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


  1. Good for you, Darlene!
    My jaw dropped when I read "is God sending you a message?" I suppose if one were to believe that God is vengeful and spiteful like a teenage girl, who rips the rug right out from under you --- then maybe he has a point....but then what would be the point of worshiping a petty, immature, and deceptive god?

    Is God sending you a message, Darlene? Yes, that message is "stay away from Anthony and his ilk"

  2. I vote for taking away his keyboard until he learns to use it like a grown-up.

  3. I read about your exchange with Anthony from Exodus on Box Turtle Bulletin. Darlene, it was nice to read your response, especially, "How can I go where God isn't?"

    That resonates so well with my soul - and is such a peaceful way of explaining the way I feel as a gay Christian. So thank you :-)

  4. Darlene's response is beautiful, powerfual, and worth reading very carefully. She exposes the lie masquerading as love in Anthony's words with painful clarity.

    Thank you for being you, Darlene.

  5. Darlene, thank you for the courage to face abusse in such a public way and calling it what it is. So often church abuse happens and no one identifies it as such. You called out this time beautifully and clearly.

  6. Darlene, I just want to hug you and punch Anthony!

    I'll settle for ((((((Darlene))))))

    What a courageous and beautiful response. So much more diplomatic than he deserved, too. You just amazed me. Your love, for Des and for other human beings, outshone even Anthony Falzarano's hate. Absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing this, and thanks to Christine as well for giving this space.

  7. Darlene,
    I read your message from a Box Turtle Bulletin newsletter. I want to thank you so much for standing up and making Anthony's impulsive rude message public. They definitely have their minds made up already. We can only pray that they'll realize.
    Sending a huge hug to you!

  8. My sympathies to Darlene... oy!

    Minor nitpick: The guy in the PFOX picture is ex-poster-boy Christopher Delaney, not Anthony Falzarano.

  9. oooh, really Mike? Thanks for letting me know. I'll be changing that.

  10. Darlene,

    Just wanted to tell you to stay strong and don't let ignorant people bring you down. ;p

  11. Now I feel like God doesn't love me as much. My spouse had breast cancer that was detected early and she survived. If God really loved me, why didn't he kill her?

    I mean, God really loved Job, and He killed Job's whole FAMILY.

    God bless you, and please do not let the insanity infect you.

  12. What is amazing to me is that there was once a time when I would have seen Anthony's message as having a compassionate side. Now I see it for what it is, the fruit of fear and a need to control.

    Darlene, I think Des was supremely blessed to have the love of her life beside her as she entered heaven. Who could ask for more in this life?

  13. Darlene, thanks for sharing this with the blogosphere and Christine, thanks for posting it. I just posted a link on my blog trying to help spread the wonderful message Darlene shared and the disgusting approach taken by Anthony, stating how unlike God it is.

  14. Dear Darlene and Christine,

    Thank you for sharing this with us, and for the courage and love you model to all of us.

    As horrible as Falzarano's message was - this is sadly typical fare at Exodus International conferences. So many of the speakers use threats of hell to try to scare people into submission. I can only imagine what they say to vulnerable people who are struggling in less public venues. Unfortunately, it works on too many of us.

    Exposing what the ex-gay movement truly means by "love" helps people see the truth.

    The Ex-Gay Survivors Movement is literally saving lives and spirits. Thank you, thank you for all you are doing.

  15. Hi Christine and Darlene,

    This message is very powerful and Darlene our prayers are with you.

    Anthony is the very definition of a false prophet and false teacher. How anyone would dare insinuate that G-d would cause a loved one to die just to get our attention is absolutely deplorable.

    Darlene, G-d loves you just as you are just where you are and in no way would he do as Anthony said.

    People like Anthony in the Exodus movement are actually lower than the very scum that clings to the walls of hell.

    I regret your loss and will remember you in my prayers Darlene. And you as well Christine your message on our radio program at political spectrum was very powerful.

    It reached a lot of people and hopefuly opened some eyes.

  16. Just when I think these so-called "ex-gay" people (and I use the term "people" here with major reservations) have sunk as low as they can possibly go, some kook like this Anthony nutcase comes out of the woodwork to remind me that there is no limit to their depravity.

    Darlene, I am so sorry to hear about your partner. However, I am happy that you had the chance to experience the type of love that people like Anthony desperately want (and need) but are too emotionally wounded to accept. What a tragedy it is that Anthony and other "ex-gays" believe they have no choice but to lead such painful, sad and lonely lives characterized by a profound level of self-loathing. Is it any wonder they can be so heartless and cruel?

    They are in for a big surprise on that fateful day when they will have to stand before their Maker and explain such behavior.

  17. Father, forgive Anthony. He knows not what he does.

  18. when something like this happens, i am deeply saddened. there doesn't have to be this kind of rift in the body of Christ. but we need to remember that the ex-gay message is not the message of Jesus or the true spirit of christianity.

    remember that hate and anger and desparaging remarks only serve to widen the chasm. we do not have to choose harm, even towards people like Anthony, because we know that love is the better way.

  19. Thank you for sharing Anthony Falzarano's appalling comment and Darlene Bogle's charitable response. It boggles my mind that people such as Mr. Falzarano who believe in an omnipotent and ineffable God act as if such a being only works in specific ways which conveniently align with their value system. They may as well invoke the boogeyman to keep a child in bed.

    I'm glad to hear that Ms. Bogle got to spend a dozen years loving and growing with her former partner, and that they could be together at the end of Des's life. I am also glad that more love and support has come into her life after the tragedy of losing her life partner.

  20. I've commented on this "letter" (from A. Falzarano) on Peterson Toscano's blog. I also Googled AF's name and found that he has been commenting on many blogs recently, presumably due to the recent publication of his "memoir."

    I'm so sorry this happened, but - having heard him comment on all kinds of things (not just gay/ex-gay issues), I'm not surprised at his presumption and feel that the message sent in the text is very indicative of ... well, personal problems on his part as well as blatant attention-seeking.

    As bad as it is, in this case (if i were to receive a similar message from A.F.), I'd be inclined to delete it, say a few prayers for the guy, and move on from there. (But that's just me.)

    Yes, it is typical of the unloving statements that many of us so-called "straight Christians" make, but... in this case, I think it has everything to do with the person who wrote it. (Sadly.)

    Best to all here,

  21. gay girls in the ww2

    (some worrying content)


  22. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New King James Version)

    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

  23. Well I guess that leaves you out too, Anonymous, so what's your point?

  24. I'm sorry that my comment to Darlene offended you but Darlene has now turned against God and is living in the lesbian lifestyle. Read what Hebrews Chapters 2-6 say about what. The Word of God is going to offend. We need to get used to that as Christians. Jesus said "they hated ME and they are going to hate YOU too!" If it's not too late Darlene can return to the Lord and renouce her lesbian lifestyle as sinful. That's her choice...God has great patience with all of us....Leaving the gay lifestyle behind is not easy and noone gives you a parade when you leave the gay lifestyle behind. The rejection is expected and doesn't bother me anymore. I am more interested in spealing the truth in love then seeking your approval. Darlene knows her bible and what Romans 1; 18-32 says about gays and lesbians. Don't let her fool you with her sympathy act!

  25. Much though I deplore the way people pull out Bible verses and stick them up as comments as it to make a point, here's one for Anonymous:

    Matthew 7:1-2 New King James version.

    1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

    Dear Anonymous. I hope you will take heed of the warning contained in this scripture.

    But if I may try and be a bit more positive rather than just slapping up a verse to "bash" you, can I say that you really should try not being judgemental for a time, and instead LISTEN to peoples' stories without prejudice or judgement. I think you might find it incredibly liberating and enriching.

  26. Anthony falzaranoJuly 08, 2009 4:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. Wow you guys are really upset by my note to Darlene's blog. Whether you realize it or not God chastizes the ones He loves. Darlene was a prominent ex-gay who was seduced back to the gay lifestyle. Before that no one (who is truly honest) can deny Darlene's testimony of deliverance from homosexuality. She is literally responsible for many men and woman who left the gay lifestyle behind. She was a role-model to me. That's why it hurts so much to see what Satan has done to her. Jesus says that "IF you really love me YOU will OBEY my commands". And His command is to refrain from ALL sexual immorality (whther it's gay or straight!) The Lord does not descriminate based on sexual preference!

    Darlene knows that practicing homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of God (see 1 Corinthians 6;9-11. She also knows that ex-gays are mentioned in verse 10&11. if she walks away from the grace that God has extended to her is her business and she will give an account to God for it. It is my job as an ex-gay leader to restore her gently (but I'm not going to lie to her) she is in spiritual jeopardy of losing her salvation. And deep down in side she knows it!!!! Darlene knows that I love her. I am one of the few that called her when this initially happened in her life to let her know that I still cared for her. But it's our job as Christians to try to restore back-slidden Christians. I pray that she repents of her behavior. Darlene also knows what kind of person I really am. I will not receive all the garbage "rash judgements" of everyone else ready to condemn me for speaking truth into her life. Proverbs 27:5 says; Open rebuke is better than VOICELESS LOVE. All OF YOU ARE SHOWING VOICELESS LOVE BECAUSE IF YOU REALLY KNEW WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY YOU WOULD BE GIVING HER THE SAME COUNSEL AS ME!! Maybe its easy for you to accept Darlene's reidentification with the gay lifestyle so that it doesn't shed any light on your own lifestyle choices (ouch!!)

    Jesus said "they hated me and they're going to hate you too!!! It's not easy going against the grain. It can make you a bunch of enemies however I am accountable to God if I don't preach the truth about what the Lord says about homosexuality. You may email me at if you would like to discuss it. I am not afraid to have honest dialogue with anyone!

    May God Continue to Bless and draw you to him, Anthony Falzarano

  28. Anthony, please stop using my blog to publish your web links. I will continue to delete your comments if you keep posting links promoting yourself. In your desire to be "right," you are abrasive and you can say you're doing it in Christ's name but rude is rude. You have had your say more than once regarding this issue. Be done. There's been no activity on this post for well over a year, and yet you resurrect this with more of the same. Let it go or find another place to write about it.

  29. Well said, Christine.

    I've had people trying to promote their own ideas by posting comments to my blog, and I always remove them with a rebuke, which they certainly deserve.

    (In my case it was an atheist heckler who wanted to promote one of his articles that had nothing whatever to do with the subject of my original post. I realise you, too, after your abysmal treatment by the so-called Christian church, are now an atheist, but one of the more reasonable kind!!)

  30. I watched Falzarano for about 2 decades. My observation led me to the single most important summary-conclusion about him: He was a pathological liar. Ironically, -the Scriptures themselves warn about people like him: Those who promise "freedom" to others while they themselves were slaves to depravity. The New Testament paradigm can be summed up in a single principle: The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in Love (& love works no ill !DUH!). To allow us to walk in such love is why Jesus came & accomplished his mission. It's been my experience that without the latter, --the former is beyond our grasp. Today, -I'm part of a group of men - a global movement called "g0ys" -spelled w. a zer0. G0YS have completely reconciled sexuality with being Christian and we rightly divide the Scriptures to love people while loudly renouncing actions that hurt/maim/kill others. We are a call to repentance for B0TH the Religious Reich and the "Gay Left". LOVE WORKS NO ILL.