I know I said I wouldn’t watch anymore of The Bible, but it’s like a train wreck: I can’t not watch. As I indulged/afflicted myself with a few more minutes of this film (I use the term loosely), I noticed something. No, not that the dialogue was stilted, shallow and unnatural. And, not that all the main characters, save one, are white Europeans or Americans (the sole exception being Samson, played by an African-American actor) while people of races actually in the Bible are relegated to the bad guys (Satan played by Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni) and set decoration. What I noticed was the producers shied away from most anything sexual but had no qualms whatsoever with showing extremely graphic violence.
In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, (yes, I know it’s the same scene I wrote about yesterday) when Lot confronts the mob clamoring to “know” his guests, he offers them his daughters instead saying “Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them whatever you wish”; behavior which would not win him a Father of the Year award. I would say this sounds awful out of the context of the time, but I’m not sure it could ever sound good. The Bible (film) deals with this uncomfortable bit of scripture by leaving it out. Then, a few minutes later, while Lot and his family are trying to get out of town ahead of God’s wrath, the two angels with them pull out swords and exterminate a good portion of the mob in a spectacularly bloody fight scene. Let me see if I understand the criteria for what is acceptable in this thing. Some righteous smiting that results in body parts lopped off and fantastic gouts of blood is okay, but the mere mention of sex is off limits? But, wait a minute, the mob was clamoring to “know” Lot’s guests “intimately” so I guess homosexual rape is acceptable since we know the mob is going to suffer a tidy bit of biblical wrath. Good to know.
Actually, this isn’t anything new. Christians have always been more comfortable with violence than sex. A good example is found in a picture that made the rounds after an X-men comic book kicked up a little controversy. It seems some parents were upset because Marvel depicted one of the heroes marrying his boyfriend. Check it out:
I’m not talking about the terrible parent part, but the pitching a hissy if your kid sees two people who love each other and being cool if they see graphic violence part. I don’t understand why sex is bad, yet violence is, if not good, at least not as bad. One is just as worldly as the other. Is it because Paul had plenty to say about sex and not so much concerning violence. I’m not sure I want to depend on that ugly little ball of neuroses when it comes to what’s a sin and what isn’t. Regardless of what Paul might or might not have said about violence, Jesus had plenty to say on the matter. And, none of it was complimentary. I’m not going to quote chapter and verse, but the Gospels carry numerous references to His feelings on violence and quite a few less about His views on sex and sexuality. That’s got to mean something.