Exodus International es una asociación religiosa localizada en Orlando (Florida) que se dedica a “guiar a aquellas personas y familias afectadas por la homosexualidad”. La polémica se produjo cuando la organización desarrolló una aplicación para expandir este mensaje a través de la AppStore.
La aparición de esta aplicación aceptada por Apple, una empresa que ha apoyado la causa LGTB en más de una ocasión, levantó el revuelo entre los activistas del colectivo gay, que enseguida mandaron una petición pública a Apple para que la retirara de su store. Tres días más tarde, Apple escribía a los creadores de la aplicación informándoles de que la habían retirado “por dañar a un gran número de personas”.
En Actualidad iPhone hemos conseguido entrevistar a Jeff Buchanan, encargado de divulgar el mensaje entre estudiantes. Esta entrevista se aborda desde un punto de vista objetivo y pretende profundizar en la reacción que ha provocado la retirada de la aplicación en este grupo religioso y cuál es la intención de un mensaje que, según ellos, “no es de odio” pero que incluye un tono homófobo según el colectivo LGTB.
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Pablo Ortega (P.O.) What do you think about Apple’s performance removing your application from the store?
Jeff Buchanan (J.B.) We are disappointed at Apple’s decision to remove our application. We feel this reflects a lack of diversity and tolerance that is so highly valued within the GLBT community.
P.O. Are you gonna appeal the decision? Are you planning to promote a similar petition within your followers?
J.B. We are currently evaluating our options. We plan to have an announcement in the coming weeks regarding our response to Apple’s decision.
P.O. Do you think the application was really damaging a large group of people? What was the main intention of this tool you developed?
J.B. There is nothing about the message of Exodus International that could be considered damaging. Our message is to mobilize the Body of Christ to minister Grace and Truth to a world impacted by homosexuality. We hold to a biblical view of sexuality and our application simply provided information already accessible on our website (exodusinternational.org). We want our message to be accessible on all platforms being used within today’s culture.
P.O. You clarify on your website that you do not pretend to cure homosexuality. How do you think young people develop this sexual orientation?
J.B. There are many things that factor into same-sex orientation and there is no formula. We do recognize a number of contributing factors, one being the impact of environmental influences in people’s lives. I know that this was a significant influence in my own struggle with homosexuality. For me, I experienced a profound disconnect with my father and my own gender which greatly contributed to my development of same-sex attractions. I had to come to a decisions that I would live my life through the filter of my faith and not the filter of my sexuality. As a result, God began a transforming work within me and I am completely content with my life today.
P.O. We can read on your website “homosexuality should be a societal goal”. How do you think the society can commit that goal?
J.B. I believe we all have a responsibility to respond to the issues surrounding homosexuality in our culture today. We should always show love and compassion to individuals, family, and friends who have been affected by the issue. So many people have questions and are looking for answers. The Church has a responsibility to reach those struggling with these questions. The Church must also display the love and compassion of Christ to all within the GLBT community. So many have a false perception of the Church and need to experience an authentic faith. While we do not compromise on the truth of Scripture, we must convey the love of Christ to all.
P.O. Exodus International is obviously adapting to new technologies. The decision of creating an app for the iPhone was to reach more people or to get access to a specific target?
J.B. Our desire is to reach a broader demographic and make our message more accessible to today’s culture. We feel that adaptation to today’s technology is a necessary and wise ministry strategy.
P.O. Apple rated the app for kids over 4+. Do you agree with this rating? Should parents interact with this app and their kids?
J.B. Yes, we believe the initial rating that Apple provided was accurate. We believe that parents should always be responsibly involved when it comes to children and today’s technology. The application served as a tool for information. There was a section entitled “Responding to Bullying” designed to educate parents and students on how to respond to the issues of bullying. (Found here on the Exodus Students website: http://exodusinternational.org/exodus-student-ministries/students/bullying-tolerance/) We wanted to bring an awareness on the issue of bullying and help students to know how to respond should they be the victims or see a peer being abused. Now this message has been silenced on the iTunes platform.