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09/25/2008

You can take the 'ex-gay' out of politics, but you can't take the politics outta the 'ex-gay'

by Jeremy Hooper

Here is what Exodus International president Alan Chambers told ExGayWatch back in March:

200809250858XGW: We’ve heard that changes have been made regarding Exodus’ direct involvement in politics. Can you confirm and explain what these are? What changes have been made, i.e. what were you doing and what are you doing now in this realm?
Chambers: It may sound nuanced but we weren’t really involved in “politics.” We never worked for the direct election or defeat of a candidate.

We did get involved in “policy issues” on a federal level with regard to hate crimes legislation and marriage. We considered getting more involved than that. In fact, as you know, we hired a Director of Government Affairs in March, 2007.

Since the first day we entered into policy discussions and activism it was a struggle for us. I felt strongly about the issues we were defending, but conflicted about the fact that we might be alienating people that simply wouldn’t call us for help because of the perception that we were becoming a partisan and political organization rather than a ministry for all.

In August, 2007 after a lot of prayer, deliberation and listening to friends and critics alike — but mostly the Lord — we decided to back out of policy issues and our Director of Government Affairs took a position with another organization.

I believe strongly in all of the initiatives that we were involved in, but believe we must focus on our two greatest contributions: 1) helping the Church balance grace and truth where homosexuality is concerned and 2) connecting people who seek our help with a community of believers that can love them as they journey towards Christ.
...
XGW: Are these changes permanent or do you have plans for the future in this area?

Chambers: One area that we found to be incredibly beneficial was simply sharing our stories with lawmakers. If and when there are opportunities to do that we will.

As for lobbying, promoting policies, etc., I don’t see us being involved in the near or distant future. Will we ever feel the need to get involved? Maybe—as a ministry we care about religious freedom and we are always watching to see how changes in policy might negatively impact our freedom.

There isn’t anyone on staff that has policy in their job description and we don’t plan to spend money there. We believe using our resources on the Exodus Church Network and ministry outreach is more central to our mission.


XGW: For the record, when did you formally end Exodus’ political activities?

Chambers: August, 2007. 2008, however, marked a complete refocus on ministry.

Here now is a schedule for "PROTECTING MARRIAGE: VOTE YES ON PROP 8 RALLIES," a three day POLITICAL event that will be simulcast over the next couple of weeks:

200809250837

Yes, that's right -- Alan is speaking right alongside the heads of The National Organization For Marriage, the Family Research Council, and Liberty Counsel, as well as the pastors who have most forcibly been leading the fight to pass Prop. 8. So apparently "ex-gays" can change when it comes to political ennui.

In telling XGW that the organization to which he is intrinsically connected was leaving politics, Chambers cited the Lord as a reason. But it would seem that to Alan, the Lord is yet another social conservative who's been politically reinvigorated by the Palin pick.

THE SCHEDULE: PROTECTING MARRIAGE: VOTE YES ON PROP 8 RALLIES [Protect Marriage Simulcast]

XGW INTERVIEW: Exodus Leaving ‘Politics’ Says President Alan Chambers [XGW]

**UPDATE: As Mike Airhart has pointed out in our comments, Yvette Schneider is also an Exodus employee.

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Your thoughts

Good catch. And besides Alan Chambers appearances at these events, how much money from Exodus International has been funneled up through FOTF directly to the "Yes on 8" campaign? FOTF has donated in excess of $400,000 to ProtectMarriage.com . It's rather sick to think that they're taking money from gay people (ostensibly to "help" them) then turning right around and using it in a political effort to eradicate their legal rights.


http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1302592&session=&view=received&page=*

Posted by: Buffy | Sep 25, 2008 10:43:27 AM

I've yet to see Alan Chambers tell the truth - about ANYTHING! LOL

I'd bet that if you asked Chambers what he had for dinner last night, he'd twist and turn and give you the runaround.

After this performance on Montel, who the hell would trust him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsYsusY1ALQ

Posted by: Scott | Sep 25, 2008 11:18:14 AM

Truth Wins Out reported last night that Chambers is being joined in this campaign by Yvette Schneider, Exodus' so-called "women's ministry" leader. Schneider is an "ex-lesbian" former spokeswoman for the Family Research Council.

So in case anyone thought Chambers might be acting as a free agent: Not so. Exodus is directly campaigning for GOP candidates, using the doomed Prop 8 to lure social-conservative voters to the polls to vote for Republican candidates.

Posted by: Mike Airhart | Sep 25, 2008 11:58:02 AM

Buffy,

I don't think money goes from Exodus to FOTF. I suspect it's the other way around. Focus keeps Exodus in the black so as to have "former homosexuals" convenient as props for their anti-gay political road shows.

And most of the anti-marriage funding isn't coming from Focus and their evangelical buddies. Mostly (at least in California and Arizona) the amendments are a Mormon effort - they are doing all the organizing, setting the agenda, and providing much of the funding. There has also been some large funding from a few specific wealthy Catholics and the Knights of Columbus.

Evangelicals are only put up front because they know that something referred to as the Mormon Marriage Amendement would never pass.

Posted by: Timothy | Sep 25, 2008 1:13:10 PM

Ah yea, thanks for that, Mike. I missed Yvette's name on the list.

Gonna update the post now.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 25, 2008 1:15:16 PM

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