Dan Savage has in interesting Op-Ed piece in the New York Times about the evangelical right's perplexing reaction to the film End of the Spear, a story about five missionaries murdered by a tribe in Ecuador, whose families forgave the killers and converted them to Christianity. Sounds like a movie made for Christian audiences, yes? That is, until some conservative Christians found out that actor Chad Allen, who plays both one of the murdered missionaries, Nate Saint, and the missionary's grown son, Steve Saint, is openly gay.
Initially, conservative Christians loved the film . Christianity Today's Lisa Ann Cockrel gave it a good review, even Marcus Yoars of Focus on the Family gave it a glowing report, with no mention whatsoever of Chad Allen's sexuality. Now, suddenly, it's a huge deal that an openly gay actor should be cast to play the part of a straight missionary. The producers of the film, Steve Saint and Mart Green, reportedly did not know Allen was a "gay activist" when they offered him the part, and now say they wouldn't have cast him had they known about his sexuality.