Setting Captives Free

By D'Anne Witkowski

Creep of the Week

There's an app for that. It doesn't even matter what "that" is, because there's an app for everything. You want the photos you take with your $300 phone to look like they were taken with a disposable camera from 1993? There's an app for that. Do you wish you had a talking cat who repeats everything you say? There's an app. You want to find an app that will make your phone emit the sounds of copious flatulence? There are so, so many apps for that.

So it really shouldn't be surprising that there's an app for praying the gay away, which makes the fart apps seem like a good use of your data plan because at least farts have some kind of scientific basis.

Setting Captives Free, "a non-denominational ministry which teaches the biblical principles of freedom in Jesus Christ," is behind the app. They promise they'll help you quit things like drinking, overeating, gambling, and cutting. Which are all noble goals, really, since those are all things that can cause a lot of problems in a person's life.

The problem with Setting Captives Free, however, is that they also provide a course to help you to stop being gay, as if being gay is the same thing as drinking boxed wine alone in your basement or spending your kid's college tuition money at a riverboat casino. It isn't, and claiming otherwise is both insulting and dangerous.

The SCF anti-gay course, called The Door of Hope, is a "60-Day interactive course that will teach you to enjoy a newfound relationship with the Lord and how to find freedom from homosexuality."

Wait a minute, 60 days? That's two whole months! I mean, if you want to quit smoking there's an app that promises you can do it in one hour! So basically, in the time it would take you to quit being gay, you could quit smoking over 1,400 times!

Looking at SCF's other course offerings, it appears that 60 days is their standard. Which is forever! I mean, this is 2013 where everybody carries a mini super computer in their pockets with instant access to all the information in the world at all times. And SCF expects people to wait 60 days for results? How does this app expect to compete with Grindr?

The Door of Hope assures its pupils, "[D]espite what you may have heard elsewhere, you do not have a 'homosexual gene,' nor were you born this way with no hope of freedom. You can be set free from the bondage of homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and the cross! If you will apply the biblical principles found here, you can walk through the Door of Hope into a new life with Christ, free from sexual impurity and self-gratification."

Got that? Being gay is not "normal" and being Christian and gay are incompatible. You must reject one in order to be the other. Mind you, plenty of gay Christians would disagree, but hey, they can get their own app. (Note: I just checked. They have one, actually).

Under "Helpful Tips" there's this unintentionally ironic statement: "Be transparent and honest. Since you are likely someone who is quite used to hiding your sin from others, we would encourage you to walk in the light and speak forthrightly about what is happening in your life and in your heart. This will help you to receive the most benefit from these lessons."

Note that SCF is not advocating that you be honest in real life. They're calling you a sinner and telling you to "confess."

They continue, "However, by encouraging you to walk in the light we are not saying that you are to be graphic or overly detailed in your responses. Satan has received enough glory and attention."

In other words, they don't want you to gross them out. Because you, gay person, are icky and damaged, says the "Christian" group who is trying to "cure" you out of the goodness of their "hearts."


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