Documentaries for Homos: Deliver Us from the Religulous Bible While Tying the Knot Before G-d


by riese & alex

So, A;ex and I [Riese] have spent two weeks watching documentaries about religion (most of them also include issues addressing sexuality) and have officially determined that if indeed the apocalypse is nigh, it is SO not our fault.

Here’s why: They’ve got priests, protected by the Roman Catholic Church, sexually abusing infants. They’ve got the church all up in our laws, preventing the living spouses of 9-11 victims and police officers shot in the line of duty from collecting their partner’s pension. They’ve got evangelicals collecting luxury cars because Jesus apparently wasn’t serious about that humility thing. They’ve got amusement parks recreating the crucifixion hourly. They’ve got a massively influential religion built on a story about a talking snake, an evil apple and a woman impregnated by a holy ghost. They’ve got a young Jewish boy told to cure himself of homosexual urges by snapping a rubber-band against his wrist every time he has an impure thought. In short, they’ve got some really fucked up shit happening in God’s name.

We’re now fully prepared to not just suspect religion’s sinister influence on civilization but to yell at everyone about it, WITH EVIDENCE.

When A;ex wasn’t yelling at me for still believing in G-d [I swear the concept of G-d doesn’t have to be as weird as these religious fanatics say it is!!], we learned a lot of stuff.

So here’s how this is gonna go. We’re gonna tell you what each movie said about why religion has problems as well as their issues with various facts & stories from religion’s Holy Books. Also, we’ll share the most fucked up OMFG moments and … oh yeah! George W. Bush makes A LOT OF CAMEOS. Be prepared.



For The Bible Tells Me So (2007)

Directed by Daniel G. Karslake


Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

The problem with Christianity is: Misreading the Bible fucks families up real bad. The consequences range from children being ostracized from their families to children feeling so alienated & miserable about their situation that they kill themselves.ftbposter

Footnoting & Fact Checking The Bible: Using the bible to justify hatred and bigotry isn’t a new technique; the Bible’s been employed for the subjugation and subordination of various minorities (black people, women, etc) since forever!

“Literalists” (who are always capitalists) aren’t paying attention to what the bible says, just how it reads.

“Abominations” (a term which doesn’t refer to innately immoral acts but rather to ritual requirements) don’t just include “a man lying with another man as with a woman,” but also:

-Eating shrimp or rabbits

– Planting two different seeds in the same hole (haha!)

-Wearing linen & wool together (howevs navy blue & black is a-ok)

-Ejaculating onto the ground rather than inside of a woman (spitting or swallowing is not covered as far as we know).

The Bible was written at a time when procreation was the goal and therefore partnerships that don’t make babies violated cultural norms. Now we have too many people so probs gays should take over before we run out of oil & wheat & water & stuff.

OMFG MOMENT: Mary Lou Wallner, who rejected her lesbian daughter who eventually killed herself because of this rejection, tells activists, “My daughter is dead because of the untruth I was taught by the church.”

George Fucking W Cameo: Marriage cannot be severed from it’s cultural, religious and natural roots.”

Hope! It’s encouraging that all but one family eventually turns around, even politician Richard Gephardt!

A;ex says: These parents admit that they just didn’t know that much about homosexuality, and couldn’t separate that concept from the act of sex itself. As I watch and hear the parents’ reaction to their kids coming out, the solution seems like such a simple answer to me: education. The older generation, the parents in this case, are so uneducated on homosexuality. The 100% basic problem at the bottom of all of this is ignorance and misunderstanding. There are so so SO many misconceptions and not enough emphasis on the history of homosexuality and the SCIENCE behind it. A lack of education & knowledge produces this fear & hate.

On a scale of 1 to 10: Show this one to your parents (A;ex:I did! And they liked it!“) It has a pretty uplifting ending we promise!

Preview for “For the Bible Tells Me So”:

“The Bible is the word of God through the word of human beings, speaking in the idiom of their time, and the richness of the Bible comes from the fact that we don’t take it as literally so that it was dictated by God.”
-Desmond Tutu


Deliver Us From Evil (2006)

Written and directed by Amy Berg


Deliver Us From Evil is the story of Father Oliver O’Grady, the most notorious pedophile in the history of the modern Catholic Church. Completely lacking in moral fiber and devoid of any sense of shame or guilt, O’Grady used his charm and authority to violate dozens of faithful Catholic families across Northern California for more than two decades. Despite early warning signs and complaints from several parishes, the Church, in an elaborate shell game designed to avoid liability and deflect criticism, lied to parishioners and local law enforcement, while continuing to move O’Grady from parish to parish.

The Problem with the Roman Catholic Church is: So imagine you’re a dude who likes little kids, and you know that’s evil ’cause it IS evil. Then you find out about this cool job where not only can you become INSTANTLY HOLY and well-respected by large groups of sheep people, but ALSO you’re required to take a vow of eternal celibacy. That’s right, not only do you get out of marrying an adult woman (and thus having to bang her/spread the seed), but this way perhaps Jesus will help you to suppress your unnatural urges!deliver_us_from_evil

Yeah well … he won’t. But should you begin molesting children, your fellow clergymen will do their very best to suppress that information! The jury’s out on if God is real or not, but … desire and testosterone? That shit is real. And if you keep it inside, it can emerge in really insidious ways.

See, the church has this uncanny knack for hiring & subsequently fostering the development of child molesters. In turn, these anointed molesters will ruin children’s lives, destroy families, and — ironically — inspire atheism, moreso than faithfulness, amongst their parishioners.

Footnoting & Fact-Checking the Bible: Mandatory celibacy wasn’t Jesus’s idea. It was added to the books in the 4th century to ensure Churches got to keep their clergy’s money rather than seeing it passed on to sons & daughters.

Mandatory celibacy wasn’t Jesus’s idea. It was added to the books in the 4th century to ensure Churches got to keep their clergy’s money rather than seeing it passed on to sons & daughters.

OMFG MOMENT: Father O’Grady raped boys and girls including a NINE-MONTH OLD INFANT. Both O’Grady’s testimony and taped interviews with the Bishop show that the church was aware of O’Grady’s crimes and despite this he was just made pastor of another parish. Rather than persecute him, they just moved him to another church where he’d commit the same crime over and over and over. He’s still on the fucking loose, y’all.

George Fucking W Cameo: Pope Benedict XVI was accused of conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse in the United States. At the Vatican’s request, President George W. Bush granted the pope immunity from prosecution.

FYI: Over 100,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse have come forward in the United States alone. Experts say more than 80 percent of sexual abuse victims never report their abuse. 10% of graduates of St. John’s Seminary, who provide most of the priests on the West Coast, are pedophiles. Since 1950, sexual abuse has cost the US Catholic Church over one billion dollars in legal settlements and expenses (not including the Los Angeles settlement).

On a scale of 1 to 10: Monumentally disturbing. Father O’Grady speaks unapologetically to the camera while his victims cry about lives lost. A well-deserved Oscar winner.


Tying The Knot (2004)

Directed by Jim de Seve


When Mickie’s wife of thirteen years, police officer Lois Marrero, is killed, Mickie is honored as her surviving spouse but denied all pension benefits.When Sam, an Oklahoma rancher, loses his beloved husband of 22 years, long-estranged cousins of his late spouse try to lay claim to everything Sam has. As Mickie and Sam’s lives are put on trial, they are forced to confront the tragic reality that in the eyes of the law their marriages mean nothing. From an historical trip to the Middle Ages, to gay hippies storming the Manhattan marriage bureau in 1971, Tying the Knot digs deeply into the past and present to uncover the meaning of civil marriage in America today.

TYING_PosterThe problem with Christianity is: In clear violation of the separation of church and state, our country’s marriage laws are based on Christian values. These regulations have serious, life-destroying effects on gay people, particularly when a partner dies and — in what seems to us like a SUPER CLEAR VIOLATION OF JESUS’S FEELINGS ABOUT GREED — simply because they can, family members wrestle inheritance away from their deceased relative’s life partner. Yeah that’s right, we said “life partner.”

Footnoting & Fact-Checking the Bible: Marriage has changed many times to reflect society’s new values and has constantly been a political battleground, constantly shifting to fit each era, economy, culture and class. It had no religious significance even in the Catholic Church until the Middle Ages and wasn’t declared a sacrament until 1215.

OMFG Moment:

James Dobson: “I don’t believe that homosexuals really want to marry. I think they want to destroy marriage and re-create it according to their own interpretation to get all the benefits but without the commitment that means so much to children.”
Larry King: “If they wanna destroy it, why do they wanna be married?”

George Fucking W Cameo:Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.”

A;ex says: We used to have a law banning contraceptives… just FYI.

You can watch the full movie of Tying the Knot on Logo Online.


NEXT: Religulous and Trembling Before G-d

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3228 articles for us.


  1. im about to sleep so im not reading this yet. but i already have SO.MANY.FEELINGS. — can’t wait to see what you guys have to sayyy :)

  2. soo… i wasnt going to read this. but.. then i decided to. i have alot of feelings and things to say. but im not going to share them. i just want to know why you guys did this? what made you decide to do something on this topic? its very… interesting. i cant say much more…. due to feelings and thoughts and beliefs, but i can say what hit me the most was this statement, “My daughter is dead because of the untruth I was taught by the church.”

    also… since you said you were going to do something on Equality U. they did this thing called the Soulforce Equality Ride. and one of the 19 conservative religious and/or military colleges they went to was the college i attened. thankfully it was after i left. but i heard about it that night. they stood on the sidewalk with signs and linked arms. the police were called. the director said, “one step, and youre going to jail.” i think 3 got arrested. but the thing i remember most was a friend who was telling me a bunch of people we knew went out to talk to them. it turned into this HUGE fight. one girl said her brother killed himself because people were judging him for being gay. and… a friend said, “good, he deserved to die, God hates him.” i felt sooo bad knowing that i was friends with someone who said that. it killed me. so i found one of their email addresses and apologize on behalf of my friends. and then i ended my friendship.

    LOTS of feelings happening….

  3. I would also recommend the Trials of Ted Haggard by Alexandra Pelosi. And not just because I want Alexandra Pelosi to be my new girlfriend.

      • Jesus Camp, directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewin, includes a ‘rousing’ Ted Haggard speech (sermon?)… and was the first religious docu I’ve ever watched and it scared me because of the power this church had over the young, young kids.

      • def watch this. they sing a song called “a behemoth is a dinosaur” at a church camp solely devoted to telling kids that the world is only 6000 years old.

        • Oh yeah I’ve seen it like five times now. We were going to include it here but we’re gonna save it for next time instead.

  4. I recommend “One Nation Under God” about the “ex-gay” movement and the techniques they use to “cure” people of teh ghey.

  5. i’m so glad you guys are doing this, i feel like the vast majority of people actively avoid thinking/talking about religion +/- politics, when it seems outrageous how much blatant brainwashing is happening. after i see religious docos i want to talk to EVERYONE about it.

    i have a question though, before i go and watch the ones i haven’t seen yet: were they generally presented from an impartial point of view or did they lean more to one side or the other? i have comments to make about jesus camp in that regard but i’ll save them for later.

    also p.s. heehee smiley face in the corner!

    • I don’t think they were presented from an impartial point of view, necessarily, as most of these films were created expressly to explain a counterpoint to commonly accepted truths of modern religion. But I didn’t feel there was any bias present, really only truths, like clearly Berg was not a fan of child molestation, but I don’t think anyone is, so that’s really the only POV a person could have.

      Religulous was the only film that seemed at all biased — you know what I mean? Like a Michael Moore movie, even if you agree with him, you suspect that he’s strategic in what information he uses and what he leaves out … like how in Fareinheit 9/11 he used the kid in Iraq flying the kite to demonstrate how much happier they were before the US invaded when you knew that footage wasn’t a fair representation of what life was actually like there — was not always the most impartial presentation. Like it’s clear there’s some cherry-picking going on with Bill Maher’s film, but it was a movie presented in real theaters, not just an indie festival circuit film, so it had to be a little more outlandish in terms of entertainment value. And it was! totally entertaining.

      • Those suspicions you have about Michael Moore can be explored in the documentary, “Manufacturing Dissent.” It is basically about how his films are made into a preset mold and if something doesn’t fit, it is omitted or taken out of context. A big example being that for “Roger and Me”, he DID interview Roger Smith but chose to leave it out of the final film.

        There’s also a book (that I haven’t read yet fyi), “Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man”, that is OBVIOUSLY an unbiased look into the man.

        • I nodded along whilst reading that entire passage with a smile on my work.(except i dont know the songs of Rent so i would probably have chosen, “Everyone has AIDS”, from Team America: World Police.)Thanks for making me look like a creep to the director.

          I think he frustrates me so much because he hides behind, “I make comedies, they dont have to be accurate,” while a large percentage of the public watch and accept them as full on documentaries.

          P.S. About how current religions are derived from ancient religions…I took an anthropology class on magic, witchcraft, and religion a couple years back and I think, by law, everyone should have to sign up for one. If not to learn fun facts such as “the Egyptian anhk looks a lot like a crucifix, coincidence? I THINK NOT!”, then just to be entertained by how PIIIISSSSSSED people get at the professor. Apparently, they close their eyes and pick their classes randomly.

  6. Living in the Bible Belt, unfortunately, I see religious hatred all the time. Instead of being so angry and hateful to gays, these people should be angry at evil people like O’Grady. Christians’ energy should be used to fight this kind of blatant evil instead of fighting people who are not hurting any body.

    • There was a guy in the “For the Bible Tells Me So” doc named Jake Reitan who told his story of coming out and his parents told their story of struggling with it. Very Christian, obvs.
      By the end of the film, his family makes a huge turn-around. It was a great example of a family standing by their son and speaking out against bigots like Pat Robertson. It was awesome and heart-warming and made me cry! JK I don’t cry.

      • I wish more people could make that turn-around. That story might of made me cry too, if I was the crying type. Whatever, I totally am.

  7. love documentaries and I haven’t seen ANY of these… i’m a bad gay. LOL. anyway, thanks for the recs and the full upload w/ “religulous”. i’ll start there after work :)

    • Maybe those of us who haven’t seen these should organize a viewing- I’ll bring the tissues and alcohol! ;)

  8. I haven’t seen most/any of these (save for a few clips) because they tend to make me so angry/sad/frustrated. I believe in God, but not organized religion (anymore), because of all the craziness, hate, judgement. I know I should watch at least some of these, and I want to, but maybe I should have a bottle of wine with them…?

  9. “I believe in God, but not organized religion (anymore)”…

    I wonder how many GLBTI people share that stance? I’m sort of on that band-wagon. I don’t belong to a church but my girlfriend does and (living in the south) most of my friends are regular attendees–so I definitely think organized religion has its merits in it’s ability to build a community and provide support structures (given, of course, those communities are supportive of ALL constituents… and so far, I have yet to really see that happen). I guess I sort of fancy myself agnostic. Even still, there are moments of doubt. Leave it to Stephen Colbert: “let’s face it, agnostics are just atheists without balls.”

  10. I’m fairly certain that The Garden of Eden is nowhere close to Missouri. Trust me.

    I haven’t seen any of these docs yet (I was a little afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night). But a couple of these look worth it.

  11. i don’t understand how a movie about a pedophile pastor in the catholic church fits in with the rest of these.

    • Both Deliver us From Evil and Religulous aren’t directly about homosexuality and the church. But they’re both about hypocrisy and the ways that conveniently selective interpretations of religious texts often enable more harm than good.

      The Catholic Church thinks gay marriage will be the apocalypse for real, and judges people who are gay and says gay people are sinners. Meanwhile they protect a child molester. So what it’s really about is hypocrisy, and how the people who feel most enabled to judge seem to always be casting the first stone from their big-ass expensive glass houses.

    • I feel like the underlying theme of all these documentaries Riese and I discussed here as that religious institutions are, and have always been, hypocritical.
      I feel like “Deliver Us From Evil” brings a lot to the table here. We’re constantly told that homosexuality is a sin, we’re evil, we’re going to hell, God hates fags etc etc you know the deal…
      meanwhile, these gentleman condemning us are molesting young children AND are being protected by their “holy” superiors. It all ties in.
      “Religulous” is the same deal. It doesn’t address homosexuality specifically but by discussing religion and its present context/existence, I believe homosexuality is always either directly or indirectly part of that discussion.
      Get me yo?

      • yeah i get it (and had assumed it), but this analysis wasn’t in the review itself. that, combined with the post’s title and the fact that all the other reviews touch explicitly on homosexuality, left me waiting for the tie-in. thanks for clearing it up here!

        • i changed some lines in the first paragraph of the post, ’cause you’re right that it wasn’t clear. do you think there’s anything specifically that needs changing in our blurb about deliver us from evil? obvs i don’t want anyone to equate child molesting little boys with homosexuality (although I do think that if society changed to make gay men more comfortable with their homosexuality, those cases would drop dramatically, as sometimes those acts are an indirect result of repressing their real desires to the point that they become crazy/evil), as that is one of the key um misconceptions we are actively attempting to shut down, so I just want it to be clear why we did include that film, which is that it was about sexuality and religion and hypocrisy.

          • really?? repressed homosexuality “often” manifests as pedophilia? woah. i don’t know if i’d go with “often” there; i’d say that repressed homosexuality “often” leads to sham marriages, substance abuse, depression, and republican senator bathroom trysts, but i’m not on board with pedophilia on that one. not being allowed to fuck someone of my own sex would not suddenly make me want to fuck a child. that takes evil, and evil knows no orientation (though i think i get that your point was really just that it’s hard out here for a gay, and i agree). re: the blurb, i think it’s fine. :) also – great layout on this post, again.

          • ha, sorry, grammatical miscommunication. I don’t think that it often causes pedophilia, but I do think that often pedophilliacs are dealing with repressed homosexuality issues — or repressed sexuality in general. I think the epidemic in the Roman Catholic church is a good example of how extreme repression of sexual desire manifests itself in ugly ways. Perhaps people become evil when they are teased and bullied and abused for their natural feelings as a kid. I mean otherwise we’re saying all child molesters were born that way and it has nothing to do with their life experiences. Which is a really upsetting concept.

          • Maybe it looks “homosexual” because they molest boys, but they prob molest boys because that is mostly who is around (altar boys). I think that repressed sexuality may lead to secret affairs with women, not necessarily pedophilia. I see your points, but I’d like to think not just any normal priest would be so inclined to molest children because they are sexually frustrated. I don’t know, never been a catholic priest, or a sexually frustrated man.

          • Of course not, I don’t think any normal priest would be inclined to molest children because they are sexually frustrated. That’s not what I said, that’s ridiculous!

            Anyhow I could be wrong, there could just be like a lot of total douchebag pervs out there who would act that way no matter what kind of rules their job put upon them. I volunteered to work with sexually abused girls in a women’s detention center in Michigan for a while and also had a few friends who have been sexually abused, so maybe I especially want there to be some reason to the rhyme, some fix-able way to explain how these tragedies keep happening. I also know a lot of sex workers who have crazy stories about how the desire men keep inside can manifest itself in really brutal ways. But I don’t know, I mean — I guess all I’m trying to say is that any kind of sexual repression; be it abstinence-only education or mandated celibacy — certainly doesn’t do anyone any favors, and that it’s almost always better to give people sexual freedom. Clearly molesting children is evil, but for these priests, ALL sexual contact is evil, so to a total sociopath like, what’s the difference? That feels dangerous to me, that seems like a situation that might occassionally attract the wrong kind of people to the job. I also have a lot of friends whove had serious guilt issues learned in church that can get ugly too.

            In our post about other abuse scandals, the victims in every case except for one were young girls, young boys, or other men. I just feel like anyone who really wanted to marry a woman would probably do so, rather than become a priest? Or not? I dunno. Like how a lot of nuns are lesbians who don’t want to be pressured about marriage forevs. I just made that last part up, that might only be true in porn movies about nuns.


            jk. this reply thread reminds me of skinny jeans! ps i’m bitter that you can edit comments and i can’t! :)


            i know this thread is so tapered!

            if it makes you feel any better, I can totally edit your comments.

          • I wanna keep replying to what you say just to see how skinny this column will get. It’s on a crash diet like DJ Tanner. Riese, I know what you were trying to say from the get-go, I didn’t mean to misconstrue it. I agree totally. Something should be done.

  12. i think this goes without saying (and i certainly don’t think alex or riese would argue otherwise or that the post was doing so), but i want to state the obvious and say that there are examples, though maybe not TONS, of institutionalized/organized religion (which seems to be more the focus here, as opposed to individuals who profess personal faith) being accepting of homosexuality. the united church of canada, for example, condones gay ministers marrying gay couples in old churches (and various combinations thereof!) also obviously, nutso fundamentalists everywhere make it hard for that to seem possible.
    related: i worked at and eventually directed a presbyterian children’s summer camp for the better part of a decade and was out and proud the whole time (and presbyterians are among the stuffiest protestants). the 60-year old, texan managing director even decorated the dining hall with rainbow streamers for my birthday one year. there are often gaps between the official positions a church takes and the ways that its “members” actually live their faiths. because even though “The Church” might say one thing, “The Church” is still just made of people, and people can be pretty cool. some can be idiots. but there are idiot homophobic atheists, too.
    that said, i have to go burn this polycotton devil-shirt.

    • wow, talk about a threadbomb, bcw. i am the howard dean of religion comment threads! LOLCATHOLICS!

    • No I agree, I think that not all organized religion is bad. I liked that in Trembling Before G-d there was definitely an effort to make gays fit into Judaism, rather than to lead gays away from Judaism. Also in For the bible tells me so, a lot of these people did eventually find churches where they were accepted.

      We talked about it in our Roundtable which Elizabeth mentioned up there.

      I personally think that faith & spirituality should be good things. I want them to be good things! And I wish that organized religion had done more good than harm over the years, because it becomes an undefendable position sometimes. I am totally berated by atheists for not being an atheist, like saying i believe in the tooth fairy. I don’t think it has to be that way. I also think that if organized religion hadn’t caused so much destruction over the years, no-one would care enough about Religion to bother insulting me or looking down on me for still wanting to believe.

      But I know my concept of G-d is not like any specific religion’s concept.

      I like Unitarian Universalists.

    • It seems to me that we have a lot in common…the internet is a strange and funny place some days

  13. There’s a relatively new documentary called ‘Fish Out of Water’ that deals with gays in the church. I don’t think it’s available to rent yet, but it played earlier this month at a Rhode Island film festival so hopefully it should make it to NY soon. Scored by Kaki King hi-yo! trailer:

  14. Saw Religulous last night. Love love loved it. I can’t say I am as hardcore to one side like Bill, but it made me think and rethink and think again. I loved how much theme-park Jesus loved himself. He gets off on being recognized “all the time” in public!

  15. its about a very specific group and not exclusively about the gays, but i remember watching louis theroux’s documentary spending 3 weeks with the westboro baptist church a couple of years ago when i was first coming out and just being so shocked and fascinated by the extremity of their beliefs and how far they extend them, can never get my head around it. i just find it so terrifying, i had never really heard of this kinda thing beforehand. really think louis theroux handles it well, seems like such a nice guy too!
    its here if you’re at all interested!
    literally just finished watching religulous which i agree was really entertaining and interesting, although the islam/judaism section a bit confusing and unfocused and i think maybe it would have benefitted from sticking to one religion as it felt pretty unbalanced. definitely worth watching though!

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