Thursday, August 07, 2008

Twisted love

A week or so ago over at Beyond Ex-Gay (bXg) we received a feedback comment on our website from Anthony Falzarano (an ex-gay leader and the founder of the anti-gay PFOX organization, shown in a PFOX ad at right) addressed to Darlene Bogle. I forwarded the letter to Darlene.

Yesterday I received this email from Darlene (shared with permission). You can read her story at Beyond Ex-Gay in which she writes about her journey out of Exodus. Part of her story is that her partner of twelve years, Des, passed away from breast cancer in 2005.

Dear Christine!
Thank you for sending the feedback email from Anthony Fazarano addressed to me at the bXg website!

It reads:
Darlene, I'm glad I ran across your blog. I still miss you. I am sorry to hear that your lover died of breast-cancer. Darlene is God sending you a message? Please consider coming back to Exodus. You are loved and missed. Why would God call you back to lesbianism, give you a lover and then take her away. I'm sorry that you are going through this. My heart is breaking right now but I believe that you belong to the Lord and "He chastizes the one's that he loves". I believe He is calling you back. If you want to talk I am here to listen. Please call me at [removed] if you want to talk. May God Bless You, Anthony Falzarano
I was appalled when I read his words, which on the surface seem so compassionate. It was such a strong reminder of why I left Exodus and could never consider going back under their "umbrella of faith." How arrogant of Anthony to send such a condemning statement as to ask if God was sending me a message! God sends me messages all the time to remind me of His love and acceptance of me as a lesbian daughter! He has brought a wonderful Christian woman into my life immediately after losing Des. We walk together in faith and love and serve those in our community as a blessed lesbian couple.

To say I am loved and missed (but not accepted) sounds great until he adds the judgmental statement that suggests that Des got breast cancer and was taken away as some sort of punishment for our lesbianism!

Apparently he feels that if you follow God, nothing bad will ever happen to you. Des and I had 12 years together and she was a special gift of God to me. I stood at her bedside the night she entered heaven, and saw her sweet smile as she met her Lord face to face. Would God give us 12 years together, then take her to heaven as a judgment? No, but through the life she lived, and that we shared, I came to know His love in deeper ways, and to be a more caring, compassionate and kind human being. I wouldn't change it for any experience. Serving God does not insulate you from death. I think we are all going to keep that appointment that was established by God before we were ever born. (Psalm 139)

Anthony says he believes I belong to the Lord. I know that I am God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works! If Anthony believed that I was really the Lord's..he would not be trying to heap guilt and shame on me for the loving relationship I shared with Des, and continue to share with Becky.

Then he pulls scripture out of context...Revelation Chapter 3 and Hebrews 12 talks about God chastising those whom He loves, and haven't we pulled this out to beat people into obedience of not the Scripture, but of what we want them to do to be acceptable? What a crock.

Anthony believes God is calling me back? To what? The judgmental teachings of Exodus that say you have to change your orientation to be acceptable to God. Long ago I committed myself to acknowledge God in all my ways and allow Him to direct my path. How can I go where God isn't?

To then offer a listening ear if I want to talk? That is the major malfunction of Exodus leaders...How can they listen when their mind is made up? Thank you Christine for being one of the survivors who showed me the harm that is done by just this type of thinking! I thank God for you because I see your face and pray to God that I will never be guilty of such rejection of a human soul again! I realized when I met you and Peterson, that I had been so busy talking---my mind was already made up and I had no room to listen with my heart!

I would be happy to have Anthony's email be revealed for what it is, and my response published for the world to read. Anthony and Exodus have had over 15 years to tell me of their loving acceptance, and have not done so. I will not be responding to Anthony directly, but thanks for sending it on to me.

Darlene Bogle
Author of A Christian Lesbian Journey