Exorcisms are controversial enough, but what about an effort to drive out the gay “demon” in a teenager?
That's what happened at church in Bridgeport, Conn.
In a 20-minute YouTube video posted by Manifested Glory Ministries, a 16-year-old boy is seen lying on the floor as church members sing and shout at his homosexual demon.
"The Blood of Jesus! Rip it from his throat," a woman yells. "Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!"
At one point, the teen starts coughing and then appears to be vomiting in a bag.
Church leaders note that the teen was not injured in any way and say that they are not prejudice.
"We have nothing against homosexuals," Patricia McKinney, the pastor of the church, told CNN. "I just don't agree with their lifestyle," adding that "the young man came to us; we didn't go to him." McKinney said the young man requested to be delivered, and he has since changed his lifestyle.
"Every Sunday we call people up to the altar who want to be delivered from any spirit that causes them to not be able to function," she told the CNN television network. "We were just beginning to worship the Lord and all of a sudden he hit the floor."
A spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said he understood the man's situation because he went through the same experience.
"(The Manifested Glory Ministries) were acting out of ignorance by equating homosexuality to demon possession," the Rev. Roland Stringfellow, of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Berkeley, Calif., told Reuters in an interview.
Stringfellow said he was exorcised twice at a different church when he asked for help to deal with his own homosexuality.
"This young man who obviously went for help ended up being damaged I believe," he said. "I am concerned about the emotional and spiritual scars he has. I felt what they were doing was casting not a demon out, but casting shame."
McKinney defended the video saying, “If you are a true prophet, you're not going to be popular with the people."
Youth groups and gay rights advocates say they are horrified by the video and are demanding an investigation. Others say there is nothing wrong with the exorcism because the young man was a willing participant in the ceremony.
Watch the video, and then tell us if you think the church elders went too far.
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