I previously did a post on our local Christianist nutcase, Pat Robertson's, statement that that Interstate 35 is the “highway to holiness” referenced in the Old Testament. As the story went, a reformation is springing up in cities along I-35, which runs from Laredo to Duluth, Minn., that eventually will spread to the coasts and cleanse the entire nation of sin. The segment also talked about one James Stabile, “a 19-year-old homosexual atheist from Dallas, who claimed “It was the weirdest thing ever. … I didn’t feel the desire to be with men like I had felt before,”refer to his being touched by Joe Oden, the Heartland evangelist who’s been helping to organize the "purity" sieges. As Paul Harvey says, now for the rest of the story. Note that false "ex-gay" Michael Johnston is at Pure Life Ministries (where he has been hiding out since he was exposed as a fraud in August 2003). Here are highlights from the Dallas Voice ( http://www.dallasvoice.com/artman/publish/article_7530.php) that provide the rest of the story:
A few weeks later, Oden told me Stabile had been kicked out of Pure Life for being a “compulsive liar,” which rekindled my interest. Finally, I was able to get in touch with Stabile’s father, Joseph, who gave me the real scoop. Coincidentally, Joseph Stabile is pastor of Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church, the oldest church in Dallas. Joseph Stabile said he’s fully accepting of his son’s sexual orientation and believes being gay is neither a choice nor a sin. Joseph Stabile said James left home to go out that Friday night and never returned. Joseph said James, or “B.J.” as his parents affectionately refer to him, is bipolar and had stopped taking his medication.
Joseph Stabile said the Heartland folks also may have advised James to throw away his medication, telling him that God would cure his bipolar disorder, too. Joseph’s parents said James has a tendency to be less than truthful, especially when he’s off his medication, and that he loves attention. They said they don’t believe he’s ever questioned his sexuality, but that the folks from Heartland manipulated and exploited him for publicity. It wasn’t until James got to Pure Life that he was able to reconnect with his parents. Not surprisingly, James wasn’t fitting in to the program, his father said. “James did not fit into the program because their whole aim was to have him not be gay,” his father said. Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. After nearly four months, James returned home last weekend.
James’ mother, Suzanne, said he told her the people at Pure Life constantly threatened that he was going to hell. When James got kicked out, his father asked someone at Pure Life whether they would buy him a bus ticket. After all, James had paid $2,100 to get in to the program, plus $150 a week. But the representative from Pure Life refused. Joseph Stabile has contacted “The 700 Club” and asked them to retract the information about James in the segment. “None of that experience was Christian, helpful, loving or supportive,” Suzanne Stabile said.