In recent decades, some concerned critics say, portions of U.S. conservative Christianity have been overrun by an army of little so-called antichrists.
These “antichrists” are said to be smug and willfully ignorant people who worship a god of warfare and death. When they aren’t justifying wars, obsessing over demons, and rejecting the scientific method, they vote for egocentric autocrats and special interests who favor Armageddon-like living conditions — deteriorating seas, poisoned skies, melted ice caps, runaway ethnic cleansing, no privacy, and large-scale religious conflict. Some of these would-be antichrists — doomsayers Timothy LaHaye and Hal Lindsey come to mind — have earned tens of millions of dollars by writing best-selling books that call other people “antichrists.”
In promoting sales of his own new book, ex-gay activist Anthony Falzarano this week decisively associated himself with this supposed army of believers in a god of death.
Falzarano’s god is a sadistic tyrant that kills individual people with cancer in order to punish other individual people for petty reasons — and in order to bolster the wobbly egos of Biblically illiterate and impenitent ministers like Falzarano.
I won’t repeat the full text of Falzarano’s latest meme here. It is linked above; it has been repeated by other major bloggers; and we at TWO have already allowed Falzarano to spout his memes here in the past week.
Right-wing religious demagogues spread these memes, sugar-coated with godtalk, for the following reasons:
1. to make money when they are ill-qualified for productive employment
2. to inflate their unstable egos by degrading and bullying other people
3. to intimidate practitioners of traditional, modest, and minority religious creeds, replacing those faiths with egocentric, cynical, and authoritarian cult-like movements that are insulated from any dangerous persons who might express faith in a genuinely loving, graceful, life-affirming, self-sacrificial — or non-existent — higher power
4. to promote conflict, bloodshed, and destruction in a “fallen” world that they admittedly hate
5. to victimize other people, putting them perpetually in a defensive position
It’s a bit difficult for me to imagine anything more anti-life, or antichrist-like, than the culture of death and defamation that Falzarano affirms in his recent messages to TWO and to a former Exodus ministry leader.
But I’ll try:
Worse, perhaps, than egocentric ministers like Falzarano are antigay and ex-gay peers who, in cowardly fashion, allow their peers to spread gossip and death-focused spirituality in their religious communities without public challenge.
Nowhere on its website, nor in any other public place, do organizations such as Exodus help exgay-wannabes or their families avoid political or religious activists who are known by Exodus to promote harmful, fraudulent, or emotionally disturbed scam artists.
Exodus seems afraid to issue such warnings, because some of its own leaders and speakers — Andy Comiskey, Alan Chambers, Phil Burress, and Ken Hutcherson — pay homage to similar gods of war and death.
- Comiskey and Chambers associate sexual honesty with demon possession.
- Burress raises millions of dollars in Ohio for political extremists — anti-lifers who affirm endless Mideast war, runaway federal borrowing, ever-increasing pollution, and opposition to the contraceptives that prevent abortion.
- Exodus conference speaker Ken Hutcherson affirms antigay bullying in Seattle-area schools and has served on the board of a violent Slavic hate group.
Cowardice and corruption in the ex-gay movement allow hate to spread. Cowardice and corruption in Exodus damage social morals, contribute to a degradation in quality of life, and undermine both individual and religious freedom.
Sometimes, this erosion of life and freedom is not merely incidental.
In their personal testimonies, allies of Exodus not only deny the reality of health and happiness among sexually honest (openly gay) persons, but also oppose freedom and flee responsibility for a fallen world. (A small example: PFOX poster boy Christopher Delaney.)
What ex-gay “ministers” often seek is the opposite of real freedom: They seek Freedom FROM.
Falzarano, the current leaders of Exodus, and various small-time activists share a quest for freedom from sexual honesty, freedom from the constitutional and human rights of their neighbors, freedom from responsibility for their actions against others, and — sometimes — freedom from a physical world and biological lifespan that they have chosen to despise.
Cowardice — along with a too-common desire for freedom from the world and its responsibilities — provide fertile ground for conservative religious communities to receive (and subsidize) the message and the diabolical anti-faith of people like Anthony Falzarano.