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Setting Captives Free identifies as a non-denominational ministry which teaches the biblical principles of freedom in Jesus Christ.” Really what it is is a Christian self-help business, which offers solutions to all of the problems the group is sure are plaguing you. Some of these are actual problems, like substance abuse or gambling addiction. And some are extremely, offensively not. Setting Captives Free–the name comes from a Bible verse–gives online “courses” to address these issues (which sometimes aren’t issues).
This week the company expanded its reach by releasing a free app for iOS and Android that covers the same ground, including a course to “cure” homosexuality. Gay rights organizations are beginning to cry foul, noting that the American Psychiatric Association, among other mental health sources, have denounced “gay-curing” courses as psychologically damaging.
The app has only been available for a week; it has a 2.5-star rating on iOS and a 2.8-star rating on Android (both out of 5), with comments ranging from “you people disgust me” and “superstitious ignorance” to a few supporters who, it must be said, seem to find the app awfully buggy. But it’s still up, unlike, say, an app in which you hurl cartoon shoes at a cartoon George W. Bush.
Hence this petition from All Out, demanding that Apple and Google remove the app from their stores. The petition is more than halfway to the 10,000 signature mark at the time of writing, though the approval and removal processes of Apple and Google are often inscrutable, so who knows how much effect it’ll have.