Settling back into life in Southern California after a marathon 15 flight segments, three continents and several train journeys is a blessing!
So there are only two events you need to know about this week (other than watching the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, in case the justice rule on Proposition 8 and DOMA) .
One is a “welcome home” brunch in San Diego where I will be talking about my trip and the latest news from Uganda – a mixed bag indeed. Click on the link to find out more about the brunch on Sunday, June 16 from noon to 2 pm.
If you cannot make it, please consider making a donation to the work ahead of us, and I share a report if you cannot come to any of our California events in the next two months.
The second event worth noting is the showing of Lisa Ling’s “God And Gays” on Thursday, June 20 at 10 pm Eastern, 7 pm Pacific time. She interviews Alan Chambers of Exodus International, who tries to offer an apology to some of the LGBT people he misinformed over many years that their homosexuality could be healed. This so called reparative therapy has no scientific basis and has just been outlawed in California when applied to minors. This very interesting confrontational show will be on the OWN (Oprah Channel) and we can see it in San Diego on Channel 106. Local activist Sean Sala will be among those on the show.
Recent rearranging of the deck chairs on the sinking ship
Chamber’s organization on May 28 withdrew from Exodus Global Alliance after 18 years of membership. The Global Alliance has networks in South America, Brazil, Indian Asia and Africa. They are most famous for presenting four papers and organizing a series of workshops at a large Evangelical Conference in Capetown, South Africa in 2010 where 4,000 leaders heard about their quackery and proceeded to implement a series of anti-gay laws across the continent that would reply on this misinformation as a basis for punitive actions against LGBT people.
Even the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Law in Uganda has the premise that gay orientation is deliberately chosen and can be reversed to heterosexuality. The Capetown Conference attendees (organized by Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda who preached at the closing ceremonies) were given enough significant misinformation about LGBT people that Exodus and the Global Alliance probably need to apologize to more than a few million people in the U.S. alone. They need to apologize to the whole LGBT global movement.
Compared to the invasion of Iraq based on the false premise that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the Evangelical Christian community can be forgiven for years of anti-gay persecution because it was misinformed by Alan Chambers and his international network. The damage is profound.
Although the apology is directed towards North Americans, the damage across the planet can still be felt in many of the communities that St. Paul’s Foundation works in. Chambers is artfully crafting his exit strategy from the U.S. markets, but the real growth in this movement is in the Global South and we need to make sure that funding for these networks cannot be supported by USA-based charities. We have seen this before -- the tobacco industry declines in the Global North and opens new markets elsewhere.
Exodus and its vile message is attempting to do the same. They should be shut down completely on the basis of fraud. They are not successful in what they claim to do and the wake of damaged lives should be proof enough that their tax-exempt status should be revoked and make sure we are not funneling dollars of hate to their international networks. You can go online HERE to see their new markets. Exodus North America is still on their website.
Our own Sean Sala from San Diego told me about the show several weeks ago before my trip. He had this to say:
"Although I can't disclose details before the airing, I can say that this expose will shake the foundations of the already crumbled ‘ex-gay’ movement. Reparative therapy had destroyed my life and I myself almost took my own life because of it. But little did I realize when God lifted me out of that pit that he would guide me into a basement in Los Angeles to bravely stand face to face with the monster that literally had slaughtered the lives of millions, destroyed families and now is being used as a global tool to weld genocide. Ultimately the goal must be this, Exodus must shut down."
You can view a trailer of the show here:
RGOD2, written by the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle of St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, looks at faith and religion from an LGBT point of view. Ogle is known around the world for his work in support of LGBT rights and HIV-prevention efforts. He is president of St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation. Donations to the foundation can be made by clicking HERE.