Earlier this week, it was revealed that the soon to be released live action version of Beauty and the Beast would be the first of its kind. The trailblazing has nothing to do with special effects but rather sexuality. The film will feature Disney’s first ever openly gay character, LeFou, played by Josh Gad.
Bill Condon, the director of the film, said in an interview that, “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston.” Condon went on to say that Gad portrayed LeFou “deliciously” and that there is a “payoff” at the end that he described as, “a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
No doubt, there have been plenty of Disney films in the past, even those marketed toward children, that have insinuated that certain characters were gay. However, the “exclusively gay moment” comment lets us know that the insinuations are no more. This updated version of Beauty and the Beast will leave nothing to speculation.
Yet another shot has been fired in the culture war.
And you can be sure that many Christians and social conservatives will be quick to fire back. Their weapons of choice will be boycotts and hashtags.
But before that happens, there is something that followers of Jesus Christ need to remember.
The culture will not be won by a massive Twitter campaign or #stopgaydisney movement. It will not be won by angry Facebook posts in ALL CAPS demanding that Disney bring back the movies from the good old days, as if those ever existed. The folks at Disney won’t suddenly decide to embrace traditional marriage because a few people vow to never attend their parks again. None of those things will win the culture war.
The culture war has already been won.
That happened when Jesus rose from the grave.
Sure, there are still numerous skirmishes. And as the church navigates its way through those battlefields, it must do so knowing that its victory is secure rather than continually playing the role of victims. Leave that to the disgruntled political junkies.
You’re kidding yourself if you think that a difference will be made in some digital arena with your clever hashtags. The real difference is made in your own home.
That’s where you, I hope, regularly sit down at an actual table for a meal with your kids and explain to them what the Bible says about men, women and sexuality. I get it. It seems a little strange for a father to talk about sexuality with his kids over dinner. It makes so much more sense to leave that up to a P.E. teacher who can tell them everything they need to know by simply using a condom and a banana as props. And we wonder what’s wrong with our kids.
In your kitchen, your kids see that real manhood is demonstrated not by romantic conquests, feelings or trucks but when their dad joyfully and lovingly serves their mother.
It’s in your home, not on a movie screen, where your kid’s worldview of marriage and family should be shaped.
If you think that you’re going to protect your kids from evil by keeping them from seeing a Disney movie, the devil laughs at you. Ban, boycott and hashtag all you want but until you take the time to teach and demonstrate biblical manhood and womanhood before your children on a daily basis, you’re planning your own destruction.
My family will not be seeing the new Beauty and the Beast movie. But we also won’t be taking part in any boycott. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that Christianity is basically boiled down to being against stuff.
I want them to know that we are for truth, we are for love, we are for obeying God’s word and leaning on God’s grace when we fail. I want them to learn the delicate balance between standing against certain aspects within the culture while simultaneously loving the people consumed by that culture.
Hopefully Christians will see that there aren’t enough hashtags or boycotts in the world to change sick hearts. Hopefully, instead of trying to win a culture war and stick it to Disney, Christians will focus on raising up disciples, starting with the little ones in their own homes.
Hopefully, I’m not asking for too much.