Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Scattered Words and Ex-Gay Watch at it Again

Two of the sites I read have a little bit of a rivalry going on. It wasn't always like that. Ex-Gay Watch started with good things to say about Ben at Scattered Words. However, as the days passed, they got kind of bitter. I'm not really sure I know why. Well, I have my ideas, but I'll keep them to myself.

Over the past months, both sites have spent an extra amount of time on the other (enough for casual readers to notice some sort of a relationship), and both have done their share of jabbing and pot shotting. This week, Ben stirs up the pot in his "News" section by quoting a posting on Ex-Gay Watch.

Ben takes issue with the idea he claims is put forward that "change...isn't possible." He goes on to asky why Mike (the main author at Ex-Gay Watch) is allowed to express unsubstantiated opinions while jumping on others that do the same. Then he makes a reference to Ex-Gay Watch and its "friends" never presenting any biblical evidence in defense of homosexuality.

There are a few things wrong with Ben's take on all of this. First and foremost, as noted in the comments section of Ex-Gay Watch, Ben took the initial quote out of context and removed a key word or two. Ben quoted the article as saying "change...isn't possible," but the author actually said, "change really isn't possible, at least for most gays." The original author of the XGW article goes on to explain why this misquote really changes the meaning of what he said. He says that the word "most" he used, is "an important distinction and i mention it because i avoid absolutes on purpose. for all i know, this particular ex-gay guy really is straight now. if so, great for him! but clearly, gays that can change are in the minority."

So, by quoting this statement out of context, Ben makes it look like the author is saying that all gays can't change. However, the author very obviously does not intend to make such a blanket statement. This gets even messier because Ben accuses the article of being unsubstantiated opinion. Saying that all gays can't change probably cannot be proven scientifically. But, there are tens of thousands of gays that have tried and failed to change, so there is some pretty good proof (not opinion) to back up the ideas that most gays can't change. I'd also like to point out that so far, even the author of Scattered Words has been unable to "change."

As for the part about biblical evidence in support of homosexuality, all I have to say is that the site is in no way a religious site, so why would it? This seems like a baseless tactic to attack XGW where Ben's readers can see it. I'm guessing he thinks his pro-readers will rely on what Ben said, and never delve into the XGW site at all. He is probably right, unfortunately. And, if by "friends," Ben means "commenters," then he has a point. However, Ex-Gay Watch does frequently link to sites and people that offer evidence of biblical defense of homosexuality.

In the end of all of this, I'm pretty disappointed in Ben. Ben presents himself as someone trying to move closer to guy. But, my impression of him is someone that is always taking the moral high ground. Sure, he admits when he slips and falls in the sin of homosexuality, but his other sins get smooth passes. His discourse with those that disagree with him is often rude, hostile, and arrogant, no matter how nicely he is addressed. And, to see him completely mischaracterize this statement says a lot about how hard he really is working to move closer to God and address ALL of his sins. I hope he is able to see that while he may believe homosexuality is a sin and needs to address it, sinning happens in all facets of life, and any Christian should not allow himself to be complacent in any sin, whether it is arrogance, homosexuality, dishonesty, etc.


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