Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Exodus International Issues Statement Condemning Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

March 22nd, 2010

The board of directors of Exodus International has issued a statement condemning the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before Parliament. This statement comes amid year-long criticism of the ex-gay organization after one of its board members, Don Schmierer, conducted an anti-gay conference in Kampala alongside two other anti-gay American activists, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge. That conference, which included Lively’s infamous “nuclear bomb against the gay agenda”, fanned the already burning flames of virulent homophobia in that country and ushered in the proposal a draconian new law which would, among many other things, result in the death penalty for gay people under certain conditions.

In this latest statement from Exodus International, the Board says:

Exodus International believes that every human life, regardless of an individual’s sexual behavior, is of inestimable worth to God and that defending this principle is foundational in offering a Christian response to any issue. As such, Exodus International has not and will not support any legislation that deprives others of life and dignity including, but not limited to, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. We stand with all who are defending this basic, biblical tenet and remain committed to sharing the compassion, hope and life-giving truth and grace of Jesus Christ.

“In November of 2009, several of us sent a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and First Lady Musenevi expressing our concerns regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. The legislation would render some homosexual practices crimes punishable by life imprisonment and possible death. We believe that sexual crimes against children, whether committed by someone of the same or opposite sex, are the most serious of offenses and should be punished; we consider same-sex behavior in consensual adult relationships another matter.

Exodus issued their open letter to President Yoweri Museveni on November 16, 2009, more than nine months following the Kampala conference. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was formally introduced into Parliament on October 15.

On March 10, 2010, barely a full year after the Kampala conference, Exodus International president Alan Chambers left a comment on Warren Throckmorton’s web site expressing disappointment over not having had an opportunity to appear on ABC’s Nightline, saying, ” would have loved nothing better than to share our disdain for this bill and apologize for going anywhere near such a horrible conference.” While this statement from Exodus accomplishes the first goal, there is no apology for having participated in the “Nuclear Bomb” conference.

The latest statement also condemns criminalization of homosexuality as a hindrance to the group’s mission “assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue.”

Exodus’s statement is signed by Alan Chambers, vice president, Randy Thomas, board chair Bob Ragan, and fifty-one other board members and ex-gay ministry leaders, including Don Schmierer. The full text of the statement is reproduced below. The statement appears on the Exodus International blog, but so far it does not appear on the organization’s official web site.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Ugandan Statement Issued From Exodus Board & North American Leaders

“Exodus International believes that every human life, regardless of an individual’s sexual behavior, is of inestimable worth to God and that defending this principle is foundational in offering a Christian response to any issue. As such, Exodus International has not and will not support any legislation that deprives others of life and dignity including, but not limited to, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. We stand with all who are defending this basic, biblical tenet and remain committed to sharing the compassion, hope and life-giving truth and grace of Jesus Christ.

“In November of 2009, several of us sent a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and First Lady Musenevi expressing our concerns regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. The legislation would render some homosexual practices crimes punishable by life imprisonment and possible death. We believe that sexual crimes against children, whether committed by someone of the same or opposite sex, are the most serious of offenses and should be punished; we consider same-sex behavior in consensual adult relationships another matter.

Since the Bible clearly states that homosexual behavior was not part of God’s creative intent for human sexual expression, the Christian church must remain a safe, compassionate and confidential place. If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue. The Christian church must be permitted to extend the love and compassion of Christ to all, regardless of an individual’s adherence to scripture. We believe that such legislation would make this mission a difficult, if not impossible, task to carry out.

Many of us, and those we know and work with, have personally struggled with same-sex attractions and some have lived as gay-identified individuals, but we have since found a new identity in Jesus Christ. We now live our lives to reflect the transformation that is available to those who submit their mind, will and emotions to the Lordship of Christ. We sincerely believe that such transformation cannot be achieved in an environment of government coercion where the vital support, care and compassion of the Christian community is discouraged and prosecuted. In addition, it wasn’t through coercion that Christ set us free, but through the gracious invitation He extended to us for relationship and the freedom He gave us to choose our own path.

Alan Chambers
President
Exodus International

Rev. Bob Ragan
Director
Regeneration of Northern Virginia
Chairman of the Board, Exodus International
Exodus Membership Council

Mike Goeke
Counseling Pastor
Stonegate Fellowship
Vice Chairman of the Board, Exodus International

Jayson Graves, M.MFT
Christian counselor & Neurotherapist
Healing for the Soul
Secretary of the Board, Exodus International

Clark and Martha Whitten
Pastor
Grace Church
Treasurer of the Board, Exodus International

Jeff Winter
Board Member, Exodus International
Founder, One by One

Don and Diana Schmierer
Board Members, Exodus International

Bob Stith
National Strategist for Gender Issues
Southern Baptist Convention
Chairman of the Board , Living Hope Ministries
Board Member, Exodus International

Melissa A. Ingraham, MA, NCC
Mental Health Counselor
Christian Counseling Center

McKrae Game
Executive Director
Truth Ministry

Dave and Diane Rasmussen
Co-Directors
Simon Ministries

Tony Moore
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Exodus International

Tommy Corman
Executive Director
Love In Action International

Jim Katsoudas
Executive Director
Clean Heart Ministries

Kenny Warkentin
Resource Outreach Coordinator
Living Waters Central Region

Gregory C. Wallace
Executive Director
Hope & New Life Ministries

Mark Culligan
Founder
New Hearts Outreach

Tammi Wilds
Interim Director
New Hearts Outreach

Ryan Ortega
Client Relations & Technical Support
New Hearts Outreach

Bob Jones,
Executive Director
Fresh Word Ministries

Ron Smith
Director
New Hope Ministries

Russell Willingham
Executive Director
New Creation Ministries

Mike Levenhagen
Director
Reclamation Resource Center

Richard Holloman
Executive Director
The Sight Ministry

Billie Jimenez
Florida Regional Coordinator
Exodus International

Judy Williams
Co-director
In His Time Ministry

Sonia Balcer
Director
Safe Passage

Warren Lamb, Th.M.
Pastor, Truth In Love Fellowship
Director, Vancouver Bible Institute

Stephen Black
Director
First Stone Ministries
Exodus Membership Council

Jim Venice
Executive Director
Clean Heart Ministries

Jerry Armelli
Director
Prodigal Ministries

Michael R. Newman
Executive Director
Christian Coalition for Reconciliation

Allen Hildreth
Director
Walking in Freedom Ministries

Lewis E. Palmer & Carol A. Palmer
Director and Co-Director
Love and Grace Ministry

Jim Duran
Lead Pastor
The River Community

Randy Thomas
Executive Vice President
Exodus International

Paula Mcnabb
Director of Business and Public Affairs
Exodus International

David Fountain
Senior Director of Communications and Events
Exodus International

Leslie Chambers
Director of Ministry Events
Exodus International

Chris Stump
Director of Exodus Books
Exodus International

Jeff Buchanan
Director of Church Association
Exodus International

Angela Buchanan
Director of Communications
Exodus International

Kristin Tremba
Director of One By One
Exodus International

Dr. Marc Dillworth
Director of the Professional Counselor Network
Exodus International

Terri Brown
Director of Exodus Membership
Exodus International

Karen Eaglin
Director of Equipping Events
Exodus International

Paul Webster
Director of Ministry Advancement
Exodus International

Yvette Schneider
Director of Women’s Ministry
Exodus International

Amber Russelburg
Exodus International

Melissa Condrey
Exodus International

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0 | TRACKBACK URL

penguinsaur
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Since the Bible clearly states that homosexual behavior was not part of God’s creative intent for human sexual expression, the Christian church must remain a safe, compassionate and confidential place. If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue. The Christian church must be permitted to extend the love and compassion of Christ to all, regardless of an individual’s adherence to scripture. We believe that such legislation would make this mission a difficult, if not impossible, task to carry out.

Many of us, and those we know and work with, have personally struggled with same-sex attractions and some have lived as gay-identified individuals, but we have since found a new identity in Jesus Christ. We now live our lives to reflect the transformation that is available to those who submit their mind, will and emotions to the Lordship of Christ. We sincerely believe that such transformation cannot be achieved in an environment of government coercion where the vital support, care and compassion of the Christian community is discouraged and prosecuted. In addition, it wasn’t through coercion that Christ set us free, but through the gracious invitation He extended to us for relationship and the freedom He gave us to choose our own path.

Yeah they condemn the murdering *Solely for PR reasons* but then continue promoting the reasons the murders are happening. They’re basically saying “Oh yeah it’s wrong to kill them but remember they’re sick, godless, perverts who can and should stop choosing to engage in their evil perverted behavior”

Which is about as believable as an anti-semite saying “It’s wrong to murder those Christ killing Jews who secretly run world finances and should abandon their evil satan inspired religion immediately.”

Timothy Kincaid
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Why cannot they simply condemn the bill and its contents? Instead, we get word games.

Alan,

tell us, please, why was this worded this way:

If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted..

As it is, I don’t know whether you are objecting to the criminalization of homosexual behavior or only when it is in conjunction with knowledge of such behavior. Based on the rest of the sentence, it seems as though you only object to the criminalization of knowledge, not the behavior itself.

And “life and dignity” doesn’t clarify your intent at all.

My question to you, Alan, is this:

How many of the signatories oppose any criminalization of homosexuality?

And how many required that this be phrased so as to be able to see it as criminalization of knowledge instead?

I really dislike ambiguity. I see it as dishonesty.

Stefano A
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

I speculate this PR stunt is mainly motivated by wanting to kill the bill because of it’s clauses that would prevent them from practicing their “conversion therapies”.

Naturally they can’t say that forthrightly see you get the ambiguity.

Indeed!, penguinsaur has it right.

Michael Bussee
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

No official apology for “going anywhere near the horrible conference” — as Alan told Throckmorton he would he would have “loved nothing better” than to do.

Nothing on their home page. No condemnation of the bill or it contents. No announcements of official Exodus policies against criminalization and force treatment. No press release.

Randy
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Our blog is an official Exodus Website.

Timothy Kincaid
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Randy,

Thanks for clarifying about the website.

Can you please answer:

Do all of your signatories oppose all criminalization of homosexuality? Or do some only oppose that which hinders ministry?

Michael Bussee
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Randy: I would also like to know the answer to Timothy’s question. I think it deserves and honest and straight-forward response.

Also, why no apology for “going anywhere near the horrible conference” like Alan Chambers told Dr. Throckmorton that he would “love nothing better” than to do?

Finally, since Don Schmierer said this deserves “all the media possible” are you going to be alerting ABC news and issue a general press release stating Exodus’s official policies against criminalization and forced “treatment” and its official apologies? Or will they have to find the blog?

JoeBro
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Randy, you really owe it to Michael to answer his questions, since after all, you have him to thank for Exodus’ existence and your meal ticket.

Frijondi
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Even Rick Warren was able to say unequivocally that he opposes the criminalization of homosexuality. He also kept his statement clear and brief, and did not use it as an opportunity to toot his own horn.

Warren’s not exactly known for his modesty, and yet he realized that this is not all about him. If he could stop gazing at his own navel long enough to condemn the bill without dithering, hemming and hawing, and wringing his hands about his ministry, so can the Exodus crew — even at this very late date.

I’ll even help draft it for them:

“We, the undersigned, oppose the passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. We also oppose the criminalization of homosexuality and homosexual acts.”

There now. Wasn’t that easy?

Michael Bussee
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

JoeBro. Randy owes me nothing. He owes Uaganda something. I started a little bible-study of about 20 guys for messed up gay christians at a church in Anaheim.

We hosted a gathering of other prayer groups. That’s it. I did not create Exodus. We thought God would bless us with “straightness”. What the hell did we know?

There was no political intent, agenda or involvement. Just a small bunch of Jesus Freaks in our early twenties giving our testimonies and praying God would take the gay away.

It was naive of us to think so. I take no credit for what Exodus did or became once I left. They did that entirely on their own.

Timothy Kincaid
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

In re-reading this statement, I keep coming back to one thing: this statement is focused inwardly.

It says nothing whatsoever about gay Ugandans. In fact, it doesn’t address gay people.

This is, instead, a statement about those who:

* remain committed to sharing … Jesus Christ

* the Christian church

* church and ministry leaders

* hurting men, women, and children who… seek help

* those who personally struggled with same-sex attractions… but found a new identity

As for gay people, Exodus frankly couldn’t care less about them. Read it carefully; other than a vague “deprive of life and dignity” statement, there is not a single word about gay people.

I am saddened that Exodus has become so callous. I hope that I NEVER have a spiritual awakening that leaves me void of any care or concern about the physical well being of people who I consider today to be my friends. I hope I NEVER find my religious faith to be so inwardly focused that I cannon condemn evil without caveats and judgment of the people being mistreated.

In other words, if “walking away from a homosexual lifestyle and pursuing an identity in Christ” requires me to stop being a decent person, I have no need or desire for that journey. I’d rather be moral than straight.

Richard Rush
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Looking at Exodus and their affiliates as businesses wanting to maintain a constant flow of customers, they depend on societies avoiding the extremes of positive/negative attitudes toward homosexuality.

If a society becomes completely accepting of gays, Exodus becomes obsolete.

But if a society becomes too oppressive toward gays, the potential customers are afraid to talk to anyone, including Exodus. So Exodus needs to walk a middle ground.

I think penguinsaur and Stefano A both said essentially the same thing, but arrived there in a different way.

anteros
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

i hoped, but didn’t expect better.

not sure if this qualifies as “better than nothing”.

Michael Bussee
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

I agree with every word of this article from TWO, by Michael Airhart.

http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/03/7710/

Ben in Oakland
March 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Read this crap from Exodus, and then re-read The German Pope’s message to the Irish.

” I hope that I NEVER have a spiritual awakening that leaves me void of any care or concern about the physical well being of people who I consider today to be my friends. I hope I NEVER find my religious faith to be so inwardly focused that I cannon condemn evil without caveats and judgment of the people being mistreated.

In other words, if “walking away from a homosexual lifestyle and pursuing an identity in Christ” requires me to stop being a decent person, I have no need or desire for that journey. I’d rather be moral than straight.”

True words, Timothy.

Paul in Canada
March 23rd, 2010 | LINK

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Alex
March 23rd, 2010 | LINK

The leaders of Exodus are all talk and no action when it comes to Uganda.

First, there was Randy’s comment last year about how he would go to Uganda and personally plead for gay people’s release from prison “if he only had the opportunity.” Guess what, Randy — you do have the opportunity. If Exodus can send you to London so that you can attend an ex-gay conference and then see a West End show, then they can send you to Uganda. It’s really that simple.

And now we have Alan Chambers saying that he’d love nothing more than to officially apologize for Exodus’ involvement in the Ugandan anti-gay conference “if he only had the opportunity.” Alan is the PRESIDENT of a massive organization, and yet acts as though he has to wait around for a call from Diane Sawyer! If he truly wanted to make an apology, you’d think he would at the very least write something on his blog. But unfortunately, the last time he posted anything there was to promote his book. Go figure.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.