Updated: 5 days ago
Just in case you've missed some of the headlines:
Uh Oh, There's A New Disney Movie With Gayness In It. You Know What Happens Now. Time to FREAKOUT #wonkette
They go on: Good morning, America! If you're a white conservative Christian nationalist or Christian nationalist enabler, you might be thinkin' it's been a minute since you s*****your pants about something that has literally no effect on your life. (from Wonkette.com) 1
Here's how 'Strange World' introduces the first out gay teenager in a Disney animated film: 'It was a beautiful thing to be a part of' #yahooentertainment
Here's how they open the article: Walt Disney's latest animated feature, Strange World, isn't just a rollicking Jules Verne-inspired sci-fi adventure. Due in theaters on Nov. 23, the movie also demonstrates the Mouse House's renewed commitment to LGBTQ representation by showcasing the first out gay teenager in a Disney cartoon feature. 2
Ben Shapiro Rages Over Casual Inclusion of Gay Teen in New Disney Film It's not an agenda, Ben. #pride
“Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is once again losing his mind over the possibility of children being aware that gay people exist. Shapiro’s latest meltdown revolves around a clip from Disney’s Strange World, which features the first out gay teen character in an animated movie from the company.” Says Pride.com.
Variety has their own take, “While “Strange World” explores a fantastical environment full of mysterious creatures and flora, including flying fish and walking rock columns, the action-adventure film also includes a first for Walt Disney Animation Studios: a gay teen romance.”3
I have to admit that there is nothing God-honoring about the way that prominent conservative voices have taken up their beef with this movie either. I think that if we disagree with the characters in a movie...don't watch it. But being hateful and condemning with no discernment for who is hearing your voice, is foolish. The very voices that you want to hear you may never want to be a part of your conversation or to hear your viewpoint if you come across hateful and dismissive. This also doesn’t mean that you have to agree With dissenting opinions.
We have to face this reality: companies like Disney are not going to cater to conservative Christian moms and dads, whether you choose to support them or not. They are going to continue to push their content according to what they feel is trending in politics and culture.
Can I be honest? The MAJORITY of the Disney Films while coined as "family friendly" just means that there is no cursing or sex scenes. Other than that, the plots are full of witchcraft, manipulative characters and behaviors, and the origins of a lot of their films come from the tales of Hans Christian Anderson. Here is a great article talking about how terrible the plot lines are in these stories. 4 Disney is presenting a cleaned up version of these dark and twisted tales. The original films they create can be recognized by whatever the current political and social social agendas were trending during that time. Kudos to Yahoo News for being willing to talk about it in this article. 6
That's NOT to say they aren't fun movies with amazing animation and beautifully scored music and important messages to hear. They are GOOD at what they do and very intentional in their programming. In fact, this blogpost isn't an opportunity for us to gay-bash or to incite homophobia. Quite the opposite. I think that it is an opportunity for us to talk to our kids about what we as parents value and why. If you are curious about the view of the Love is Love culture, here is a blogpost about the same sex attraction. Check that out here.
When we talk to our kids about Truth it's important to help them to understand that feelings aren't a part of the equation. From the Berean Beacon:
The Lord Jesus Christ, in His great high priestly prayer, declared clearly the truth of God’s Word. He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” This was consistent with the declarations right through the Old Testament in which the Holy Spirit continually proclaims that the revelation from God is truth, as for example Psalm 119:142, “thy law is truth.” The Lord Himself therefore identified truth with the written Word. There is no source; other than to Scripture alone, to which such a statement applies. That source alone, the Holy Scripture, is the believer’s standard of truth. 5
It's our job as parents to teach our kids what we believe to be our Biblical values and roles within the family and our faith. We need to make sure that we equip our kids for life so that as they move on from their teen years an on to higher education and the work place they know how to articulate their own personal values and faith, not just what mom and dad have "told them." Let me again say, it is NOT our job to further alienate people with hateful rhetoric or religious zingers. Jesus did call people names, but it was only the pious and religious leaders who were trying so hard to convince everyone how "good" and "perfect" they were. Speak the truth, yes, but do it always...in love. As Tim Keller said in a sermon:
“Truth without love is imperious self-righteousness. Love without truth is cowardly self-indulgence.” Both are selfish. #timkeller
When it comes to our entertainment, believers we are to seek out the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy...and to "think on these things". (Philippians 4:8) That's a good reminder for ALL of us.
This doesn't mean we let it all slide so that we don't appear to be a hypocrite, it means that we guard our hearts so that as we talk to our kids and teens, they are less likely to call out our blatant hypocrisy. It’s not easy to navigate the world of entertainment because there are times we ALL feel like we need to “escape”, but just be careful that what you’re escaping to isn’t causing you more grief, worry, and anxiety. Be blessed, thank and you for taking the time to read.
Other Articles of Interest to Check Out
Frank Capra's America as portrayed in film by Imprimis (publication of Hillsdale College)
The Bible as Absolute Truth by Berean Beacon