Thursday i finally finished this quarter of Seminary. It was a tough quarter. I took 4 classes which I am pretty convinced was 2 too many, but I’m done for a while! For our last class in Film and Theology we decided to go and see the movie Milk. It just came out. It has Sean Penn in it who plays Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to hold a public office. We went to see the movie on opening night… in Hillcrest. Hillcrest, if you’re not familiar is probably the most openly gay community in Southern California. Needless to say, the theater was filled with homosexuals, and they made that known throughout the movie. It was one of the most interesting experiences that I have had in a long time!
As we entered the theater we were invited to a march against prop 8. Every time the movie showed a shot of the church or religious community (which it did often to show the way that church had opposed Harvey Milk and the homosexual population in general) there was open animosity shown. People booed, gasped, etc… you could feel the disdain for the church. At one point Anita Bryant was shown (actual footage from the 70’s) making the statement “We love all people, we just don’t approve of the homosexual lifestyle.” When she said that the theater nearly erupted with laughter. I was caught off guard. I was surprised because I think I have said nearly the same thing before. It is interesting to know that taking that viewpoint is laughable to the homosexual population.
I left the theater pretty impacted by the movie, but deeply impacted by the experience. I am convinced that the church has a very long way to go in order to make inroads into the homosexual community. Unfortunately, the passing of prop 8 didn’t help that journey in any way, shape, or form. We have a lot to overcome, but as always our hope is that the light of the gospel might shine in the darkest of areas and that it might bring hope to those who need it most. May the church make inroads and show love in such a way that when we say we love… it isn’t laughable.