Why Natural Law Arguments Make Evangelicals Uncomfortable -- When Christians Get Divorced -- Exodus: Apple Pulls App from Ex-Gay Ministry: Articles from Christianity Today

March 23, 2011 12:36AM
Exodus: Apple Pulls App from Ex-Gay Ministry (Updated)

The company previously removed a Manhattan Declaration app.

 

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Apple removed Exodus International's app after critics released a position calling the organization "hateful and bigoted." Exodus promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ."

President of Exodus International Alan Chambers* tweeted, "It's official, the @ExodusInl App is no longer in the @AppStore. Incredibly disappointing. Watch out, it could happen to you. #freedom"

Chambers told CT that about 16,000 people had downloaded the app and it had about 500 negative reviews. He said that Exodus has counted 105 ipad apps and 135 mobile apps that support gay rights and homosexuality.

"It’s absolute assault on free expression and free ideas," Chambers told CT. "If you don’t agree with the loudest person in America, you’re going to be forced into conformity."

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNET that Apple pulled the app because "it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people."

About 147,000 people have signed a petition addressed to Apple CEO Steve Jobs that stated: "Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a 'sin that will make your heart sick' and a 'counterfeit'. This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences."

Exodus announced the app's availability on March 8, and the petition has gained much media attention since Truth Wins Out spearheaded the "demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia."

Chambers said that Exodus will consider other options, such as an Android app, but says he thinks there might be a double standard.

"If we got 150,000 signature to pull another app, it would be seen as intolerant and homophobic," Chambers said. "We wouldn’t do that because we believe of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in the public sphere. As Christians, we bear the brunt of it because the other side sees it as an antiquated expression."

Truth Wins Out also spearheaded an effort to petition Oprah Winfrey to pull Lisa Ling's “Pray the Gay Away?” episode that features Exodus, though that petition has less than 1,000 signatures.

Other organizations and companies have been targeted because of issues related to sexuality. Equality Matters has targeted Chick-Fil-A for being connected to other ministries. "In fact, the company has strong, deep ties to anti-gay organizations like Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and its charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to organizations that deliver anti-LGBT messages and promote egregious practices like reparative therapy that seek to 'free' people of being gay."

Lady Gaga ended a deal with Target for exclusively selling a version of her new album, saying the corporation supported anti-gay rights groups.

Apple made a similar decision last year when it removed an app from the Manhattan Declaration. After a petition with about 7,000 signatures, Change.org, Apple removed it from the app store.

In October, Exodus dropped the "Day of Truth," intended as a response to Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) "Day of Silence." Earlier in 2010, Dawson McAllister Association dropped Exodus as partner under pressure from Clear Channel.

People who criticize gay sexual relations for religious or moral reasons are increasingly being attacked, a Vatican diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council.

*This post has been updated. Correction: The president of Exodus International is Alan Chambers.

Posted by Sarah Pulliam Bailey on March 23, 2011 12:36AM

Comments

Seriously. How about some support for our brothers and sisters in Christ? And SHAME on Dawson McAllister!!!

Posted by: Julie at March 23, 2011

Exodus is not the cause it is the symptom. The cause of all this trouble is ignorance. That is the true enemy. There is enormous ignorance about sexual orientation in some parts of the church as there was in society for many decades. As more of us who have been tried the ex-gay path tell our stories and the gay Christian movement continues to grow then the Exodus message of change is possible becomes increasingly irrelevant and transformed to change is unnecessary. Self love is healthier than self loathing.

Posted by: Anthony Venn-Brown at March 23, 2011

This is the result of a public hue and cry over bad behavior. In short, Apple got caught in the act of being itself, and the picture wasn’t particularly pretty. The anti-gay app is part of a concerted effort to keep gay American citizens and tax payers in a perpetual state of second class citizenry. It’s a cultural meme that is losing its potency as more and more young people see if for the simple, exploitive bigotry that it is. The lesson of Apple is not that the country is lurching into some kind of scary form of censorship, but that more and more Americans don’t want to support organizations that demonize their own families.

Posted by: Bob at March 23, 2011

Because this post has been updated, many of the comments have been unpublished that did not reflect the point of the post.

Posted by: Sarah at March 23, 2011

Sorry, I should say "this leads me to think" rather than "this reveals." Conceivably it could be a bizarre coincidence that the exact same story happened twice with different names in different places, but that's not what it looks like to me.

All in all I feel like we'd be better off working for peace, truth, understanding and love. Using the Bible to hurt people just doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: Dan at March 23, 2011

Sodomy between two homosexual men is not normal and never will be, if you
think it is normal than you are as sick as they are.

Posted by: Bob at March 23, 2011

People, like Dan, are an ever shrinking minority in this country. He believes gay people and supporters of equality are sick. Fortunately, Americans clearly realize that homophobes, like Dan, are sick. His comment is right up there with the comments of Fred Phelps. Dan is on the losing side of history and will be remembered in the same light as the KKK and other bigots.

Posted by: Patrick in Texas at March 23, 2011

I am truely surprised at the theological insight is of those who attack the Bible and Christianity in particular.

Posted by: Paul at March 23, 2011

People who willingly sign their name to a libelous petition, characterizing Exodus International as hateful and bigoted, have problems far beyond their understanding of what might constitute God-honoring sexual behavior.

Posted by: Patrick at March 23, 2011

The question is simple.Do you find homosexuality normal and acceptable?The vast majority of people do NOT.That being said;Homosexuals are not a race,culture,or religion in need of special rights or designation.A person feeling repulsed or physically sickened by observing to men french kissing or holding hands walking in the mall,is NOT homophobic or hatred.It is a geniune reaction to a non-repentant sinner, flaunting their sin.In as much as being expected to watch a pedophile gropping a child in public.Having to accept this behaviour because some bought off politicion or super-liberal judge says so.This is totaly UN_ACCEPTABLE.Morals in society were addressed and formulated;tried and true;LONG

Posted by: phillip schrader at March 23, 2011

As a Christian, I signed the petition to remove the app. Why? Even though I believe homosexuality to be a sin, I don't think what Exodus International does is the most Christ-like approach. We are to first and and foremost love and serve others, not tear them down. Why single out homosexuality as a sin? Lying is a sin too, and murder, adultry, blaspheming... Modern churches love to single out homosexuality because they themselves don't struggle with it.

Posted by: Erik at March 23, 2011

No, people like Dan are not in a minority, he is in the majority. The rest of us have just put with the disgusting "parades" and the disgusting visible behavior we see. No matter how you twist God's Word, and no matter if it is ONLY 9 verses, those 9 verses are very clear, it is an abomination before God. If God has truly put the Holy Spirit in you, then you know, whether or not you will say it out loud, that it is a sin, it is wrong, and it is an abomination to God. If it's an abomination to God, it's an abomination to me. Maybe pretty soon the rest of us will speak up, we are the ones that fear attack. You are the attackers. If you would just privately live your lives without shoving it down the throats of everyone, including children, you wouldn't be bothered. I posted the statistics of how many homosexual men have had over 1000 partners, you know yourself about gay baths, meeting total strangers in rest rooms and having sex, and all the sordid, disgusting behaviors you participate in or have participated in. The statistics also show that gay marriages are for the most part "open", and no, they are not just like heterosexual couples. I may never post another word, but you can do all the word twisting you want, but it won't work with God. He has stated what his judgment will be of you and others who continue to practice immoral behavior, which is listed over and over in the NT. I hate your behavior, but I don't hate you. I sincerely pray you will change. Do you think that any scientists who find that they don't think it is inborn and that it represents in reality, 1% of the population, not the larger numbers in their lies, would write a paper that would never be published? No, because even science has to be politically correct. Some of us are getting sick of the politically correct agenda being forced on the rest of us, who at least read God's word and do our best to follow it. It includes rebuking those who sin, look up the word rebuke in a concordance, it's in there many, many times so don't bother with the attack.

Posted by: Barbara at March 23, 2011

It is interesting to see that those pushing to ban this app are advocates of having their view on sexuality be respected and accepted in the public arena. Yet those very same people use their influence to push out the now minority voice in America who define healthy sexuality as between a man and a woman. They have become the ones who are discriminating against people. I pray that they realize that they are promoting a double standard where only those who embrace the LGBT lifestyle will be able to have "free speech" in America.

I highly respect Alan Chambers and the ministry of Exodus. I know a couple close friends who have struggled with homosexuality and through their relationship with Christ have been healed. Check out this link that was a radio interview with Alan Chambers. It really shows his heart:
http://cloudfront.equalitymatters.org/static/equality/pdf/FamilyLife.com-20110216-HelpHomosexual.pdf

Posted by: Evan at March 23, 2011

Phillip claims most Americans believe homosexuality isn't normal. Fortunately, every poll I've seen disagrees with his opinion. I suppose that means most Americans believe the anti-gay are abnormal.

Posted by: Patrick in Texas at March 23, 2011

People seem to be ignorant on purpose, it's weird. Homosexuality is only wrong from a biblical point of view, end of story.

We live in a secular world, and besides what the bible states homosexuality has been proven to be normal time and again. Do you have to agree with it? No, but there are too many studies out showing the psychological damage that "gay conversion therapy" can cause. That's why the app needs to be removed, if you want the feelings gone and believe in God then use your relationship with Him to get the answers you need. Don't rely on a group with false-data to teach you to live a heterosexual lifestyle.

Christians are so dumb sometimes! I am not your brother if you have the view that homosexuals are evil. They are people, just like anyone else, and they don't choose their sexuality. Acting upon the urges is a choice, but no more than acting on liking someone of the opposite sex. If you feel it's wrong for you, then pray and get whatever answer you need. God will know what's best for you.

Stop being ignorant and refusing to accept scientific FACTS, it gives Christians a bad name.

Posted by: Bastiencade at March 23, 2011

I read somewhere that God has a set time when he sends Jesus back in all the power of God to put a stop to all evil that is being done on our little world. The more evil you see, the closer the time. But as bad as things are they are not anywhere near as bad as they are going to get. Jesus tells us about it in Matthew 24. If Jesus is correct the world will become a slaughter house of human bodies. Brutal violence will reign supreme everywhere, in a huge Satanic mess of blind hatred, until that day Jesus puts a sudden end to all who hate what is good and love what is evil. It does not matter what they have to say about this. Ignore it. That's the way it is. Guaranteed by God. Absolute.

Posted by: wcm at March 23, 2011

Experience with homosexuals reveals basic unfulfillment and frequent unhappiness with efforts to escape and ending up in increasing confusion, for example same
sex marriage. God knows and warns us that His creation cannot find peace and joy in the homosexual lifestyle practiced/advocated by homosexuals. Theirs is a true deadend road which breaks with God's plan for humanity. Pastor Howard L. Watson
Check out my website for my teaching.

Posted by: Howard L. Watson at March 23, 2011

i agree with Dan, and the catholic church teaching, sodomy is not normal , never will be, the truth is the truth whether no one believes it, and a lie is a lie whether every one believes it.

Posted by: carmen at March 23, 2011

It is scary when people, especially clergy and their organizations fail and refuse to recognize from deep study that the very word "Homosexuality" was never, ever used in the original writings of that which make up the Holy Bible. What was used is "SODOMY" which is not specific to homosexuals but alto includes heterosexuals. It would be better to be CELIBATE than engage in pre-marital sex and even if married to refrain from sodomy altogether. It is spireful and hateful to abuse and misuse Holy Scripture, more especially when what has been and is being produced is tainted with alterations, modifications, etc. to suit the religious political agendas of clergy who act like the Sanhedrin and Pharisees of Christ's time. No single hebraic word in the times of Christ could be used for "homosexuality". Christ did talk about "Eunuchs" and I would suggest you read it...and learn truth!

Posted by: Archbishop Joseph Thaddeus at March 23, 2011

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"I understand the idea of sodomy and homosexuality, but to say that homosexuality is not a sin is incorrect and not just in my mind but all of Orthodoxy and again, not just in Orthodoxy but all of Catholicism and again, not simply all of Catholicism but all of Christianity with the exception of those who have this in their personal life as sin or are very close to someone who does. Celibacy or Married Life is the ultimate ideal.  For both Homosexuality and Heterosexuality are truly sinful if... and below is the hard part of this understanding..." (Ed. Note: We have never said "homosexuality is not a sin or okay... however, there are those who, being homosexual, are that way for a variety of reasons.  Jesus Christ talked of these kinds as referring to Eunuchs.  The conversion tactics employed by many other groups, bespeaks of a "politics" that is not wholly honest either spiritually or even materially.  For, in their endeavors they have failed to show forth the truth that one is driven into a "closet" style of life.  It is better, we believe, to become wholly celibate, be it a homosexual or even heterosexual... and to learn what "celibacy" really means and requires).

 

If a man looks on a woman who is not his wife with lust, he has sinned. If he and she are married to other people he has committed adultery. If a man looks at a man with lust he has sinned the same as a man who looks at a woman. Sodomy does not have to enter into it, lust for someone is a sin by itself and must be removed. But people do this all day long to be sure but it is still a sin. To say that homosexuality and heterosexuality are not a sin due to their lusting, allows both heterosexuals and homosexuals to live in sin without repentance and this is wrong to do to them spiritually.

 

It is for the sake of their own soul that one has to recognize sin that is in them and not to excuse it regardless of the sin or the preference of the sinner. Sodomy is indeed a sin regardless of what any one may tell you, the act of attraction or the lust is a sin even without action and simply must be repented of by both heterosexuals and homosexuals. I must also add this; woe to all who misguide others into sin and especially those who are of the clergy who do this. For the sake of your own soul and others, you must recognize this and repent. I know that it is not easy to overcome and if it is never overcome then one must live a life of constant repentance, that is the only choice.

Might We also Suggest the following important articles for the season of Lent:

+ A Monastic Struggler's Story for Lent

+ Begin with Yourself, Then the World

 

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