What would you call someone who has this particular interest in everything gay? I am sure there are preachers that feel something is wrong but it does not drive their energies and the funds they get from people to support him and his preaching. Of all the things gay he picks on a Disney character that doesn’t know who or what he is. We know that a man that says he is straight but spends his time watching to see what gay people do is not straight just narrow and it meets the definition of homophobe and closeted. I think he is got a fear of being converted but he should know by now gays don’t convert unlike his church. So may be he knows he is and is taken this crusade to proof to himself and others that he is straight~~~~~~~~~~~~~~adamfoxie blog~~~~~~~~~~
When it was announced last week that Disney’s forthcoming Beauty and the Beast film would feature the company’s first gay character, many responded with singing and dancing. But some conservative Christians have opted for sackcloth and ashes.
Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and a lightning rod of controversy himself, tweeted that while Disney has the right to control the content of their cartoons, Christians “also have the right to not support their company.” LifeSiteNews.com, a popular conservative Christian website, launched an online petition to boycott Disney that has already received nearly 100,000 signatures. And at least one Christian theater owner has cancelled screenings of the film.
Conservative Christian outrage over any positive portrayals of LGBT people in film and television is a tale as old as time, but this effort seems particularly misguided. It risks making Christians look like antiquated bigots, and it reeks of moral hypocrisy. And worse, it diverts energy from a more worthwhile effort: teaching Christian children to co-exist in a pluralistic society.
Graham sparked the furor with a Facebook post warning that Disney is “trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of young children.” But Beauty and the Beast has not yet released in theaters, so Graham, like the rest of us, hasn’t actually seen the film. Here’s what we know:
- There are no explicit discussions in the film about gay rights, gay marriage or the morality of gay relationships.
- The character in question, Gaston’s manservant LaFou, doesn’t have a husband or a boyfriend or even an explicit same-gender love interest in the film
- In a single scene, LaFou experiences a “subtle” moment where it seems he may (or may not) be attracted to Gaston.The character is not explicitly gay but rather, according to director Bill Condon, seems “confused about what he wants” and is “somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”
The nefarious “agenda” to which Graham refers simply does not exist. So boycotting the film makes it appear that these Christians object to the mere existence of gay people. And even if Graham was right and there were some discernable “agenda” in this film, a boycott would reek of hypocrisy. After all, conservative Christian leaders just helped elect Donald Trump and a whopping 81% of white evangelicals voted for the real estate mogul in November. In light of this, the boycott looks like a Mickey Mouse position and Goofy double standard.
It’s impossible to reconcile boycotting Disney for including a kind-of-sort-of-possibly gay character in a film while supporting a thrice-married serial liar who has bragged about bedding married women and has admitted to grabbing women’s genitals without permission. Such a paradoxical position would be a perfect example of what Jesus called “strain[ing] out a gnat but swallowing a camel.” Rankled Christians are motivated by a desire to protect their children from a view of sexuality that conflicts with their religious beliefs. But is boycotting this film the best way to accomplish that goal? LGBT people have long left the closet. They exist in every corner and level of society.
A Christian parent may be able to prohibit their children from viewing a movie, but they will still encounter LGBT people elsewhere. Avoiding the subject of homosexuality will not prepare kids for a world where it is almost totally accepted. It does the opposite, almost assuring they encounter and form opinions about the matter in secular spaces absent their parents. Their energy would be better invested in teaching their children to understand and coexist alongside people who may not share their beliefs and practices.
Some culture warring Christians, however, will continue their crusade against Disney no matter how much it defies logic. It bears mentioning that this isn’t the first time. In 1997, Southern Baptists officially called on Christians to boycott the entertainment company in response to the “gay days” at their theme parks.
Disney thrived despite the resistance they received then. A boycott today would be even less effective now given that conservative Christians wield less cultural influence. If Christians keep shouting “boycott,” don’t be surprised if Disney responds, “Be our guest.”
By Jonathan Merritt who is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and senior columnist for Religion News Service.