Not in our name – an open letter to Exodus International

I think given the gravity of the situation in Uganda, it is important all Christians speak up, and not leave it to GLBT bloggers and advocacy groups to have Focus on the Family dismiss their recent decision and behavior in Uganda by saying they must be doing something right if gay bloggers are attacking them.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I remain appalled and concerned about what Exodus International is doing, and what US leadership has advocated in Uganda.
No one who claims to follow Jesus Christ can condone what Exodus has done.
Let’s be honest, we don’t pay attention. I asking you to.
Reading Ugandans reporting on this conference has been heart-breaking.

Exodus crossed that line awhile back, (remember Zach?) and in Canada there is only one group affiliated with Exodus. Recently New Directions who work with conservative, fundamentalist Christians wrestling with sexual orientation, quietly withdrew their Exodus affiliation.

While I applaud my fellow citizens and the family of God in Canada for not tolerating politicised raw hate, ignorance and revisionism, it remains our shame that Exodus Global Alliance is headquartered in Canada. Canada has also been home to Patricia King’s heretical new age Extreme Prophetic which Caleb Lee Brundidge belongs to. Brundidge works for disgraced ex-psychologist Richard Cohen’s The International Healing Foundation.

I am asking Christians across this country to join with others around the world.
Let Focus on the Family and Exodus International know we believe the organization and leadership have crossed a terrible and unacceptable line in His name.
Straight, gay or a, we are complicit if we remain silent about what their leadership willfully promoted in Uganda.
You can read the case against Exodus leadership advocacy in Uganda here.
Focus on the Family Canada and Exodus Global Alliance
Focus on the Family and Exodus International do not make it easy for you to speak, you’ll have to scroll to ‘other.’
Be prepared to receive religious spam, this is a thriving business in the US and the Focus on the Family Canada link I provided exists to peddle product. Use ‘other’ there also. There has been political condemnation, there is international coverage. The body of Christ needs to be heard from.

Open letter to the Exodus International Board of Directors:

We, the undersigned organizations, have monitored the ex-gay industry for more than a decade. To our great horror, prominent members of the ex-gay organization Exodus International participated last week in a conference in Uganda that promoted shocking abuses of basic human rights. This included draconian measures against gay and lesbian people such as forced ex-gay therapy, life imprisonment for people convicted of homosexuality and the formation of an organization designed to “wipe out” gay practices in Uganda. The conference also featured Scott Lively, a holocaust revisionist who at the event also blamed the 1994 Rwandan genocide on gay people.

The facts incontrovertibly show that Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, was aware of the list of speakers and abhorrent content prior to the conference. Exodus board member Don Schmierer, who spoke in Uganda, made no objections to the radical and dangerous platform offered. Instead, these mortal threats to the lives of gay and lesbian people were met with a deafening silence. Exodus, in effect, gave this insidious conference its tacit approval.

Today, we take the unprecedented step of joining together to demand that Exodus International’s Board of Directors take immediate action to hold accountable those who used the Exodus brand to promote an atmosphere conducive to serious human rights abuses. The accountability must begin with reasonable and responsible action by Board Chair Bob Ragan, including:

Dismissing Exodus President Alan Chambers for his knowing role in using Exodus to promote human rights abuses
Removing Board member Don Schmierer for speaking at a hate conference that promotes physical harm and psychological torture against GLBT people
Boldly articulating Exodus’ policy against human rights abuses including forced therapy
Promising to end future participation in all conferences that call on the persecution and criminalization of gay and lesbian people

We do not take this call to action lightly. These steps are necessary and commensurate with the massive breach of ethics and trust by the Exodus leadership. Clearly, Exodus has lost credibility and its claim to “love” gay people in the aftermath of Uganda seems duplicitous and insincere. As long as Chambers and Schmierer remain at Exodus, the organization is hopelessly compromised and even complicit in grave human rights abuses. It is time for the Exodus Board, led by Bob Ragan, to assert its moral authority by appointing new leadership and taking the organization in a more humane and principled direction.

Sincerely,

Jim Burroway
Box Turtle Bulletin
David Roberts
Ex-Gay Watch
Wayne Besen
Truth Wins Out
Mike Airhart
Truth Wins Out

Southern Poverty Law Centre: Watchmen on the Walls
US Anti-Gay Leaders Holding Seminar In Uganda
Bill Berkowitz: The Christian Right’s world wide anti-gay crusade
Peterson Tuscano
New Directions: Speaking up for justice

Update: The Exodus International President and Vice-President respond. They have chosen money over morals, dehumanization over justice and poltics over personhood. Their choices of partnership have little to do with the kingdom of God.
This is not news to anyone paying attention, all I can hope is that is that people who haven’t given Fotf and Exodus a second thought do so carefully.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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2 Responses to Not in our name – an open letter to Exodus International

  1. wendy says:

    Bene – did you see my post on the Ugandan conference?

  2. Bene D says:

    Hi Wendy:

    I hadn’t seen your post.

    Yes – it is about justice, I’m adding your link to my post if that’s okay with you.

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