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04/28/2010

Because without groups like 'Love' to handle the so-called sinner, FOtf couldn't 'hate the sin'

by Jeremy Hooper

You know how there's that idea out there that Focus on the Family has completely cut ties with the Love Won Out "ex-gay" program simply because LWO has shifted to Exodus International instead? Yea, well: Don't buy it for a second.

Check this out. When one goes to LWO's newly redesigned site and clicks on one of their "resource" links...

Screen Shot 2010-04-28 At 5.43.49 Pm-2
[Source]

...this is the page that comes up:

Screen Shot 2010-04-28 At 5.43.55 Pm-1
[Source]

Look familiar? Well if you're a regular follower of the "culture war" it should. That's because it's simply the template of Focus on the Family's Citizenlink "news" site...

Screen Shot 2010-04-28 At 5.44.39 Pm-1
[Source]

...with the "Citizenlink" removed. It's even hosted on FOF's server.

Right, so why do we care? Well, because as Dobson successor Jim Daly continues along his "new, nice face of Focus on the Family" tour, we keep seeing things like this pop up:

...under Daly, "the rhetoric has definitely been lowered."

One sign: the group's recent decision to stop offering "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians. Focus officials say the transfer of its Love Won Out program to Exodus International -- which has been attacked by gay rights groups and criticized by mental health professionals -- has to do with getting back to "bread-and-butter" issues and doesn't signal a change in policy.

Yet it's clear Daly, who has met with gay activists, sees diminishing returns in continuing the culture wars.

Dobson's Successor Gives Mega-Ministry New Focus [AOL News]

Quite frankly, it's dangerous for us to believe that FOtF is cutting any ties with "ex-gay"ness. The organization's endgame still sees us as "converted" through prayer. Their outreach efforts still suggest the same to vulnerable parents and their children. Regardless of whether or not they are fully financing Love Won Out, the undeniable reality is that Out Ones are still being stymied by the "pro-family" version of Love.

We hope they change. Change is possible. We'd even offer to minister in truth and compassion to those who deal with anti-gay attractions and lead them into freedom. But as of now, the Focus on the Family org. is still openly junk scienced.

***

**SEE ALSO: Wayne Besen's take on the FotF "makeover": A New Focus For Anti-Gay Group, Or Extremist Makeover? [TWO]

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