Same-Sex Attraction and the Universal Desires of the Human Heart | Carrie Gress | CWR
Fr. Paul Check, executive director of Courage, says the film, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, portrays a “special blend of humility, courage, and charity"
On the face of it, the newly-released film, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, has a typical plot. A man is looking for a soul mate to fulfill him, and then the soul mate is found—but something is missing: God. St. Augustine could relate.
What makes “Desire of the Everlasting Hills” different is that the one-hour-long film features three individuals with same-sex attraction—the people our culture tells us are fulfilled in their lifestyle, cannot change, don’t want to change, and so forth. But the movie reveals that they, like St. Augustine, have hearts that are restless until they rest in God.
The movie was produced by the Courage Apostolate, which ministers to people with same-sex attraction who want to live by the Catholic Church’s sexual teachings.
Asked why he made this film, Fr. Paul Check, the executive director of Courage and a former Marine Corps Officer, told Catholic World Report: “When I first started working within the Courage Apostolate, I recall Fr. John Harvey, our founding executive director, saying, ‘Our best ambassadors are our members.’ In the culture that we live right now, the best way to engage people, especially on a topic of such sensitivity, complexity and of a painful nature, is through story.”
With the stories of Paul, Dan and Rilene, Fr. Check explained, the filmmakers found “people who would like to share their perspective, while not claiming that their story is every man’s story, but just saying ‘look, here is my story.’” From there, the priest added, they can find a way to engage in conversation “in some places we wouldn’t be otherwise welcome.”
“We first showed the film publicly at a Christian LGBT film festival in Pasadena, California, in March called Level Ground,” he explained. “It was well received because of the production value—it is just a well-made movie—but also because of the authenticity of the stories.”
“The content of the stories made some people uncomfortable. We aren’t surprised by that. The preaching of Jesus made a lot of people uncomfortable too, so that just shows that fallen human nature is still alive and well in the world, unfortunately.”
The sometimes quirky, often funny, and at times shocking film, follows the lives of three people: