Saturday, October 24, 2009

Does the Roloff church believe that gay people can and should be cured?

Ever since Jeremy Roloff's use of gay slurs and perceived mocking of gay people, a spotlight has been put on the Roloffs and their attitude towards gay people. Another event that drew more attention to this subject, was the fact that Amy Roloff on her official website, included a link to the controversial Christian organization "Focus on the Family" - which is arguably most famous for their anti-gay stance and the millions of dollars they spent campaigning against issues such as gay people's right to marry. However, a couple of months ago when Amy's website was updated, the Focus on the Family link disappeared and replaced by her newly formed Charity Foundation website link.

Some people previously assumed that given the Roloffs message of inclusion portrayed on the show and statements from Matt such as "I wasn't put on this earth to hide in a closet and be ashamed of who I am" -obviously very relatable to gay people or family/friends of gay people -- some figured the Roloffs were not "anti-gay". Some Christian fans of the Roloffs, embrace the Roloffs perceived opposition to homosexually and are surprised there is any debate about it - after all the Bible says it is an abomination in the eyes of God.

This issue is compounded by the fact that the Roloffs are public speakers regarding diversity and inclusion. They are invited and paid to speak about those topics. Amy has spoken at "Social Justice" seminars where the message is one of acceptance and equality, and included another speaker who was gay or lesbian.

It's a very heated topic that surfaces in many discussions about the Roloffs when their fans get together to discuss them. About a month ago, in the comments to one of our items, some people claimed that the Roloffs church advocates that gay people can and should be cured. That is a rather controversial stance.

We received several emails from readers of the blog. Some were upset that it was said. Some fellow Christians were unhappy that it was even in question. Others were simply curious if it was true? Do the Roloffs believe that gay people should be "de-gayed"?

We always aim to clear up fact from rumor so here goes:

If the question is: In the past, has the Church that the Roloffs attend, invited speakers to their Church who teach that gay people can and should be 'de-gayed'? The answer is yes.

Two things that are the connection are the Harvest Community Church and Sy Rogers.

Viewers know the Harvest Community Church from the show, it was where they held the memorial for Mike Detjen (and for readers of the blog, it was also the church of the Glencoe High School student who committed suicide last month).

The Harvest Community Church has a public fan page on Facebook.

Amy is a "fan" of HCC. Well, it used to be visible, at one time Amy had her real Facebook page not really public, but at least visible. Now it is hidden. Anyhow, you can see that the Harvest Community Church held their summer picnic at Roloff Farms. They have a link to these photos, although I believe this was when the Roloffs themselves were on their vacation through Europe.

The Christian speaker welcomed by the Harvest Community Church is the controversial Sy Rogers. He has the Sy Rogers Christian ministries. He says he is an "ex-gay" who teaches that gay people can be cured with the help of Jesus.

"Ex-residents claim that to help in Hillsong's endeavour to rid themselves of homosexuals, Hillsong has gone so far as to enlist the services of Sy Rogers, an American 'ex-gay' (now reformed) married Christian who spoke at their MegaChurch last year. Hillsong uses Roger's Youtube show Turnaround, in which he claims "Happily, homosexuality can be turned around. Homosexuality is out of tune with religion; it is not what God planned for human sexuality."

You can see by this schedule listing in the past, Sy Rogers is popular with Portland area Churches and Harvest Community Church.

March/April 2005
Sy Rogers returns to Portland
On April 3, Sy will be delivering the Sunday
morning message at Harvest Community Church in Hillsboro

When this issue was first mentioned, the blog heard from some of the fellow members of Harvest Community Church who claimed they attended Mr. Rogers' seminar with the Roloffs when he was invited to their Church and sang his praises.

I hope that clears up some fact from fiction on this issue.

To give you an idea of what Sy Rogers is all about and what the Roloffs church embrace in speakers they invite to their church, you can check out this video. I have to say...this is NOT a Saturday Night Live sketch. It might seem that way, but it is not. It is the speaker the Roloffs have seen speak and their church welcomes.

To be fair, that video was some time ago, and this a more recent Sy Rogers seminar. He seems to have become a little smoother...perhaps this is more along the lines of what the Roloffs were treated to when they saw him speak in their Church?

If you want to hear a different perspective on Christianity and homosexuality from someone who has been seen on Little People, Big World, watch Jen Montzingo's very recent video blog and find out why she says sometimes she doesn't want to tell people that she is a Christian. (Jen comes into the video at 1:48, she starts with a clip from the TV show Grey's Anatomy).


Troy said...

Oh brother, I knew the Roloffs were religious, but I didn't know they were nutty religious.

Who is going to tell the Roloffs that dwarfism is "out of tune with religion, from a Biblical perspective"??

Austin said...


As far as I'm concerned, anybody who believes that gay people need to be "cured" is a bigot. Imagine telling the Roloffs that they need to get taller because that's not what God wanted and it's in the Bible (it is, anti-deformities).

It's incredibly frustrating and sad. I'm not surprised that there was a teen suicide associated with this Church if that's what they're teaching young people to believe.

Jen, thank you. Christians like Jen is one of the only reasons why I don't completely cut out Christians.

Anne B said...

What is controversial? Sy Rogers is right.

Lisa said...

The first video does an injustice to Sy Rogers. I also saw him speak. He's an incredible speaker.

Jen's faith is an issue between her and God. However I will say, you can't be a Christian and believe in homosexuality.

There is nothing controversial about the Roloffs beliefs.

Justin said...

Honestly, Christians like Jeremy Roloff turn people away from God. People like Jen bring people to God.

The Roloffs are a good example of why I'm not Christian.

Sheri said...

I don't know why anybody would be surprised to learn about the Roloffs opposition to homosexuality. They are good Christians.

Justin, your opinion about Jeremy's faith doesn't matter. God's opinion matters and I guarantee God is more pleased with Jeremy's walk with the Lord than with Jen's.

I fear Jen has lost her way. She has moved to Hollywood. She appears to me to be distancing herself from God. The Bible is the word of God. The Roloffs are firm in that belief. Jen is not.

Brandon said...

I agree with Jen 100%. Great job Jen (although if you're reading Jen, maybe you aren't as short as you think you are, I think the camera should be a little higher next time :) j/k, great speech. I feel the same way.

If this is what the Roloffs believe, I would love for them to officially say that they think gay people should be cured. Lets see if they're willing to risk their speaking careers in the minority field drying up.

The Roloffs need to watch the movie "Saved!" but and understand the point of it.

Greg said...

I'm not surprised at all. Anyone who didn't think there was any meaning behind Jeremy's language and that it had nothing to do with anti-gay feelings is not very perceptive. The whole thing with that language is very subtle. "Don't be a gay bragging f*ggot" probably will be said by someone who doesn't respect gay people and believing that someone should be "cured" is not respecting them.

mc said...

i am a friend of jeremy's. i find alot of what is said about him to be very unfair. i know the internet frustrates jer. anybody can say whatever they want and people believe it. that's not very fair, is it?

jeremy does not hate gay people. he was using words he did not fully understand. jer does not mind talking to a gay person or being in the same room as a homosexual. he does however have his beliefs and is firm in his beliefs as we all are. jeremy is a devout christian. he strongly opposes gay marriage because the bible is the word of God. there is nothing wrong with sy rogers message. suggesting that HCC is controversial for promoting the message that homosexuality is wrong and not natural is very insulting to HCC and its members.

God doesn't make people gay. it is a choice. homosexuality is wrong. God would not be a hypocrite by making someone gay after saying it is wrong. gay people make a choice to sin. if you want to use the word cured, then they need to be cured if they want to please God.

as for jen. i'm not using my real name because i don't want to make things awkward for the roloffs if i ever see jen again, but i find her video to be very flawed. she uses the word hate. i don't hate gay people. jeremy doesn't hate gay people. nobody i know that is a christian hates gay people. recognizing what God wants is not hate.

if you truly love a person you want them to be one with God. you do that by bringing them to God, reminding them what God wants from them, not by encouraging them to sin or telling them it is alright for them to oppose God's instructions.

the verses in the Bible were not taken out of context. they are very clear that God planned sexuality as one man and one woman.

no christian should be reluctant to say they are christian because they're afraid of what others will think. that doesn't matter. what matters is what God wants. if you believe in God, you want the world to work as the way God planned. that does not include homosexuality.

Rap541 said...

"The Bible is the word of God. The Roloffs are firm in that belief."

If that is true, then I assume you believe this?

Leviticus 21:16

"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying "Speak to Aaron, saying :' No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has *any* defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or who is a eunuch. No man of the descendents of Aaron who has a defect shall come to the offerings made by fire to the Lord. He has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuarie; for I the Lord sanctify them."

So the word of God is that dwarfs are defective and profane the temple. Just a thought.

But actually pointing out that the literal word of God isn' followed any more (Sheri? Leviticus the word of God also says to make burnt offerings. As a Christian who follows the word, can you tell the class about your last sacrifice?) usually just leads to a lot of whining and backpedalling.

I think Jen definetely has put some thought into her faith. I think her point about love is well taken.

I think the Roloffs intentionally hiding their religious beliefs to earn more money is far more reprehensible than anything they are hiding. Funny how they don't have the moral courage to say they think homosexuality can be cured on their show... not shocked in the slightest that they aren't willing to stand up for their beliefs.

I mean, it isn't as though they wouldn't have supporters... they would just lose money. Money is clearly the important thing.

Rap541 said...

Maybe Jeremy - instead of an anonymous friend, could defend himself?

And please, friend of Jeremy, you're not doing Jeremy any favors by saying at 16, he just didn't understand his words. I mean really, is he *that* dumb? Does he walk around "I dunno what fggot means, ain't I cute and showing my big heart, faggthole? Faggthole is a fruit right? I dunno what it means! WHen I say, "Not to be a gay bragging fggt, but I raped their defences", I *meant* "I like cherry pie".Because I'm sixteen and I speak and write but I have no idea comes out of my mouth."

mc said...

i don't control jeremy. i'm my own person. a friend of jer's who knows that the internet is not fair to him because anyone can say what they want.

perhaps he feels responding to internet rumors will make it worse, have you thought of that? he doesn't owe you a response. you also don't know what he may have been instructed to do or not to because of contractual obligations.

you are ridiculing jeremy and now me. i didn't post my message for that to happen. you are taking what i said out of context, just like what happens to jer. when he said what he said, he was not even thinking about homosexuals. its just the way everyone talks around here. jeremy had no idea that people would be hurt by what he said or he wouldn't have said it. he's matured and moved on, however internet gossipers won't let him because he still carrys his beliefs about homosexuality.

Rap541 said...

Again - Jeremy had no idea using racist words would hurt people? And of course "every one talks that way" - well, God knows *if everyone does it, it's not really bad.

Look, MC, if Jeremy has the brains to figure out that someone calling his brother dwarf names is wrong... I find it very sad that if everyone called Zach a dumb dwarf, that Jeremy would be fine doing the same since everyone is doing it. Yes, I am ridiculing you, because you're justifying nasty behavior with a child's excuse - an excuse that is essentially thoughtless.

Jeremy doesn't owe anyone a response, I agree. But he's a grown ass man now, not a little boy who "ain't never knew n*gger wasn't no compliment!". If he's so proud of his religious beliefs, why is he so silent? Why do his friends have to come out and say "shut up, we all do it so its cool to say racist things".

I mean really, if everyone was snorting coke, or screwing prostitutes, is it ok? Jeremy said nasty remarks and got caught. I'm told by his other friends, anonymous of course, that he doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks, but meanwhile anyone who says anything bad is just being mean to Jeremy. Let the big boy defend himsef and actually stand up for himself.

mc said...

i said what i wanted to say. i'm done talking to you. be well and may God be with you.

Rap541 said...

I figured as much. "Everyone was doing it" was something the Nazis used.

And if Jeremy or any Roloff is contractually obligated to not discus their religious beliefs... then clearly *money* is what's important to them.

Dana said...

I don't think it's controversial either. He's just saying what some people don't want to hear. Homosexuality is a choice and it's wrong.

I would have been surprised if the Church the Roloffs went to did NOT believe that.

Rap, if he Roloffs started talking about the Bible and homosexuality, people would say they are shoving their beliefs down people's throats. The Roloffs don't do that.

Rap541 said...

The Roloffs don't want to give up the money, Dana. The Roloffs do talk about the Bible... they just leave out the "homosexuality is wrong" and let people think they are ok with it. You respect them for sitting silent about what they think is right? Really?Thats ok?

I notice you - AS A CHRISTIAN - have not addressed how the Bible -God's actual words, say that dwarfs, hunchbacks etc profane the house of God. FYI the quote is from Leviticus, the same part of the bible that has issues with gays.

BTW when was your last burnt offering to the Lord?

Dana said...

The Roloffs aren't leaving out anything. They are Christians. When they say they are Christians you should be able to figure out where they stand on the issue of homosexuality as any Christian who follows the Bible would also do. Like Sheri said, Jen is misguided. The Roloffs don't publicly talk about abortion either, but I know because they are Christians, how they feel about that too.

Anne B said...


Anybody who would think the Roloffs would be OK with homosexuality after stating their Christian faith must doubt the Roloffs devotion to Jesus or ignorant pertaining to the Bible.

Rap541 said...

Yes I do doubt the Roloffs becase they aren't willig to state what their fans insist they believe. If homosexuality is wrong to Matt and Amy, who make a living preachin diversity, why aren't they proud to say so? I have NEVER heard Matt or Amy say they are not ok with homosexuality. If it's NO BIG DEAL, if they won't lose one cent... what's the problem? Dana? Anne? WHy WOULDN'T Matt and Amy proudly look into the camera and say "Homosexuality is wrong and homosexuals do not deserve to be treated as equals"?

I mean what's the problem? It's true right?Why are the Roloffs not speaking the truth?

BTW Dana - what about my quote from the Bible? God's literal word that you believe says that dwarfs are profane. Do you believe that? That matt and Amy are profaning the temple? Becuase, God thinks that. Thats his word on the matter.

And when was your last burnt offering? Since the literal word of God says you should be making burnt offerings?

Anonymous said...

Any REAL believer in religion would realize that God loves all people. Hypocrites. It is better to have love than hate, if it is between a man and woman or a man and another man. All you "Christians" who think you know what God actually said, need to think again.

Anonymous said...

On a side note, I think Jen is really, really pretty.

Susan said...

I wish more Christians were like Jen Montzingo. As someone else said, it is evident that Jen has spent time thinking about her faith and what God wants from her and that is to treat all of his people equally.

So many people have turned away from God because of "Christians" who hijack God for personal agendas like James Dobson and Focus on the Family. Shame on Amy for promoting them in a link.

Kevin said...

I guess the Roloff should be praying to Jesus that they get taller...bigots...that's what it is bigotry.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact the Roloffs do have gay friends.

DG said...

That's funny, Anon, because I talked to a couple of Jeremy's friends who were going to school with him that year when I heard about Jeremy's homophobic language (before the Enquirer article). One of this friend's excuses for Jeremy was that Jeremy didn't know any gay people. Because he doesn't know any gay people, he didn't realize that fa***t is hurtful. That was from one of Jeremy's friends. He didn't know any gay people.

Sure, after he gets called a bigot then he claims to have all these mysterious friends.

But I'm sure there are probably a couple of gay people associated with LPBW on the TLC side. The Roloffs probably know them and talk to them. Maybe that's what you're claiming.

It doesn't make Jeremy's slurs, the lack of an apology or the appalling belief about being "cured" any less offensive.

Brandon said...

Oh yes, I'm "friends" with people who I think are diseased and need to be cured, all the time {rolls eyes}

Anonymous said...

All of you that talk about the bible, saying that you know what it is telling you, are fouls you now nothing. I have spet year studing all froms of the “bibles” and their histories. Face it, its just a story book (not even a good one, their no real plot) and the sooner the world sees that ( it eventaly will ) the better. fyi your “holy book” is not as holy as you infromed.

Rap541 said...

Yes, I have noticed that the mysteruous gay friends and non white friends never seem to come to the house.

I also am certain that TLC has some gay staffers associated with the show.

Thomas said...

The bible is absolutely ridiculous... example:

Leviticus 20:11 - "If a man sleeps with his father´s wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

Leviticus 20:27 - "A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads."

Leviticus 24:13-16 - "Then the LORD said to Moses: Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ´If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death."

Deuteronomy 13:5 - "That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you."

Exodus 21:15 - "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death."

Exodus 21:17 - "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death."

Leviticus 24:13-16 - "Then the LORD said to Moses: Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death."

Rap541 said...

Thomas, in fairness, I wouldn't call the Bible ridiculous. It IS often contradictory. People do pick and choose what rules to follow. I mean - I am not making up the Leviticus passage that is declaring people like the Roloffs to be profane. The reality is that its a guidebook and no one, not even the super religius really live "by the book" because the rules set forth no longer make a lot of sense. We understand NOW that people we previously thought to be soulless or cursed by God are in fact people with genetic disorders like the Roloffs. In anchient times, it made cruel sense to shun the handicapped and the homosexual because the first had a tendency to pass on the handicap, and in agarian, herd based societies like the Israelites, adults who weren't having children were decreasing the wealth of the tribe. We just need to move on.

I mean, we don't keep slaves any more even though its perfectly fine with the written word of God.

Kit said...

MC said "God doesn't make people gay. it is a choice. homosexuality is wrong. God would not be a hypocrite by making someone gay after saying it is wrong. gay people make a choice to sin."

A bit confusing. God doesn't make people gay. BUT, God would not be a hypocrite to MAKE someone gay? Which is it? Does God make people gay or not?

It seems that in your beliefs, God DOES make people gay, but it is the gay person's fault if s/he tries to be what God made him/her? God is not hypocritical in making people one way, then punishing them when they don't act another way? I'm pretty sure that's the textbook definition of hypocrisy.

If a person who is openly gay does not indulge in any homosexual acts, is that person still a "sinner" in your eyes? Is it the act that is sinful, or the nature?

And two last thoughts, which have been uttered in every conversation about gay orientation that I've ever heard - WHY would anyone CHOOSE to be gay in a world that is so hateful towards them? And how is it, if being gay is a choice, that nearly all gays KNOW from a very early age, long before sexuality enters their lives, that they are "different" from most people?

Anonymous said...

This was posted by Jeremy himself....

11. How do YOU feel about the racist rumors that were going around about you?

Jeremy's Response:

It’s not true. My parents have always taught us about people that are different. I accept and respect all people. I have friends who are Black, Mexican, Asian and Gay. I talk to them regularly. We're buds.


Brandon said...

That SO does NOT sound like how Jeremy speaks...

And it was a soft-ball and very poor question. Who answers publicly 'Yeah, I'm racist and I hate the gays?'

How about WHY did he say racist and homophobic things? Does he think it's wrong?

His definition of respecting people who are different is to use the N word and "gay bragging F*ggot". Interesting definition of respect there.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Brandon. You believe what you want to believe.

Brandon said...

I do and I will. Jeremy makes racist comments. FACT. Jeremy makes comments very derogatory and offensive to gay people. FACT. He also apparently believes gay people should be cured. If somebody like that is makes "f*ggot" one of their favorite words, yeah I'm thinking something is there bigoted wise.

Jeremy doesn't say he was wrong and won't talk about. Then his Daddy's worker asks him a question on his Daddy's website. She doesn't ask him if was true that he made racist comments (he did, everyone knows it's true). Instead he gets asked 'are you racist?'. Nobody answers that with "yes", even KKK members have answered that question with a "No."

If he respected people who were different from him he wouldn't have made the comments that he did in fact make or he would have at least apologized for it afterwards like Dan did.

Margaret said...

Amy was on a Christian Radio station the other day. She is a very proud Christian. I support her beliefs.

Homosexuals are wrong. That is not what God wanted for human sexuality.

Rap541 said...

I'd also ask why his black and gay and asian and latino "buds" never come over to the house?

Anon - the interview you are citing is one that was done on Matt's official site. The basic set up is that questions are first vetted by Matt's chosen moderator, who then calls Matt on the phone and asks the chosen questions. This wasn't an interview in the sense that Matt has complete control over what is asked of Jeremy, and the questions (if presented to Jeremy at all) were asked in front of his father.

Anonymous said...

I'm so bummed, because I really liked this show and now I have to stop watching it. I can't enjoy it anymore knowing this.

The Bible references poverty over 2,000 times, and addresses homosexuality only a few times. Why aren't Christians up in arms about all of the people in poverty? Why isn't poverty, homelessness, starving children, etc. an abomination?

The Bible has been used as a tool for oppression over and over again, and that really makes me sad. It dishonors Jesus.

eric said...

Anon at 10:35, I agree with everything you said. I really wanted to like the Roloffs and I used to like the show, but I can't, just can't now that I know this about them.

Josh said...

Its really sad that people are so cowardly. I find it pretty gross that a man and woman have sex. Its just not my preference. But, I don't walk around yelling at every straight person I see about how much I hate "what they do". Its blatantly stupid, and quite frankly, I think people should worry more about their own "picture perfect" lives and less about other people's. Yes, I'm gay, and I AM happy with my life. I never want to change and even if I had the "choice" I wouldn't. Why are people so insecure and unsure as to have to consult a book to live their lives? Personally, I think we'd be much better off without the Bible. It seems that over the ocurse of time its done more harm than good. People disown their children because they're gay; people that claim to be "christians". People KILL others because of religious beliefs. Look at the crusades. They sent CHILDREN to fight and DIE, and for what? The approval of God?