It’s been far too long since I first examined the lunacy that is the CAP Alert site. Interestingly, the site seems to have fallen on hard financial times: it is plastered with ads, and virtually every page contains text begging for donations. Their recent reviews show that the majority of movies released in the past few weeks were not reviewed because no one “sponsored” them to do so. The site’s owner claims that it costs him an average of $350 to review one movie. By my calculations, assuming four movie reviews per week, this would mean that he is asking for $70,000 in donations each year just to review movies – a hefty salary, considering the distinctly undemanding nature of the work.
Why are Christians across the world not opening their wallets to the beleaguered souls at CAP? Well, perhaps it has something to do with ridiculous reviews like this:
Sexual issues included sex talk, anatomical references, seeking of sexual conquest, a woman placing a man’s hand on her chest and a man and woman in bed (clothed). Maybe the man and woman in bed together were married in the movie but the actor and actress were not.
—from the review of “A Beautiful Mind”
Yes, after all his railing against extramarital sex in movies, one would think the CAP reviewer would welcome a movie that only shows sexual scenes between married characters. But apparently not: he deducts points because the actor and actress were not married. What are we to make of this? Is he saying that it is a sin for unmarried people to lie together, clothed, in the same bed? (God demands that unmarried people remain at least three feet apart at all times!) Should actors and actresses who participate in sexual scenes be legally married beforehand?
But in this review, I intend to focus on a less humorous and more disturbing trait of the CAP reviewer: his phobic and prejudiced attitude toward homosexuals. Though he lambastes movies for “endorsing” homosexuality, what truly seems to bother him is the mere recognition that it exists. His reviews pervasively imply that he would prefer homosexuals to be forced back into the closet and silenced, so that he and other fundamentalist Christians can more easily pretend that they do not exist.
For example, he criticizes the film “15 Minutes” for the following item: “gay pair on a billboard”. That is all. No endorsement of homosexuality, no claim that it is a good or acceptable attitude, is mentioned: only recognition of its existence. That seems sufficient to trigger condemnation. And consider this additional evidence:
In the movie, Virginia Woolf is portrayed as being both severely depressed and lesbian. However trustworthy the Internet is or is not, a search confirmed the claim that Virginia Woolf was lesbian. Why do I bring up that Woolf was reportedly lesbian while it has nothing to do with her literary genius? Because it is a key element in this story of promotion of homosexuality/lesbianism to younger and younger kids every year.
—from the review of “The Hours”
Evidently, in the CAP reviewer’s eyes, a movie that is made about a famous person who was homosexual should omit and not mention the fact of that famous person’s homosexuality. The CAP reviewer often pours scorn on the idea of “political correctness”, but what term would he prefer to describe his own desire to rewrite and censor history to fit his own prejudices?
It would seem that the entertainment industry is trying to make sure kids at least know about, among many other sins, the practice of homosexuality.
—from the review of “Shall We Dance?”
Yes, and? Is the CAP reviewer arguing that kids should not be told about the existence of homosexuality? Does he think we should try to keep them ignorant of all ways of life except the one we want them to adopt?
The chief editor of “Poise” magazine, Richard (Andy Serkis – Gollum and Smeagol of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) said he is gay. It might seem quite innocuous for an actor to simply state he is gay in a light and casual “in passing” mention of it, making being gay seem routine and even mundane with no special noteworthiness. But that which happens “behind the scenes” in the practice of homosexuality of which intentionally few are aware is always carefully and strategically guarded from being revealed in matters such as this film targeted at your adolescents (which include at-home teens). The same sly and calculated omissions are used to teach your school-aged kids tolerance of diversity, skillfully leaving out the perversity (“strange flesh”) in God’s eyes.
—from the review of “13 Going on 30”
“Carefully and strategically”? Apparently he discerns some subtle and sinister plot in an interview where a gay person mentions being gay. And as far as public schools go, tolerance is absolutely the right thing to teach. Tolerance does not mean that we must like or endorse different lifestyles or treat them with approval, but only that we must recognize other people’s right to direct their lives as they wish and not attempt to force our preferences on them.
This seems too much to ask of the CAP reviewer, however. Like many other Christian supremacists, he apparently wishes that ways of life which do not meet with his approval would be outlawed. In his review of “The Mexican“, he disturbingly laments the fact that a homosexual relationship is depicted as having “no legal consequences”. In his review of “Big Daddy“, he deducts points for a depiction of “leaving a five year old boy in the care of two male homosexuals”, as if there were something intrinsically wrong with this. Personally, I would be far more comfortable leaving a child in the care of a homosexual couple than in the care of a militant, malignant Christian bigot who would attempt to indoctrinate that child with ideas of religious hatred and discrimination.
The CAP reviewer also expresses his indignation that homosexuals would dare to act like human beings:
A number of times in Good Boy! two co-habitating men in a relationship clearly not something as simple two guys living together to share expenses appear in scenes subtly giving a strategically understated message that co-habitating practitioners of homosexuality are just like families with peaceful homes, pets and mortgages when quite the opposite appears to be true.
—from the review of “Good Boy”
Yes, how dare those homosexuals try to pass themselves off as normal people! Everyone knows that gays don’t feel love or affection like straight people do and that the only thing they really want is to have nonstop sexual orgies all day. Can anyone really be so ignorant as to believe idiotic stereotypes like this? Has it ever occurred to the CAP reviewer to wonder why gay rights groups are fighting for the freedom to marry when, according to him, they don’t really want it anyway?
In line with the CAP reviewer’s evident wish that homosexuals could be swept under the rug and censored, he is also upset when movies suggest the effects which the steady campaign of religious prejudice has had on them. In the review of “The Next Best Thing“, he rails against “portrayal of the homosexual agenda as the ‘injured party’”.
Yes, they are! That is exactly the case. The many gay people who want nothing more than to live together with their partners and start families, free of interference and discrimination, are the ones who are injured by the acts of homophobic religious bigots who want to barge into those people’s lives and force them to conform to their repressive and limited conception of what is normal. By contrast, the desire of gay people to live together in peace in no way injures or interferes with the CAP reviewer’s desire to practice his religion for himself as he sees fit. When gay people start arguing that Christians should not be allowed to marry or adopt children, then I will acknowledge CAP’s point.
There is much more I could cite. He criticizes “The Lion King” for the line “Want me to dress in drag?”, which he calls a “homosexual suggestion” (evidently the CAP reviewer does not understand the difference between transvestites and homosexuals). The black comedy “Death to Smoochy” is said to “promot[e] jabs for homosexuality such as asking a man to wear thong underwear”. Who knew that a man’s choice of underwear could turn him gay?
“A Knight’s Tale” is excoriated for “the use of two major songs by homo/bisexual artists”: “We Will Rock You” by Queen and “Golden Years” by David Bowie, a choice which is called “not likely accidental”. “The Day After Tomorrow” similarly comes under fire for a “homosexual song”, “Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me” by Boy George. Is the implication here that we should boycott or ban music performed by non-heterosexuals, for no other reason than the fact of their sexual orientation? I do not doubt that this reviewer would be among the first to scream persecution if some group announced the boycott of any music played by Christians.
And then we descend even further into the ridiculous, with criticisms such as “homosexual mannerisms” (“Saving Silverman”), “two men speaking of relationships in a traditionally ‘female’ style” (“The Next Best Thing”), or even more bizarrely, “dressing of dogs in stereotypical homosexual dress” (“Legally Blonde 2″). Is the CAP reviewer fearful that the “homosexual agenda” is out to brainwash even our pets?
But the crowning absurdity must surely be this:
For every Kinsey-style report and other so-to-speak scientific report that claims homosexuality is – for some – normal and natural and healthy, I’ll betcha I could find two or three scientific reports to refute that speculation – probably the greatest report being the Holy Bible.
The idea of the Bible – a book of myths written by a Bronze Age tribe that believed the Earth to be the 6,000-year-old center of the universe – as a “scientific report” would be hilarious, if it were not for the fact that the bigots who believe it literally are deadly serious about forcing their ignorant and regressive views on the rest of the world. Whether the CAP site dries up for lack of funding or not, we nonbelievers must never forget that there are millions more people who hold similar beliefs. Whether the issue is gay rights, atheist rights, or the rights of any other minority that has historically faced discrimination and oppression, the most valuable function of bigots like this may be to remind us that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance against those who would take it away from us.
Other posts in this series: