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03/24/2011

With Apple, Exodus must stop acting like an innocent peach

by Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef0147E35E29D3970BWe haven't weighed in all that much on the whole Exodus International iPhone controversy and the merits of Apple's corporate decision to pull the app. And we don't really intend to now. But we do want to talk a little about the merits of Exodus itself, and the completely disingenuous statements they are offering in response to the controversy.

Basically the "ex-gay" organization's whole vibe has been to act like they're completely open and tolerant since they are not forcing people into their programs. Exodus staffers have been making comments like these:

Exodus does not claim to cure anyone. That is not within our ability and certainly beyond the ability of our iPhone application, which simply provided mobile access to information available on our website.
...
Our desire was simply to provide information to individuals exploring and looking for answers that are consistent with their own beliefs. Apple already provides hundreds of apps specific to the GLBT community and has made the Gay Christian Network’s podcasts available on its iTunes store. Our hope was to see equality represented on the same platform. [
SOURCE]

Right. But here's the thing: That information they simply want to provide? It's completely rejected by the whole of credible science. That alone makes their representation in the iTunes store unequal to any pro-LGBT, pro-equality app with which they might compare themselves. Because this whole scientific opinion thing? It's not a minor point! The fact is that credible researchers far and wide embrace a model of sexual orientation that sees LGB orientations as natural parts of the spectrum, and that recognizes attempts to "change" a person's orientation as most likely fruitless, at best, and downright dangerous, at worst. Again: Not a small detail.

And as for the element of choice within their work? Well no, of course Exodus isn't forcing anyone to attend seminars or therapy or whatever. But their sole mission -- THEIR SOLE MISSION! -- is to "save" LGBT souls. To do so, they work with all of the anti-LGBT political groups, providing cover for these groups. Exodus' "gays can change" meme allows outlets like the Family Research Council or Focus on the Family to justify their political actions in the civil realm by saying that they are simply "hating the sin, not the sinner." Easing out these justifications is one of Exodus' big roles, and they play it up proudly.

Oh, and when our rights go to a vote, like with Prop 8? Exodus even sends president Alan Chambers to rally the troops with more "ex-gay" justification. Alongside people like Maggie Gallagher, he did this:

200809250837 1

So let's not act like Exodus is operating in some vacuum where one will only be affected if they opt to sign up for the program. Exodus encroaches in this "culture war" in EVERY. LAST. WAY!

Apple says they pulled the app because of their corporate policy against efforts that are "offensive to large groups of people." Now, Exodus may not like the fact that they offend so many. But the undeniable truth is that they do. And it's way past time they at least take responsibility for that one component instead of acting like their efforts are wholly in the realm of free will and personal choice. Their agenda is MUCH greater than that, with their app an extension of the same anti-science, anti-equality, anti-gay cause.

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