The largest and oldest Christian ministry falsely claiming to “cure” gays, Exodus International, announced last night that it will shut down. The organization’s president, Alan Chambers, also offered an apology to the LGBT community.
Chambers was one of the ministry’s success stories. For years he claimed he was “cured” of his sexual orientation and rose within Exodus International’s hateful ranks to become its president. However, Chambers was gay the entire time. Chambers just happens to be both gay and a liar. Chambers is a liar who hated himself so much that he stood by and did nothing while thousands of young gay people were traumatized in the name of junk science and radical religious belief. According to Chambers he stopped believing in a “gay cure” in 2012 and now believes that young LGBT people can “repress” who they are so they can live a Christian life. Chambers and Exodus International have a lot to apologize for.
Chambers apologizes for traumatizing gay people and ruining thousands of lives, however, he doesn’t apologize for his anti-gay beliefs. Chambers said, “I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex, but I will exercise my beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them. I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage. But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.”
If you think Chambers’ actions are hypocritical and self-loathing it appears that he is finally realizing that himself. “It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the church’s treatment of the LGBT community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt,” Chambers said.
John Paulk, another Exodus International “gay cure” success story, confessed that he was lying this past April. Paul was the chairman of Exodus International before admitting that he is still gay. Paulk’s lies were so elaborate that he even wrote a book called “Love Won Out: How God’s Love Helped Two People Leave Homosexuality and Find Each Other.” It is sick to think that Paulk was writing this hateful garbage knowing that it was a lie and that he is and forever will be gay.
The young LGBT people sent to Exodus International during the 37 years it has been in operation endured severely traumatizing mental and sexual abuse. Brave “ex-gay survivors” have come forward over the years and sounded the alarm about Exodus International. But for years the organization adamantly denied that they were ruining people’s lives in the name of radical religious beliefs.
Unfortunately, this entire apology and shut down is not the end of the story. It is all part of Chambers’ rebranding campaign (don’t forget that he is making money off of all of this). Chambers and Exodus International plan to create a new ministry that will target more moderate Christians. The extreme religious right is shrinking so going after more moderate Christians will open up more people to ask for donations.