When John Paulk finally admitted publicly that his “ex-gay” life was a fraud and that he was living as an out gay man, it was a watershed moment; not because he was the first noted “ex-gay” to fall off the wagon — they all do, eventually, unless, like Paulk’s estranged wife Anne, they were bisexuals to begin with — but because he was the face of the late 90′s/early 2000′s ascendance of the “ex-gay” fraud machine. Of course, this is happening at a time when Exodus International, once at the forefront of “ex-gay” politics, and at one point a highly useful tool of the Religious Right, seems to be changing their message somewhat. It’s hard to tell what they even stand for anymore, and I’m not sure they know. Of course, anything but fire and brimstone is not good enough for the Religious Right, so they’ve all been jumping ship and caterwauling about how awful Paulk and Exodus are, while throwing their weight behind Anne Paulk’s “Restored Hope Network,” the board of which is a laughable Who’s Who of third string anti-gay wingnuts. Notably absent from their board are so-called “ex-gays.” I guess they’ve learned their lesson on that one.
Yesterday, Porno Pete reposted a piece from Andy Comiskey, bemoaning just how terrible Exodus and Alan Chambers are now. First we’ll see what Pete has to say in the few sentences he writes above other people’s work to make it look like he’s employed:
I have publicly challenged Exodus President Alan Chambers to find “gay” “sexual orientation” in the Bible; he has not responded.
That’s because it’s not in there. Neither are dinosaurs (no, those things in Job are not dinosaurs, I promise). We know both exist or have existed, though, because we are more educated than the people who wrote the Bible! Also missing from the Bible are iPhones, Subarus and LOLcats.
Although AFTAH would rather focus its attention on the aggressive homosexualist agenda, we cannot ignore the escalating confusion and falsehoods advanced by Exodus International under Chambers’ failed leadership. Recently, Chambers called me a “viper” on Twitter (get the Pharisee allusion?) following yet another episode that exposed his newfound pro-homosexual radicalism.
It usually doesn’t take people very long, once the veil is lifted and they begin to embrace reality, to see that “viper” is a very good word for people like Porno Pete. Here’s that tweet, just because it’s funny:
That came after Porno Pete said this:
To which Dan Savage replied:
In a shocking development that some are calling “Chambers-gate,”
No one is calling it that.
the Exodus leader stunned me and other activists by secretly cc’ing homosexual activist Jeremy Hooper in an email thread that included many pro-family leaders.
Yep, that happened.
At the same time, Chambers secretly cc’d evangelical renegade and Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton — another pro-family-”defector”-turned-pro-homosexual-apologist who, like Alan, is popularizing the dangerous idea that nearly all homosexuals who try cannot change.
Yes, Warren Throckmorton, another person who, once he took a step back and realized that the side he used to align with lies without remorse for the sake of their morally indefensible goals, started to see his erstwhile allies as they really are and started to back away slowly.
Talking up “gay Christianity” — another Chambers shift away from truth — is unbiblical, but many believers are unaware of Exodus’ new radical worldview. Americans For Truth urges you to inform your Christian friends about Exodus’ pro-homosexual turn and ask them to support the fledgling Restored Hope Network however they can.
The existence of gay Christians negates Porno Pete’s reality-denying beliefs. Okay, on to Andy Comiskey’s more detailed whine, which is focused on Randy Thomas’s piece about John Paulk’s confession:
With grief I consider the irony of Exodus’ response to John Paulk’s immersion in gay culture (Exodus Blog, April 22; Paulk presided over Exodus in the nineties). Exodus used to focus on how Jesus leads persons out of homosexuality. Now Exodus appears to celebrate those who return to it.
Exodus VP Randy Thomas just wrote a glowing account of Paulk’s renunciation of his ‘ex-gay’ status. In the spirit of Exodus new ‘radical’ grace message, Thomas ‘agrees with 95%’ of what Paulk confided in him, commends him to us as ‘one pursuing the true meaning of grace’, and describes John as ‘a man without guile.’
Yet Thomas omits the fact that Paulk’s choices violate his vows to his wife and three boys who as teenagers need their father more than ever. Exodus seems more concerned with John’s authentic gay self than with the needs of his wife and kids.
Oh, how dramatic. With grief he considers! Let us, of course, point out that nobody is celebrating the break-up of a family, but let us also point out that if groups like Exodus and people like John Paulk hadn’t spent so much time and money encouraging people to enter sexless sham marriages where two people join in holy matrimony the facades they present to the world, that family wouldn’t be breaking up!
If I were married to a SSA [Same-Sex-Attraction]-struggler tied to Exodus, I would jump out of my skin. Dabbling in idolatry, even if married, now appears to be covered by Exodus’ ‘grace.’ Ironically, Thomas notes that Paulk “got very emotional talking about young people.” Maybe father Paulk could stop grieving for gay teens and attend undividedly to the teens he sired. Maybe he could be encouraged to cry tears of repentance and return to them.
“SSA-struggler” just doesn’t roll of the tongue, does it? Also, Andy really doesn’t know what kind of a father John Paulk is (nor do we), but I expect that one lesson those kids will learn out of this involves not living a lie.
Perhaps John grieves for himself more than for anyone else. Such is the narcissism that drives any ‘ex-gay superstar’ as well as the ‘ex-ex-gay’ who cries victim rather than takes responsibility for his own bad choices. The narcissist is usually winsome in his confession; Thomas sure seems taken by Paulk’s.
I am not going to argue with Comiskey over whether Paulk is now, or ever has been narcissistic. I will say, though, that it’s interesting that he references “crying victim rather than taking responsibility” for one’s own poor choices. Indeed, that’s how most “ex-gay” testimonies start. “My life was awful! I was addicted to drugs and sleeping with men who used me, day after day! Then somebody convinced me that my sexuality was to blame for my poor choices! It was a handy scapegoat, wasn’t it?!”
But confession, when not in the service of repentance, remains in the service of sin.
Interesting. It seems that people like Paulk, when they come out of the closet and back into reality, are repenting for the harm they’ve caused. That’s sort of the point. “Ex-gay” charlatans have destroyed untold numbers of families over the years, and when the wool is pulled off of their eyes and they start to see the harm they’ve caused, they tend to spend years repenting. Comiskey wouldn’t understand that, because he still is brainwashed and cannot see the harm he has caused in his career.
Comiskey is boring; back to Porno Pete to wrap this up:
Below are excerpts from a blog post by Exodus International Executive VP Randy Thomas on the John Paulk situation — to which Andy Comiskey was responding above. The full article by Randy — whom I once considered on the side of pro-family conservatives — is appalling in its obsequiousness to former “ex-gay poster boy” John Paulk – who was hounded “out of the closet” by homosexual activists at Truth Wins Out [see this video], allegedly for making homosexual advances on other men.
That’s right, Truth Wins Out did that, from start to finish, and don’t anybody forget it.
Anyway, what a joy to watch them biting each others’ backs like this. Pop the popcorn!