A drive-in movie theater in Alabama announced on its Facebook page it will not screen Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" because it includes an "exclusively gay moment," and its Christian owners don't agree with the film's propaganda. The theater's Facebook page is now inaccessible.
"If we cannot take our 11-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson to see a movie, we have no business watching it," the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in DeKalb County posted on its Facebook page Thursday, according to AL.com. "If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it."
The post also said, "When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine. … I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That's fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language."
The theater's Facebook page now says, "Sorry, this content isn't available right now. The link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you're not in."
"Beauty and the Beast" is scheduled for release on March 17.
BBC reported Wednesday that actor Josh Gad, who portrays LeFou, the sidekick to the film's villain Gaston, "breaks new ground when it comes to LGBT visibility" as his character on camera realizes that he has homosexual feelings. The movie's director, Bill Condon, has said Gad "makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. … [I]t is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."
Notable Christian leaders are also urging Christian parents to boycott the film, which features same-sex content geared toward children.
Evangelist and President of Samaritan's Purse Franklin Graham stated on his Facebook page Thursday: "They're trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children. Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it's a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney."
Graham mentioned that he met Walt Disney when he was a child and said he was gracious to him and his father. But today, Disney "would be shocked at what has happened to the company that he started," Graham asserted.
Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has said he will not be allowing his children to view the film. "The reason is very simple," he explained on his blog Wednesday. "I am not going to let a movie studio communicate to my children that sexual immorality is 'normal and natural.'"
On the Thursday episode of his daily worldview analysis podcast called "The Briefing," SBTS President Al Mohler highlighted the spiritual warfare surrounding popular culture.
"Christians thinking about our engagement with the culture and especially with entertainment need to keep a couple of issues very much in mind, and one of these is the pattern or the trajectory of media influence," Mohler said. "This has do with the fact that even as entertainment has to be entertaining in order to be successful, once a movie or any other cultural product achieves that genuine moment of entertainment, it then has the opportunity for a far deeper influence."