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Friday, March 10, 2017

Should We Shun Beauty, The Beast, And Lefou?

The newest outrage for my fellow religiously conservative Christians (a.k.a., flaming fundamentalists) is the new Disney movie Beauty And The Beast. They are upset about a part of the movie and thus, unlike me, refuse to see it for that part--I simply refuse to see it because it is  Disney movie. But they have a more specific gripe. Some of my fellow religiously conservative Christians are boycotting the movie because among the array of living furniture and other objects in the Beast's castle is a homosexual who has a homosexual moment in the movie.

Some of the complaints about this part of the move should embarrass the complainers for their hysteria, but they lack self-awareness. However, there is a very sound article on the movie, as well as the subject of Christianity and homosexuality by Dan Chappell (click here for bio). Writing on his own blog, Chappell takes a very balanced approach to answering the question of whether Christians should take their kids to see this movie or even see it themselves. And in answering that question, he addresses some of the problems with the Christian hysteria over the movie (click here for Chappell's article). In fact, my advice for any readers here is to forego the rest of this review and read Chappell's article. For his points are most appropriate and his article is well written and is better written than this review.

For those who didn't take my advice, we could break down Chappell's review to theses parts: our role as Christians in society and Chappell's analysis of the parts of the movie containing the homosexual character and moment.


Regarding our role in society, Chappell quickly notes that we Christians need to learn how to live as 'sojourners in a pluralist society.' Thus, we are not to try to conquer society in order to make it a suitable home for ourselves. Instead, we are traveling through temporarily in hopes that we can spread the Gospel while here. Also, when we are selective with the immoralities at which we show disdain, we can in no way honor Christ. And when showing our disapproval for the different immoralities in society, we must remember that other issues are also at hand. These issues include love and compassion. Here we should note that the more legalistic we Christians are in how we live out our faith or, as some tend to do, wear our religion on our sleeves, the more we tend to ask 'what's love got to do with it' when sharing the Scriptures with others.

Next, unlike many a religiously conservative Christian who yells 'agenda, agenda' each time they see any mention of homosexuality in the arts, Chappell sees Lefou's homosexual feelings and the moment as merely a recognition of what already exists. Chappell notes that the feelings Lefou experiences are also experienced by brothers and sisters in Christ.

In returning back to our role in society, we can react to the LGBT community as the Pharisees of Jesus's day reacted to "sinners." That is we can coldheartedly judge them from above. When we do this we will try to push those in the LGBT community to society's margins in order for us to feel more at home in society. Or we can combine both the truth of the Gospel and love in an effort to give witness to the Gospel by how we live in our society for what it is. Chappell notes that love and compassion do not  cause us to sacrifice our moral values. Instead, we should learn how to live out our values in a messy world.

Using different words, Chappell's approach is similar to the approach this blog has taken regarding how to regard and treat the LGBT community in society. It is this blog's position that instead of Christians seeking a place of supremacy over those in the LGBT community and others in society, we should look to share society with those who are different from us as equals. And thus we should work together to create a society that is just and based on equality. And even though it is then that we can open the doors and fully preach the Gospel to others, sharing the Gospel should not be the reason why we strive to base a society on equality. We should do so because it is the right thing to do.


     
     
     

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