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Beauty and the Beast: The Controversy.

As I scroll through social media or engage in conversations with many of my readers, I can’t help but title the new movie this way in my head (accompanied by the sound of ominous music). It seems like everywhere I look, I see opinions raging, most expressing disappointment, some reacting with outrage, some with support and many with apathy.beautiful-963893_1920

So there it is. The Controversy. In the live action version of Beauty in the Beauty, there is a nod to Same Sex Attraction (SSA). You can go look up the details if you haven’t heard about it yet, but if you haven’t, I’d be shocked.

I have a few people ask me for my take on this. Specifically, I had someone ask me “Doesn’t it just make you so mad?” And, I had to look at them and say, “No, not at all.” And here’s why:

  1. Disney is not an evangelical Christian company – They never have been. It’s not in their DNA. They are a company that has always reflected the culture and the things that are important to the culture.
  2. Disney is not beholden to me for….anything – They have not entered into any kind of arrangement to offer me what I deem family-friendly entertainment or promise me that they will express my values in their movies or television shows.
  3. Disney is not raising my children – I’m doing that. And there have been MANY Disney moments where I’ve stopped the movie and said, “Hmm, what do you guys think about that? Is that how Christ would have us act or respond? What do you think Jesus would have done in that situation? What about you?”
  4. Disney is pushing an agenda – Of course they are! Everything and everyone is! Friends, we are. Walmart is. Chick-Fil-A is. The trash company is. Everyone is. Part of the beauty of our country is that we can. And part of the beauty of our republic is that our right to do so is protected and our right to not engage with something is also protected.
  5. Disney is primarily a business – They want to make money. Lots of money. And as we know, any publicity is good publicity. Those who have hit the airwaves and social media calling for a boycott and spreading inflammatory articles and blog posts have helped create a storm of publicity for them that will help them meet their ultimate goal. To make more money.

I can’t be mad at Disney for doing what Disney does any more than I can be mad at any other company for doing what that company does.

Friends, we are called to be “alien and strangers” in this world (I Pet. 2:11). We are supposed to be the odd ones out. We are supposed to be different. It’s not the world’s job to conform to us. It’s our job not to conform to it (Rom. 12:2). Expressing outrage over the world being the world is like expressing outrage that a bird flies.

If outrage is to be expressed, let it be for things that truly break God’s heart.

He LOVES the world, so much that He sent his only Son to say it in the loudest way possible. Look at how Jesus approached life.

He didn’t say, “Boycott the world!” He said, “Love your neighbor, do good to those who come against you.” (Mt. 5:44)

He didn’t act in ways that said, “Withdraw from society” but rather he ate dinner with outcasts, with “sinners”, with the ones no “righteous” person would associate with (Mark 2:13-17).

He did not expect the world to be like Him. Instead, He went to them wherever they were and stayed who He was without shaming them (Luke 7:36-50).

There are things that do break God’s heart.   Jesus wept over Jerusalem because the very people He came to love, didn’t see Him, didn’t know who He was (Luke 19:41-44). He wept in the garden because the cup He had to bear was so difficult but His overwhelming love for the world was stronger (Luke 22:44). He wept when a friend lost his life, even though He knew that life would be returned to him (John 11:35).

Jesus’ heart breaks for people.

His outrage was expressed only against those who claimed to love him and acted in ways unlike Him (Mt. 21:12-13, Mt. 23). Whether we choose to watch the movie or not, let’s be sure that our actions, our words, reflect Him and His love for the whole world and all the people in it.

Because that is our agenda – that is what we are called to do (Mt. 22-36-40).

Want ideas on how to turn any Family Movie Night (Disney or otherwise) into an intentional discipleship moment at home?  Click here!!

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About this Blog


Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and  Seedbed


  • kimbersimons
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you! I am actually glad to see many of my favorite Kid Min bloggers writing similar sentiments!

  • Deanna Fugett
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Love this! Well spoken. I shouted “Yes!” a few times while reading this.

  • Michael Blaylock
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Loving this!

  • Aria Clements of Aria Couture
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Pretty nice article. I’m not a Christian (anymore), but will be sharing this one.

    I’m upset over LeFou, not because they’re making him gay to begin with, but because they decided to use the comic-relief bad-buy sidekick (whose name literally means “the fool”), and then have him fall in love with the man who abuses him. Even those of us who are progressive can’t root for him to get who he loves. I want a gay character whose love is something we can root for instead of hope he doesn’t end up with the person he wants.

    Something that amuses is how a lot of people are acting like progressiveness is new to Disney, like Disney has NEVER supported same-sex pairings until now. Back in 2004, in Princess Diaries 2, Mia and her friend Lily, and a few others were going through a slide show of unmarried bachelors since she had to get married (this scene always makes me so happy):

    Queen Clarisse: Next?
    Her assistant, Charlotte: Antoine Suisson of Paris. Plays the harp. Uh, no title, but good family.
    Lily: What about the title “husband?”
    Mia: Yeah, he’s cute.
    Joe: His boyfriend thinks he’s handsome, also.
    Mia and Lily: *pumping their fists in the air* Right on.

    So. You know. Some people are a little late to be outraged now by Disney acknowledging, and supporting, same-sex attractions and relationships.

  • peacht
    Posted March 10, 2017 at 4:28 am

    You and I are often on…different ends of the political/theological spectrum lol. But this is a great article. Truly I’m disappointed in Disney’s decision to push things, but like you said, there have been numerous times I’ve had to have discussions work my kids about previous Disney film references anyway etc. And I remember my parents doing the same with me in the early 90’s. And yes, any publicity is lucrative for a company. I love the idea of finding, creating discipleship moments in the shows kids watch, knowing what they watch, and watching as a family. I was glad I heard about this ahead of time, not to call attention (publicity) but to make an informed choice for our family (to watch something else). Very good points in this article!

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