Exodus Blog- No Dissenting Opinions AllowedPossibly against my better judgement, I decided to post a comment over at the new Exodus Blog. I posted a comment in response to Alan Chambers' most recent post and the first comment made about it.
Unfortunately, I didn't think to save the comment, but I can assure you that it was not mean-spirited in the slightest. I responded (very kindly) that while I didn't necessarily agree with the Boise Idaho protest's tactics, I also wanted to point out that it is currently legal in many states to deny employment, housing and other actual rights to gays just because of their sexual orientation, so the protest was not just about "the sanctity of marriage" as the first commenter stated.
I went on to say that I was glad that Alan Chambers' gay friend was so successful in life, but I wanted to point out that surely not all gays were that successful, and even if some people in a population were successful, it still does not justify discriminating against that population as a whole.
Well, three days later my comment never made it up. Is it honest of Exodus to put one-sided posts out there for their target market (I'd assume struggling gay people that want to be ex-gay) and then not allow completely professional, fair, opposing views. Yes, I realize that they have freedom of speech and can post or not post whatever they want, but is it fair to their readership? Is it an honest tactic to completely disallow opposing views, no matter how accurate or well-stated? If they wanted to defend, they certainly could have, but they chose censorship instead.
Strangely enough, after my comment didn't make the cut, Mike Ensley added an additional comment to the post. His comment hinted on my rebuttal that all or most gays being well-off financially. I'm not sure if he was responding to my comment-that-never-was or not, but he sure did follow right up on the point I was making with his own opposing argument.
He links to a study about the financial success of gays as a group. The study is written by Tony Marco, the co-author of John-Paulk's auto-biography, and an author often cited by NARTH because of his numerous anti-gay and ex-gay writings. The study also refers to a quote from Peter LaBarbera and refers to him as a researcher without mentioning his right-wing and anti-gay agenda in the slightest.
The study is fairly obviously right-wing and anti-gay. I think anyone reading it openly would see the bias instantly and would notice words such as "gay militants" used repeatedly. He refers to homosexuality as a fantasy and a behavior, but never an attraction or love, and compares it to sadomasochism and cannibalism. I wonder if Mike Ensley agrees with such comparisons. He also at one point says that gays are, "embarrassingly more advantaged than true minorities in the job market."
It's funny that Marco uses the words "embarrasingly more advantaged." It's quite hard to put a negative spin on success, but Marco makes sure to do it. Anti-gay and right-wing folks work hard to depict gays as living unhappy, depressed, and immoral lives, so a study depicting their financial success in the world goes against their whole base argument. Marco is careful to frame his negatively so as not to disrupt the dominant theme of the unhappy and unsuccesful lives of gays. Words such as "gay militants," "cannibalism," and "embarrasingly more advantaged," help accomplish his goal.
But really, what's the point of the study? Is the point to say that it is ok to discriminate against gays in employment, housing, and other areas simply because as a group they seem to be more prosperous than other groups? Would it be fair to discriminate against any groups simply based on their group's success in society?
That really does seem to be the point to me. I'd hate to think that Mike Ensley agrees with that idea. But, I've never really seen anyone claiming gays are as a group financially downtrodden, just that gays are discriminated against. It's interesting, and very telling, that this study looks at financial success rather than actual discrimination, hate crimes, etc. to prove it's point. Gays are discrimated against, as are many groups, and our society should work to end discrimination, but Marco seems to think that this discrimination is justified in any area of society because gays as a group are successful. Rather than saying that laws aren't the way to go about ending discrimination, he pretty obviously thinks discrimiation against an individual is acceptable if that group is successful. This is especially apparent considering Marco himself used this study to argue against employment protection for gays in Colorado in the 1990's.
Once again, I have to ask the question. Is Exodus a group that is attempting to minister to gays and show them salvation through Christ? You would think these people could use their experience as former gays to empathize on a corporate and personal level with gay people. However, more and more they seem to be interested in painting a picture of gays that falls all too conveniently in line with the far right--that gays (implying all gays) live unhappy lives, that they are immoral, that society SHOULD be allowed to discriminate against them as they please, and that they can change if they just try hard enough. Why would I look towards an organization that tells me how terrible I am and wants to allow society to discriminate against me for salvation? I wonder if they ever even consider that question.