What can we learn from Chuck and Larry?

Over the weekend, Amy and I took in a profound and thought provoking flick: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. The prices at the dollar theater have increased by 25 cents, so it’s now totally improper to refer to it as “The Dollar Theater.” It shall hence be called “The Two Dollar Theater” from now on (although I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that up.)

If you thought this movie might have had a subtle pro-gay marriage agenda, you would be totally wrong. It was about as subtle as wasabi. There were certainly some funny scenes, and with 2 dollar a head cover charge, I seldom walk out disappointed. And I didn’t. But was there any ‘redeeming’ value about the movie? Of course.

Certainly I did struggle with some of the flambouyant gayness, and clearly pro-gay agenda with the movie. But another scene bothered me a bit more.

As the gay folk were leaving their ‘gayla’ (sorry I had to) they were accosted by Christian protesters shouting “Gay is not God’s way!” They were depicted as heartless, and even a pastor called Adam Sandler’s character a “faggot.” He was shortly punched in the face, and rightly so.

It frustrates me that Christians get represented on the Silver Screen in such a negative light. I’m criticized if I stereotype, even though Christians are usually criticized and stereotyped in this way. Oh well, I’ll get over it. I’m not condemned because of Jesus, so it really should matter if opponents don’t play fair.

It frustrates me even more to realize that this caricature is accurate in some, or perhaps many cases. But shouting the truth in hate is far different than speaking the truth in love. Whether Christians like it or not, we are often seen as those shouting protesters (with some exceptions like in MS and LA where the church is doing the recovery work). Most folks will not listen to what you have to say unless you hear what they have to say first. And that’s OK. It takes time, relationships, hospitality to break down barriers others (or we) have erected for us.

Most of us tend to either skimp on truth, or skimp on love. Which one do you tend to skimp on? I flip-flop. But if we reflect upon the gospel, we become more truthful and more loving than anyone out there. It may not put us on the Silver Screen, but it will get our Savior heard by more needy and hurting people.

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