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For the Bible Tells Me So (2007)

For the Bible Tells Me So


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 48
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: A timely and poignant examination of gays, their families and religion.

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: A timely and poignant examination of gays, their families and religion.


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 4,199



Movie Info

Grounded by the stories of five conservative Christian families, the film explores how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to support its agenda of stigmatizing the gay community and eroding the separation between church and state.

Documentary , Faith & Spirituality , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
Daniel Karslake
In Theaters:
Feb 19, 2008
First Run Features - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for For the Bible Tells Me So

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

Daniel Karslake's doc on the extent to which Christian families have embraced their gay children does an admirably thorough job of assembling smart talking heads and personal archives.

Full Review… | January 24, 2008
Time Out New York
Top Critic

Progressive clergy provide enough historical context to neutralize the handful of Bible verses prohibiting homosexual acts, but Karslake never confronts the broader issues of sexuality and procreation that bedevil even moderate Christians.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This is a compelling, thought-provoking portrait of a quiet challenge rising within America's churches.

Full Review… | November 29, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Daniel Karslake's remarkable documentary boldly takes on a loaded topic -- Christianity and homosexuality -- and examines it both intellectually and emotionally; the result may well leave you blinking away a few tears.

Full Review… | October 26, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A brisk, entertaining and even moving exploration of the sometimes frayed intersection where Christianity meets homosexuality.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Its main surprise is the compassion shown toward everyone, on all sides of the debate. It does not vilify those who vilify gays.

Full Review… | October 19, 2007
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Karslake reveals ways Scripture has been used to discriminate against homoexuality, and shows how inaccurate interpretations of the Bible cause widespread despair and the destruction of lives.

Full Review… | June 9, 2009

Excessivamente convencional em sua estrutura e contendo sua parcela de graves tropeços (a seqüência em animação), este filme ainda assim merece aplausos pela eloqüência de seus entrevistados, pelo teor de sua mensagem e pela paixão com que a defende.

March 19, 2008
Cinema em Cena

One message rings clear throughout the occasionally muddled but always emotionally sweeping film: A true abomination is twisting the words of Scripture to match bigotry.

Full Review… | January 17, 2008
Arizona Daily Star

A thoughtful look at the complicated relationship between Christianity and homosexuality.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Jam! Movies

The film offers proof that religion and homosexuality need not be mutually exclusive: Good Christians can love and accept their gay brothers and sisters, and gay people can still be religious.

Full Review… | December 12, 2007

A gut-wrenching depiction of what truly defines Family Values.

Full Review… | December 4, 2007
Film Threat

The movie's serious, wide-ranging look at a divisive subject is not guaranteed to settle disputes, only to prompt discussion.

November 29, 2007
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

An informative, heartbreaking documentary about intolerance and manipulation, sadly and assuredly never to be seen by the people who need this info the most.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007

The Bible Tells Me So

Full Review… | October 30, 2007

If imperfect, the film is also necessary.

Full Review… | October 27, 2007
Austin Chronicle

Could hardly be called even-handed, and it's certainly repetitive, but despite its failings it's still worth seeing--as so often, especially by those who probably won't.

Full Review… | October 20, 2007
One Guy's Opinion

You'll have plenty of ammunition next time you want to tell some Bible-thumper where they can stick their Leviticus.

October 20, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

Wallner's journey to acceptance, not the movie's slight forays into theology, will be what you remember about For the Bible Tells Me So. It's a powerful, positive film.

Full Review… | October 19, 2007
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for For the Bible Tells Me So


I really like that the movie shows the parent's religious struggles or acceptance more so than the child's point of view. This movie is all Fox News is not - it is fair and balanced. It helps me have tools for explaining myself as a gay man that has lost faith because of the church's reaction. But the sad thing is.... the people that need to see this movie most... will not!

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

My first reaction was to write this off as preaching to the choir, but there are a lot of really admirable things about this documentary that I think could do a lot of good. Sure, you're not likely to get 90% of Christians to sit down and watch this, but the ones this movie is capable of reaching could certainly benefit from it. It takes a fair, gentle hand to religion, not vilifying it but instead reaching a compromise with it; the sense of balance makes the movie almost universally watchable. The message it sends across is "we respect your beliefs, and now we ask us to respect yours," something that would do us a great deal of good.

Poignant, informative and optimistic, For the Bible Tells Me So is a great watch for just about anybody.

Drew Smith

Super Reviewer


Documentaries about controversial subjects really have to be brave in order to be effective. The nature of this documentary, homosexuality and the bible, is about as controversial as you can get, but I'm not sure it pushes things as far as it could've. It does, however, cover a wide area with both interviews and film clips. 3/4ths of the movie is dedicated to personal anecdote, from Gene Robinson who becomes a bishop in the Episcopal church to Dick Gephardt, whose daughter is a lesbian, as well as other figures who are less well-known, but all share the same spirit of activism in their cause. The movie also takes the time to (pretty effectively) dissect each of the Bible quotes most often used when condemning homosexuality. For instance, the same bible passage that calls homosexuality an "abomination" also calls eating shrimp an "abomination" (and yet, when is the last time anyone saw any christian groups protesting outside a Red Lobster?). It does tend to paint the anti-homosexual movement as simply ignorance and outright bigotry, but at the same time, this movie is preaching to the converted (and I do mean "preaching" because at times it is very preachy). I don't get the sense this movie will change many minds, and it lacks the emotional power necessary to rally anyone not already militant. I would've preferred less personal anecdotes and more refutation of the bible passages through the use of other bible passages (as the title of the movie suggested). Still, there's no harm in watching it, if only for the bit about "Sodom and Gorrah" alone.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

AMAZING! I really don't know what else to say about it. I saw a screening of it and there was a question and answer time with some of the families afterwards. I think I admire the Reitan's the most out of the whole bunch.

Megan S

Super Reviewer

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