Pretzel logic and the "ex-gays".
Faking reality is one of the hallmarks of the fundamentalist. Reality is judged by the Bible and not the Bible by reality. Reality has to be twisted to correspond with Scripture. I was reading a Christian “webzine” with an article by someone who works for the fraudulent Exodus International “ministry” which promises to help “deliver” people from being gay.
Of course they have stopped using the word gay or homosexual. They have convinced themselves that such people simply don’t exist. There are only those “struggling with same-sex attracting”. So, if you are gay you aren’t.
Now this article by Mike Ensley asks what should most “exgays” do because most “exgays” “haven’t come to our ‘happy ending’ yet”. He wants to know “What about those who continue to struggle with same-sex attraction, even after choosing to follow Christ. We’re caught in a sort of identity limbo, unsure whether we can or even should hope to experiences heterosexual desire, get married and start a family someday.”
He says “all those testimonies from now married ‘ex-gay’s and those who have been ‘supernaturally delivered’ from their struggle can be more of a frustration than an encouragement.” No doubt because they aren’t real. I’ve followed these lunatics and their antics for 25 years. Who are the ones claiming this supernatural deliverance?
First, numbers of them were caught out as lying about it. They said they were changed but were then found screwing the young guys who came to them for ministry. They were liars. Then there were a number who said they were cured and then later admitted that they were lying and that no change had taken place -- that they were claiming such changes by faith but it didn’t work.
Then you read about “cures” which are very nebulous at best. Groups would claim some “cure rate” but when questioned would admit they did no follow up whatsoever. Once someone finished their “homo no mo” course they were “graduated” and declared cured and sent out into the world. From that point on the ministry had no contact with them. But they were cures!
One cure I read about had me in stitches. A man with a life-long heterosexual orientation goes to prison. He has some gay sex in prison (pretty much the only option there). He feels bad about it. He gets out and prays to Jesus and never has gay sex again. He’s cured! Prayer works! That’s like going to the Sahara Desert and praying that the waters dry up.
Other cases were about individuals whose greatest sexual attractions were heterosexual but who, perhaps as teens, tried gay sex a couple of times. A few were men who were straight, married and enjoyed straight sex but who got horny and allowed some man to give them a blow job. The “testimonies” I read were filled with such cases. Others were apparently bisexual and attracted to both sexes.
Then there were people who apparently are homosexual and who believe it sinful because the Bible says it. They can’t stand who they are because they think God hates them for this and will torture them for eternity if they remain gay. They “struggle” and don’t find the cure. They may even marry as a leap of faith. They may even live a life long, sexless existence married to someone who they may care for but can never desire. But they are a “success”. If these people are the success what do the failures look like?
We all hear of cases of men who have been married and who, after years of marriage, announce they’ve been gay all along. Yet there are people who want to use marriage as proof of successful sexual conversion. Ensley seems to forget this and uses the “now married ‘ex-gays’” as a criteria of successful cure. His real questions however is for the vast majority of “former homosexuals” who never became “former”.
Ensley admits he “continues to experience same-sex attractions” but denies this means he is still gay. He can’t accept he is gay because “my faith in God’s Word -- as well as my conviction and my personal experience -- tell me otherwise.” That’s what I mean when I speak of twisting reality to fit the Bible. He says he is attracted to men but he says that doesn’t mean he is gay because his “faith” and his “convictions” (the same thing) say he isn’t. This is confirmed by his “personal experience”! What personal experience? The one where he is still sexually attracted to men?
He suggest believers who are gay (oops, I mean “struggling with same-sex attraction”) must “transform our thinking”. Stop thinking logically. Stop thinking that if one is still sexually attracted only to the same sex that means one is gay. One is really just a straight with struggles.
Ensley then twists logic like a pretzel. He discusses that straight Christians have sexual desires that are evil as well. So these straights “have to crucify the flesh daily, just like you and me.” “For the opposite-sex struggler, relationships based on lust and/or unhealthy dependencies can sometimes slip under the radar, masking as romance.”
I love this. His theory is that all people, gay and straight, are really fucked up so the person who is gay but lying about it is really no different. Instead of arguing that all people are as good as each other he is arguing that all people are as sick and disgusting as each other. Scratch the born-again Christian and you find someone who has contempt and hatred for humanity.
Now what about those ‘ex-gays’ who want relationship? Ensley suggests that they stop worrying about whether or not they have any sexual desires for their opposite sex spouse. He tells them: “We often say the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality, it’s holiness.” Ensley says don’t worry about sexual satisfaction since that is selfish. And individuals must put themselves last in the Christian hierarchy -- sort of the way the Communists want.
So your body, in marriage, belongs to your partner and it should be offered “as a living sacrifice to God.” There was the old joke about Victorian sex advice to women being: “Lie still and think of England.” (No wonder they were frigid.) His advice is “Lie still and think of Jesus.” Now I personally would worry a great deal about anyone thinking of Jesus during a sexual encounter.
Ensley is telling his fellow “cured” gays that they shouldn’t worry about not having sexual desires if they marry because sexual desire is selfish. “Afraid you won’t enjoy the sex? Well, if your priority is your own satisfaction and the living out of your overly-developed obsessions, no, you won’t enjoy the intimacy of sex with marriage.” He knows this by faith not by experience since he is single and still attracted to men. So if you are gay screw the wife and think of Jesus because “sex God’s way will be the best”.
Also notice that he has a trap for the “cured” gay here. They are to have sex with their wife (or husband as the case may be) but if don’t “enjoy the intimacy of sex with marriage” the reason will be because they worried about whether they would enjoy it. If you want to enjoy it you won’t is a safety valve since all of them will worry about enjoying it. Thus they are always to blame as God wanted to heal them and allow them true intimacy but their own sinful nature got in the way. Remember it is always fault since reality must always correspond with Scripture.
Ensley twists the definition of heterosexual and homosexual in such ways as to make them meaningless. He advises that one should not allow “temptations” to “dictate your identity”. So if you are a man attracted to men you don’t fall in the category of homosexual at all. Define it right out of existence so it fits the Bible.
Ensley says that “God has put this truth in my heart” (which means it is something he believes) “ that keeps repeating itself to me: Homosexuality is an experience you have, it’s not a thing that you are.” See, if you call someone a murderer you have it wrong. That is merely something they experience not something they did. A thief is not a category that describes people who steal, it is only an experience that people have. Rapists aren’t rapists, they only experienced non-consenting sex.
He tells those who are going to find “healing” that it “is only to be expected” that “temptation remains.” He says that people drown their disappointments in various sexual activities and that Jesus “erases my guilt, but not my memory”. But as someone who has only been attracted to gay men he knows it’s “an illusion I used to protect myself. Now, armed with the truth and with a God who loves me cares about my problems, I can choose to deal with my pain rightly.” Sure he can, by pretending it is just an illusion.
This describes the religionist well. He denies reality, calling it an illusion, so that he can pretend that his religious illusions are reality.
Ensley has practical advise. First he suggest that “strugglers” give up any connection to the Internet -- funny given that this is a “webzine” he is writing for. “Why do you still have access to it when you don’t have to?” He says “Get that DSL connection of your bedroom.” I guess homosexuality is a result of the Internet. He however does not follow this advice and has his own web pages.
Next he suggests that people abandon any gay friends they have. Drop them because “God will provide healthy, godly new friendship for you in time.” See, if you have no gay friends and run from reality then it won’t exist. You will then just be struggling with same-sex attractions and won’t really be gay after all. And someday you can offer your body as a sacrifice by having limp sex with someone for whom you have no attraction, knowing that this is what God wants. And the reason you don’t have that attraction is because you are sinful and worried about having that attraction so God is still loving and good and curing your because you were never gay after all.
Photo: Mike Ensley trying to look butch by not shaving and and refusing to smile.