Readers who tire of imaginative Exodus propaganda about Brokeback Mountain are invited to read David Ben-Ariel’s commentary, Brokeback Mountain Blues: Thoughts of a celibate, gay Christian. Ariel’s analysis is antigay (as I define the term) but his observations are practical and rooted in the content of the movie, not in sloppy political stuntwork.

I’ve watched Oprah have men on her program who have been heterosexually married for years, with children, who suddenly “discovered” they were gay, and in “finding themselves,” lost their wife and children. What about the commitment to their marriage they made before both God and man? I don’t care if you’re gay or straight, if you make a vow you should keep it! Why make victims of the truly innocent wife and children who didn’t ask for it? Of course some will say they’re all victims, and that’s true to an extent, but even if someone has “feelings” they should control them or nip wrong thoughts in the bud — not permit them to take root and grow.

True, some people who suffer from a compulsive or unhealthy behavior should develop self-control. And people who have made solemn covenants with other people must take their responsibilities seriously. But this is a point that gay people have made as well.

Mr. Ben-Ariel also asks:

Why do some find it fascinating for a man to cheat on his wife with another man, but would stone someone who was going through his “midlife crisis” sleeping around with younger women to prove some point to himself?

Good question. But Mr. Ben-Ariel’s column prompts me to ask two related questions:

  1. Why do some find it fascinating for a man to cheat with another woman, but stone a gay married man or a movie about that man?
  2. Marital cheating is wrong. But what about the remaining choice to be made by the couple — between honest and upfront divorce, and a marriage with little or no sexual attraction or activity?

Mr. Ben-Ariel’s commentary may not be gay-affirming, but it assesses the movie for what it is and asks some relevant questions.

Hat tip: David Ben-Ariel. Conclusion slightly revised.

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