Trinity College in Hartford is the third most expensive private school in the country: an education here carries a nearly $50,000-a-year price tag. For that kind of money, parents of prospective students could probably be forgiven for thinking that a school founded in the 1800s by an Episcopal bishop, with an official motto “For Church and Country” and a study abroad campus in Rome in close proximity to a convent, of all places, might be at least marginally preferable to any number of purely secular institutions. That appears not to be the case. In the past week, the school has hosted its 15th annual (really! Fifteen years!) LGBT film festival, as well as contraception crusader Sandra Fluke.

LGBT film festival

The film festival, titled “EROS (Encouraging Respect Of all Sexualities)” and scheduled to precede the “National Transgender Day of Remembrance” on Nov. 20, received a full-page feature in the Hartford Courant. My earlier post for FIC Blog was written to bring more exposure to the arts as a hot battleground in the culture wars, arguably hotter even than politics, and I intend to keep shining light into this sometimes-neglected corner.

It is extremely curious to me that of all the Greek words for love – options including agape, which is often used to describe an ideal, sacrificial, Christ-like love, or philia for affectionate, virtuous friendship – someone chose eros, which usually though not always has a sensual connotation and has the most tenuous connection to logic. How often are we lectured that the LGBT movement is not all about sex, and that is just our prurient obsession? What an odd choice. We didn’t tell them to do that. Note to festival organizers: you aren’t really helping your cause there.

The Courant included some insight from director Marta Cunningham on the motivation behind her documentary “Valentine Road,” about the 2008 slaying of 15-year-old Larry King by a classmate who perceived King as hitting on him. Says Cunningham:

“It was shocking to me, the level of apathy and indifference. It was just kind of local news.”

Where have we heard this before? Oh, yes. I look forward to Cunningham’s next film on the Kermit Gosnell trial. Moving along, though, the Courant’s description of the film continues:

“The movie delves into not just the characters…but also both of their family lives. Both boys’ mothers were habitual drug users. King moved from an adoptive home to a group home. [Brandon] McInerney was the focus of custody battles between his parents, who both had histories of violence.”

I haven’t seen the film, so what follows is speculation, but not of an unreasonable kind. Both boys clearly had a dysfunctional upbringing. I am sure it is not a controversial suggestion that a child who learned violence at home would turn to violence as a solution to discomfort and teasing. Would it be controversial to suggest that maybe the traumatic family life that so scarred Brandon McInerney was also at least partly responsible for Larry King’s coming out at the tender age of 10, before most children even experience puberty? Is the film brave enough to go there, or does it stubbornly tow the party line that the very idea is bigoted and intolerant and therefore anathema? Who wants to bet life or money on it? Crystal Nieves, Trinity’s “Queer Resource Center” coordinator, says,

“Our youth need love stories and stories of growth and personal triumph just like everyone else. It is incredibly isolating and debilitating to the development of young LGBTQ people to not have stories in their lives and characters who are like them and share their experiences.”

Nieves might be a little surprised to know that I agree: all young people need heroes, especially those with intense personal struggles. That’s not a luxury. The problem is if these heroes are all pigeonholed into essentially the same vogue, politically correct narrative. What are the chances that youth will be exposed to people like Joseph Prever, a.k.a. “Steve Gershom,”  who are attempting to live a heroically Christian life, as opposed to active dissenters trying to remake Christianity in their own image? Anyone else want to hazard a guess?

Now we get to the most alarming part of the article. “Nieves said she hopes the festival will be able to coordinate with area high schools to bring youths to screenings,” where they will be admitted for free. She laments that most movies of this kind are rated R or, if made for TV, shown late at night (wonder why!). It is not unheard of for such collusion to be done deliberately under parental radar. If you are a parent of a local high school student and believe that your child was shown one of these films without your prior knowledge or permission, or a student who was made to participate against your will, FIC is interested in hearing from you.

Sandra Fluke applauds Blumenthal

The young Empress of Entitlement whose fifteen minutes are beginning to feel more like fifteen hours was at Trinity on Nov. 14, where she stumped for Richard Blumenthal’s deceptively-named “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013” in front of a reported crowd of 100. Capitol Watch reports:

“Fluke pointed to recently-enacted restrictive laws over women’s health in Texas and Wisconsin and said that some places still “insist on taking the progress women and men have both made and moving it backward.”

Nevermind that the HHS mandate is as sexist as it gets, placing the entire burden of “free” contraception on women, covering nothing for men, but it seems that Fluke’s concept of progress embraces surgery using rust-covered implements and pills dispensed from unmarked containers. I’m sure empowered women everywhere will line right up to contract tetanus and STDs or to have a life-threatening overdose. How does one fix such deep disregard for women and utter lack of common sense? I don’t think it can be fixed, and I would argue it has everything to do with the savage butchery that Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood fight so hard to protect. When a “medical professional” can dismember a five-month-old preborn baby, it stands to reason that cleanliness and order might not be a huge priority.

Unsurprisingly, Fluke is also on board with the LBGT movement. There is plainly a connection between the causes célèbre of the political left, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

I have a heart, not a stone one but a real, beating, fleshy one, so I bear no ill will toward Miss Fluke. However, I do wish she’d take a cue from a very sharp woman in the legal field, professor Helen Alvaré.  I look forward (cough, cough) to her invitation to speak at Trinity, which I assume I haven’t missed.

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