When presented with a little bit of pressure, or when faced with a news story that shows a Christian somewhere doing something bad, it is really easy to fall back into the old jokes.
The brilliant thing about this movie is that we are exposed to a girl from a conservative Christian background, who lives in a medium-sized Texas town, and who has committed to remaining a virgin until she gets married. And she's also fighting for comprehensive sex education to be introduced to schools. (In fact, I came to find out, much of the information from this movie was mentioned in studies that I used for my senior undergrad thesis.) She also helps to champion the cause of her school's Gay-Straight Alliance.
Shelby Knox is a phenomenon, an example for everybody. Every age group, every sexual orientation, every gender...anyone in any group. She wages a brilliant campaign in Lubbock, TX to improve the public education system.
The two most eye-opening moments for me came when talking to her youth pastor and a local family values organization founder. The conversations that they had about tolerance and how the Christian church prides itself on being one of the most intolerant organizations sent me for a loop. But the conversations could happen without creating a negative caricature of all Christians, because they are juxtaposed against the ever-increasing tolerance of Knox, her parents, and the friends she makes between her Sophomore and Senior years of high school.
The journey her parents took is possibly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen captured on film. Her parents went from politely abstaining from their daughter's caues(s) to actually marching in a protest on city hall for the inclusion of a GSA in the local district. It is an altogether heartwarming, sentimental, and hopeful story that I believe everyone should see.
Watch the trailer below, and then watch the movie. As I said before, you can stream it on Netflix or just get the DVD rental.
Love and Lyte,