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FIRST-PERSON: A ‘Brokeback’ broken record

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–When I first became aware of the recently released movie “Brokeback Mountain” a few months ago, I knew it would be critically acclaimed. In fact, I was so certain that the Ang Lee-directed film would be lauded that I recorded my predictions on paper and sealed them in an envelope. When USA Today did a feature on the movie in its Dec. 14 edition, I opened the envelope.

Among the praise that I forecast “Brokeback” would receive was:

— An epic love story.

— A groundbreaking film.

— Profoundly moving.

— A brave portrayal of a controversial subject.

— A winner in every respect.

I was not surprised in the least that my predictions were on target. Why was I so sure about the reception “Brokeback Mountain” would receive from reviewers? It is a movie about two cowboys who engage in a long-term homosexual affair.

Anyone who lives in a part of the United States that is considered “gay-friendly” could have made the same prediction. In certain parts of America, to speak negatively about homosexuality has become an unpardonable and intolerable “sin.”

Those who live on the West Coast and certain pockets in the East know exactly what I am talking about. Anyone who dares to suggest homosexuality is immoral is verbally bludgeoned with words like homophobe, intolerant, insensitive and bigot. Once labeled homophobic — short of actually becoming a homosexual — it is nearly impossible to atone for one’s “transgression.”

Homosexual activists and their supporters have been so successful at demonizing anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle that the climate in many parts of our nation now mirrors that of the Hans Christian Anderson classic, “The Emperor’s New Suit.”

The story opens with Anderson introducing readers to an emperor who was obsessed with clothes. He was so enamored with his wardrobe, that he ignored all other aspects of his kingdom.

Concerning the emperor, Anderson writes: “The great city where he resided was very gay … One day two swindlers came to this city; they made people believe that they were weavers, and declared they could manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined. Their colours and patterns, they said, were not only exceptionally beautiful, but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.”

Duped by the swindlers, the emperor concluded, “If I were to be dressed in a suit made of this cloth I should be able to find out which men in my empire were unfit for their places, and I could distinguish the clever from the stupid. I must have this cloth woven for me without delay.”

Once the invisible ensemble was finished, the emperor proceeded to parade about town. Since no one in the kingdom wanted to be labeled “unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid,” everyone fawned over the invisible clothes. That is, until an innocent child had the honesty to say, “But he has nothing on at all.”

Perhaps the only place that is more “gay-accepting” than San Francisco is Hollywood. Residents of Tinsel Town are obsessive-compulsive when it comes to being viewed as trendy. And make no mistake; homosexuality is avant-garde among our nation’s “cultural elite.”

While most movie reviewers may not physically live in Hollywood, their identities and careers are inextricably linked to it. When I read the storyline of “Brokeback Mountain,” I knew that there would be very few movie reviewers brave enough to offer a critical assessment of the homosexually-themed film.

Like the residents of the kingdom in “The Emperor’s New Suit,” I knew that most movie critics would not want to be viewed as “unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid,” let alone homophobic or bigoted. Hence, I predicted a landslide of glowing reviews. Sadly, I was right.

While “Brokeback Mountain” might be clothed with “stellar acting” and “superb direction,” it is unashamedly naked as a propaganda piece for the normalization and acceptance of homosexuality in American culture. My two thumbs are down on this film.
Kelly Boggs is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore., and in January will become editor of the Baptist Message, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. His column appears each Friday in Baptist Press.

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