Coming to the big screens this week (March 17th) is Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Even before it's release, the film has been the subject of controversy. This is because "Beauty and the Beast" will include an "exclusively gay moment" on screen, a first for the company, according to the film's director. Notable Christian leaders are urging Christian parents to boycott it.
Evangelist and President of Samaritan's Purse Franklin Graham stated on his Facebook page Thursday, "They're trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children. Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it's a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney."
Graham mentioned that he met the real Walt Disney when he was a child and that he was gracious to him and his father. But today, Disney "would be shocked at what has happened to the company that he started," the outspoken evangelist asserted.
Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will not be allowing his kids to view the film. "The reason is very simple," he explained on his blog Wednesday. "I am not going to let a movie studio communicate to my children that sexual immorality is 'normal and natural.'"
"This movie will no doubt be packaged in a narrative and a production value designed to capture their imaginations, and it will do so in a way that conceals a false and destructive message. To let them see this material would go against everything that I am trying to teach them about the good, the beautiful, and the true," he maintained.
But not every Christian sees boycotting as the answer. Some believe that the movie presents opportunities for parents to talk to children about same-sex attraction and what the Bible has to say about it. Bri Lamm, a writer for faithit, is taking her kids to see the movie. She reasons: "We cannot protect our children from the sinful nature of this world-hiding it only cultivates ignorance. Society is bombarding our kids with these messages anyway, so I'd rather them learn the Christ-centered truth from me than the culturally skewed perspective from peers and the media.
"It's our behavior and response toward sinful things that will truly shape the way we raise up a generation of men and women in Christ. That's why I'm taking my kids to see Beauty and the Beast."