The gist of the letter? It doesn’t fucking work.
I just returned from the 25th annual Conference of Evangelicals Concerned, a group of gay Christians who know that it is possible to be both gay and Christian. In the past 30 years since leaving the "ex-gay" ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the "ex-gay" movement.
At the E.C. conference I met gay Christians who have an even closer relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit seemed to hover over the entire conference. The closing communion service seemed as if Jesus Himself was there saying, "Come to me all who labor and are laden with the burden of trying to conform to the impossible conclusions of others, and I will give you rest."
Upon considering the program that LIA/R offers, I’m reminded of the "How Fundamentalists Think" piece I posted about earlier. One aspect that I find myself thinking about is how the author says fundamentalists deal with information that doesn’t conform to their beliefs, and the answer is that people who don’t conform to their beliefs — their version of "the Truth" — are simply working with "fallen minds" and if they would "allow God to live in them, and understand through him" they would be able to conform to the fundamentalists beliefs. Quiet simply, unbelief is the non-believer’s fault, for wilfully not trying hard enough to believe, so because the fundamentalist has kindly revealed "the Truth."
It occurs to me that it exactly the burden that "ex-gay" and "reparative therapy" programs place upon those who turn to them. Success "comes from God" and failure is the fault of the would-be "ex-gay" for simply not trying hard enough. Even scaling back their goals, from actually "changing" a person’s sexual orientation to merely surpressing same-sex desire, has proven largely unsuccessful. But that still doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with their beleifs about homosexuality. It’s just that the queer doesn’t want the salvation of heterosxuality badly enough.
Not hard to see how that drives people to suicide, is it?
That’s all I got. But Colleen has some pointed questions for the fundamentalists and "ex-gay" boosters.