This piece by Mercy Survivor Chelsea was originally published on her personal blog, The Pink Propaganda, and can be viewed here.
One of the biggest questions I get asked is whether Mercy Ministries is anti LGBT, like a lot of things they don’t seem to take a very clear stance on the issue. Or do they?
In the 90s they did. Nancy Alcorn reportedly made lots of statements like:
“Homosexuality is caused by self hate”
That’s quite an odd statement to make. Almost as if homosexuality was a mental illness. I mean it wasn’t an unpopular belief back in those days right?
However it’s 2015 and you would think that dealing with mental illnesses they would collectively be up on the times as far as the homosexuality, LGBT thing is concerned.
In 2008, an article was released in The Nashville Scene with a interview from a former employee of Nancy Alcorn’s who claimed among other things that Nancy herself was a lesbian, it wasn’t the fact that Nancy was a lesbian that was the problem, but the immediate lash out of Nancy Alcorn in her own personal blog, “Nancy Sets the Record Straight” which has since been removed, stating that:
“I want to make it clear that I am not gay, nor have I ever engaged in a homosexual lifestyle. These attacks have been deeply hurtful for me personally, but what frustrates me even more is that they are so clearly the enemy’s effort to distract from the amazing work going on at Mercy Ministries”
What frustrates me is that she saw being called homosexual as an attack and the only part of that entire article was her focus on being called gay. She brings up nothing about the abuse at Mercy Ministries mentioned. She just jumps at the defense to prove herself straight, because anything else would be disastrous.
In that same article, past resident “Rebecca” went on to say that:
“Being too skinny was a minor sin in the Mercy catalog. Looking lesbian was a major crime. Alcorn admonished girls for wearing their hair short, despite keeping her owns locks in a shoulder-length bob. If girls got too close they were forced to sign a separation contract that prevented them from being alone together. Mercy didn’t advertise itself as a gay-repair ministry, but some girls enrolled to be cured of their “disease.” One day a big donor took a tour of Mercy and thought one of the girls seeking to be “fixed” was a boy. Alcorn was so embarrassed she bought the girl a new wardrobe. By the end of the afternoon, she guaranteed there would be no more confusion thanks to the girl’s new shirt: “I Heart Boys.”“
On their intake packet, they still ask the question whether you have “struggled with your sexuality”. This is a tricky way of wording this, because what if being a lesbian was never a struggle for someone? What if they walk into Mercy Ministries completely naive?
An old version asks one simple, awkward word sitting next to a question about prostitution… lesbianism?
Their current counseling model says that “identity confusion” and “sexual sins” are parts of the freedom from demonic oppression area.
And perhaps the most telling piece of evidence is their continued support of strictly, sometimes down right hateful, anti-gay ministries and pastors.
The worst that comes to mind is Watoto Ministries in Uganda with Pastor Gary Skinner. Some of the articles covered by Watoto read much like a nightmare.
It’s not surprising to me that Mercy Ministries supports a church that exploits orphans, we’ve talked heavily about the exploitation of Mercy Ministries residents.
“While not alone, Watoto is at the forefront of the anti-gay movement in Uganda. Stephen Langa, an elder at Watoto and the head of the Family Life Network, produced a March conference on homosexuality in Uganda and at least two of the sessions were held at the [Watoto] church. He then pressed the government “to enact stringent laws against the practice”“
…an article in New Vision, a Ugandan newspaper, paraphrased him saying.
David Bahati, a member of Uganda’s Parliament, has since introduced legislation that would punish gay men and lesbians with the death penalty or life in prison in some cases, though the government has suggested the harshest provision could be removed. The bill requires doctors, priests, and others to report homosexuals to police. Skinner has said nothing about the bill or at least nothing that has been reported in Uganda’s press. But the pastor has influence in Uganda.
On a blog devoted to a missions trip where Mercy Ministries staff members took Mercy graduates to Kampala Uganda to help Watato Ministries build four classrooms for orphans of Gary Skinner’s, the staff of Mercy Ministries said this:
“This summer, we will be co-leading a group of Mercy Ministries’ graduates to serve in Kampala, Uganda! We will be partnering with Watoto Ministries – a community that provides a holistic home environment, as well as quality education to children that have been orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Mercy Ministries has had a great relationship with the founders of Watoto for many years, and together we will build four classrooms for the children in Kampala.“
This sounds magical, if Skinner wasn’t using those orphans to press his anti-gay hate in Uganda and if Mercy Ministries wasn’t completely aware of that as well as the rest of the developed first world countries.
“Gary Skinner…. has been described by Ugandan human-rights activist Frank Mugisha as “one of the most homophobic people in the world.” Skinner is especially notable for establishing Watoto Church (formerly Kampala Pentecostal Church) in Uganda’s capital city, and he also heads Watoto Child Care Ministries, an organization that cares for children orphaned by the nation’s HIV/AIDS scourge. Its work includes the famous Watoto Children’s Choir (formerly Uganda Children’s Choir). These institutions provide Skinner with moral authority, which he uses to exert enormous influence in Uganda (and beyond) in pursuit of an anti-LGBTI agenda”.
I mean, sure it’s a free country, have your “opinions”, I don’t like them, but screaming at you isn’t going to change them, there are many other people they tote off that speak anti-gay, but do you have to support a ministry that quite literally speaks of killing and jailing gays? That’s reprehensible, and anyone that supports Mercy Ministries is indirectly supporting Gary Skinner and his “Kill the Gays” Bill. They’ve donated nearly $100,000 in just two years of your donations to Gary Skinner.
Mercy Ministries’ connection to Lou Engle
Another, more significant and more blood thirsty connection of Mercy Ministries to anti-gay ministries is their connection to Lou Engle. A man who called upon Ellen Degeneres to become straight and “change the minds of the masses” and tell the current generation that being gay is not acceptable.
He supported and was a main leader in the Proposition 8 Bill that made gay marriage illegal in California after it was made legal in 2008.
Lou Engle perhaps stirred up more in Uganda then Gary Skinner did.
Lou Engle has visited Mercy Ministries homes a number of times, and claims to be good friends with Alcorn herself. Alcorn served on his advisory board of his large Christian gathering named “The Call”, as well as Mercy Ministries residents attending it, where Engle often spouts off anti-gay agendas. I find it unfathomable how they could expose young women to this type of hate when young women who often attend Mercy go there being LGBT.
If you want to read more about this stuff, please purchase the book The Failure of Evangelical Mental Health Care: Treatments That Harm Women, LGBT persons and The Mentally Ill by John Weaver.
Mercy Ministries’ tax documents connect them to Watoto: