One of the things that I want to do with my life is try to be a Christian who reaches out in love to the homosexual community.
I try and stay tuned in to some of the media and culture involved when I can. That may seem counter-intuitive, like “how could you do that you’re just setting yourself up for a fall!”
First of all, the world’s rules “do not touch, do not taste” have no value in restraining licentiousness. We carry our sin around with us and walking around obsessing over “Don’t look, don’t think, don’t, don’t don’t” can lead to sin the same way that a poor man can be as money-obsessed as a Wall Street Tycoon. This doesn’t touch on my battles really, so I don’t stress, and it isn’t for anyone else to judge.
Secondly, dragging these stories into the open air sometimes shows the profound need for love and emotional intimacy that homosexuals find in gay relationships. Closeness, non-sexual physical touch, emotional honesty and vulnerability, tenderness, and expressed appreciations are all qualities of Christ that the church should do better than any other group in the world. Jesus said people would know us by how well we love one another. Frankly, they seem to see us circle the wagon and throw stones. This is one good point that Prayers for Bobby communicated very well, though I disagree with the film’s conclusion it is a painfully honest look at a legitimate conflict portrayed by skilled actors.
Third, a lot of the films leave me tense-gutted and wanting to cry for anyone so caught up in pain and need that this seems good. There is an amount of raunch in gay cinema that disgusts me when it shows up in straight cinema, too. For those the cover or blurb is enough to make me skip the film. I’m not into porn. But the emotional pieces can be truly, devastatingly honest, worth understanding if not applauding. Today’s example is the short indie film Summer Blues which is about a bunch of former High School friends getting together a year after graduation, talking about life and figuring out about their relationships. It started out a little too seventies in cinematography choices for me, but the dialogue was real and the acting solid.
The film’s main question is that two high school friends have ambiguous homosexual feelings for one another. It’s strongly implied that perhaps there was a drunken make-out session their senior year.
But the film does not revolve around a genuine romance, which doesn’t have to have anything to do with sex, really. How to Train Your Dragon is a romance in many ways. One night everyone drinks too much again and the hopeful guy takes his drunken love interest to bed, takes off his shirt, fondles and then (by implication) sexually assaults him while he’s so drunk it is impossible to tell if he is asleep or not.
Does anyone else see the red flag that the question “Are you asleep?” receiving no answer, was the go-ahead for sex play?
Folks, that’s rape. No one in their right mind would pay for, endorse, or be caught watching a film about how a man took his girlfriend to bed, felt her up, then went downtown on her when she was passed out, and how he was just expressing his love.
Now I am not part of the active gay lifestyle, so I can’t rightly say. But from the outside it seems that the lines are so blurred that this film is not just made, but openly shown at at least one festival and is known on the internet with only mild condemnation.
“A touch too far” is the meme among the gay community about this relationship, not “Rape your buddy, oops”.
There are good bits of data here about being a male survivor of sexual assault: The shame of the assault makes Mads (the victim) run away. There is shame. The implied guilt, that if you didn’t like it you should have said something, is victim-blaming at its finest. This is rape because the victim did not have the capacity to give consent or the power to refuse the sexual activity. There is sexual acting out, as Mads immediately goes to prove his straightness by having sex with his girlfriend even though they were about to break up. There is the confusing ambiguity of past attachments to the relationship and revulsion at the sexual assault. Then there is the pressure to shut up, conform, and go along as if it were not a big deal, where this film crosses over into the idea that male victims of sexual assault are “fine”. The “happy ending” is where Mads is pressured to express love to his attacker by the group.
*Folks, I’m a medieval Christian. I don’t believe that anything is beyond the power of God to heal. But that is something that only comes after confession, forgiveness, REPENTANCE, and in righteousness. NONE of those things are present in this film, so I’m going to come down on the side of Christ as I understand it that the same actions that could seem like righteousness (a gesture of love to your wrongdoer) is horror apart from that healing that is predominantly found in Christ. In point of fact families and other relationships torn apart by the horrors of sexual abuse do sometimes choose to reunite, and they have the same earthly right to do that as they have the right to split over the sexual immorality. It’s, complicated, but it isn’t this film!*
The final act, a kiss between the young men, made me feel ill. The film ended there as if to condone the rape because the positive result: Mads admits he has gay feelings too, shows up in the end.
I don’t approve of homosexual activity on a number of levels, but this film is a tragedy.
Out of the three reviews I could find for this film (it is older, made in 2002 in Norway) one of the three mentioned the sex crime aspect of the film in anything like a negative light.
I don’t approve of homosexual activity, but I think too many people run on gag reflex. Gay is bad because it’s gross and they never get any further than that. But this film is one of the examples where I am filled with compassion. If that is OK in the homosexual community, I would like to call as many people out of it as possible.
But I gain no leverage or wisdom avoiding their media. Any English major knows that you truly get to know someone through their fiction, their poetry, their self-expression. The term contains it all.
This is one film that makes me glad I’m not caught up in that life.