Brokeback Mountain humbled me.”

The following message was left on IMDb, under the title “I’m a Conservative Christian and This Film Changed My Mind.”

I've always been somewhat reluctant to come down hard on homosexuals (in social situations with other church-goers or with my Republican friends at political events). I'm just not the type to judge others out of spite. I've never really known anyone close to me that's gay, although I've met a few people here and there at my work that later I was told were.

Last weekend, I was in Dallas and - to make a long story short - I ended up "having" to see this film. It definitely was NOT my choice to do so, but to avoid a confrontation, I relented. Everybody makes this sort of compromise sooner or later, right? If the film we wanted to see hadn't been sold out, I don't think I'd ever have seen "Brokeback Mountain."

It's been four days since I saw the film, and progressively, day after day, I have been forced to admit that I am ashamed of the way I felt about homosexuals. I literally had no concept of what life is truly like for these individuals, and must continue to be. In my heart I know that good, wholesome, long-standing friends of mine - true-believing Christians - have made life horrible for these people when they go out of their way to bad mouth them behind their backs (no one I know I think would get in someone's face), tell their children homosexuals are going to Hell, etc etc.

I can't explain what I'm feeling, but I haven't had this kind of doubt (about the church I go to) since I made the decision a long, long time ago to leave the family business against my father's wishes. I also didn't go into the same branch of the armed forces that he went into. Which is another story. In a way, I guess, my own personal history and my relationship with a disapproving (and uneducated) father somehow made me "get" what Heath Ledger's character goes through. Let me just say that a lot of heartache was involved. The God I believe in, that I teach my kids to trust, would never wish the kind of pain that I went through on anyone, which really I now know for real, is the same kind of pain homosexuals must go through just to live what for them is an honest life, and the choice they must make. I'd never had my eyes opened to this before, not ONE IOTA.

Tonight, winding down, I said a little prayer. It was more or less the same thing that's been going round and round inside my head since I saw this movie... who am I to judge? I honestly was trembling at one point during the credits before we got up to leave, and I had to struggle to re-gain my composure. Now that I am remembering that, it reminds me of the way I trembled when I first asked God to forgive me of my sins and accept me as I am.

"Brokeback Mountain" humbled me.
(Hat tip Broadsheet.)

The thread predictably disintegrated into arguments about whether homosexuality is a sin, whether the poster is “really” a Christian, and if the poster is even real. And though the debates rage on, the poster did come back with a follow-up:

Wow. You all can't imagine the shock I had today of coming back to this comment board and finding all of the responses since I saw the movie last month. Thank you all for the kind things you had to say. Frankly, I'd forgotten all about this website. The holidays were very busy, and I've just gotten back into the swing of things. Also, something happened over Christmas that's been on my mind, and I thought I should share…

"Brokeback Mountain" came up one day while two of my brothers-in-law, father-in-law, and another son-in-law like myself (plus his 18 year old eldest son, a freshman in college) and I went out to breakfast early one morning after some quail hunting. My wife's youngest brother said something about the movie as a joke and everybody else chuckled along like you'd expect. I'd already decided what I was going to do if anybody mentioned it, and I said, "I saw it when I was in Texas. And you know, it was damn good." They all shut up, and it was pretty quiet for awhile. I just kept eating like nothing happened…

It's the same old crap I grew up with. It's like moving a mountain, sometimes, and again that's why I think I connected with this movie so deeply. I don't know how to express it really, but I have to say that the more I think about it and after that breakfast table bit, what with all that gay people have to put up with and still don't give up, stick up for themselves or do the best they can, the more I respect THEM than the people who wish they'd go away or who want to shut them down…

I hope this movie makes a boatload of money. Those two cowboys deserve every cent they get.

Thanks, and hang in there.

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