Ex-Gays: We Should Get an Apology from Exodus as Well
Christopher Doyle, Co-Founder & President of Voice of the Voiceless, the ex-gay "advocacy group," demanded an apology from Exodus International on his website Monday. Recognizing that the now disbanded "pray the gay away" organization would never apologize to him, he wrote an apology to himself - in their name.
Exodus International closed its doors in late June after nearly four decades of being "the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality." In this case, "dealing" meant attempting to change homosexuality to heterosexuality.
In the end, Exodus president Alan Chambers issued a formal apology to his ministry and "all gay people" for subjecting them to years of "undue" suffering. He confessed that 99.9% of conversion therapy participants don't experience any change in their sexuality, and he apologized for claiming, "Change is Possible."
Chambers' decisions drew deep criticism from religious political groups; Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth explained Chambers' fall from grace this way, "He began dialoguing with the homosexual activist movement... When Christians start dialoguing with a sin movement, the sin movement ends up gaining and Christianity loses. And that's what happened in this case."
But Voice of the Voiceless president Christopher Doyle, in his endless struggle for free will in the face of overwhelming predestination, suggests that perhaps it was Chambers' reliance on faith that was his downfall. What he should have relied on was good hard science.
If he had only embraced "cutting-edge therapeutic techniques that were developed to help individuals heal the wounds that lead to SSA (same-sex attraction)" rather than submitting to "simplistic answers," Exodus could have brought about "real and lasting change." Because of this they will never be cured of homosexuality, as he was.
"They will continue to struggle with their own homosexual feelings, he writes, "and therefore, lead others into similar confusion."
Doyle accuses Chambers of trying to "be buddies with homosexual activists while rejecting the truth that ex-gay ministries offer," and he writes, "How very sad that the largest and most influential ex-gay ministry has resorted to a popularity club for their narcissistic leaders."
In protest of such narcissism, Doyle wrote himself this apology and signed it in Exodus name:
Dear Ex-Gay Community,
We are sorry that the leadership of Exodus International didn’t seek out professional psychotherapy to understand the roots of our homosexual feelings. Instead, we merely repressed our urges and hoped that God would take them away if we prayed hard enough.
We also deeply regret that we didn’t pursue advanced degrees in counseling or psychology so we could truly help others who were struggling with unwanted SSA resolve their issues and experience real change.
Now that we look back at our leadership, relying on clichés, slogans, and simplistic answers to complex sexual orientation issues was not the way to go. Rather than embrace cutting-edge therapeutic techniques that were developed to help individuals heal the wounds that lead to SSA, we are deeply saddened that we attacked our allies in the psychological community, most of who are also people of faith. Out of fear and ignorance, we failed to embrace solutions that could bring about real and lasting change.
We would like to ask for forgiveness for making statements, pronouncement, and judgments on behalf of dozens of Exodus member-ministries across the USA, instead of seeking their feedback and making decisions based on a consensus. In essence, our Board of Directors behaved as an oligarchy instead of a democracy. When the members we ruled over didn’t like our direction, instead of humbly listening to them, we promptly dismissed them, arrogantly condemned them, and swiftly exiled them.
Finally, we are sorry that once we realized we were unable to effectively lead, we did not appoint more qualified individuals to take over Exodus International. Instead, our narcissism allowed us to mistakenly believe that if we couldn’t help individuals who experience SSA pursue heterosexuality, than no one could or should.
How foolish of us to believe that our member ministries would stand aside and allow us to destroy their work and reputations. We are sorry that our bad leadership has fragmented the ex-gay community and caused over half of our member ministries to leave and form the Restored Hope Network. We also regret that this has created a great financial difficulty for our organization and caused many of us unemployment.
Exodus International Board of Directors
PS: Please forgive Alan Chambers for leaking confidential e-mails of our former colleagues to a homosexual activist website who used it against them. That was really bad!