The film contends that even though the second edition of the RSV dropped the word “homosexual,” the damage had already been done. Other English versions like the NIV, NASB, and the Living Bible followed the original RSV. This is the part where the film makes a wild jump. It presents the argument that because Billy Graham subsequently began recommending the Living Bible in his crusades, evangelicals began despising homosexuals based on a mistranslation of 1 Corinthians 6:9. They accuse evangelicals of weaponizing their disgust by teaming up with Republicans to wage a culture war on homosexuals. The film’s argument is specious on its face.
When the theatrical trailer for the gay-affirming documentary 1946 first appeared over a year ago, it landed with a splash. The filmmakers claimed that their project “casts significant doubt on any biblical basis” for condemning homosexuality as sin. Even though no one had yet seen the movie, the trailer alone generated an explosion of responses from both fans and critics. Many evangelical critics took to their keyboards and social media feeds to interrogate the film, some of them including the obvious caveat that they hadn’t viewed the actual documentary yet.
Over the last year and up until the film’s premier last month, 1946 has been screened in a variety of film festivals around the country and has racked up accolades, including the audience awards at Doc NYC, the Cleveland Int’l Film Festival, and OUTfest. Parade magazine has ranked 1946 among the top films of 2023. The director, Sharon “Rocky” Roggio, has said that she wishes to gin up enough interest in the film to have it distributed on major streaming platforms and perhaps even considered for an Oscar.
That may be wishful thinking. Nevertheless, The Guardian reports that the film has garnered an “outpouring” of support from viewers. It has taken in over 1,700 donations on GoFundMe in excess of $150,000 to publicize the film. The director Roggio aims to screen the film at “churches and community centers” and to distribute a new workbook so that churchgoers can do further study on the claims of the film. Roggio tells The Guardian, “We want millions of people to be able to access this information.”