Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

End of the March

Soulforce, a faith-based gay and lesbian activist group, will literally march back into town July 22 -- led by an actor who starred in one of the most evangelical-friendly movies of the year.

Chad Allen played Nate and Steve Saint in "End of the Spear," a true story about the brittle interaction between Christian missionaries and an Ecuadorian tribe called the Waodani. Missionary Nate Saint was speared to death by the Waodani in 1956 -- one of several to be killed by the tribe -- but his son, Steve, returned decades later and converted tribe members to Christians. The film earned just $11 million since its March release, but since its DVD release, it's been making the church circuit. Woodmen Valley Chapel's middle-schoolers watched the film during a screening a couple weeks ago.

Allen is gay and an outspoken advocate for gay rights. He's one of the star attractions of Soulforce's "1000 Watt March," which launches July 17 from the state capitol building in Denver and ends July 22 at Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs. It looks as though Allen will hook onto the march for its final two miles -- a little celebrity oomph to encourage additional interest. But it doesn't look like many will make the full 65-mile trek: It's portrayed as a "relay" march by organizers, with participants marching in four-mile segments. The march will culminate with an 8:30 p.m. concert by Broadway musician Billy Porter.

Soulforce organizers love Colorado Springs. This May, Soulforce-organized "equality riders" picketed the United States Air Force Academy, protesting the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. And last May the organization held a vigil outside Focus on the Family, protesting what it calls the organization's anti-gay rhetoric.

Allen's involvement adds a new twist. "End of the Spear," I'd wager, did better locally than nationally, what with our large population of former/current missionaries. I wonder ... is there a conflict among conservative Christians between the movie's message and the movie's messenger?


Blogger Doorfan said...

The message trumps the messenger among Christ followers. End of story.

Thanks Paul for giving some background on Chad Allen here. You never know who is of a particular belief until you examine and check. Many thanks.

12:27 PM  

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