Ex-Gays and PoliticsI've blogged a couple of times here about my thoughts on Ex-Gays and politics and why I really think the two don't mix. Ex-Gay Watch recently posted a post about Exodus' announcement to remove their organization from the political arena, and I'm hoping they actively going to seek that type of direction (in spite of a follow up post that is a bit concerning). For me, it seems like a conflict of interest to try to attract gay people over to your worldview when you are working hand-in-hand with people from the religious right--a group that has had anything but positive things to say about gay people thus far. Not to mention fighting against what gays believe are their fundamental rights. Why would I want to join a group that I perceive to be fighting against me?
After reading the Ex-Gay Watch post, I decided to look around and see what some of the Exodus guys had to say about the issue, and over at Mike Ensley's blog I found a comment from Karen, a woman involved in ex-gay ministry, but who nonetheless articulates my frustration with the mixture of ex-gay and politics perfectly. I encourage you to read her entire comment, but here's my favorite part:
My concern about the political involvement is that I am afraid it keeps people from Jesus. I am concerned about the lesbian feminist democrat who may have just ecided to leave homosexuality and how in the world will she ever connect with Exodus that has so much of a Religious Right cultural flavor? Or what about the youth who are very turned off by the Religious Right and will identify less and less with Exodus and other organizatons as a result? Focus on the Family is on the decline with donors etc for this very reason. Or what about the gay community at large? I am worried that this fight for our rights has put ourselves first before others and thus is not in best interest for the gospel. To me it feels like a stumbling block to the gospel.
What are the specific objectives of talking to politicians? Are these objectives being met? And are the objectives gospel driven? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
Very nicely put, Karen.