And Hollywood, and just about anywhere else that culture, art, and homosexuality intersect. Because they just can’t handle it. I’ve been reading various reports about the controversy that gay actor and activist Chad Allen’s star turn in the missionary flick End of the Spear is causing in fundamentalist circles.
It would be funny if these people actually got the irony of the whole thing. But, like a lot of Americans these days, they don’t do irony. They do discrimination, and they deeply regret it when they don’t discriminate; or when they’re so oblivious that they totally miss a great opportunity to discriminate.
In an editorial titled “What Were They Thinking?” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler said it was a “very reckless decision” to cast Allen in the two roles.
“Given the publicity of Chad Allen’s activism and the intensity of his mission to normalize homosexuality … it is hard, if not impossible, to suspend belief and see him as a missionary martyr for the Gospel.”
Right. If I can buy Ving Rhames as a drag queen — or every other straight actor who’s ever “played gay” — I would think they could make a similar leap. But then again they might strain themselves, because that requires imagination; something not to be expected in people overly given to literalism. Which brings me to my next point, and the jaw-dropping “money quote” from Mr. Mohler.
Mohler does say that Christians should be culturally mature enough to know that some of the famous producers of literature, art and entertainment are gay. “This does not mean that we cannot enjoy their music, art or performances,” he said.
Although critical of a gay activist being cast in the lead role, he does not explicitly ask people to avoid the movie and says Christians must learn “cultural discernment” when choosing whether to see a movie like End of the Spear.
Oh, how I wish there were an easy way to identify southern baptists, fundamentalist christians, and others like them. If there were, starting to stay I would launch a movement to have them barred from seeing any play, musical, movie, or television show that anyone even remotely gay is involved with — from the star of the show to the costume designer to the make-up artists to the kid who fetches the director’s latte, and every one in between. The same goes for music, recordings and live performances; and that would include recording by closeted gay gospel artists too. Maybe we should even extend it to gay fashion designers, hair stylists, etc. You get the idea.
Leave them with their christian rock, their rapture movies, Narnia, The Passion of the Christ, and little else. Like I said, they clearly can’t handle it.
But, back to the irony. Based on the description in the article, it sounds like these people missed the point of their own damn movie.
In the movie, Allen plays the role of a father, husband and committed missionary. Some complain that Jesus is never mentioned in the film. But the forgiving and sacrificial nature of Christianity is its central focus.
Yup, they’re that daft. That this is even a controversy in the first plays lays that much bare. (The film makers also claim that they kept Allen on the flick despite his being a homo “because of his acting skills and also for the opportunity to witness to him.” If he had to put up with much in the way of “witnessing,” I think he deserves combat pay.)
There’s one more thing worth pointing out here, when it comes to discrimination. The film’s makers actually had to defend hiring the actor who gave the best audition. In other words, in the eyes of their fellow faithful, they were actually wrong to hire the best person for the job based on acting abilities. So, these folks should never get off the hook with claims that they don’t really support discrimination so much as the oppose laws to that prohibit discrimination. The message is clear. It doesn’t matter to them how well you do your job. It matters whether or not your a homo.
For Mohler and the rest like him, it’s really a shame that Kirk Cameron wasn’t available or just didn’t audition. Whether he had the acting chops or not, he’d certainly have fit the bill on believer-ship. Plus, they’d probably love his last three movies.