Thursday, October 09, 2008

The He in the She

Did anyone watch Bones last night? The case was intriguing, the murderer unexpected, and the comedy side corny as ever. Normally I just watch to unwind, share my thoughts with a few friends, and then forget about it. Last night’s story was different. For those that didn’t here is TV.com’s episode summary:
“Booth and Brennan go to investigate a body found in the Chesapeake Bay. After arriving, they find only the upper torso, giving the team little to work with other than remnants of the victim's breast implants. Brennan and Booth are led to a small church in Maryland, where they find that the victim was a pastor. When the team finds the lower half of the body, they learn that their initial assumptions may not have been incorrect.”

Spoiler Alert:

My mind keeps coming back to elements of the story. The victim was the beloved pastor Patricia, who six years earlier was a mega church TV preacher with a “send us your money message” named Patrick. The response of the general Christian community to gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgender individuals has concerned me. Sites like “God Hates Fags” make me sick. If this is the message people are hearing we have failed as ambassadors of Christ. “They we know we are Christians by our love” –yet its not love they are seeing (for the most part). Then I read articles like this and wonder “how do I respond.” It is an ongoing issue I’ve been wrestling with. I recently listed to podcasts by Bruxy Cavey the teaching pastor at The Meeting House on the topic. You can find all three on the site under Teaching: Sermon Archives: Hot Potatoes (1,2, and 3). The first was “Is Being Gay A Sin?” the second “Is Gay Marriage A Step In The Right Direction?” and the final “Can Queers Follow Christ?” Right now all I can say is I am doing more thinking and questioning then actual answering.

That was one thought Bones brought to the forefront. The other was the differences in the two churches and the journey of the son. “Patrick’s” church was large, flashy, rich, conservative, and condemning. While “Patricia’s” was small community church called Inclusion. It was a home of ex cons, former drug addicts, gays, and the marginalized and sanctuary for the weary, lost, broken, different, and struggling.

After “Patrick” went missing in Thailand the police told his family he was probably dead. Not knowing his father had had a sex-change the son took over preaching responsibilities till he had a crisis of faith. Booth finds a video of the sermon in which the son “snaps.” In the middle of condemning gays he says he can’t do this any more. He calls the people on the greed, lies, and pride, claims he can not be like his father or mother, asks God to have mercy on us, and walks off the stage. The FBI finds him working as a councilor in a rehab center.

There is this beautiful moment in the interrogation room. The kid is pierced and tattooed holding a bible covered in Christian doodles/graffiti totally different from the white suit preacher he had been. But he rips off the paper at one point at it is the same Bible. Before he leaves Booth asks if the son had ever considered going back into ministry. The episode ends with the son preaching a message at his father’s small community church. There were flaws and things through out the episode I didn’t like or agree with but there were elements of redemption and God’s forgiveness that were so clear to me -all from watching Bones.

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