Boy Erased

Religion in TV, Movies, Books, etc.

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Boy Erased

Post #1

Post by shnarkle »

I just finished watching "Boy Erased", starring Russell Crowe, and Nicole Kidman. It's based upon the true story of the son of a Baptist preacher who is raped by a fellow freshman in his college dorm room, and discovers that he's gay.

The movie is a bit of a propaganda piece, and doesn't just make Christianity look bad, but differing forms of Christianity as well. The baptist preacher is a traditional Christian unable to approach the subject except to consult the Mosaic law which, if their son is unwilling to change; requires banishment from their home.

The church elders all view this young man as if he were possessed by a demon, and send him to a conversion therapy program which is also portrayed as a bit backward and inept in its methods.

The fellow freshman who rapes the preacher's son is a sociopathic predator who attends the local Christian church which is at the other end of the spectrum. It's one of those modern, contemporary churches with the rock band and the "easy believism" grace message. He's already raped a few of the other young men in the congregation, and right after raping this young man, immediately, with tears of self condemnation in his eyes, asks for forgiveness. He then calls his victim's mother, and posing as a counselor at the college, proceeds to inform her that her son is having some mental problems, etc. This is what forces the issue of conversion therapy onto the preacher's son.

There are innumerable success stories of conversion therapies leading young men and women to live normal lives, which makes this issue all the more controversial. If the methods depicted in the movie are accurate, it is quite disturbing that this kind of thing is still happening. I suspect that all conversion therapies are not alike.

The movie's main objective was to spotlight the backward thinking of Christianity as well as how dangerous it truly can be. Too many children are subjected to these therapies and the results are seen to be catastrophic mental problems including suicide. The obvious conclusion is more transparency and access to the Church as well as the State stepping in to stop the church from injuring the State's property.

I'm not sure I buy much of that. It's hard to tell from a Hollywood movie with an agenda. However, the thing that did occur to me was the double standard that exists within Christianity. This wasn't a theme of the movie, except perhaps in passing when the preacher's son rejects the advances of his girlfriend, and the father talks about how much he's looking forward to being a grandfather.

So why is it that these conversion therapies don't include heterosexual fornication? This is no less severe a violation of God's law, and according to Paul, leaves one exposed to certain damnation.

Modern day Christianity doesn't seem to have a problem with their sons and daughters fornicating. For some reason this is looked upon with complicit resignation if not blissful acceptance. One has to wonder how most Christians are unable to see themselves as modern day Pharisees, coming up with methodologies and therapies to deal with the sins of others while excusing their own.

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Re: Boy Erased

Post #11

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to shnarkle in post #1]
If the methods depicted in the movie are accurate, it is quite disturbing that this kind of thing is still happening. I suspect that all conversion therapies are not alike.
I know someone who was sent to a form of shock therapy by his mother and their 'church'. When he speaks about it today, it's still very hard for him. He still holds his mother on a pedestal like a queen: paying her bills, bought her a new car when his was (and still is) junk, letting her do her laundry at his place, working 2 jobs and going to school to support her...then when he doesn't answer the phone immediately when she calls she tells him later he doesn't love her.

I ended my friendship with him partly because of this and the way she treated him while he held her in such high regard, often forgoing his own health and happiness.

Very sad.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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