The Christian organization Focus on the Family is releasing a movie in theaters May 6 called “Irreplaceable” about the value of traditional families, the importance of fathers being engaged in their children’s lives and the healing power of forgiveness.
But apparently to some advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community, that’s a cardinal sin.
LGBT advocates have launched an effort to disparage the movie online, petition against it and work to make sure “Irreplaceable” isn’t seen in your local theater.
Focus President Jim Daly reports in a blog post that some of the more than 700 theaters nationwide scheduled to show the film in a one-night-only event are starting to back out, intimidated by homosexual activists.
“Some of those who disagree with us are calling ‘Irreplaceable’ ‘anti-gay propaganda,’” Daly writes, “and demanding that theaters refuse to show the film.”
Efforts to shut down the movie are being coordinated through Facebook, Twitter and a Change.org petition begun by Shalom Rosenberg, a homosexual middle school teacher from Belmont, Calif.
“Although Focus on the Family has caused so much harm to so many, this is America and they are allowed to be hateful bigots,” Rosenberg states on his petition. “What is not acceptable is the fact that they are trying to pass this film off as a fair-minded or even ‘feel good’ documentary about love, family and marriage. This is not a documentary. This is anti-gay propaganda. Furthermore, it is unacceptable for mainstream theatres to allow this to play at their cineplexes nationwide, as if this were a legitimate film. Fair-minded Americans should not tolerate this kind of deception.”
An advanced copy of “Irreplaceable” obtained by WND, however, makes almost no reference to homosexuality. Instead, it contrasts the value of committed marriage against society’s rise in easy divorces, out-of-wedlock births and the “hook-up” culture. It follows the journey of New Zealand Focus employee Tim Sisarich on a journey around the world to understand the meaning of family, only to discover a very personal journey into forgiving his own father and becoming the kind of dad his children need.
“In our family relationships we’re floundering,” Daly told WND. “We don’t know what is true; we don’t know what a dad should do. … When you leave ‘Irreplaceable,’ you hopefully will conclude why I need to be a better dad, a better husband, a better mom, a better wife. I think you will leave the theater having a better understanding and a higher motivation to live the life of a higher calling, of sacrifice, of doing the right things to hopefully place your family in the best possible position to honor God.”
Nonetheless, LGBT activists calling Focus on the Family "an anti-gay right-wing organization" have responded to the movie with a vengeance.
Even the sharply leftist HBO comedian Bill Maher has noticed the recent rash of swift and personal attacks against those who publicly speak out for traditional values.
"I think there is a gay mafia," the "Real Time" host said during a panel discussion on his April 4 program. "I think if you cross them, you do get whacked."
"We've received word that some theater owners are getting nervous and acquiescing to the demands of those who oppose free speech," Daly writes. "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,'" Daly continues. "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?"
Daly asks Focus on the Family supporters to pray for the film's success and for those protesting it.
"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," Daly concludes. "I believe this heart change can be what God uses to help heal our culture."