Daddy D's traveling pray-away-the-gay indoctrination circus, Love Won Out, has been receiving an inordinate amount of media attention because its upcoming stop is in Anchorage, Alaska, the state of fundie veep nom Sarah Palin. In fact, it's being promoted by her church.
Apparently the folks at Focus on the Anus's CitizenLink have a bit of a wet diaper and feel the need to assert that LWO is not anti-gay at all. Pinocchio noses, anyone?
To hear the media tell it, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is supporting an "anti-gay conference that preach(es) an anti-gospel doctrine."
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
When Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference travels to Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, it will bring a biblical and experiential perspective on the issue of homosexuality.
“We exist to help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome," said Melissa Fryrear, director of Focus on the Family’s gender and sexuality department. "It is not easy, but it is possible, as evidenced by the thousands of men and women — like me — who have walked this difficult road successfully.”
Ms. Fryrear, who appears at LWO events to talk about her "restoration to heterosexuality after 10 years of "lesbian activity", claims "there's nothing intolerant about our message."
Fib much? Ms. Fryrear:
"I never met a person who aspired to be homosexually challenged," the gender issues expert noted at one point. "Sexual trauma is a huge piece of the puzzle. Having talked with hundreds of homosexuals, I have never met one that had not been sexually violated in his or her life."
Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin attended one of these LWO conferences (so you don't have to), and heard Melissa's "testimony":
After all, it’s theologically impossible for a story to end otherwise after having put their faith in Jesus Christ. And evidence of that triumph was often found in references to wives and children. As far as the audience was concerned, what better proof is there that they had “left homosexuality behind?” Mike Haley’s testimony closed with a wedding photo and pictures of his beautiful children. (And his children really are adorable. No wonder he’s such a proud husband and father.) Joe Dallas and Alan Chambers also spoke of their wives and families. The only speaker who “left homosexuality” but wasn’t married was Melissa Fryrear. Since she didn’t have any wedding photos or adorable children to talk about, she was reduced to describing what her ideal man would look like — “tall, red-headed, looks good in a kilt!” — while joking, “Is it hot in here?”
Palin should take questions about this -- are the beliefs of this brand of evangelical faith endorsed by her -- and McCain? How might policy decisions be affected -- is praying for a pipeline or an end times philosophy going to inform the decision making in a McCain/Palin administration -- if yes, why; if not, why not? After all, these are basic questions -- certainly Barack Obama had to answer quite a few regarding Rev. Wright -- and so the door is now open to examine the issue of faith and policy.
I have an oldie but goodie below the fold -- an ex-gay glossary of terms.
Scott at RealityCubed did this glossary last year, and it's worth reading again to show the ridiculous nature of Love Won Out.
Gay Identified - A person who thinks they are perfectly happy being gay, they should be opposed every step of the way.
Sexual Orientation - Does not exist in the ex-gay world.
Thousands of Ex-gays - This is the term used when any ex-gay spokesperson is talking to a skeptical, secular audience.
Tens of Thousands of Ex-gays - This is the term used mostly in print when the audience is friendlier than a secular audience but could still be seen by the secular crowd.
Hundreds of Thousands of Ex-gays - This term is reserved only for a friendly audience (i.e. preaching to the choir). This is not generally used when specific evidence of "hundreds of thousands" might be asked for.
Homosexual Lifestyle - Used generally within a story of bad human behavior (i.e. "I used to molest innocent squirrels when I was in the homosexual lifestyle"). Once defined as an example of incredibly bad behavior to your listeners for the first time, you can start using it to broadly paint mundane things like getting your mail or grocery shopping as "living the homosexual lifestyle". After you've initially defined this term with your audience and equated the term to bad behavior, it makes generalization of an entire group of people quite easy.
Well adjusted gay person - Does not exist in the ex-gay world. These people are deceived by Satan.
We can laugh at this, but what's sad, particularly since we have a GOP veep nominee whose church believes in praying away the gay through programs like this, is that these conferences have audiences full of parents of gay children who want to change them, and people who have been steeped in faith that damns them for same-sex attraction. They are damaging and deluding minds.