An organization that for almost 40 years has tried to turn gays into heterosexuals with prayer and psychotherapy announced earlier this week that it is disbanding because its executives and many board members no longer believe that sexual orientation can be changed. I suppose Exodus International and its leadership started paying more attention to facts and less attention to what they wanted the facts to be.
It’s another step forward for the gay rights movement because there is one less organization around telling people that homosexuality is abnormal or an illness. That’s a good thing, to be sure.
When I read the story, though, the first thing I did was to look into the clear summer sky for flying pigs.
Then I began to speculate about the other myths and lies that drive our national dialogue on political issues. Could we be seeing the beginning of the secular humanist equivalent of The Rapture, one characterized by people either realizing or admitting the truth? Could I hope beyond hope that Exodus International’s disbanding is the first in a long series of similar announcements?
What will be next?
Will the Discovery Institute admit that intelligent design is folderol and repurpose the organization to support research that fills in the blanks in the scientifically proven theory of evolution?
Will the Koch Brothers and other climate change deniers suddenly make a public mea culpa about the tens of millions of dollars they have spent trying to convince the public that global warming is not occurring? Will they start supporting the environmental regulations and development of alternative energy sources that we need to address the rapid rise in Earth’s temperature?
Will the Catholic Church finally catch up to the 98% of its adherents who have used birth control and declare that it’s not a sin against the religion?
Will Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich shamefacedly cop to using racist code words when they talk against food stamps and aid to dependent children?
Will the House Republicans stop telling the lie that we have to lower taxes on the wealthy so they can create jobs and admit that the best way to create jobs is through government programs?
Will these Republicans look at the damage wrought by private prisons, mercenaries (in the army) and charter schools and finally acknowledge that sometimes a government solution is better than having the private sector do it? Will they admit that taxes have been too low on the wealthy for more than 30 years and that this low tax regime is what has caused virtually all of our economic problems?
Will right-wing economists finally admit that environmental regulations don’t hurt the economy, merely the industries they are trying to protect, and that raising air and water standards will create just about as many jobs as it will threaten?
Will those bankrolling the charter school movement finally just tell us the truth that the only reason they are in favor of charter schools is that they want to destroy teachers’ unions and thereby bring down teacher salaries?
Will gun manufacturers and their lobby finally admit that all statistics show that more guns in the street lead to more gun deaths and that far more people are killed and injured each year from friendly fire than from people using guns to protect themselves?
In short, will we finally base our public discourse on truth and science, and not on myths perpetuated to benefit one industry or one group of people?
I close my eyes and I see hundreds of pigs flying in a V formation. Dancing around them are aurochs and unicorns. Blind men and women are throwing away their canes. Lambs and lions are in bed together watching the Chicago Cubs play the Seattle Mariners in the World Series.
But when I open my eyes again, the sky is clear and my computer screen is filled with another politician hooting about how high taxes are. The Rapture for Truth has not yet arrived.