Bishop of Singapore issues Beauty and the Beast warning

I didn’t use to pay much attention to what Anglicans are up to in Singapore but since a couple of my grandchildren have moved there, I have developed more of an interest.

To his credit, the Anglican bishop of Singapore, Rennis Ponniah has issued this statement warning parents that Disney’s new version of Beauty and the Beast has “homosexual content”.

Life, of course, has “homosexual content” but whereas in times past it was largely hidden from view – I remember my mother telling me she was unaware of the existence of homosexuality until she was in her 20s – today it is paraded conspicuously at every opportunity and has become the standard by which our tolerance for others is measured. Or, at least our 21st century replacement of what used to be tolerance for others – see how far you are tolerated if you decline to put a statement you disagree with on a cake, for example.

Now, to make sure we don’t have a repeat performance of my mother’s experience, children have to be made aware, not just that homosexuality exists, but that it is a normal part of life. In fact, it’s probably more normal, more fun, more to be aspired to and more cool than run-of-the mill monogamous heterosexuality with all its tedious trappings like bearing, providing for and rearing the fruit of one’s union. At least, that’s what Disney would like children to believe.

Dear Clergy & Deaconesses,

It is needful that you alert your congregation about the homosexual content in Disney’s re-make of Beauty and the Beast – a film scheduled for screening during the March school holidays.

Disney films for children’s entertainment are usually associated with wholesome, mainstream values. But times are changing at a foundational level. In this new live-action remake of the classic film , the character LeFou is portrayed as gay and a ‘gay moment’ is included in the movie by way of a sub-plot.

Parents are therefore strongly advised to provide guidance to their children about this re-make of ‘Beauty & the Beast’ , and indeed to their children’s entertainment choices in a rapidly changing age. Let us pursue Prov 22:6 ” Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The Diocese and the National Council of Churches are working  on a fuller advisory to our members in the coming week.

With the Lord’s blessing as we shepherd our people.

Bishop Rennis Ponniah
11 Mar 2017

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