Alan Chambers is the former president of Exodus International and co-founder of Speak. Love.

Alan Chambers: President Obama is right to try to end ex-gay therapy for minors (COMMENTARY)

Alan and Leslie Chambers married in January 1998.

Alan and Leslie Chambers married in January 1998.

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) “Why are you here?” my counselor asked.

“I want to be straight. Normal," I answered. "I want to be here six months and then never talk about this again."

I was 19 at the time, and this counselor seemed like the answer to my eight years of praying for God to fix me, cure me, heal me, give me a lobotomy, give me amnesia or kill me. I was devoutly Christian and intrinsically gay and the two, I was told, could never mix.

While the counselor I sought help from worked under the organizational banner Change Is Possible, I am thankful he knew better than to promise that such a dramatic change from gay to straight would definitely happen. There was plenty of discussion about the sinfulness of homosexuality and the encouragement to pursue celibacy. There was also advice given on pursuing heterosexual dating and marriage. It was 1991, and the only thing that seemed abnormal about all of this was that I was attracted to other men. That was bad.

I was a good student. I had a natural and honest desire to marry a woman and live happily ever after. I believed what I had been taught about sex and sexuality, and over the years I realized I could live without gay sex and resist the temptation to give into sexual urges. I thought this meant I was healed and that change was indeed possible.

I was happy with my life and wanted to help others like me who wanted this freedom.

I got married in 1998, and for more than 17 years have found it easy to be faithful to my wife. I am more in love with her today than ever before and enjoy every part of our amazing marriage. But it took me 20 years, 12 of which I served as the president of Exodus International -- the world’s largest so-called ex-gay ministry -- to realize my story is just that: my story.

While I am thankful for the ministry I went to for support -- there was no other place for gay Christians to go in 1991 to admit the truth -- I am sorry that they and I prescribed a one-size-fits-all story for every gay and lesbian person. I’m sorry we preached an incomplete gospel and wrongly told LGBTQ people they could and should do more to be acceptable to God. Doing so was deeply hurtful and damaging to many who never experienced the kind of change we thought possible.

For too long, same-sex attraction has been categorized as sinful and in need of repairing. Such stigma has caused LGBTQ people crippling shame and fear. As a child I experienced and as an adult I perpetuated that stigma. I profoundly regret my support for and promotion of reparative therapy.

And that's why I stand with President Obama in calling for a ban on this practice for minors and for greater measures to protect adults seeking this niche therapeutic intervention.

This ban is in no way an attempt to strip parents of their ability to be good parents or to keep them from helping their child to navigate the complexities of sex and sexuality. Nor is it an infringement on religious liberties.

Regardless of a person's opinions on sexual morality, efforts to change someone's primary sexual orientation are dangerous and always unsuccessful. Every adult should have the right to choose his or her own path. And if someone has a religious or moral objection to a particular sexual expression, then who are we to tell that person he or she must embrace a specific act or identity?

But this has nothing to do with that.

This is about protecting kids from unsubstantiated claims that sexual orientation can be changed. This is about protecting the mental health of kids by validating their worth as human beings who are loved by God. This is about reducing shame and stigma and providing an opportunity for them to grow into mature adults who make decisions based on reality, not fear.

 "My Exodus," by Alan Chambers. Photo courtesy of Alan Chambers

"My Exodus," by Alan Chambers. Photo courtesy of Alan Chambers

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

As a Christian, this is about understanding the gospel in greater fullness, realizing God’s love is for all of us or it is for none of us -- without exception or qualification.

And so as a Christian, I stand with the president and many others on behalf of LGBT young people who need our intervention. I don’t want to see any more kids throw themselves off of a bridge or in front of a train because we as a society have told them they are less worthy because they are “different.”

(Alan Chambers, with his wife, Leslie, is the author of the forthcoming memoir My Exodus (September 2015, Zondervan). From 2001-2013, he served as president of Exodus International, and then worked with his leadership to close the ministry. Alan and Leslie have two kids, write at and live in Winter Park, Fla. On Twitter @AlanMChambers and @MyExodusBook.)



  1. Obama is in such need to create some legacy of accomplishment, that he turns to an issue as trite as this. I can think of 250 issues of national/international urgency that have lingered since 2008 that the President has made worse, or has done nothing. Next up, the need for the poor to own an umbrella….

  2. Well, as the leader of the now-destroyed Exodus International ministry, Alan Chambers helped uncounted thousands of people.

    I know he apologizes for this-or-that aspect or issue, but the fact is that Chambers (and Exodus) gave a lotta trapped people a lotta real HOPE, pointing them to a very real salvation and healing and deliverance and restoration, through the invincible POWER of Jesus Christ.

    Chambers did a great work that others couldn’t or wouldn’t do. But that’s all done now. Times have changed.

    Gay Activists won; American Christians lost. And the White House now pushes “Once Gay Always Gay” and calls for **banning** any professional therapists who disagree. No hope. No healing. No deliverance. No salvation. That’s Obama.

    But the great Jesus text of 1 Cor. 6:9-11 hasn’t been repealed. Nor the great promises of 1 Cor. 10:13 and Jeremiah 32:27. I’ve seen God make a few things happen. So respectfully, I choose the Bible, NOT Obama !!

  3. President Obama is using his office and political power to promote sexual immorality by encouraging young people to reject traditional moral values, disobey God, and disobey parents. He should be ashamed of himself, he should apologize for his moral turpitude.

  4. Dear Alan: Your God is too small. It will be your undoing. Changing fleshly lusts whether it be drugs or gay lust is impossible. You are right. But in God there is hope and change happens you bet whether you or Obama decry it or not! But for you if gay lust is immutable then you will soon be there yourself and according to you nothing is lost!

  5. The New Testament tells us of Jesus hanging out with prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors and eunuchs (Aramaic slang for homosexuals). He didn’t have a great deal of time for the Torah quoting literalist Pharisees. He also reminded people that Samaritans were their neighbours.

    For Pharisee today maybe the equivalent is a biblically literal evangelical?

    Maybe he would hang out with the junkies, the unemployed, the transexuals, those condemned by society but equally loved by The Lord?

    Of course I could be wrong, this is just my interpretation.

  6. By what do you base you opinion that untold thousands were helped by Exodus? Not from the kids themselves, not by the leader of the organization. ALL legitimate science, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and all people with any common sense disagree with you. Do you base it on the handful of ‘ex gays’ who make money speaking on the matter before being found out in gay bars and hook-up sites and apologize themselves for the harm they’ve done in perpetuating this lie? Let me ask you: if someone wanted your child to partake in any other form of medicine that has been condemned by all legitimate science, why on earth would you agree to this? Oh, right – you wouldn’t.

  7. Here’s the thing: there are some people who will condemn anything – anything at all – that can be seen as positive, if it has anything to do with gay people. They also champion anything – anything at all – that can be seen as negative, if it has anything to do with gay people. This is a prime example. If their were camps for overweight kids who claimed to make them thin by screaming at them ‘You’re fat’ for hours on end, and which had been condemned by all legitimate science, would you send your kids there, or would you say ‘all medical science says this is nonsense; my child isn’t going there’? There is no evidence that this works. Why do you champion it?

  8. Simon

    Jesus definitely hung out with the prostitutes lepers eunuchs etc. Its true. He said the well dont need a doctor. So can you see where he clearly did not embrace the behaviour of the prostitutes tax collectors eunuchs etc? He said they were sick and needed healing. Grace is a wonderful thing Come is the call of the gospel. Once you come then it is time to get well. Change. Repent said Jesus and Paul so eloquently said. Shall we continue in Grace that sin may abound? God forbids.

  9. “efforts to change someone’s primary sexual orientation are dangerous and always unsuccessful. Every adult should have the right to choose his or her own path.”

    I’m sure there isn’t an area of this discussion that hasn’t been beat to death a million times over but this statement still strikes me as odd. Of course he goes to talk about kids but the alternative for parents with what – may – be a gay child is to essentially turn them over to various support groups that affirm their supposed gay sexual identity. That’s just bad news.

    “unsubstantiated claims that sexual orientation can be changed. ‘

    I agree. What about pedophiles though? How about other forms of deviant sexual practice?

  10. I think we need to have a televised debate: we could have Obama and Larry on one side promoting pro-gay therapy to a nation of bigots, and the Christian churches on the other side promoting time tested normalcy for all people, including those with gay inclinations. When the debate is finished, our president might actually leave by means of the closet door; in fact, I am sensing a Bruce Jenner thing happening at the White House as we speak (look out Michelle!).

  11. Oh, teenage suicide is now owned by the gays too, is it? And religion is to blame, right? Then let’s just outlaw religion and raise the rainbow flag over the Capitol Bldg. in Washington DC. Forget ISIS, the economy, Obamacare, Iran, North Korea, etc……..and concentrate on an issue that affects maybe .001% of the country’s citizens…..happy?

  12. I agree that much of what is called “reparative therapy” is simply an effort to exchange one type of sexual impurity for another. The methods are often about forcing children to interact in intimate contact with people of the opposite gender. This is not God’s way.

    I found reparative therapy, if you want to call it that, in God’s Word. It was gentle. It was prosperous. It was full of the love and care of His Holy Spirit…He was my nurse and my physician. He was my healing. He was my constant Companion…my Comfort, as the Word promises.

    There is a certain grief attached to giving up something so valuable as sexual gratification. As a bi-sexual woman who divorced from a man because of his adultery, I believe that celibacy is the righteous and Biblical choice for me at this time. At the first realization of that, there was fear of being alone…so I cried out to the living God, and He fed me on His Word. I am truly more happy than ever in my life…like St. Paul.

  13. Doc is a Creationist. He doesn’t believe in legitimate science. He only trusts voodoo. [Take note Doc, that is how you do ad hominem].

  14. Hey Greg, when you find an accredited medical expert who considers ex-gay therapy to be a legitimate thing, then I will give a flying fig what its supporters have to say on the subject. None exist. Your opinion on the subject is worthless.

    The fact that even its former proponents denounce such forms of torture and abuse tells me that any such support is a load of steaming dookie. One does not debate frauds and liars. One only needs to point them out

  15. Jon Evan,

    “It will be your undoing…gay lusts…”

    You have made a whole list of claims. Care to support any of those claims with some evidence? Why would a god care about what people do with their genitals?

  16. Greg,

    “time tested normalcy for all people”


    “During what is referred to as the Early Modern Period, scholars now estimate that 40,000 to 60,000 people were put to death for witchcraft — most of them between 1550-1650. Historians call this the time of the Great Hunt, or the Burning Times.”
    – MARY BEAUDOIN, “Hunting the witches in the War on Terror”

    Christian ‘normalcy’ is exactly what we don’t need.

  17. That’s not what David wrote at all. But since you brought it up, LGBT youth are estimated to comprise 30-40% of all youth suicides–far exceeding their proportion of the population. That’s certainly an issue of grave concern, which any compassionate person ought to recognize.

    And why the fixation on Obama’s interest in this one issue? The president has proven he can handle more than one complex issue at a time. Speaking compassionately about this firm of mental child abuse doesn’t mean he’s not capably attending to the many other issues you mentioned.

    Next time, try some facts instead of flimsy straw men in your arguments. People might take you more seriously if you did.

  18. The fact that you find Greg’s comment laudable tells us all we need to know about you. You have no interest in debating the merits of so-called “reparative therapy”, you simply want to take cheap shots at the president.

    No wonder your side is losing this argument in our society.

  19. Darla,

    “I believe that celibacy is the righteous and Biblical choice for me at this time.”

    Religion claims the right to dictate what is ‘right for you’.
    Though strangely you have also decided religion will not dictate to you.

    If you are going to decide “what is right for you” what on earth do you need religion for? You are clearly denying it is your dictator, yet you are insisting that it be your dictator at the same time!

  20. John30013

    “which any compassionate person ought to recognize.”

    Religion destroys human compassion. Religion directs us very carefully to serve the needs of the invisible sky master first.
    Then we are told we should be proud of our service to the Sky Master.

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.
    Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.

  21. People’s life’s are not a trifle issue! Expecially those of our youth. There’s no better legacy to leave than that of human issues

  22. Throughout my teen years I cried out to God to change me. To magically make me normal like everyone else. What I needed during this time was someone to help me navigate what I was feeling and how I was viewing my gender and sexuality. I needed someone to help me to see that I will always struggle with sin and the consequences of sin and this shouldn’t define me and admitting my weakness would allow for the strength of Jesus to be manifest in me. I came to realize at 38 that ‘change’ is not so much the absence of a struggle (however intense it is) but a realization that my struggle shouldn’t define me and in this place God’s grace becomes sufficient. Change means I stop living independently of God and walk in greater dependence of His manifest greatness, who can heal and restore and allow me to walk upright, washed, cleansed and strengthened by his mighty hand…irregardless of the struggles I face. “My Heavenly Father knows all about this” Oswald Chambers.

  23. What a vile comment. You provide an excellent example of exactly why Western culture is turning against “christianity”.

    Because you don’t practice any.

  24. False “christians” champion this “therapy” specifically *because* it inflicts cruelty on people they hate. They just lack the integrity to admit their lust for other people’s pain.

  25. I hope you find the love God created your body to express.

  26. Religion aside for the moment, there are (once again with respect to this administration; not to mention other administrations in the past) clear questions of constitutional overreach involved in the question of whether the executive branch or the Congress has the legitimate authority to create a national ban on ‘reparative therapy’ or any other practice questioned by our Overlords. I wonder what became of limited government, and the provisions of the 10th Amendment. Further, I deny that the 14th Amendment as broadly interpreted by some, supercedes the guarantees of previous amendments.

  27. Very good, Darla: You have been victimized by the other demon of our time: cheating spouses, and it has left you scarred. I am only too happy that you have gone to God Almighty with your issue, and not some psychotic therapist, whose only solution to any problem such as yours is to live and let live, that sex is sex, enjoy whatever, and whenever, until, of course, the lights go out, and we must fact Truth Itself. Excellent! You are a shining example for all to see. May God Bless you.

  28. Kenny, Amen. Your life has become one enormous prayer. As St. Francis once said, “Evangelize always, and if necessary, use words.”

  29. By “gay lust” you presumably mean gay sexual attraction. That doesn’t per se need changing, which is presumably why, just as with “straight lust”, God very seldom changes it.

  30. Oh, that’s my dream to be taken more seriously here. I’m gona try real hard to be more like you and stifle my own thoughts to mimic yours.

  31. John,
    “But since you brought it up, LGBT youth are estimated to comprise 30-40% of all youth suicides–far exceeding their proportion of the population.”

    Although I agree that 30-40% is an alarming number, I think what you state here is misleading.

    Numerous studies have shown that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth have a higher rate of suicide attempts than do heterosexual youth. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center synthesized these studies and estimated that between 30 and 40% of LGBT youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide. Wikipedia

  32. Another alternative, which you haven’t mentioned, for parents with what – may – be a gay child is to do exactly the same as they do, or certainly should do, in the case of what – may – be a straight child: not to turn them over to anyone or to any group at all, but simply to accept them for who they are, no matter whether their sexual orientation eventually turns out to be gay or straight.

    With regard to paedophiles – a very different matter – it is generally acknowledged, albeit regretfully, by professionals who specialize in dealing with them, that there is at present no known cure for sexual attraction to children, and that all that can be achieved is to help paedophiles to learn techniques of resisting temptation and of avoiding perilous situations. A humane and effective means of completely eliminating paedophilic sexual attraction would, of course, be extremely desirable. That desirability would not, however, justify making untrue claims that there already is one.

  33. Actually since this nonsense is being touted as “therapy”, it falls under the aegis of the Surgeon General, a position in the Executive Branch. The Surgeon General can issue a ban on the methods as not of medically efficacious and known to be harmful.

    Freedom of speech or religion does not apply here since the pretense is that one is performing a professional service allegedly of some kind of medical/psychological value. Quakery, fraud and assault are not covered as freedom of expression.

  34. “But the great Jesus text of 1 Cor. 6:9-11 hasn’t been repealed.”

    Read your Bible again. That wasn’t Jesus, it was Paul.

    Sorry, Goober, but Jesus never said a word about Gay people. Not one.

  35. I notice you limited things to “medical expert” category instead of the expected “psychology/psychiatry-expert” item.

    Were you afraid that somebody would immediately answer you with “psychologists Drs. Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse” ? Heh.

    Meanwhile, since you asked for a medical expert, did you know that no less than the well known doctor Dr. Oz, did an episode in which he actually allowed fair and even-handed debate/discussion on the merits of repartive therapy? Didn’t even try to Poison-The-Well first.

    This rational, professional approach by Dr. Oz, totally scared the Gay Activist Salesmen silly. You can guess that they **condemned** him for it, whining and demanding for him to “stand with the entire medical community against reparative therapy.”

    Gay Activists don’t want “medical experts”. Nor any other kind of science experts. Gay Activists don’t even want democracy, for that matter.


  36. Darla, you’ve brought up a VERY important item that the Gay Activist Salesmen NEVER want you to talk about.

    “I found reparative therapy, if you want to call it that, in God’s Word. It was gentle. It was prosperous. It was full of the love and care of His Holy Spirit.”

    Exactly. Exactly. A thousand times Exactly. The concept IS found in God’s Word.

    But this leads to some tough realities for Christians. The fall of Exodus really IS a huge disaster for both Christians and same-sex-attracted people.

    The baby (reparative therapy and healing) got thrown out with the bathwater. Instead of admitting that God used an imperfect professional process to at least help and heal SOME people, the baby’s caretakers at Exodus got discouraged and tried to wipe out the baby.

    The baby almost got killed, and Obama says the baby needs to die or get banned anyway. But many churches, and the Restored Hope Network, ARE sticking to God’s Word. Baby’s still alive.

  37. Hey Ted, why does this man’s personal solution make you soooo nervous?


  38. It doesn’t, at all. I just want him to be happy. Maybe he is.

    And, maybe he’s just seeking approval, rather than trusting that God doesn’t make junk. Unlike you, he and I have personal experience with all this, so I trust any man going through what Kenny is going through to understand me, even if we disagree.

    How each and every one of us were born is a gift from God, Kenny. It’s up to us, though, to discover how beautiful it is. God loves all of us.

  39. Like the Regenerus study, it was also one bought and paid for by the ex-gay ministries to reach a given conclusion, which was not supported by the actual findings.

    Dr’s Jones and Yarhouse cautioned against misinterpreting their findings by saying, “These results do not prove that categorical change in sexual orientation is possible for everyone or anyone”

    There done, even your experts agree with me.

    That didn’t anti-gay bigots from pretending it was proof that ex-gay therapy works. In fact neither doctor studied ex gay therapy. They studied religious efforts which did not claim to be medical in nature. All it showed is that people will behave a certain way in public under immense social pressure.

    You can give a chimp a set of steak knives, but it won’t make them a chef.

  40. No Larry, it’s pretty clear that Drs. Jones and Yarhouse specifically do NOT agree with you, even when discussing the limitations of their published research study.

    Or maybe you forgot that YOUR specific position is that reparative therapy does not work AT ALL, with zero exceptions? Hmm?

  41. I am opposed to “ex-gay therapy”. However I am just as opposed to this desperate grasp for political points by mr. 0. People scream about church’s seeking to influence government. Equally loud should be the out cry of this alleged president seeking to dictate the morals of the nation. Let people take responsibility for their lives. Ex-gay therapy works as well as this president. But let people try what they will.

  42. Doc, they said that changing orientation was not seen in any of the subjects. They doubted it was even possible. What they observed is people change their behavior in public under enormous social pressure. I bolded THEIR OWN WORDS.

    The American Psychological Association roasted their methodologies thoroughly. No professional in the field takes the study seriously for what you claim it said. Even its own authors don’t.

    But that never stops bigots (who have no regard for scientific studies anyway) from waving the study around and pretending it said otherwise.

    “Or maybe you forgot that YOUR specific position is that reparative therapy does not work AT ALL”

    Do your arms ever get tired shifting those goalposts? If you are not changing orientation, it does not work at all. Pretending to be straight in public is not being straight. So my position is supported here.

  43. Your mendacity knows no limits, does it?

    Alan Chambers “helped” thousands of people? Yet, when he closed up exodus, he admitted that he had helped NO ONE. not once. not EVER. and most importantly, he never even changed himself.

  44. More mendacity. You just can’t help yourself.

    Jones and Yarhouse, despite their connections to the anti-ex-gay industry, and the THOUSANDS of people you were claiming had changed above, found only 100 people willing to be studied.

    Of that 100, only 13 claimed to change, a change the Authors themselves described as “difficult, ambiguous, and complicated.” In other words, NO ONE CHANGED.

    But they sure as hell wanted to. But that’s not quite the same thing, is it?

  45. @athiestmax

    there you go using that verse out of context again. Just to clarify for anyone who isn’t a student of the Bible the verse that you see Mr Max using on different posts is part of a parable that Jesus was telling. He might consider using the whole parable when referencing that scripture but it would probably make it difficult to sustain that same argument.

  46. No, I’ve dealt with far, far worse than you.

    That’s the saddest part, how typical you are of a certain fringe.

  47. Don’t besmirch your parents here, they did the best they could.

  48. What a difference 11 years can make!

    “Again, I am one of tens of thousands of people whom have successfully changed their sexual orientation. I am grateful for the message of change and for the current laws that saved my life.” ~ Alan Chambers, April 2004 ((From his address to NARTH)

    “Regardless of a person’s opinions on sexual morality, efforts to change someone’s primary sexual orientation are dangerous and always unsuccessful.” ~ Alan Chambers, April 2015

    I welcome this change of mind and heart by Mr. Chambers and thank him for his honesty about the harm and ineffectiveness of SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts).

  49. @Joseph,

    “Out of context..”

    Wrong, Joseph.

    Someone needs to explain to you about the claim of the second coming – Jesus is the Nobleman of the parable of the minas. It is not a well-veiled warning to his followers.

    Joseph, perhaps you are not a Christian or perhaps you never went to Sunday School as I did through all of my childhood.

    Have you not heard of the second coming? Have you not heard of the Parousia?

    The Parable of the Minas (“Execute them”, said Jesus ) is a precise demand of Jesus. The nuns taught me this very well.

    When Jesus returns (as the Nobleman did in the parable)
    He will line up the good servants and demand they execute the bad servants – this will be a gift to them! – they shall have the pleasure of executing the disobedient ones.
    In this way Jesus will separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Jesus is appealing to the bloodlust for vengeance – the human desire to hurt someone who is out of line.
    It is the seed of fascism! And it is…

  50. Phillip,

    “choose Jesus Christ before the Bible or Obama.”

    List for me the parts of the Bible which need to be avoided. And then tell me how god gave you permission to cherry picked your favorite bits.

  51. Former “ex-gay” leaders, people who were in the heart of the ex gay movement, have come out against ex gay therapy. All claimed to be “cured” at one point or another, including Mixhael Bussee. Now they are trying to undo some of the damage they did.

    They include:

    Brad Allen – Exodus International
    Darlene Bogle – Paraklete Ministries
    Michael Bussee – Exodus International
    Catherine Chapman – Portland Fellowship
    Jeremy Marks – Courage UK, Exodus Europe
    John Paulk – Love Won Out, Exodus International
    Bill Prickett – Coming Back
    Tim Rymel – Love in Action
    Yvette Cantu Schneider – Exodus International, Family Research Council
    John J. Smid – Love In Action, Exodus International
    Randy Thomas – Exodus International
    Michael D. Watt – Love in Action
    Kevin White – Exodus Books

  52. Teddy, Teddy……
    I don’t care if all 50 States legalize the fairytale wedding illusion. Abortion is legal, yet gravely immoral. Drug use is becoming legal, again immoral surrender to loud mouthed druggies. But, tobacco smoking is called disgusting, and some cities want to ban mere soda… order to help America be healthy.
    I don’t need a gun or to move…this cause, your cause, is just more rot that will ruin this country from within. You’ll see, and I’ll revel in this country’s suicide. It’s not as though you haven’t been warned.

  53. Anthony,

    “But that’s all done now. Times have changed.”

    There’s a reason why ‘times have changed’, and we should accept it for the good it is. We’ll understand later.

  54. Michael,

    “I welcome this change of mind and heart…”

    So should all the other LGBT’s who ponder this subject.

  55. James,
    “… I’ll revel in this country’s suicide.”

    There is something terribly wrong with your comment.

  56. Billysees,

    People who believe in God have been told everything is going to work out for the best, that certain religious values never change and God’s plan will unfold beautifully in a way obvious to everyone – even nonbelievers will see. But it doesn’t happen that way.

    In a Godless world where problems require attention, effort and responsibility, the believer is left to despair, not only because God’s promise is a mirage, but because they have been told to keep reaching for the mirage increasing their despair.

    Meanwhile there is no way to live practically having never cultivated the necessary philosophical skills and outlook to deal with the bittersweet truth of life and loss.

    Religion is like a pair of blinders – yet few people experience the wonderful pleasure of tearing them off.

  57. “You’ll see, and I’ll revel in this country’s suicide. It’s not as though you haven’t been warned.”

    Yet another conservative Christian America lover that wants to see his particular revenge fantasy visited upon millions of innocent people, for no other reason than to spite the people he despises.

    Just charming. But thank you again for showing your true face, and that not all bigotry is hate. Though in your case, it is becoming increasingly difficult to not draw the obvious conclusion.

    But please, don’t stop posting. Let the kind, decent compassionate people see the true face of antigay bigotry, and what this is really about. You do so much of our work for us. And you just can’t stop yourself from doing it.

  58. Thank you. Add to that useful list the following former “ex-gay” leaders (some of them now deceased) who over the years have renounced the “ex-gay” delusion:

    Frank Shears – New Genesis, Vancouver
    Günter Baum – Wüstenstrom, Germany
    Jeff Ford – Outpost
    Paul Martin – Exodus, Melbourne, Australia
    Sergio Viula – MOSES, Brazil
    Kurt Jacobowitz-Cain – Homosexuals Anonymous)
    Roger Grindstaff – Disciples Only)
    Rick Notch – Open Door)
    Mario Rodriguez – Alternative Identification Ministry, Dallas
    Guy Charles – Liberation in Jesus Christ)
    Bruce Grimsley – CrossOver Ministries, Lexington)
    Simon Tinkler – Ministry One, Australia
    Scott Harrison – Living Waters & Desert Stream)

  59. Bennie, my love,
    Such an authoritative comment about me. Gays such as yourself expose their hatred of God, Religion, and morals in every post they make. How can you see the rot in the world, when you are a builder of it? The only anti gay bigotry I have is towards pompous gays that want the world’s seal of approval on everything they do and say. You are anti-God, anti-Conservative, anti-free speech (unless its gay), and anti-heterosexual. I know you believe your vision is enlightened and progressive, but I think it is narrow-minded and lowbrow. So don’t read my comments….have a cat fight with someone else……you bore me.

  60. I fail to see a constitutional writ for a governmental functionary to such broad powers as you ascribe to the Surgeon General; particularly so since so many of our recent Surgeons General have been political hacks.

  61. Max,

    “But it doesn’t happen that way.”

    It can, as I’ve seen, but not always.

  62. Ben,

    “And you just can’t stop yourself from doing it.”

    It may not all be his fault but rather it’s probably all that ultra-conservative-political and religious junk he is reading and watching. That stuff can poison the mind almost beyond remedy.

    Here’s what I mean —

    That site exposes the most unbelievable crap that can exist in the political and religious world.

    They are screwing over the minds of gullible people and that, sadly, is how they get money to further their nonsense.

  63. Ben’s point is a good one, and it shows how deeply rooted it becomes once a person engages in homosexuality, and tries to pull out of it. We could probably compare it to alcoholism, where those who have been off the sauce for 25 years still consider themselves alcoholics; they know that one small drink, will lead to bottle after bottle. The only real way to pull free and stay free, is through God Almighty, as with Him, all things are possible (Matt 19:26). Real men with homosexual inclinations Love Jesus, and no other man…

  64. AtheistMax, you often speak of yourself as a former Christian. I guess I would ask, what kind of Christian? Did you pray daily, go to church weekly, seek God with all your mind, hear, soul? I would like to know a little more about your Christian past, what denomination church you attended, and the like.

  65. I will abjure my usual politeness, and call this statement what it is: STUPID, IGNORANT, BIGOTED NONSENSE.

    I knew I was gay when I was three. Homosexuality is not just some bad habit. There are plenty of religious gay people. You are not the arbiter of their relationship with God, as much as it thrills you to think that you are.

    Not Freud, nor Jesus, nor ex-gay fraud has ever turned anyone from gay to straight.

    REAL Christians don’t speak in ignorance of topics they clearly know nothing about, and use the crap they just made up to spew judgment of others.

    But your type of so called Christian does.

  66. Homosexuality is deeply rooted well before a person ever “engages in homosexuality” (presumably meaning “engages in homosexual acts”), and even if they never do so at all. In that respect we can validly compare it to heterosexuality, which is likewise deeply rooted well before it is expressed in sexual behaviour. Heterosexual people who have had no sex for 25 years, or even at all, rightly still consider themselves heterosexual, even if they prefer to describe their sexuality by some other, vaguer word such as “normal”: they know that anyone who sexually attracts them will be of the other sex, and that, while sexual abstinence may be possible, talk of “pulling out of” heterosexuality is mere silliness. Mutatis mutandis, exactly the same applies to homosexual people. Comparing homosexuality to alcoholism is as inept as comparing heterosexuality to alcoholism, although I appreciate that the comparison is one which appeals to a certain kind of mind.

  67. As said in earlier posts, people who have homosexual inclinations do not necessarily need to act upon them. But once they do, then alcoholism is indeed a good comparison, as it becomes that much harder to pull free from it. That is the point. I remember when I was younger, I had a desire to engage in sex, but avoided it until later on, but once I had sex, it was like a magnet drawing me to more and more and more. Now that sex I was engaging in was a grave sin before God Almighty, as I was not yet married. That said, the devil uses sin to hook us, and then makes it intoxicating to us. But that is and always will be man’s downfall, and will lead man to his ultimate Judgment (very bad). So not only is acting upon homosexual tendencies like alcoholism, but all sex outside of marriage, as well. I am only too happy that I changed my ways, and would encourage other to do the same, whatever those inclinations are.

  68. Click my name ATHEIST MAX.
    it takes you to my blog.

    I answer every question about my decades as a Christian and how I raised all my children in the church.

  69. We are better off abandoning all religion and just try to be nice to each other.

    That alone would stop the Evangelical juggernaut from overtaking our society.

    As for God, – if he exists – let him decide after we are dead whether we did the right thing. If he is fair, he’ll understand. If he doesn’t exist then doing the right thing will turn out to be the right thing.

  70. Greg,

    “compare it to alcoholism….harder to pull free from it.”

    You overlook the fact that being gay is NOT HARMFUL!

    Beside sex is not optional like Alcohol – Good grief.
    How childish and trifling!

    Everybody has sex – it is vital to health and 100% necessary to express sexuality whatever sort it may be – and to do so safely!

    Christianity takes us so deep into backward, unhealthy, bigoted, primitive nonsense it is wonder it hasn’t been entirely abandoned yet! Who needs this drivel?

  71. @James Carr,

    “How can you see the rot in the world, when you are a builder of it?”

    What hate-filled, hate-spewing, bigoted blather!

    “Kill homosexuals” – Yahweh (Leviticus 20:13)

    Is that the next step?
    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27)

    What modern, civilized, decent person needs these terrible commands?
    Want to something good in the world? Abandon this nonsense while you still can.

  72. Modern, civilized people do not extract parts of a book and pontificate on them exclusively. They usually read the whole book and get the entire story.

    So,yes, I am a hate spewing bigot in the manner you are capable of understanding. You are an avowed Atheist, so your opinion on moral matters are moot.

  73. There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby….

  74. James Carr,

    “civilized people do not extract parts of a book and pontificate on them exclusively”

    I’ve read the Bible straight through – have you??
    It is trash. Amazingly terrible.

    And the New Testament is no different – In many ways it is worse than the Old Testament:

    JESUS basically says,

    Jesus is cold to the woman who is not Jewish – he calls her ‘a dog’
    “It is not right to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. — Jesus, Matthew 15:26
    In other words, “Get lost. I’m only here to help the Jews.”

    If you think that’s a distortion of scripture, it isn’t. Jesus comes right out and says it:
    “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” — Jesus, (Matthew 15:24)

    This stuff should not be honored or respected but called out for what it is: Racism and bigotry of the highest order.

  75. Without any shadow of a doubt, Obama and his progressive ilk have only disdain and pure hatred for Christians that decide to live as the Apostles and disciples have made it clear we should. Obama and his morality was there from the beginning of the Church era cheering on the demise of anything Christian.

    The same spirit working to destroy the Church in Nero’s LGBT world is still as active as it always was.

    This is all about the Pederasty that the homosexual world both male and female (Sapphic) has always sought. And that means a never ending stream of young bodies to fulfill the endless licentiousness that literally defines homosexual culture. Trying to mimic and mock Christian marriage will never align LGBT culture with Christian truth.

    And if truth is called hate speech, well, as it was in the beginning . . . why think it is ever going to change.

  76. Eunuchs do not have a sexual attraction. That is why they are defined as eunuchs. LGBT’s literally define themselves by their sexual behavior.

    And Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexuals or homosexuality.

    End of liberal/progressive propaganda right there.

  77. “Hate” in Christian reality is supporting, encouraging and celebrating sin. That means the propaganda of LGBT demands is true hate. LGBT culture came from secular worldviews. Or paganism perhaps. Any way you look at this, the promotion of homosexual culture and behavior is antithetical to Christian truth.

  78. BB,

    “Christian truth”

    As opposed to truth.

    I wonder what “Leprechaun Truth” or “Greek Myth” truth might say.
    So many truths, so little time.

  79. Conduct and practices of professions/licensing are regulated through the executive branch not legislature. The executive branch has control of all aspects of administrative law. When it comes to medical practices, that falls under the aegis of the Surgeon General. Since the ex-gay crowd is still calling this nonsense “therapy”, it falls under such auspices.

    Calling it religious practice is of no help either since it runs afoul of law enforcement in many respects (especially when minors are involved) as assault, abduction and various forms of abuse.

    Does it give you any pause that the people who used to implement it are now denouncing such things? Of course not. You just want to support any kind of anti-gay nonsense out there.

  80. As I said:

    “But please, don’t stop posting. Let the kind, decent compassionate people see the true face of antigay bigotry, and what this is really about. You do so much of our work for us. And you just can’t stop yourself from doing it.”

    And once again, you prove my point. Anti heterosexual? Seriously? Some of my best friends are.

    The religious Reich, with their hate disguised as love, their contempt, despite, hate, and craziness– have been doing so much of our work for us. Personally, I’ve been getting bored by anti-gay bigots like you– and shawnie, Doc, Greg, and others– for probably longer than you have been alive.

    But I will persist. Three things will happen when we win. AND WE WILL.

    1) the lives of millions of gay people will be improved.

    2) Your life will continue on, just as it has, as you spread your despite and contempt to an ever shrinking audience.

    3) I will rejoice in your weeping and wailing, your lamentations and gnashing of teeth.


  81. No, billy. you are being far more compassionate than I can work up any enthusiasm for. If there minds are being poisoned, it is not by their news sources or their so-called faith. The poison is already there.

    This is all about power and money for some people like tony Perkins, Mark regnerus, Bryan fischer, and Brian Brown. It is about the fears of homosexual-hating-homosexuals like Robert Lopez. It is about contempt and despite so deeply engrained in a personality that any amount of nonsense being spewed is seen as a revelation from a god who, not coincidentally, shares the same personality traits.

    the poison is already there.

  82. Ben,
    “The poison is already there.”

    On second thought, I think your right. I do wonder though where the poison comes from in the first place and why it can’t be easily shaken off once it is known. I think I can now answer that myself — the poison is simply not recognized for what it is.

  83. You provided no authority for the executive actions taken other than that it has become common practice which has gained the force of law through usage. Administrative law is a distinction without a difference; Congress fails when it leaves the responsibility of defining the fine points of legislation to the executive branch. Make no mistake, the banning of ‘reparative therapy’ is law making, not a function of the executive. My antipathy to homosexuality does not embrace specific support for ‘R.T.’ At no point did I raise a religious question in my argument. My argument is for limited government and the curtailing of government overreach into every aspect of our lives

  84. Alan Chambers is 42 years old and his accomplishments to date have been running a small evangelical apostolate into the ground (Exodus was compelled to close because it was imploding financially and the member ministries were seceding because they no longer trusted Chambers or most of the board, not surprising since Chambers was caught forwarding intramural correspondence to gay lobby bloggers, an abuse of fiduciary responsibility that might have gotten him hit with a lawsuit in other circumstances).

  85. Exodus itself had no contact with clientele other than those who wrote the office. The work was done by member ministries. Chambers was the nominal supervisor of an office in Florida which organized an annual conference, sold literature, collected donations, and processed applications for the organization’s imprimatur. They had, ca. 2010, ten employees. They had no full-time director until 2004 (IIRC, Chambers’ home town pastor and employer decided to plant a new church at that time, making necessary a change in his employment situation). It’s a reasonable wager that there was an office manager who saw to it the bills were paid, the appeals mailed out, and the facilities rented. What Alan Chambers did all day is a matter of conjecture. The board at the end consisted of two employees (not done in New York), his home town pastor, the pastor’s wife, and three others who appear to have been outside directors. Supposedly, the member ministries once elected the board.

  86. I do not recall ever having heard of Alan Chambers prior to 2013 and I’ve never been able to figure out what the various boards who superintended the corporation between 2001 and 2013 thought he brought to the table. Between the lines in his old LinkedIn profile, it appears he was a community college dropout, worked as a bank teller for a time, and then got a job around age 25 as a lay staff member of an evangelical megachurch. I suppose he could have literary talent not manifest in his personal history, but it’s a reasonable suspicion that he did not write this book. And if he did not, who hired the person who did, and why?

  87. Again, Exodus was an umbrella organization. The corporation was an office in Florida which vended literature, collected donations, and organized an annual conference. Work with clients was done by church-based member ministries, not by Chambers and his staff. Exodus imploded when the conference revenue began to evaporate and the member ministries left the organization. Not sure just when the financial implosion started, but evidently the member ministries began to leave in 2012.

  88. Chambers did a great work that others couldn’t or wouldn’t do.

    Chambers may have volunteered at his local church if they had a member ministry, but working with clients was not his job. He supervised an office staff who handled correspondence and bills. (And, one suspects, likely did not need his services for that). I think he appeared at conferences and made public statements. Critics who’ve reviewed his utterances over the years (e.g. Dr. Robert Gagnon) have offered that Chambers has long been a conduit for Clark Whitten, a Florida megachurch pastor. You might just cut out the middle man and read Whitten’s books yourself.

  89. The fall of Exodus really IS a huge disaster for both Christians and same-sex-attracted people.

    Doc, look at Chambers’ personal history, look at the terminal board and their history, read Robert Gagon’s account of the organization’s terminal phase. It was a weak organization with a troubled history led by a man it’s a reasonable wager was relying on others to do the office work and was channeling others regarding his public statements and advocacy.

    Discussion of ‘reparative therapy’ is a red herring. Chambers never had any such therapy himself (by his own account), Exodus central offices did not have client contact, and it’s difficult to believe lay member ministries were offering ‘therapy’. Some officials of the corresponding Catholic apostolate “Courage” have been critical of the position of reparative therapy in Exodus program. The most prominent secular advocate of such therapy has been clear that therapy of any kind is hit and miss.

  90. Suicides are suicides, David. Every one has an unhappy story behind it. The whole mess is not made more poignant by having homosexuality in the mix. The notion that it is is a reflection of your prejudices, not the social or moral reality.

  91. LGBT youth are estimated to comprise 30-40% of all youth suicides–far exceeding their proportion of the population.

    You never know where these factoids come from, and you do not take them at face value if you’re prudent (the base-stealing about human behavior and culpability aside).

  92. I suspect, billy, that I’m a lot older than you are. I’ve been listening to these so-called Christians for more than 40 years.

    One need only read Mr. carr’s screeds to know exactly who he is.

    “You’ll see, and I’ll revel in this country’s suicide. It’s not as though you haven’t been warned.”

    As he also revels in the suicides of young gay people, because he, Old Testament prophet and self appointed representative of God that he is, is just that kind of a person.

  93. Ben,

    “I suspect, billy, that I’m a lot older than you are. I’ve been listening to these so-called Christians for more than 40 years.”

    No Ben, I don’t think you are. I’ll be 70 this June. After reading an amazing book called The Man Nobody Knows by Bruce Barton in ’73, I became enthusiastic about religion and my own beliefs. It’s all very interesting and I only want to help encourage love and respect for LGBT’s, that’s my only concern here.

  94. You’re quite right, billy. you’re older than I am. At least someone is!

  95. I only want to help encourage love and respect for LGBT’s, that’s my only concern here.

    People sometimes have curious niche causes.

  96. You should probably give the context for your comments. The “intramural correspondence” consisted of a rather vile mailing list that had nothing to do with exodus, Chambers asked many times to be removed but they refused.

    His last request:

    I am absolutely astounded that many of the good people I know on this email list have not spoken up in outrage over the use of the word “pervert” to describe gay people. Or that hideous cartoon Judith posted. Or the idea that gay people are out to “rape” children. Do any of you know someone who is gay? Not the people that Peter LaBarbera catalogues in his disgusting videos, but the ones who live next door. Please, please, for your sake. Remove me from this list. I defect. I encourage others of you to do the same.


    On Apr 29, 2013, at 11:32 PM, Laurie Higgins wrote:

    First, I have deleted many names from this email thread, including those who have requested removal–with the exception of Alan Chambers…

  97. Much of this is incorrect or rewriting history. Having worked with a site the main focus of which was to keep an eye on Exodus and their ministries (2002-2013), I can tell you that he and his office did a lot – damage in my opinion, but they did plenty. Chambers and Thomas spent time with media, legislators, even Karl Rove. Until 2010 they coordinated a great deal with Focus on the Family, a huge influence at the time, and were heavily involved in the Love Won Out conferences where they most certainly influenced individuals. They also spent time with major churches establishing affiliations which led to referrals and the use of Exodus materials. They traveled internationally and set up Exodus networks in other countries.

    They seem to have operated on a relatively frugal budget – definitely in line with the positions. Near the end I later found out that they still had ample funds in the bank and in property. These were not bit players and they had influence.

  98. Frankly, you are making some of the same complaints we did (as a site opposed to ex-gay therapies) though I don’t think we ever picked on him for his education. However, this is moot – everyone on that side of the aisle praised him and his talents almost to the end. During the ex-gay heyday, those in the know thought Chambers was great.

    If you didn’t hear of him before 2013, then you could not have been familiar with ex-gay issues. EVERYONE even tangentially related to that subject knew about Exodus and Alan Chambers, certainly through the 2000s. The 1998 newspaper blitz accomplished that if nothing else.

    And I do know for a fact that he wrote his own books, though I’m sure he had help editing as most do. I did not like them, but I am actually looking forward to his new one.

  99. Why not just say, “it is dangerous to cause anyone to think they must change their eternal destiny. They should just stay like they are so that they wont have any internal unhappiness or struggle, or pangs of conscience or fear and any other distressing thing. Just leave them alone, because HOW WE FEEL ABOUT SOMETHING IS ALL THAT MATTERS.”

    Doesnt matter what God says, what His Word says, just how I feel. That’s all.

  100. Hi, I am a psychiatrist from Amsterdam and in recent years have changed from gay to straight. That is possible, the best thing that ever happened to me. I am sad it was not available when I was 16 or 18, it could have made my life so much happier.
    My question is: where is this alleged research? i can’t find it. I say it does not exist.
    All I found was:
    This pro-ban website speaks of anecdotal stories and general impressions from both sides of the debate. “However, there is still no accurate and reliable data on the therapy’s safety and efficacy that would allow individuals to determine which view is correct. In 2012, the world is still waiting for a peer reviewed study of reparative therapy and transformational ministry therapy.” So, where is it? I say there is no conclusive evidence, not at any professional organisation like APA or anywhere else. Everyone just keeps saying there is harm. But where is the scientific proof?

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