, my Pittsburgh Penguins were playing theirs. We flicked the channels back and forth–we’re getting good at this. We tongue-kissed to celebrate each of the Red Wings’ goals. We joked about sending the Penguins’ baby-faced 21-year-old captain, Sidney Crosby, our black eyeliner pencils so he can fill in his pitiful playoff beard. She patiently explained to me why Evgeni Malkin’s goal attempt was illegal. We groaned for each other as our teams’ opponents scored. She consoled me when the Penguins lost, and I cheered when the Wings won.
This is what Alan wants to protect us from: I only started watching hockey because that’s her favorite sport, both to watch and to play. I admit that I, as long-time NHL fans will say, still “smell like new Penguins jersey.” I’m from Florida, and I’m still learning the game. She’s from Siberia, and she knows it inside and out. It feels so good to share that with her, though, to find a way to enjoy it on my own terms, and to join in her excitement. It feels good to catch her smiling at me just because I’m enjoying it and to have her there to explain things to me. She loves to teach. She’s good at it.
This is what Alan wants to protect us from: I got her into my beloved NASCAR, too, a sport that my father raised me into from the time I was a toddler in Daytona Beach. She has a favorite driver, too, her own favorite who she picked for her own reasons. She picked up the points system *fast*, and it’s so cute when she puts on her reading glasses and adds them up on her yellow legal pad. I explain the vagaries of the rules and the cultural quirks to her. We tongue-kiss to celebrate when one of our favorites is up front. We cheer each other’s drivers on as well as our own. She knows what I get excited about, and understands why the superspeedway races in particular mean so much to me. Since many of my relatives also like racing, she likes that she’s got at least that to discuss with them.
Alan used to say in his testimonies that he “married his best friend.” I found that rather romantic. After all, so did I. I still mean it. I hope he does, too, but he’s sounding more and more desperate. Tonight, I had a very good time with my best friend, my lover, and my legally wedded spouse. I don’t want to be “saved” or “protected” from that. If it’s not his God’s best, it’s still pretty damned good. I’m not interested in exchanging the wonderful prize I have for what may or may not be behind his Door #3. All my needs are met and then some. If that’s not God’s intent, well, we’ll take it up with God one day, hopefully a long time from now. Right now, it seems we’re only dealing with other human beings, some of whom are bigots, self-loathing, or, worst of all, both.
It begs the question, “What are we then to experience in human sexuality?” What happens when heterosexual couples don’t attain this experience? Are they experiencing a “counterfit” experience as well? Are their relationships “counterfit?” Who decides? Whose version of the Bible or Tradition or both do we allow to override all others?
One thing that seems so strange to me about Alan’s brand of Christianity is the need to forbid something his religion finds wrong or against God’s plan using the man-made legal system. For example, as an Orthodox Catholic I abstain from eating meat on Fridays. But I don’t need the government to impose a law in order for me to abstain from eating meat. I don’t lobby Congress to outlaw the sell of meat, cooked or uncooked on Fridays just because my religious belief includes this provision. I don’t go to schools and public places and grab sandwiches with meat and throw them in the trash and tell everyone they are going to hell because they are eating meat on Fridays. The provision is for me, not for others of other faiths and creeds. It is for me to make an effort to abstain, not the government. If someone wants to gulp down a double cheeseburger on Friday while I eat a tuna salad, I have no right to forbid them from enjoying their hamburger. What’s between God and me I deal with. I don’t need to close down the entire meat industry in order for me to live out my faith.
On the Christian side of it, abstaining from meat will not get me into heaven. It does not make me superior to others, nor does it make God love me more and the Friday meat-eaters less.
I think Chambers and the like need to learn this lesson, that just because they abstain from sex with men does not make them superior to others nor is it the way for all people of all creeds and beliefs to follow.
Our law system is based on reason, not religion. It is reasonable for me to abstain from eating meat in that there is no law that says I have to eat meat on Friday, and by the same token there is no law that says other’s can’t eat meat on Friday.
With Alan Chamber’s reasoning against LGBT marriage, one could argue that air travel is counterfeit because God didn’t intend us to fly or he would have given us wings. Cars are a counterfeit means of traveling because he would have given us wheels instead of feet. Or as Joan Rivers once said, “If God wanted me to cook he would have given me aluminum hands!”
I’ll tell you what is “absolutely not able to meet their needs”…
That would be: Alan Chambers and Exodus. A liar since childhood, and an organisation built around lying and self-defeating self-deceit.
Now, I’ll concede, I’m not “absolutely” sure if my hun can “absolutely” meet my needs. (I’m not sure what they are, to begin with for one.)
He is, however, making a damn good effort — and I’m very happy with the result of his efforts so far.
He’s kind, and generous; more than I’ll ever be. He loves me, I love him. He’s honest, he makes me try and be honest. My family love and accept him, and his family love and accept me. He’s clever, and funny, and strict, and forgiving and beautiful and and, yes, a mighty good squeeze now you mention it. He adores children, and they remain the core of my family. He’s a wonderful son-out-law and brother-out-law. For all my remaining faults, he has made me a much better man; and I only wish I was good enough to always let him know that fact. Death is what I hope parts us — it certainly won’t be because of any ignorant and cruel words from Alan Chambers.
Alan Chambers feels so free to make such a blanket and false statement about me and my relationship… and he’d had better not complain about our comments about him in the future. What a revolting thing for him to say about us.
Being gay and being pair-bonded to wonderful man is not a trap. It is something to give thanks for. And I do, whenever I consider what Alan has otherwise done with his life.
Alan — instead of being born again… perhaps you should have simply grown up.
He is a pathetic, crippled, abusive 6 year old.
ps: What are Alan’s qualifications again?
Oh yeah, none.
Very good points all. Alan S, your points regarding vegetarianism in a country that relishes meat eating is essential to respect for diversity.
But not just diversity and the ability to coexist with it. This is also about keeping the clock MOVING FORWARD.
As I’ve said before that’s part of your point, there are religions that forbid blood and organ donation and autopsy.
To say nothing of contraception.
They are and should be hard pressed to make the government forbid it for the rest of us to have. AND all of these practices, are essential to improving our quality of life as individuals and as a society.
You still can go back to eating meat, not practicing the religion that requires you reject meat. What religion you choose IS a choice. Our government doesn’t enforce how and which one you can have or want.
Some people of faith confuse a great deal of things. Or perhaps are in some serious and selective denial with regard to what THEY accept or reject, control or where their limits are. However well intended.
And accepting those limits and conveying this seems essential.
But I can name several of those confusing aspects quite easily.
Such as denying that homosexuality has biological components and is culturally, geographically and ethnically neutral.
But having the firm belief that emotional weakness, lack of discipline, lack of morals or other abilities, IS somehow biological, or MORE SO because of homosexuality.
The other confusing issue are the lawsuits or any litigation when it comes to a provider of public services suddenly citing religious exemption to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
If there is NO SIGN posted as to those exemptions, no consistence in such exemptions regarding OTHER people who can be rejected on those grounds, nor a way to know WHAT religion that provider is prior to accessing their service….then how is a gay person supposed to not CHOOSE their services beforehand?
And not every person of faith rejects gay people.
This is why then, those who are sued, tend to lose, and sorely, such lawsuits. Because it IS on them that they aren’t as committed to being as discriminatory as inconveniencing themselves would dictate.
There is faith, then there is bad faith. On that, they have a choice.
Yet again the anti-gays are at odds with orthodox Christianity:
Either: a) Chambers would have had the strength or b) homosexuality is not a temptation.