Thursday, June 28, 2007
Former Ex-gay Leaders issue Public Apologies!!!
It was yesterday in Los Angeles,Ca,former Exodus leaders publicly apologized for their involvement in the ex-gay movement. Darlene Bogle, Michael Bussee and Jeremy Marks each shared their own personal statements and then Michael read out the shared statement. They all signed the apology and presented it to ex-gay survivors who were present at the press conference.
Jeremy Marks, former head of Exodus Europe stated,
Perhaps I should take this opportunity first to say how sorry I am, and to ask forgiveness from all my fellow Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Trans-gendered people who might be listening to this—for my part in colluding with the religious right in the Western world. Though at the time we did not see it this way, our collusion involved setting up and maintaining an oppressive anti-gay, and I must also say equally anti-Christian view of homosexuality, that profoundly dishonors Jesus Christ and has betrayed the Gospel.
Michael Busse, one of the original founders of Exodus shared some of the realities he witnessed during his time at Exodus recounting the good and the bad.
I need to say that some had a positive, life-changing experience attending our Bible studies and support groups. They experienced God’s love and the welcoming fellowship of others who knew the struggle. There were some real “changes”—but not one of the hundreds of people we counseled became straight.
Instead, many of our clients began to fall apart – sinking deeper into patterns of guilt, anxiety and self-loathing. Why weren’t they “changing”? The answers from church leaders made the pain even worse: “You might not be a real Christian.” “You don’t have enough faith.” “You aren’t praying and reading the Bible enough.” “Maybe you have a demon.” The message always seemed to be: “You’re not enough. You’re not trying hard enough. You don’t have enough faith.”
Justice MH: I think that is just a shame to tell some people! You're not praying enough? You're not a real Christian? Who says all Christians are straight? You're not reading the bible enough? To be honest, reading a contradictory book will NOT change a person's sexual orientation, and you certainly can't pray the gay away! It's a demon? Good LAWRD! What year is it? 2007, yeah i know, but someone needs to remind these people what year and century it is! When you can't figure out the causes of something, all kinds of insane stuff come out of people's mouth!
Darlene Bogle gave a moving apology that got a number of people in the audience crying during the press conference. CNN showed some of the footage on the Paula Zahn Show last night.
My heart was in the right place, but my message was not. I apologize to those individuals and families who believed my message that change was necessary to be acceptable to God. In recent years I have seen the resulting damage from rejection, shame, and conditional love. I apologize for my part in presenting a God of conditional love, and ask forgiveness for the message of broken truth I spoke on behalf of Exodus.
Justice MH: This is long overdue, but it's good hear these founder and former leader apologize for the damage that were cause by the Exdous and other ex-gay ministries.
The Ex-gay Survivor Conference is tomorrow, and i will more that in the upcoming posts!