I had the opportunity to preview "For the Bible Tells Me So", and encourage you to find out if it is playing in a theater near you.
A 2007 Sundance Film Festival winner, this quick paced, visually strong documentary follows the stories of Christian families with gay children, as they seek understanding and acceptance from their churches. We meet Bishop Gene Robinson's wonderful parents and hear how former Presidential candidate Dick Gephardt and his wife learned to embrace their lesbian daughter into their life. The heartbreaking stories including a mother who learned about sexual orientation too late and an ELCA's family's struggle.
The stories are the movie's highlight and have the potential to change people's hearts on full inclusion.
The theological component focuses on what Ted Jennings has so aptly named the "clobber texts", the few verses in Leviticus and Romans that explicitly condemn same sex sexual relationships. I kept waiting for the various theologians interviewed to talk about the welcome and love messages of Scripture; it was more than an hour into the film that someone finally brought up "Love Your Neighbor As Yourself."
In my work, I have found it much more helpful to talk about verses on love and inclusion, the great commandments, the Good Samaritan, and the eunuch texts than to try to convince a fundamentalists that the four to six clobber texts aren't authoritative or were really about pagan rites. In our new book, A Time to Seek: A Study Guide on Sexual and Gender Diversity, we compute that these clobber texts make up less than .03% of the Bible.
1 John 4:11 - 12 are two verses though that sum up the call to full inclusion: "Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us."
That's what my Bible tells me so.