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USCCB reviews Brokeback Mountain ["The universal themes of love and loss ring true. ..."]
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ^ | Dec 12 2005 | usccb

Posted on 12/14/2005 11:22:00 PM PST by Antioch

"Brokeback Mountain" the much publicized "gay cowboy love story" adapted from a New Yorker magazine piece by Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Proulx, arrives at last, and the film itself -- a serious contemplation of loneliness and connection -- belies the glib description.

While it is the story of an intimate relationship, more to the point it's the relationship of two emotionally scarred souls. Ranch hands Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) share a sheepherding assignment on a mountain in Signal, Wyo., in 1963. Ennis is a man of few words; Jack is somewhat more open.

Their friendship gradually grows despite Ennis' taciturn manner. At first, it's only Jack who sleeps in the camp near the sheep (with Ennis ensconced down the mountain), but come to realize it is more practicable to guard the sheep in tandem. Ennis resolutely insists he'll sleep outdoors, but the cold drives him into Jack's tent, where the two awkwardly, then roughly, have sex. Incidentally, that scene -- short and with the men mostly clothed -- is the only onscreen gay sexual encounter in the film.

In the morning, both are too embarrassed to talk about what has transpired, but a bond has formed, and we are led to understand that the relationship has deepened. Later, some outdoor wrestling is observed by their boss, the unsympathetic rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid), who watches them with a knowing eye. At the end of the season, they come down from the mountain, and dismissing what happened on the mountain as a "one-shot deal," go their separate ways. Ennis is engaged to Alma (Michelle Williams, Ledger's real-life girlfriend). But we see him crumple in despair as soon as he's alone. The first human connection he's had is coming to an end.

Jack, for his part, makes a tentative attempt to pick up an Ennis-like cowboy in a bar, but eventually meets former prom queen Lureen (Anne Hathaway). Both men marry and have children. Time goes by, and Jack sends a postcard to Ennis telling him he's coming to town. The air is rife with anticipation as Ennis waits for the reunion. When Jack finally drives up, the unexpressive Ennis can barely contain his excitement, and rushes out to meet him.

They embrace passionately, not realizing that Alma is sadly viewing the interaction from behind the screen door. She says nothing, but understands all. On the trip, Jack proposes that they chuck their families and buy a ranch, but Ennis -- who as a child witnessed the aftermath of a hate-crime murder of two rancher neighbors who had lived together -- can't bring himself to do it.

Thereafter, Ennis and Jack initiate meeting several times a year for "fishing" trips where they can be alone together. Lureen, for her part, senses the importance of these trips to her husband, but remains engrossed in her own business. As the Catholic Church makes a distinction between homosexual orientation and activity, Ennis and Jack's continuing physical relationship is morally problematic.

The adulterous nature of their affair is another hot-button issue. But the pain Jack and Ennis cause their families is not whitewashed. (The women are played with tremendous sympathy, not as shrill harridans.) It's the emotional honesty of the story overall, and the portrayal of an unresolved relationship -- which, by the way, ends in tragedy -- that seems paramount.

Director Ang Lee tells the story with a sure sense of time and place, and presents the narrative in a way that is more palatable than would have been thought possible. Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana's screenplay uses virtually every scrap of information in Proulx's story, which won a National Magazine Award, and expands it while remaining utterly true to the source.

The performances are superb. Australian Ledger may be the one to beat at Oscar time, as his repressed manly stoicism masking great vulnerability is heartbreaking, and his Western accent sounds wonderfully authentic. Gyllenhaal is no less accomplished as the more demonstrative of the pair, while Williams and Hathaway (the latter, a far cry from "The Princess Diaries," giving her most mature work to date) are very fine.

Looked at from the point of view of the need for love which everyone feels but few people can articulate, the plight of these guys is easy to understand while their way of dealing with it is likely to surprise and shock an audience.

Except for the initial sex scene, and brief bedroom encounters between the men and their (bare breasted) wives, there's no sexually related nudity. Some outdoor shots of the men washing themselves and skinny-dipping are side-view, long-shot or out-of-focus images. While the actions taken by Ennis and Jack cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: brokeback; hollyweird; homosexualagenda; humpbackmounting; lavendermafia; moviereview; pudding; usccb
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While giving a lukewarm nod to Church teaching, the reviewer at the USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting seems to be more than a little turned on by this "superb..." "well-crafted..." film which portrays the "need for love which everyone feels but few people can articulate...."

Strangely, this reviewer gives Brokeback an L rating (limited adult audience) rather than the toughest rating that can be given which would be “O” for “morally offensive.” Yet how can it not be morally offensive with this description?

"This film contains: tacit approval of same-sex relationships, adultery, two brief sex scenes without nudity, partial and shadowy brief nudity elsewhere, other implied sexual situations, profanity, rough and crude expressions, alcohol and brief drug use, brief violent images, a gruesome description of a murder, and some domestic violence.

which is all the more puzzling, when the USCCB gave:

“The Matrix” an O rating (Excessive violence and recurring profanity)

“Bad Boys II” an O rating ( stylized graphic violence, and a sexual encounter)

“Caddyshack” an O rating (obnoxious characters, lewd jokes)

1 posted on 12/14/2005 11:22:01 PM PST by Antioch
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To: Coleus; NYer

Ping!


2 posted on 12/14/2005 11:23:40 PM PST by Clemenza (Smartest words ever written by a Communist: "Show me the way to the next Whiskey Bar")
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To: Antioch

Any guy who sees this is gay.

You can't even claim your girlfriend dragged you to see it- if she is able to, then you are too gay for a girlfriend.

I predict the biggest box office flop of the year


3 posted on 12/14/2005 11:25:22 PM PST by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don't help...)
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To: Antioch

The USCCB: An entirely morally bankrupt leftist institution that is entirely in communion with the Church. Or is it "subsisting in the Church"?


4 posted on 12/14/2005 11:32:26 PM PST by nonsumdignus (Is Sainthood your Goal?)
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To: Mr. K
I have no interest in seeing this movie, but frankly I don't think it's that big a deal--seems more like one of those movies that would die a quick death if people against homosexuality would just ignore it.

But your first line is the truest thing I've read about this movie. If a male willingly sees this--whatever he tells anyone else--he's gay.

Your last line is already wrong, though. It's breaking records for per-screen ticket sales, and it was such a relatively low budget that it will probably make money. Women will see this; they don't need straight men to see it.

5 posted on 12/14/2005 11:32:32 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (An agnostic who never, ever says "Happy Holidays")
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To: Antioch

The Matix should have gotten a PDB rating for Pretentious Derivative Bore.


6 posted on 12/14/2005 11:33:10 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (An agnostic who never, ever says "Happy Holidays")
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To: Mr. K
Any guy who sees this is gay.

You can't even claim your girlfriend dragged you to see it- if she is able to, then you are too gay for a girlfriend.

(laughing) Man, you need to get those lines into the comments section of every site on the Net that reviews this movie. That's funny...

7 posted on 12/14/2005 11:43:22 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored; Mr. K

I will see it, if only for the laughs.


8 posted on 12/14/2005 11:44:24 PM PST by Clemenza (Smartest words ever written by a Communist: "Show me the way to the next Whiskey Bar")
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To: Mr. K
I predict the biggest box office flop of the year

I think your prediction will come true. But nevertheless it will sweep the awards and be called one of the most significant motion picture experiences of the year.

Bareback Mountin'
Domestic Total as of Dec. 13, 2005: $749,833

The Chronicles of Narnia
Domestic Total as of Dec. 13, 2005: $74,186,139

9 posted on 12/14/2005 11:45:09 PM PST by Antioch (Benedikt Gott Geschickt)
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To: windcliff

"Gay cowboys eatin' pudding...."


10 posted on 12/14/2005 11:47:36 PM PST by onedoug
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To: Clemenza

Uh oh...


11 posted on 12/14/2005 11:48:03 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Antioch
Note though that this film was one of the highest grossing films per screen ($109.5k/screen) of the year, due to its limited release schedule (NYC and LA, go figure). I heard that they are going to push this movie into wide distribution in the coming weeks. It could get ugly.

What is propagandistic is how this is pitched as a story of human relationships and 'longing', equalizing homosexual activity with that of the God-given ideal of male-female love.

Additionally subversive is the use of starring two rising and attractive stars--appealing to both gay men and straight women.

The title of the book, "Slouching towards Gomorrah" comes to mind.
12 posted on 12/14/2005 11:53:49 PM PST by nonsumdignus (Is Sainthood your Goal?)
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To: nonsumdignus
What is propagandistic is how this is pitched as a story of human relationships and 'longing', equalizing homosexual activity with that of the God-given ideal of male-female love.

That seems to be the plan...From the review on the Advocate, the reasoning is thus:

"...straight men may find the film less threatening than they fear. While Lee doesn’t skimp on scenes of physical intimacy, these moments are all very tastefully shot—honest and rather tame. In fact, Brokeback focuses more on Ennis and Jack not having sex than their actually going through with it.

And if straight women and men do turn out to see Brokeback, that will mean good things for LGBT people too. The movie challenges stereotypes in a way so-called gay movies, which usually exaggerate those stereotypes, cannot—even gay movies smart enough to subvert assumptions. Here the stereotype that’s being turned inside out is more universal. The movie questions the “masculinity” we attribute to emotionally unavailable men: By the end of the film it’s the expressive Jack we consider brave and the silent Ennis we find cowardly.

The reviewer sees the value of Brokeback strictly for its propaganda value, much like the opinion of the reviewer from the US Bishop's Conference

13 posted on 12/15/2005 12:04:26 AM PST by Antioch (Benedikt Gott Geschickt)
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To: Mr. K
I predict the biggest box office flop of the year

Here's a potential experiment:

In one week's time, someone out there who knows about pirate video internet sites should check out how many are ripping off King Kong versus how many (if any) rip off Brokeback Mountain.

Any bets as to how hard it will be to find a pirated Brokeback Mountain torrent?

I predict that Brokeback Mountain is so bad even the internet movie pirate websites won't touch it.

14 posted on 12/15/2005 12:10:06 AM PST by pillbox_girl
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To: Mr. K

My boyfriend told me the only way I would get him to this movie was if it was about 2 hot lesbian cowgirls.


15 posted on 12/15/2005 12:10:16 AM PST by chae (R.I.P. Eddie Guerrero He lied, he cheated, he stole my heart)
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To: chae
My boyfriend told me the only way I would get him to this movie was if it was about 2 hot lesbian cowgirls.

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
comes close. (That is, closer than anything that wasn't made in Chatsworth!) Thurman's thumbs might freak him out a bit however.
16 posted on 12/15/2005 12:17:00 AM PST by Redcloak ("If you can't say something nice about someone, then you must be talking about Hillary Clinton.")
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To: Antioch
Why do they keep calling them cowboys? They are gay shepards.
17 posted on 12/15/2005 12:49:50 AM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: Antioch

While the actions taken by Ennis and Jack cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true.

***
No they cannot be endorsed, but this film review seems to endorse the whole concept big time.

I certainly do not pretend to have any knowledge regarding the film reviews, but isn't it rather odd that there is no byline for this review. Guess he didn't want to be "outed".


18 posted on 12/15/2005 1:02:41 AM PST by Bigg Red (Do not trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: NYer

Look at this disgusting, slobbering kiss for a pro-homo movie.


19 posted on 12/15/2005 1:03:44 AM PST by Bigg Red (Do not trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: Darkwolf377

...would die a quick death if people against homosexuality would just ignore it.

&&
Exactly.

It is truly distressing, however, to see such a slobbering review from the USCCB.


20 posted on 12/15/2005 1:09:10 AM PST by Bigg Red (Do not trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: nonsumdignus
Queers reviewing queer films are the reason the USCCB is too busy to stand with us Christians fighting to restore the Creche to public property and 10,000 other things.

This is way beyond sickening. It is evil. If the USCCB can't do good can't they at least shut the hell up and not side with the enemy in the Culture of Death?

21 posted on 12/15/2005 2:38:54 AM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Antioch; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


22 posted on 12/15/2005 3:04:08 AM PST by NYer ("Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion")
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To: highlander_UW
Why do they keep calling them cowboys? They are gay shepherds.

So does that mean they don't get to eat pudding after all?

23 posted on 12/15/2005 3:40:51 AM PST by pillbox_girl
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To: Clemenza

Yeah! Laughs. Thats it! Thats the ticket.


24 posted on 12/15/2005 3:42:56 AM PST by normy (Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft.)
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To: highlander_UW
Why do they keep calling them cowboys? They are gay shepards.

Thank you, those were my thoughts exactly.

25 posted on 12/15/2005 3:45:27 AM PST by normy (Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft.)
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To: Antioch
Except for the initial sex scene, and brief bedroom encounters between the men and their (bare breasted) wives, there's no sexually related nudity.

Except for the sexually related nudity, there's no sexually related nudity...

Who can take this crap seriously?

26 posted on 12/15/2005 4:07:47 AM PST by old and tired (Run Swannie, run!)
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To: Antioch

The USCCB gave a bad review to The Passion of the Christ. That along with this is all you need to know about the USCCB.


27 posted on 12/15/2005 4:13:08 AM PST by Varda
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To: Antioch; All
 Michael Medved on Now Discussing "Brokeback Mountain" and the Gay War on Marriage
 

Look at this ad they are going to try to run in the "red states" to trick people into seeing the movie.


28 posted on 12/15/2005 4:14:45 AM PST by backhoe (The Silence of the Tom's ( Tired Old Media... ))
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To: Antioch
Gerri Pare, David DiCerto and Anne Navarro are on the staff in NYC for the office of Film.


The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys an anti-Catholic movie that included incest, got the same rating, "L". Go figure...
29 posted on 12/15/2005 4:47:03 AM PST by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: backhoe

I think every Catholic on this site should email friends and relatives with this disgusting review to alert them to the disgusting tenor of liberalism ringing in the USCCB's office of film review. Donoghue ought to be notified. Emails ought to be sent. I shudder that one word of approving acknowledgement would go out about a movie that attempts to innoculate us against our normal reaction to sodomy: it is a sin and offense against our heavenly Father. It cries out for revenge. And if we permit its glorification with no objection, God will make his displeasure known. I just played "The Bible", directed by John Huston, for my seventh grade class. It's quite an eye opener watching the Sodom and Gomorrah scene: perhaps something most would say is too much for seventh graders-but these kids have MTV and God knows what else. It is a good reminder that one cannot bring God to wrath without a healthy fear for one's own well being. Yes, it is hell fire and brimstone: what's wrong with that? V's wife.


30 posted on 12/15/2005 4:57:10 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana

V's wife- I agree with you.


31 posted on 12/15/2005 4:59:37 AM PST by backhoe (The Silence of the Tom's ( Tired Old Media... ))
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To: Antioch
I guess "hot button issue" is the new term for "mortal sin"?

And all the sexually-related nudity isn't too much sexually-related nudity?

And according to the gay publication that reviewed it, the guy who wants to break up his marriage comes off as "courageous," whereas the one who refuses to abandon his wife and children comes off as "cowardly"?

Lovely. Just...lovely.

32 posted on 12/15/2005 5:01:36 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Gay." To think it used to mean "happy.")
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To: Antioch

Insane. Caddyshack got the big "O", but this tribute to gay-love didn't???

I give up.


33 posted on 12/15/2005 5:07:57 AM PST by Rutles4Ever
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To: Antioch
On the trip, Jack proposes that they chuck their families and buy a ranch, but Ennis -- who as a child witnessed the aftermath of a hate-crime murder of two rancher neighbors who had lived together -- can't bring himself to do it.

*************

I'm shocked at the tone of this review. Shocked, and disappointed.

34 posted on 12/15/2005 5:11:07 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Antioch

An appalling review. The reviewer should be fired.


35 posted on 12/15/2005 5:14:21 AM PST by Thorin ("I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.")
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To: Antioch

Nothing surprises me anymore. I wish I could be shocked by something like this.


36 posted on 12/15/2005 5:31:18 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Antioch

**film which portrays the "need for love which everyone feels but few people can articulate...." **

What about the love for their married wives? (I haven't seen this, but heard the comment {or read it} on a Christian review.

I think we need to send our judgments to the USCCB.


37 posted on 12/15/2005 5:50:30 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Antioch

A didn't see contact infor:

Office for Film and Broadcasting | 1011 First Avenue, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10022 | (202) 541-3000 © USCCB

(Could not find a live link.)


38 posted on 12/15/2005 5:57:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Antioch

We could always contact our individual Bishops and let them know that we think this movie should have received a 0-morally objectionable rating.

http://www.usccb.org/bishops.shtml


39 posted on 12/15/2005 6:00:08 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Antioch
“The Matrix” an O rating (Excessive violence and recurring profanity)
“Bad Boys II” an O rating ( stylized graphic violence, and a sexual encounter)
“Caddyshack” an O rating (obnoxious characters, lewd jokes)
Note that none of these movies were up for Oscar nominations during the time of their review and their ratings would not have warranted media attention.

But I'm sure that has absolutely nothing to do with it...
40 posted on 12/15/2005 6:02:08 AM PST by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: Mr. K
You can't even claim your girlfriend dragged you to see it- if she is able to, then you are too gay for a girlfriend.

ROFL!!!

41 posted on 12/15/2005 6:05:07 AM PST by Claud
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To: Antioch
Ennis resolutely insists he'll sleep outdoors, but the cold drives him into Jack's tent, where the two awkwardly, then roughly, have sex. Incidentally, that scene -- short and with the men mostly clothed -- is the only onscreen gay sexual encounter in the film.

Bold emphasis mine.

"Only one"? Weeeelllll wooooo-hoooooo!! Take the whole family!!! There's only one gay sex scene. Just one. We are indeed blessed to have film makers of such taste, modesty and understatedness. I mean hell, they could have shown sodomy from the get go until the final credits but instead, they gave us only a single, tastefully done humping scene. Excellent.

Gag!!!

Whoever wrote this review is a homo. Period. He's positively thrilled at the homosexual fantasy he's just witnessed and it sticks out like a sore thumb. This film is just a homo's wet dream and nothing more. The themes, i.e "inside every straight guy there's a little bit of the homosexual" and "even tough ranch hands like to walk on the wild side occasionally", are simply perverse.

" A serious contemplation of loneliness and connection", my fanny.

USCCB shows why the recent Vatican document and current seminary visitation are so desperately needed.

42 posted on 12/15/2005 6:05:15 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: Salvation
What about the love for their married wives? (I haven't seen this, but heard the comment {or read it} on a Christian review.

Let's use the USCCB's own logic:

1. Homosexual sex is wrong because it is the equivilent of non-marital sex.
2. Brokeback Mountain is about longing and loss within a non-marital sexual union
3. Brokeback Mountain is not morally offensive.

Therefore...

There should not be single movie about heterosexual, non-marital relations listed as morally offensive by the USCCB.

Right?
43 posted on 12/15/2005 6:05:28 AM PST by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: Antioch

Can we finally declare AmChurch in shism, yet?


44 posted on 12/15/2005 6:05:47 AM PST by NeoCaveman (After 53 years it's time to turn out your Sheets, Hiram Lewis for Senate WV)
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To: backhoe
I hope every biker and cowboy in the South is tricked to see this movie.

That'll make them even more furious when they find out what its about and maybe some heads will roll.
45 posted on 12/15/2005 6:06:36 AM PST by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: Antioch

"...-- a serious contemplation of loneliness and connection..."

For shame. This should be used as a teaching moment. That loneliness should be addressed by sex is wrong. That is what has created this messs of a culture. People are lonely and are convinced sex is the way out, or that pleasures taken in the wrong way in the wrong relationships with the wrong attitude are someone enriching.

For shame on these Shepherds of Christ who foresake what God actually wants humanity to resemble, and embrace the World's notion of what humans must become.



46 posted on 12/15/2005 6:10:11 AM PST by OpusatFR
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To: pillbox_girl
So does that mean they don't get to eat pudding after all?

Let them eat cake.

47 posted on 12/15/2005 6:14:55 AM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: Darkwolf377

"Women will see this." I doubt it. Why pay for a stomach-turning view of something you can see in the big city any day? YUCK.


48 posted on 12/15/2005 6:42:28 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: marshmallow
"Only one"? Weeeelllll wooooo-hoooooo!! Take the whole family!!!

This whole post cracked me up. =D

49 posted on 12/15/2005 6:47:36 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: highlander_UW
Why do they keep calling them cowboys? They are gay shepards.

Wyoming + cowboys + story of hate-crime murder + gay + sheppard = Matthew Sheppard

50 posted on 12/15/2005 6:59:48 AM PST by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
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