Saturday, March 15, 2014

Frozen isn't as gay as everyone thinks

My two older children have just finished their 7th viewing of the new Disney movie Frozen today. They started watching it at ~ 8 AM and haven't stopped since. Why? My guess is catchy tunes like "Let it Go" and "Fixer-Upper" since they walk around the house singing them throughout the week. Maybe it's the main character Elsa and her overcoming fear and self-empowerment. Maybe they love the comedic relief Olaf provides. Maybe, all of the above. One thing I know they don't even think about is how some people are considering the film to be gay propoganda. Yes, Frozen has a character, Oaken, who is depicted as gay. Does this equal gay propaganda? I would say no, it does not. Disney is responding to current life situations and putting it on television. Film gets its inspiration from real life situations. Otherwise, it would not be as popular as it is.

Coming home from Kindergarden the other day, my daughter had an interesting experience. I did not get this first hand, but rather my wife told me later about it. My daughter had been playing with her friend at school and her friend says (and I'm paraphrasing), "we should get married!" to which my daughter replies "That's silly, we can't get married." Then her friend says "no, my mom said that girls can marry girls now." 

My initial gut reaction was to be upset. Why on earth would I have to talk to my daughter about this at the age of 5? Could this not have waited a few more years? I was completely blindsided by such a little thing, and it felt huge at the time. I even called a friend of mine and talked to him about it. 

He set my head on straight. I don't recall the exact details of the conversation. However, I can tell you this. Why should we be skittish of talking to our children about sensitive subjects like this? How is it any different than talking to them about why we Latter-Day Saints don't live together before getting married? Why is this subject considered so appalling or heinous? Why is there such derisive controversy over gay marriage, or the topic in general? What I feel most Christians don't understand is that...

Same-sex marriage is no different than anything else we Latter-Day Saints don't do. We also do not try and force people to adhere to our standards. We invite them to, but we do not twist their arm or use force of law. Some may say we attempt to by not pushing for laws that allow same-sex marriages. I am fairly certain a majority of LDS members would agree that marriage should, in our view, be between a man and a woman. However, we have to respect that other people may not hold the same view. Just like many do not hold the same view of drinking or smoking, or of unmarried couples living together before marriage, that we do. We also shouldn't be preventing them from having their agency and doing those things as long as it doesn't interfere with our lives. Children's movies have long depicted things that we don't do. Dumbo comes to mind with the elephant parade sequence. Dumbo got drunk and hallucinated.

However, there is a militant sub-set of gay-rights activists that are just like militant atheists. These terrorists are no different than the ones we went to war over after Sept 11th. Those terrorists do not represent the majority of Islam or Muslims. Just as these terrorists do not represent the majority of gay-rights supporters. They will not simply stop at acceptance. They scream at us for supposedly doing the very same thing they are doing, shoving it down people's throats. Those are the ones we have to push back against. The ones who hate freedom, religious or otherwise. 

Arizona has a penchant for controversy and I am glad that SB1062 did not pass. It was targeting the wrong thing and vaguely giving way to legal discrimination. The thing it should have been protecting is people's right to not attend or participate in activities that conflict with their beliefs. Is it fair to force participation of events you don't want to go to? I didn't think so.

Many people, including some Latter-Day Saints, do not want to have to "explain" certain things to their children and use that as fodder for voicing their opinions. While I think that is a poor excuse for railing against gay marriage, the other side of the argument needs to understand that they are equally entitled to their opinions as well. Both sides are also allowed to vote according to their own conscience, religiously persuaded or not. Children are growing up in a world where, statistically, at least 1.5 of their classmates are going to have gay parents and at least the same number of classmates will grow up to identify themselves as being same-sex attracted. Remember that the next time a movie comes out  (no pun intended) with an Oaken, we should be talking to our children about the real world because, guess what? There are LGBT people literally everywhere.