You’d be hard-pressed to name a recent documentary that has provoked more of an emotional response than Bridegroom. The heartbreaking 2013 film chronicled the romance between young lovers Shane Bitney Crone and fiance Tom Bridegroom that ended in unexpected tragedy when Bridegroom fell to his death from the top of a building and deepened still when Bridegroom’s disapproving family banished Crone from the funeral. It’s such an undeniably moving film that watching it reportedly caused former President Bill Clinton to speak out in support of marriage equality. Alas, there are still people in the U.S. who misinterpret the Bible and consider LGBT people to be sinners.
Some of them live near University of Texas at Tyler, where the film was shown March 23 and Crone attended to participate in a Q&A following the screening. In a note posted to his Facebook page, Crone wrote about the surprise that faced him.
Last night I attended a screening of Bridegroom at University of Texas at Tyler. While the film was playing, a prayer circle formed in the lobby. I watched as the small group congregated, quietly praying for the “Heavenly Father” to “help everyone inside that theatre to see the truth.” Apparently a local Catholic group on Facebook had put out a call to action, urging “prayer warriors” to get down to the screening of the “controversial” film.
When the film finished, I invited the prayer group to join us for the Q&A. They seemed shocked by my hospitality and a few even approached me afterwards to apologize for the fact that I had been discriminated against by other Christians. I appreciated their sympathy, however their sentiments came with a caveat: “But you have a choice to act on your impulses to sin.”
I explained that while it’s important to respect other people’s views, I disagreed with the heart of their statement. “If all sins are equal, then it’s hard for me to comprehend why an entire group of you would have an emergency prayer session outside of the screening of a film that tells a love story about two men. If you are willing to go to such great lengths to stop everything you’re doing to try and ‘save’ everyone who came to the screening, shouldn’t you be having these same kind of prayer circles around divorce attorneys’ offices to ‘save’ people from acting on the sin of divorce?”
I can’t understand why people go to such great lengths to shout from the rooftops that “Homosexuality is a sin and must be stopped!” when every single one of us is a “sinner” to some degree.
I am shocked by the amount of time, energy, and money people spend trying to deny LGBT people equal rights. Imagine if that same time, energy, and money were spent combatting world hunger or curing cancer; the world would be a healthier, happier place, I am sure.
Watch the trailer for Bridegroom below and join us in saying a prayer for the misguided Catholics.