Some evangelicals are upset with the casting of openly gay actor Chad Allen in End of the Spear, a new Christian-themed movie made by an evangelical film company. This flick is based on a true story of how families of missionaries killed by an indigenous tribe in Ecuador “converted the tribe to Christianity, and forgave and befriended the killers.” Although the film tells an inspiring tale of redemption and grace, the Reverend Jason Janz is spearheading an effort asking the “filmmakers to apologize for their choice.” Over 100 pastors have “signed a letter drafted by Mr. Janz . . . expressing their disappointment in the casting of Mr. Allen.”
Some have even boycotted the film. Every Tribe Entertainment, the company which produced the film, has received threatening materials. Looks like some extreme social conservatives have been taking lessons from the far left. They fear that as the flick inspires people to become missionaries for their faith, it might also cause them to think differently about homosexuality. Will Hall, executive director of BPNEW.net, the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention, fears that when moviegoers realize a gay man played one of the film’s heroes, they might “get exposed to his views on homosexuality, and that would cause some of them to question Biblical views of homosexuality and every other sin.”
Well, if these extreme evangelicals didn’t make an issue of Allen’s homosexuality, most viewers probably wouldn’t have known about it. The “parade of horribles” that he imagines wouldn’t have come to pass. While a number of people do obsess about the private lives of actors and Hollywood stars, most people are just content to enjoy their work. And don’t wonder much what they do on their own time.
Not all evangelicals are getting worked up by the casting of Chad Allen. Bob Waliszewski, head of the media review department at Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson’s group, hopes that the flick will inspire people to become missionaries as has story on which it’s based. Despite Focus on the Family’s strong stance against homosexuality, Waliszewski finds that the message of the movie is more important than the sins of its cast: “cut what is the message of the product? And do we at Focus feel compelled to check on the sexual history of everyone in a movie? Did they have a D.U.I.? Did they pay their taxes?”
While I believe Focus on the Family is wrong on homosexuality, I do agree that the message of a movie matters more than personal life of the actors. It’s unfortunate that some social conservatives are so obsessed with homosexuality that they’ll use an actor’s sexual orientation to steer their flock away from a film based on a story which has inspired countless Christians.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com