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For the Bible Tells Me So (2007)
God is love , and the Bible says a lot more than the words on the page
This film brings a much-needed human face to the fight for LGBT rights in America. In taking a close look at several personal stories, including the wide range of the experience a person might have in coming out to his or her family (acceptance, rejection, in-between, etc), the film shows just how harmful such hateful anti-gay rhetoric and propaganda can be in the lives of real human beings.
The film also does a marvelous job of including the personal faith stories of each family, demonstrating how devoted Christians can easily accept their LGBT family members, whether or not they believe those family members' orientation to be a sin. In addition, the scholarly readings of the Bible's (very few) references to homosexual behavior was superb, though it could have been made clearer that ancient societies (those of the Bible) had no concept of the loving, committed relationships LGBT people have the ability to choose and live in today's culture, and so the Bible's statements on the subject really have no bearing on today's culture in this regard.
I believe the film could have attempted to include experiences of transgender and bisexual men and women, as their struggles within American society are so intertwined with those of gay men and lesbians.
Overall an excellent, gut-wrenching look at the effects of both love and hate within the Christian community in regards to LGBT persons.
8: The Mormon Proposition (2010)
Very important exposure of mixing religion and government
Cowan's compelling film-making makes this a one-of-a-kind look into the dirty politics of religious groups who have an axe to grind with people they disapprove of. What I found most true to life about the film was that it did not paint all Mormons as anti-gay or hateful, but it exposed the level of power the Morg has over it's members, and how the leaders of the church are willing to exert that power to their own ends. It was clear that immense pressure was put on all LDS church members regardless of their personal feelings. This is an outrageous hypocrisy by a church that claims such strong beliefs in a person's right to free will and agency.
I am tired to seeing everyone call this film "biased." Simply taking a stand on an issue does not make it biased - it does not unfairly or inaccurately represent the opposing argument or its proponents; that would make it biased. The IRS has listed the LDS church on a list of organizations up to have their tax-exempt status revoked because of their flagrant violation of tax laws in connection with the Yes on 8 campaign. This was Cowan's main point - that the LDS church did wrong in giving so much money, and now the IRS is validating the claims Cowan showed in the film.
I highly recommend this film, and if you like this I also recommend Kirby Dick's Outrage, Sandi Simcha Dubowski's Trembling Before G-d, and Daniel G. Karslake's For the Bible Tells Me So.