For those unacquainted the peculiarities of the modern American evangelical movement, the fissures within the brotherhood can be both appalling and, in a perverse way, damn comical. Case in point: the recent musings of Kevin T. Bauder, president of the Plymouth-based Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
As The New York Times reported today, Bauder has kicked up some controversy with his blog postings about a new movie, End of the Spear. Produced by the evangelical film company, Every Tribe Entertainment, the movie concerns itself with the true story of five American missionaries who were murdered in Ecuador in 1956. The subsequent forgiveness of the heathen killers by the victims' family members--classic Christian redemption fare--seems to be the sort of inspirational yarn the Godly types among us would embrace with gusto.
But, in the eyes of Kevin Bauder, there is a great big hitch: one of the main characters in the film is portrayed by an openly gay actor, Chad Allen. This greatly dismays Bauder, who has posted extensively on the subject on his personal blog. [Scroll down to January 13 entry for the opening salvo].
"It is a scandal because it promotes a man who is working hard to advance one of the most shameful and unnatural human abuses," Bauder opines, adding that the hiring of the gay actor is "the equivalent of admitting that you've just hired Jack the Ripper as your chief surgeon because he demonstrates exceptional handling of a scalpel."
But it is the movie's producers who seem to have provoked Bauder's most intense wrath. The company, he asserts, "is trying to huckster money from evangelicals they should really be getting from NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Love Association]."
Lest he be perceived as a radical--or perhaps even a terrorist--Bauder does add a caveat to his fatwah against the infidels at Every Tribe Entertainment. Striking a conspicuously careful note, he cautions his readers that "it probably would be an over reaction to firebomb these men's houses."
The word "probably" may provide Bauder with all the legal wiggle room he needs. But, as the Times reports, the film's producers have put in a call to the FBI.