Main | Friday, December 14, 2007

At Least He Hasn't Shot Anybody

Remember that 700 Club story about James Stabile, the gay guy who was touched by a pastor ("Fire!") at that I-35 "purity seige" outside a Dallas gay bar and instantly renounced his homosexuality? Turns out he's bipolar, had stopped taking his meds, and has already been kicked out of the ministry's Build-A-Breeder home for wayward Xtians for being a "compulsive liar" (their words.)

From John Wright at the Dallas Voice:
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.

James called a few days later and told his parents he was moving out, and that he'd be back to get his stuff. James apparently had moved in with some folks from Heartland. After that, it would be some time before James' parents heard from him, as his church friends reportedly advised him not to contact them.

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.

His parents said they feel it's too soon for James to talk about what happened, and that they want him to see his therapist first. They said James has revealed little about his time at Pure Life, which he now refers to as straight camp. James just told them it was horrible and that there are some things he will never be able to share.

James mother, Suzanne, said he told her the people at Pure Life constantly threatened that he was going to hell.

Men in the program had to be fully clothed from the neck down at all times, including when they went to sleep, James told his parents. And they were prohibited from any physical contact, including shaking hands.

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. For now, though, James parents are just glad to have him back. None of that experience was Christian, helpful, loving or supportive, Suzanne Stabile said.
Uh, welcome back, James. I guess.

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