(another long one, for Joe)
Joe, thank you for that last post. I read you clearer than ever now.
Yes, by all means do SOMETHING! I was concerned earlier that you seemed dearly attached to the outcome of the petition, to the hope that SB will then meet with you and make changes in his "mission," and that seemed like an unrealistically high hope. But by all means, do something, and if this is The Something you feel called to try, then at least you have done it. I've done my fair share of tilting at windmills too, with the understanding that tilting at windmills was precisely what I was doing, but I needed to take the action for the sake of what was inside of my heart. I needed to know that I had tried.
Yes I understand why you are so motivated. I agree completely that there is a forest full of lies being taught about LBGTs and those lies are to blame for the hate crimes, including the two that were directed at you. How absolutely awful - I can't express how angry it makes me that those things were done to you! Dear God, baseball bats. I commend you for having the courage to stand back up and face the source of such violence.
Having spent a scant few hours reading SB's sites, I am not as familiar with him as you, and was unaware of those little evolutions in the site that you mention. Hey, ya never know, maybe it IS because of you that the 'hate mail' didn't get shared.
Maybe you're right and you ARE the guy SB needs to hear from. I don't know.
I do strongly believe that as far as combating the ex-gay ministries goes, we would have better success if we strategize a way to educate that huge moveable middle of the society about the realities of ex-gay programs, and the damage they cause, plus their links to political opposition to basic rights like housing and employment protections. The more people who know its quackery, the more likely people are to steer their gay kids clear of ex-gaydom, rather than INTO it. If it becomes mainstream understanding that ex-gay programs do real harm, then fewer LGBT adults enter into those programs.
Personally - when a strategic move to EDUCATE the majority population about these ex-gay programs comes to the fore, I will jump into it so fast, I'll be a blur. Why? I believe our longterm success lies there, with educating the moveable majority of America, rather than the much harder task of dissuading the deeply entrenched homophobes like SB, especially those who have dedicated their entire lives to being professional ex-gays.
Consider the mainstream media coverage of the ex-gay programs: they seem to play right into the controversy, rather than truly reveal the harm that is done by such programs. We ought to have some kind of educational campaign reaching a wide audience, illustrating the fundamental lies such programs are based on. Otherwise, no one 'out there' in mainstream America knows what is really going on.
Maybe a letter to the editor campaign? For starters. Is that a bandwagon we here might jump on?
Oh and - by NO means do I need it pointed out that there are strong parallels between Nazi propaganda and the current anti-gay sentiments. I picked up on that when I was a little girl, and have had lifelong recurring nightmares about it. All you have to do to see the vitriol of the extreme right is visit the homepage of the Traditional Values Coalition - it looks like pages right out of the Nazi handbook. Someone needs to confront that malice, and it may as well be us. The sooner the better.
Thanks for trying, Joe. I'm just glad to know you aren't going into this with unrealistic hopes, which is what I worried about before. Let me know if I can help some more. As mentioned, I HAVE signed the petition.