Despite cutbacks to its Love Won Out roadshow, Exodus International is proceeding with its June 27-30 Freedom Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The conference theme is depicted in the Exodus conference artwork to the right: A very spooky woman stands in a dark tunnel, not really moving anywhere quickly, but rather relishing that she has a path in front of her, even though she’s making little effort to follow it. It is implied that Exodus offers the path out. But as the conference content shall indicate, the tunnel actually represents Exodus — and Exodus does not want this anonymous and closeted woman to leave.
The conference website’s home page promises to make people “MORE” than they were when they were honest about their sexual orientation, and promises that attendees will experience “MORE” than the lowly desires, temptations and attractions of those poor souls who don’t fully suppress their sexuality. The front page also implicitly condemns gay people to Hell, contending that people who are honest about their sexual orientation are not “defined by our Creator with great meaning and purpose.”
While orientation-affirming persons are basically uninvited, Exodus is extending a super-duper bonus welcome to troubled students who continue to be dragged to the conference — Exodus admits this — by their parents.
For $329, each attendee will learn via scheduled sessions:
- male homosexuality is not a pre-determined, biological condition. It is caused by faulty family dynamics.
- “true freedom” is the absence of sexuality and dissent, not the presence of diversity
- tactics for antigay wives to use against their husbands and against reality
- what naughty cherry-picked Bible fragments say against sexual honesty, but not what the Bible says about hypocrisy, judgmentalism, arrogance, gracelessness, and fraud
- how antigay parents have successfully antagonized their sons for a decade or more
- how sexual honesty “hinder(s) our becoming the men and women God intended for us to be.”
- how to suppress temptation through relentless mind games
- how to misread suffocating conservative cultural roles into “Biblical masculinity” and “Biblical femininity”
- how to other-ize and demean a gay son as a “prodigal” failure and then manage feelings of self-pity
- how finding life in same-sex relationships must be demeaned and separated from finding spiritual meaning
- how to stay married despite the “intrusion” of homosexual orientation
All that captivity to self-hate, shame, and obligation to conform to ultraconservative cultural roles — in just the first day of the conference!
Sign me up! I want to be free — free to blame God and the Bible for my misery, and free from any obligation to be honest and authentic, with all the risk and social disapproval that this would entail. </sarcasm>