Journalist Lisa Ling says she will ask the question, “Can you be gay and Christian?” tonight starting at 10 p.m. EST on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Numerous churches and organizations settled that question in the affirmative years ago — even some Exodus International and Focus on the Family operatives answer in the affirmative. And gay people of faith certainly deserve to have their voices aired on mass media channels whose religious programming is dominated by conservative superstition.
So we must ask: Is it appropriate to profile gay Christians in this fashion — namely, to overshadow their personal religious journeys with the antigay meme, “Pray Away the Gay?” and then to grant the tired fundamentalist gays-belong-in-hell meme new legitimacy?
Why single out gay Christians with that question, at a time when Exodus International leaders and their allies have worked in Uganda to conduct unholy persecution of sexual minorities?
Shouldn’t the question really be, “Can one be ‘ex-gay’ and Christian”?
Tonight’s programming will interview gay Christians and their supporters. But video previews of the program indicate the programming will focus substantial free airtime upon Exodus International president Alan Chambers, a political activist whose dishonesty has been well-documented on this site. He measures Christian “compassion” and “Biblical truth” by one’s willingness to distort accepted science, oppose anti-bullying programs in schools, boast of one’s religious and moral superiority, ostracize minorities, and stigmatize others for personal gain.
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If tonight’s programming is balanced and humane, then it will invite Exodus International to apologize for Exodus Church Association member Janet Boynes’ work alongside Bradlee Dean (a kill-the-gays youth punk rocker/preacher) in Minnesota.
- It will also invite Exodus International to repudiate Boynes’ ties to WallBuilders leader David Barton, who calls for gays to be imprisoned.
- It will confront Exodus with testimonies of scientists whose work has been misrepresented by Exodus.
- It will invite Exodus to repudiate Boynes’ support for Rep. Michele Bachmann, who equates all gay people with pedophiles and demands that gay workers in Minnesota be fired and left unprotected from hate crimes.
- And it will confront Exodus with the Ugandans whose friends and family members have been killed as a result of Exodus board member Don Schmierer’s participation in the Uganda campaign to launch a kill-the-gays law.
That’s IF the programming is balanced. If not, there is a chance that we may see more free airtime and false equivalency granted to advocates of prejudice, factual untruth, social and religious schism, and harassment of demographic minorities.