Okay, there are a few people I would not want to wake up and be this morning. In no particular order:
~ Grumpy Cat:
Self-explanatory. No wonder this cat’s grumpy.
~ Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby: Those crazy people went and named Lil’ Miss West, NORTH! I don’t care how much money and fame you have… that’s just wrong.
Nor would I enjoy waking up this morning answering to the name of Alan Chambers, former leader of the now-disbanded organization, Exodus International, a group that used “reparative therapy” to “heal” gay people into straight people.
He’s pissed off just about everybody.
Some comments left on his Facebook page
* Your organization most likely contributed to the suicides of LBGT youth. Can you really apologize for that?
* "I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage." * * * "I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundries I see in scripture surrounding sex." * * * ""[The shutting of Exodus] doesn't mean i believe anything differently than I did a decade ago, when my message was different than today. ... I'm not saying that we abandon what we believe." I ask this one simple question: just what the red flaming fuck are you apologizing for?!!? It looks just a tad like you are saying, I'm not sorry for anything; please stop hating on me. I see no reason to accept this apology....you know, untill you actually APOLOGIZE FOR SOMETHING.
* I was glad today to hear you're quitting with Exodus. However, I would like to encourage you to really quit, retire. You should realize that you never have done, and never will do, anything positive for LGBT people anywhere. Just retire in shame and instead of forming some new religious organisation (which I suppose will be run by yourself and other idiots) you should donate the blood money you've made from the many lives you've destroyed to a real charity that actually helps LGBT people. Now that you've apparently realized that what you've done was destructive, stop deluding yourself to think that you have the capacity to do anything good. Leave the work to those who have proven themselves capable, not of ruining relationships, causing people to commit suicide, etc, but of actually helping people.
And from the other side:
* You are asking for our prayers? You have them but it is NOT in support of what you are now doing…God called me out of a SSA relationship, and my sin has consequence,, so does everyone else who leaves the gay lifestyle. You cant apologize for someone doing the right thing. You can't heal that pain guys, only Jesus can. You are compromising truth, and you won't have my support in it !!
But you will get my prayers.
* Yes, I saw this report on TV. Looks to me, Chambers has been corrupted by the "cult of niceness" that calls principled Conservatives "haters" for recognizing that homosexuality is unnatural, lustful, and deleterious. But it is a seductive thing to want to be considered "nice."
* You and Exodus should be ashamed. There is no room for the avalanche of compromise in the church today. I suppose the thousands of dollars and the help I have received from Exodus is all a farce. I should tell my family and kids I am sorry....it was all wrong and return to the gay lifestyle. I am sick to my stomach at the disgust that I feel on hearing the news of your compromise. Sure this post will be deleted.
What a quandary of Biblical proportions, ay?
Writing this post is not an invitation to debate this issue or whether Alan is right or wrong, was right or wrong, was right before he was wrong or wrong before he was… you get the picture. Not looking for that at all. What I’d like to point out here is:
…a man on a journey.
I saw Lisa Ling’s piece last night on OWN, and I was riveted the entire hour. I’m not sure we could call this an ‘epiphany’, since Alan seems to have been chewing on this for a while now. I would not have (and didn’t) support the ministry of Exodus and I have disagreed with and have been vocal about the way that the church has generally treated the LGTB community as a whole and pissed off a few people myself. Exodus would not have been an entity I would have aligned myself with at all. And now, Alan has not only separated himself from the work he’s done for many years, he is apologizing for it because he has seen the harm it has caused:
…he regrets what he’s done.
People are enraged—on both sides. One camp says his apologies mean less than dog crap on the bottom of their shoes. The other camp claims he is now a heretic. And yet I have to wonder this morning if he woke up today with more peace than he’s had in a while. Here’s a guy who is trying to fix what he’s broken, he’s doing it in real time, and he’s doing it in front of the whole world. Could he be breathing a sigh of relief this morning?
Some of us would go into hiding, I think.
I think I like this guy.
I think this guy has some chutzpah. Or he’s certified. Either way, I think he’s doing his best trying to do what’s right. He has done something that few people do who have painted themselves in the tight corners of their own relentless dogma:
He has reflected.
He has turned around.
He’s walking the other way.
Who in his right mind does that?
When someone has been so loud, so adamant, so convinced about one thing, how do they back-peddle if they have an “aha” moment? Are they pigeonholed forever? Are we not allowed to change our minds? Our hearts? Our message? Must we choose a camp and remain there? Have we robbed ourselves of the luxury of the pursuit of truth? Can we think twice? Three times? Are we allowed to think at all? Are we entitled to pause? To ponder? Contemplate? Dare I say, evolve? To turn around?
I remember when I was loud and adamant and convinced. I have had to back-peddle out of a tight little corner in which I painted myself. I didn’t just change my mind. I was transformed by the renewing of my mind. My heart. And my message has changed so much from when I left my old camp. I have critics too, although not like what Alan has awakened to this morning.
I consider it a luxury, the pursuit of truth, and I think Alan is in pursuit this morning of making right what he feels he’s done wrong. We are all entitled to pause, to ponder, to contemplate, and to evolve.
Has anyone else out there had to eat crow? How did that go?