… but it’s unlikely. I don’t even go to that many movies, and I have a full-time hobby just reading and reviewing books. So it’s unlikely I’ll branch out into movie reviews anytime soon.
But occasionally I see a film and think, “More people should see this!” and want to share about it on my blog. One such film is Seventh-Gay Adventists: A Film About Faith on the Margins. Check out the trailer, below, and then I’ll tell you why I think you should see it:
1. If (like many of my friends) you’re a Christian who believes in the traditional view of marriage and you’re worried about the growing trend in society to accept gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage as normal, you should see this movie. Why? Not because it will change your mind; it almost certainly won’t. It’s not an argument or debate-type movie. You should see it because it tells the stories of gay and lesbian Christians whose lives have been affected by traditional church teachings and beliefs about homosexuality. It puts a human face on what might otherwise just be the “Other Side” in an intellectual or theological debate. Since your religion (and mine) calls us to love, we owe it to ourselves and others to think hard about how to love those with whom we disagree. You can’t love people theoretically. You have to see their faces, hear their voices and stories, before you can grapple with what love looks like in a particular context.
2. If (like many of my other friends) you’re a completely secular person who takes it for granted that LGBT people have the same rights as straight people, and can’t understand why religious people are dragging their heels, you should see this movie. Even if (perhaps especially if?) you’re gay or lesbian yourself, and have no ties to organized religion — maybe even have a great deal of contempt for it. Yes, religions (all religions!) have a pretty bad track record with the LGBT community. Watching this film may give you a different perspective, might help you understand why some people choose to cling to their faith, what an important cornerstone of life it is for them, even when it brings them into conflict over their sexuality.
3. If (like me) you are a Christian who questions the traditional definition of marriage (or at least the often hypocritical way in which it’s applied in the church), and you want to be an ally for your LGBT brothers and sisters, you should see this movie. Especially if your LGBT brothers and sisters are literally your brother or your sister — or your uncle, or your mom, or your best friend, or anyone you care about. Maybe you’ve heard stories like the ones in this movie many times. Or maybe you haven’t, because the people you love haven’t talked to you about their experiences. Hearing these stories will open your heart even further, and make you realize how important this struggle really is. Maybe, like me, you’ll emerge from the experience realizing that you need to be more outspoken, more pro-active, in supporting those who are truly “the least of these” in our congregations and church fellowship halls, or on our missing-member lists.
While it’s a film set firmly within the context of the Seventh-day Adventist community (and there are definitely some SDA in-group references, like “What’s not to love about haystacks?”) this film is relevant to everyone who’s ever been part of any faith community, because gay and lesbian people exist in every church and temple and gathering place, and as this film clearly shows, ignoring “the problem” in hopes that it’ll go away, isn’t enough.
Particularly if you’re in Category #1 above, I urge you to see this movie — not because I expect it to change the way you read Scripture — it doesn’t even attempt to do that. But because I believe listening is so important, and love is impossible without it. It’s possible to love people and sincerely disagree with them, about lots of issues. It’s not possible to love people while ignoring them and refusing to hear their stories.
There are lots of ways to get hold of this movie. If all else fails, I have a copy. Borrow mine.