Tag: gay (page 1 of 2)

How Disney Played Christians like Gaston Played the Villagers

Gay LeFou

This past weekend Disney debuted their live-action version of the timeless classic, Beauty and the Beast, in theaters across the globe. The movie was so highly anticipated that it smashed the record for a March opening night with a staggering $170 million coming out… er, uh I mean, debut. And that’s to say nothing of the $350 million the movie earned worldwide (and, to be fair, I’m writing this on a Sunday afternoon, so that amount doesn’t even account for the whole weekend). And all that in the midst of a call by Evangelical Christian leaders, well one in particular, for Christians to kill the Beast.

Kill the Beast

The call to boycott the film came after Disney’s announcement of the inclusion of an “exclusively gay moment” involving Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, played by Josh Gad. And what was this “gay” moment? Well, I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but my wife has. So, I know what it is and don’t want to spoil the surprise. I will say that the big gay moment was so subtle and quick, that if you leaned over to grab some of your neighbor’s popcorn, you would have missed it. But, that didn’t stop Christians from taking up pitchforks against the “happiest place on earth.” For me, the call to boycott, though I think it silly, isn’t the issue. My issue has to do with when the boycott was called for.

The announcement about LeFou’s moment was made on March 1st and the boycott was called for on March 3rd, more than two weeks before the movie opened. That is my issue. Christian leaders called for us to boycott a movie they had not seen and based on a, likely deliberately, vague announcement. When the movie premiered, this “moment” was literally a moment and so subtle that most of our kids wouldn’t have picked up on it. And, even though I have a huge problem with this latest “fall on our sword worthy” fight against Disney obviously trying to “corrupt” our children; the hypocrisy of that isn’t even the point of this post. If you want to read a great article in that vein, check out the one Jonathan Merritt wrote for USA Today.

We Got Played

Instead, I’d like to go another way and suggest that Disney played Christians, for their benefit, and we took the bait. What I mean is, Disney already had a ton of hype surrounding the release of this movie. A whole generation of adults could not wait to see their beloved cartoon brought to real life. They also couldn’t wait to share it with their children in a way that they never dreamed possible. People were going to see it no matter what. There was no reason Disney had to reveal any information about the “special moment.” They could have let it be surprise. Likely most people wouldn’t have noticed it. Those who did, without a Disney confirmation, would have just been stretching. So Disney didn’t need to release that, but they did. Why? Obviously I don’t know for sure, but based on Christians history, it is easy to speculate.

I think an obvious part of it is likely that they want the LBGTQ community to know they support them. I also think, based on how Christians have historically reacted to this type of news, Disney knew this would cause a firestorm and ignite a huge public debate. My news feed was certainly consumed with the movie tagged in statuses, news articles and blogs. To me it seemed as if Disney put out this vague announcement about some sort of “gay” moment and then sat back and watched the internet lose it. And the discussion spanned the whole spectrum, with people both praising and demonizing Disney for “normalizing” the lifestyle. But, while there were a lot of people happy to hear about the scene, the loudest voices came from Christians who were angry about it.

Boy, Oh Boy…cott

And that’s the point I want to make. We, as Christians, have become so predictable about how and what we will respond to negatively that we were played. And whether Disney did it on purpose or not doesn’t matter. In today’s social media driven culture everyone knows that any publicity is good publicity. Companies know that if you can get people talking about their product, most times it is a good thing. So Disney put out some vague statement and sat back and watched everyone talk about it. Ultimately the boycott did nothing. In fact, I actually heard people say that one of the reasons they wanted to see it more than they did before was to “see how far” Disney went with the scene. Then, when the movie premiered, the scene was so subtle it made Christians look ridiculous and the boycott even more so.

The truth is, the world will continue to move toward worldly things and we are not called to stop it. Jesus will when He returns. Our job, while we are here, is to be His witness to people, not governments or corporations. We are called to make individual disciples, not reorient constitutions and business strategy. Introducing people to Him changes heart and that will be what ushers in the Kingdom of God. I’m not saying not to boycott or protest, do it if you want to. I am saying it is a waste of time and energy if you want to follow Jesus the way He called us to. He called us to love and serve others in hopes that they may know and come to Him.

Boycotts won’t stop people from seeing the things we disagree with, but they may just stop them from seeing Jesus.

 

 

 

photo: Flickr/(LeFou)Jeff Kern and (Flag)torbakhopper (changes made to original images)

Christians Shouldn’t be Advocates for Homosexuality

lgbt_rainbow_handsA couple weeks ago I wrote a blog titled, “Keep YOUR Gospel to Yourself.” I wrote it on the heels of a group of high school students in Pennsylvania that organized an “anti-gay day.” To be honest, my issue wasn’t that they planned such a day. I spent two decades in the military for the very purpose of protecting American’s right to say what they want, not matter how shortsighted or ignorant it sounds. My issue with their ”anti-gay day” was that they used Christianity and scripture to be hateful and violent toward other people. In that article I tried to make the point that if you use Christ and His teachings as the foundation for your hate, it isn’t Christianity and suggested that they weren’t followers of Jesus.

Last Friday I had a friend repost that article on Facebook, to which I had someone comment on it. They even went to my blog and commented there. I was stoked. I don’t get a ton of comments, so when I do, I get excited. After reading it, I wasn’t so excited. The commenter suggested that because I called a kid, that was using the cross as a symbol of hate, ignorant, I was hypocritical because I was being “judgmental and hateful” toward him. He suggested a few other things, but ended with, “I skeptically wonder if the author would also turn his hateful judgmentalism toward Christians gathering for anti-abortion? Or anti-child molesting? Or anti-drug abuse? Or anti-anything else other than homosexuality?” I won’t even start on the ignorance in that thought. I can only assume the commenter doesn’t think through things on a regular basis. You can read my response to his dribble HERE. I could have deleted it, but I’m not afraid of people disagreeing with me.

The comments and questions continued much further on the FB post. Most of what he said doesn’t even warrant repeating. But, toward the end of our back and forth he asked, “Are you not an advocate for homosexuality?” I thought about it for like 5 minutes and responded with,

“I’m an advocate for Jesus. I’m an advocate for not spewing hate at people and choosing to show Christ’s love. I’m an advocate for choosing to let the Holy Spirit deal with people’s hearts and souls. I’m an advocate for being in the world, with people and ministering to their deepest need, Jesus. On my best day, what I have to offer Jesus is filthy rags. I’m an advocate for doing life with people and pursuing Jesus in a community that cultivates love, so that others can meet Him. I’m an advocate for Christians applying the bible to their life before they try to force others to live by the standard it sets.”

That answer wasn’t good enough for him, so he insisted I answer, but I ended it because nothing I could say would be good enough, lest I quote Leviticus and call for the stoning of gays everywhere. But, it did get me thinking about whether I’m an advocate for homosexuality or not, because I’d never put a any thought into it. The short answer is, I’m not and I don’t think any Christian should be, even if you identify as a Gay Christian.

Jesus followers are people advocates.

TWEET THIS!

An advocate is someone that publicly supports a particular cause. In that case, I’m an advocate for Jesus. The cause that I want to publicly support is the one that He came for; to seek and save the lost. God’s chief cause for sending Jesus into the world was not to “condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” The real answer is, I’m a people advocate. My cause in this world revolves around Jesus’ command to love God and that’s done through loving your neighbor, other people. Jesus made no distinction about who that was. Well, actually He did. In the story of the “Good Samaritan” the injured man’s neighbor was a man he looked down on, so there’s that.

Bottom line is that if you’re a Christian, Jesus requires you to not only serve those you think are beneath you, but commands you to love them. Jesus followers are people advocates. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if they’re a different skin color, economic status, gender, religion, sexual orientation or anything else, we’re called to love others. That’s it.

I know some will read this and have issue with the fact that I said “Gay Christian” earlier and may try to use 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 as an argument for their responsibility to tell other Christians how they’re living in sin. But, before we worry about others, let’s remember that Jesus said, “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” I think it’d be beneficial for most of us if we started to worry more about how we’re following Jesus, rather than how others are.

Love-CrossWhether or not I’m an advocate for homosexuality is irrelevant. That isn’t the cause that I stand on. I’m an advocate for loving God, through loving others, so that they can come to know Jesus. And for those that already know Him, I’m an advocate for loving them well, so that others will know we’re His and so that we grow in unity and deeper in our love and knowledge of Him. If you’re a Christian, you ought to advocate for the same. His agenda is people, our agenda is His, so our agenda is people.

*I‘d love to dialogue with you. But, I want to dialogue with you only if you’ve actually read what I said. If you chose to comment, please start your post with “Fish Fingers & Custard.” Thanks.

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Keep YOUR Gospel to Yourself.

On Monday we began hearing stories about an “anti-gay day” organized by some of the students at McGuffey High School in Claysville, Pennsylvania. Since then there have been so many news reports, article, and blogs. The district administration has also supposedly initiated an investigation into allegations of harassment that accompanied some of the “protest.”

The fact that these kids organized a protest doesn’t bother me. I spent two decades in the military to help ensure people are able to freely voice themselves, no matter how narrow minded and bigoted it is. What bothers me is this:

Anti-gay day pic

The fact that they used the cross as a symbol of being anti-gay. I’m kind of getting tired of writing this, mainly to people that call themselves Christians. The fact that this ignorant kid used the cross as a symbol of hate, infuriates me. The cross is a symbol of forgiveness. It’s on the cross that Jesus died to destroy the very thing that this kid is using it to represent: hate.

WHERE’S THE LAW THAT PROTECTS MY RELIGION FROM HATEFUL PEOPLE RUINING IT? ~ TWEET THIS ~

If you read the buzzfeed.com article, it even says that the participating students Instagramed scripture verses and tagged students that they knew are gay. I couldn’t find that anywhere else, but if you can’t believe BuzzFeed, who can you believe? Regardless, even if there’s a sliver of truth to that, this picture still remains. I’m absolutely exhausted from the amount of anger and frustration caused by people, pretending to be Christian, using the Word of God, that was meant to draw people to Him, as a tool to perpetuate their hate. Where’s the law that protects my religion from hateful people ruining it.

To the LBGTQ students at McGuffey High and every other high school that will no doubt have idiots that pick up this idea,

I’m sorry. That’s not my Jesus. That’s hate and Jesus isn’t hate. In fact He’s love. He not only loves you, He IS love. I know there are some harsh verses in the bible and people use them to call you all sorts of horrible things, but they’re ignorant and not taking the whole of the bible for what God said or intended. They’re cherry picking what suits their cause, not God’s. What these students did is the youth equivalent to the Westboro Baptist bullies and it’s disgusting.

Jesus would NEVER condone this type of behavior. I wonder what might happen if Jesus were still walking the earth and a group of people threw a gay man or woman at His feet. I imagine it would probably gonthe same way it went with the adulteress. He would say, “Whoever here is without sin, throw the first stone.” Then He would eat with them, at the disgust of the religious. I’d go to that dinner party.

Please, for the love of my God, if you’re anti-gay, stop using my religion as a means of hurting and hating people. Figure out another way and leave Jesus out of it. Because, when it comes down to it, you’re not really Christians. If you were, you’d know the bible is pro-God and God is pro-people. If He wasn’t, there’d be no cross.

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