Aldersgate Men

Monday, April 10, 2006

brokeback and Jesus' love

Brokeback Mountain just came out on video, and I picked up a copy at Walmart.

God has been teaching me how to love, and teaching me that loving others requires coming alongside them.... and coming alongside requires me to understand. To pretend that I understand what the world looks like to a gay man is delusional... and to pretend while trying to walk beside someone is insulting, or worse, patronizing.

So I picked up Brokeback because I wanted a better frame of reference... a jumping off point in conversation, and common point of reference... but I expected to be viewing an "agenda" piece that shows an attractive part of the story, but fails to portray a comprehensive view. MANY movies I watch have this in common... showing singles out partying and the thrill of the chase, but not the next morning, talking to Ralph on the Big White Telephone, and waking up next to a stranger the next morning without the benefit of the Beer Goggles.

IMHO, Brokeback is no agenda piece.

There are scenes of homosexual sex, and male to male kissing, and with this in mind, I can fully understand why some would choose not to see this movie. Personally, I am LESS inclined to engage in homosexual sex after viewing it than before, but for me this has never been a struggle. For those who struggle mightily with this, it might well be good advice not to view it.

But for those who have an opinion about homosexuality, but have never really ever met anyone who struggles with it, (you have, they just don't trust you to tell you)... this movie shows the gamut. It is valuable in understanding others, and how the world looks to them.

No single movie is going to take a homophobic Christian from homophobia to effective, but this would be a REALLY good starting point for some.

There is a really good overview of the family of origin of some who act out homosexually... and it portrays the difference between sexual addiction and predatory sex versus passive sex that is an attempt to fill the void of intimacy. The story of Ennis, and a view of his parents provides an accurate picture of the result of growing up in a home where intimacy is almost as foreign as communication. Ennis is a starving man.

And Jack, bounced between foster homes as a kid after the death of his parents, seems to be acting out the predatory practices rampant in the side rails they park kids who don't belong anywhere.

It tells the story of living one's life in fear, and self loathing, and pain... with no hope or thought of redemption. More than a lifetime's worth of pain... with ripples that emanate in all directions... back to parents, across to spouses and lovers, and down through children.

God calls us to love others... and right now the US is engaged in culture war over homosexuality. War is never pretty, but culture war always has as it's victims those who were hurting before the war... the GENERALS never get shot. If Generals got shot in wars, there'd be less wars.

The antidote to culture war is love. We have a culture war of homosexuality in the US largely due to the failure of the Church to love. We have remained silent while young gay men have been beaten and tied naked to fence posts to freeze. We have attempted to love from a distance, which never works. We have refused to engage and learn, for various reasons, none of them valid. We don't love well because we're too ignorant to love well. And when a movie comes along that MIGHT help combat the veil of ignorance; we protest it without ever watching it. This is not love, it is fear. True love casts out all fear.

I believe that many Christians, having watched Brokeback, would have a refined sense of gay issues, and potentially have the perception necessary to recognize those at risk, those young men and women who, due to the circumstances of their lives are likely to turn to a less wild lover. Who turn to each other because there is no one else.

I recommend that all mature Christians check this movie out. There's no danger that you'll turn gay over having watched it... but there IS a high likelihood that you'll see others whom Jesus loves in pain that tears at the fabric of their lives. And it's my hope that it awaken a compassion, that it open the door to conversation, and that it convinces us as Christians to lay down our guns in a cultural war in favor of the love of Jesus.



Blogger The Spaniard said...


I appluad your intentions in watching this movie and your heart is in the right place.

But - i disagree about the agenda issue. The people who want to legitimize and promote the gay lifestyle count every ticket sale and every DVD sale "a vote". Also - Hollywood views it the same way. I'm not saying its right - but in reality thats what "they" are doing when you buy this movie. This is puzzling because, as you point-out it really doesnt make the gay cowboys heroes....rather, they l;eave a trail of destruction as a result of their hedonistic promiscuity.

I dont want one cent of my money to go towards the promulgation of crap like this - or most anything else Hollywood poops on us either these days. I try to vote with my dollars...but i rrealize that means i may "miss-out" in some cases. I think i'll be okay if miss this one...

Go see a really good movie like Worlds Fastest Indian :)

9:31 AM  

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