It started in December, when Focus on the Family first began running “Irreplaceable” trailers in cinemas across the nation.
The trailer was benign, a collection of clips with a voiceover of host Tim Sisarich asking what happened to the belief in traditional family. What happened to the view that a man and woman should marry, raise children and remain committed for a lifetime?
During the trailer, Sisarich rightly points out that the culture is now seemingly at odds with that simple and natural design formula.
We quickly learned that according to some, there are some questions you just can’t ask – or you’ll suffer the consequences.
And so the online buzz against the movie started. We even learned about boycotts and protests being threatened.
We realized people couldn’t criticize the film itself (they hadn’t seen it!) – but they could attack us for our belief that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman.
They could criticize our Bible-based views on human sexuality and gender.
They could call us names.
They could condemn our work of years past in helping support California’s Prop 8 measure to uphold the traditional definition of marriage – the same “sin” committed by the recently ousted co-founder and CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich.
Some of those who disagree with us are calling Irreplaceable “anti-gay propaganda” and demanding that theaters refuse to show the film on May 6.
We’ve received word that some theater owners are getting nervous and acquiescing to the demands of those who oppose free speech. We heard from one in Ohio just yesterday who decided to drop the film because they had received complaints and didn’t want to deal with all the “controversy” attached to it.
Ironically, this theater is currently showing “Bad Words” – an R-rated movie one reviewer called “the best pedophile film of 2014.”
I can only deduce that this Ohio theater owner believes the views presented in the “Bad Words” movie are acceptable – but the millennia-old concept that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman is not.
Is this really where we are as a culture?
That question can send a reasonable person into a tailspin. The implications of the answer are sobering: what is right is now considered wrong. Any dissent posed to the views of a powerful minority will be silenced.
Late-night comedian Bill Maher, no social conservative by any means, responded to this new reality of reverse discrimination against holders of traditional morality by saying, “I think there is a gay mafia. I think if you cross them, you do get whacked. I really do.”
Please pray for us in this final month before the May 6 debut of our film. Pray that theaters will hold the line and that the movie will be accessible to those who want to participate in our one-night movie debut and roundtable conversation event.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will make the truths found in this film – truths about God’s design for family and how His character is reflected through that design – come alive in the hearts and minds of those who watch “Irreplaceable” and its follow-up companion curriculum, “The Family Project.”
And please also pray for those who are protesting this film.
Most of all, pray that “Irreplaceable” ignites a counter-cultural revolution that inspires husbands and wives to live lives committed to each other, and that moms and dads can see the beauty and worth of their everyday sacrifices as they parent their kids.
I believe this heart-change can be what God uses to help heal our culture.
I hope you, your family, and friends will join us in taking a stand for marriage and family on Tuesday, May 6.