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Preacher Wants 100,000 Ex-Gays to Cure AIDS

As I've mentioned before, I try to stay away from extreme rhetoric. More often than not, I see no point in amplifying those messages. Then there are moments where I just can't help myself.

Sometimes what is said by one of these extremists is so out there that it should be noticed, if only to be reminded that there remain true differences in the world that are not easily resolved.

So here it goes: Lou Engle, an enthusiastically anti-gay preacher, recently whipped up a crowd of young people asking them to pray for God to convert 100,000 gays and lesbians into straight people who would "be the preachers of righteousness in their own communities" and bring about "radical salvations and healings of AIDS."

Watch the video:

As extreme as this preacher may be in particular, I know that his beliefs in general about gays and lesbians are far from uncommon.

I, too, hope for a cure for AIDS. That's about all the common ground I can find.

Oriol on:


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Comments on Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.'s blog entry "Preacher Wants 100,000 Ex-Gays to Cure AIDS"


I think I feel something Ooooo

Wait I just got gas .

Preachers are funny he's hiding a fact that he's gay .

This made me think that see what you get when people go to Chruch I stay always for things like this .
Gay or not it info about aids and education that the key not some guy yelling and making whoever you are feel like if your not one of us some religion .

How many gays say awful things about people with HIV? Dan Savage and his "bad actors". Signorile's "dear bareback Andy". Pretty much everything on Queerty, towleroad and other popular blogs. My local gay bar has a Komen drive, but doesn't do squat for HIV. I'm gay and poz, and have absolutely no sympathy for what gay culture has become. Singling out homophobic preachers over serophobic gays just gets nauseating. I couldn't care less if The Precious are offended by this guy, at least he's doing something, albeit in a backwards, stupid, religious way.

Although I left the lifestyle after 20 yrs. and have become devout, I really am still gay or bi. Nature & nurture is a hard thing to "heal". I forgot the genetic link too.
I have "custody of my eyes", & it's up to me whether I wish to entertain temptation or ignore it. A Christian practice.
In my elder age I am graced with less testosterone also.

There will always be religious lunatics who are powerfully talented in rhetoric and theatrics. I've known some up close. We enshrine their hate speech in First Amendment protections and that's fine; everybody likes freedom of speech and religion. If nothing else, it's entertaining and may inspire someone to help an old lady cross a busy street.

The old school preachers conveyed the message of personal salvation and kept their shows under the big tent. Now, however, their envy for power is obvious: the message is political. Engle organizes "prayer rallies" with hundreds of thousands of people in multiple countries participating. He, and others like him, poses a clear threat to anyone in their crosshairs and to the Constitution itself.

In my experience, people drawn to religion are looking for simple answers to complex questions. They're the kind of answers found on FOX News and from many an ignorant preacher standing in a pulpit in the Bible Belt Red states. Unfortunately, like an elected legislator, there’s no IQ test to be a preacher. All one needs is a big mouth.

A NY Times article pointed out recently that Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) provides mansions for executives and calls them "parsonages" to avoid paying property taxes; it ordains TBN chauffeurs and sound engineers and performers at the "Holy Land Experience" theme park, meaning their pay is tax-free. That's just one example but you only have to walk a block or two before you find a similar, if scaled down, example.

Add to the tax breaks all the money that people voluntarily donate, each week, every month, all through life, and what they bequeath when they die. All in all, this First Amendment justification for hate speech is a pretty profitable gig.

It's tempting to be frustrated at us silly Americans for allowing such an absurd twisting of constitutional intent but, as the Brits say, "there we are." We do.

We must care that these things are being said and not be so ready to excuse them because we're distracted by something else, or there's no time, or have no money to make a "real difference." Overcoming the kind of ignorance spewed by the Religious Right starts with exposure (as you are doing, Oriol), so that those participating in their events can be ashamed by the outcry and the arguments of their more informed neighbors. Nothing is more powerful than when enough people engage any way they can.

After all, these nuts are talking about someone we know, care about and love. Their speech doesn't bring salvation and it’s not about freedom; it isolates and stigmatizes. It's the kind of speech that leads to beating a man to death on a fence in Wyoming. One way or another, it’s got to stop.

I pray to God to heal the hardened hearts of 100,000 evangelicals that they will understand and accept that LGBT people are not less than they are.

instead of praying away the gay or praying for someone to change why not pray for tolerance.

I am 59 years old and have been gay my entire life, and wishing I wasn't gay didn't work for me. Since "curing" gays of their inborn ways, (which are much harder to fix than an inborn serial murder) lets start with changing 100,000 wife beaters, or making 100,000 child molesters stop ruining children, and if that proves successful, then I will be willing to acknowledge that, maybe, just maybe a 100,000 gay people will be saved from the bigotry of the heterosexuals.

This man reminds me of Hitler and his Brownshirts. The poor kids are simply being brain-washed by a "macho" idiot who pumps up the young people just like the Germans of the 30s and 40s and followed blindly into despair. I am as Queer as Queer can be and I believe in The Christ. I pray as much as the aforementioned jerk and I know I am saved! Reading the comments I see one by John Siple who states that his being older and his libido seems to have dwendled he no longer needs to be Gay. I am 65 and I AM GAY AND HAPPY. Yes, my hormones have dwindled as well... but I WILL ALWAYS BE GAY TILL I AM CALLED TO THE BEYOND. Love and Peace to you ALL.

Praise GOD, finally a preacher who is willing to pray for the gay community instead of passing judgement and condemning them like Falwell, and Huckleby and others. Gays need salvation just as much as heterosexuals, Muslims, Jews, and everyone. We are all sinners, born that way, not by our actions or lifestyles. Salvation is the only cure for the sinful nature, and Christ is the only way to GOD.

I have to chuckle a little at the self-aggrandization of guys like him--I mean, really? Oh, the old "let's pray the gay away" line and *poof*! Suddenly people like myself will be acceptable, oops, my bad, I mean, normal and magically cured of HIV/AIDS while filled with HIS idea of the Holy Spirit. Holy golden calf! I think the likelihood of this happening is less than me raising the Titanic with tweezers. Just like in the Starkist Tuna commercials of a certain decade, all anyone can really say is "Sorry Charlie!"

It never ceases to amaze me what some people won’t do to get a wheelbarrow full of money. This man, and people like him, has no “real” love other people, or people that are different from him. His only true love is money, fame and power. He should be praying that the god he represents, or a karmic afterlife really don’t exist, least he find himself surprised at where he ends up.

As to John Siple, I’m curious as to what “lifestyle” he left? Sounds to me that he may have never experienced a healthy, happy gay relationship, and that is truly sad. There is no need to “heal” from a sexual orientation. I cannot say the same for a religious delusion.

Since homosexuality has been observed throughout nature, and I’m not speaking of “dry humping,” but actual pair-bonding and the raising of orphans, homosexuality cannot be labeled as “unnatural.” The same cannot be said for religion.

I've been a christian since I was young, and chose to be baptized when I was 10 years old. I am also gay and have been positive since 2001. I wrestled with fear and confusion for a very long time, and it took 30 years for me to finally come out to myself and family. My faith is what kept me going and kept me strong, and I realized that God loves me, and accepts me as I am.

As such, I have a problem with "religion" and believe that it is man's attempt to corral God into man's image and ideas. To put God in His place and make Him into what ever we want Him to be. God is wild and free, and not to be tamed by us mere mortals and our greed and lust for power. I attend church and live in community with my fellow christians, but I am far from religious as I consider myself spiritual.

I know that many people on both sides of the fence have been confused by my life. I've had christian friends who can't understand how I could be both a christian and gay, and have gay friends who can't understand how I could be both gay and a christian, as if i have to choose one over the other. But that is what society does, they try to put everything into neat little boxes so they are more easily controlled or more comfortable for them. They can't see life as more like a Venn Diagram where there can be multiple aspects of our life that make up our whole person. Or they fear honesty and truth because it may reveal something about themselves that they are ashamed of.

I am neither ashamed nor afraid anymore, and believe that I was born gay and have chosen and embraced my faith after years of living through many trials and tribulations that I believe I have survived only by the grace of God.

I say this because people like this pastor and others like him, are living in the dark, and are trying to drag others down into the darkness with them, down into shame and anger and hate and none of these things are of God. None of these are the message of the Christ whom they claim to believe and follow.

On the other hand there are Christians who do love and understand and accept others because they truly believe they are commanded to by God. In fact just yesterday I was at my regular check up with my doctor at the Health Department (where I go because I have no health insurance) and found a brochure called "A Christian Response to Aids" published by Channing Bete Company, and was surprised to see it there because it walks the reader through the idea that Jesus loves us all and commands His followers to be compassionate, loving and caring for all who are ill, sick and weary, and acknowledges that fear and hate and ignorance has pushed many Christians away from those suffering with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

The booklet was compassionate and was clearly written to let non-christians living with HIV/AIDS know that there are Christians who love them, and was addressing and instructing Christians to seek the truth through scripture that Christ wants them to care for, love, seek out and befriend those who are dealing with HIV/AIDS.

When I got home I looked it up online and found that back in 2003 the ACLU of Florida was demanding that they be taken out of the Health Department facilities down in Florida (here is the article because they were advocating "a particular Christian set of beliefs."

They believed that it was inappropriate for the Health Department basically due to their idea of separation of church and state which i think is ridiculous. I think that if other religious organizations wanted to publish and promote kindness and compassion from their point of view they should and that these should always be available even in State/Government run facilities, especially when dealing with people who need a message of hope. The ACLU went on to blast the brochure for not giving more details about the disease but focused more on the Christian message of hope, love and compassion. Meanwhile, there are several brochures in the same rack that are from the CDC and WHO that do give those details, and already cover that segment of information and education. The brochure in question is simply an addendum that supports the other more clinical brochures but adds the message of Christian compassion and acceptance of those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

So here is a group of Christians willing and wanting to be proactive and interactive in the fight against not only HIV/AIDS but also in the fight against hate, bigotry, serophobia, homophobia, and ignorance, yet a group of lawyers wanted it recalled (especially any that also bore the Health Department's logo or contact information on it) as they believed it was a inappropriate for it to appear that the State was promoting any one "religious" idea.

If more churches, religious organizations, or faiths wanted to submit their version of a compassionate response to HIV/AIDS then let them, and let them be available to all Health Departments. So far I've only seen this one and it was from a Christian perspective, which I think is important because here in the United States, the most vocal anti-gay and serophobic rhetoric has been from groups that claim to be Christians. I think it important that the message is balanced out, but you never see news coverage about the compassionate Christians who want to reach out to the gay community with love and compassion. These messages always seem to be suppressed.

Oh look, another leader of the idiot masses. ANYONE who believes you can "pray the gay away" has got to be the most stupid fracks on the planet. I wanna be blonde. Can I pray for that too?

It absolutely amazes me how religion has become such a tool of hate by so many people. Look at all of the wars that have been, and are still being, fought in the name of religion. The parts of the Bible that I remember most are the ones talking about Love they neighbor as thyself, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and Judge not, lest ye be judged. I am not perfect, but I try to be a better person every day. I consider myself to be spiritual, because I feel that most religions consider themselves to be the one and only "true" religion and I have to disagree with that. As I watched this man preaching and swaying back and forth I can't help but think of a snake charmer, and like so many snake charmers before him, he will get bitten in the end.

I would ask everyone that reads this to pray that 100,000 of these people of the religious right be turned gay so they would understand that none of us have chosen to be gay, this is the way that God made us and yes it is possible to believe in God and be gay. I also pray for acceptance of all people of all religions. When that happens there will be peace on earth.

First break their wrists, then place them on islands with electric fences while dropping food until they all die out and now, they are welcoming the gays and lesbians into the church in hopes of transforming them into preachers of the word. Only a year and we are progressing nicely.

Wow! What does he suggest for straight people with HIV who have had no contact with gays(Like many in Africa, US and other places)? We need a cure but since God only talks to this joker ... oh well! It is so far out that I gotta lol!!

Well Oriol, I think you should try harder. This article tells the gay and straight community nothing that we don't know or have experienced before. If there is any writing to be done, perhaps it should be a personal note to the chapter of Lambda Legal closest to this nut and request an assistance of a message to cease and desist from defamation of a minority group and placing that group in a position of being further discriminated or harmed. This guy does not deserve the air time nor deserve the credentials of being a voice of Christ Jesus. He deserves to be ignored as much as possible and to take the energy we feel in reading about his inhumanity and continue putting it into search for a cure to AIDS through legitimate channels. Please try to be a more responsible reporter. But thanks for having the guts to dig a bit deeper.

Tim Sanders

Gotta love the religious crack head zealots. All they do is scream and yell about subjects they know nothing about. This idiot is a prime example. Firstly, he thinks you can convert someone from being gay. Are he and Michelle Bachman's hubby working together? Second, PRAYER DOESN'T DO SQUAT!

What are you talking about? He is preaching against it, did you even read the article or watch the film, I think Not! Whatever we choose in life gay or not, God loves us for us, no matter what, Why you ask, Because he made us!!!!!

Spiritual not religious......... this is why I stopped attending church. God is in each & every one of us.

Ummm Why cure only 100,000? Surely their omnipotent god could heal everyone if he were in the mood....

Good insight, Tony!!!

Bless you Glen!!! You are a very mature and insightful man. Notice I did not say anything else..... like gay or Christian or whatever. You are a MAN. That's how we should all look at each other. Man, woman... even if you transgendered, you are now what you are supposed to be. It is about LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and RESPECT. period.

Jeff, I totally respect your opinion's because they are that.. YOURS. And opinions. But please don't blast Prayer. For some who believe, it DOES work and it DOES have power. If your heart, mind and soul is in the right place. MY religion has NOTHING to do with this man. So take a moment before you slap all Christians and beliefs together. Thanks.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. published on July 11, 2012 11:49 AM.

Beyond Belief was the previous entry in this blog.

Gonorrhea Is Not The New AIDS is the next entry in this blog.

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