After waiting nearly a year and half, Exodus International has finally done the right thing by releasing a lucid, definitive statement on its role in promoting possible genocide in Uganda. The group also stated its opposition to the criminalization of homosexuality.
Exodus’ President Alan Chambers and its Vice President, Randy Thomas, are guilty of the Sin of Pride for waiting so long to be clear and concise. How long does one have to pray to figure out that murder and pogroms are immoral? How would these men have felt if the Anti-homosexuality Bill had been passed and LGBT people were rounded up and slaughtered?
This is a risk they took with their tardy response.
That said, better late than never in recognizing human rights for all people. Exodus’ new statement opposing the criminalization of LGBT people is a positive step in the right direction. It shows moral and ethical growth on the part of Thomas and Chambers, who all too often have unthinkingly carried the Religious Right’s spit bucket. It appears that they are slowly developing more independent and authentic voices by questioning the more extreme parts of the anti-gay fringe’s agenda.
Still, Exodus has not done enough. The only way they can truly right this terrible wrong is to send Chambers and Thomas to Kampala. They need to hold a press conference in the same hotel where the original “kill the gays” symposium was held, that led to this international fiasco.
As far as I know, people can reach Uganda by plane from Orlando, where Exodus is based. So, when is the Exodus leadership catching a flight? It is one thing to release a statement to gay activists in America. And, quite another to have the courage to disseminate this message where it really needs to be heard — in Kampala. Exodus helped shatter this Humpty Dumpty. They have a duty to go to the source of the problem and glue it back together.
Let’s hope that this week’s statement is indicative of better leadership at Exodus going forward. Of course, we all know that Exodus’ gig in America is on borrowed time. As less people are being taught to be ashamed of who they are, the market for Exodus poison decreases daily.
Here is Exodus statement opposing the criminalization of homosexuality:
Exodus International opposes the criminalization of homosexual behavior as conducted by consensual adults in private. We strongly oppose the imprisonment, mistreatment, or death of homosexual men and women on the basis of their perceived or known sexual orientation. These actions breed cultural violence and institutionalized shame, neither of which reflect God’ redemptive heart.
We hope Exodus lives up to its new creed. Many of us still have not forgotten Exodus’ empty statement that they gave up anti-gay politics, only to see the group’s leaders vigorously campaigning to pass Proposition 8 prohibiting marriage equality in California. There is good reason to be skeptical of Chambers and Thomas, given their tenuous relationship with the truth.
Maybe this is the start of a new day for Exodus? Or, perhaps, it is more smoke and mirrors. While time may tell, we at Truth Wins Out will be looking at the timepiece and taking notes.