BEAUTY AND THE BEAST CONTROVERSY AMONG CHRISTIANS
Disney recently announced that the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST movie will feature its first openly gay character. Upon the announcement, many Christians have taken to the media to denounce the movie and petition for a Boycott. Many Christian leaders and news media are encouraging their readers or viewers to do the same. It has gone to such an extreme that there is even a petition to Disney that you can sign encouraging Disney to remove the “gay” content from the movie prior to its release, and why it is confusing to children. LifePetitions.com quoted on their page, “Send a strong message to Disney that children’s entertainment is no place to promote a harmful sexual political agenda. Sign the boycott petition. ”
The Christian Post is quoted on their site saying, “Disney’s upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” will include an “exclusively gay moment” on screen, a first for the company, according to the film’s director. Notable Christian leaders are urging Christian parents to boycott it. ”
Anger and Hate on Social Media
Evangelist Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook:
“They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children. Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians, we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney.“
Should Christians Watch BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?
Christians need to be very careful with how they are acting and responding to the news of LeFlou in Beauty and the beast being openly-gay. The movie has not been released yet, has not been viewed by any of these people who are critiquing the film, and they are telling you what they feel God would want based on their own opinions. Yes, I said their OWN opinions. If you are concerned about taking your children due to this negative publicity, I would suggest as a Christian parent that you view the movie for yourself first. However, this movie opens a much larger controversy amongst Christians that we should be very careful about.
Christian’s Response And The Controversy Surrounding It
Jesus did not say for you to stop loving a person due to their sexuality. On the contrary. He said that the greatest of His commandments is to love your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor refers to all people. Gay, straight, colored, or of a different nationality. He does not tell us to stop caring or loving someone if they have different views than that of our own. He calls us to show love and compassion to others, so they may see His light in us, and want to have that light as well.“And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in ALL.” 1 Corinthians 12:6 “And now abideth faith, love, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 The actual definition of charity defines selfless love. In the KJV Study Bible in notes 12:31b – 13:3 it states, “Charity is selfless, sacrificial concern for the welfare of others. It is love without conditions and without reservations. “
The very definition of Charity as defined by The Webster Dictionary is:
Definition of charity
- 1: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity. The holidays are a time for charity and goodwill.
- 4: lenient judgment of others. The critic was liked for his charity and moderation.
Here is the Definition for Children which simplifies this definition even further:
Definition of charity for Students
- 1: love for others
- 2: kindliness especially in judging others… I pray you the mercy of my fault, and that ye will of your kindness and your charity forgive it … — Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee
We Are Not Called To Judge
We are called to LOVE others. The Bible does not define “others” as this person, but not that person. We are called to love all. “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Proverbs 145: 8-9
“Comparison is the thief of peace, the thief of creativity, and the thief of unity.” As quoted by McKayla Lindsey.
Scripture teaches us about sin and helps us to learn to love. The Bible is not a tool to be used as a weapon against others. It is a tool to be used to help others come to Christ and to shield us from doing harm by sin. It does not teach to hate or discriminate. As humans, we may not understand choices that another person makes with their sexuality, but as Christians, we know we are to love all. “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” James 4:12 “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and to destroy. But you- who are you to judge your neighbor?” Hebrews 13: 1-5
When you are vocalizing your opinion in a hateful or judgmental way, believing that you are doing so in the defense of Christianity, you are in fact making yourself the judge and juror. As Christians, we need to be very cautious as to judging others and showing hate for our neighbor rather than love. It makes Christians look like the biggest hypocrites of all when we say that we love all, however, we spew hatred without considering the hurt that it may cause others.“Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10
Disney’s Lefou And His Openly-Gay Character
Disney’s Lefou played by Josh Gad in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a portrayal of the original movie. How many times did you watch the original Beauty And The Beast with your children? It is clear in the original movie that Lefou has an attraction to Gaston. Subtle, yet it is there. A child does not look at another person and question what they are doing, what they look like, or who they love in a negative way unless they are taught to discriminate by someone. When I was a child, one of my mom’s best friends was a lesbian. She was an amazing person, and I loved her. I grew up with her and her wife in my life. I did not see them any different than other couples, I saw them as two people who clearly loved one another. It did not confuse me to see their love. I still knew that I was attracted to men, and I still knew that Jesus was my Lord and Savior. I just happened to have these two amazing and creative people in my life and was thankful for knowing them. Some of my very best friends in school and throughout my life, are gay. They will forever stay my friends and forever be loved by me the same way that I have always loved them. Not one time has their love for their partners changed or skewed my knowledge of Christ. One thing it has done, however, is made me painfully aware of the hatred that some Christians show towards their “neighbors”.
Openly- Gay Teachable Moments
The “openly-gay” moments in Beauty And The Beast that have been shared by Disney, are subtle and reflect what was in the original movie. If you are boycotting the movie due to these very few moments in order to protect your child from learning about same-sex relationships, then you are boycotting something that is inevitable. Not knowing what would be in the movie, but having read the hate on the internet, this became a major teachable moment for me as a Christian mom. I sat down with my son and talked to him about what was being said by Disney about how they added an openly-gay character for the first time. I shared with him what other Christians were saying about the matter. As I said earlier, I have friends that are openly-gay and family members who are gay, which means that my son has already been introduced to people that are openly-gay. My teachable moment may have been slightly different than many others. None the less, it was a perfect opportunity to remind my son that we are not called to judge others, though we ARE called to LOVE ALL. It did not confuse my son about his sexuality, it did not confuse him about his faith. It did confirm in him the truths that we have taught that Jesus Christ loves all, and so should we. It also confirmed in him that we need to share Jesus’s love in a way that makes Him known to others. The way that Jesus himself showed His love to all.
BE THE CHANGE
In a world that is being separated more and more by hate and discrimination, I pray that today you will help me stop the hate and condemnation that is being spread. The angry words and hateful comments are putting a larger gap in those unsaved from having the opportunity to know the true love of Jesus Christ. Think for a moment of all the new Christians out there that are reading those hateful words. Think for a moment about those who God is speaking to, but because of the hateful words that the devil is speaking through this hate, they are now confused about what Christianity really means. Isn’t Christianity love? Think about how many souls are being lost due to the hateful and derogatory actions that some Christians are making. Think also about the one thing that you hear the most when you share His love with those who are not saved yet. The one thing that I hear the most, is that we are hypocrites and that we as Christians judge others daily. That is not a person that has a hardened heart to His Word. That is a person who has a hardened heart due to the actions of other Christians. That is a person who wants to believe but is confused by the hate that they have seen. Our own hate is causing lost souls. Let your love for Christ be a beacon in the darkness. Share His Word without hate, discrimination, and judgment.
FROM THE MOUTH OF A CHILD
Leaving the screening of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, my son’s first comment when he walked out of the theater was, “Mom, what gay moment were they even talking about? I didn’t see anything at all that was inappropriate like those sites were saying.” This mom had tears of joy my friends. Tears of joy. If you share love and kindness with your children, they will only see love and kindness.
A WORD FROM ONE PARENT TO ANOTHER
The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are solely that of my own. This is not a sponsored post, this is what God has laid on my heart to share.
I would love to hear your opinions on this, however, I would like to make note that I will not allow for any hate comments. This movie was stunning and I am still blown away by the beauty and love shown by all that worked so diligently to bring this Disney classic to life on screen. It was like walking through my childhood imagination in a wonderful and whimsical way. Each song and scene took me back to the pure joy I had when I watched the movie that I related so much with. I was that little girl that everyone looked at differently. I always had my head in a book and my head in the clouds dreaming since I was 5 years old. Disney did an extraordinary job with this film and I was blessed to have the opportunity to see it with my son.
Written by: Kristin Houser
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