In some quarters, it is no longer good enough to treat gay people with respect. It is necessary that everyone agree on the goodness of homosexual behavior, and if you don’t, you must be silenced. Once again, the battleground is the Apple iPhone, and this time it’s an ex-gay ministry that is the target of the New Orthodoxy. According to LifeSite News:
An iPhone application designed to minister to individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction has come under a hail of criticism from gay activists who have called the program “hateful and bigoted.”
The app, created by international Christian ex-gay ministry Exodus International and available through Apple’s online iTunes store, received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it was found to contain no objectionable content. The app provides a gateway to the ministry’s news, blog, podcasts, and other social networking and resource materials.
By definition, Exodus is “hateful and bigoted,” because as an organization it recognizes two realities that must not be spoken of in polite company: 1) Not everyone with homosexual attraction thinks it’s the greatest thing since the Kinsey Report; and 2) there are gays who want help in their struggle against same-sex attraction. Needless to say, such a sin against the New Orthodoxy must be crushed.
Truth Wins Out (TWO), an organization dedicated to “fighting anti-gay lies and the ex-gay myth,” quickly launched a protest. It claims to have gathered over 100,000 signatures against the app on Change.org.
TWO leaders have promised that if Apple does not bow to their demands they will hold a press conference featuring “Exodus victims” outside Apple’s offices to further pressure the computer company.
“No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus’ message is hateful and bigoted,” states the petition overview.
“Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its store, yet it gives the green light to an app written by an anti-gay extremist group that targets vulnerable sexual-minority youth with the message that they are ‘sinful’ and ‘perverse,’” said Truth Wins Out’s Director of Communications and Development John Becker.
See, if you hold to biblical standards of sexual morality, and actually try to help someone deal with a condition that they see as a problem rather than a blessing, you are no different from an antebellum slaveholder or Julius Streicher. The only approved way of dealing with gays who are so disturbed is to convince them that they are perfect just the way they are, and anything else an outrage. Furthermore, if you have the temerity to actually believe any of that ancient claptrap, you must be silenced, just as the writers of the Manhattan Declaration were. (Yes, I know that no one has a right to put an app in the iTunes store, and yes, I know that there are lots of other outlets for the Manhattan Declaration. But I don’t think there can be any doubt that if groups such as TWO had their way, those other outlets would also be shut down, and all expression of doubt about the New Orthodoxy would be completely stifled.)
Leaders of Exodus put their fingers on what is going on:
For their part, Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas of Exodus have decried the “terrible, truly nasty emails, tweets, facebook and blog comments” that had been directed at their organization since the Change.org campaign began.
“[The campaign] really represents the lack of tolerance, a lack of true diversity that exists within various aspects of our culture,” Jeff Buchanan of Exodus told CBN. “What we’re wanting is simply the right and opportunity … to have an equal representation on the iTunes platform within Apple to represent our message of a Biblical worldview of sexuality.”
Tolerance and diversity are, in fact, the very antithesis of what organizations such as TWO stand for.
UPDATE: Apple caves:
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.”
And if Apple got a million angry emails from Christians who are offended by the pro-gay apps, they’d remove them immediately. Or, more likely: