Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-04-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

KNIGHT AT THE MOVIES: For the Bible Tells Me So, Sing-Along Xanadu
by Richard Knight, Jr.
2007-11-28

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


About midway through For the Bible Tells Me So, Daniel Karslake's riveting documentary about the decades-long pummeling gays have been subjected to by religious fundamentalists, a woman holds up a protest sign that reads, 'Stop Spiritual Violence.' After 30-plus years of a non-stop media campaign ( from Anita Bryant to George W. Bush ) from these fearmongering religious conservatives, here at last was the phrase that hits the nail on the head. Subconsciously, that's what I've been reeling from since Bryant went public in the mid-'70s with her anti-gay rhetoric—the first celebrity that I can recall spewing this non-stop form of, yes, 'spiritual violence.'

________

A vintage photographer of the Gephardt family, profiled in For the Bible Tells Me So. Dick O'Day. Photo by Rick Aguilar

________

Bryant eventually got dumped as the spokesperson for Florida orange juice for her strongly held convictions that we homos were an abomination, but did enormous damage that still lingers. She was famously caught on camera during a press conference taking a pie in the face for her intolerant stance in 1977, and it's this footage that opens Karslake's film. The clip includes what came after—when Bryant ignored the dripping pie and seized on the chance to further dramatize the moment. Clutching the hands of her cohorts, she immediately leads a prayer for the soul of the depraved 'fruit' pie thrower and his ilk—sure to be damned to the proverbial 'lake of fire' if the 'sin' of homosexuality wasn't renounced forthwith.

But as Karslake's movie asks, 'Is the Bible an excuse to hate?' and 'Can the love between two people be an abomination?' These are huge questions for one movie and Karslake's film obviously can't answer them, but it does delve into how this social conundrum came to exist. It also traces the rise of religious intolerance for Our People as it follows the stories of several gay and lesbian individuals raised in families with strict religious beliefs and their relationships to these families as they came out. The profiles include the troubled journeys to acceptance of two well-known leaders in the gay community—Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson and Chrissy Gephardt, daughter of politician Richard Gephardt. Interspersed among these stories is a group of religious scholars who examines the questionable way homosexual references in the Bible have been historically twisted by fundamentalists to line up with their narrow viewpoints.

Many of these Religious Right leaders are defined as being Biblical literalists who interpret ancient scripture through a modern prism. The scholars point out the craziness of this literal point of view and Karslake includes a scene from an episode of the TV series The West Wing in which Martin Sheen, as the president, confronts a fundamentalist to emphasize the point. Karslake also points out that the majority of these religious leaders are raking in millions—a convenient lapse in adherence to Biblical literalism. But none of these conservative big guns is taken to task for their misguidance or is confronted on camera. I would have liked a more hard-hitting approach to the topic ( as in the recent abortion documentary Lake of Fire ) , in which on-camera interviews from the opposing viewpoint might have offered. Karslake includes a potentially galvanizing 'what if?' moment when, at one point, David Poteat—a young gay activist—and his parents, who have converted to true Christian values, do try to meet with Focus on the Family's James Dobson in Colorado but only get as far as stepping onto the property before being arrested.

This isn't surprising. With such a great fear-based, hate-filled cause useful in raising millions for their coffers, which one of these media-savvy fundamentalist leaders would be expected to backtrack—especially on camera? What's in it for them? But even though For the Bible Tells Me So doesn't give us confrontations and bites off more than it can chew, it offers plenty of anecdotal evidence that supply hope that these intolerant, prejudicial opinions will move in a more enlightened direction. The heartbreaking example of Mary Lou Wallner, a former archconservative whose rigidness led to her lesbian daughter's suicide, is more than enough of a lesson to serve as a warning of the terrible price religious ignorance can garner. Here's hoping that those who need to hear it most are listening. Plays exclusively at the Music Box Theatre, Nov. 30-Dec. 6. www.musicboxtheatre.com

In addition to the heart-wrenching, fascinating For the Bible Tells Me So, the Music Box Theatre is also offering something much lighter: a one-night midnight screening of Sing-Along Xanadu ( a Chicago first ) . This sure-to-be-memorable showing of the rancid but beloved 1980 roller-disco musical starring Olivia Newton John, her leg warmers, hunky Michael Beck and Gene Kelly ( in his last film ) will be emceed by Dick O'Day, the alter ego of yours truly. My Dick O'Day character has joined with Hell and a Handbag Theatre's Artistic Director David Cerda and members of the Handbag company to present the first in a seasonal series of 'camptacular' midnight screenings of classics called appropriately enough 'Camp Midnight.' The Sat., Dec. 1 midnight screening of Sing-Along Xanadu will include lots of games and surprises as well as prizes ( including a pair of tickets ) from Xanadu on Broadway and an audience of queens belting out Magic, Xanadu, I'm Alive, and all those other songs. Costumes and roller skates are encouraged. Tickets are $12 and are available in advance. www.musicboxtheatre.com

Check out my archived reviews at www.windycitytimes.com or www.knightatthemovies.com . Readers can leave feedback at the latter Web site, where there is also ordering information on my new book of collected film reviews, Knight at the Movies 2004-2006.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

RuPaul, Grimm named to TIME 100 list 2017-04-26
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Eugenio Derbez speeds into Chicago 2017-04-26
Filmmakers' fundraiser April 30 2017-04-26
Entertainment news: 'Feud,' Jackie Warner, Luke Evans, Laverne Cox 2017-04-25
Film with trans teen gets restricted 'R' rating from MPAA, petition launched 2017-04-20
NUNN ON ONE: MOVIES Matthew Aaron taps a 'Landline' 2017-04-19
FILMS Putting the LGBT in the CLFF 2017-04-19
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Chad Beguelin helps give 'Aladdin' its magic 2017-04-19
FILM REVIEW Staying Vertical 2017-04-19
Sense8 benefit April 23 2017-04-19
Entertainment: VH1 slate, Kristen Stewart, 'Stranger Things,' Morrissey 2017-04-18
Documentary About Long-Lost Opera Premieres at Two Chicago Film Festivals 2017-04-18
Two films addressing creative women's movements April 23 2017-04-14
Pride Films' 'Trans* Play Contest' underway 2017-04-12
Intersex activist screens their film at UChicago 2017-04-12
Special 'Serial Mom' Blu-ray out May 9 2017-04-12
Entertainment: '3 Generations,' Elton John, Adore Delano, Britney Spears 2017-04-11
HUMP! FILM FESTIVAL Ty Wardwell serves 'Breakfast' 2017-04-11
NUNN ON ONE: TV Ann Mahoney, from 'Walking Dead' to 'Sun Records' 2017-04-11
FILM REVIEW The Assignment 2017-04-05
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Unbuttoning 'Love and Sex' 2017-04-05
Actress reflects on transitioning, Marilyn Monroe connection 2017-04-05
Trikone to show banned Indian film 2017-04-05
Special 'Serial Mom' Blu-ray out May 9 2017-04-05
Entertainment: 'The Black Penguin,' Alexis Arquette, 'Grease' anniv. 2017-04-04
BOOK REVIEW Outsiders: American Photography and Film 1950s-1980s 2017-04-04
William Wellman's silent movie WINGS at Music Box April 9 2017-04-02
Patricia Arquette, Moonlight and more rally for change at GLAAD Media Awards 2017-04-02
Chicago Humanities Fest to feature Gabourey Sidibe of Precious and Empire 2017-03-30
Live Table Talks filmmaker Winokur at Center April 5 2017-03-30
Five Worth Finding 2017-03-29
WEB New YouTube series tackles less romantic aspects of sex 2017-03-29
SPRING MOVIE PREVIEW Spring has sprung at the movie theater 2017-03-29
Special 'Serial Mom' Blu-ray out May 9 2017-03-29
MOVIES Terence Davies on his latest 'Passion' 2017-03-29
National: Anti-LGBT bills, Larry Kramer, Grindr mag, trans group's message 2017-03-28
Entertainment news: Zachary Quinto, 'Walking Dead,' Prince, Lady Gaga 2017-03-28
2017 Truth Awards honor African Americans in the LGBTQ community 2017-03-27
Dan Savage's HUMP! Film Fest on international tour with all new films 2017-03-26
Pride Films and Plays announces the Great Trans* Play Contest^ 2017-03-21
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 


Sponsor

Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.