Faith Journal

Some Christians Call For Boycott Of Beauty And The Beast: Why This Is A Mistake

Some Christians Call For Boycott Of Beauty And The Beast: Why This Is A Mistake www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Jessica McCaslin

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies. Belle is a strong female character who loves to learn and doesn’t want society to hold her back with its social expectations of women. The Beast – well, we all have some of his qualities within us and we know how difficult it is to change. We also know people fear what they don’t understand. Then, of course, there’s the music.

However, the live adaptation of the movie is causing quite the stir – and it hasn’t even been released in theaters yet. Apparently there is a part when Lefou, Gaston’s sidekick, has an “exclusively gay moment.”

Ok…no one knows exactly what that means. Yet, there are plenty of articles flying around social media calling for Christians to boycott the movie due to this “moment.” I guess, as a Christian, I struggle with this idea.

First of all, I did a lot of research about the Catholic Church’s teaching is on LGBTQ (many denominations have similar views). It’s not as black-and-white as many make it out to be. In fact, nowhere does it say “condemn these people.” It says we need to accept them as an image of God because all people are created in His image. The teaching is that it goes against God’s plan for human sexuality, which makes sense since the humans would not survive without reproduction, which is the act of a man and woman. It also says it understands that many people have feelings that reflect homosexuality and that it is not a choice for them; therefore, it is not a sin. However, ACTING upon those feelings is where the sin comes in.

I know. That doesn’t seem fair either. It’s just what I found in my research.

I am not LGBTQ. I am straight, and I do not have the inclination to engage in homosexuality or anything similar. I cannot even pretend to understand those inclinations as I have no context for them. I do, however, have friends and family who identify as LGBTQ, and I still love and accept them as I would any other human being. I do not have to agree with others’ choices, but I can respect them, their life, and love them for who they are.

However, to call for a boycott seems contradictory to the Church’s teaching about loving each other. It sends the message that others don’t care about them. It says no one is willing to support them. It says they aren’t worth protecting. It says they aren’t human, and therefore, shouldn’t be treated with dignity. Sending these messages casts Christians as people who aren’t loving and supportive, but rather as people who stand against others who are different. It says “We Christians love everyone, except you. We won’t even tolerate your differences.”

And guess what. To treat a human life in this negative manner is a sin.

Is it such a leap or surprise that Lefou is gay? In the cartoon version, Lefou has an obvious “mancrush” on Gaston. He practically worships the ground he walks on. Also, while many people are saying this is Disney’s first major gay character, I beg to differ. First, he’s not a major character, but a supporting one. Secondly, there were two pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean who definitely hinted at an LGBTQ relationship. I don’t think my kids were permanently damaged by those characters. In fact, I don’t think they mentioned it at all, even when the pirates were dressed as women.

Parents must decide if they want to expose their children to the LGBTQ character. However, remember, if you choose to NOT expose your children, it is likely they’ve already been exposed or will be. It is part of our society, and the voices of people who identify as LGBTQ is growing.

Why not use this movie as a stepping stone to help your children understand your point-of-view and to make informed decisions for themselves? Yes, exposing them to adult sexuality, the sexualization of people, inappropriate/unhealthy relationships, abuse, etc. influence children (umm – how many Disney movies could we twist into those catagories? Just saying…). As a parent, it is your job to help them through these times. I, for one, would prefer my young kids ask me questions so I can answer them to the best of my ability. It won’t be long before they don’t want to ask me – they’ll ask their friends, Google it, or explore things on their own.

The Disney adaptions of Beauty and the Beast vary from the original fairytales. Of course, fairytales are known for their lessons. The moral of Beauty and the Beast is that inner beauty is greater than physical beauty. Belle is scared of the Beast’s outward appearance but she soon becomes his friend. She finds that he is a kind and compassionate person. She falls in love with his inner beauty. Therefore, the moral of the story is that you should not judge a person by appearance and that real beauty comes from within.

Sounds like it fits perfectly with how Christians need to view others with different beliefs and appearances.

There’s also another lesson to be taken from Beauty and the Beast. It’s the ever-popular love versus hate. Gaston allows hate to take over and lead his actions. Overcome by hateful feelings, he uses fear to manipulate the townspeople into attacking the Beast’s castle. The townspeople, fueled by their fear of the unknown and different, refuse to listen to Belle. However, as we all know, love is more powerful than hate but it needs people to embody it and show love in order to overcome hate.

Gaston is the villain of the story but how many people does he represent in our world? Hating others because of superficial facets isn’t Christian; it’s simply fear and hatred. Why not strive to be more like Belle (clearly the smartest character in the bunch)? She saw the kindness and beauty not only in the Beast but in the household items, too. She treats all the villagers with genuine kindness and compassion. She even makes attempts to respect and be kind towards Gaston, knowing that she isn’t likely to change his mind.

When I speak to my children about any questions they may have about the LBGTQ community, I hope I can portray this lesson above all else: God’s love for each of His children overcomes all, and we need to be a vessel of His kindness, respect, dignity, and love for others, even if we disagree with them on certain issues.

About the author

Jessica McCaslin

Jessica is a Stay-At-Home-Master-Mom who is learning to cope with the daily challenges of being a full-time parent. She graduated with her Master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2005.

Jessica joined Family Resources of Greater Nebraska in January 2012. She worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in and around Broken Bow, NE. Her attention has now turned to raising her children while doing online work for Family Resources of Greater Nebraska. She loves horses and has attended several Level 1 Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning trainings, where horses are used as a co-therapist for mental health issues. It’s a dream to someday be able to incorporate horses into her therapy sessions. She resides near North Platte with her husband and children.

7 Comments

  • I Boycotted target for obvious reasons …. I loved target …. but I haven’t been there in a year nor have I given my money to them online ….. that being said I didn’t stand in front of target yelling at the LGBT community on the other side …. I simply decided I did not want my money to go towards something I disagreee with. Jcpenney tried this a few years back with their ads and because of Christians boycotting they changed those ads . And actually fired the LGBT spokesperson ….. it seems to me that we need to be following Gods Holy Word not Disney movies for moral stance. The are people that boycott the wrong way, with hatred in their hearts . That is wrong according to the Bible ….. in the New Testament hatred=murder in your heart……. but Gods word also says abhor evil . Abstain from the very appearance of evil…. so I will not allow my children to watch this new reenactment of Beauty and the Beast …. peaople may be blowing this out of proportion but I’m not going to give my money to or supposed something that has he appearance of evil. And we will definitely not share adult sexuality with our children prematurely . That in itself is taking away from their innocent childhood . They will have plenty of time to have to deal with and abstain from the appearance of evil.

    • This is so true, and where I really struggle, especially when we have family who identify as LBGTQ. It can be difficult to separate the sin from the person. I think, for me, almost any movie I watch with my kids has things that are likely against the Word. Yet, I watch them. I’m not perfect and I can definitely improve as a parent and Christian. And I struggle with interpreting the Bible, as it can be twisted by the interpreter’s experiences and background. We all do our best in the ways we can.

      • My husbands brother also is in this lifestyle … he knows tha family believes it’s wrong and against Gods word and so far as been very respectful but he also does not bring anyone to family functions because he knows all of our conviction on the matter while we disagree we still love him … my husband and I struggle with bringing the kids around that situation but he has not given us any reason really not too but my husband and family stance on it is that he cannot bring someone etc it would confuse the kids and we do not want our kids around that type of lifestyle … as far as for letting kids watch things and being ,not likely ,but definitely against Gods word, we know what is right and wrong, it’s if we quench the spirit and do those things anyways the is the issue ….no we are not perfect but we should strive towards perfection …. and ask the Lord to help us and show us the truth … not use not being perfect as a pass to sin etc

  • When morally-wrong behavior is portrayed in a warm, happy, attractive way, it has the effect of desensitizing us to it and making it seem ok. That is what the entertainment industry is trying to achieve – very successfully. When our children repeatedly see wrong behavior portrayed in a positive way, it will not be long before they have a hard time finding anything wrong with it. Yes, we are to love the sinner (which is all of us), but we are also supposed to hate the sin. I’m not going to expose my children to sin wrapped in loveliness, and then expect them to understand how wrong it is. Young children can’t make that kind of mental distinction.

  • Here is what I see a concerning…First, Disney has already introduced same-sex kissing on a couple of their shows (Good Luck Charlie & Star vs. The Forces of Evil), and both of the programs are on shows with the target audience being children. Now, in a major movie, which the target audience is also children, they are supposedly introducing a character with same-sex attraction. The question I have to ask myself is why? What is the purpose of introducing same-sex attraction characters, and same-sex kissing in children’s media, if not for the purpose of future same-sex openly gay characters and behavior? Adults who choose to follow or engage in this type of behavior or program have every right to do so. Families with children experiencing this behavior or questioning their feelings should be able to do so in safety and security of their own family circle. I do not like that this confusing behavior is being marketed as the norm for our children. Like it or not, their minds are impressionable by what they see and hear. Once the line is crossed into making same-sex behavior the open-norm for children’s programming there is no going back – not ever…this will spill over into all areas of their lives – music, movies, books, schools, preschools – everything. Just think about that for a while…imagine a 3 year old being read a story in their school about two same-sex characters being in love…this is not over the top thinking, this is reality…The family unit being held together as a lawfully married man & woman is being slowly phased out…think of the story of the frog sitting in a pot of water that is heating so slowly it doesn’t realize it’s being boiled alive. I see this happening to our society…

    • You have excellent points; this is why I struggle with this issue. As I say in the article, I cannot understand this lifestyle. Either way I choose, I feel like I’m going against some aspect of Christian teaching. And, perhaps it is because I am not “introducing” this lifestyle to my children. That happened without me or my husband – although my husband caught the conversation and ended it before it got too detailed. I just ask, if it weren’t for the pre-viewing, would I know about this scene? At least I know ahead of time and can prepare myself, my answers, and if necessary, my children