So, this morning I'm checking my email and there's a post to the GayIndy listserv, warning us all that the Focus on the Family Love Won Out conference is coming to Indianapolis next weekend. Never having heard of such a conference, I naturally clicked on the link to check it out. It's all about Exodus and other "ex-gay" "ministries" (forgive the double sarcastic quotes, but I don't believe in the ex-gay movement, and I don't believe that that movement counts as a ministry), but what sucked me in was the headline "Helpful articles for those struggling with same-sex attraction" under the "culture" menu item.
It takes you to the homosexuality section of another site called "pure intimacy", where naturally I gravitated toward the articles about lesbians, specifically one entitled Control: the last stronghold of lesbianism.
Obviously, I was intrigued. From the opening of the article:
"I feel like a wounded animal, backed into a corner by her enemy and all I can do is to try and strike a frightening pose and make a fierce sound, hoping I can scare him away."
In one of many counseling sessions, the young lady who made this statement was expressing--perhaps more clearly than ever--the feelings that had dominated her life and were such a major factor in her lesbianism.
The article basically posits that lesbianism is a woman's response to having been abused, and can be cured by giving over control of her life to Jesus. At least, I think that's what they're positing--the article is all over the place, making wild unsubstantiated claims left and right:
Typically, a Christian woman struggling with lesbianism comes to us wanting to live a life that is obedient to the Lord. She wants to be free from sexual involvement and free from falling into highly dependent idolatrous relationships with other women.
"Highly dependent idolatrous relationships"??? which you "ex-gay" missionaries would cure by having her read The Surrendered Wife? If you're not familiar, that's just one of many "Christian" books that claim that everything wrong with society and with your heterosexual marriage is due to the wife not being meek and subservient and treating her husband like a king and relying on him for her very existence. "Highly dependent," HA. "Idolatrous," indeed.
A background of abuse--sexual, physical or emotional--has left them deeply wounded. Sometimes the one abused was their mother, who passively suffered at the hands of their father, and they developed contempt for the feminine which they perceived as inherent weakness.
I have no idea how many lesbians out there have been abused in their lives. I can only say that I, luckily, have not been. But the idea that any of us became lesbians because we developed CONTEMPT for the feminine is patently absurd. Lust, appreciation, love, desire, need for the feminine, sure; but contempt? Hardly. Is this stuff making sense to anyone else out there? Because I'm pretty bewildered.
Anyway, the theory is, apparently, that giving up all control of your life to Jesus is only one step toward ridding yourself of your wicked homosexual desires:
The second thing that she may need to die to before control can be surrendered to the Lord is rebellion. Some women will not even start to consider what is said here, or listen to what God is saying to them through other sources, because of a spirit of defiance or rebellion.... Jesus is offering to be her protector.... To say no to Him is to say no to life, to the life that He offers. It is the clay telling the potter what it will be. It is rebellion. It is a sin.
AHA! Now I get it--I was on the right track with the "Surrendered Wife" connection--it's not that they care about two chicks kissing, they care about two chicks not doing what they're told. From the conclusion:
The goal is not marriage. The goal is obedience, becoming who God created us to be. And as we are obedient, life opens up all around us, and all sorts of wonderful things become possible. Our control of our lives was so narrow and constricting. His control offers freedom and abundance.
Does this sound like the Bible, or like George Orwell? I think I prefer the freedom to love my wife. And I'll continue to do so, in joy and celebration. And okay, maybe just a little bit in "the spirit of defiance and rebellion."
NOTE: When I went to post on this subject, I did a TBP search to see if we'd ever talked about "Love Won Out" conferences before, and I discovered that Bil is planning to go, or at least was in August. I don't know if his plans have changed due to Election Season, but Bil, if you're going, let me just say, you're braver than I am. I will run for the hills when these folks come to town.