Full transcript below, commentary after the fold.[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/59911448[/vimeo]
Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International:
Each week we get a number of important questions that come into our office. This week, the important question we decided to answer is, does Exodus International have a policy on gay marriage? And the answer is, no, we don’t.[Quite the policy position to no longer take.]
If you’ll remember, a number of years ago, we were involved in public policy. About five years ago, we decided that that was a major distraction for us, frankly, at Exodus international, for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, we found the amount of energy and money being spent to fight against same-sex marriage was a poor comparison to the money and the time and the energy that was being spent serving people in need. Often times we’ve said that we have an angry and bitter gay rights movement because we in the church have created it.
At Exodus International we don’t want to be a part of a stigmatizing or divisive debate. We want to be about an ongoing conversation with our neighbors. Whether our neighbors agree with us or not isn’t important, the fact of the matter is, the relationship with people is. That’s what Jesus has called us to do at Exodus International — to be a part of a long conversation, not a raging debate.
I hope you as believers will follow that lead, realizing that it is more important for us to be in people’s lives. To live our faith and to share our lives with others. That’s what we’re about at Exodus International.
I sense some coded language in a few things he said there.
…does Exodus International have a policy on gay marriage? And the answer is, no, we don’t.
Sounds benign enough, until you take into consideration their past policy positions on the subject, in addition to the thoroughly dehumanizing contents contained in the link above.
Alan Chambers’ personal position on California’s Proposition 8:
I’m so grateful that back in 1990 and 1991 that [gay marriage] wasn’t something that stood in my way in coming to Christ in the way that he had me come to him. If that had been an option for me, I certainly would have chosen it…
As an organization (from the video):
At Exodus International we don’t want to be a part of a stigmatizing or divisive debate. We want to be about an ongoing conversation with our neighbors.
Whether our neighbors agree with us or not isn’t important, the fact of the matter is, the relationship with people is. That’s what Jesus has called us to do at Exodus International — to be a part of a long conversation, not a raging debate. [emphasis added]
I maybe extrapolating too much here, but an “ongoing” and “long” conversation with neighbors who may disagree with your religious beliefs on the matter of marriage equality sounds more like a manipulative end game to conversion. Leading, of course, to an opening to convince them of the sinfulness of homosexuality, and by extension, same-sex marriage.
The terms “ex-gay,” “post-gay,” “formerly homosexual,” etc., are in themselves an implication that one can choose to no longer have same-gender attractions, thereby upsiding the issue of same-sex marriage as being not a matter of equality, but one of irrelevance at best and a threat to the concept of fully and legally recognizing our love for our partners as being on par with that of heterosexual couples.
And lest we forget the true victims in all this…
Exodus may no longer publicly excoriate same-sex marriage in their rhetoric or on the current version of their website, but to me at least, it smacks of underhanded dog-whistle politics aimed at their members and supporters to continue spreading the word, just make sure to do it on the down-low.
And to cap it off, for an organization that bases it’s anti-gay beliefs on the Bible, the not having a position on the subject is patently unbiblical:
God, via Revelation 3:15-16
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
Personally, I don’t think Alan Chambers is that dog-whistle devious or clever, but no matter, a proclaimed non-policy on the issue opens wide a potential sea of nefarious interpretation for those that are.