Exodus President Alan Chambers was interviewed by CNN’s religion blog following the recent court decision to overturn Prop. 8. Interestingly, it said that appears marriage equality is inevitable.
For 34 years, Exodus has told gay and lesbians that they can be “delivered” from homosexuality through faith in Christ, professional counseling and support groups.
But how will groups like Exodus fare if fewer Americans believe that homosexuality is a sin, and if gay marriage becomes an option?
Chambers acknowledged that “our culture is changing” and said more people are abandoning a biblical view of homosexuality.
Does he think gay marriage is inevitable?
“It certainly seems so,” Chambers says. “The jury is still out and there are certainly areas where I see a tendency for more rights for gay and lesbian people. But I also see that there’s still a fight among American people so it’s hard to know.”
Chambers went on to say that despite greater acceptance in society, business is booming for the “ex-gay” industry.
“Our calls are increasing,” he says. “Our ministries say we’re busier than ever.”
This, of course, is deceptive. Exodus is not growing or having a greater impact on society. The reason Exodus is getting more calls is because of the success of the LGBT movement. Young people are coming out earlier and desperate parents are seeking answers — sometimes in the wrong place, as in the case with contacting Exodus. However, Exodus conferences and meetings are not showing any genuine growth, meaning long-term clients who are changing their sexual orientation.
The other explanation for more calls is that more people, of all ages, are coming out in socially conservative churches. Indeed, Exodus has, for the most-part, quit trying to convert the masses. It has instead focused on ingraining itself in conservative churches, where more parishioners are coming out each day and pastors are desperate for answers. This effort is evidenced by Exodus’ new video geared for church officials titled, “Discussing Homosexuality in 18 Minutes.”
It must bother Exodus to see such amazing progress. Not only is marriage available in 5 US states and the District of Columbia, but both our neighbors to the north and south have marriage equality. Each year, it is going to get more difficult for Chambers to recruit vulnerable and desperate people to buy his self-loathing snake oil.
Don’t let the volume of calls fool you. Exodus is a business model that is in decline.