The It Gets Better Project is a liberal project founded in September 2010 in the wake of a number of suicides by gay teenagers who had been bullied for their perceived sexual orientation. The idea behind the project is to tell gay teens to hold on to their homosexuality, promising them that adult homosexual life will provide them "levels of happiness, potential, and positivity". It argues that a problem the gay community faces is lack of acceptance and toleration from "straight" people. If they can "just get through their teen years", they'll be able to enjoy the protection of adult power and camaraderie which will overcome the "daily tormenting and bullying" they face now.
The project was founded by Dan Savage on September 21, 2010 after the suicide of a gay teenager named Billy Lucas. Savage expressed that "I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better."(Author's emphasis) Savage, in conjunction with several organizations founded the project as a 501(c)(3) organization and set up a YouTube channel to which videos could be uploaded.
While it started off with just a video from Savage and his then husband, within two weeks more than 200 videos were submitted to the project and soon after the project reached YouTube's video limit of 640 submissions. Due to the increasing submissions an It Gets Better Project website was launched where more videos could be hosted. The site continues to accept submissions.
The project has seen its fair share of criticism from both sides of the spectrum.
Those on the right have argued that while it is noble to help troubled young people it's wrong to deceive them. They argue that Dan Savage's video message is wrong and that gay teens need help. Mentally and physically, it gets better by leaving homosexuality. At the least, they say, abstinence will prolong their lives, not shorten it.
Some on the left have argued that The It Gets Better Project doesn't go far enough and that the goal should be making things better now, not saying it will get better later.
Christian faith vs. defeatism and acceptance of sexual sin
A person doesn't move forward in their life by accepting and embracing their sin, they move forward by repenting of it and establishing a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The sin of homosexuality is no different than other besetting sins in terms of it being able to be conquered through the assistance of Christ and the existence of Christian ex-homosexuals is testimony to this fact. Christian faith has been conquering the sin of homosexuality for over 2,000 years.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
|“||Or 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 [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. - I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB)||”|
Peter LaBarbera is the President of Americans for Truth which is an organization which counters the homosexual agenda. LaBarbera stated the following regarding Christian ex-homosexuals who reported being transformed by the power of God:
|“||Another factor from my experience as a close observer of the “ex-gay” phenomenon is that many former homosexuals do not linger in “reparative therapy” programs, or participate in them at all. They attribute their dramatic and (relatively) rapid transformation to the power of God, and likely would not show up in a study of this kind. In fact, these “unstudied” overcomers would appear to be the most successful ex-homosexuals because they’ve moved on with their lives — as “reborn” Christians move on after overcoming any besetting sin.||”|
Peter LaBarbera's statement above concerning overcoming homosexuality certainly has some evidence supporting it. For example, in 1980 a study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and eleven men participated in this study. The study reported that eleven homosexual men became heterosexuals "without explicit treatment and/or long-term psychotherapy" through their participation in a Pentecostal church.
Various benefactors are lined up including: GLSEN, George Soros, ACLU, and The Trevor Project. Barack Obama became involved and like Savage, recorded a video in support of It Gets Better. To Obama, its a civil rights issue. Inspired by Obama, the White House Staff created a video in support of It Gets Better project. White House Staff, YouTube
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- http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/showing-gay-teens-a-happy-future/ Showing Gay Teenagers a Happy Future
- http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=4940874 Give 'Em Hope
- http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/07/MNVJ1FP6E1.DTL Dan Savage overwhelmed by gay outreach's response
- E.M. Pattison and M.L. Pattison, "'Ex-Gays': Religiously Mediated Change in Homosexuals," American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 137, pp. 1553-1562, 1980
- http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/10/22/obama-joins-it-gets-better-campaign-dan-savage-says-make-it-better/ Obama Joins It Gets Better Campaign Dan Savage Says Make It Better