For The Bible Tells Me So
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Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle Interntional Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative, entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today without feeling obliged to kil anyone who works on the Sabbath or eats shrimp.
Through the experience of five very normal, very Christian , very American families - including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson - we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. With commentary by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, For The Bible Tells Me So offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.
For the Bible Tells Me So is a compassionate and insightful documentary about the contemporary face of an old conflict between Christian fundamentalists and gay and lesbian people. The film looks deep into the hearts of several families--a few of them quite famous--that have struggled with making sense of having a homosexual son or daughter in the fold. At the same time, For the Bible Tells Me So is a deconstruction of thin arguments that the Bible actually condemns homosexuality in a few passages and through the story of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction. A number of clerics and scholars explain the cultural and historical context for Old Testament quotes routinely referenced as arguments against homosexuality, and point out translation confusion about the real meaning of the Sodom story. Unquestionably, the most compelling part of the film is its focus on various families, including that of former U.S. presidential candidate Dick Gephardt, who has a lesbian daughter for whose safety he worries. Also among the interviewees is Gene Robinson, a gay man who became bishop of New Hampshires Episcopal church in 2004, and his parents, as well as a gay teen whose folks joined him on the front line in protest of their churchs negative stance on gays. Not every story is affirmative: there are tragedies within these tales, too, as well as an indictment of so-called cures that supposedly banish the gay drive from homosexual men and women. --Tom Keogh
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Provocative and innovative. *****A MUST SEE.
Finally, early this month, I came to terms with it: I'm gay and I didn't know what that meant about my faith. My family was fortunately very understanding, and my sister's husband suggested I check out this documentary, especially after a respected church member sent me some rather disturbing and condemning messages.
I watched it alone, and it was really difficult to sit through in many places. I feel the producers were quite varied in their responses and selection of footage: we had the radical Bible-thumping Christians, while also looking at five Christian families who had gay children.
In the stories, I felt I met kindred spirits in them. A lot of their thoughts and fears mirrored my own, so it was wonderful to know that I was not alone in these feelings and wondering if being a gay Christian was even possible.
However, a downside to the even-handedness is that I didn't feel the question was answered clearly. Many interpretations of the Bible's few references to homosexuality are presented, no one interpretation being favored. Overall, I got the message that a passionate love for someone of your own gender is not evil, but the question of intimacy was certainly left ambiguous.
So, while it did help answer some of my questions and let me know I am not alone, I think I'll have to look elsewhere for more answers. A great starting point, I suppose.