Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:25:48 — 29.5MB)
Once again, I was kindly invited to be on as a panel guy on Inkredulous! the satirical comedy podcast from the Merseyside Skeptics Society and once again, some exquisite editing by host and chairman Andy Wilson (@Inkredulosi) made me sound much funnier than I remember. Which is great. Having an Andy in real life would be awesome.
Appearing this time are: Rob Darby of the Dumbed Down Atheist and Brian Thompson (@AmSci) Owner of the pan-galactic comedy podcasting empire at www.amateurscientist.org
Here is my script for the Round One question:
Andy, it turns out that an organisation in the US called Exodus International has decided to close its anus, sorry, doors and has publicly apologised for all the penis ... sorry hurt it has caused the people that came to its minge ... sorry ministry looking for vagina...
actually, yes vagina.
I think that’s right.
Exodus International was a renowned organisation for gays and ex-gays who wanted to adhere to their Christian truths and thus limit or eradicate their homosexual desires.
So as quick overview, you have ex-gays (i.e gay men and women who because of the society/upbringing religion etc have prayed away the gay and are now DEFINITELY NOT GAY) congregating to spend long weekends all talking to each other about how God is amazing and that they are DEFINITELY NOT GAY.
No way. And as a demonstration of how they DEFINITELY AREN’T GAY, they spend loads of time telling people how to deal with definitely not being gay and how to convert people who might think they are gay but DEFINITELY AREN’T ANYMORE.
Now as it happens, one of the founders of Exodus, Michael Bussee and one of the ministry leaders, Gary Cooper, both of whom were gay but then God took away their gayness – CAN I GET AN AMEN? Eh, men? Eh? It turns out that despite the creator of the universe removing the dreaded evil of homosexuality from their lives, they left Exodus a few years later to be with each other. Somehow they got their gay back.
Look at it cynically. Let’s say you were a Christian who fancies a bit of same-sex spice, it’s like Old Spice but fruitier, what better than to go to an organisation where EVERYONE IS DEFINITELY GAY so you can all get together and talk about the thing that you DEFINITELY AREN’T. I’ve no idea if it’s true, but I’m pretty sure plenty of gay men and women found this a great opportunity to show a hot and sweaty weakness of faith and then pray forgiveness. Obviously, ignoring the imensely painful sense of self-loathing experienced afterwards.
In January 2012 the current President Alan Chambers admitted that 99,9% of conversion therapy patients do not experience any change in their sexuality much to the outrage of other pray-away-the-gay type groups.
As an extension of that Exodus decided on June 19 to close its doors and included a very direct apology from Alan Chambers outlining the hurt the organisation had caused in its 37 year existence. Awkwardly, he maintains “any sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamous marriage is sin”, so by trying to maintain that the organisation was right but also apologising because it was entirely wrong, the apology is pretty tortured. Obviously, no one is really thrilled at the demise – how do apologise for making thousands of people live in misery in themselves? Whoops sorry.
And this new organisation that Alan Chambers has started in Exodus place – has similar aims, but appears to be a bit fluffier. And on the other side, other ex-gay Christian organisations have accused Exodus of compromise – a word that isn’t in God’s Dictionary, according to ex-gay Stephen Bennet. I haven’t figured out why God would need a dictionary tho. Maybe he plays scrabble.
Anyway, Exodus, one of the most well-known gay conversion Christian organisations has decided to close. Hopefully more will follow suit – and that particular brand of Christianity can stop adding to some total of human misery.