Monday, February 27, 2006

Brokeback Mountain: Legitimate Needs Met Illegitimately

It looks like the award for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards
will be "Brokeback Mountain," a "groundbreaking" film about two cowboys who fall in love with each other while tending sheep at Brokeback Mountain in the Wyoming wilderness. The film has already been hailed asa "masterpiece" by the Hollywood crowd and labeled as blatant pro-gay propaganda by cultural and religious conservatives.

I decided not to join the cultural conservative chorus who are bashing
the film without seeing it. If I was going to give an opinion on this
film, I believed I needed to go and see it first. So I grabbed my
popcorn and quietly slid into the local theatre to see what it was
about "Brokeback Mountain" that has everyone talking.

As far as a pro-homosexual apologetic goes, this may be the most
articulate film made to further that agenda. Two cowboys, Ennis Del Marand Jack Twist, convincingly played by actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, shatter the stereotype of gays as weak and effeminate. Ennis and Jake are hard working, hard fighting, rough and tumble cowboys. The film also portrays homosexual love as not always only a one night roll in the hay, or roll in a pup tent as the case might be,
but for some it can actually be much like heterosexual love and last for a lifetime.

The film tugs at the heart with the two sympathetic main characters,
breathtaking natural beauty and, interestingly, gentle guitar music
whenever the two men "reunite" at Brokeback Mountain. The viewer,
through flashback and eventually in the story itself, is also led to
see the horrible injustice of violence committed against gays in

So did I get won over the cultural divide by this "cowboy romance with
a twist?" Not exactly. I'll tell you why. The film seems to portray
societal bigotry and prejudice as the main cause of these two men's
tragic lives. But I believe it is more about their choices. And to
understand the series of harmful choices these men make, we have to
look at their families of origin.

In a campfire scene they both discuss their childhoods and reveal their
deep father wounds. Ennis, a ranch hand, reveals that his father left
him when he was young and Jack, a rodeo cowboy, had a father who never
loved or accepted him. Ennis and Jack came to Brokeback Mountain with
gaping father wounds. They had a legitimate need for their fathers'
love that they decided to fulfill illegitimately and sexually with each

In the movie both men marry women and become fathers, and are portrayed as men who view themselves trapped in their expected roles.
Interestingly, there is no romantic background music as they deal with
the daily challenges of being husbands and fathers. In the story
whenever they reunite the viewers are strongly set up to empathize with
them for simply "following their heart."

But what where does their self-centered journey take them and their
families? Their wives become victims of their adultery. Their children
experience the pain of having fathers whose hearts have turned
elsewhere rather than towards them and their moms. The men have no one
else to blame for the tragic outcome of their lives and the lives they
touched. Ennis and Jack chose to address their own father wounds in a
way that ended up wounding their wives and children just as they were
wounded by their dads. Yes, they had legitimate needs; but tragically,
they chose to meet them illegitimately.

Maybe you do not struggle with same sex attraction that Ennis and Jack
did in "Brokeback Mountain," but do you ever seek to meet your
legitimate needs illegitimately? You bet you and I both do. For
example, addiction to pornography is rampant within the culture at
large and also, sadly, just as prevalent in the church today, silently
destroying intimacy in our marriages. And whenever we seek to meet
legitimate needs illegitimately, as the two cowboys in "Brokeback
Mountain" did or by any other means, we only intensify our own pain.
Not only that, but at the same time, we create an even deeper wound in
our children and even our grandchildren, as the Bible describes.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the movie review. This is as close as I will get to this movie. I am choosing to not spend a nickle on anything that will help move the homosexual and lesbian lifestyles forward in our society. Having said that, I appreciate your going to the movie and sharing your insights. I would hope that others would see the same thing as you did that they addressed their past hurts and needs in an illegitimate way. However, I doubt that this will come forward. What will come forward and IS coming forward is that homosexual lifestyles are OK and a "good" alternative to hetersexual lifestyles. This is so wrong, but the media and cultural downward spiral will only play up the homosexual agenda.

Thanks for doing the "pick and shovel" work, Jamie.

Anonymous said...

I am also glad you went to the movie as I will not be seeing it. What you described was pretty much what I expected the movie to portray, namely that very "normal" looking macho men could, can, and do have homosexual relationships that are more satisfying and fulfilling than the drudgery of a heterosexual relationship inside the bounds of marriage. Unfortunately, the pain their choices cause is minimized and the culprit is given as societal rather than personal. Loving and caring Christ-following fathers are the only ones who can stem the tide. May their tribe increase!

David Erickson said...

I propose that we make commercials to expose and refute the gay agenda. Please review this:

Your efforts to educate the public about homosexuality and the gay agenda are to be commended. As you know, the militant gay activists are in a dedicated, concentrated battle to overhaul our society and tear apart the fabric of western civilization in order to advance their agenda. I propose that we take even a more proactive stance by developing and distributing commercials for TV, radio, and the newspaper to address two issues. The development of these commercials can be funded by you (this was originally addressed to the Christian Coalition, the Faith and Freedom (WERG), Pastor Jan at NSB, and the Family Research Council), and distributed through the Church of Jesus Christ to be paid and aired on local channels by local churches. These are the two areas for the commercials.

1) Reach out to the Homosexual struggler with the message that change is possible through the life transforming power of Jesus Christ. Gays are promoting the misconception and lie that being gay is not a choice, that they are born that way. They claim that they cannot change because it is genetic, it is in their DNA, their chromosomes, and we have to accept them as they are. But let's look at this rationally; if there really is a genetic cause for homosexuality, then a million years of evolution would continuously eliminate it, because they cannot reproduce. The fact that homosexuality exists today is proof that it is a choice! And since the homosexuals cannot reproduce they have to recruit - and they recruit by telling you that it is not a choice, that you are born that way! The fact that the numbers are growing is evidence that their recruiting (through misconceptions) is effective and their agenda is being advanced. As a church we are reaching out to the homosexual struggler and offering them hope that change is possible. They can return to a normal life of heterosexuality and gain some peace of mind and sanity.

2) Educate the public about the gay agenda and why it must be stopped. Since homosexuality is a choice, it is not genetic, and the homosexuals do not deserve any privileged status in society. They are not a minority group to receive benefits under the law, and should not be given any special recognition. Yet they are advancing their agenda in the courts, the legislature, private business, and the public schools. The GLSEN has developed curriculum for the public schools to teach "Tolerance" and "Diversity" which is really just an effort to normalize homosexuality. The Christian community needs to develop curriculum for the public schools to teach "Tolerance" and "Diversity" which also teach that homosexuality is a choice, and it is a bad choice, and is not a part of Tolerance and Diversity education. We need to also develop commercials for the public to expose the misconceptions that are being promoted by the gay agenda and why it must be stopped.

Lupe Maple said...

What a "hot button" subject. The Bible says that the wheat and the tares grow together. God is sending His message of redemption to the world and it is being received. Tower of Light Ministries is growing rapidly with men/women joining together for a personal redemption journey to sexual wholeness. Leaders are being raised up,churches are stepping forward...not just to speak the truth...but also to support those who want help & healing in their struggle with same-sex attraction. Many of those in the struggle desire to be right with God & the numbers are growing. Pray for Love Won Out, Tower of LIGHT Ministries, & many churches offering a place to heal.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, I appreciate you're taking time to check this out. I think we have to realize the brokenness many of us experience and understand, as you pointed out so well, that gay or straight, we all try to fulfill our God-given needs in ways that are destructive to our families and ourselves. This is a result of sin and will only ultimately be resolved when Jesus returns. In the meantime "if a man is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself lest you too be tempted." Galatians 6:1 Your review seems to embody this verse. While those whose hearts are set against God may not respond to to a loving outreach, there are those who will.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughful take on this movie and subject....