I remember when I was in the program; we were constantly protected from outsiders. None of our meetings were open except twice a year for the Family and Friends Shame Fest, um Weekend, but that was by invitation only.
Dear Mom & Dad,
You are cordially invited to watch me spill my guts in front of you and tell the most shaming, personal stories of my sexual history. You will be coached on how to respond so that I will be appropriately scared straight.
Can’t wait to see you. Tissues will be provided, but please bring your own Bibles so you can personally bash our brains out.
Never would we have imagined having an OPEN meeting. Is that even ethical? I guess if you don’t run a licensed facility and you shield yourself with the Bible and church sanctioned legitimacy, then you can get away with lots of stuff.
Then Willie Hewes alerted me to the CBN interview with Joe Stark, the father of Zach, a 16-year-old who is a current resident of Love in Action/Refuge. Up until this time, even though folks protesting LIA in Memphis knew Zach’s family name (where he lived, cars they drove, etc), they fought to protect him and his family. The repeatedly refused to give the media any of this info. But dad goes right on national TV (well national Christian TV) and outs his whole family.
Zach’s dad says
We felt very good about Zach coming here because… to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future, and to give him some options that society doesn’t give him today.
There are so many things wrong with that statement, I do not know where to begin. Please do it for me in your comments.
This is madness. I understand that Zach’s father and the LIA program feel attacked by protesters and the media, but instead of asking long, hard questions, they react defensively and put innocent people at risk. And what does Zach’s mom have to say about all this, or is she silenced too?
Here’s the break down:
Dad controls his family
The program controls Dad
The conservative church controls the program
The straight white male system of power and privilege controls them all.
This isn’t about saving a lost boy, this is about reasserting the system of power and privilege that feels more and more threatened by so many growing liberated voices.