Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet

Aysha Musa reviews documentary ‘For The Bible Tells Me So’

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For The Bible Tells Me So (2007), is an American documentary created by Daniel G. Karslake. It focuses on the perceived conflicts between Christian denominations and homosexuality. This for the bible tells me sodocumentary recounts the stories of a handful of religious families and how they dealt with having a homosexual child, and the consequences their reactions and the church can have on LGBT individuals; especially those with religious upbringings.

This documentary, while not stating so explicitly, has a clear agenda. The aim is to highlight the impact that homophobia can have on LGBT individuals, their families and their communities (primarily their religious communities). Throughout this documentary a variety of sources and media formats including news clips, newspaper articles, scientific and medical research, interviews with clergy men, interviews with biblical and theological academics and many more are used in order to engage with the most common questions revolving around homosexuality, homophobia and the church, such as:

  • Is being homosexual a choice?
  • Is homosexuality an abomination?
  • The claim it was ‘Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’
  • Is there a cure for homosexuality (e.g. is it possible to ‘pray away the gay’)?
  • Does the Bible prohibit gay marriage?

and many other prominent arguments and viewpoints.

A wide variety of opinions and readings of the Bible are portrayed through the personal stories of religious individuals, ranging from those who are homosexual and believe it to be a sin due to their upbringing, to the other end of spectrum including straight and devoutly Christian people who have challenged their former beliefs that homosexuality is an abomination, and almost all the opinions in-between.

The audience, irrespective of their sexuality or religious affiliations, is taken on a journey of biblical interpretation, from how the Bible would have been understood at the time of its writing as well as highlighting other more modern readings of the Bible which have been used to oppress minority groups such as black people and slavery and women’s subordination to men; readings which are now deemed by society to have been misrepresentations of the Bible and incorrect readings of the Bible.

I highly recommend this academic yet personal documentary to anyone with any interest in homosexuality, and/or religion. No stone is left unturned and no opinion is not considered. It is a must see!


Author: Hidden Perspectives

A research project within the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) at The University of Sheffield.

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