There has been a lot of controversy over the overtly homosexual content sprinkled throughout Disney’s new live action Beauty and the Beast, set to come out this Friday. Like many parents, I was disappointed to read that a beloved children’s film was heading in this direction.
This was one of my favorite movies as a girl- I loved the characters, the music, and the storyline. My sister and I watched the movie and listened to the soundtrack ad nauseum in our house.
That’s why I was so excited when I heard the local Christian university was putting on the production. It seemed like the perfect alternative to the highly suggestive Disney film. Since it was a play put on by a college that claims a Christ-centered education, how could it be bad for my kids, right?
Society’s message about purity
There was no hint of a homosexual theme anywhere in the musical. However, it was full of inappropriate heterosexual behavior and language. Here are just some examples:
Premarital sex- Most of the exchanges between Lumiere and Babette were sexually charged, with flirting, grabbing, chasing, and “come hither” looks.
Polyamorous relationships- In one scene, Babette accuses Lumiere of cheating on her with several women by name and there is no regret on his part. At the mention of one name in particular, he acts as if he is recounting the affair.
Adultery- Right before Gaston proposes to Belle, he comforts the three women who follow him around like a puppy dog, suggesting that he will still carry on with them after he’s married.
I’m not sure how much of this my eight and five-year-old picked up on, but one thing is clear: the standard for purity in our culture is pretty low, even among those who call themselves Christians.
And the truth is that a clearly gay character in a supposed children’s film really isn’t all that different from what we’ve been entertaining ourselves with. Sensuality of any kind has no place in media that is marketed to children.
How Our Culture Views Love
Besides the sexual overtones, its message about what love is should sound cause for alarm. I am truly failing to see how casting LeFou’s character as homosexual is a “win” for the gay community. Or anyone else for that matter.
He is portrayed as a total buffoon, whose love interest treats him like dirt. Gaston also plans to manipulate Belle into marrying him, and while that plot ultimately fails, he is still greatly admired by LeFou. This isn’t a good message to send to children about “love”, but neither are two of the three featured heterosexual relationships.
And everyone trying to figure out whether the supposed gay scenes are really “too subtle for children to even notice”, are just splitting hairs. We are deluding ourselves if we think we can see the whole film and just overlook a couple of scenes glorifying sin, like it’s no big deal.
If a company deliberately produces a movie with a character and scenes of this nature, then what other worldviews are they promoting?
A few years ago, my kids were innocently watching Disney Junior when a clip came on between shows featuring some fairies. The voiceover says “Do you know who makes the seasons? It’s the fairies…” I switched the channel every time that clip came on.
Our response as parents
Now, I realize simply sheltering your kids doesn’t make the world go away. We can’t possibly shield them from everything.
This is why I talk openly with my children about differing beliefs and perspectives so they are exposed to them under my protection. We love people like Jesus loves people, we pray for hurting people, and we ask God to reveal Himself to them.
But we must be vigilant about what our kids take in through their eyes and ears. Waiting until they are older to discuss some of the difficult issues in life protects them from having to deal with things that their young minds are simply not able to process.
We must remember the wisdom of Philippians 4:8- “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
The issue isn’t homosexuality; it’s purity. It’s the worldview being pushed that removes God as the ultimate authority of morality, while putting man in His place.
The Bible says that any sex outside of marriage is a sin. We should be extremely wary of any form of media that treats sinful lifestyles as if they are no big deal.
Besides being vigilant, we must also be discerning. Let’s not forget we are in a spiritual war and that our enemy is still using the same lie that Eve bought hook, line, and sinker: ”Did God really say…?”
I am not saying you should go see this film. Boycott it by all means. But we should be equally offended by the heterosexual suggestive material and lack of purity in our children’s education, television shows, books, and other media.
Our kids are receiving graphic sex education in schools, girls in youth group are dressing immodestly, and young boys don’t know how to respect women. A gay scene and character in a movie, made by a company whose family values have been declining for the last decade, are just one of the unfortunate signs of the culture we live in.
Disney, Starbucks, and Target don’t have to cater to our morality. They are not Christian businesses, and we shouldn’t be surprised when they don’t act like one.