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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Good Christian parenting

If the story we discuss below is true, then so is what Philip Larkin says when, in the opening line of his poem, “This Be the Verse”, he declares, “They fuck you up, your mum and dad.”

We hear that the parents of a US student, Bryce Faulkner (23), who is thought to be in “ex-gay” therapy, have threatened legal action over a website set up to find him.

This is according to Faulker’s boyfriend, who has said Faulkner is believed to be at an Exodus International ministry in Florida after his parents discovered he was gay.

“His friends have said he had no choice as his parents took away his phone, his car and his money,” we’re told in a story in Pink News.

His boyfriend Travis Swanson, 24, and gay rights activist Reverend Brett Harris have set up a website urging people to help find him.

Swanson told “Bryce’s parents both called me and left messages threatening lawsuits and have contacted Rev. Harris saying the same thing. They said they want [the website] removed immediately.

“They have been informed that the only way that will happen is if Bryce tells me face to face alone that he wants it down. Mrs Faulkner assures us that will never happen. We told her in that case the site and movement will continue forward stronger than ever.

“She keeps telling us Bryce has known about the site for weeks and has talked to reporters about how silly it is but she refuses to say which publications they belong to. He has not talked to any that I have talked to, which is many from around the world.”

Last week, Swanson said he had spoken Faulkner briefly as he was being taken to the ministry.

In the tearful phone call, Faulkner described the “hateful” things he had been told about his homosexuality and described being made to read Bible passages.

Swanson said a friend of the family had heard Faulkner would be in Mississippi for three weeks and then in Florida for 14 months.

Exodus International has six ministries and 16 churches in Florida. Swanson believes Faulkner may be at one in Pensacola.

The church movement promises “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ”.

Gay rights activists have said the controversial therapy does not work and can be deeply damaging.

It typically involves repeating Bible passages, periods of silence and no contact with the outside world.

God’s love, eh? Loving parents, eh? Loving Christians, eh?

Oh, by the way, the first line of the second stanza of Larkin’s poem, still referring to parents, is, “But they were fucked up in their turn”.

Make what you like of that. Meanwhile, enjoy the video we've embedded below, and check out the website in "Related links" below that.

Related links:
Save Bryce website
Therapists in need of therapy – or are they laughing all the way to the bank?
Ex-gay? Can't be done, say shrinks

1 comment:

Stuart Hartill said...

This is a far nastier variant on a problem I've been trying to highlight in my area.
Evangelical Christians here are rather proud of a cost-saving deal they've struck with Social Services, where homeless kids are offered temporary homes with 'Good Christian families'.
As I've pointed out, the irony is that the kids end up stuck with the kind of families who they either ran away from or who threw them out in the first place.
To be fair, my nagging has caused the public appeal for such families to specifically say gays, single parents, etc, can also offer a home. But in practice, as those vetting include some particularly nasty evangelical, homophobic throwbacks, I doubt many will be found 'suitable'.