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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Alan Chambers, Stephen Bennett and Quotes

by @ 3:37 pm. Filed under Ex-gays, Exodus, Gay News, hate speech, Nonviolence, Stephen Bennett

The web is buzzing over recent comments by Exodus International leader Alan Chambers.  Apparently Chambers has implied in his comments that no one really completely changes from gay to heterosexual.  Chamber’s first quote was on CNN:

“For one for someone to simply think that going from straight to gay is like flipping a light switch, that’s something that we want to correct at every turn.” as reported by Box Turtle Bulletin

He followed that the next day with a report in the Los Angeles Times, the article states:(bold print mine)

With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men; he’s a husband and a father, and he identifies as straight. But lately, he’s come to resent the term “ex-gay”: It’s too neat, implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. “By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,” Chambers said.

Well, as the pro-gay world is buzzing about what Chambers meant or didn’t mean as he pretty much states that no one has a “complete” change from being gay and that ex-gays will still face “temptation”, ex-gay Stephen Bennett is calling “misquote.”

Stephen has written on his new igroop daily commentary:

“I have to say with every breath of my being, I believe Alan COULDN’T have said the things the LA Times claimed he did.”

Sadly for Stephen this is not the first time Alan Chambers has made such comments, but it also appears he was not misquoted either.  Jim Burroway reports that Alan made similar. types of comments at the Love Won Out Conference last year. Jim writes on his blog about the “times” interview (bold mine):

This is very much in line with what he told an audience at Love Won Out in Phoenix last February. Alan Chambers gave a workshop, attended by about seventy-five people out of the 700 total attendance, in which he cautioned about setting realistic expectations for change. He also talked about his own struggles, and he candidly discussed the fact that even though he is happily married, his struggles continue.

Stephen doesn’t want to believe that Alan still has same sex attractions.  For whatever reason he has, Stephen feels that Alan has been misquoted.   Bennett states further:

“Our prayers are with Alan and Exodus during this time, and I hope someone will publicly respond to these ludicrous so-called “quotes” the LA Times is claiming.”

I sometimes, actually most of the time, feel bad for Bennett.  I feel Stephen needs to believe, as well as many other ex-gays, the things he does.  He needs to believe that gays and lesbians can just change and that all they need to do is find god.   The fact remains that dozens of men and women, including Alan Chambers, are still homosexual regardless what they call themselves.   The dictionary and science define homosexual as someone attracted to the same sex and Alan has stated more than once that even though he calls himself a heterosexual, he is still “tempted” by his same sex attractions.   In other words, he is still a homosexual.

I too, hope that Alan will clarify his statements as I see this as a very important step towards finding the truth.  I offered Alan Chambers an interview in this site.  I sent him the questions and he replied he would work on them and send the answers back.  I agreed I would post his responses unchanged, unedited and only print a final interview we both agreed on.  He just kept sending me emails with excuses as to why he never filled it out.  Either way, he never filled out the answers and sent them back to me.  I will post the questions sent to Alan at a latter date (there are on my other computer), but knowing how direct my questions were, and knowing I crafted those questions so that it would be hard to avoid answering them directly, I suspect Alan is in the same boat as Stephen Bennett.   Afraid to say the things that really need to be said.

I will add for the record I sent the same invitation to be interviewed by me for a gay audience to read, to Stephen Bennett, Peter LaBarbera, Stacy Harp and others.  Those offers still stand.   It was a chance to increase understanding and try to do away with the “Us vs. Them” mentality that plagues this conflict.  Gandhi believed, and so do I, that we all hold a piece of the truth and a piece of the untruth.   Gandhi believed that if we stripped away the “untruth” which is our greed, fear, power hunger, our desire to control, and mostly our ego, we are only left with that which is truth.   Somehow, we have got to find a way to strip away the untruths.   It takes strength and courage to take such a bold move in such a heated debate, but so many lives are at stake.   So many people are getting hurt, killed, abused, and beaten over this debate.   Finding the truth could change the world for the better.  Alan Chambers appears to be making a courageous move, but the question remains, will Stephen?   Will DL Foster?   Will anyone follow the example?

2 Responses to “Alan Chambers, Stephen Bennett and Quotes”

  1. Steve Boese Says:

    I would sincerely like to sit down for a face-to-face chat with
    Stephen Bennett. It’s a do-able thing — I live in Connecticut like
    he does. I’m a plain-spoken, easy-going guy who has some skills yet
    is appropriately humble about the mess his life amounts to at the
    moment.

    As much as it irks me that our President talks about seeing into
    people’s souls when he meets them, I also trust my intuition and my
    perceptions when I get to spend time with people in simple but
    connected circumstances.

    I’d be totally OK with Stephen telling me that his experience is
    diametrically opposed to Alan’s, and that he has been absolutely,
    fundamentally, completely changed — like a light switch going from
    on to off — from being homosexual to being heterosexual.

    But I don’t accept the premise that one person’s experience
    proves that the experience is within reach for everybody with a
    similar background.

  2. Steve Boese Says:

    I would sincerely like to sit down for a face-to-face chat with
    Stephen Bennett. It’s a do-able thing — I live in Connecticut like he does. I’m a plain-spoken, easy-going guy who has some skills yet is appropriately humble about the mess his life amounts to at the
    moment.

    As much as it irks me that our President talks about seeing into
    people’s souls when he meets them, I also trust my intuition and my perceptions when I get to spend time with people in simple but connected circumstances.

    I’d be totally OK with Stephen telling me that his experience is
    diametrically opposed to Alan’s, and that he has been absolutely,
    fundamentally, completely changed — like a light switch going from
    on to off — from being omosexual to being heterosexual.

    But I don’t accept the premise that one person’s experience
    proves that the experience is within reach for everybody with a
    similar background.

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