While all eyes were on the Supreme Court awaiting the Prop 8 and DOMA rulings this week, there was another indication that the arc of the moral universe is bending toward LGBT justice in the news that Exodus International, the notorious "pray away the gay" ministry, is closing up shop.
The end of the Exodus era was announced in a statement filed June 19 stating that the organization had become "imprisoned in a worldview that's neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical." It followed a widely circulated "apology" from Exodus president Alan Chambers, which read, in part:
I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. ... I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship. I pledge that future endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.
So here's what I have to say about that.
There are not enough words in the world to undo the harm done to LGBT people who have been damaged, devalued and, in far too many cases, destroyed by the toxic narrative that their sexual orientation was an illness to be cured. Homosexuality does not need healing. Homophobia does.
There is not enough regret on the planet to rectify the misuse of biblical texts as weapons of mass discrimination against the LGBT members of God's beloved human family. God does not ask, "Whom do you love?" but, "Do you love?"
But -- and it is a significant "but" -- the end of the Exodus era is yet more evidence that the tide is turning, that evolution is not a theory, and that there really is a lavender light at the end of the tunnel.
The end of the Exodus era is a tribute to the hard work and perseverance of all who have stood against the fiction of reparative therapy for LGBT people and offered instead the good news of God's love available to absolutely everybody.
And the end of the Exodus era is an incremental victory on the road to the audacious goal of the eradication of homophobia from our communities, our churches, our country and our world. Hasta la vista, Exodus. You will not be missed.