I received a forwarded e-mail last week about an upcoming movie called “Corpus Christi” that depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals. Whenever I get something like this, I take it with a grain of salt. The authors (read: drama queens) of these things sound so impassioned, it’s almost comical. “It’s the end of the world! Someone is trying to say something that contradicts what we believe!” Please. This isn’t the first, nor the last time somebody has disagreed with you on your interpretation of the Bible, and somehow the world seems to keep turning.
What’s worse is the people who originated the e-mail haven’t even seen the movie. I did a little research, and found out that “Corpus Christi” is a play written in 1998 by Tony winner Terrence McNally (who also wrote “Love! Valour! Compassion!”). It’s basically a retelling of the life of Jesus, but set in modern day Texas. And in it, Jesus and his apostles are gay, but there are other interpretations possible. One production had some apostles depicted as women. Is that worse or better? Even more interesting is that there’s no indication anywhere that it’s being adapted into a feature film. Perhaps someone is jumping the gun a bit? I think my favourite line from the e-mail said "If you do send this around, we will be able to prevent this film from showing in America and South Africa." Really? South Africa? Who knew my e-mail traffic could have such an impact on the other side of the world?
The common thread in these tirades is that the origin is usually an evangelical Christian (the “Christian Right”?). It makes me wonder if they’re so insecure in their faith that they have to immediately attack anything that might appear to possibly challenge it. I am a Christian, and whenever I hear someone say something that sharply differs from my beliefs, I usually ignore it. The times that I don’t ignore it, I try to start some kind of healthy discussion. I find it’s never a good idea to go on the offensive, but instead come together for a calm, logical exchange of ideas. I’d rather show people my faith through my actions and how I treat people than by preaching hellfire and damnation.
I recently read an interview with Mel White, a man who used to write speeches and ghostwrite books for Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Billy Graham. He said “Given the state of what it means to be a Christian these days, I’m not a Christian either. I’m a mediocre follower of a first-century Jewish teacher.” It’s sad that followers of Christ have given ourselves such a bad rep, but I have to admit, I somewhat agree with him.
Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps, if Jesus were alive on this Earth today, he’d be bombing abortion clinics, promoting wars in the Mideast, and screaming at homosexuals. But I doubt it. From what I’ve read, that just doesn’t seem like his character.