Rev. Fred Phelps & Soulforce = Anti-ex-gay
What do Fred Phelps, Soulforce and Neo-Nazis have in common?
Nearly 1,200 people packed the sanctuary of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo., for Focus on the Family’s 17th Love Won Out conference.
They came despite the protests of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, home of the controversial Fred Phelps, who calls ex-gays “Filthy, lawless, irreversibly doomed beasts.” Mel White’s Soulforce coalition also showed up with anti-ex-gay picket signs. Even a neo-Nazi group came to register its anger over ex-gays.
"This is another example of intolerance displayed by those who want to intimidate and silence us just because we provide another voice in the discussion of homosexuality," said Mike Haley, a "Love Won Out" conference speaker. "Ultimately, those who refuse to acknowledge that homosexually attracted men and women can change display a cruel disregard for those who do not want to be homosexual."
Haley, whose story as a former homosexual is featured in a Kansas City Star ad, said, "I and thousands of others know firsthand that true change is possible, and we will continue to share our message of hope with those who want it. Despite attempts to discredit our message, people continue to hunger for the truth, and tomorrow will be a day of hope and healing for them."
Exhibitors like Howard Hervey came away with similar impressions of the ministry impact being made. “There were a lot of people who had loved ones in homosexuality who didn’t feel free to share with anyone else,” said Hervey, of New Hope Ministries in San Rafael, Calif. “I talked to one pastor and his wife who have a gay son. The wife has refused her husband to talk with anyone about it. She blames her husband for her son’s problem.”
A gay reporter who was actually one of the organizers for the Soulforce protest summed up the hopeful, honest approach Love Won Out takes in addressing homosexuality: “Mike Haley’s [testimony] was hard to ignore. He hit a chord with me about the emptiness he felt about the gay community and the obsession with sex. I found the gay life as empty as he did. I’ve only seen committed relationships one time. Mike never found what he was looking for and he scored points with me on that.”
For more information visit http://www.lovewonout.com.