For the Bible Tells Me So

For the Bible Tells Me So

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Hey queers, are your ears burning? For the Bible Tells Me So should sound familiar to any homo boy or girl who’s struggled to reconcile their sexuality with their religion. Director Daniel G. Karslake’s pro-gay talking heads—including Martin Sheen, by way of a clip from The West Wing—rattle off familiar arguments about the selective reading of the Holy Bible by persons of faith, pointing out that Leviticus condemns the eating of pork and rabbit in addition to boy-on-boy action, and how slavery and polygamy were acceptable back in Jesus’s day. The point that the homophobic right is picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to follow, and which verses to look at in the context in which they were written, is both terribly familiar and rudimentarily argued; one wonders what purpose the film can possibly have if it doesn’t end up being screened within the vile confines of Focus on the Family. Worse, Karslake is prone to underscoring his points with bad habits picked up from Michael Moore and his base (here’s looking at you Morgan Spurlock and Kirby Dick), namely the cartoon in which a gay man and lesbian set a breeder straight about his presumptions about the queer lifestyle. The filmmaker also displays a seemingly contemptuous anti-religious bias early on (listen to the Enyaesque lambs-to-the-slaughter anthem that opens the picture), which is really part of a calculated agenda to drum up suspense throughout. Karslake interviews a number of couples who are ostensibly unaccepting of their gay children, though really they are already on the side of their queer offspring, vigilantly fighting for gay rights alongside them, either in body or in spirit. The process these men and women, including Dick Gephardt and his wife, went through in order to accept their children is an uplifting one, but by casting them as homophobes until the very last reel, Karslake actually trivializes their humanity, revealing an allegiance to reality television programs that often ask interviewees, in one sitting, to speak to the camera about the past in the present tense before asking them to move on to the here and now.

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DVD
Distributor
First Run Features
Runtime
95 min
Rating
NR
Year
2007
Director
Daniel G. Karslake
Screenwriter
Daniel G. Karslake
Cast
Bishop Gene Robinson, Imogene Robinson, Victor Robinson, Brenda Poteat, David Poteat, Tonia Poteat, Jake Reitan, Britta Reitan, Chrissy Gephardt, Jane Gephardt, Dick Gephardt, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Peter Gomes, Rabbi Steven Greenberg, Reverend Jimmy Creech