Journey, Interrupted Part 4

We’ve moved on from talking about sexual assault, but of course these posts are still homophobic and transphobic.

This is the last post in which I discuss the movie. I will be posting about the Q and A afterward, but that takes longer to edit.

So, we left off just as the characters had all decided to re-convert to a religion that tells them they’re abominations.

The characters then talk a bit about the transition period right when they w ere accepting Jesus and trying to live by his laws. Baldy would feel incredibly guilty when he would go to church and then straight afterward he’d go to the gym to pick up men. Danielle talks about experiencing contentment in her walk with Christ. The camera shows a closeup of a Bible in the old man’s hands, and he’s changed his shirt so now I have no clue who he is anymore.

The following is an exact quote from…. they don’t show who’s speaking… I think it’s Navyshirt. Sometimes they do voiceover and I can’t tell who’s voice it is. I can differentiate Danielle and Anna because they’re obviously female and there’s only 2 of them.

But that’s beside the point is that I took care to write this down accurately because it made me snicker inside.

Navyshirt?: I found myself on my knees at the end of the bed, and said, “God how can you forgive me for doing all these things that hurt you? I’ve wasted all these years in my life dedicating it to self pleasure through drugs, alcohol or sex, and doing all kinds of things to gratify me. I  certainly did not do them to please god. And I had read enough at that point where I knew that Jesus’ whole purpose of going to the cross was to pay for what I had done to him.

Navyshirt looks like he might cry at this point, and I might cry too. I have no idea why that’s in my notes. Maybe I felt sorry for these people, I don’t know. I can’t feel too sorry for them, I mean, they did make this movie.

Baldy and Navyshirt talk about baptism. God doesn’t take away your memory after you come up out of the water. Getting baptized won’t make you straight. Navyshirt says that his sexuality was not even at the top of the list of things God needed to work with him on. He doesn’t mention what the other issues are, and he doesn’t need to.

It was at this point in my notes that I wrote “these pews are very uncomfortable. God I forgot how horrible these pews were. My back is KILLING ME.” I took a swig from a bottle of liquid Tylenol. Some people shot me strange looks, and I got worried. What do they think I’m drinking? Who cares. I went back to writing about the movie.

Redshirt: People ask me a lot if God took away my  gayness. I said no, God didn’t just take this away. God must have made me this way.

I’m confused. Was Redshirt trying to be gay and a Christian at the same time?

Navyshirt: Am I still tempted? Are you kidding me? My response to people who think I shouldn’t be tempted because I gave my life to Christ is, “well aren’t you? Aren’t you still tempted to do the things you used to do?” Why would it be fair for God to take my temptations away if he didn’t take away yours?

Wait a second… are we not going to get an ending where everyone is straight now and they all stride off happily into the sunset? Are they…seriously admitting that praying and asking God to change them didn’t work?

Redshirt: Jesus promises his grace is sufficient

Sufficient for what?

Oh man, it’s not just the backs of these pews that are hard. Seriously, when was the last time they bought pew cushions?

Navyshirt: I want anyone who’s lived in “the gay culture” for a long time to know that if you’re going back to Christ to seek his will instead of what comes naturally to you, I’ll tell you who’s gonna try to get in the way: Satan

Of course. It wasn’t that God didn’t make you straight, it’s that Satan was getting in the way. Let me summarize the entire rest of this move: Satandidit.

Not good enough? Sigh, ok. Let’s power through to the very end. I’ve dragged this out long enough.

Baldy: I was very secure in my sin, and I wanted people to tell me lies, tell me I can keep my boyfriend AND Jesus. But My sin doesn’t give me ultimate fulfillment.

What if it’s not lies? Did you do a surface reading of the text, or did you bust out the original Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic and discover what was actually written? Some believe that some of those verses are mistranslated. Did you look into that? I don’t know how true that is, mind you, but if I was in that situation, I’d want to know, and I would absolutely mention it in this documentary.

Danielle: God gave us the bible to show us where the safety lies. He gave us his commandments as instructions to be safe and stay away from things that only wound us and will bring death into our lives.

My back is being stretched in really weird ways by these pews.

Navyshirt: I have the stain of sin on me I have the scars. Sin is bondage. God doesn’t want me to partake of [homosexuality] so I can have true freedom

If they weren’t trying to convince other people that these ridiculous things they are saying aren’t lies, I would feel extremely sorry for these people. They are restricting themselves while trying to convince themselves that these restrictions are freedoms. I speak from experience: this is extremely confusing.

Danielle talks a little bit about how Jesus came to bridge the gap between himself and sinners. There’s shots of her walking through the woods.

Redshirt: If a visitor comes I want them to find the church a safe place to hear the words with Jesus in their purity. We never know when a person comes into our church who needs help spiritually, and our churches need to be places for them to find healing for their souls and victory in Jesus

The last part of this movie is absolutely the gospel message. We’re skipping over most of it because most of us have heard of it already.

Danielle: It’s time to offer help to the people who feel that they need change in their life, and that they want to overcome this. That’s why I think it’s important for me to share this ministry.

You’re right Danielle, it is time. It is time to offer help to people who think homosexuality is a sin. It’s time to minister to them and tell them…wait, that’s not what you meant? Well, then.

Redshirt talks about how he is married now to a new wife and they have 2 children. He regrets the hurt he put his ex wife and family through.

Danielle: I’ve had attractions for men, but that doesn’t mean I can just find a husband and go forward in life. I’ve chosen to not allow myself to be focused on sexuality or marriage anymore, but just place my life completely in the hand of God. I’ve purposed in my heart that sexuality and marriage will not be a focus in my life anymore

Earlier Danielle said she was bisexual, but she also refereed to herself as a lesbian. Words mean things, ok? Those 2 words are not synonyms.

I think she’s saying this to try and knock down the claim that it is not any easier for her because she is bisexual. A lot of people think it’s easier for bisexuals because they can just find a guy they are attracted to and marry them and be fine. And it’s true that bisexuals would have an easier time pretending that they are ok, pretending that they are straight.

But though you can fool an entire congregation, you cannot fool your heart. You’ll still experience attraction toward women. You will know about these attractions, and if you are convinced these attractions are sinful, you’re still going to feel guilty for them.

So no, bisexuals don’t have it easier. They just find it easier to fool people, and some would tell you that that’s worse. I don’t believe these people, but to each their own.

Anna: I’m convinced the bible is true. If I were to go back fully to religion, I’m not interested in open interpretation here. If [the Bible] says it, and I’m gonna be religious, I’m gonna do it.

I want to say that my life is not lining up with the bible, and so I’m gonna give these things up. I’m just not there yet.

The impression I got of Anna is that she isn’t a Christian right now, and she’s not sure if she wants to be. But she wants to. She sees the Christian life as ideal, and from my perspective it’s only a matter of time before she makes that commitment.

Navyshirt: What does it mean to give your life to Jesus? Does it means you’ll be lonely the rest of your life? Heterosexual people think that’s not fair. It’s  something that I have grappled with

That’s because it’s not fair, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just the heterosexual people who are saying that.

My personal notes:

I was lonely in Adventism. I had love, but I was still lonely. How could I have forgotten? I remember, now.

 

Baldy: My sexual preference was only always men. I never experienced anything else and my orientation now is not in my sexual desire. I may struggle with attraction to same sex for the rest of my life. Whenever I feel emasculated and like I don’t measure up as a man, same sex attraction starts to come back.

I can go to my Father and can get down on my knees and say “Lord remind me again that I’m your man? Remind me again that you made me male for a reason?” He’s quick to respond and say “yes Mike, you’re my man.”

I was able to type that up almost word for word as it was being said. It’s pretty close to being a direct quote.

I may or may not have snorted out loud. C’s boyfriend may or may not have noticed.

Navyshirt talks about submitting yourself to Jesus and letting him have control. Today he identifies in a new life with Jesus Christ. His identity is that he is a new creature He quotes 2 Corinthians 5:17

 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

(KJV)

I’m not sure if Navyshirt quotes the KJV, that’s just the version I happen to have on my computer.

Navyshirt: Stop blaming your heritage. Even if you are born that way, Jesus came to tell us that we can be born again and start over.

That also is pretty near a direct quote. I’m sure he thought he was clever when he came up with it.

I lost track of the thread of conversation for a moment. Lots of stuff about God and Jesus and giving your life to him. Fortunately they felt no need to walk you through it so we can move on.

Not sure who is speaking here. I think it’s voiceover. One of the male voices:

It’s clear homosexuals won’t enter heaven, but verse 11* says “such WERE some of you.” That tells us that there is healing, there has to be a change. Is it from gay to straight? No. It’s about allowing Jesus to come into your life and to develop this intimacy in your life and getting to know him and seeking to do his will.

(Emphasis mine)

Hold onto that thought. We’ll come back to it later.

Anna says that it would be lovely to have a friend like Jesus, who wouldn’t force you to let him be there, but who would be there if you wanted him to be. So basically, she wants a best friend who knows where the boundaries are. I understand that it’s hard to find people like that, but it is doable. These people do exist. You don’t need to turn to an invisible friend for comfort. I’m learning that now.

Navyshirt: What are you willing to give up for Jesus Christ? What are you willing to give up to please him? What are you willing to do to bring glory to his name?

I used to be willing to do a lot of things. And I regret almost all of them.

If it’s too much for you, if you want to cling to something, he won’t force it away from you. He’ll invite you but the decision is yours.

Oh God. They’re ending this with a sort of altar call. Just as I have been taught to end all my sermons.

God has given us the power of choice. We can either choose for him, or we can choose self.

I mean, if we’re still talking about sex and sexuality…. I think I’d rather have sex with myself.

Badly: You know what, now that I’ve told you my story, somebody could use it against me. Without Jesus Christ, I would be a faggot, but with Jesus Christ I am so much more.

Whoa whoa whoa back the truck up. No. Gay people who feel free to love who they choose are not faggots. Without Jesus Christ you would not be a faggot. You’d  be a person. A person who has just as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as anyone else.

There’s a closeup of someone getting baptized, but I can’t make out who it is. It’s some pretty cool footage, though.

I’m not sure who says this last line. It’s a voice-over, one of the males.

There’s no way he could change my attractions, but he’s given me something I could never attain to, all because I accepted the gift of his son Jesus. For the first time in my life, I truly am who I am. (Emphasis mine.)

Movie ends with all 4 of them walking into the sunset.

There are words on the screen, telling us what the characters are up to now. I was able to read them, but it did go by too fast to type it all out and honestly I really don’t care.

Except for this:

Anna is still part of the gay culture but has allowed her story to be used for the film.

for reasons I don’t understand. (The gay culture” is their wording, not mine)

We are pleased to have her as our friend

In the beginning of the movie  she is credited as “friend of coming out ministries.”

That’s it for the movie. We’re finally done.

Now, first off, I want to make on thing clear. I did leave some stuff out. Remember, I was typing at speed, and while I am pretty fast at typing, I’m not that fast. There’s probably a lot I didn’t catch.

However, one thing I did notice is what wasn’t said. What no one said, not one of them, was: “I am now straight.”

I mean, I doubt I would have believed them if they did, but they didn’t. The movie ended on a rather ambiguous note. Most of the characters talked about Jesus and how he died on the cross for our sins. And I’m not saying that that’s out of place in such a movie, I just kind of think it almost works as a distraction. “Am I straight now? Umm…. look everyone, Jesus died for us! Oh and one (two?) of us got married to a woman!”

The people all say they are happy  now, and that’s fine. I’ll pretend I believe them. But what they don’t say is “I am happy and straight.”

And that’s telling.

To summarize the last part of the movie: God didn’t make you gay, Satan did. Once you give your life over to God, he probably won’t make you straight. Your homosexuality is still an abomination, but God will not remove it.  But you will be happy and content because you are free in Christ Jesus.

Frankly, these are rather contradictory statements, and I’m a little shocked. I was expecting the movie to end with the characters claiming to become straight, that God had taken away something they saw as a horribly sinful thing.

But they didn’t, and as such, the message of the movie… well, honestly, I’m not sure what the message was. I feel that the movies’ message was, from their point of view, kind of ambiguous. I’m not really sure what they were going for.

Stay tuned, because even though the movie is over, my night wasn’t. There’s a Q and A afterwards, and it’s… interesting. Hopefully I can get to it this weekend, after I take my big test that’s coming up.

 

*I have in my notes that this is verse 7, but I stupidly forgot to write down the reference. When I googled I came up with 2 Corinthians chapter 6, and so I’m assuming that that’s what he’s meant to be citing here. He’s not still in 2 Corinthians 5. Sorry about that.

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3 thoughts on “Journey, Interrupted Part 4

  1. Wow, what a wonderful commentary on this movie! I have not read your posts before, but I will be now. You are a great writer!

    As for the movie, I think they violated the law in CA because they are promoting change/ex-gay therapy. I find this to be so horrific. I hope the LGBTIQ community in that audience didn’t buy into it. Just because they add religion to the mix doesn’t mean it is okay to show to kids! The suicide rate is 8 times higher among the LGBTIQ youth! How could they show this to young people and not think it would do harm?
    Their quoted research is bogus! It is a lie! Talk about disobeying the Commandments! Falsehoods and lies to sell their bullshit!
    Okay, as a therapist, I just want to say that I hope the LGBTIQ youth are okay after seeing this. And why I hate and can never trust organized religion.
    Thank you for all the time you put into this. Glad you got to see some friends and eat some good food, well at least familiar foods. Hope it doesn’t traumatize you too much.

    • Thank you 🙂 I was thrown off for like, a week or two afterwards, but ultimately it was good to go back, if only to remind myself why I left, and why I should go forward rather than backward.

      They say they don’t promote “conversion therapy,” and technically they didn’t mention those exact words, but they still advocate “not giving in to sexual temptation.” The spirit is pro conversion therapy, even if they don’t mention it specifically.

      I still wonder about the copyright over the title. Similar to “Girl, Interrupted.” But no one is probably noticing because JI is such a small movie no one cares.

      The thing is, the end of this movie didn’t even really provide much hope even if you do think it’s wrong to be gay. They never say God made them straight. They still “struggle with temptation.” They never say, “and now God made me straight,” they just say, “I’m in a heterosexual marriage and a christian.” None of which actually means you are straight.

      Even from an anti-gay perspective, this movie’s message is a little mixed.

      Thank you for commenting 🙂 I enjoy hearing from my readers.

      • It stinks of conversion therapy to me. As a Social Worker, this is just a ploy to give it a different name, but it is conversion therapy. It is wrong! It is evil!!! It is why I won’t ever go back. They can’t even ordain women in 2016. What kind of people can’t see that we are all created equally? And with love!

        Keep up the great work!

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