For the Bible Tells Me So

Title: For the Bible Tells Me So
Director: Daniel Karslake
Producer: Daniel Karslake
Year: 2007
Available: and

In this 98 minute documentary film, a number of well-known people, and several families with openly gay immediate family members are interviewed. A few of the people who appear in the documentary are as follows:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

  • Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer.

  • Laurence Keene.

  • Irene Monroe.

  • Mel White.

  • The Robinson family. Gene Robinson, an openly gay Episcopalian (Anglican) bishop, and his family.

  • The Gephardt family, including Dick Gephardt, who ran twice for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

  • The Reitan family.

  • The Poteat family.

Considering the caliber of people in the documentary, it is easy to understand why the video won nine awards. Four of the awards include the Audience Award for the Best Documentary in the Seattle Film Festival, the Audience Award for Outstanding Documentary at Outfest in Los Angeles, the Audience Award for Best Documentary in the Provincetown Film Festival, and the Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

Some causes of homophobia are discussed in the video. Fear can be used to justify cruelty. Fear of people who are different, and scapegoating people who different, allows people to blame societal problems on gay people. Once gays are blamed for societal problems, it is easier for people to lash out in violence against gay people. The fear and hatred of people who are different, the fear and hatred of women, and the threat gay people pose to masculine power in society are causes of homophobia. Desmond Tutu comments that homophobia is “contrary to the heart of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Homophobia is a sin with which society needs to be concerned. The sin is especially bad, because the Bible is often used to justify homophobia.

This documentary-style film contains some homo-negative comments, including short clips of Anita Bryant, Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, Beverley LaHaye, Franklin Graham, and James Dobson. A rabbi and a very articulate Christian theologian respond to some views of those who are opposed to same-gender relationships.

Those who interpret the Bible literally tend to be more homo-negative. Biblical literalism, interpreting an English translation of the Bible literally, is a relatively new approach. Most people do not take the entire Bible literally. One passage in the Bible says people should take all they have and give it to the poor. Even conservative, fundamentalist Christians are not doing that.

Two powerful events are pictured in the video. One is the consecration ceremony of Gene Robinson, as an out gay Episcopalian bishop. Gene Robinson, an openly gay Episcopalian bishop, was born partially paralyzed. He was not expected to be healthy. Gene Robinson’s parents said they felt God saved Gene’s life for a purpose. After Gene Robinson was consecrated as a bishop, his mother states to the effect that God saved Gene to be a bishop.

A second powerful event concludes the film. Jake Reitan’s father says that initially if there had been a way to wave a magic wand and make Jake straight, he would have done that. Now he would not want to change Jake to make him straight. Mr. Reitan now sees being gay as part of the wonderful qualities about Jake that make Jake who he is and that makes Mr. Reitan love Jake so much.