Guest Blogger

Hardline Ex-Gay Group's Hopelessness Isn't Selling Well

Filed By Guest Blogger | October 09, 2013 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: ex-gay, Exodus International, Family Research Council, megalomania, Restored Hope Network

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Mike Airhart is the founder of and a newswire editor and content syndication professional with 20 years of experience in newswire editing, newsroom technology, mobile media, product development, and client support. Mike has written extensively on scandals and deceits of the Christian Right dating back to the 1980s, as well as rape prevention, hate crimes, HIV, immigrant rights, social prejudice, and economic injustice; his work has appeared in Sojourners magazine, Newsweek, and local news publications.

head_in_the_sand.jpgOne year after they revolted against moderates at Exodus International, hardline ex-gay activists at the dubiously-named Restored Hope Network are still grasping for recognition -- apparently with little success.

In recent Facebook posts, RHN leaders:

  • market a three-year-old antigay book by antigay activists Joe Dallas and Nancy Heche
  • promote the next annual conference of the discredited ex-gay think-tank NARTH
  • repost anonymous and undated religious testimonials featuring politically motivated distortions of gender roles and discredited NARTH talking points about sexual attraction
  • warn ominously of the alleged danger of providing accurate history and sexuality lessons to secondary-school children
  • cross-promote propaganda of the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified hate group
  • assert notions of "Godly sexuality" that lack actual Biblical support
  • shill for the National Day of Prayer Task Force -- an evangelical GOP front group that locks out religious Americans who reject evangelicalism and conservative politics
  • invite wives of "sexually broken men" to commiserate at an antigay religious retreat
  • complain that public libraries are refusing to host ex-gay hardliners' disproven claims and bigotry alongside factual sexual, spiritual, and mental-health resources
  • thank frustrated ex-gay activist D.L. Foster for a roadmap to greater conformity and orthodoxy among antigay activists
What's missing: Spiritual grace. Inclusion. Success stories. Modest self-confidence.

About once a week, RHN boasts of its own purity and goodness -- and the evil of everyone else. Here's the most recent example of the organization's narcissistic false piety:

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

We have the privilege whether in the media, here, or private life arenas to cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.

From an old Christian song that I love, "We do not bow our knees to the prince of the air. We know the truth has set us free. And under our feet he will shortly be crushed. Having done all we'll stand in victory."

For this reason, we do not mind challenging the false arguments related to the sin of homosexuality. The Lord God, the Creator of the ends of the earth is holy and strongly supports those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. We are little Gideons, but He is mighty and wise.

RHN's megalomania limits the organization's ability to collaborate with potential allies. The organization is barely a blip on other groups' radar screens; its annual conference attendance this year was dismal; and its ability to raise funds is constrained. RHN claims via Facebook to be registered as a U.S. 501(c)3 organization, but its spartan online donation page provides no information on tax deductibility, and if RHN has filed any IRS 990 non-profit tax returns, they are not yet available to the public.

Far from restoring hope, RHN dashes the hopes of people who seek freedom from prejudice, self-defeating therapy, and religious hypocrisy. With so many other social conservatives already doing the same thing -- without the scandalous historical and personal baggage of ex-gay activists -- selling hopelessness hasn't worked out for RHN thus far.

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