To Boycott or Not to Boycott…

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About a week ago, the internet exploded as Bill Condon, director of Beauty and the Beast, alluded to an “openly gay moment” in the upcoming film. Social media spiraled into a frenzy. An Alabama theater refused to show the movie. Conservative groups screamed for a boycott. “Progressives” patted themselves jubilantly on the back.

And me?

I’m just sipping my chai and having an Ecclesiastes moment:

“What has been is what will be,
And what has been done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.

Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon. In Genesis 19, we see Sodom and Gomorrah burnt to a crisp because of their homosexual/bisexual choices. In Ancient Greece and Rome, we have extra-biblical accounts of rampant homosexuality. Sin has been around since Eve listened to the serpent, and homosexuality—like pride, envy, lust, adultery, bitterness—is not a new sin.

Should I boycott the film?

Have you prayed about it?

We often make big decisions without consulting God first. If you are unsure of the “rightness” or “wrongness” of a decision, always begin with prayer.

Have you researched this “openly gay moment”? 

You might say, “I didn’t need to read Fifty Shades of Grey to know it was about sex.”

True. Some things are fairly obvious.

My spouse and I watched the clip the news shared of LeFou’s “gayness.” It didn’t strike us as any more flamboyant than some of the “straight” characters in previous musicals. It’s still unclear to me whether he is overtly homosexual or just effeminate. The voice and mannerisms of Scar, the creepy villain of The Lion King animated film, struck me as “homosexual” back then. LeFou (literally translated “the fool”) is Gaston’s dopey sidekick. If they promoting homosexuality, why do they choose such creepy or foolish characters to portray it?

Are you prepared to thin out your movie library?

If you choose to boycott the film or take any public stand on it, are you prepared to boycott more than just Beauty and the Beast? How many movies have you seen or purchased portraying premarital sex as “no big deal”? How many films support adultery or downplay divorce? If you choose to take a stand over one subtle portrayal of sin, you ought to take a stand against them all. 

Are you worried about your money being used to support Hollywood’s Homosexual Agenda?

This is a valid concern, and probably the biggest pro to a boycott. Sometimes, there’s no other way to let the elite progressives get the message unless you hit them where it hurts—the pocketbook.

Since Target’s April 2016 announcement to allow transgender bathroom use (and the American Family Association’s subsequent boycott) Target’s stock has dropped by thirty percent (source). This is an estimated loss of fifteen billion dollars. That’s Billion with a B.

Boycott’s can be effective. They can also backfire.

Remember when some people wanted to boycott Starbucks for using solid red cups at Christmas time instead of decorated cups? They felt the coffee retailer was attempting to wipe out Christmas by using plain red cups instead of the secular decorative Christmas ones they had used in the past. If anyone was under a delusion that Starbucks was pro-Christian at any time, let me dispel that for you: they have always been run by liberals and supported liberal causes (like many companies in the United States).

We should make our choices carefully. If you choose to boycott, make sure your reasons line up with real godly principles, and be prepared to defend your choice with sound logic.

Can this be used as a teachable moment?

As parents of three young children, we have made countless decisions about movies, school, activities, etcetera. My spouse and I shared many of these discussions pre-kids and pre-marriage. We still have regular discussions about how to approach various issues as they crop up. Our kids have “missed out” on several events due to inappropriate content or because we did not feel they were at a maturity level to deal with the intensity of the content.

On the flip-side, we have also tried not to over-protect them. The world outside of our home is full of ideas running contrary to our own. Our kids need to be educated on how to deal with these opposing worldviews. While it may not always sink in, we are to exercise due diligence in teaching them what these views are, the truth of God’s word in relation to those views, and the proper way to treat people who disagree with us.

So, back to Beauty and the Beast…

Should you take your children to see it?

Many have voiced concern over exposing their kids to the homosexuality in the film. Maybe before boycotting altogether, preview the movie sans kids. It could be that the homosexuality is subtle enough to avoid shock, but blatant enough to stimulate discussion. Parents, you’re going to have to discuss this subject with your kids at some point, and this *might* be a good opener. Make your choice with prayer and deliberation.


Are you going to see the movie?

Are you going to boycott?

Please comment below! I would love to hear your perspective. Please remember to be respectful or your comments will be deleted.

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26 thoughts on “To Boycott or Not to Boycott…

  1. Shattered in Him March 10, 2017 / 07:12

    I like how you addressed this. In general, we just don’t go to the movies at all anymore. The costs alone are enough to make me wait for Netflix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 10, 2017 / 07:26

      I hear that! I think—as a family—we go maybe once or twice per year. We are primarily Netflix or Amazon prime watchers too.

      Like

  2. Simply Grace March 10, 2017 / 08:32

    I’ve heard a lot of people pointing out, “Why are people upset about a gay character when the main character falls in love with her master who happens to be a buffalo.” I can see both sides. We live in a world where it’s almost impossible to see a movie without one gay character in it. I don’t have children, but if I did, I would want to see the movie first before letting them see it. If him being gay is alluded to, fine. If the character kisses another man, not fine. Since this is primarily a child’s film (although I am going to see it), I think it should be up to the parents whether or not they want to have the conversation with their kids about homosexuality.

    Great post – I’m glad I read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 10, 2017 / 08:44

      Thank you for your comment! I absolutely agree—the parent needs to decide.

      I never thought about the beastility thing until I read people’s comments. I’ve always seen it as she detected the man within, especially in light of all the magic afoot. I don’t think she loved the Beast in some perverted way, but that’s just my take.

      Whenever we’ve been concerned about letting our kids see a movie, we’ve previewed it first and I’ve never regretted it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Debbie L March 10, 2017 / 09:28

    We’ll written! Food for thought.
    I seem to remember the point of this was learning to love the unlovely (beast) and discovering a prince inside!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 10, 2017 / 13:23

      That’s what I thought too! But, I guess I’m a little simple-minded. I learned in college that one can fall into the trap of over-analyzing something to the point of missing the meaning entirely. Hope you are doing well, Debbie!

      Like

  4. beckielindsey March 10, 2017 / 12:20

    Elihu, There is so much godly wisdom in this well-thought-out post (no doubt with prayer).
    Pray first. Compare to the Bible. Consider how it “may” stimulate productive dialogue to help us live in the world although we are not of this world.
    Thanks for another helpful and thought provoking article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 10, 2017 / 13:29

      Thanks, Beckie! Yes, always with pray. I love the quote, “Life is fragile, handle with prayer.” We need it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Irene Fox March 10, 2017 / 13:11

    Elihu, terrific post with much wisdom, especially: “If you choose to take a stand over one subtle portrayal of sin, you ought to take a stand against them all.” Truly, I’ve never understood the clamor over one sin over another – unless of course it’s because those rocks could be thrown at the accusers. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elihu March 10, 2017 / 13:43

      Thanks, Susan!

      One thing I appreciate about my time at a California public university was the exposure to overtly contrary viewpoints. The sometimes hostile discussions exposed flaws in my thinking and forced me to examine the issues more closely. It also allowed me an opportunity to give a defense of the truth, and I hope I planted a seed or two for the gospel, though I do not know for certain.

      We cannot expect homosexuals to see Christ living with us if we treat them like lesser beings. We are supposed to walk humbly, recognizing how greatly we need God’s grace, and showing the world—including homosexuals—the transformative power of God’s love.

      Like

      • Susan Irene Fox March 10, 2017 / 13:52

        Absolutely. We must invite everyone to the Kingdom table, not shut the door to the banquet.
        Blessings, Elihu.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ronee March 10, 2017 / 21:22

    From what I’ve read there is no “sex” scene, they just show him dancing with another man at the end of the movie.
    I’m surprised there wasn’t more of an uproar about the scene in Frozen that shows the shop keepers family in the sauna, which is another man and some children.
    I don’t care for Hollywood pushing a lot of the trash that they push, but they are Hollywood, so I don’t really expect much more from them. 🙂
    Great blog, and perspective. Love hearing your take on things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 11, 2017 / 10:00

      Thank you, Ronee!

      I think, when it comes to Hollywood, the only thing that surprises me is when they portray Christians or Christian values in a positive light. It’s rare, but it happens occasionally. Thank you so much for your encouragement and I hope you are all doing well!

      Like

  7. T.J. March 11, 2017 / 14:13

    For me, this controversy has become a “meat offered to idols” question.

    This movie could have absolutely nothing in it that I found too objectionable to show my children, but BECAUSE the people who made it are pushing whatever is there as some kind of groundbreaking moment, are using a “controversy” to drum up interest, and are signaling in advance that they are talking like this about it to the activist publications in order to stick a toe in the water and learn more about the potential market for “gay subplots” in the family entertainment genre, I will be keeping my cash in my wallet. The director has more or less said, “Psst. This meat was offered to an idol; let’s see what you’re gonna do about it!” and I think avoiding the movie and related merchandise would be wise for that reason.

    If the public responds to this advertising scheme with a giant yawn and turns out in droves to consume the product anyway despite having been told in advance that the movie intends to be an important step in the process of selling same-sex romances to children, they’ll declare triumph and interpret it as the public’s wanting more of the same in the family entertainment segment of the market. Disney will definitely be interpreting the ticket sales numbers in this light.

    You’re not missing out on anything in life by foregoing this film. You can watch the previous animated version or read the original (no LeFou to speculate about one way or the other!) and end up just as entertained.

    Like

  8. chundohadasnack March 11, 2017 / 15:00

    For what it’s worth, the clip that I’ve seen circulating on news sites about the controversy is not the “exclusively gay moment” in question. Those clips just show a short clip of Le Fou singing part of that one song. From reading actual BATB reviews, there are a couple of implied references sprinkled throughout the show, but the moment in question that the director was referring to specifically is at the end of the movie. Obviously they’re not going to give it all away in the preview clips when they’re trying to get people into the theater to find out what all the fuss is about!

    I don’t remember when people wanted to boycott Starbucks over the plain red cups. I do not know a single person who was upset about the cup design, nor did I see any calls for boycotts around my usual stomping grounds. The Daily Dot did a story where they analyzed Twitter mentions of the Starbucks cups and were unable to find actual widespread upset about it: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/starbucks-holiday-cups-fake-controversy/

    And, yes, there is nothing new under the sun, but that doesn’t mean that Christians are called to capitulate. I may not be in favor of banning something outright, but I also have zero obligation to purchase or consume it myself or to make excuses for it.

    There are at least two books that lay out in black and white–one of them straight from the horse’s mouth–the blueprint that the entertainment industry has been using to desensitize audiences and lull society into being more accepting of sin. This has already been accomplished for mainstream prime time entertainment and is now aiming to additionally permeate the market aimed at the younger audiences. One is After The Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, and the other is The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian.

    Like

  9. chundohadasnack March 11, 2017 / 15:12

    For me, this controversy has become a question of “meat offered to idols.” The hype coming from LGBTQlmnop activists over this movie is a bigger factor in my deciding whether to see it than is the actual content of the movie itself.

    Beauty and the Beast could have absolutely *nothing* in it that I found too objectionable to show my children, but because the people who made it are pushing the content as some kind of groundbreaking event, are using the “controversy” to drum up interest, and are signaling in advance that they are using the activist publicity in order to stick a toe in the water and learn more about the potential market for “gay subplots” in the family entertainment genre, I will be keeping my cash in my wallet. The director has effectively said, “Attention, everyone! This meat was offered to an idol; let’s see what you’re gonna do about it!” and for that reason, I think avoiding the movie and related merchandise would be wise.

    If the public responds to this advertising scheme with a giant yawn and turns out in droves to consume the product anyway despite having been told in advance that the movie intends to be some kind of important step in the process of selling same-sex romances to children, they’ll declare triumph and interpret it as the public’s wanting more of the same in the family entertainment segment of the market. Disney will be interpreting the ticket and DVD sales numbers in this light.

    No one will missing out on anything in life by foregoing this film. We can watch the previous animated version or read the original (no LeFou to speculate about one way or the other!) and be just as entertained.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 13, 2017 / 04:33

      Thank you for your comment and insight! It gives us all something to consider.

      I did not intend to create the impression that I take this with giant yawn—quite the contrary. The problem I see is Christians getting fired up about some sins and rolling their eyes at equally blatant sins. This is hypocrisy and it does not line up with Christ. Throughout the scriptures, for instance, we see God condemning the sin of pride. In fact, the sin of pride is condemned (and punished) far more frequently than homosexuality, but we rarely discuss it… probably because most of us fight our prideful tendencies and are loathe to admit it. Just because one sin is more subtle than another does not mean it is of less import to God.

      Furthermore, knee-jerk reactions are unwise. The Proverbs tell us that the wise person “is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” If we choose a direction, we should do so in line with God’s wisdom and with great caution.

      We also need to make sure that we are always prepared to articulate our position with more than, “It’s wrong.” Remember, non-believers/non-Christians don’t care about what they see as our outdated book or outdated morality. Non-Christians will simply dismiss us with a shake of their head. Jesus had a way of reasoning with people—even the Pharisees/Scribes/Lawyers—that forced them to pause and consider. We too must cultivate Jesus’ ability to argue effectively. Even if we don’t persuade them at that moment, we may plant seeds that someone will later water, and possibly harvest to faith!

      Like

  10. oneta hayes March 13, 2017 / 19:57

    You have made thoughtful points. One troublesome point for me is that I think the producers are prone to make a first very subtle move to see what reaction. Most of us say it’s no big deal, so next time they become a bit bolder; a few years later they are doing all kinds of things that would not have been possible the first time around. So much I don’t know, but I have read that they now have a film with boys kissing. Well, if Beauty makes it without too much hoopla, then it makes sense to go a step further.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 14, 2017 / 04:28

      Yes, Oneta, it is very troublesome. I am thinking it’s going to continue to slide downhill even if we boycott. Non-Christians insist that we are “on the wrong side of history,” and I disagree. Most cultures in history that condoned homosexuality never did so to the extent that our country is attempting…. and they were still taken down by God.

      What I hope is that we, as Christians, cultivate a proper attitude toward all sin and work diligently to teach our children (and ourselves) of its dangers. I told my kids for the longest time they couldn’t watch The Little Mermaid because the “heroine” defies her father, endangers many lives, and then gets her way at the end. It condones rebelliousness and selfishness. I recently told them they could watch it once it was available, but we would have the same discussion at the end! I try to use these things as teachable moments when I think my kids are at a level of understanding.

      Thank you for your comment, Oneta!

      Liked by 1 person

      • oneta hayes March 14, 2017 / 15:55

        You are wise. My heart aches for those who do not have wise parents. So many just basically raise themselves except for being provide the basic physical essentials.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Melissa Pereira March 13, 2017 / 20:30

    “If you choose to take a stand over one subtle portrayal of sin, you ought to take a stand against them all.” – Truth!

    This was a very thoughtful and insightful read, and it made think about what we expose ourselves too not just on the big screen, but also through social media, music, etc. Ultimately, what it boils down to is your own personal conviction. Salvation is individual. To be honest, I still question why so many of my fellow brethren in Christ dress up for Halloween or watch horror films.

    At the end, it’s not up to me to decide nor judge others for their choices. On the other hand, it’s articles like these that allow us to think outside of our comfort zones and draws us back to the source, Jesus. He is the one who will lead us accordingly.

    God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu March 14, 2017 / 04:33

      Thank you, Melissa for your encouraging comment. We are all locked in this struggle to order our thoughts and choices with Christ. Satan is a tricky character, working to trip us up in the smallest ways. If we are going to fight him, we have to train our mind according to God’s Word.

      I too may disapprove or misunderstand the choices of my fellow Christians, but like you, I try to bring myself back to watching and considering my own walk with God.

      Liked by 1 person

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