CommunityPam's House Blend

The truth, Exodus style, in SC

A billboard by Truth Ministry near the Beacon Drive-In on John B. White Sr Boulevard is one of three the organization has erected.

This “ex-gay” billboard BS is not surprising — it’s not as if you expect love and acceptance of the homos in most of SC, home of Bob Jones University, which is in Greenville, one of the places this ministry’s billboards are appearing. SC is one of the states with a marriage amendment on the ballot this year — it’s hard work ahead for the South Carolina Equality Coalition. (

“It kind of rubbed me the wrong way. They portrayed homosexuality as being a choice. I don’t believe it is,” said Stacey Haney, an 18-year-old lesbian and business administration major at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Haney is vice president of the campus Pride organization.

“It’s just a very expensive way of showing your ignorance. If they’re all about love, then they should be acting like Christians … rather than spending money on something to promote hate.”

The argument won’t be settled in the Beacon Drive-in parking lot, where one of the billboards is situated, nor on Highway 176 near the First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg, nor on Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville.

Truth Ministry paid for the other two out of a $25,000 grant it received in the fall from the Spartanburg Christian Community Foundation. Of that grant, $4,000 was to be used for advertising.

…Haney, the USC Upstate student, says that attitude contributes to an atmosphere of un-acceptance. “If my girlfriend and I go out in public and I hold her hand, then I have to worry about who’s looking at us, or who’s saying something, or who’s going to jump out the bushes and beat the crap out of us.”

Another phenomenon that doesn’t surprise me about South Carolina is the preponderance of billboards along the interstate for topless dance establishments, trucker porno stop-offs and the like.

When Kate and I were driving to Alabama a couple of weeks ago, you couldn’t help but notice the screaming, huge billboards while passing through South Carolina — “24 hours! Girls! Girls! Girls! Topless! NUDE! Exit NOW!!!” In one stretch there were six of them in a row. Once you left the state, I didn’t notice any. It’s clear that the level of bible beating in this state has to be tied to the level of guilt-ridden beating off in dark dank joints, along with the Sunday prayers to cleanse…and then the cycle starts fresh the next week. Both of us pondered what a heinous job it has to be for the poor shmo cleaning these joints. Blegh.

Truth Ministry, by the way, is affiliated with Exodus International, the notorious “ex-gay” reparative therapy crazies. A testimonial from the web site (oh, my sides are splitting from the hilarity.

The worst words I think I have ever heard in my life were “Daddy, I’m gay”. Those words can send chills down the spine of the strongest man when he hears them from his son. I was devastated by those words. They rang in my ears month after month. What had I done wrong for my son to choose this path for his life? Being a logical person, I decided that he would respond to logic and tried to approach it in that way during the few conversations that we had in those early years of his new lifestyle.

I didn’t know what to do or how to respond to him and at the same time keep our conversations calm. It was a very difficult time for both of us. One thing I knew was that I loved him so much and I wanted him to know that, so I began telling him “I love you” every chance I got. What could I do to reach my son who had taken a path that was both unknown to me and contrary to my beliefs? I realized that I was basically ignorant about the subject, but I wanted to know as much as I could so I could “rescue” my dear son from being gay.

I began reading about the gay lifestyle from a book my pastor encouraged me to read Desires in Conflict. I had been questioning my responsibility in all of this and what I had done or might have done to help precipitate my son’s feelings and actions. I can look back over the years and remember when he was the only boy in the neighborhood so he had to play with the girls. I didn’t always take the time to play with him that I probably should have because I was busy. We did play games together occasionally and I even helped him some with playing on a baseball team. But then his mother and I divorced, and we didn’t get to see each other as much; mostly every other weekend.

What a sad life these folks have. And they still have time to fixate on queer people.

Thanks to Blender DoandMe for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding