Ex-Gay Groups  
Four Letters  from Steve C to Steve S

ex-gay groups (you are here)

post-gay sexuality

the divide

God loves LGB people

Three Letters from Steve S to Steve C and/or Maggie 

A Sinful Theology

Doubting the Doubts

Ex-Gays and Homosexualities


Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 00:16:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Steve C
To: Steve Sc

Subject: ex-gay groups

On Thu, 20 Mar 1997, Steve S wrote:
I have to say that I truly despise these "ex-gay" groups and I more than despise the harm and fear they thrust into young impressionable hearts and minds.

Hi Steve S., 

(For ease of reading I'm going to use our last initials along with our shared Christian name. :-) ) 

I just want to mention that I don't know more than one ex-gay group (New Direction, Toronto) so my response is limited by that.  With regard to "harm and fear", I'm wondering how many ex-gay groups you know about from your own, personal, first hand experience and how much of your observation is based on what would be called hearsay (someone else's experience). That, of course, does not mean you are not entitled to an opinion - I'm just suggesting that I expect we both have a limited personal experience and speaking of all ex-gay groups as though they are the same may not be fair for either of us to do. 

As far as "the harm they do", I hear that statement a lot.  Word for word. It is usually also prefaced with the phrase "I've heard enough horror stories ..."  These phrases are both effective at creating an impression in the hearer's mind without any factual evidence that can be weighed. What I'm suggesting is that there's a lot of stuff repeated because it's expedient to dislike (hate?) ex-gay groups but not necessarily because it's first hand information. 

So, am I categorically denying what you've suggested?  No!  Of course not - *because there isn't anything specific to assess.*  I hope the problems *do* come out!  Where things need to be fixed - let's do it - but innuendos, by virtue of their intangable nature, cannot help that process along. 

Steve S. said: [snip] 
However, having said that, I will also confess that in chatrooms, when confronted by gay people who honestly feel and believe that they are doing wrong in the sight of God -- even tho I strongly disagree, and even though I attempt to show them with scripture that their beliefs are misguided -- if they still are filled with guilt and shame, I have told them about people like you and about groups which purport to help people change their sexuality.

Steve C.: 
I understand what you are saying and I think you're being responsible. It's not totally unlike my views on encouraging information about safe sex.  For that matter, it's a similar sentiment to the beliefs that are behind the Justice & Respect project I'm working on.  I am not "pro-gay" ('guess you *knew that* :-) ) but I am *for lgb people* and that is not conditional on whether or not they view homosexuality the same way I do. 

Steve S. said: [snip] 
My experience is that I spent over ten years begging God to change me. I  agreed with him in the Holy Spirit. I had laying of hands. I lived a celibate life and prayed continuously for this change. After ten years, I was not more heterosexual than I had been when I started.

Steve C.:
I hear you, Steve, and have heared other credible people who have reported the same.  I believe that too speaks of the need for something like the Justice & Respect project.  We (conservative Christians) have sometimes (often?) presumed to know too much about other people's spiritual journeys. We have been self-righteous and arrogant and it's time we allow God to bring healing to *our own sin*. 

Steve S. wrote: [snip] 
The effect of this "betrayal by Jesus" led me into devout atheism and a total rejection of the Word. It took years and years before I would even talk about God. [snip] 

Steve C.: I experienced the same kind of feelings for many years.  (It's in my story.

I feel very, very sad as I read your words, Steve, because I know they are true.  You received a message that said your acceptance by God was conditional on being heterosexual.  It was not and *IT IS NOT!* 

That is J&R's (Justice & Respect) central message.  God loves us ALL *unconditionally.* 

On Easter Sunday morning, if j&r comes up "smelling like a (little) rose", ... Steve Schalchlin, *this bud's for you!* 


Steve (C)



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