Gay activists suppress television ads

Television networks are refusing to run ads declaring that homosexuals and lesbians can change, the executive director of Exodus International (see link #1 below) says.

..."The gay community went ballistic" when plans for the ads were announced, Bob Davies of Exodus International, the country’s largest "ex-gay" ministry, told Religion Today. "I believe they know the power of the media."

...The ads were to air nationally, starting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Davies said. But leaders of homosexual-rights groups called the heads of all the major television networks and asked them not to run the spots, he said. "Family friendly" networks such as Pax TV (see link #2 below) are airing them, he said. The ads were developed by Janet Folger, director of the Center for Reclaiming America (see link #3 below), founded by Presbyterian minister D. James Kennedy.

..."The gay community wants to silence us," Davies said. "In spite of what they say, they are not interested in tolerance."

...Homosexual activist groups say that sexuality is innate and cannot be changed. The American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association agree, and have denounced Christian-based "reparative therapy," saying the counseling technique often associated with the ex-gay movement doesn’t work and can cause unnecessary guilt and lead to suicide.

...But Davies says he just wants to help the many gays who are depressed, struggling, and want a way out. Many leaders of Exodus International and other "ex-gay" groups say they used to be homosexual or lesbian. Davies has said that Exodus is not trying "to be hateful," but to offer hope for change to those who want it. "The power of Christ will set you free."

..."Freedom from homosexuality is possible through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ," says the nondenominational Seattle-based group, a federation of 131 independent Christian ministries in 38 states. Its full-page ads in major newspapers a year ago created a stir by proclaiming that homosexuality can be overcome. Those ads were paid for by conservative Christian groups.

...Davies compares the work of Exodus to Alcoholics Anonymous, the national organization that sponsors local meetings at which people struggling with addiction to alcohol can change their behavior. "We are the AA of the gay community," he said.

...He said he is especially concerned about young people. "Youth are experimenting. They are not sure about their sexuality and are willing to explore." But he also is hopeful. "I am expecting God to raise up a new generation of Christian leadership. God is doing amazing things. Youth are falling into gay lifestyles and then coming back, all while in their 20s."

...Exodus International is on "the leading edge" of confronting anti-Christian cultural trends, and other Christian groups are beginning to follow, Davies said. "The persecution and hostility we are receiving now is beginning to happen to the church" at large, he said. "Looking five years ahead, I am starting to see where all this is headed. Christians are becoming the bad guys. Christians create the problems in the country, according to non-Christians."

...The church is "being assaulted from without and within," Davies said, referring to secular critics as well as the divisive debates in several denominations over the legitimacy of homosexual clergy and so-called gay marriages. "The authority of Scripture is being eroded daily. Eventually it seems our whole foundation may crumble. It has been happening for many years. The body of Christ is in danger of being compromised."

...About 1,200 people are attending Exodus’ annual conference at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., July 26-31. It is the largest attendance since the group began in 1976. The gathering includes training workshops and rallies. As it began Monday, about 50 protesters marched quietly outside.

3:, July 28, 1999