Monday, March 21, 2005

First Blog Comment

Ok, so I read two blogs fairly regularly. One is and the other is I learned of Scattered Words from reading Ex-gay Watch. At first I enjoyed the blog. The author appeared to be going through some of the issues I was dealing with-- faith and being gay, pressures from society, the Church, his own feelings, etc. He wrote about his struggles a whole lot, and I admired that.

However, the blog soon turned away from being a regular "journey" type blog, and into one that seemed more politically motivated than anything else. There are lots of stereotypes about gays being thrown around, lots of news about how bad gays are, and lots of attacking any dissenting opinions (no matter how politely stated or well-intentioned). I soon decided to stop commenting on the blog. I realized that the author has a lot more to deal with than the "sin" of being gay. The way he treats almost all gay-positive posters really gets to me.

The other blog, Ex-gay Watch is one I like. It comments about Ex-gay groups (the ones that try to turn gays straight). I will admit, it is usually very critical of these groups. Some of the comments cross the line imo, but anything super-negative is often rounded out by open, polite discussion from both sides.

In his new "political" style blog, Ben at Scattered Words has decided to attack Ex-gay Watch as much as possible. About a post or link a week or every other week is devoted to the site. Below is the latest from here Since Ben critiqued Ex-gay Watch, I figured I would offer my own critique of his analyis.

From Ben:
"Exgay Watch set out a list of criterion for which an exgay ministry must adhere to before the site's author will respect/support it. Hmmm. Unless you believe just like I do -- then, I think you're evil. Where have I heard that before?"
I am not sure where he has heard that before. But, I've heard it from him a few times. The religious right seems to say similar things a lot too. Later Ben accuses Mike of ignoring the plank in his own eye. I'd encourage Ben to follow his own advice.

"They say "emphasize celibacy" -- sadly, this isn't always an option. Simply trying to control your behavior is the path that leads most gays toward destruction when attempt change. Emphasizing behavior control over God-formed changed is in my opinion, the most dangerous thing you can do to a person."
--I'm not sure what Ben wants the advice to be. If people are trying to change, but they aren't able to quite yet (even some ex-gays admit the change took decades), shouldn't the message be, 'if change takes a while, you should remain celibate still?' What is wrong with that message? I guess that would be admitting that the "change" isn't as easy or quick as many would like to believe.

"They say "provide truth-in-advertising regarding the poor prospects for significant change in sexual attraction" -- Mike, there are quiet individuals out there whom you'll never meet who've experienced change in Jesus Christ beyond your wildest dreams. Nothing's impossible with God."
--I agree with Ben here, God can change lots of things. God cures incurable cancer, for example. But, when we tell someone that they have cancer (or even start a diet for that matter) we tell these people what the chances of a cure or success are. But, why not tell people in ex-gay ministries that? It is disingenuous to give someone a false sense of security that they will change. This is how people are really harmed by ex-gay ministries-- they go in thinking they are going to change, and when the try really hard, pray, etc. for months, years, and decades not experiencing change, they feel like failures. Why not let people know that "change" won't happen for everyone, or even most?

"They say "repent of personal grudges, prejudices, and sinful passions, rather than projecting them onto innocent gay people" -- change that to exgay rather than gay, apply it to yourself and then we'll talk about it."
--So, if Mike (the Ex-gay Watch author) is guilty of these things, then it is ok for ex-gay groups to be too? I have to comment here that this issue is one of the bigger ones I have with ex-gay groups. The "demonization" of gays by many ex-gay groups and even right wingers is pretty rampant. Faulty studies released by right wing groups and some ex-gay groups talking about how promiscuous gay people are, how drug addicted, etc. aren't doing anyone any good. And what does that say to the gay person that isn't promiscuous, doesn't use drugs, etc.? One of the reasons ex-gay groups lost appeal to me is that all of the members I saw talked about living a terrible life of drugs, sex, and scandal. Their lives were down the tubes. Mine has never been, and has actually gotten better since I came out. It really made me think...

They say "refuse to "advance" ... by attacking and harming the rights and integrity of others" -- you're never going to see eye-to-eye on this, because what you falsely label "attacking and harming" is one of the very things Christians in this world are called to do -- preserver morality..."
--I am sorry Ben has this attitude. I know many Christians that disagree with homosexuality but do not have to attack the INTEGRITY of others. Rights aside. Ben just said that attacking the INTEGRITY of others is ok and what Christians are called to do. Christians are called to preserve the world by showing everyone the GLORY of GOD, not by forcing people into some sort of religious bondage- that's what makes people resent religion in the first place.

This last quote really confused me, "It seems that Mike does a lot of the same things he complains Exodus and other groups and Christians do. But then, I've been saying that for how long now?"
--Mike, for the most part, has been critical but fair of ex-gay groups. Here he outlines his "beef" with some of these groups, and Ben criticizes him for it. I'm not really sure why asking ex-gay groups to be honest about change rates is a bad thing.

The funny thing in all of this is that Mike started his blog "relationship" with Ben at Scattered Words with a positive post and link to his site. But, as I mentioned earlier, as Ben's blog moved from a personal blog of struggles to one of attacks and stereotypes on gays, Mike's opinion changed.

Ok, this was a long first post. Off we go...


At 21/3/05 4:09 PM, Blogger Cinders said...

You might be interested in stopping by

He is a gay man of faith who often has some interesting things to post - and I am neither gay or male.

At 22/3/05 10:23 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Firt comment!

Thanks, cinders, I will definitely check that out!

At 14/4/09 11:06 AM, Blogger Dannybrou said...

so...just started reading your blog. have a few years to catch up... it may take awhile, but looking forward to it.

I am sure I will have lots to comment because I am agreeing with a lot of what you post already.

I have many many years of experience with ex-gay ministries that were AWFUL. And putting it nicely.

Looking forward to reading more.

At 15/4/09 7:02 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Hey Danny- thanks for reading. If it helps, posts are much less frequent these days, so as you get to newer posts, the time will just fly by ;-)


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