Sunday, January 1, 2012

For the Bible Tells Me So

I watched an interesting documentary a couple days ago: For the Bible Tells Me So. (Available for streaming on Netflix.) The documentary follows several "normal" Christian families, one of them from Kentucky, as they recount their experiences surrounding having gay sons and daughters. We get to see the "coming out" stories, and how each family responded in turn. I want to point out that while this film is definitely not an anti-Christian work, it does shed an unfavorable light on a history of using the Bible to justify hatred, violence, and bigotry towards gays and lesbians.

Bonnie watched some of this movie with me, but she got very upset after one of the featured mothers described her lesbian daughter's suicide after coming out to and being rejected by her. I am thankful that she cannot comprehend such utter rejection by her parents. Of course I let her know that she should never be afraid to tell me if she's gay.

B: "I know. But I'm not gay. I definitely like boys."

Me:  "You're only ten, so you don't know for sure."

B: "No, I think boys are really cute."

Me: "Well that could change."

B: "I don't think so. I really like boys."

Me: "Just remember you can always tell me."

B: "Okay, but I won't."

I love that kid!

I believe much of this movie should appeal to freethinkers and liberal Christians alike. As an atheist, I would have loved for this film to go one step further, to admit what is obvious, that our morality on the subject of homosexuality (as in all subjects) need not come from the Bible at all. I do not need to interpret the words of the Bible one way or the other to know in my heart that there is nothing morally wrong with two adults loving one another. It would, however, be immoral for me to raise my own children to think it's okay to commit acts of violence, hatred, and bigotry against another group of people because I don't like what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

Finally, here's an awesome piece of standup by Patton Oswalt that touches on the subject of homosexuality and the Bible at the beginning. He also hilariously talks about something with which I personally struggle: respecting people without respecting beliefs. This video is not for kids. Or for people who don't like lots of cussing and/or blasphemy. Seriously, don't watch if you're not up for it.


  1. Patton, such a way with words. :-)

    I've seen docos like that too, I can only watch them in small bursts... it makes me SO mad! Their madness, make me, MAD!

    "It's great that you love a book..." Beautiful.

    prin xx

  2. Cool! I'll definitely check it out. Thanks, Leanna!

  3. Great perspective, and one I agree with so much! I'll definitely check out the documentary. The one that really burns me up is Jesus Camp. I was a ball of anger for days after that one and still feel very unsettled when I think about it. Ugh. :(

  4. Sarah, I understand! I watched Jesus Camp twice, and it made me so angry that I could barely talk about it.