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"Love in Action"

HatefagA kid sent to a Tennessee-based religious organization's camp for gay kids has been thrust into the spotlight by posting the camp's rules, which amount to brainwashing, on his MySpace blog.

"Zach" writes, "Yeah, I was upset yesterday.. however I found an email about the rules and regulations of the program. My parents lied to me.. they told me (29th of May) that they didn't know what the rules were exactly, however, this email wasnt sent on the 26th of May. I see now why they 'didn't know what the rules were.' It's horrible.. they're posted below.. and I so worried. It's like boot camp... but worse. I obviously was not supposed to see this.. Seeing the bottom say "Parental Rules (not to be given to client)"

What is with these people...? Honestly.. how could you support a program like this? If I do come out straight I'll be so mentally unstable and depressed it wont matter.. I'll be back in therapy again. This is not good--"

The story has been picked up around the Internet on sites like Sploid and Janus Online, which comments, "Ex-gay programs, however misguided, are fine for consenting adults who for whatever reason think they want to change their sexual orientation (despite zero proof that it is even possible). This program is administered to minors against their will. It is forced indoctrination, including dehumanizing, degrading treatment."

While "Zach" has not posted since late May, there is an outpouring of support from commenters on his blog. It's also reassuring to see that the kid has a sense of his own oppression.

(thanks michael)

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Comments

  1. To the parents of Zach: How will you feel when Zach comes out (no pun) of this "therapy camp" PRETENDING to be someone he's not, goes through life so depressed at not being able to BE HIMSELF and decides to take himself out? How will you feel then? I'm sure you'll be needing some type of therapy then, huh?
    Go back to school and get out the "new and improved" biology books. Realize that homosexuality is IN THE GENES! It is NOT a chosen behavior! If you must, think of it as a type of birth defect, that he didn't get the "normal straight genes", he received the homosexual ones. (No offense to gays! Please!) Would you not love and accept your child had he been born with no arms?
    No, I'm not gay, but having many gay friends I do keep up with what's real. Obviously, they're more real than you are.

    Posted by: Michele | Jul 29, 2005 8:32:35 AM


  2. Excuse me, but I am one of the so called Christain mothers that you are all bashing. It sounds to me like you are doing the same thing to us as you say we do to you. HOw dare you stereotype all Christians? I do not bash you but you bash me. Hey, how would you like your early 20's son to move 3000 miles away from you and move in with a man older than his parent? It that is not pedaphilia i do not know what is. Any answers?

    Posted by: molly | Aug 2, 2005 8:59:43 AM


  3. You're right, Holly. You have no idea what "pedaphilia" is. Someone in their early 20's cannot be a victim of pedophilia because, you see, they are no longer a child. Lots of people, gay and straight, get married to other people much older than they are. Because of the way society treats homosexuals, many young homosexuals are left extremely emotionally scarred. It makes it very hard to keep up a stable relationship with such heavy psychological problems. That is why some homosexuals look for older partners: they tend to be better adjusted, less likely to be involved in drugs, more financially stable, etc. It is strange side-effect of the treatment our community gets that could easily be remedied by simply being able to trust mothers like yourself to help defend us and help end gay oppression in our society. If you could help us with that, perhaps your early 20's son could find someone his age around his own neighborhood. Either way, though, the world is smaller than it used to be due to the airplane and the internet. Sometimes people fall in love with people who live far away. I totally understand why any parent would not want their child to be so far away from them, but it has nothing to do with homosexuality.

    If you want to be a good mother and keep your son nearby, help him look for a stable, well-rounded guy his age. I, myself, would much rather bring someone home to meet my parents who is my age and in a roughly similar class. I have a twin sister who has just enough of a hard time finding someone worthy among heterosxual boys. Gay boys tend to have even more issues, due to severe mental trauma of living in a society that treats us like monsters. I am sorry if anyone here made you feel "bashed". But I hope that you take to the time to really truly imagine what it feels like to know something so deeply about yourself and, yet, have the world hate you and blame you for it. It's terrible. I don't think you'd fully understand unless you could actually live through it. I am going to assume that you actually have an early 20's son, because it sounds like you are coming from a place of threatened confusion about someone close to you on this. My answer: love him. Help him look for someone his age. Realize that God has given him the chance to live a life less ordinary. Realize that God has made him gay to teach you something about humanity. He wants nothing more than for his mother to be proud of him and to support him. His attraction to other boys is something absolutely at his core: he only knows the color of eyes with the aid of a mirror; he only knows his name because that is what people call him; but he knows he is homosexual because he just is.

    I thank you for your bravery in trying to understand. Many of us fight extremely depressing thoughts of suicide on a daily basis because society does not understand us. The best and only thing for us is to find ourselves valid partners in this life experience. Someone to love.

    The organized and overwhelming anti-gay environment in American society is true bashing. Those who spout anger about religion and parents tend to have been very hurt by them and I hope they can find peace.

    Posted by: John | Aug 2, 2005 2:56:31 PM


  4. To Holly:

    The age difference between your 20 something son and his lover is NOT pedophilia, if he were still under the age of consent (18 where I come from) then yeah it would be. Maybe your son moved to get away from his over-bearing and non-understanding parents? That's what I did...
    And yeah, the guy I moved in with was older than me.

    But maybe I wouldn't have moved out had my folks not fought all the time, been super over-bearing, and if I'd lived in a more tolerant area. I traded red-necky and restrictive Ironton Ohio for interesting and limitless Seattle, Washington. And I sure as hell wasn't gunna keep living with mommy and daddy way into my 30's. =P

    Posted by: Blaze_Foxxie | Aug 3, 2005 9:01:35 AM


  5. Again to Holly:

    Bashing? Well ya see honey, you and your stuffed shirt fundie buddies are the majority, and us prissy homos are the minority. Just as blacks were the minority in the 50's, and blacks didn't like being called the N-word all the time, so they came up with words like "honkey" and "cracker." Us gays don't like being called "fags" all the time so we came up with words like "breeder."

    Not all white people are the same though, and not all christians are the same either. But UNTIL you actively show some disapproval of the KKK and Pat Robertson we just lump you in with the other zealots.

    Remember all the anti mixed marriage laws imposed by white christians? Throughout history there's always been some group opressing another, usually in the name of God or some other invisble entity. And it usually takes 20-30 years of social reform to make it all into crap we'll look back on via The History Channel.

    30 years from now when being gay is as common and tolerated as being black, people like Fred Phelps and John Smid will be as laughable as the Nazis or Ku Klux Klan. Like, damn... those guys were morons, eh?

    http://www.sdcitybeat.com/article.php?id=1802
    Sordid Tales, reincarnation of fascists.

    Posted by: Blaze_Foxxie | Aug 3, 2005 9:17:21 AM


  6. HI AGAIN, FIRST I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN HURT BY THE SO CALLED RIGHT CHRISTIANS. I TRULY AM SORRY AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT THEY DO NOT REPRESENT ME. AS FAR AS THE KKK GOES I HAVE BEEN AGAINST THAT MOVEMENT FOREVER. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN HATE. I DO BELIEVE IN GOD AND HIS EVERLASTING LOVE FOR ALL OF US. I AM DISTRESSED THAT THERE IS SO MUCH HATRED IN OUR WORLD. WE ARE ALL SO HURTING AND IN NEED OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. PLEASE ACCEPT MY LAMENT FOR THE HATE CRIMES DONE TO HOMOSEXUALS. I THINK IT IS DEPLORABLE. I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE TO DISAGREE ON SOME THINGS BUT WHEN IT COMES TO GODS LOVE THRU JESUS HIS SON THERE IS NOTHING TO REALLY DISAGREE ABOUT. READ THE GOSPELS IN THE BIBLE MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN. HE IS NOTHING BUT LOVING AND FORGIVING AND YET THEY KILLED HIM. I WISH EVERYONE PEACE.

    Posted by: MOLLY | Aug 4, 2005 2:46:37 PM


  7. Thank you Molly (I thought it was "Holly", earlier - bad fonts on this site). I hope you can understand where anger at Christianity comes from. As a gay Christian, it angers and hurts me deeply that people use Jesus' name to attack gays, give money to super-rich people, and engage in mass-murder (oh, excuse me, "justifiable war").

    It is the well-meaning Christians like yourself that get caught in the middle. The political party in charge of this country uses your fear and confusion against you in order to fully violate Jesus Christ's teachings. That is why people on the left are sick and tired of religion being spouted in every corner of America: because they see it as hypocritical and dangerous. This political party took one valid theological complaint (abortion), mixed it with several non-valid concerns (gay rights? swearing? videogame violence? steroids in baseball? flag burning?) and used it to get Christians to sign off on:

    * Divorce
    * Government-supported rape in prisons
    * Mass-Murder (War)
    * Taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich
    * Racism - Karl Rove spread rumours about McCain's "Black Baby" to scare red-state voters away
    * Silencing people of faith (Christians who follow Jesus's beatitudes, rather than the strange militant capitalist Jesus of America)
    * Increase in loss of Health Care for less wealthy families
    * Bearing false witness against one's neighbor (spreading outrageous lies about gay people and anyone else who doesn't agree with them politically)

    We live in the richest country in the world, so totally drenched in God's blessings, and we are still worried about how the inimical liberal chimera, "The Left", is just ruining America with too much freedom and too much giving to the poor? When there is a church, mosque, or temple on almost every single block in America, some of which are 10,000 seat mega-churches, how is it that homelessness and poverty still exist?

    The minute any person in America tries to stick up for the lonely, the disowned, the poor...they are shouted down by the bullies of tyrannical religious right. Then these bullies infuse their congregations with hateful rhetoric, comparing the love between two people of the same sex to beastiality, incest, and murder. Their followers, in turn, spread this rhetoric and it does nothing more than rob people of their own religion. Meanwhile, the pastors of these mega-churches, satisfied to have attacked other human beings with one quote from the bible while fully ignoring everything about pork and the charging of interest, slink back to their mansions to write articles scolding financially disadvantaged women for seeking vocational parity with men.

    Gay people continue to be painted as selfish hedonists who only care about "what feels good", like we don't know the difference between buying something and stealing it; between committed love and promiscuity. There is a difference between all of these things and we are just trying to make that clear, but we are being shouted down by people who proclaim one set of values for others and another for themselves.

    Modern Christianity has gotten away from its roots and turned into a corrupted hate machine. People wonder how Arabic society went from being the most technologically advanced society on the planet to seething pit of hatred. It's because the people allowed their religious leaders to play on the basest of their prejudices and fears. It happened gradually, but eventually scripture became the law of the land. The problem is that scripture contains a lot of nastiness in addition to the good. That nastiness became instituted as Sharia, wherein people who are raped can get the death penalty. It all started as an attack on freedom: of speech, of sexuality, of association. The same thing can happen in America and there is a group of people who would like to stop that from happening. Unfortunately, we are being governed by a vile group of warmongering profiteers who seek only to divide us by our basest instincts into warring factions. The absolute irony of it all, is that they've managed to put a Jesus Christ halloween mask on top of it all.

    Posted by: John | Aug 5, 2005 1:34:58 PM


  8. How come that if you have a religion you have a 'god-given' right to be nasty to people? Any stereo-type or pre-judgement of homosexuals stem from that one book in the western world. Any homophobia whether the person is religious or not their phobia will stem from that book telling everyone that it is sick and wrong. I would love to see the success rates of these places. They probably have one satisfied customer who is in a forced marriage with a member of the opposite sex and is hoping to, after twelve years, start baginning sexual relations any day soon. I feel for the poor guy.

    Posted by: Dark Halo | Aug 15, 2005 6:34:46 AM


  9. All I know is that the things I have learned after spending 6 months at Love in Action have saved my life. I would not trade the experience for the world. I choose to live a God honoring life no matter what my "feelings" are telling me. Scrpiture is very clear on what it says about this issue. Are my attractions gone? No, but I know that I can choose righteousness over lust. That's what I do everyday. It is not easy, in fact it's the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I did not choose to have the attractions or desires, but I can choose what I am going to do with them. To me and my faith, it is worth it. The pain is worth the reward. Take it as you will... I know that my life counts.

    Posted by: Jeremy Saenz | Aug 17, 2005 10:22:58 PM


  10. Jeremy...I dont see how one could be some one that they are not all because the beliefs of a certain group of people. Youre saying that you'd rather people fake their happiness their passion and their love? You rather that they go through life with pain just because they think God wont acceot them? Let me tell you something, If God is that judgemental and God is so unforgiving and if God doesnt understand, then maybe the gay population is better off not goping to heaven... Im not gay but i know if Gods like that Id rather not go to heaven either. So you go ahead and watch it rip apart human souls and hurt your own. I hope you enjoy knowing how fake you have made yourself, how FAKE you wish every gay to be. And if you have urges, does that not still make you gay?

    Posted by: Fritz | Sep 20, 2005 3:59:15 PM


  11. my parents have bombarded me with this shit for the last year and im leaving monday morning to go to love in action in memphis. i hope its not as bad as it seems from this stuff. im worried..

    Posted by: ryan thompson | May 28, 2006 2:08:25 AM


  12. I need those rules. Do you know where I can get them?

    Posted by: Kobe | Apr 5, 2008 5:14:32 PM


  13. I need those rules. Do you know where I can get them?

    Posted by: Kobe | Apr 5, 2008 5:15:44 PM


  14. http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,022.htm

    Posted by: Ryan | May 6, 2008 1:57:20 PM


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