‘A Strong Delusion: Confronting the Gay Christian Movement’ by Joe Dallas | Review

The ex-gay fraud

In his book A Strong Delusion: Confronting the Gay Christian Movement, Joe Dallas distorts and misrepresents everything that Gay and Lesbian Christians have accomplished in the past 30 years. The book is a clearly self-serving attempt to justify and promote the methods and goals of the “ex-gay” movement, which Joe Dallas helped to start.

The book begins with Joe recalling in remarkable detail exactly what was said and how he reacted 18 years earlier to the first sermon that he heard in MCC in 1978. (What a memory! I remember the first MCC sermon I heard in Atlanta in 1981. All I remember is that Rev. Jimmy Brock preached it, and it was a good one!) Joe has a knack for reading his own prejudices and sexual hang-ups into everything that he has heard from people in MCC and from anyone who questions his “ex-gay” distortions of science and the Bible.

The statistics that Joe Dallas uses in his book to equate homosexuality with child molesting and the destruction of family values are ludicrous and without validity. I found it very difficult to read the book because of the clutter of unsubstantiated “facts” and “evidence” that could not hold up under any objective examination.

My entire web site on Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse is a response to and rebuttal of this book by the former leader of Exodus International. Joe Dallas adopts the most gullible and unrealistic acceptance of biblical literalism that I have seen so far. He completely ignores all evidence that disputes his main claims about the Bible and homosexuality. He uses extensive footnotes at the end of the book to say things that should have been used in the text, trying to give the impression that his ideas are based on careful research of reliable sources, which they are not.

The use of out-of-context biblical “proof texts” to support his anti-gay rhetoric is painfully inept and inaccurate. My web site material on “The Bible and Homosexuality”, on “The Ex-Gay Fraud”, and on “Legalism as Idolatrous Religion” give a clear and thorough rebuttal to every detail of Joe Dallas’ distortions of the truth.

Joe Dallas also uses out-of-context selected quotations from Gay Christian leaders in MCC and in other groups to support his rejection of the facts about the “ex-gay fraud”. Any person who has accurate knowledge and experience with MCC knows that every congregation and every pastor has a great host of problems to face and handle as best they can. No church is an easy task for the leaders. The Metropolitan Community Churches, however, in the face of sometimes deadly opposition, have given spiritual support and acceptance to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people for many years. In this 30th year anniversary of MCC, the desperately needed spiritual and practical help given by this great Christian ministry speaks for itself.

This book by Joe Dallas is a destructive and unfortunate misrepresentation of the Bible and the so-called “ex-gay” cause. It is not a viable alternate point of view to my web site or to any of the other excellent and well-researched material by many scholars, such as Dr. John McNeill, Dr. John Boswell and Dr. Daniel Helminiak.

Like many other homophobic Bible abusers, Joe Dallas uses the tired old argument that Christian homosexuals have revised and distorted the Bible to teach acceptance and respect for homosexuals and homosexuality. The truth is the other way around. Only in recent years has the Bible been translated in clearly homophobic ways that do violence to the original context and meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words. Nowhere does the Bible say that Lesbians and Gays can or should change their sexual orientation. Nowhere does the Bible even discuss, much less condemn, romantic love between people of the same sex.

The people who recommend Joe Dallas’ book are the same ones who also recommend John Paulk’s book and who lead the way in raising money and promoting the booming anti-gay “ex-gay” industry.

The war against homosexuals that is being waged by the homophobic religious fundamentalists is like all wars: Truth is the first casualty.