Political Conservatives will decry “Nanny State” policies – policies involving government regulation – as infringing on personal liberty and inhibiting growth. Since virtually all ex-gays align themselves with conservative Christian politics (in America, this aligns with the Republican Party), one would think these same people would oppose anything approaching a Nanny State. But apparently, placing one’s self in a Nanny State lifestyle is a key for some ex-gays, and a key for everyone employed by Exodus International.
Wayne Besen reported on an ex-gay Anglican priest in Britain whose entire life is monitored by his wife and “others to whom he’s accountable.” The former college drama teacher has a lock on his computer, lest he be tempted to look at pornographic images on the internet. But this hasn’t hampered his career as a professional ex-gay. Touting his own personal “success” as evidence, he is promoting his own line of ex-gay books, CD’s, and tapes.
For people who make a lifestyle out of posting information on the internet, a physical lock on the computer is not practical. That is where Covenant Eyes comes into play, Randy Thomas’ net-nanny of choice. In fact, Exodus International uses it as a whole. He states in his testimony on the CE website:
Technically, I have no clue how they do what they do (not even going to try and figure that mess out)! All I know is that two godly men, whom I trust, check my CE report every week. With a fine tooth comb, they do this. In fact, our whole staff at Exodus is covered by Covenant Eyes, even the straight laced choir lady who does our accounting; she never looks at anything crazy except maybe the (LOL) Cats Blog.
Whatever that technical mumbo jumbo is, it creates a report of every single Internet site I visit. EVERY single site. Not only that, it tracks how many times I have been to that site, length of stay, what time of day I am online, and what I ate for dinner that evening.
(Just kidding about the dinner part.)
The software even breaks down sites into levels of risk and makes the report easy to read. To top it off, it also says “Close Review Recommended” in BIG BRIGHT lettering, if Randy needs to be asked a few questions. I love this service.
Now, I can’t speak for all same-sex attracted people, or all ex-gays. But when I open up my laptop, my first impulse is not to seek out sexually stimulating material. Actually, I’m usually so busy catching up on news, email, and work, that the most recreational thing I do on my computer is play “Minesweeper.” But these ex-gays come off as so sensitive to anything remotely sexual that even a glimpse of a shirtless man will push them “off the ex-gay wagon” as it were. This does not give the impression of a person with a healthy relationship with their natural human sexuality.
To use an analogy: beating back the natural flow of your sexual attractions by avoiding anything that could come off as being remotely sexually suggestive is like capping off a running hose with your thumb. The water doesn’t cease flowing; rather, the force of the water increases as the thumb increases its pressure. The result is instead of a slow predictable steady flow in one direction, there is a high-pressure chaotic spray. The “flow” of one’s sexuality is similar. Capping it off by force won’t make it go away. Instead, it will cause one to act out in unhealthy ways; for example, through anonymous encounters or addiction to pornography.
Randy might talk about treating his online activity very gingerly, but he is a frequent visitor of blogs he will deem “pro-gay” or “containing inappropriate images” (such as beefcake pictures or ads for gay dating services) frequently found on blogs such as The Advocate, Joe My God, and Queerty. I suppose that as long as he knows CE is watching him, he doesn’t feel guilty about visiting blogs that are geared towards people who are comfortable with their sexual attractions.
I highly encourage you to use Covenant Eyes. While it only affects your online activity . . . face it . . . that’s a lot of activity!
Am I right? You know I am right.
With the Exodus blog, a Facebook profile, a personal blog, a Facebook “Fan page” for his personal blog, a Twitter account, a Disqus account, Google Wave, and who knows what else, there is no question Randy is right – that’s a lot of activity.