A Daddy Bear, a Priest, and a Rabbi Walk into a Film...

May 24, 2011

Daddy Bear director Malcom Burt sets out to do what my mama taught me never to do with strangers: talk about religion. In his new documentary, The Bedroom Commandments, Burt explores one of the most hot button issues around these days, gays and religion. Many of us have struggled with reconciling our faith with our sexuality, and in doing so have abandoned our religious upbringing altogether. Understandably so when so many religious leaders preach our damnation and/or try to cure us. But what happens when we want to stay true to our sexuality and our faith?

"Documentary film maker Malcolm Burt sets out to explore whether or not one can be gay and formally religious. Determined not to be a religion-basher, he is painfully aware that, under the banner of faith, many homosexual people have been rejected, hurt and killed because of their sexual orientation. Scriptural precepts are often perceived as antigay, and homophobia abounds in religious circles - yet there are those who are both homosexual and devout - and proclaim the scripture is misinterpreted. Malcolm struggles to understand how these faithful homosexuals continue to crave acceptance from a club that reviles them - and wonders if religion is not a choice but an accident of birth."

You can watch the trailer here, and if you're in the Brisbane area, Burt will be hosting a charity screening on June 15 at Palace Centro Cinemas (glwa.org.au).

The Bedroom Commandments - 7 minute trailer

Tags: Movies, Religion, Australia
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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Comments

I know Daddy Bears who are priests and Rabbis - on here in fact ;-)

Oh, there's one guy in that doco that is so hot. And he's on this site.... WOW.

woof ... to the mr. director

I've come to regard anyone devoutly religious of any persuasion, Christian, Muslim, Jew, whatever, with the same wary caution I would use around a large strange dog.

Nope... you can actually reason with the dog.

Hear, hear!! And no wonder dogs are "man's best friend" ;))

"In the beginning, Man created God....................."

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good sense of the trailer (crappy connection) but I think it's an awesome project. Will it be screened in the States as well? There are a few denominations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adherents within the Abrahamic faiths (Jews, Christians and Muslims) as I'm sure in many other traditions as well. I think what one regards as their faith or belief system can be critical in what is just and fair. None of this is dependent on a diety, but for many of us the reconciling of these disparate parts greatly aids in our ability to engage the world as whole beings.

What Indy said. Churchianity is an affliction.

Religion... the same can be said about about Sports & Politics. After all they all have the same fan base! Maybe it's the HUMAN condition we should all fear!

Let us also remember that in the process of finding "OUR OWN" enlightment we don't become that which we dislike... it is still a free country and it would be a shame if forgot that in the process.

My father could never accept my sexuality. My mother feared for my soul being sent to hell. All I wanted was their acceptance and love, both being much the same to me. The director struggled to understand why these faithful homosexuals craved acceptance from the church that reviles them? It's all the same need, whether family or church, whether by accident at birth or by choice. C'mon, we all want to be accepted...no mystery there.

Someone once said that "Religion is the great Opiate of the masses." I tend to agree. I couldn't care less for religious institutions and their people who revile me or the people I love and who love me. I choose not to accept THEM is what it boils down to. I've come to accept that long ago and it has made me a better man (Gay and otherwise) and a far better and compassionate human being.

Planet earth is just one rock floating in space. Before we all jump to conclusions on this little isolated rock then figure out that we are not the center of the universe no matter what some hygiene challenged ancient people scribbled on cave walls and assuming they were some pretty super duper hot stuff where everything beyond their tribal boundaries is simply not correct or understood because it is different, just like the way tribes in America were considered heathen by the U.S. Cavalry simply do to a lack of understanding and too much superstition :)

When someone talks about "the masses" then they usually are not putting themselves into that group. The bringer of advice is never part of the "masses" that he passes judgement on - lol. It is interesting that the wrong doers and the very very naughty little people are always out there somewhere and not amongst our own brand of brethren.

Sometimes its just an exchange of intellectual tantrums and verbal spankings when someones had a bad day.

A lot of issues in the cities are mainly due to lack of elbow room on crowded public transportation but sometimes a temple here and there eases the stress for some folks and theirs nothing wrong with that for sure and its likely cheaper than some expensive ripoff professional service.

Cities are obsolete now that we have cable TV and overnight shipping :)

There is an Orthodox Jewish underground. Ooops did I say that out loud? Found out that 3 members of my synagogue were gay. We were all married, had kids. I came out and divorced, so did one other. But many are still in the closet, miserable, nervous, over eaters. I see a few married guys that are worried about being caught. Lots to loose. I did my "why God, why did you make me this way" Its all good now. Love God, love myself.

Religion is such a bore. One of the great things about being gay is it makes you question all kinds of "accepted truths". Then you see that they're all just ways for other people to impose their will on you. Just wish more people could move on from the whole religion thing. Really, who gives a crap? Maybe there's a God, maybe there isn't. We can't possibly know it (at least until we're dead) so why waste so much time and energy speculating? Not to mention telling other people how they should think and behave. Shut up, move on, and get on with life, people!

Wait, isnt telling us to "shut up, move on and get on with life, people"....telling people how they should think and behave...the very thing you dont like about religion? just sayin'

There's a difference between an individual expressing a personal opinion on a blog post, which anyone is free to disagree with, and enormous multinational organizations spending thousands of years brainwashing people that if they don't toe the line they will burn in hell for eternity.

Magnificently said by idodads!
This is the Gospel.
This is the Truth of the human situation.

i agree w/guy ahead of me...i was raised catholic.......i think Jesus had a great message but the rules that the CHURCH instituted (not Jesus) are unfair and suppressive. I gave up on all that yrs ago and got over it...now i feel that if there is a god ..cool..if not ok..............live in peace....Bob

I once a saw a button that said, "Religious people scare me, spiritual people inspire me." To lump Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in with Oprah Winfrey and Marianne Williamson just because they all believe in God (albeit in such different ways), is illogical and reductive - kind of like lumping healthy, loving, responsible gay men and women in with pedophiles. We hate it when the radical right makes stupid generalities so let's not stoop to that level by dismissing all peoples of faith because some of them are assholes.

Awesome... well put!!!

I'm surprised that most of the feedback is negative..the blog authors comments tho rang true...Ive been a Christian by choice for over 30 years..tho I've never struggled with the churches perception and I'm not seeking inclusion at all....I would never sit and argue the 7 main scriptures equated with homosexuality...but i stumbled on this lil indie documentary....that is educational and sensitive and funny and extremely simple...Fish out of Water...if this subject interests you watch it ...available on netflix..Peace all.....noHate

I think that "faithful homosexuals [who] continue to crave acceptance from a club that reviles them" are a bit like Log Cabin Republicans, who continue to spend the time, money and energy battering at the door of the Republican Party, craving an acceptance that will never materialize. It is very difficult to change someone's mind once they are convinced of the "rightness" of a behavior.

... hmmmmm...

... hating them...
... for hating you...
... judging them...
... because...
... you will not be judged...
... dismal bane...
... of who screws whom...
... spit venom...
... because...
... that's what your full of...

... thinking...
... it's about how to fuck...
... rather...
... than how to not fuck over...
... misses the point...
... whichever direction...
... travelled...

... enduring...
... wanting to believe the best...
... fadeless hope...
... rejoicing in right and truth...
... but not in a self-seeking way...
... well-mannered and strong...
... humble...
... patient...
... kind...

... if only we could worry...
... more...
... about where we keep...
... our hearts...
... than where we keep...
... our dicks...

blessings.

laeth

First of all, I'm a Christian who just happens to be gay. I struggled for quite some time with my faith and my sexuality before I realized that the 'church' really isn't what faith is all about...it is one's relationship with God that is important. I've been fortunate enough to find a church that accepts us for who we are, (St. John's Episcopal) and encourages others to do the same. God loves us, has created us the way we are, and wants us to follow Christ's example of loving those who persecute us. I like the term "Churchianity" very much.... It certainly separates true Christians from those who follow dogma instead of Christ.
myke

Creation in general and Life in particular are far beyond human ingenuity. Science inevitably trails off into the supernatural, i.e., God. We have consciences and need an explanation of where we came from and where we're going. It is ridiculous to view Biblical and non-Biblical belief systems as equivalent. Knowledge of the fulfilled prophecy of the Bible is life-changing, as are the many other studies which confirm the divine inspiration of the Bible. Example: One of the world's leading forensics experts, a founder of the Harvard Law School, and a skeptic regarding the Resurrection, Simon Greenleaf, concluded that the Resurrection of Christ is one of the best forensically validated events in history. Christianity is simply the best belief system. Accept it and let the sexual stuff be secondary. Everyone has sinned. The remedy is the Plan of Salvation.

Harvard Law School was founded in 1817. Mr. Greenleaf was not a scientist and his arguments were not based on scientific evidence. Mr. Greenleaf's conclusion that the resurrection was forensically validated is based on his belief that the gospels were accurate independent accountings.

I'm not arguing that the resurrection did not happen, only that there is no hard evidence that it did. so if you choose to believe you are stuck with a belief based on faith and a belief which is objectively neither better nor worse than any other belief system.

Being educated in the parochial school system all my life (K-post grad school) the "brainwashing" that they attempted with me failed miserably. I was quite the enigma for the nuns to handle.

"From where did Cain's wife come" I asked in second grade, which got me detention! My parents were FURIOUS with the nun.

During religious studies, I asked "Why can't we study the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy"? B/C they tell you to "sell off your daughters" and to "kill your neighbor if his sacrificial offering of a burning bull offends you".

There were too many "contradictions in the Bible" that cannot be explained. When I got older and wiser (this was by the 8th grade) I was quoting a verse that the philosopher Epicurus wrote centuries prior:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

This is a compelling argument for those in question of what they're seeking in their lives. Or perhaps NOT.

I only wish I had been your teacher ( I am gay, and have taught for 35 years). I could have answered all of your questions and provided you with a sense of a God of love. Too sad those in your path couldnt.

Folks seem to need fancy pants language (verbal spankings) in one form or another (biblical, medical, literary, etc) where the words are quite lofty and dominant which insists on total submission to one form of doctrine or philosophy whether its religion or the profitable system of labeling human traits as requiring expensive professional solutions where then the ole time religion is replaced with a new form of TV evangelism where the profit shifts from corrupt TV ministers to the pockets of professional game players that are the modern version of the used car salesman that welcome you to their humble office for a good deal on some medication to achieve the same result that another form of thinking acheived at far less cost. Have to remember that people who do not indentify with a particular lifestyle will naturally not understand just like a scientist will tend to have some very negative attitudes about what they might refer to as "village people" but then they will speak smooth words for the public record while saying what they really think when the media is not filming or carefully editing what is determined to be the news of significance.

The most interesting thing is what people would do if they thought they could get away with it with no lofty penalties for being a very naughty peasant. Could people maybe be good people even without needing to fear law or a version of superman.

People will have come a long way if it could get to where theres no need for any commandments or even a judicial system because people could just be nice peopel without all the legal spankings perhaps.

Many of us did not experience religious based hatred or homophobia in the church. And yes, there are plenty of bears and cubs on here who are indeed priests: Episcopal and Lutheran in particular. No surprise there. In fact, I remember a lectionary discussion group that grew out of the metrobears bear blast at the old dugout in nyc. Certainly there are faux-Christians out there who spew nothing but hatred (most of it is simple transferrance). But don't judge all religious people based on the actions of the vocal few. If that were the case, you'd have to eliminate sports and the arts as being "homophobic" too.

The human experience will always have religion, politics, a system of Law of some form, and Art.
It may be random or it may be Organized. These are natural developments and evolutions from what we are (Beings of Consciousness and Will).. We will always value Beauty, Goodness, and Justice, and much more, such as New-ness, creativity, reaching beyond Self, and reaching within Self. And as social creatures it will become organized..
What we are is as natural as Natural Law, though what we teach by our existence is that Way of Grace, a deeper and simpler/truer Truth, and the Beauty and Vibrancy of Spirit. Do not disdain religion, it serves Us.
I would love a woofy Priest, Cleric, Mullah, or Rabbi.

jon or Netzer

Relax.
"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary;
for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice."
- Joseph Dunninger

It's truly unfortunate that so many gay men have had both a negative experience and hence a negative attitude about organized religion. You'd be hard put to say that Charles Manson is the most sterling representative of the human race, so why base your opinion of religion on its worse manifestations or only bad personal experiences of it? As the above author noted, religion has been around for a very long time with very good reason. In it's best (and intended) lived experience it powerfully affirms that human beings (gay and otherwise) are relationship oriented, and not just to other persons----to THE Person whom Christian scripture (and experience) has identified as the essence of Love. I can only speak from my personal experience and belief (Christian) and I'd have to say that before you go out and paint every organized religion with the broad brush of cynicism take time to become familiar with the best that religion has to offer. There's room for everyone at God's table....

VERY well said! I am an ordained pastor in a mainline denomination, totally out and proud and accepted gay man, and a daddybear. To be sure, the church over the years treated the gay community with distain, but nowadays there are increasing numbers of church bodies who welcome gays and even within those bodies who don't officially, there are congregations which do. Your closing statement "There is room for everyone at God's table" is exactly what we say each and every Sunday after the Fraction, right before the distribution of the Eucharist... and we MEAN it. I find, unfortunately, that there is more rejection, bitterness, anymousity and downright nastiness coming from individual gays and the gay community these days than there is from the majority of churches. To some extent, that is understandable and will take a long time to heal. Perhaps in time, after the gay community sees that a significant number of Christian denominations and congregations are sincere in their total welcome of LGBTQ people, it will let down it's defenses a bit and see the good things the Church has done and continues to do in our communities and the world.

The way some of the people in trailer speak against "religion", they are no better than the bigots they are speaking against. I am gay and throughly believe in my religion and much to the dismay of many here, my CATHOLIC church accepts me for who I am. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs but should be very careful on how they express them... especially the alledged ex-Morman lesbian.

This is an interesting argument. In the democratic society we pride ourselves on the 'live and let live' philosophy. But are there not times when we have to stand up and state that something is wrong? Can we stay silent on homophobia; cruel animal experiments; female circumcision; and so on? As a secular humanist or atheist I have come to my understanding that there is no credible scientific evidence for gods, ghosts, angels, or other supernatural deities. I like to think i achieved this through the practice of open mindedness and critical thinking - as well as by the great gift of being gay. As mentioned by a poster above, being vomited out of the dream state of shared delusion by virtue of being a reject, one is in the lucky position of being able to see right through the lies and hypnotic dogma, not just of religion, but of other ideologies too.

However, there is often the awkward sense of being 'impolite' or possibly being perceived as too pushy or even 'bigoted' when an atheist challenges religion. I do not include here the gays and atheists that rage in blistering fury, or attack the faithful with withering sarcasm and condescension. I mean those of us who, using a measured, cool-headed and well-reasoned argument, object to religion being taught to children in schools as if it were a legitimate reality, or religion being the foundation of political hegemonies, or religion being used in so many multiple ways to stigmatize, abuse and oppress people. Religious adherents have had no problem themselves railing against atheists and gays, and going further to persecute them throughout history and various cultures - sometimes unto death. Why do those of us who have suffered under the mantle of religious bigots hesitate so to tell them to fuck off and stop messing with our heads and hearts and cocks?

I think it's because many of us fear accidentally hurting the feelings of the 'good' adherents of religion - the church groups that do accept us and marry us, the GLBT members of the church who do good works both within and outside the church and change minds and influence views. The struggle is that many of these people (and I include people here I consider friends or whom I admire in many respects) pick and choose what bits and pieces of religious writings and edicts suit their philosophy - just like the religious homophobes do. They abandon critical thinking and I think inadvertently continue to do themselves harm. For a while I dabbled in Buddhism which attracted me with its promise of clear thinking, unfettered mind - until I heard the ignorant comments made about gays by the Dalai Llama. Not that his views should make a difference if, as the Buddha advised, you are 'a lamp unto yourself'.

The internal conflict is always that in order to stand up for what you believe you have to accept that you will not be able to 'live and let live' because others may be causing harm through their religious and cultural beliefs.

Well said Voyager7.
The more I see of the world and our history, the more I come to the opinion that religions are probably 100% responsible for the existence of homophobia in human society.

Where can I find the full film. I am a ex preacher of the gospel that knows that you can be gay and a faithful child of God at the same time. post address to daddyhunt dchot49

It is not bigoted to criticize religion. Faith is the only thing in our culture that we are forbidden to criticize and that taboo allows the faithful to get away with all sorts of crimes that would not be tolerated otherwise. Stop playing the victim card. If what you believe does not stand up to objective scrutiny, then question your own beliefs and stop attacking those who ask legitimate questions.

I enjoyed reading all the comments and then comparing those texts with the profiles of those who took the time to share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. As a result, those individuals no longer were objects of my perceptions and projections, but real people.

If religion helps some people to accept the inevitable, namely that we will all disappear from this earth one day, fine. And if religion brings people together and make them feel wanted, fine.

However, if religion is used to get working class youngsters to join the armed forces and put their lives on the line so that those in power gain even more power, than I have none of it. Similarly, if religion is used to suppress women and minorities, including gay people, then I will not have anything to do with them. Haven't been inside a church in years and miss nothing.

Of course, one never knows whom one might meet at a religious establishment <grin>, but that would be wishful thinking, like going to the Home Depot in search of a hairy hunk <g>.

Once more thanks to the moderator for asking and for all the readers who shared their thoughts.

religion - ten words. INCREASE POSITIVE THINKING, DECREASE NEGATIVE THINKING,
CONTROL MY OWN MIND.

belief - an idea that I have some comfort or passion or time in a specific perspective
as it is only a belief - it can be changed by another belief so it is not known truth.

truth - that which is evident to me by deep personal experience.
understanding, comprehension, knowledge.

What is knowledge of myself is unchangeable. It is imperical data but subjective as it is not neccesarily the same knowledge in detail as to others. It is knowledge and can compare to
others - but it is unique.

Great video - I so hope I see it in our area - Vancouver - in some future date. Heck! I'd buy it!

Finally, it is my limited understanding as a thelemic/buddhist/jew that Guatama Buddha never used the term 'GOD' in his Dharmapada. Now there are many thousands of texts yet to translate from the Pali to Sanskrit to Hindi to German to English - but to date, GOD is not a references point. Self and other as one is a buddhist, christian, islamic, judaic, hindu, taoist, shinto, etc etc belief.

Cult or not, it's age history and size of the cult that makes it a religion.

So if my friendly rabbi is correct - MAN SHALL NOT LIE WITH MAN - was meant for a society 3000 plus years ago that had men having sex with younger men - young, to teens, and into their twenties. It was not always consensual. Men single and married had sex with boys because women were untouchable. Some did use their daughters - but the terms in the bible at that time were trying hard to break a cycle of [filtered word], and pedophilia. Those words were not understood - and pedophilia was not in use. So we are under the use of terms that change with the social need. In the Crusades high infant mortality rates meant we needed men to have children because of plagues, high infant morbidity rates and a need for men to go to the Crusades. And now - in the 1880's, 1920's 1960's and again now - in this decade we see sexual and personal and lifestyle revolutions in thought, action and beliefs. This is a cycle of change that is re-occuring every 40 odd years. Good, perhaps we will stop being victims for once and for all and free ourselves to have our own beliefs and discover enduring peace and happiness. This must be the core of any system that calls itself spiritual. And that includes the spirituality of ghost hunters, ouiji boards, the key of solomon, and psychology.

What a brilliant mind. What a good man. What a beautiful fullness of permission to be himself without conflict.

Thanks for this fantastic video and discussion.