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02/12/2010

Video: We're not at liberty to speak for all gays or Gods. Alan's at Liberty to do just that.

by Jeremy Hooper

Alan Chambers is clearly a smart and passionate man. He also comes across like a decent person who sees many flaws within the frequently overheated "pro-family" movement, and, to his credit (one that's reserved for few in the professional anti-LGBT world), Alan is somewhat willing to speak out against the missteps that he perceives. We'd never deny him of these respectable traits.

Unfortunately, Alan has allowed anti-gay faith to persuade him to interrupt some of these natural gifts and instincts. He's also let's homo-hostile biblical interpretations convince him that he should deny what even he admits are his natural homo-focused desires (or, as he calls them, "struggles"). Which would actually be fine if this were a choice he had made for only himself. But what is not okay and will never be okay is the fact that he takes his own personal decision to closet his desires and uses them to tell society at large that "gays can change." Also not okay is the way he wants to deny gay people of their own respect and worth as living, loving beings by pitting them against heterosexual couples, the one and only type of coupling that he'll allow within the "body of Christ." And then there are of course the many times over the years that Alan has used these personal views to deny LGBT people in the political spectrum, lashing out against things like marriage equality or hate crimes protections. Or there's his ability to recognize some of the ills that have been directed toward LGBT people, yet failure to acknowledge the ones that his own organization, Exodus International, has fomented. Again: None of this is okay.

Yesterday Alan appeared at Liberty University, where his wholly faith-motivated refusal to see gays as part of the world's normalcy once again placed an undeserved and unfortunate impasse on his would-be, could-be wise words. Listen in:






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Your thoughts

Staver, from the first minute of the first video, "Homosexual rights and first amendment freedoms, can they truly exist?"

While completely unwilling to check this out on their website myself, I would be shocked if they actually used the word "exist" in the "official" title of their symposium. More likely, it was the word, "coexist". But sometimes, the Freudian slips can be quite telling about the true and underlying motivations (animus) that they hold. The "EXIST" slip of the tongue, to one who more than likely is juxtaposed opposite of that "EXIST" pronouncement, is threatening on so many levels. Not the least of which, obviously, brings to mind "death to gays" bills that these evangelicals were instrumental in drafting.

From a legal standpoint, these guys have been gunning for our rights since day one. And nothing short of theocratic authoritarianism will ever satisfy them (or at least that's what they think). And, in theocratic authoritarian regimes, we've all seen what happens to those of us that they love to hate.

From a purely religious standpoint, as long as that dogma is confined to their adherents, they can say or believe whatever the hell they want. I really couldn't care less. But, if they want to live in and interact with the real world, they must necessarily confine their lunacy to themselves, and not attempt to deprive others of their right to EXIST, in every since of the word.

While it is just (I'm not thoroughly convinced) a slip of the tongue, it is nonetheless (or perhaps overwhelmingly) disconcerting. But this does point out one salient fact: digital video, even that which these authoritarian-wannabes take of themselves, doesn't benefit the ideologues, and in most cases puts the real face on their extremism.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 13, 2010 4:31:02 PM

Jeremy, huge kudos to you for being able to sift through that hot mess.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Feb 13, 2010 6:31:48 PM

OMG if I hear one more wingnut talking about Al Gore and snowstorms, I'm going to lose it. First of all, it's so silly that these morons buy everything the right wing sells, no matter how stupid. But it seriously pains me that these idiots don't know enough about how weather works to know what causes snowstorms in the first place! Ugh. I'm really scared for this country, because we seem to have to reached a point where millions of citizens openly disdain education.

For the record! Snowstorms happen when warm moist air comes in contact with cold air! This is why climate scientists have ALWAYS said that global warming will result in more severe weather events of ALL kinds, including snowstorms! MY GOD!

I know this is not the point of the post, but it's just really getting under my skin right now.

Posted by: Evan Hurst | Feb 13, 2010 7:17:03 PM

Evan: At least 3 of the speakers made Gore/snow jokes. Like chalkboard-nails for any intellectually curious brain.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 14, 2010 11:11:54 AM

And the important thing about that, Evan, is that all of the moisture that makes up storms comes from the warm air. Cold air can't hold moisture the way that warm air does, and the release of all of the energy from all of that water vapor is immense. Hence ferocious wind, rain, snow, sleet and hail storms. In SoCal now, we are experiencing an El Niño year because the Pacific is a couple of degrees warmer than normal. Accumulated precipitation numbers here are an order of magnitude (in some places) higher than normal.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 14, 2010 3:24:13 PM

There'll always be dumb and heartless people in the public swamp. It's the nature of the beast.
As that blue collar comedian says, 'you can't fix stupid.' And being from the Confederacy, he should know.

Posted by: Wilberforce | Feb 14, 2010 3:31:27 PM

These events are usually taking place in forums that THEY only control. They don't invite gay people, they don't invite the MSM and they clearly are not interested in dissent.
The court of public opinion is easier to address of this long, strange hatred like no other subject.
This one is FAR more controversial and easier to stir up than ANY other issue.

If one went to TownHall, on a regular basis there are at least EIGHT people whose life's work it to tattle on all things gay.
Any other subject in TH will hardly generate any interest.
But talk about gay folks, then it's guaranteed to elicit HUNDREDS of comments. Most from the SAME people over and over again.

As we speak, Mike Adams has decided to take a G&L studies class at Texas A&M and he just COULD'NT wait to report on everything from the instructor's appearance to the subject range being limited to actual gay folk's and their literature.

What would Alan Chambers DO with his life if Exodus and Liberty didn't care to engage in political action?
Really, what OTHER talents and contributions could he POSSIBLY make?
Why would THEY give a crap whether he USED to be gay?

If this is all he's got, that's REALLY pathetic and weak.
Alan didn't take this show to the CA supreme court and the Prop. 8 trial.
Of course, everything to do with being ex gay in the first place required RELIGIOUS discipline and denial of basic identity.
That is to say, the REAL Alan Chambers isn't standing up, but a facsimile of a hetero person.

I have yet to meet an ex gay who HAS an identity that doesn't mimic the next one and the next one, like a line of sneeches.

And they are only given authentication by an opp sex spouse and children, or no sex life at all.
Big, fat, hairy deal!
Anybody can do that.
Anybody.

Meaning, not much of an accomplishment if you think about it. But he and most ex gays and their uber Christian supporters think it is.
Wasn't there shit he could do as a gay man, just as well that being hetero doesn't change at all?
Apparently not.

So, here he is. All dressed up and ready to spill it on the gay folks and OUT into an audience so very EAGER to think they can rationalize how gay people are to be excluded from the Constitution, while having to bear the RESPONSIBILITY of living under it like everyone else.

I tend to think of ex gays as weak people, trying to claim strength and courage for doing what is actually a lot easier than THEY would admit.
Certainly living AS a gay person doesn't carry unchallenged freedom or acceptance, so it would take more strength of character to do THAT, than pass as something you're not and confuse the issue for the uninformed.

At any rate, this guy churns my cheese and he has no challengers to his speech, nor opportunity for someone else to offer the wisdom and strength of THEIR living happily and well adjusted as a gay man, like our host Jeremy and his husband Andrew.

Alan couldn't cut it as a gay man, he's not even cutting it as a decent Christian for that matter.
But because HE can't, doesn't mean others shouldn't and his cowardice at the obvious doesn't deserve the praise and respect he constantly seems to crave and criticism he can't face.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Feb 14, 2010 3:57:59 PM

The world can be a cruel and horrible place. Look at Haiti. That being said, I can't imagine spending the rest of my life trying to control my sexuality on top of all other problems. I used to spend hours at a time browsing the Exodus website looking at information and reading testimonies. Not because I wanted help, but just out of shear fascination. Why would anyone voluntarily put him/herself throughout ex-gay therapy?

Posted by: KZ | Feb 15, 2010 10:53:31 AM

On the topic of the intellectually uncurious, he says at one point, "does research and science trump the word of God, and the answer is no." Doesn't get much more intellecutally uncurious than that.

The church has come up against research and science dozens of times - and lost every single time. My favorite example is the Magdeburg Spheres. The Church said that vacuums can't exist, but then a German scientist screws two halves of a sphere together, pumps out the air, and entire teams of horses are unable to pull them apart.

At that point, the church is in a state of collective cognitive dissonance - established facts clash directly with direct, observable, repeatable and verifiable evidence. If this were a 1950s Science Fiction movie, this is the point where the human asks a paradoxical question of a computer and it overloads and explodes ;)

So what does the church do? Rather than man up and admit they were wrong, they twist science to suit their dogma. This, I think is what gave birth to the argument that "science and research just prove how elegant God's design is."

No. Science and research prove how ingenious HUMANITY is.

Posted by: DN | Feb 15, 2010 12:56:24 PM

I loved your posting this GAY. Is there more video from the Saturday portion of these anti-gay events?

Posted by: SebastianSFGN | Feb 15, 2010 1:40:40 PM

Coming within the next few hours, Sebastian.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 15, 2010 1:58:39 PM

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