The Beauty, the Beast and the Boycott

 

I want to be very transparent here: what I am about to write IS in response to the beauty-and-the-beast“Christian” boycott of Beauty and the Beast because of a “gay subplot”. However, I hope and believe that it will address something far more important. I also want to set aside, right at the onset, the debate about whether or not homosexuality is a sin. It is a deeply personal and highly complicated discussion and, as is the entire point of this post, not a hill I’m willing to die on. Not loving my neighbor, on the other hand…

 

boycott

Why have boycotts become American Christianity’s chosen avenue for living out our faith?

Why has exclusion become the means by which we express our faith in a God who so desperately wanted to include us that He sent His son here to die on a cross to make it possible?

Answer: it’s easy and it feels real.

“Sin is already normal.”

Listen, there are many people out there who  genuinely believe that this Beauty and the Beast thing is going to “normalize sin.”  Without spending the time arguing over whether or not that’s true, let me just point out something that should be theologically and objectively obvious: sin is already normal. That is kind of the whole reason Jesus came. That being said, I understand why people choose these battles:

1) It’s easy.  I can choose not to go spend $30 to see a movie I’ll be able to rent for $5 in a couple of months, throw up a post on social media, maybe even create a hashtag (if people still do that) and feel like I have actually expressed my faith. I’m not trying to come down on people for that, I get it. Life is busy and messy and hard and just keeping food on the table might take everything we have so easy sounds pretty good.
2) It feels real.  Our world is so filled with artificial that authentic is borderline intoxicating. Standing for something that goes against popular culture creates a feeling in us like we are engaging in something that must be genuine and meaningful. I will not presume to speak for everyone, but I can say for myself that it is not. Not when it is based on exclusion and fear. If I don’t want to bring my kids to see a movie that has gay people in it because I believe it is normalizing sin, I just won’t go to the movie. But I JUST won’t go to the movie.  Broadcasting it doesn’t do anything but ostracize the “sinners” and NOTHING Jesus ever did ostracized sinners.

“Nothing Jesus ever did ostracized sinners.”

Actually, quite the opposite.  What did Jesus do with sinners?  He ate with them and talked to them. He forgave them and healed them.  He met them right where they were in the most authentic possible expression of why He came. The only thing Jesus boycotted was the religious system that had forgotten why they were chosen by God to begin with: to bless others.

“The only thing Jesus boycotted was the religious system that had forgotten why they were chosen by God to begin with: to bless others.”

It is good to feel passion and even better to feel it about my faith; to feel so grateful for all that Jesus has done for me that I simply must respond. But when I do, rather than boycott something, maybe I’ll feed the hungry or cloth the naked. Maybe I’ll care for the widow and the orphan, or fight for justice for the oppressed.  Maybe I’ll love Him with my love for others instead of a boycott and hashtag, because anything else is not only a waste of my time and energy, it is the exact opposite of why He came in the first place.

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3 thoughts on “The Beauty, the Beast and the Boycott

  1. tomurich

    Nicely done. You maintained honorable morality while not offending. We can CHOOSE to be what we believe, but we don’t have to expect it from everybody else. That is not our duty to enforce. We lead by example. Thank You!

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Sandy Faleska

    I loved what he had to say. Sometimes all you need is a little poke to remind you of where you’re head should be. I get all busy and my brain is going a million miles a second and half the time my thoughts don’t even finish before I’m onto something else. Geez, stop and smell the Rogers for a minute on your knees.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Kbooth

    Thank you for this. I admit I felt “some kind of way” to hear that the Gaston character was gay. I don’t think I’ll go see this movie. More so because it changed the plot of the whole “Gaston vs The Beast” thing. Then you addressed a struggle that I have. Being Christian while not being tolerant of sin/sinful lifestyle ….and balance that with being loving (and not condemning) towards the person. Your article has helped me!!

    Liked by 1 person

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