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05/13/2008

We're not only open to truth -- we demand it!

by Jeremy Hooper

Buchanan1Regarding the American Family Outing initiative, through which the gay-accepting Soulforce organization is encouraging dialogue with some of America's megachurches, Jeff Buchanan of the "ex-gay" group Exodus International says the following to Focus on the Family's CitizenLink:

"I would be completely open to having a meaningful conversation, if both parties were humbly submitted in that conversation," ... "I would not enter into a conversation if I knew there was not a sincere openness to the truth."

Okay, let's talk about this lil' quip for a second. Jeff Buchanan is a man who works encouraging the "ex-gay" idea, a notion which has no credible support from any reasoned, objective body of science or medicine, and which is rejected by the VAST majority of LGBT people. Yet despite these facts, Mr. Buchanan's movement presents itself with an aggressively cocksure attitude about their "truth." They boldly state with fact that "gays can change," and they stage conferences and other events in which they encourage such a metamorphosis for anyone willing to listen. Because there is no concrete bio-genetic gay root pinpointed, they take the liberty of stating with certainty that "nobody is born gay." And even more offensively, they are not only saying that gays CAN change -- they are also saying that gays SHOULD or even MUST change in order to be good, moral, Godly people. Their every chess move is guided by the puffed-up, overweening belief that their forty-ish year old socio-politco-religo movement has infallible veracity on their side, facts be damned!

But here we have Mr. Buchanan venting fears that there would not be a "sincere openness to the truth" within the conversations Soulforce wishes to have with the evangelical community? Well that is just patently unfair! In general, we on the pro-acceptance side have examined the full spectrum of Biblical interpretation from the outlook of various faiths, we have looked at what science does and does not say, we have examined the shared characteristics that realistically exist among the gay community, and we have shaped our views on homosexuality from the full body of knowledge and the full spectrum of actuality. On the other hand, the "ex-gay"-encouraging evangelicals generally work to shape the world's reality so that it fits their own personal faith-based views (throwing out or rejecting whatever is inconvenient). If anyone should be worried about openness, it's those of us who frequently have our well-researched, well-stated logic countered with the oversimplified words, "I'm a Christian, so I'm the one who's right."

One of our biggest driving desires here at G-A-Y is for those who marginalize gay lives and loves to just step out of themselves and their accepted reality and consider alternative thoughts. Despite what our opposition neurotically suggests, we're not the ones who are trying to "indoctrinate" anyone -- we're the ones asking that each and every person keep an open mind about things that are bigger than us. If one rationally considers opposing viewpoints and still finds them faulty, then so be it. That person will be better for the experience and more reassured about their stances. But the problem is that more often than not, the anti-gay evangelicals are downright unwilling to reevaluate their embodied views. In fact, they usually write off any other views about topics like homosexuality as being "liberal" or part of a "gay agenda." And this closed-off nature is what drives us stark raving mad!

Look, there isn't a gay person alive who grew up in a gay-accepting world. So by our birthright, we've had to be open to idea that gays are immoral, disgusting, sinning perverts who are headed to Hades. It's the notion that drove many of us to depression in our teen years, and drives others to reckless behavior later in life. It's the notion that we in the LGBT community must all overcome before we can love ourselves, our partners, and the communities around us. We've ALL had to consider it, and then decide if we want to blindly accept it as truth (and perhaps become an "ex-gay"), or to dig a little deeper to see why the anti-gay idea persists and why it's faulty. We have no choice but to be open to what the anti-gay side has been feeding to society. We are now asking that society makes the choice to consider that maybe, just maybe, that food is filled with empty calories!

Gay Activists Visit Six Mega-Churches [CitizenLink]

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Your thoughts

Just watch: they'll misconstrue your use of "cocksure," and completely miss your point. As always.

Posted by: Jamie | May 13, 2008 10:45:30 AM

You are so right on. I love reading your blog everyday and miss it terribly on weekends when you've earned your well deserved rest. Please keep on fighting the good fight and I will be there supporting you. Peace.

Posted by: johnozed | May 13, 2008 12:02:05 PM

"humbly submitted" is their code-word for "as long as WE are allowed to dominate all the conversations!" But it is stated very artfully crafty way so as to suggest that they are the ones (and the only ones) willing to listen, while simultaneously disguising the fact that they have absolutely no intention of considering any notions contrary to the ones that they already hold.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 13, 2008 12:30:14 PM

If God exists, eventually he will get seriously pissed at people squabbling in his name.

People on both sides should use their logic, science and their empathy to make decisions, not others words, or ideas, which can be misinterpreted, mistranslated, and misused.

Posted by: Corvidae | May 13, 2008 6:50:43 PM

I recently crafted my own response to this issue in an article titled, "Homosexuality: Is it in the Jeans or in the Genes. If you have the chance, read it and let me know what you think.

http://www.morethancake.org/2008/05/homosexuality-is-it-in-jeans-or-in.htm

Posted by: joe Miller | May 15, 2008 3:29:51 AM

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