Exodus International held the 60th Love Won Out conference in Phoenix on Saturday, to peddle the message that people can, “Pray Away the Gay”. Most target market at LWO are parents and friends of an LGBT person and youth. LWO is the splashiest “ex-gay” road show and Exodus claims that a significant number of people have been reached with its propaganda:
In the last 13 years Love Won Out has traveled to more than 60 cities and 6 countries. It has inspired, encouraged and educated over 60,000 people. In addition to those who have attended a Love Won Out Conference, the event has been broadcast worldwide on GODTV and the Love Won Out booklet series and conference recordings have sold more than 100,000 copies.
It appears that two people penetrated the all-day seminar in Phoenix. The first infiltrator was Christopher Jay Hall, Founder of the Central AZ Rainbow Education (CARE). Here is an excerpt from his report:
Fortunately, I fell within the age bracket for the youth portion of this conference so I got to listen in on what they are telling our youth. Apparently, there is no such thing as homosexuals as we are all broken heterosexuals. They told the youth that homosexual behavior is always a sin. People who believe they are homosexual are not the sin itself. The person is not an abomination rather their behavior is the abomination they must seek help in overcoming.
They end by saying all sin is an abomination to god, but the youth were very intelligent and to some degree liberal. They were curious as to why our “sin” of homosexuality was a focus of the church when there are so many other sins within the church itself that are being ignored. The best question that left the presenters baffled was, “If it is bad to change one’s sex because it was god’s original intention to have us born the way we are, than why do we dye our hair, wear braces to “fix” our teeth, receive plastic surgery, etc. I was happy to see the amount of liberal individuals who attended, I am just saddened to see so many hurt souls who are forced to attend and the church feels they have no role in the high rates of suicide amongst our LGBTQ youth. What ignorance!
Hall’s reporting was spot-on and in-line with what I have witnessed at these events. Although, it does appear that the youth are more emboldened to ask tough questions and give some push-back. The way that Exodus exploits youth and parents is nauseating and dangerous. Indeed, Exodus’ main goal in 2011 is to target LGBT youth.
The second story was part of a three-part series by Adam Amel Rogers posted on Change.org. According to his initial report:
I’ve had very strong feelings against ex-gay evangelism for a long time, but a few years ago, I decided it was unfair to fervently condemn something I had never actually experienced. I picked up the phone and dialed the number for Focus on the Family. If I was going to do this, I knew I needed to play the part, blend in and really immerse myself in the experience. I told the woman on the phone that I was struggling with homosexuality and that I wanted to register for Love Won Out. She responded by asking if it would be alright for her to pray for me. Caught off guard, I curiously replied, “uh… ok?”
In the three minutes that she spoke to God about me, something did truly change within me … no, I wasn’t suddenly attracted to women, but my thoughts were changed about this woman. She devoutly thought she was doing God’s work and that helping to pull me away from homosexuality was the most righteous task she could perform. She was a product of everything she has ever heard on the subject. I wanted to end the charade and invite her over for dinner so she could meet my husband and see that our lives are not deviant, our souls are not in danger and that our ability to exist as a happy couple is nothing to be afraid of.
So far the story looks promising. I look forward to reading the follow-up articles.