View Full Version : Bringing Truth to "Straight Talk Radio"
11-26-2005, 08:52 PM
I'm sure Soulforce is already well aware of the damage caused by so-called "ex-gay ministries." Lately, I've been concerned about one called the "Stephen Bennett Ministries." Evidently, Stephen and Irene have launched a nationwide daily radio program called "Straight Talk Radio." You can listen to his program online at:
His latest four-part program called, "The 10 Most Effective Ways to Reach a Homosexual for Jesus Christ" is so jam-packed with untruths and sneaky ways to manipulate gays and lesbians that I can't even begin to go into them all. Apparently, he is so bad he has been banned from the airwaves in Canada.
Is there any way we could hear his former gay partner's side of the story? I get the feeling we are only getting one side of the story of how he became an "ex-gay."
Is Soulforce monitoring this particular ministry? Has Mel tried to talk to Stephen? Is it time for some sort of action to bring truth to the Stephen Bennett ministries in Huntington Connecticut?
Speaking of radio, in my opinion the religious fundamentalists have dominated the airwaves for way too long with their untruths about homosexuality. Here in Columbia Missouri I'm really troubled by a lot of things I hear on our right-wing "Christian" radio stations running programs like "Focus on the Family." Does anyone know of effective ways to put pressure on these radio stations? Advertiser boycotts maybe? Complaints to the FCC?
11-27-2005, 03:19 PM
I have to agree that fundamentalists are being destructive to many by their words on public radio & tv. My former psychologist wanted me to attend "LoveWonOut" sponsored by Focus on the Family. Fortunantly, I did not attend, and found a better psychologist. Obviously, the "ex gay" ministries do not work, and yes the public needs to realize it.
Perhaps people on this forum can recommend a positive action - personally, I'm unsure how to respond as my father (pastor) & stepmom are fundamentalists. However, my mom & stepdad are very supportive and understanding, especially after I let them read Mel's books. Luckily, they are moderate/mainline in comparison to my dad's family.
Catt of the Garage
11-29-2005, 05:46 AM
Does anyone know of effective ways to put pressure on these radio stations? Advertiser boycotts maybe? Complaints to the FCC?
Why not start by just writing to them and presenting the opposite point of view? They probably don't get many informed and polite letters on this subject and they might even read them out, though there's no guarantee.
12-21-2005, 01:45 PM
After learning about Straight Talk Radio (STR) I have started to post the science that refutes his lies on the STR web discussion board. I knew that wouldn't last, so I started a blog. I don't always get to listen to his show, so if other do and want to help refute it please let me know.
the blog is at www.joebrummer.com/WordPress
I have also purchased the domain www.straighttalkradio.net which was not owned, I plan to redirect that site to the blog where the lies of STR will be refuted.
12-22-2005, 11:53 AM
I have been aware of Stephen Bennett and his “ministry” for over a year. I have been monitoring his rhetoric unofficially for the same period of time. I have to say that he is the most abrasive “ex-gay” figure that I have ever encountered. His claims are outrageous and his tactics are over the top.
This particular segment of anti-gay religion has been on my heart for some time. I suffered under the myth of the “ex-gay” movement for some time. I feel called to stand against it.
At this time Soulforce does not have a specific team that is dedicated to monitoring the “ex-gay” movement or to developing plans of action for bringing the truth to them relentlessly. I am going to start another thread specifically to discuss forming a new team to confront this issue.
The thread ---> Shall we start a new "ex-gay" team? (http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=118)
12-22-2005, 01:13 PM
I thought his show on "brokeback mountain" was ridiculous. They are very cleary just pawns of the religious right. They're very bad actors and come across highly uneducated. The entire show is scripted, their little "laughs" are hysterical.
But in the end, their rhetoric is damaging, untrue & un-Christian.
I came across Stephen Bennett Ministries a few years ago while browsing through the Exodus International web site. I found it interesting at first and ordered some of his tapes, and then he called me on the phone. He wanted me to go with his group to the 1st annual trip to P-Town to hand out his material etc. I turned him down and after that I kind of lost interest in his ministry. His CD's and tapes sit untouched in my filing cabinet. Last October I went into his web site again and found that he was starting Straight Talk Radio on Halloween. It sounded good and had peaked my curiosity. I started listening to the shows via internet, and at the beginning of December I posted regarding "The Medical Truths about Homosexuality". Then, another call from Mr. Bennett, he wanted me to be a guest on STR. Well, I know how I am with public speaking so I just told him that I would get back to him. Right now I don't think that he would want me on his show anymore. Right after that is when Joe responded to my post and got me thinking about my views on that subject. We developed a dialogue, something that Stephen has not been able to do. Thank God before I got carried away with STR propaganda, I came back down to earth so to speak, and remembered where I came from, where I was at, and just how wrong (to put it mildly) Stephen Bennett and his guests are. SBMinistries has no intention of helping gays as they have claimed, and if they do then they have a very strange way of doing it. I know of no gays that respond in a positive way to the kind of propaganda that emits from STR. If anything, it would seem to drive gays away. The attitude of Stephen & Irene, Janet Folger, Matt "Bam Bam" Barber, David Kupelian, and others that have been on, and probably those to come has been extremely detrimental to good relations between gays and christians.
By the way, I highly recommend seeing Brokeback Mountain.
01-04-2006, 08:02 AM
so STR has to have some sort of demographic, right? who is it? who is the target audience? and....who is the actual audience?
Do we know of any gay people who listen to it because the show speaks to their hearts? Those in this forum that have heard the show, have basically said that they listen to it to monitor what the extreme right is doing. What demographic remains? Guilt-ridden gays? Would they really need to listen to more about how awful they are? Christian Right Fundies? Perhaps, because the LGBT community is the enemy, and hearing about the sins of one group could help them feel better about themselves.
01-04-2006, 10:03 AM
The show which claims to have about 4000 listeners is targeted to christian affiliates. So, the same people who listen to Dobson would hear this. His listeners base is going to be right wing conservatives who listen to christian radio, ex-gays who feel the topic fits them, and gays who are monitoring the show (like me)
His most recent show is a 3 parter that seems to glorify the idea of "deception by omission" is with David Kulpein, author of the book "Marketing of Evil" which is sadly about "the gay agenda". It talks about how gays and lesbians have taken over the media as to desensitize society to their "sin", and to convert people to homosexuality. It makes me sick to my stomach.
Later today, most likely at lunch I want to write about "deception by omission" a concept I learned about from Jaime and Soulforce. Now that I haev read about it, I feel it is the strongest assault used bt Straight Talk Radio. It is hurtful for gays and lesbians to be potrayed this way.
This is all the more reason to sign the petition I have started. I plan to use that to help set up a meeting with Stephen Bennett to discuss his message and see if there isn't some agreement we can come to that suits us both.
01-04-2006, 10:36 AM
It looks nearly impossible to dialogue with this Bennett in a meaningful way! Isn't this the guy who used to collapse sobbing on the floor every time he had sex with his partner because he felt he was so bad for being gay?
What that puts us up against, in addition to the misinformation he is disseminating, is his own NEED to be ex-gay, his need to convince himself that what he says about gays is correct, and possibly also his need to 'heal' you in order to justify *his entire life.* His whole entire life is based upon denial of his sexuality - his job, his "mission," everything - so he will defend his position and his radio 'ministry' as though he is defending his survival in a literal assault. Or such is my guess. . .have you thought about how you might be able to reach past all that and really reach him? I hesitated to sign the petition, actually, because I imagine he will just take it as an assault on him and his ministry, but I finally went ahead and signed it, and left a note saying I hope he will actually consider what you have to say. Joe, I really hope you will be able to influence him to a more open position, because he obviously is adding to what is already a greal deal of harm, and I recognize I'm being rather negative with this post. . .but, I hope you have ideas in mind for how to actually communicate with Bennett without coming to an impasse. Thank you for what you are doing, keep keeping us posted, and I wish you all the best in your work.
01-04-2006, 10:45 AM
I am hoping that the petition will be a start of dialog. I agree that he is almost addicted to what he is doing. He way of staying ex-gay is to convince himself and others in the process how sinful and detrimental being gays is. He leaves out of that picture those of us who do not see it as sin and who are very happy (and in love). I do not know if I will be successful anymore than Mel White knew if he would be succeful with Jerry Falwell. All we can do is try.
I don't think you are being negative in your thoughts, I think you are acknowleding the challenge ahead. But hell, I love a good challenge!
The best thing anyone can do right now, in my opinion, is give us a tool to open the dialog with Stephen. He has not answered my letters or emails. I am hoping if I come to him with a petition, signed by many, that he will at best consider speaking with me about his approach. So spread the word and ask people to sign, if for no other reason, it gives us a tool to start a dialog.
01-06-2006, 02:06 PM
What that puts us up against, in addition to the misinformation he is disseminating, is his own NEED to be ex-gay, his need to convince himself that what he says about gays is correct, and possibly also his need to 'heal' you in order to justify *his entire life.* His whole entire life is based upon denial of his sexuality - his job, his "mission," everything - so he will defend his position and his radio 'ministry' as though he is defending his survival in a literal assault.
I thought this was a very interesting observation that would probably apply to many career ex-gays. It certainly makes the task of reaching them seem like mission impossible.
01-06-2006, 10:32 PM
I personally do not understand this Stephen Bennett guy. I fought my same sex attraction for 12 years before anything physical happened. And to my great surprise- I finally figured out what I had been wanting and MISSING for 12 stupid, long years. I was fighting, and arguing, and repressing, and pushing away the best thing to happen to me and now I am like WHY????? My wife is the best lover, the best friend, the best companion I could ever hope for and I am wondering why I didn't do this sooner. Everytime I think about it, I could kick myself. I fell in love at 28 with a woman, and didn't marry her until I was 43. Too long and too much time wasted. Ex-gay? No way, would I EVER go back to what I had before. Not when I have what I have now. I finally know what it is all about now. Finally. The puzzle all fits now. Stephen Bennett, I hope you succeed in your quest to find peace, but sweetie, if you are gay, you will always be that way. That is who God created you to be, buddy. Quit fighting it and embrace it and you will find happiness. :)
01-07-2006, 11:49 PM
Well, so far I have only be able to gather 197 signatures. That doesn't really seem like enough to persuade Stephen Bennett to negotiate or talk with me. None of my emails to him have ever been answered either. So, thus far I feel like I am hitting a wall. I feel it is impossible to convince Mr. Bennett to stop his hate campiagn against gays and lesbians if I can't ever find a way to start a conversation with his ministry about their message.
Any ideas? thoughts?
01-08-2006, 10:31 AM
Do you know anyone who knows Stephen Bennett personally? Anyone who knows anyone who knows him? (you get the picture).
What you need is to enlist an ally who already has his ear. If you can find someone, anyone, who he knows either personally, or by name recognition, who Bennett would be likely to listen to, and who agrees with our position, that is the ally you need in order to make contact.
When you find that person, ask for a meeting between S.B. and the two of you together, so that you are going as a committee. You can then play off each other when you talk to him, and while you might have ideas this other ally does not, s/he may have something to say to B. that gets through where your particular message does not. Try for a little committee of two people (maybe even three). But I think the key is finding someone who Bennett will listen to, and that means someone NOT already entrenched in gay activism, because that to B says 'enemy' right off the bat. His ears will be closed when he meets you. The ideal person is probably a religious leader of an affirming congregation who hasn't spoken out much, or at all, publicly (yet). Even better if its someone you know B respects in some way. Start asking people who they know.
01-08-2006, 10:40 AM
I think those are great ideas, and I do know someone, but I don't think it is someone Stephen will listen to in the end, by you posting the idea here, that person will read it. We wil see what he says.
Unfortunately, I don't live far from Stepgen but I also don't live close enough to him either to know anyone he would know. I have done much research on him and his ministry (following the steps) but I haven't landed anyone, I think would be an ally.
I also don't go to a church so I wouldn't know any religious leaders who also know Stephen.
I could look for gay affirming churches in that area where he lives and ask for their support? I will look at that. The catch is Stephen won't return any of the emails or letters I have sent. I believe he would he would If he had reason, I believe the petition with enough signatures could be that reason.
01-09-2006, 12:38 PM
I so appreciate all the support you guys have been giving me getting people to sign the petition about STR. If any of you are still wishy-washy about signing, take a look at the web-discussion board for today's STR show. Today's show is just vulgar. I left some, but not all the info about it on my blog. Any doubts I have had lately about wanting to speak out about this show have been washed away by today's guest on the show.
Today he had Mission: America, an incredibly anti-gay group who advocate that all homosexuals are child molesters, that homosexuality is a choice, that too much exposure to homosexuality will make people gay. It is sickening.
Don't really have a suggestion of what to do to promote the truth againt these lies, but in time I will think of something. I would still ask that people sign up to his web board and bring it some truth. I would also ask that people consider writing him an email and tellinh him about yourself, and how this misinformation hurts people like us.
01-09-2006, 06:47 PM
Joe, I have never heard of Mission America before. All I can say is WOW!! HOW does one manage to be anti-PFLAG? They almost openly state on the Mission America site that it's a tragedy to love your gay kids rather than condemn them. That is horrific!
If anyone read this before I edited the post, I asked where to find the web discussion on STR, saying I couldn't find it - that's because I was looking for it on the homepage of Stephen Bennett Ministries, not Straight Talk Radio. Didn't know they were two different websites.
Interesting stuff on the discussion boards there.
01-09-2006, 09:20 PM
Now you might see what this project is so important to me. I am one of the founding members of "voices aginst hate" if you google that you will find lots of articles. The organization wants to be a resource to educate the public about hate crimes (to which I am a 2 time victim, yes you can get bashed twice). They are so intent about informing the public of the issue but it is just a band aid on the real elephant in the room.
Hate crimes are like little fires, we can try to prevent them, we can try our best to control them, learn how to deal with then when they ignite, but the reality is no one wants to answer to the reason the fires start and the answer is hate speech from people like Stephen Bennett and Mission America who really blow my mind.
Until we stop putting a glass of water on the fire, we need to start trying to stop the "cause" of the fires.
01-09-2006, 09:59 PM
Ahhhhh, now I'm with you. It's clear that there is a strong emotional drive behind your work in this area, and now that I know where it comes from it makes sense. It is ALWAYS different when dealing with something that has actually happened to you, even more than witnessing it from nearby. It never ceases to amaze me how enraged and physically shaking I become when people advocate against housing protections for LGBT people, saying things like, 'Oh, it never happens, they never get evicted," or worse, saying it's okay if we do get tossed onto the streets - why? Because it happened to me. I get incredibly riled up. My legs shake hearing it even if I'm sitting down.
Omigosh Joe, TWICE a victim of violent crime? That must be SO traumatic! I'm so so sorry! Obviously you're a tough person to have survived, and even tougher to be dealing with the roots of the problem and facing it every single day in your activism. Takes some real guts. You are correct in that talk like what comes from the extreme right is what fuels the anti-gay hate crime. And S.B. is still far too misled as to the nature of gay sexuality to be teaching about it, his own (limited, though dramatic) personal experiences aside - inviting hate groups to "minister" to homosexuals should be an obvious No-No. Alas.
01-09-2006, 10:28 PM
It has only made me stronger and taught me to read, read, read, read and learn! I am now reading Non-violent resistance by Ghandi....not an easy reader, but I am loving the message.....it turns all my feelings into something I can make a difference with in the real world!
01-17-2006, 03:26 PM
When I came out to my mom in 1980, she made an appointment for me to see Russ, Anita Bryant's friend who was an ex-gay. I refused. I can't even take these people seriously, except for the pain and damage they do to us!
Anyway, if you want to go to a fa-abulous website which tells the story of an ex-ex gay man who tells his painful story in a hilariously redemptive way, go to:
01-31-2006, 07:20 AM
Joe made me aware of this before I found out from the staff. Soulforce's Robyn Murphy, our Director of Public Relations and Media, will be on Wednesday's broadcast of Stephen Bennett's show, Straight Talk Radio.
I had never listened to his show, but I just tuned in for a few minutes of yesterday's program. When future Christians look back at this, how disturbing will this sound to their ears? Stephen unapologetically gives glory to Christ for his ministry breaking up a gay male couple who had been in a committed monogamous relationship for 7 years.
01-31-2006, 08:48 AM
Let us hope that Robyn's visit with Stephen opens, and leaves open a door for further communication. Let us hope this can be the start of something good! I am keeping my fingers crossed.
I haven't has time to listen to STR this past week, but I do know Stephen is known in the past for telling gay christians to leave their partners. It sickens me to hear that. In the packet of materials he sends people, there is a section on "giving up the lifestyle". Part of that tells people to walk away from their relationships.
Stephen himself, did just this. He left his partner, so it isn't suprising he would ask others to do the same. His intentions are good, but he actions are very misguided. I hope we can bring him the truth one day.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.