“For the Bible tells me so” - Critical Movie Review
By Thomas Coy
The movie “For the Bible tells me so” (forthebibletellsmeso.org) was shown in my home community of Flint, Michigan in the fall of 2008 as part of a series of gay events called “Out’N About.” Although the movie was billed as a documentary, it was first and foremost a gay propaganda film.
The movie has two distinct elements to it. The documentary element examines the lives of five homosexuals and how their immediate families responded to their homosexuality. That part of the movie is actually a documentary, interesting, emotionally moving, and somewhat objective. The other part of the movie is pure gay political propaganda arranged to disparage conservative Christians and present the gay political movement as the enlightened possessors of the real truth about homosexuality.
From my observations as a scholar on the gay political movement this movie has the imprint of the gay political organization known as Soulforce (www.soulforce.org). Soulforce has been a branch of the gay political movement specifically targeting the Bible believing Christian church. Mel White is a cofounder of Soulforce and a prominent leader in the gay political movement. A favorite target of Mel White and Soulforce has been Dr. James Dobson and his organization Focus on the Family (www.focusonthefamily.com).
The fact that the movie specifically targets Dr. James Dobson and that Dr. Mel White is a predominant spokesperson throughout the movie gives the Soulforce manipulation away. The movie at the time of this writing was featured on the Soulforce website and on the website of America’s largest gay lobbying organization – The Human Rights Campaign. A fifty page study guide comes with the movie to assist in molding the interested convert into an advocate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender equality with heterosexuality.
Besides the deception and lies presented as truths, the gay theology espoused in the film claiming that the Bible does not condemn homosexual behavior is considered by many a self-serving concoction. It would take a whole book to accurately address all the deception and lies in the propaganda part of the movie, so I will select instances that best support my accusations.
Scientific lies and deception
Like most gay propaganda the movie begins its justification of homosexuality by contending that homosexuality is not something that is not chosen. Conservative Christians knowledgeable on homosexuality, including ex-gays, and psychotherapists who help people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, agree that clinical science has shown that homosexual attractions are not usually something that an individual chooses. That there is agreement on this point is never brought up in gay propaganda and it is not acknowledged in the movie. Instead Christians, ex-gays, and therapists who disagree with the gay worldview are shown as ninnies who ignore this and other clinical facts. Knowledgeable Christians, ex-gays, and therapists do distinguish between attractions and behavior, and most certainly maintain that individuals have a choice of whether or not they engage in any form of sexual behavior. This distinction is never mentioned in gay propaganda or the movie.
Gay propaganda and clinical science diverge after the fact that homosexuals do not choose their attractions to the same sex. Using that fact as a premise gay propaganda and the movie conclude that homosexuality is an innate condition that is unchangeable and therefore equivalent to heterosexuality. The movie specifically states that “sexual orientation cannot be changed or prevented.”
There are no facts to support the innate theory, so the movie shows a cartoon series that mocks the clinical evidence on the causal factors of homosexuality and sexual orientation change. What researchers have found is that male homosexuals usually have had past experiences of prolonged rejection by the same sex parent and same sex peers throughout childhood. As a child the homosexual never felt he was a part of his gender group, and the longing to be part of the group and the mystery of the same sex turned into same-sex attractions at puberty. This is not always the causal route to male homosexuality, but it has been documented enough to be referred to as the standard causal route.
Clinical science has also documented hundreds of cases where homosexuals have changed their sexual orientation. The evidence is overwhelming. The movie claims ex-gay organizations and psychotherapists use shame and guilt to coax homosexuals to repress their true feelings, thereby presenting ex-gay organizations as a sham and destructive to the mental well being of homosexuals. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is that ex-gay organizations like Exodus International (www.exodus.to) offer real hope to individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions. Many individuals have overcome homosexual behavior and desires. A significant percentage have changed their sexual orientation, married a person of the opposite sex, and raised families.
A sexual orientation change from homosexual to heterosexual is partly a reparative process and partly a cognitive process. Motivation is the main part of the cognitive process. The motivation usually comes from religious beliefs, aspirations of a heterosexual marriage, and from a fact that gay propaganda avoids like the plague, which is that many who enter the gay world find its lifestyle very destructive. The main part of the reparative process is to understand and deal with the memories and hurt of same-sex rejection in childhood. Often there was sexual abuse that contributed to the unwanted same-sex attractions. This short introduction on the causal factors of homosexuality is more accurate than the sum of all the causal information in the movie. The movie mocks this knowledge, and in doing so mocks the truth.
Theological lies and deception
A Rev. Keene makes the statement in the movie that “All loving relationships are honored in the Bible.” This is an easily refutable lie. In the same chapter of Leviticus where homosexuality is condemned there are a number of family related sexual relationships that are prohibited. Surely sexual relationships between close relatives can be loving relationships, yet contrary to Mr. Keene they are condemned. Likewise, Leviticus 18:22 reads “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman: that is detestable.” There is no insinuation that if a man lies with another man as one lies with a woman in a loving relationship, then it is equal to a heterosexual loving relationship.
In the New Testament the Apostle Paul was informed of a man in the Corinth church who was in a loving relationship with his stepmother. Paul told the church in Corinth to “Expel the wicked man from among you” (I Corinthians 5:13). In another incidence John the Baptist was martyred for saying that it was immoral for King Herod to marry his brother’s wife (Mark 6:18). Mr. Keene’s statement is a fabrication of what he wants the Bible to say.
Mr. Keene’s statement is also a misrepresentation of gay and liberal morality. Liberal sexual morality is based on consensual sex and is not dependent on a loving relationship or marriage. In general consensual sex without love in this moral code is as just as moral as sex in a loving relationship.
The movie presents many arguments of the new gay theology. The most amusing is “What did Jesus say about homosexuality?” The answer is “nothing,” if one ignores his comparison of the destruction of Sodom and the fate of those who did not repent after seeing miracles and hearing the gospel message (Luke 10:12). The sin of bestiality (humans having sex with animals), which happens to be listed in Leviticus 18:23 right after homosexuality, was not mentioned by Jesus in the written record of the gospels. If we use the gay logic that because Jesus did not mention homosexuality it is not immoral, then the same logic applies to bestiality, and it too is no longer immoral behavior.
When one examines Satan’s appearance in the Bible as a serpent in the Garden of Eden or tempting Jesus in the wilderness, it becomes evident that Satan’s method of persuasion is to present half truths. Likewise gay propaganda often persuades with half truths. One such instance in the movie was the gay theological argument that God’s condemnation of Sodom was not because the city was steeped in homosexual behavior, but because it was inhospitable.
The half truth that gay theology presents is that Sodom was indeed inhospitable to the two angels sent to their city in the form of handsome young men. Instead of welcoming the strangers, the men of Sodom sought to anally rape the young men. What the movie does not reveal is that in the ancient world accepted homosexual behavior was not two men of the same sex in a loving reciprocal relationship. It was a dominate man sodomizing a subordinate man or youth, usually a slave or captive from a battle. It was considered a humiliation for a man to be sodomized in any type of relationship.
In a related half truth the movie states that pederasty (an adult man sodomizing an adolescent male) is not homosexuality. It is true that pederasty is considered a specific sexual orientation in itself, but it is definitely a form of homosexuality. Intellectual elites in Ancient Greece during the time of Plato and Socrates considered arranged pederasty relationships the most preferred of all loving relationships. In the late 1980s gay authors Kirk and Madsen referred to the pederasty relationships of ancient Greece as the “traditional gay family.” The values of the Grecian society allowed the free man to not only have sexual relations with his wife, but also prostitutes, both female and male slaves, and a young free man to whom he would also be a mentor. When the young free man became an adult the pederasty relationship ended, because it was dishonorable for a man to be sodomized or have effeminate characteristics.
Deception in the storytelling
The five families featured in the movie were rated as to how supportive they were to their gay child. One family, the Reitans, was given the distinction of being “LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Advocates.” In the movie the family is shown taking part in a Soulforce sponsored demonstration at the Focus on the Family facility in Colorado Springs. With his parents at his side the gay child, Jake, makes the accusation that Focus on the Family teaches parents to reject their children.
Mary Lou Wallner was given the distinction of being “Very Unsupportive (Initially)” Mary Lou’s lesbian daughter, Anna, committed suicide. Mary Lou Wallner is now an advocate for gay rights and has been touring the nation in support of the movie. In one part of the movie she tells the videographer that she blames Dr. James Dobson for the suicide of her daughter. At that time in her life Mary Lou was a member of a conservative Christian church that believed homosexual behavior was sin. She also followed the advice of Dr. James Dobson and did not accept her daughter’s homosexuality. The movie portrays that lack of acceptance as the cause of Anna’s suicide.
The Poteat family was listed as “Partially Supportive.” This family kept an open relationship with their lesbian daughter. They too were conservative Christians, who did not approve of their daughter’s homosexuality, but their daughter was always welcome at her childhood home and she always knew her family loved her, even though they did not approve of her lesbian relationships.
Having been a follower of Dr. James Dobson myself and having attended their controversial “Love Won Out” conferences on homosexuality, I can attest that Focus on the Family does not teach parents to reject their children. Obviously, Jake has never personally investigated Dr. Dobson or Focus on the Family, but relied on second hand information from Soulforce to make his damning accusation.
Focus on the Family and their Love Won Out conferences teach parents to continue to openly love their children while continuing their disapproval of the child’s sexual behavior. Focus tells parents the truth that homosexual attractions are usually not a choice, that sexual orientation change is possible but not easy, and that parents need to love their children just as God loves them, even in their sin. The Poteat family is actually a good example of what Focus and Dr. Dobson teach.
Mary Lou Wallner was present at the screening of the movie I attended in Flint. In my research on homosexuality I have read reports and heard lectures by clinical psychologists that lesbians do not usually seek counseling because of conflicts with their sexual orientation, but rather for distress from broken relationships. In the Q and A following the movie I asked Mary Lou if her daughter had any recent relationship problems before the suicide. Mary Lou revealed that her daughter had recently broken up with her long-time lover and moved in with another lesbian who had three teenage children. About two and a half months into this new relationship the woman asked Mary Lou’s daughter to move out. Shortly after this breakup, the daughter committed suicide.
Mary Lou also revealed that her daughter was always welcome at her childhood home. When her daughter and lesbian partners visited, Mary Lou and her husband let them sleep in the same bed. It became clear very quickly how distorted the movie had portrayed Anna’s suicide and the conservative Christian beliefs Mary Lou once held. The Wallner’s were at least as supportive of their lesbian daughter as the Poteats were, and maybe even more so.
Anna Wallner’s suicide had little to do with her parent’s disapproval of homosexual behavior, but a lot to do with the destructive aspects of lesbian relationships. The movie intentionally distorted this fact and used this terrible tragedy to smear an innocent man and the organization he represents. But this is nothing new, it is standard gay propaganda.