Article on churches that perform "exorcisms" on gay kids

<p>Repulsive. As far as I'm concerned, all these people should be in jail for child abuse to the extent they do this to minors.</p>

<p>Deliverance:</a> The True Story of a Gay Exorcism: Critical Eye: Details</p>

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Deliverance: The True Story of a Gay Exorcism
Some Pentecostal Christians believe the deliverance rite can exorcise the demons that cause homosexuality. The truly shocking part is that God-fearing gays keep signing up for the traumatic ritual.
By Matt McAllester,
Photographs by Kevin Cooley
June 2010 Issue</p>

<p>Read More Deliverance:</a> The True Story of a Gay Exorcism: Critical Eye: Details</p>

<p>The prophet had come up from Georgia. She stood at the front of the Holy Ghost Temple Church and called for parishioners to come forward. On this Sunday in February, roughly 100 worshippers filled the white-walled Pentecostal sanctuary that sits on a wooded hill beside a BMW dealership. Among them was 20-year-old Kevin Robinson. He stepped out from his pew, walked up the lavender carpet, and joined the line in front of the prophet. He wanted to be prayed over, as is common in the Pentecostal tradition, by this powerful preacher. In the eyes of believers such as Kevin, a prophet speaks the very word of God and can divine the future.</p>

<p>"I have a lot on my mind right now—my mind isn't focused," Kevin explained to the woman, whose name was Mary. She was in her late thirties, slim, and wore a black dress. "Could you please pray for that?"</p>

<p>"Are you gay?" the prophet asked him.</p>

<p>In a quiet, gentle voice, Kevin acknowledged that he was.</p>

<p>"Speak up," the woman commanded. "I can't hear you."</p>

<p>Yes, Kevin repeated, he was gay.</p>

<p>"You need to be delivered from homosexuality," the prophet said into a microphone so that all the church could hear. Kevin was embarrassed, but he stayed put. This was no normal preacher—she spoke God's truth. According to church dogma, homosexuality is a sin foisted on humans by demons who take possession of their bodies and compel them to act against God's will. These evil spirits can be exorcised by those trained in spiritual warfare in a ritual known among Pentecostal Christians as deliverance. Perhaps, Kevin thought, this prophet could finally deliver him from his demons.</p>

<p>The prophet placed her hands on Kevin and began to pray over him. "Come out, come out!" she shouted. "In the name of Jesus, I command you to come out! You gonna free him right now!"</p>

<p>Kevin closed his eyes, thinking to himself, "There's something wrong with me; I need to change." A part of him believed this prophet could do what no one else had been able to do during previous deliverance attempts—make him heterosexual. But the prophet was loud and she looked at him with disgust and contempt as her chants became more and more belligerent. Even now Kevin can't bring himself to repeat the most hurtful things she said. He soon began to cry. And then, with the prophet still exhorting the demons in him to depart, he blacked out and collapsed. When he regained consciousness, he stood up and returned to his seat. His shame was turning to rage. He searched his mind and thoughts and found he was unchanged—he was still attracted to men. In the past it had been family members—his mother, his aunt, or his uncle, the church's pastor—who performed deliverance on him. This time it was a stranger, and she had pushed him beyond the breaking point. Never again, he decided, would he allow himself to be treated this way.</p>

<p>It was, by Kevin's count, at least the 10th time since he was 16 that he'd subjected himself to gay exorcism.

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<p>Article continues at link</p>

<p>I feel so sorry for that young man and for others who have been subjected to such actions.</p>

<p>Is this kid doing this willingly? I just cannot imagine what kind of home life, community and school life he is having.</p>

<p>-sigh- This is why I dislike organized religion...</p>

<p>Of course, it's not the majority who do do things like this, but there are so many that do that it's just disheartening. </p>

<p>I dislike any following that seeks to discriminate against any group for such superficial reasons. Hence, I have sworn off organized religion because it is so tarnished by people like this...</p>

<p>That poor boy. And he's not the only one. There are so many people that get treated like worthless trash just because they're gay...parents who disown their kids because they hold different beliefs.</p>

<p>It's a pity we live in a world where parental love is conditional. </p>

<p>Not to mention that acceptance in society is based upon such bigoted conformity. </p>

<p>Tolerance: embraced by the few, ignored by the many.</p>

<p>These stories make me sick, on every level. I wish I could adopt everyone of these kids and parent them with love.</p>

<p>I just got back from Austin, where my daughters and I participated in AustinPride week by running as straight allies in the Austin Pride 5K. Seeing all the community support for the LGBT community on this occasion (many straight runners and crowds cheering in the streets along the route, city sponsored street closures for the big parade, restaurant and bar specials advertised in support, etc.) had me feeling very optimistic that homosexuals were finally finding widespread acceptance for just being who they are and living authentic lives. Reading this article is a reality check, I guess. Very disturbing.</p>

<p>Thanks for the link, Donna. As Nrdsb4 said, sometimes we need a reality check. We forget that despite how far we have come, we still have a very long way to go.</p>

<p>I don't know what God these people are following, but it's certainly not mine.</p>

<p>Whenever anyone talks about how gay people go against God, I remind them that we're supposed to love everyone equally. Seems to stop a lot of people in their tracks.</p>

<p>It's just so sad that it seems impossible to let people live the way they want to. </p>

<p>One of my very best friends is gay and recently started dating one of his roommates. When I relayed the news to my mom, she asked me how I felt about it. I told her, "I'm happy he's happy...it's not really my business to feel anything beyond that." It's his relationship, not mine. I don't ask my straight friends to justify their relationships unless I feel there's something really wrong with the significant other...why would I treat my LGBT friends any differently?</p>

<p>I really forget this kind of stuff still goes on in this country. It seems so ridiculous to me. And, yet, as ridiculous as it seems to be, there are actually people suffering from this shame and pain over who they love. You'd think people would celebrate love. Love is good.</p>

<p>"If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, Harry, it is love." -- Dumbledore.</p>

<p>You know, some of these religions do exorcisms and other such rites for just about anything and everything, come to think about it. My kids and I were pulled into one of these ceremonies because of flyers advertising "The World's Strongest Men" Show which they really did do, but it was integrated and then it segued into a revival. My kids were little then, and totally entranced by the whole thing. They wanted to get up and join everyone who was getting saved. I had to grab them and pull them out the door and remind them that they were Catholic for the time being, and they we have our own rituals. In fact, we have exorcisms as well...S4's teacher actually played the priest in the original "The Exorcist" movie, and is one of the few priests in the world trained in the art.</p>

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The prophet placed her hands on Kevin and began to pray over him. "Come out, come out!" she shouted. "In the name of Jesus, I command you to come out!

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<p>Sounds about right to me. For Kevin.</p>

<p>^^^^LOL, good one, Donna.</p>

<p>It is for this very attitude that someone very, very dear to me, left the US 25 years ago and never came back. He left soon after college to visit europe, using rail and staying at youth hostels. He called two months later from Sweden saying he had a job and was not coming back. While I was heartbroken, I was happy he found a place in the world he felt more accepted, less discriminated against, and has found peace. He has a successful business and now speaks English with a Swedish accent. The bottom line is he is happy, and healthy.
I detest the thought that one more young person would ever feel that they needed to leave their home to live a life without persecution.</p>

<p>It isn't only a problem of people feeling they need to leave home and family; there's a huge problem of LGBT kids being (literally) thrown out on the street by their parents.</p>

<p>At a CLE program I attended today, someone who works in the field gave the statistic that on any given night in New York City, there are approximately 4,000 homeless teenagers living on the streets. About 40% of that number are self-identified LGBT kids. For all 4,000, there are only about 400 beds available through the system.</p>

<p>I believe that the 40% figure is pretty consistent across the country.</p>

<p>^Agreed, I didn't mean to insinuate this is a primary problem. My intent was that it was an overall problem of discrimination. Thank you for bringing this statistic up. When young people can not find acceptance at home, it hard to expect others to offer acceptance, or at the very least tolerance. My dear friend did have his families acceptance, fwiw. He didn't leave per se... he went on holiday, found that there were parts of the world he didn't feel the discrimination he did in the US. I couldn't blame him for staying.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, when you have people like Ted Haggard and his wife going on Oprah and asserting that he's been 'cured' of his illness, it will propagate more of this belief that homosexual behavior is something to be cured of, no matter how you go about it.</p>

<p>Ick, ick, ick.</p>

<p>That article makes my heart ache and my soul sad.</p>

<p>Through her work my D came in contact with a young lesbian woman who wanted to get sober. She had left her hometown because the only treatment her parents were willing to pay for was a church based program that had the goal of "curing" her. Her parents were sure if she would be cured of her "gayness" she would no longer have any other problems. Sad.</p>

<p>Truly horrible to think that so many kids cannot find acceptance in their own families.</p>

<p>On a lighter note, I appreciated the--deftly ironic, perhaps?-- touch of the lavender carpet.</p>