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Alan and Stephen: Will they come to blows?

by Jeremy Hooper

So have you heard about the latest campy cat fight to hit the gay community? No? Well PLEASE, by all means, sit back and let us fill you in!

 Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images Alanc-1-2On Monday, an LA Times article came out, wherein the personal opinions of Exodus International president Alan Chambers (pic.) are described as follows:

Alan Chambers directs Exodus International, widely described as the nation's largest ex-gay ministry. But when he addresses the group's Freedom Conference at Concordia University in Irvine this month, Chambers won't celebrate successful "ex-gays."

Truth is, he's not sure he's ever met one.

With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men; he's a husband and a father, and he identifies as straight. But lately, he's come to resent the term "ex-gay": It's too neat, implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. "By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete," Chambers said.

His personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" — his organization has yet to follow suit — is just one example of shifting ground in the polarizing debate on homosexuality.

Now, this caught lots of attention in the gay activist community, where many were more than a little surprised to hear that Mr. Chambers was distancing himself from the "ex-gay" term. Though here at G-A-Y, we sort of let it stew for a bit, as we didn't really know what to make of the whole situation. We find the whole nature of "change" pretty silly, and feel that debating the semantics of it is sort of like "dancing about architecture" -- there's just not point.

 Good As You Images  Media Files Image010-1However, one person who certainly was intrigued by the quotes was professional "ex-gay" Stephen Bennett (pic.), who on Monday evening posted a blog entry questioning the reporter involved in the above-quoted story:

There has GOT to be a "clarification" of some of the most troubling and disturbing remarks claimed by the LA Times to have been made by Exodus' President, Alan Chambers, in an article published today.

I have to say with every breath of my being, I believe Alan COULDN'T have said the things the LA Times claimed he did.

I would be shocked if he did.

Knowing the LA Times, I would have to assume they took almost ALL of Alan Chamber's comments OUT of context -- and made him look like he was saying something he never did.

But then, on that same evening, Mr. Chambers appeared on CNN's "The Situation Room," where he personally expressed similar sentiment to what was quoted by the LA Times. And whether it was this CNN appearance or a personal conversation that led Stephen Bennett to believe that Mr. Chambers did, in fact, voice these opinions, SOMETHING clearly convinced the pro "ex-gay" that it was not merely journalistic trickery putting words in Alan's mouth. Yesterday, Bennett issued a press release on the matter. Here now, a sample:

"Homosexuality is an outward expression of an inward conflict. When I completely dealt with my inward conflict, my alcoholism, cocaine addiction, bulimia AND homosexual struggle were completely gone," said Bennett.

Stephen continued, "What we see here is the public divide of the pro-family movement. One camp believes 'dialoguing' with homosexual advocates and activists will bring about a happy middle ground and compromise for all. That, I'm afraid, will NEVER happen. You see, 'compromise' is not in God's dictionary -- and of course homosexual activists are loathe to compromise on their core beliefs. The other pro-family camp biblically believes homosexuality is, was and always be a sinful lifestyle that individuals were not born with, yet a lifestyle they CAN experience COMPLETE freedom from. I am in that camp. I don't believe in encouraging a dysfunctional, dangerous and potentially deadly lifestyle, but COMPLETE liberation from it."

Bennett ended, "Let the chips fall where they may. It's time the world knows where those in the pro-family movement stand. It was Jesus Christ alone who set me free from the sin of homosexuality - not an ex-gay group, not reparative therapy and not any psychologist. I was made whole by the Word of God and the blood of Jesus Christ shed for me on Calvary, and I will proclaim and offer that same hope, freedom, grace, truth and reality to all who seek it until the day that I die. I pray my brother Alan Chambers will grasp that same message.

"For I am NOT ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ [Romans 1:16], for it was Jesus Christ alone who saved me, delivered me and set me COMPLETELY free from my sinful homosexual past."

So now we have one person who readily identifies as some sort of flux orientation known as "ex-gay," lashing out against another who is sort of saying that "change" is more along the lines of a mental attempt to bring your behavior in line with your faith, not an actual repeal of past desire. Both now are married to women. Both now have children of their very own. Yet the two have different ideas about whether or not when watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith, they still get a stiffy when watching the male half of "Brangelina," or if somehow that biological instinct just up and left them one day.

You seriously couldn't make this stuff up if you tried!

So far, Chambers doesn't seemed to have responded to Bennett's protestations that Jesus must've done a better reformative number on his own body and mind than he did on Alan's. We'll be sure to let you know when he responds becomes "ex-silent"

Sorry Exodus, Homosexuals Can COMPLETELY Change [Christian News Wire]

**UPDATE: In his own silly assessment of the situation, Americans For Truth(AH)'s Peter LaBarbera makes this bold statement:

"Truth is, despite his good intentions, the “gay” activists will never be Alan’s friend unless he abandons God’s moral law and throws up a rainbow flag in complete surrender."

Well, Pete: This gay (no quotation marks) activist will be chummy with Alan right now. And if he were not heading an "ex-gay"-advocating organization and involved with a political movement that opposes gay rights, I would ABSOLUTELY have the ability to be his friend. Please don't paint with such broad strokes, PL!

Virtually no gay activist is lashing out against people who once had gay relations but now do not. We are protesting the socio-politic-religo attempts to foist the "ex-gay" idea onto the public, as if such were an irrefutable, science-supported, truly moral, never-damaging fact.

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Your thoughts

I am so waiting for the ghetto girl fight version of this dust up. I want a weave pulling, fake nail breaking, hoop earring flying throw down. Or, at least the closet we can get from pasty white closet cases who take the gayest pics I've ever seen.

Posted by: Bloggernista | Jun 20, 2007 8:16:59 PM

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