Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spoiling the bunch

I wrote several posts about Apple's censoring of the iPhone app for the Manhattan project. Now history is (possibly) repeating itself with the Exodus International app. Exodus International is a non-denominational Christian ministry to offer support and resources for people with same sex attraction who want to live chaste lives.

A gay group has started a petition and vowed to hold protests outside of Apple headquarters unless they remove the app. They have also flooded the app's entry in iTunes with hundreds of negative reviews along the lines of the following:
Be Aware! Dangerous Anti-Gay App - Feb 28,2011

This is hate-based initiative of the fanatical religious right intending to brainwash and emotionally destroy gay and lesbian people by coercing them to hate themselves based on their natural sexual orientation.

Their methods include kidnapping, discredited notions that being anything other than heterosexual is "unhealthy" and "harmful", extreme and out-dated social ideas that cause suicide and lasting psychological damage...
Note that this was posted the day the app became available. With reviews sorted by "helpfulness" (as measured by the reviewers) I had to wade through 10 pages of vitriol before I came to the first positive review of the app.
Just so I'm clear - Mar 20, 2011

So if a person experiences unwanted attraction to the same-sex, they don't have a right to seek help.

Funny, nothing about Exodus expressed hatred toward gays. It exists solely to help people who WANT TO BE HELPED.

How dare you people accuse this group of hatred. They are providing support and help TO THOSE WHO WANT IT. If you're gay and proud, fine! But don't force your ideology on someone who doesn't WANT to be gay. If they want help in overcoming same-sex attraction, they should be allowed a place to go.

That place is Exodus.
It was another 10 pages before I found a second positive review. On the very last page (page 93) of reviews is the following:
Wonderful Resource for those who are interested. - Mar 14, 2011

In all my experience with Exodus, I have never been demanded to live or think a certain way. That freedom of choice has always remained my own, and I have always been supported. My friends at Exodus wake up each day with one goal though their organization 0 and that is to offer support and love to other people, gay identified, struggling, or those who have chosen to walk away from that lifestyle, and to honor them through grace and love as God calls us all to live. There is no hidden agenda or harmful goal. This is an app that I am proud to have and thankful that it has been created, It will certainly be one that I recommend to others who I believe can benefit from it and find it useful.
I downloaded the app, to see what it was about (it is a free app), and found it to be mostly a statement of intent and wrappers for web pages served by the Exodus International site. There was nothing I could find that said anything disparaging about homosexuals or homosexuality.

Exodus responds
“In no way shape or form is our message about trying to cure or do we try to promote that type of methodology or message,” Jeff Buchanan, Exodus International’s Senior Director of Church Equipping & Student Ministries, told The Christian Post.

“This is a label (gay cure app) that has been put forth by opponents to the application to serve as propaganda in order to stigmatize and really label the application in a false way and provoking a response such as you are seeing with the application.”
and Forbes has an article which is rather interesting.
At the risk of putting myself at the center of a firestorm of disapproval, I have to say that what I viewed and read on the Exodus app was not hate speech but simply the expression of religious beliefs with which I, and many other people, disagree.

Exodus International appears to be a non-denominational religious organization that believes homosexuality is a sin. It also promotes the idea that this sin can be relieved by establishing a spiritual relationship with Jesus.

At this point, all we can do is wait and see how Apple will respond. Given their claim that the Manhattan Declaration was "hate speech" for affirming the sanctity of all human life, I don't have high hopes. I guess my next phone will be an android.


Post a Comment