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Post image for Why I Outed ‘Ex-Gay’ Matt Moore

Why I Outed ‘Ex-Gay’ Matt Moore

by Zinnia Jones on February 7, 2013

in News,Op-Ed,Religion

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When I was tipped off that an “ex-gay” writer for the Christian Post may have been using a dating site for gay men, I had two options. I could keep quiet and let others handle this, or I could do something about it. And when I saw that no one else was going to address this, I made the decision to go public about it. I first wrote about the simple facts of the matter: that someone on Grindr was using the name, age, location, and photo of Matt Moore, a self-declared former homosexual. I then contacted Moore himself, who personally confirmed to me that this was his own profile, and I published this admission as well.

Some people have argued that outing Moore was an invasion of his privacy and an unnecessary exposure of his personal life. Others say this is little more than shaming someone who’s obviously struggling with his sexuality and his faith. Some have even claimed that since Moore regards his orientation as an addiction he’s fighting, much like that of an alcoholic or drug user, exposing him publicly is tantamount to criticizing someone for “falling off the wagon”.

I don’t see any of these critiques as legitimate. Matt Moore has already made what would otherwise be his private life into the cornerstone of a very public argument. As recently as last week, Moore was writing about the “real power” of his testimony of “leaving homosexuality”. Moore stated:

…what I believe speaks volumes of the grace of God and the power of the gospel, is that year by year, month by month, week by week, day by day – I continue to fight the fight of faith. I have sought after Jesus and I have turned from sin daily.

This is not merely a personal stance of his. It is a message to a wider audience. In his earlier document, “A Biblical Perspective on Homosexuality”, Moore wrote:

The Spirit of Christ transforms the persons life – day by day, making them more and more into the likeness of their Lord – and ridding them more and more of the corruption that the presence of sin has caused in their hearts.

He’s also targeted children with his call to “conversion.” In a post titled “Dear Gay Kid,” he describes his life as an openly gay man as being full of meaningless and unsafe sex, and devoid of healthy and fulfilling relationships. He claims this “lifestyle” is “driven by sex and indulgence, not by ‘love’.” And he tells queer youth that they need God to “rescue” them from “eternal condemnation.”

So, how has that been working out for him? This is a relevant question. Of course, there are already plenty of other angles from which to attack the Christian “ex-gay” movement. Its metaphysics are just as unproven as those of any other religion, its interpretation of the Bible is just one among very many, and its notion that celibacy is the proper response to homosexuality contradicts both scientific evidence and human decency. These are all completely valid points, and even if Matt Moore did remain entirely abstinent, this would in no way support these ex-gay beliefs. But when he and the Christian Post have turned his personal testimony into a promotion for this movement, it’s equally crucial that we examine just how true that testimony really is.

Moore has set out to engage in a discussion about the morality of homosexuality, the desires of God, and the possibility of personal sexual change through faith. He has cited his own experience in support of the notion that devout Christianity can help people diminish and resist their homosexual inclinations. But if he has any interest whatsoever in an open and honest discussion about that, why should he be the only one who’s privy to the fact that this religious program has failed even himself? This fundamentally compromises the value of his testimony as evidence.

Why should the rest of us have to remain unaware of this, while he continues to deceive people about whether religion can change their sexuality? Not only is it hypocritical to present oneself as a model of sexual reformation when one is clearly anything but reformed. Such a substantial omission is just unfair to all the participants in a public debate such as this. He knows something we don’t, and he’s withholding information that impacts the soundness of his argument.

Revealing this vital information is anything but an act of shaming, and this is not some malicious and arbitrary outing of a random person who was simply going about their business. Plenty of people go looking for partners all the time, and this is certainly not deserving of shame. It’s not a problem that a gay man happened to be seeking the company of other gay men. Indeed, I hope he enjoyed himself. But his public complicity in the ex-gay movement is what makes this publicly relevant, and that complicity is what’s truly deserving of shame here.

I also don’t care if Moore regards his own inclinations as an “addiction.” I might consider it unhealthy and maladjusted of him, but that’s his business. However, it’s no longer just his business when he proposes that the rest of us ought to regard ourselves similarly. And we are in no way obligated to humor a twisted belief that treats our own loving relationships as no more than a relapse into an “addiction” that we would have resisted, if only we had been stronger.

This is about more than just Moore. There are people who are going to read his story, and it will lead them to believe that their gay son or daughter could become straight if they were just willing to try hard enough. By keeping up this charade, he continued to promote the idea that prayer was an effective remedy to homosexuality. Now, people can see for themselves just how effective this really is. And the sooner people understand that sexual orientation can’t be forcibly changed by this or any other means, the sooner they’ll stop trying to force such ineffective change on themselves and others.

 

Zinnia Jones is an atheist activist, writer, and video blogger focusing on LGBTQ rights and religious belief. Originally from Chicago, she’s currently living in Florida with her partner Heather and their two children.

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{ 6 comments }

rf7777 February 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

I think when you post your name and face on a gay hookup app/site, you out yourself.

No explanations or apologies needed from you.

Truth_Addict February 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Exactly. He put it out there. You didn't do anything wrong.

cipher February 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

I don't think you did it to shame him, but I wouldn't care if you did. This:

And he tells queer youth that they need God to “rescue” them from “eternal condemnation.”

tells me all I need to know about him. It is a belief system so obscene it ought to be considered beneath the dignity of a human being to believe it.

Conservative evangelicals, be they gay or straight, are psychopaths. End of story.

Jaywb19 February 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

I think anyone with the fabulous name of Zinnia should be able to say what she wants to say when she wants to say it. Fabulosity aside, he's put himself in the public way and blatantly fucks with the psyche of young LGBTQ individuals. Since he's a biblical person, which is fine with me, perhaps now he'll focus more on the stuff from Proverbs about fools in their folly, discernment, awareness, and loving as opposed to demonizing their neighbors and in the process I do hope that he has a St. Paul like conversion and starts to love himself and his LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

JerrySpiegelman February 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

No apology necessary. This guy is causing great harm to the LGBT community by parading fraudulently as an ex-gay, thereby callously presenting to the public the likelihood that if he could overcome or "cure" his being gay so can anyone. We all know that is total bullshit and people like this must be shown to be frauds.

A_Sane_Lunatic February 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I'm kind of on the fence about outing people against their will. With that said, I think whatever rationalization you come up with for your decision is fine as long as it helps you sleep at night.

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