Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Apologies Part 2

No, this hasn't been a really terrible time for apologies. No more so than usual, anyway.

However, there've been some other apologies out there.

This one is from Exodus International. EI takes its name from the Bible, which should tell you a lot. It won't tell you what they're apologizing for, because the Bible is full of vile monstrosity from end to end. What in particular does EI have to apologize for? Being vile and monstrous specifically toward gays. EI was a group that promised to pray the gay away. Now they realize that that doesn't work and just fills people with self-loathing such that they're more likely to kill themselves.

Oh, wait, that doesn't seem to be what they're saying...

Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

The author, president of Exodus International Alan Chambers, makes it clear that in spite of his own closeted homosexuality, his empathy for his fellows is strictly limited.

More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives.
I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex, but I will exercise my beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them. I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage. But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek.

And of course, it's hard to see that he's really serious when he opens his apology proper by talking about the instances of misconduct, rather than the deliberate, intentional harm his organization caused in the name of "curing" homosexuality.

In the end, I don't doubt the sincerity of his apology, but it doesn't seem like he's really doing it for the right reasons. I'm just glad EI is no more.

In a more direct follow-up to the first part, we have an apology from Ron Lindsay.

It has been a few weeks since I have said anything in public about the controversy over my remarks at the Women in Secularism 2 conference. As CFI announced via Twitter, this pause was to enable the board to have time to consider the matter. The board has issued its statement. It is now an appropriate time for me to make some remarks.

I am sorry that I caused offense with my talk. I am also sorry I made some people feel unwelcome as a result of my talk. From the letters sent to me and the board, I have a better understanding of the objections to the talk.

I am also sorry that my talk and my actions subjected my colleagues and the organization to which I am devoted to criticism.

Please accept my apologies.

This is definitely better than the piece of crap CFI released. Even though he avoids specifics, at least it's not a notpology. To quote pretty much everyone else who's looked at this, "It's a good start." Now how about a commitment to Women in Secularism 3?

Neither of these apologies seems as full-hearted or as comprehending as Mike Krahulik's or Kickstarter's. They both seem to really miss the point. Chambers basically promises to stop telling people they're going to hell, and Lindsay... just apologizes, though at least he didn't say "I'm sorry you felt bad" and in fact apologized for fucking up.

Is definite action required for an apology? Strictly speaking, no, but it's what we call proof. Kickstarter took action and made a donation. Mike Krahulik made a $20,000 donation. Chambers apologized and shuttered EI. Lindsay just apologized. I'm glad EI is done for, but I'm still waiting on Lindsay and CFI to take the next step.
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