Question:

I'm sorry, but in saying that people can change and pointing them to Exodus International, you're doing a terrible amount of harm.

If you're going to say homosexuality is some sort of terrible life-altering, life-absorbing sin, it should be comparable to alcoholism, right? That would be good news, since the initial success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous is 50%, with a long-term success rate in people who keep trying of 75%.

Only back in 2000, when Exodus International was still admitting such data, they declared a success rate of 33% and no follow-up success rates at all. 33%? That's a success rate? In other words, three out of ten people were able to claim they were straight and start to live straight lives. Three out of every ten people scared and passionate enough about God to check into this program and go through it.

What's worse is Exodus International's standards for "cured" really just means to the rest of us "gay and determined just to stay single, lonely, and miserable." So we don't know if these three out of every ten are living in denial, are actually just bisexuals who never were fully apart from the option of an emotionally and sexually fulfilling relationship with the opposite sex, or have simply decided to marry and have children despite still being gay.

That's success?

If you're going to remember that 75% up there and say "well, what's the long-term rate?" it doesn't have one. The organization claims that they can't invade privacy by following up in any way, although I remind you the fiercely private Al-Anon does just fine at that. You'd think that people who were seeing others succeed with the program would come back or stay in. You'd think people successfully changed would write back years later thanking Exodus International. Why doesn't that happen?

If you want to believe homosexuality is a sin, that's. . . honestly? It's more your problem than mine. I feel for every closeted gay in your congregation, every child of every gay, but I can see your dogma has you by the ankle and I'm afraid I can't help you. If you want to look at the fact that fruit flies can be turned gay or straight by flicking genetic switches, and say that there's no link between genes and homosexuality, well, that's all on you. (No, humans don't have one gay gene that we know of. It's because we're just a bit more complicated than fruit flies. Doesn't mean two genes working together might cause it--that's how a lot of physical characteristics work.)

But please, don't peddle Exodus International. You're supposed to be in the business of giving people real, life-changing hope. Not harm.

I also have to disagree about gender and there being only two sexes. We all start female, and during gestation, some of us are bathed in a wash of hormones that make us male. Only in some people, it doesn't take place or the hormones aren't enough in proportion to do their job thoroughly or various other mechanisms that result in genetic males walking around getting married, having babies, giving birth, and never being aware they're actually male, and genetic females competing in male events, fathering children, and not being aware they're truly female.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001669.htm That should, hopefully, get you started.


Answer:

There is only one reference to Exodus International on this web site. It is in an response to the question "If homosexuality isn't genetic, then is heterosexuality genetic?" The argument was that homosexuals cannot change because they were born homosexuals. After laying out scriptural evidence that such cannot be true I also cited two secular organizations who claimed that change could and does take place. It was not a statement of support for the groups. I do not know their methods and it isn't germane to the argument. Even in your objection to Exodus International above, you do not argue that a change cannot take place. Instead you claim that the success rate is too low. This doesn't prove that a change cannot take place.

In addition you claim that "harm" is being done, but you do not state what harm. I would submit that you view change as harmful. But the only thing being harmed is your argument and your ego. Like other people without a case, you wish to re-label those who have changed as closet bisexuals -- they just didn't realize it until someone pointed it out to them. Thus by reclassifying those involved you explain away the obvious fact that your contention has been proven wrong.

What becomes more interesting is that there is now evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and typically without harm. "A new report in this month's issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Sexuality finds that sexual orientation can be changed and that psychological care for individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions is generally beneficial and that research has not found significant risk of harm" [New Study: Sexual Orientation Can Be Changed, by Gary Schneeberger].

That is neither here nor there. The fact has always been that homosexuality is a sin that can and must be left behind. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). People have been changing their sinful behavior for thousands of years. That you wish to deny the obvious doesn't change the facts.

But I am glad you made the claim that everyone is born female -- by the way the article cited does not support that claim. It well illustrates how foolishly you think. The Bible, which is true, states, "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27). Mankind only has two sexes: male and female. Those sexes are regulated by the chromosomes we label X and Y. Females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y chromosome. The Medline article cited discusses problems that rarely, but sometimes, arise which cause miscommunication of the genes to the hormones produced by the body. This does not mean the people with these problems are neither male nor female or have crossed into the other camp. It simply means they have a medical problem. Your argument is equivalent to saying that someone born without an arm or a leg is not human because all humans have two arms and two legs so therefore a person without two arms and two legs "must" be a different species. Both arguments are equally absurd.