Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out spent last week in Asheville, NC with a group of citizens concerned about Exodus International and the annual convention that pulled into town. Read Wayne’s overview of the week and his insightful and appropriately cutting commentary on the events and especially of the words spoken by Exodus leaders and guests. See Exodus: A ‘Loving’ Call to Battle.
Battle indeed. Exodus and the Evangelical Protestant Church (and other churches) insist that gays, lesbians as well as bisexuals and transgender people, go to war against themselves. According to one eye-witness. The closing ceremonies included a clear call to those amassed during the ex-gay jamboree: Life after Exodus means lopping off whole parts of yourself–your wardrobe, relationships with other LGBT people (of course including partners), quitting jobs if need be, making critical and what will no doubt be regrettable decisions all for the sake of following Exodus leaders’ and supporters’ ideas of what God requires. Previously I wrote about this War Within that many of us perpetuated against ourselves.
About the Exodus Conference last week, Wayne Besen writes:
A dark cloud hovered over the Exodus event, with violent hate crimes unsettling the local GLBT community. At the very moment ex-gay televangelists were railing against homosexuals in the foothills, news broke of an 18-year old boy in Anderson, South Carolina whose father, “yelled, cursed, swung a baseball bat, prayed and tried to cast the demon of homosexuality out of him.”
In nearby Greenville, South Carolina, Stephen Moller, an anti-gay thug who murdered 20-year-old Sean William Kennedy outside a gay bar, just learned that he would spend approximately 10 months in jail for his ferocious crime. In this gross miscarriage of justice, the message was sent that murdering gay people was tacitly acceptable, if not encouraged. While in town, I spoke to Sean’s grieving mother, Elke Kennedy, who rightfully called the sentence, “a joke and a slap on the wrist.”
Wayne goes on to chronicle and highlight the mixed messages Exodus leaders and guests put forth to the media and to their own people. No doubt we will hear more about the Exodus conference from those who attended it. Stay tuned.