Though it opens with the cathartic spectacle of Anita Bryant getting a cream pie in the kisser and closes with an act of civil disobedience against Jim Dobson's reprogramming outfit, Focus on the Family, Daniel Karslake's documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So, is more human interest than agitprop. Four gay Americans—including Anglican bishop Gene Robinson and former House leader Dick Gephardt's daughter Chrissy—are profiled in the context of their accepting, religious families. One, who was repudiated by her mother and consequently committed suicide, is memorialized. An embedded educational cartoon amusingly explicates current scientific notions of homosexuality. Two Harvard theologians are on hand to parse Scripture. And some scholars deconstruct biblical text: To call something an abomination is to call it a transgression of ritual law (that is, unkosher) rather than a mortal sin. Others point out that fundamentalists are highly selective, taking the Bible literally only when it suits them. But mainly the movie stresses the importance of unconditional parental love (itself a reproach to the notion of a cruel fundamentalist God).
Rep. Gephardt and his (now) happy family.
Runs Fri., Oct. 26–Thurs., Nov. 1, at Varsity. Not rated. 99 minutes.