My family watched For the Bible Tells Me So on DVD last night. It’s a documentary about how the Bible has been used to deny rights to gays and lesbians.
The film includes the stories of 1) Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop, 2) Jake Reitan, a teenager from Minnesota Lutheranism, 3) Chrissy Gephardt, 4) a mother who was estranged from her lesbian daughter, and 5) Mel White, among others. In addition, it ranges pretty widely, including footage of Bible-thumpers saying that “homosexuality is an abomination” as well as textual work — on the famed Sodom and Gomorrah passage in Genesis, the Holiness code in Leviticus, and Paul’s words in the beginning of Romans.
The film touched on some of the possible biological reasons why a person is born gay. This section is in response to the question: Is a person born gay or is it a choice? There was just a bit about the movements that purport to “cure” a person of gay-ness (all of which have been discredited). The film closes with folks from Soulforce marching on Focus on the Family.
I can easily imagine James Dobson dispatching the guys with face shields and handcuffs. I am personally angry at Mr. Dobson, who started out doing some decent family-based ministry, and become a flag-waver for the cause of hating gays. I feel cheated by him, and no longer support anything that his ministry touches. Many of the messages my daughters absorbed from him turned out to be damaging.
As you can see, the film ranged pretty widely, so I was pleased by this balance. I felt that the movie conveyed a message of grace. Hopefully the material is presented in a way that will allow people of faith to think a little differently. It’s a great beginning to diving into scripture about this subject. I would use this film for Adult Sunday School at church, feeling like it would stimulate some good discussion.
I believe that while the church fights amongst itself over this issue, the culture has largely passed by these concerns. I believe that in 15 years (or less) homosexuality will be a non-issue. The current generation doesn’t even understand why anybody cares about another person’s sexual preference. If the church continues to spend its energy fighting about this subject, it will have wasted that most precious of all commodities: energy.
And I believe that for a Christian, “energy” is another way to say: the breath of the Holy Spirit that moves through our bodies giving power to our words and actions. I think that frittering that precious stuff away is not only dangerous, but sinful.
I believe that some people are born gay. I think the same standards apply to their relationships as well as any: they should be compassionate, faithful, monogamous, and committed.