Updated May 18, 2008 to correct grammatical problems in my original post.
First Stone Ministries: The Untold Story About Sally Kern
This article by a supposed de-gayification “ministry” is pretty stunning, and frankly shows the scope of Sally Kern’s homophobia and her involvement in so called ex-gay ministries.
. . . In her remarks during the January speech, Rep. Kern mentioned the parallel of the gay political movement in the United States – not individual gays. She said the agenda of the gay political movement is, in her opinion, as dangerous as terrorism. While I personally would not have used this parallel, the irony of this story is impossible to ignore. That irony is demonstrated very visibly in the hate emails numbering over 26,000, death threats, and the mean-spirited and orchestrated campaign calling for her resignation. These very tactics are akin to terroristic tactics, therefore point directly back to Sally’s original parallel. Truly this is ironic! This political tactic, directed to silence Rep. Kern, bully her and other conservatives and manipulate the unsuspecting public almost worked. However, what they did not realize was Sally Kern’s courage and steadfastness.
I find it interesting that these folks are claiming that all 26,000 of the emails that Sally received were “hate” emails, or that it is hateful to call for her to resign. I completely disagree.
I do not hate Sally Kern. I was and still am angry with her, and I do want her to either change her ways or resign from the state legislature, but that doesn’t mean I hate her.
In fact I went back in my own email box and found this email that I sent her on March 7, 2008:
Hello Ms. Kern,
I wanted to let you know that I have written a response to your
anti-gay speech on my blog at:
I think your anti-gay bigotry is disgusting. If you don’t believe in
freedom and equality for all, then you should quit the state
legislature. You have no right to be there, if you are going to use
your position as a platform to preach hate.
Please note that I did said that Sally’s bigotry is disgusting, not that she is disgusting. I do “hate” her hateful behavior, but I don’t hate her. It would be just as wrong for me to hate her, as it is for her to hate homosexuals.
OK, back to the quotes from the First Stone article…
. . . It has been an honor to be a friend of the Kern family for several years. I am Chris Morrison, development coordinator with First Stone Ministries. I want you to know that the Kern’s played a healing role in my life. Ten years ago I was battling with how I was to live my life. I would either continuing to seek the Lord in my weakness or just give up and live as a gay man. While in college in a neighboring city, I would drive to Oklahoma City and spend weekends in the Kern’s home; Sally Kern would also take me to the airport so I could fly home for holidays and leave my vehicle in their care.
Sally Kern wept as she delivered her speech at the Oklahoma Capitol, April 2, 2008.Though I attended a Baptist university, I still carried my brokenness on my sleeve, as I struggled intensely with homosexual feelings. I will never forget the seed that was sown on Thanksgiving weekend in 1997. Sally Kern was taking me to the airport and she gently broached the subject of my homosexual struggle with me. I was surprised and scared of what she was going to say, because I hadn’t told many people about my struggle. It was rare for someone to bring up my struggle before I had ever disclosed it. Her tenderness was overwhelming; she lovingly ministered to me that day. She mercifully let me know that she and her family were praying for me, and that they loved me. That day is precious to me as I felt so loved and accepted. I am grateful to the Lord that Sally had enough courage to plant the seeds of God’s forgiveness, hope and healing.
In 2004 I had the privilege of supporting Sally Kern as she ran for State Representative. I attended her watch party on Election Day and remembered her saying she knew that God was calling her to run for State Representative, but didn’t know all the reasons. That statement resounded in my head as I stood and watch Sally Kern at the Freedom of Speech Rally – “Rally for Sally” on April 2, 2008. I remembered the words from the Bible, “For such a time as this.” Sally Kern, is a representative “for such a time as this.” I am grateful to Sally Kern for her humble stance, as well as her boldness to call the nation to repentance, and to call for Christians to stand for traditional values in our land. I am a man who was nearly enslaved by the lie of being born gay, yet Jesus saved me from that deceived existence. The Kern family played an integral role in my healing from homosexuality, for which I am eternally grateful.
This is the untold story behind the precious Kern family that you will most-likely never hear as a main story in the liberal media.
I don’t know Chris and I have no idea if he really was born gay or not. He may have been asking questions about his sexuality (which is normal for lots of young people) but was in fact straight, so no harm was done by Sally’s supposedly loving counsel. (except that he now feels the need to try to de-gayify people, who may in fact be gay)
Or, Chris was more likely born gay. But he was scared to death by a religious tradition that teaches that you will go to hell for being who God made you to be, and he attended a college (likely OBU, based on what he said in his article) that would expell him if they found out that he was gay. So, when Sally gave her counsel to Chris, it confirmed the homophobic pressure he was under and he took it to be the gospel truth, and thus chose to live a lie. Many, many LGBT folks choose to live this lie and it is unhealthy and destructive. (a prime example is found in the book Touched by Grace, by Ann Showalter (the tragic story of a female Mennonite Pastor who was married to a man for decades, who hid the fact that he was gay from her)
I am not gay (which I’m grateful for, not because it is wrong to be gay, but because of the prejudice that LGBT folks have to face), but I struggled as I think every young person does with sexuality.
I struggled with tons of questions… Is it wrong to masturbate? Is it sinful to have lustful urges? Will I go to hell because I had sex with my girlfriend before I was married? How is it possible to be both a sexual being (which all human beings are) and faithful to God? All of these questions are horribly tough ones to deal with, even for a straight person, when you grow up in a evangelical Christian culture that makes lots of absolute statements but doesn’t seem to be relevant to the very messy issues at hand. I can’t imagine trying to work through these questions if I were gay, but I do know now that the teachings of First Stone Ministries, and Sally Kern are DEAD WRONG.
Again if Chris isn’t gay today, it is because he was never gay in the first place. But for kids who really are gay, these kinds of teachings create an environment that fosters and encourages self-hatred and double-faced living, which in turn lead to tragic consequences both to the gay young people, but also to their families and the people who end up loving them (and later are heart-broken when they can’t figure out how to make their secretly gay spouse love them back).
I know that in many ways that Sally herself is a victim to these teachings. I’m sure she sincerely believes these horrible beliefs, but she and folks like her are doing so much harm. I wish there was some way to convince them to see things differently.