Skip to comments.Breathing Humanity Back Into Brokeback
Posted on 01/31/2006 7:17:45 AM PST by dson7_ck1249
I read a review of Brokeback Mountain, the conservative author of which actually felt bad that he had felt bad during the movie. The heartache experienced by the characters in the film had elicited a degree of compassion and empathy in him, yet this authors hatred toward the act of homosexuality had so inoculated him against seeing the true struggle behind the issue that it seemed like he actually felt guilty for internalizing the humanity in Brokeback Mountain.
As much as the movie tilts at the windmills of our countrys Judeo-Christian foundations, and in doing so ravenously angers its conservative watchdogs, the film still serves a noble purpose. It opens the eyes of those who, before seeing the film, had no idea how darkness looms for those who live in fear of telling their friends and family that they are gay.
My friend Ben put it best when he said, Much of the homophobia in America is built on the human ability to ignore another's humanity, and this film breathes humanity back into the issue.
I know, just as much as anyone, how desperately this breath of humanity is needed. Having worked for a conservative political organization in the state of Iowa, I have witnessed Christian people treating very disrespectfully those with whom they disagree on moral and social issues like homosexuality. Therefore, as much as the movie teaches us about how to absorb the sufferings of another, its purpose is dignified. However, to the extent that the film seeks to blur the line between acceptance of a behavior and acceptance of a person, its purpose is harmful.
As someone who has personally struggled with, and overcome, unwanted homosexual attractions, I could resonate with the hunger I saw in the films characters, Jack and Ennis. They knew they were missing something, and they each thought it was the other.
To understand fully the dynamics of the struggle, one must realize that homosexuality isn't really a sexual issue. Becoming sexually attracted to someone of the same gender is just the symptom of a much deeper emotional need. It is the symptom of a need for healthy, non-sexual intimacy with ones own gendera legitimate need that went unchecked during the childhoods of so many pre-homosexual boys and girls.
Communicator Sinclair Rogers once said, Temptation is the exploitation of a real need. And so it is with homosexuality.
I believe this movie is harmful in that it paints sexual expression as the proper way to extinguish the heartache and loneliness experienced by those in the gay and lesbian community. Furthermore, the movie exploits the already-existing stereotypes of gender-typical behavior and re-affirms the sexual nature of experiences between men that shouldnt have to be viewed as sexual at all: the open expression of raw emotion and tender affection; intimacy, trust, caring, physical closeness, and nurturing.
Sociologist Peter M. Nardi, in Men's Friendships, writes Men are raised in a culture with a mixed message: Strive for healthy, emotionally intimate friendships, but be carefulif you appear too intimate with another man you might be negatively labeled homosexual.
That Brokeback Mountain uses cowboys to tell its story doesnt at all make a statement about the healing power of healthy same-gender intimacy. It only shows us that cowboys can be gay too. After all, did Jack or Ennis ever leave one of their sexual encounters even a little bit happier than they were before? No. Each and every time they had to go back to the same broken lives they had come from.
The movie itself argues that it was society's fault that Jack and Ennis never had a shot at living a real life together, and I agree. The early 1960s was a tumultuous time to be homosexual in America, and to the degree that the movie is a statement against the violent and homophobic attitudes of the sixties, I am its fan.
However, willing as I may be to cast blame on society for ruining one of Hollywoods most famous gay relationships, I think that society's response to the relationship of Jack and Ennis is not as important as Gods response. In the same way, I feel that society's answer to the pain experienced by Jack and Ennis is inferior to Gods answer.
Im also disturbed that the film suggests that Jack and Ennis were at the complete mercy of a homophobic society and had absolutely no power to overcome their circumstances or make their own choices. This portrayal is unfair to the thousands of men and women who, with Gods help, have chosen to reject their homosexual attractions and are experiencing a genuine transformation of their sexual identities.
The truly ironic part of the film is that almost every single scene contains a visual acknowledgment of Gods existence, along with a practical denial of it.
The apostle Paul says, Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
The scenery portrayed in Brokeback Mountainthe rock formations, the sunrise, the skies, the riversthey all testify to the existence of God and to the greatness of God. Yet the characters in the film acted in exactly the manner that one would expect someone to act who didnt believe in God.
After all, isnt that what this really is all about? The existence of God? The character of God? The power of God? One of the most famous lines in the film is: If you cant change [your sexuality] you just have to stand it. From a human perspective, changing something as deeply ingrained as ones sexual orientation certainly seems impossible, which is exactly why the world looks at people like me and assumes Im a fake. But if God really is who he says he isif God really can heal the sick, turn water into wine, and even bring the dead to lifethen overcoming homosexuality wouldnt seem so difficult, would it?
I suspect that many who saw Brokeback Mountain are in much the same position as the disciples were when Jesus outlined for them the cost of serving him. They responded to Christs admonition to give all they had by saying thats impossible.
And Jesus replied: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
I once heard someone say that its time for those who struggle with really big things like homosexuality to stop telling God how big their mountain is, and start telling their mountain how big God is.
Today, it seems, Brokeback is the mountain that needs to be told how big God is
Possibly, but I am tired of having this flick shoved down my throat.
No pun intended.
Maybe I will start feeling more compassionate towards adulterers now, because Hollyweird tells me it's okay. /s
Since Jan 30, 2006
Registered yesterday and posted this today, I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
I have also heardthat the straight men in the movie are depicted as blundering fools, low-grade morons. Aside from the gay love scenes, why would straight men go and see a movie that showed them as crude savages?
I think the film industry has really jumped the shark on this one.
Of course it's just a coincidence... I mean, there couldn't be any reason for it, could there?
"Ben and Howdy are a couple of aging cowboys who bust broncos out of Sedona for Jim Ed Love, a slick operator if ever there was one. Sisters, Meg and Agatha, have their eyes on Ben and Howdy, but the boys aren't ready to settle down yet. They spend the winter in the high country corralling more than 100 stray cattle at $7 a head for Jim Ed. Most years, they blow their winter pay in one spring night at a Sedona bar, but this year, Ben and Howdy have a plan: to take an ornery roan that Ben has been unable to break and bet their bankroll that no cowboy at the Sedona rodeo can stay on the horse. What will they do if they win - marry the sisters or head for Tahiti?"
"Whatever Suits You, Just Tickles Me Plum To Death."
Glenn Ford - A talented and versatile performer equally at home in both drama and comedy, Mr. Ford brought a calm assuredness to the screen and was often cast in roles that required the hero to show courage and grace under pressure. He is probably best known for his work in oaters and was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame by the Western Heritage Museum.
During his service with the Marines in World War II, he helped build safe houses in France for those hiding from the Nazis. Mr. Ford also served two tours of duty in Vietnam and is the only actor to have served with both the Green Berets and the French Foreign Legion. Among his numerous medals and commendations are the Medal of Honor, presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in World War II, two commendation medals from the US Navy and the Vietnamese Legion of Merit.
Glenn Ford is still alive at near 90...
The TRUE struggle behind the issue is a spiritual one - they (homosexuals) are caught in the bondage of sin, and unless and untill they admit that they are sinning, they cannot escape that bondage.
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
God has spoken rather forcefully on the homosexual act. It is a sin. Now you and the writer may not like that but there it is. Pretending otherwise is simply pulling the pillow over ones head and screwing your eyes tightly shut. It gets you nowhere but makes you feel better.
You can argue all you want that men mounting men in the presence of sheep is a righteous thing, you just can't argue that God sees it the same way. Certainly God loves the homosexual but the homosexual act is a different mountain altogether.
ping for later
It's not homophobia, it's homoneausea! Most people are not afraid of queers. It's not like they are the Crips or the Bloods and might bust a cap in you. Because I had a good friend in high school who's dad was "confused" I met a lot of queer men. Besides being self-loathing and self-destructive they had a habit of having anal "sex?" with each other then oral "sex?" thereafter. That's what is repulsive to me. I don't really care if they do such things behind closed doors, it's their butt. But give me a break, in the scheme of things there just are not that many queers. Not so many that we have to read and hear about them over and over and over.
If folks want to go see some movie about queer sheep herders on horses that's A-OK with me. But count me out. I don't need to learn anything else about queers. All I ask is that they keep away from young people and stop trying to spread their stupidity to others so they can pretend that makes them normal.
That being said, I think I do have a grasp of how hard it is for someone to bring up and speak about their personal sins. We are all sinners...some have committed them in more grandiose fashion, but we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. But that's not the ending point to it. There are many who have been delivered from their homosexual lifestyles...and in denying that, the film also promotes the lie that it's just the way it is and it can't be changed.
Sorry, but the film is just propaganda, and one review isn't going to change that.
Can you imagine anyone else playing Jonathan Kent?
One of my favorite cowboys/actors.
Just signed on yesterday and this is your only post.
Care to come back with some responses?
Don't worry, I believe I have some freinds here that may invoke a few words of wisdom for you.
This movie seems destined to win several awards from the primarily liberal folks who vote for them.
My vote is with my dollars. I will not go to see the film because the theme doesn't interest me.
I am so sick of liberals throwing around the word "homophobia". An opinion based on a moral judgment is not a phobia. My fear of heights is a phobia. My view of homosexuality is an opinion. If opinions are phobias, then this author suffers from conservaphobia.
Its a wasted post, I suspect your a troll anyway.
Well, John Schneider (the real Bo Duke) has done a decent job with the role in Smallville, and Tom Weller is a better Clark Kent than Christopher Reeve ever thought about being.
I suspect the kitties will be well fed today!
OOOooyeah, especially after the Alito confirmation ceremony :)
LOL, too funny!
The movie sucked, it is a bomb no matter how the left spins it, and it is a movie about gay SHEEP HERDERS, not cowboys.
But hey, we can't expect the left to know the difference between sheepers and cowboys now, can we?
No movie is going to cause me to gain sympathy for the gay community anymore than I might have for self-inflicting drug users.
No tricks here, this is just the first I've been able to come back and check.
The bottom line is, I'm not defending homosexuality, I've yet to see the movie and I just thought the review was interesting because it wasn't like any of the other reviews I've read.
I haven't left, I just don't have the time that many of you clearly have to spend all day on this site.
Usually we post news that either a reflection of our point of view, or totally opposite with dorogatory comments. By you posting this article that sugar coats the movie with a generalization of God. Totaly contraversial, and to top it off, you never responded to validate your stance.
I don't spend all day on FR, just my lunch break... which has a tendancy to extend itself when the postings get good.
Welcome to FreeRepublic
Although, I didn't think that the article sugercoated the movie with a generalization of God. The author was fairly specific as to point out not only his own struggle, but I felt like the author was certainly pointing out the gravity of the sin of homosexuality and fighting to overcome it. The author clearly thinks that homosexuality is a sin, which is why he takes it seriously. As he says, temptation is the exploitation of a real need...the need for intimacy and friendship is real, but the manifestation of it in homosexual lifestyles is wrong!
What I felt like the bottom line was...was that God is not interested in abandoning those who are living lives of sin, but rather that He is willing and able to help these men break free of homosexuality because it is indeed sin! The author is testifying to the powerful nature of God because the author himself was once in the grips of homosexuality but is no longer..thanks to God.
I didn't think the editorial glorified homosexuality at all, nor did it condone it as acceptable before God. It just pointed out the fact that even though it's a sin, it's not one that is big enough to stop God.
hollyweird isn't telling you to feel more compassion, God is. To be against homosexuality does not necessitate hatred towards homosexuals. That was the point of the article.
i'm not sure what you're talking about. Should I wait longer to post anything? Is there a time limit?
from your response "I heard"...i take it that you haven't actually seen the movie either, which doesn't exactly give your opinion of the movie legitimacy.
The author's point is that God is powerful enought to break those chains of bondage, as the author points out that God has done in his life! So yes, they must admit that they are sinning, but then what? God is the one that frees them, and that's the point!
I don't know how you would get the idea from the article that either I or the author don't think homosexuality is a sin. Clearly it is...but who is the one that is able to break us free from sin? It's God, isn't it? But the way society/media portrays homosexuality, it's almost as if homosexuals are beyond help. But that's clearly not true, as the author himself testifies to from his own life. God is big enough to free homosexuals from their bondage.
what movie isn't propaganda? How are you defining it? If propaganda is just the manifestation of one's personal views in some sort of publicly consumed medium...then I'm not sure that any movie escapes that definition. Of course it's propaganda, that's not the issue, the issue is..what is the message behind that propaganda? The author's point, and mine, is that perhaps that message isn't what everyone seems to think it is.
The author is precisely one of those that have been delivered from the sin of homosexuality (as you aptly point out in your reply)...
what's a troll?
I've gotten a lot of interesting and thought-provoking replies..considering that discourse is the purpose of this forum, I'm not sure how this was a wasted post.
i never went anywhere, but thanks for the welcome.
What does IOW mean?
I'm not shoving their lifestyle in your face, I posted an article that was interesting and then I told you what I thought the point was. Neither the article, nor I, advocate the homosexual lifestyle...sounds like you just read the first paragraph of the article and drew your own conclusions.
I didn't say you were shoving homosexuality down my throat, I said Hollyweird was. We can play "this is what you meant when you posted this" all day long, but I really don't want to. Enjoy your stay at FR.
Homosexuals live in denial and want so terribly to be accepted so they can accept themselves. That's why everything about their behavior has to be normal, accepted, blessed, sanctioned, sanctified, encouraged and celebrated. And if it isn't there is something wrong with the beholder.
Kind of like an AA meeting where booze is served and anyone who objects is a tee-totaling, sanctimonious, prudish alco-phobe.
I would agree with you that by your definition no movie would escape being propaganda...however that is not what I'd consider an accurate definition. I would say a more accurate definition in relation to a movie would be one that presents information or ideas with the intention of changing the stance of others. Typically false or incomplete or inaccurately presented information is employed, although not in every case...there can be truthful propaganda, although this movie is not an example of truthful propaganda.
Of course it's propaganda, that's not the issue, the issue is..what is the message behind that propaganda? The author's point, and mine, is that perhaps that message isn't what everyone seems to think it is.
Not sure if you're qualified to speak for the author. I would point out that it's more than just what the message is behind the movie but the world view that such a message is rooted in. I'm not certain what message you believe the movie is intending to present, but it seems clear that one intent is to present a world in which adultery and homosexuality are acceptable. The movie presents false statements...for instance, that one can't help being homosexual. There are many ex-gays, but that fact is the type of thing that the world view behind the movie would rather not be known.
The author is precisely one of those that have been delivered from the sin of homosexuality (as you aptly point out in your reply)...
That is belied by the fact that the opposite is stated in the movie. Isn't the signature line in the film "I wish I knew how to quit you"? Does that sound like a statement of someone who has been delivered from homosexuality? Another example is even in the marketing of the film. The characters are continually referred to as cowboys when they are actually shepherds...guess gay shepherds doesn't sound macho enough...hence the cowboy references. Not sure how long you'll end up lasting on this board, but wish you best of luck...you seem reasonable enough, although incorrect regarding this movie.
I was referring to the author of the movie review that I posted, not the author of the movie. The movie might be presenting a different message, but what I said about the author's message seems to hold true upon reading over the article again. I have not seen the movie, but even if I accept your statement that the "it seems clear that one intent is to present a world in which adultery and homosexuality are acceptable. The movie presents false statements...for instance, that one can't help being homosexual. There are many ex-gays, but that fact is the type of thing that the world view behind the movie would rather not be known"...I don't think that the article I posted agrees with the movie.
The article's author is very candid about his own struggle with homosexuality and what he writes are his problems with the movie and the way it portrays the sin/problem/condition of homosexuality.
I appreciate your comments, but I think that you may have misread my post, because I wasn't commenting on the content of the movie so much as I was referring to the content of the article.
Hopefully I'll last longer than just this post, eh?
I finally saw "Brokeback Mountain" yesterday, just to see what everyone was talking about. It's not just a "gay" movie. It's a love story, period, but the homosexual angle makes the story so much more devastating because it means the two cowboys can never be together, an obstacle that wouldn't be there for a man and a woman. If you've ever lost someone you loved, it'll hit you right in the heart, whether you like it or not. I went in preparing to be grossed out. I came out thinking about an old girlfriend I've never gotten over, and remembering this quote from another old girlfriend: "I was in love once. It sucked."
That's nice. I still won't see it.
It just occurred to me while watching Jay Leno tonight, when he made a Brokeback Mountain joke (or as I call it, "Bareback Mountin' ")...
could this whole movie be a Hollywood / Lavender Mafia inside joke, an "I double-dog dare you" thing?
Remember Matthew Shepard?...Sheperd...Shepherd...Sheep Herders...and in Wyoming, of all places?
Could this be the homos' way of thumbing their...err, noses at middle America?
(Yeah, yeah, I know, tin-foil hat and all that. But why not, if it makes for a way to pass the time posting...?)
On a side note, did anyone else see the BM trailer shown during ABC PrimeTime. I guess it was meant to target the audience that watches programs about pedophiles.
Agreed. Overwhelmingly just a love story.