The Bethel Church cult asserts that the Equality Act prohibits conversion therapy
The thing about cults is that they can universally subscribe to bullshit.

An entire group of supposedly ex-LGBTQ people believe that the Equality Act prohibits conversion therapy.

Bethel Church has flown a group of people to Washington, DC to warn senators about the supposed dangers of the Equality Act.

The Redding, California mega church has all the trappings of a cult. Apparently it is a cult with a great deal of money.

The church has “healing rooms.” Through prayer they claim to have healed everything from blindness to cancer. Bethel even has remote healing rooms; a perversion of telehealth. Homosexuality and gender dysphoria are other things that Bethel Church claims to heal.

Bethel has formed what it calls “Changed.” The head crackpot and Bethel Church employee is Elizabeth Woning who claims to be an ex-lesbian. Woning’s Igor is Ken Williams.

Together, they operate two Bethel Church “ministries.” The aforementioned “Changed” and “Equipped to Love.” Changed does the influencing and lobbying. Equipped to Love is a provider of conversion therapy and believed to be a cash cow.

The “ministries” are under the umbrella of Bethel Church. These include the Bethel Christian School, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (seriously?), Bethel Conservatory of the Arts and many, many more. I have identified about 30 such operations.

According to Woning:

Changed has come to DC to appeal to our President and to Congress to focus on human dignity apart from identity politics.

So nondiscrimination is an affront to human dignity? Meanwhile being able to discriminate in public accommodations somehow heightens human dignity? Does that make any sense at all?

“…every ex-LGBT person we seem to know about has an economic interest in claiming to be ex-LGBT. That certainly applies to Woning.”

Woning goes on to state:

America deserves to know there’s more to the story when it comes to LGBTQ experience.

Let’s consider this in the best possible light for Ms. Woning. Let us presume that Woning is no longer attracted to women. Let us further presuppose that Woning was not bisexual before she claimed to be “ex-gay.” Let us further assume that being LGBTQ is a choice and that conversion therapy actually works.

Those assumptions are either false or invite questioning. Still, what does any of that have to do with protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination? Woning is a religious extremist by choice. She could convert to atheism if she wanted to.

Then it gets particularly bizarre:

LGBTQ is also becoming an ideological worldview that Americans must have the right to embrace or reject on the same terms as religion. Many, like us, have changed. We left LGBTQ because we wanted to, and others join us every day.

Conservative Christians are intent on characterizing sexual orientation and gender identity as ideologies. Doing so allows them to avoid confronting scientific realities. Part of it amounts to psychological projection by idealogues.

The scientific reality is that there is a great deal of diversity in human sexuality. Sexual orientation and gender identity are independent of each other and have durable biological bases. Sexuality is not a choice. Nor is it a philosophy or doctrine.

The reason that people claim to be ex-LGBT is to exchange shame for approval from their church or synagogue. Remove the shame/approval continuum and no one would ever claim to be ex-whatever. Moreover, Bethel Church’s profitable conversion therapy operation would cease to exist.

To sustain the conversion therapy, Elizabeth Woning is promoting a combination of shame and mendacity. I have often said that every ex-LGBT person we seem to know about has an economic interest in claiming to be ex-LGBT. That certainly applies to Woning.

Woning primes the pump with self-serving dishonesty:

“Changed” stands in the gap between religious liberty and gay rights. We are Christians with LGBTQ in our past. People like us could consider ourselves a sexual minority, but we don’t see that as the truth of our lives.

How Elizabeth Woning perceives herself has no connection to nondiscrimination protections. Furthermore, nondiscrimination is unrelated to Religious Liberty™. No one has a religious duty to discriminate. Moreover, religion does not excuse “we don’t serve your kind here.”

One of Woning’s pets, Daniel Mingo of Kentucky, is another 2-watt bulb:

[The Equality Act] will give unequal rights to a minority, taking away the rights of many, many more

These ridiculous assertions sound like Strom Thurmond in 1963-64 in opposition to the Civil Rights Act which the Equality Act would amend. People like Woning and Mingo never put themselves in circumstances where their stupidity is challenged.

Mr. Mingo takes the absurdity a step further:

I was sexualy molested at 13, which led to anonymous sexual encounters with other males for approximately the next 30 years. I chose to leave that life, going into recovery for sexual addiction. I also became a born again believer, and I have been following Jesus now for 51 years.

First of all Mingo is promoting the Christian standard excuse: Gay due to sexual abuse. He might have been molested or he is telling a pastor’s tale. There is no connection between adolescent sexual abuse and sexual orientation.

“As I said, these folks never put themselves in circumstances where they might be challenged.”

Secondly, Mingo’s “problem” is not that he is gay but that he was having anonymous sex. He goes on to say:

By choosing to leave the gay life, by choosing to stop those anonymous sexual encounters, I was able to determine my own course of treatment, which others would not be able to do if the Equality Act is passed.

There are two parts to Mingo’s sophistry. The first lie is that there is some correlation between sexual orientation and having anonymous sex. There is not. He could stop that behavior without claiming to be ex-gay. Plenty of straight people have anonymous sex.

The second is that the Equality Act would stop conversion therapy and pray-your-gay-away crackpottery. That is patently false. Does Mingo believe what he is saying or does he know that he is lying?

As I said, these folks never put themselves in circumstances where they might be challenged. Were that not the case someone might ask him: “What part of the Equality Act affects conversion therapy?”

This gets remarkably stupider. According to Jason Maxwell of Arkansas:

I am a survivor and overcomer of LGBT indoctrination that many in our country and churches have falsely partnered with, that says, “I was born that way.”

There are three parts to that nonsense. First, he is assuming victimhood as a “survivor.” Secondly, conservative Christians always think that they have to offer an excuse for being gay. They create their own need to do so because they insist that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices and they do not want to be accountable for making bad decisions.

Thirdly, Maxwell is claiming that he was influenced into being gay. Sexual orientation is robustly resistant to the influence of others. That is why conversion therapy doesn’t work. That is also why conversion therapy is toxic. It fosters shame and blame and then falsely rewards approval.

Maxwell is also wed to the ridiculous notion that the Equality Act has some mystical effect on “pastoral care, lay counseling, and professional counseling.” Maxwell is yet another moron who could not explain his assertion with cites to the legislation.

Tamika Sanders is another would-be conversionist through a scam called Coming Out, Inc. Based in Irving, TX (figures) Coming Out, Inc. had 2019 revenues of less than $50,000. (But it does have an annoying website with music embedded into the HTML.) Despite miniscule revenues it’s URL is ComingOutGlobal. Global?

Ms. Sanders is another one falsely claiming that the Equality Act would have some effect on her “Inc.”

…legislation that says that change is not possible says that we don’t exist and it forces individuals to remain trapped.

Okay genius. What section of the Equality Act are you referring to?

Yes there is a pattern here. Conservative Christians are some of the most incurious people on the planet. They tend not to want to encounter anything supported by evidence to be contrary to their beliefs. This is particularly true of Christians claiming to be ex-LGBT.

Just a few more wizards. According to David Reece:

“laws and ordinances that are virtually identical to the Equality Act are in force in numerous states and locales. … Where has any of this nonsense occurred as a result of those laws and ordinances?”

I had a hard enough time without the pressure of public school telling me what to believe about sexuality and identity. I grew up in the 90s, and thankfully we didn’t have to hear about gender identity, sexuality, and sex all the time. That is not the case today.

I hate to try to burst Reece’s impenetrable bubble. However, the science associated with sexuality is what it is. We know the science because of articles published to respected academic journals employing robust peer review.

In the Internet Age we have two choices: We can allow kids to adopt inaccurate gossip or we can provide scientifically accurate information. In any event, accurate information has no effect on anyone’s sexuality. Furthermore, what does any of that nonsense have to do with the Equality Act?

Mr. Reece doesn’t even deserve an “E” for effort:

Let me be clear: Government should not mandate what sort of sex ed should be received by students in public schools, and they should especially not tell children how they should form understanding of sexuality and sexual identity.

Suffice it to say that people with far better education than Reece has, disagree.

Drew Berryessa, a preacher from Oregon joins in on this fact-free extravaganza:

Shitting Bull.The Equality Act threatens my freedom to offer the same pastoral counseling that I received, that delivered me out of sexual addiction, that healed the effects of abuse and neglect, that helped me live the life that I dreamed of living

Same question: What section of the Equality Act does that?

“It is painfully obvious that NONE of these people have actually read the text of the act.”

A familiar sad faggot, Greg Quinlan from New Jersey, chimes in:

The Equality Act is not about Equality. The Equality Act has nothing to do with equality. It has to do with utter, absolute, dominance, and what we are doing with that is that we are erasing the truth from our children.

All that from a nondiscrimination law?

And by the way, laws and ordinances that are virtually identical to the Equality Act are in force in numerous states and locales. That includes Quinlan’s home state of New Jersey. Where has any of this nonsense occurred as a result of those laws and ordinances?

Bree Stevens of California says the same thing. So does Gabriel Pagan of Georgia. So does the aforementioned Ken Williams of California.

No need to provide the quotes. It is painfully obvious that NONE of these people have actually read the text of the act.

Ken Williams get the prize for the most spectacularly stupid comment:

What we’re asking is: Please don’t take away our rights. Please let us determine what our sexuality is.

We are obviously doing something wrong in public schools. We have failed to inspire intellectual curiosity. Without curiosity, critical thinking ceases to exist. What we get is stupidity like the above where one person lies and the support group chimes in.

I would bet that Elizabeth Woning knows exactly what she is doing. She knows what the outcome will be. How? Experience with these losers who desperately require approval. Losers who cannot accept being who they are.

As an aside, Andre Van Mol, one of the founders of the hate group, American College of Pediatricians, is a Bethel Church elder. Figures.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.