Mercy Ministries runs a supposedly very successful “group home” or “treatment center” in various cities around the country and the world. They are an international success among some Christian believers which is why hundreds of women are on the waiting list (according to a Mercy insider).
However, just like many fundamentalist Christian groups Mercy has a very hateful message to lesbian young women who attend the program:
Being gay is a sin and could be a “root cause” of your mental disorder.
As their website states:
The root cause, in a Christian program like Mercy is typically a manufactured sin that the program leaders and related ministers have concocted.
What exactly is a manufactured sin? Evangelical fringe leaders often teach ideologies that are damaging: like “purity” and “abstinence” programs, anti-gay messages which are similar to the 1950′s messages that being gay was a mental disorder.
I own a book that I picked up from a used bookstore in North Hollywood, CA called The Problem with Homosexuality by Charles Berg, M.D. and Clifford Allen, M.D. These were actual professionals in the late 50′s who literally believed homosexuality was a problem–much like Mercy Ministries does. Mercy doesn’t just believe being gay is a sin; but that it’s a “root cause” of something much deeper and much more problematic.
Mercy Ministries is part of the Evangelical movement that Joyce Meyer and Dave Ramsey are part of. If those ties don’t phase you, we’ve got to look a bit closer. A few weeks ago, I noticed the Healing Place Church and Dino Rizzo on Nancy’s list of recommended ministries. There was also mention of (and a link to) Steve and Jennifer Robinson’s church and ministry. Interestingly enough, my own cult has ties to both of these pastors: Steve Robinson and Dino Rizzo. My former pastor, Daniel Jones, who I write about here is an abusive pastor. When I was beginning to find how to report the abuse, I reached out to Dino Rizzo hoping that he’d act as a liason and support the victims.
He did not.
After finding that correlation, I now know where Mercy stands in the Evangelical circle. I know the ideology, the teachings, the messages behind the sermons Nancy preaches. (Does anyone find it ODD that a “treatment center” would have preacher for it’s founder, president and leader? No medical, organizational, or psychological qualifications here. She is not a social worker or even an activist for young women contrary to her “Christian” image.)
Mercy Ministries is just a sermon, it’s not help. Mercy brainwashes young women into “loving Jesus” and “bearing good fruit.” This is their coercive way of theologically “fighting” mental illness and eating disorders.
Anyone can tell you that eating disorders and mental illness do not get treated or solved by Jesus or a sermon. They require professional medical help. In fact, some professionals would argue that bringing young women into a center to claim treatment and denying them medical attention could be much more potent than just “wrong” or unethical.
However, if you operate on 1950′s medical and psychological ideas, which Mercy does, it’s understandable why girls would be taught that their disorders are their problem and they are to blame. This is unethical and even if Mercy claims they are not a medical facility, they are lying. According to survivors of this program, Mercy represented otherwise.
In the book The Problem of Homosexuality, the authors begin their argument by saying this:
homosexuality [is] an abomintion in the eyes of the Lord…
Now that statement isn’t what you would expect from a doctor is it? Nor is it what you’d expect from a “treatment center” like Mercy Ministries which promises young women that they will be cured.
Mercy’s residents weren’t all gay. In fact, many of the girls were straight and were reaching out to the program because they thought they would be getting legitimate care. However, those girls who were troubled with mental disorders or eating disorders and were gay, were accused of harboring “sin” which was the cause of their illness. Mercy was regurgitating the ideas about homosexuality from the 1950′s. Perhaps their “medical” treatment was just as outdated.
What I’m saying is that however archaic and hate-filled Mercy’s message is to young women, it’s completely abusive and psychologically destructive. This program needs to be shut down before a young woman dies from their maltreatment.