There is a movie out -- called Call Me By Your Name -- that I probably wouldn’t mention, except that it has been nominated for “Best Picture,” and given the circumstances, it will get LOTS of media buzz. Expect to hear more about it. As we all know, the entertainment and “news” media are always grinding away at various agendas, and they are often not subtle about it. There is not a lot we can do, but we can at least call what it is. This film depicts an adult man and a teenage boy in an improper relationship. I haven’t seen the film and don’t intend to. I rely on what others have written, both favorably and unfavorably. One Catholic critic exposes what’s going on: it’s a beautifully filmed seduction, aimed both at normalizing something, as well as spinning a wish-fulfilling fantasy.
Lots of people in our society let feelings and desire govern everything, setting aside the moral law when it is inconvenient. This is celebrated in our culture, while too many voices, including Catholic ones, are apologetic and defensive. What we don’t say enough is that God’s laws are a lot like seatbelts: yes, they pinch and keep us from doing everything we might like; but their purpose is to protect us from destroying ourselves.
Right now, our culture brazenly lies about sex and relationships and life; like the film I referred to, it’s all seduction. What gets left out is how much terrible sadness lies down that road. This is particularly true for those who accept the culture’s message that same-sex behavior is just another flavor, and is normal and happy. A lot of what is going on in our society right now is all about making people feel good about behaviors that are sinful and destructive. So many cowardly voices say, do what you like; but they are nowhere to be found when it’s time to bind up the wounds. It is up to you and me to be speak the truth with courage – and always with love and compassion – especially when it is unwelcome. Like much of what passes for entertainment, this film looks to be beautiful evil.