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The new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has been airing a new documentary series featuring journalist extraordinaire Lisa Ling called Our America. Her first show on February 15 followed a man in a wheel chair who attended faith healing revivals in search for his miracle, while another profiled sex offenders and their victims.

I’m a long time fan of Ling and was really excited when I heard Oprah was giving her a show, but I must say I think she’s headed for a misstep with her upcoming March 8 episode “Pray the Gay Away?”

According to promo descriptions the episode will discuss “one of the most polarizing debates in Christianity today: whether or not it’s possible to be gay and Christian at the same time.”

First of all, the ex-gay movement has been covered and covered and covered by many American journalist and the mainstream media over the years. I”m not sure how she’s going to discover anything new on this subject. Second, based on the preview videos (see below) it looks like she’s just covering the story from the angle of the ex-gay ministries and I’d even go as far as saying she’s glorifying them a little, by featuring these men who are “happily on the other side” or “happily heading to the other side,” when that’s definitely not always the case.

However, I ‘m going to give Ling the benefit of the doubt and hope that she also talked to a psychologist licensed by the American Psychological Association, who’s gone on record calling ex-gay ministries mentally damaging; and the many gays and lesbians who’ve come out on the other end saying they were mentally damaged and have discovered that being open with themselves and others has actually helped their mental stability.

But like I said, we’ll see.

Here are the two promo vids I mentioned:

Our America with Lisa Ling airs 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST on OWN. (Check your local listings.)

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Comments on: "Oprah Winfrey Network airing ‘Pray the Gay Away?’ Tuesday" (11)

  1. David Arthur said:

    This is not so much as “praying away the gay” as it is accepting and becoming morally & spiritually aware that homosexuality is an addiction, a sickness, a real true illness. Society has accepted it as a lifestyle, just as the devil would have them do. But that does not change the fact that it IS a sin and it IS detestable by God. I lived a life of homosexuality, prostitution, drugs, alcohol, sexual addiction, etc…etc… and I DID find my hope and salvation in God’s Holy Word. If you knew me then you would know I was not just “confused” about my sexuality, I was a raging, flaming homosexual who eventually dressed in drag and took female hormones to grow breasts, etc… but as I live & breath this very moment, I can assure you and promise you that God has the power to do anything and He will welcome you with open arms once you realize and accept that your “lifestyle” is NOT a lifestyle, but an immoral act, an addiction.

  2. @David: I appreciate you reading my blog and I appreciate your comment, however I must beg to differ. After decades of study, scientist and the leading psychiatric minds have deemed homosexuality to NOT be a mental disorder (as I mentioned in the post), or a “sickness,” or an “illness.” I am also a man of faith and I have discovered through my study of the scriptures that God loves everyone. Jesus never once spoke of homosexuality in the Bible and gave only two commandments during his time on earth: love God and love your neighbor. You and the religious leaders of today have been misinterpreting the Bible to use it as a weapon to combat homosexuality. Hate was never a part of Jesus’ teachings. I’m glad that you have been delivered from a life of drug addiction and prostitution, and I hope you are living a happy and healthy life, just as I am as an openly gay Christian.

    • penny stone said:

      D.A Steward I wonder do you still have gay sex or do you abstain. Have you spoken to God about your sex life. I am just curious.

  3. David Arthur said:

    I feel heart broken when I hear someone tell me that Jesus did not teach hate and the Bible does not say homosexuality is a sin….. you can not have it both ways, I’m sorry. There is only one way to interpret what God says & thinks of homosexuality…
    There are those who like to say that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Various verses are cited (out of context) and the verses that people use to show that homosexuality is wrong are explained away. The world wants to change God’s words and meanings into something more suitable to its sinful desires. Nevertheless, the truth stands: The Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin. Let’s look at what it says.
    * Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
    * Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”
    * Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”
    * Deut. 22:5, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”
    Homosexuality is clearly condemned by the Bible. It goes against the created order of God. He created Adam and then made a woman. This is what God has ordained and it is what is right. Unlike other sins, homosexuality has a severe judgment administered by God Himself. This judgment is simple: They are given over to their passions. That means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins (Romans 1:18ff). As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing. Without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance and trusting in Jesus. Without Jesus, they will have no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation.
    What should be the Christian’s Response to the Homosexual?

    Just because someone is a homosexual does not mean that we cannot love him (or her) or pray for him (her). Homosexuality is a sin and like any other sin, it needs to be dealt with in the only way possible. It needs to be laid at the cross, repented of, and never done again.

    As a Christian, you should pray for the salvation of the homosexual the same as you would for any other person in sin. The homosexual is still made in the image of God — even though he is in grave sin. Therefore, you should show him the same dignity as anyone else with whom you come in contact. However, this does not mean that you are to approve of their sin. Don’t compromise your witness for a socially-acceptable opinion that is void of godliness.

  4. Tiffany Bowen said:

    Interesting… Deutronomy also mentions stoning to death any woman that is not a virgin before she is married. Leviticus talks in depth about the proper ways to sacrifice animals for God. Leviticus also mentions that the punishment is death for cursing your parents or not resting on the Sabbath, or having sex with a woman on her period. It also mentions no haircuts, and that two people who have sex, anyone with a skin disease, or a woman who is menstruating or just gave birth, all of these people are impure. Leviticus is considered by most scholars to be a set of guidelines that Jews followed and the word used when describing laying with another man is “abhorrent”, which wasn’t as harsh in meaning as we make it out to be today. The reason one man could not lay with another man is because it was a waste of seed that should be used for reproduction. By that token, anyone who has sex for fun, or has sex when they are infertile or don’t intend to have children is violating this rule.

    I guess we don’t follow ALL of the passages in the Bible because they are “outdated and don’t apply to society today”. You cannot pick and choose which Bible passages will apply to your life, and leave others out just because they don’t suit you anymore. In the same token, the Bible is clear when it states that we must not judge and we must love everyone and treat everyone equally.

    By the way, there wasn’t even a term for someone is homosexual until the 1920’s. Christians didn’t start their gay-bashing until then, as it was considered a normal part of society up until that point. Just ask the Romans or the Greeks, or all of the animals that have same-sex pairings. And if the Bible is so against gay people, where are the lesbians? None of the passages mention anything about women who decide to lay with women.

    Doesn’t our society have other things to concern themselves with? Like, I don’t know, the economy or lack of jobs or education. Instead we’d rather focus on making certain people second-class citizens and denying them rights by using the Bible, a book about living respectfully and loving one another.

  5. David Arthur said:

    All I can say, or do, at this point is pray for you all. And Tiffany, the Romans & Greeks were NOT Christians. Not the ones you refer to and if you actually READ the Bible you will find the answers to your questions & doubts. I am not the one you seem to be trying to convince. All I can say is to read the Bible and pray for God to help you understand His Holy Word. May He bless & keep you for always.

  6. Well said Tiffany!

    And Arthur, like I said before, I’m glad you’re living a happy and healthy life, but I think we may just have to agree to disagree on this one. But do keep reading Queer Corner. We appreciate your patronage 🙂

  7. David Arthur said:

    And just for the record….
    @ Tiffany… you are quoting scripture of the Old Testament about LAW…big difference in what God likes or what the LAWS were. Also….
    When it comes to right and wrong, we need to offer wise counsel. After all, people have objections about God, people’s actions, political issues, etc. Most always, the issue deals with what is right and wrong.

    Without a standard of morality, there is no way to judge what is good or bad. Atheists, for example, might decry what is the behavior of God in the Old Testament when he orders the destruction of people groups. But, by what standard does any atheist have to judge what is morally correct? At best, an atheist would only have the ability to express an opinion since he cannot offer any objective standard of morality.

    Religious people can appeal to a higher power from which they can ascertain what is good and bad. Of course, Christianity doesn’t recognize the existence of any gods other than the one taught in scripture. For Christians, God’s revelation found in the Bible is the standard by which they make such judgments. So, to answer the question about what gives us the right to judge what is moral, the answer is God. We don’t judge what is right and wrong. God does and he has communicated his standard of righteousness. This communication is found in the Bible. Take the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. We see a codification of moral standards. We are told not to lie, not to commit adultery, not to covet, etc. These are standards given to us by God and though there are other cultures that don’t believe in the biblical God, they might have similar moral codes. But, for the Christian the Bible is the supreme authority that judges what is moral.

    We can only judge what is moral if we have a standard given to us by God, not some standard that is based on emotion, opinion, or the changing morals of society. Even though atheists, agnostics, Muslims, and non-Christians might not approve of standards found in the Scriptures, we Christians believe that the Bible is the revealed and inspired Word of God and that within its pages are the moral standards by which we are to model our behavior. Therefore, the right to we have to judge what is moral comes from God as is revealed in his Word.

    Finally, we must be extremely careful as Christians to apply moral judgments with equity, non-partiality, love, and truth. Moral judgments without compassion and mercy become immoral in themselves. This is why we are to keep our eyes on Jesus who is the judge and the standard of righteousness. We must keep our eyes on his words and his deeds and emulate him. Jesus forgave, was patient, taught, and healed. His words were not simple moral statements. They were manifested by his life and loving character.
    Critics of the Bible often cite Old Testament instances of slavery, violence against homosexuals, wiping out nations, etc., as evidence of a morally inadequate set of rules. They will also often ask why present-day Christians don’t follow these “barbaric” teachings today. They complain that Christians are inconsistent, and say that if we really follow the Bible then why don’t we advocate such things as killing both homosexuals (Lev. 20:13) and disobedient children (Deut. 21:18-21).

    The reason we don’t is because the Old Covenantal system, that involved such harsh punishments, has been done away with. We are under a new covenant. Jesus said in Luke 22:20, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

    This new covenant was prophecied in the Old Testament in Jer. 31:31, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” It is referenced in 1 Cor. 11:25, 2 Cor. 3:6, Heb. 8:8, 9:15; and 12:24.

    Of particular importance to our topic is Heb. 8:13 which says, “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” The Old Covenant with its harsh judicial judgments is no longer in effect because we are under a New Covenant.

    Part of the reason the Old Testament covenantal system was so harsh is because first, the Old Testament law demonstrates the severity of righteousness and the requirement of perfection before a holy God. Galatians 3:24 says that the law is what points us to Christ. It does this by showing us that we are not able to keep the law and that the only way of obtaining righteousness before God is through the sacrifice of Jesus, who was God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9).

    Second, the Old Testament times were very difficult and there were many nations that warred against Israel. Also, the devil and his demonic horde was constantly working to destroy Israel in order to invalidate the prophecies of the coming Messiah, to therefore prevent the Messiah from being born and delivering his people. Therefore, God instituted laws, as difficult as they were, that were consistent with the culture of the times, that ensured the survival of the Jewish nation, that helped to maintain social structure, and also reflected the harshness of the law.

    The New Testament covenantal system says that we are to “be at peace with one another,” (Mark 9:50) and “with all men,” (Rom. 12:18). Rom. 14:18 says, “pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” After all, “God has called us to peace,” (1 Cor. 7:15).

    However, this does not mean that we are to approve of such sins as homosexuality, adultery, lying, and stealing. We are to not participate in the sins of the world. Instead, we are to avoid them. We are not to be violent to anyone since the old theonomic, covenantal system has been done away with (Heb. 8:13). Instead, we are to be kind to them (2 Tim. 2:24-25) and show them love (1 Cor. 16:14; 2 Cor. 5:14). But the moral condemnation of immorality still stands — as is clearly taught in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Rom. 1:26-28.

    So, the reason Christians are not obligated to stone homosexuals, disobedient children, and adulterers, is because we’re no longer underneath the Old Testament covenantal system. It has been fulfilled and done away with (Heb. 8:13).
    Of course, people are entitled to their opinions and they don’t have to like what the Bible teaches, but not liking it has no bearing on whether or not it is good.
    Sin is breaking the law of God (1 John 3:4). The law of God says such things as do not lie, do not steal, etc. These are moral commands and are intended for people, not animals. Animals don’t have moral beliefs, nor do they have consciences. Also, animals are not made in the image of God as mankind is (Genesis 1:26), and are not under the moral laws intended for people. Therefore, they can’t sin. Animals work off of instinct, not off of moral purpose or obligation to honor God, and not with any spiritual connection to God.
    God created mankind as male and female with the intention that sex be a pleasurable union between a husband and wife. Furthermore, sex has the specific purpose of bringing children into the world in order to carry out the command of God to fill and subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). The standards of the world and that of God are in opposition. Therefore, it is proper to seek to answer questions on human sexuality from a biblical perspective both to instruct and to correct.
    You can even go to the NEW TESTAMENT Tiffany.. and go to Romans 1 : 26-28 “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”
    As a Christian, you should pray for the salvation of the homosexual the same as you would for any other person in sin. The homosexual is still made in the image of God — even though he is in grave sin. Therefore, you should show him the same dignity as anyone else with whom you come in contact. However, this does not mean that you are to approve of their sin. Don’t compromise your witness for a socially-acceptable opinion that is void of godliness.
    Finally, no dead people struggle for life. Only those who are alive struggle. Likewise, the dead in sin, the unregenerate do not struggle against their sins. Christians do.

  8. Tracy Downs said:

    I agree with David Arthur.
    The Bible does in fact condemn homosexuality and it is punishable by death. As a gay man who tried to reconcile my faith with the 5 passages in the book, I just could not twist or tweak it enough to be truly honest about the message in it.

    So I had to do some serious soul searching. What was real? What is truth? Who I am and the truth that I feel, see and touch every waking hour and often in dreams? Or the judgemental teachings of some vindictive and petty invisible sky fairy that chose not to give any proof of his existence? Either my entire reality was false, or those 5 passages in the bible are utter hogwash. I chose the latter.

    Which begged the question… What else in that book is bull crap? That journey led to the only obvious conclusion. I’m not 12 years old anymore, so I am not a believer in any sky spooks any longer. I’m much freer and much happier.

    Two messages can be drawn from this…
    Never follow a man who claims to have all the answers.
    And…
    If you are gullible enough to believe in talking snakes, reanimating the dead, and virgins who have babies, then you are liable to swallow just about anything.

  9. […] Our America with Lisa Ling aired “Pray The Gay Away” on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Tuesday and the gay blogs have been abuzz about the way Ling presented the episode. (Queer Corner’s own blog post on the subject also saw some heated dialogue.) […]

  10. shamonda hall said:

    When does pray away the gay airs again

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