And the Slater Award goes to…

On Christianity Today’s “Feedback” page, you’ll see a wide range of responses to Peter T. Chattaway’s review of the film Save Me.

Read the review.

Then read the responses.

Quite a variety of responses there. Some show evidence that the writers actually read Chattaway’s review. (And you can bet that there were plenty of other letters CT found unfit to print.)

But the Ted Slater award* goes to Ron F. Wagley, who says:

Your review of Save Me leaves me saddened that you endorse this movie and its presentation of homosexuality as okay…

Read Chattaway’s review again. Note the 2 1/2 stars. Note Chattaway’s careful attention to the film’s strengths and weaknesses. A review is not an endorsement, and especially not this review. Do you see him endorsing the movie, or “endorsing its presentation of homosexuality as okay”?

Of course not. Wagley’s contempt blinds him to what is written on the page in front of him. I hope he recovers from this fever and sees more clearly.


*What’s the Ted Slater award?

This award goes to anyone who publicly accuses a Christian of something that all available evidence directly contradicts. It’s named for Ted Slater, editor of Focus on the Family’s When Christianity Today ran a mixed review of Sex and the City and criticized the explicit sex scenes, Slater published an “open letter to Christianity Today” in which he accused Christianity Today of “relishing sexual perversion” and “enjoying” “pornography.” This in spite of the reviewer’s clear criticism of the film’s sexually explicit material, the reviewer’s careful distinction that she appreciated some storytelling aspects of the film while disliking others, and the reviewer’s insistence that the substance of Sex and the City elevates it above pornography. Sigh.

So far, Slater has not, to my knowledge, retracted his words or published any kind of apology for calling those of us at CTMovies being porn-loving perverts.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.