ThinkProgress reports that John Smid, founder and former director of Love in Action (LIA), one of the oldest ex-gay conversion ministries, has come out of the closet.
Since Smid’s resignation from LIA in 2008, he apparently has had a change of heart about his own sexuality (he’s gay and married to a woman) and his beliefs on homosexuality in general. (I would guess so, now that he “realizes” he’s one of us!) Click here to read his latest blog post.
Smid’s revelations have led him to understand how narrow minded his previous views on homosexuality were. He even admitted the following:
“I was completely unwilling to hear anything that didn’t fit my paradigm. I blocked out anyone’s life story or biblical teaching that didn’t match up with what I believed… Now that I am not submerged into one sided perspectives, I am open to studying and reading the scriptures for myself, I am finding so many rich truths that I wasn’t ever made aware of before.
To me, this admission proves that proponents of conversion therapy know logically that ex-gay conversion doesn’t work, but since the facts contradict prejudice-based ignorance, they choose to ignore it like presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. The science is there, but people like Santorum and Cain (and at one time Smid) refuse to look at the data because it doesn’t support the hate they spout.
Now that Smid is free from such hateful clutter, he sees the word of God in a new light. He understands that the Bible is about love and acceptance, not about fostering hate and fear.
He even now realizes that “One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable…. the transformation for the vast majority of homosexuals will not include a change of sexual orientation. Actually I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.”
It’s nice to hear an ex-gay minister say those words. The mere idea is preposterous. If homosexuals could change to being heterosexual, then that means heterosexuals can do the same thing. How many of my heterosexual friends believe they could be persuaded by prayer to be gay? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You can’t wish (or pray) the gay away or into someone. That’s now how it works.
Luckily, Smid also realizes that too. “I used to define homosexuality or heterosexuality in terms describing one’s behavior,” he confessed. “I thought it made sense and through the years often wrote articles and talked from that perspective. Today, I understand why the gay community had such an issue with my writings. My perspective denied so many facets of the homosexual experience. I minimized a person’s life to just their sexuality but homosexuality is much more than sex.”
Precisely. Just as sex is only a small part of a heterosexual person’s identity, sex isn’t the entire portion of a homosexual’s identity either. We are all so much more than who we go to bed with at night. I’m glad Smid finally realizes that and has been enlightened. I applaud him for not only making the change but admitting it.
It takes a lot of strength to admit you have been behaving badly, and I applaud Smid for not only eating crow but for now being a voice for truth.