The Miseducation of Cameron Post
As memorably sung in Billy Jack (1971), “Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end.”
In light of the controversy occurring at Roncalli High School here in Indianapolis, The Miseducation of Cameron Post functions as a study on our country’s tragic approach to gay marriage. At Roncalli, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has dictated the removal of a female counselor married to another woman as violating church teachings while this film centers on a teenage girl sent to a treatment center where she can be taught to reject her homosexuality.
The film takes place in 1993 when Cameron Post, a high school student, is caught in the backseat of a car in the arms of a prom queen. While it is obvious that both girls care for each other deeply, Cameron is sent off to a remote Christian oriented treatment center called God’s Promise where, along with a large number of other “gay inmates,” she can follow the lead of our Lord who only loves heterosexuals.
Chloë Grace Moretz gives an accomplished performance as Cameron, a teenager who simply can’t understand what is going on at the religious school. While she doesn’t want to challenge authority, she clearly is not ready to embrace a religious moral code that defies her full acceptance of who she is and how she got there.
Though Ms. Moretz is barely 20 years old, she is developing into an actress who refuses to be defined by any particular image. If there is any question then watch her as a young vampire in Let Me In (2010), a film that I just referred to in my review of Alpha
While Jennifer Ehle and John Gallagher, Jr. give two hatefully engrossing performances as the leaders of the education center, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck and Owen Campbell give rewarding performances as three of Cameron’s “inmate friends” who simply refuse to bend to the moral sword being dangled over their heads. I must note that Ms. Lane, here playing Jane, is an admitted gay actress who was unforgettable in American Honey (2016) and this year’s Hearts Beat Loud. While Mr. Goodluck finds a way to accept his daily misery with a sense of humor, you will never forget Mr. Campbell’s performance as the emotionally disturbed Mark, a teenager who takes a knife to himself to attempt to comply with the consequences of being gay.
As far as the controversy at Roncalli, the Catholic Church needs to address a doctrine that replaces love with hatred. Though women were finally allowed to vote in our country in the early 20th century, they still are rejected from the priesthood. Treated as religious second class citizens, it is made worse by the fact that the Catholic Church has engaged in a diabolical cover up of priests across the globe, including this country, who have sexually abused young boys for decades. How can the Archdiocese of Indianapolis condemn gay marriage while still refusing to publicly reveal the number of priests in the Marion County area who were identified as sexual predators?
Though I was raised Catholic in a small Indiana town, I rejected my religion long ago. Despite the many wonderful accomplishments of the Church, you only have to see the Oscar winning film Spotlight (2015) to identify the contempt you have to swallow to remain a practicing Catholic.
It is time that the Catholic Church accept women as being equal to men as well as start treating heterosexuals and homosexuals as being equal in the eyes of Jesus. The day of reckoning has arrived.