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This film made me do something I haven't done since childhood: laugh so hard I cried.

Excellent choice dear Rich!



I think my favorite absurd part was when pastor Becky was asking the holy children what they thought of her hair and then "the rest of me." She's asking children about her body! ick! ack! That's just not appropriate.


ugh. it's all too familiar -- a flashback to a nightmare i woke myself up from years and years ago. rich, you outdid yourself. good choice leaving the comments up.


Oooh the kids were reading Chick Tracts. Check em out, they rule.


Maya, I loved this:
"As for their anti-abortion views, stop running around a waving model fetuses, if you want to make a point adopt a child, take in a foster child, because then you are really being pro-life."
Great idea!


I was at a party this weekend and some of the guests were talking about Islam. I started listening in, and I was shocked. They were actually saying things like the quote above. I mentioned that some of my neighbors are Muslim, and they're extremely nice, they helped us out when my mom had surgery and blah blah blah. Then one said -
"Well, does she wear the burqa?"
"No, but she's - "
"Then she's not a Muslim. It's in the Koran."
"Well, you know... the Bible says you can't shave your face and I doubt you (pointing to begoateed man) follow that law."
"It's not the same."
"Yeah....but it is."
Here they turned from me and began to talk about all the horrible things Mohhammed did and isn't it sad how many people follow them when clearly Christianity is right (they said that part extra-loud because I'm a Jew)?
Then I fake-coughed "Crusades!" because their Catholic and that did nothing but piss them off royally.

Sometimes you just can't win with these religious types because their heads are so filled with propaganda and misbeleifs that words just bounce right out.


M to the G

I've only read a few articles and seen the trailer to this point. But what disturbed me most is that these people very matter-of-factly *know* they are right and *know* they are going to win. That's hard to combat.

Bunny LaJoya

You realize this is straight up satanic

Pastor Fashion

I'm glad I clicked on the "dead churches" link. It really sums up the theological error: God is only present when properly invited in. That's quite a limited God.

Thanks for the review! I haven't heard too much talk about this at the divinity school I attend; I'm planning a movie night.


Rich, I swear if I had known your mailing address I was going to buy this DVD for you! All I could think was what you would write about it. Does this make me a FourFour stan or what?


rich, you might be interested in knowing there is also a documentary made by the writer of 'the god myth' that also features an interview with haggard. it is worth looking for. i saw it on CBC Newsworld (in Canada)...not sure if CNN would have the guts to air something like that.

i saw jesus camp a while back, and it still chills me thinking about it. you didn't mention the scene when the little girl approaches random people at a bowling alley (with encouragement from her dad) to try to convert them. i just try to wrap my head around a man who encourages his daughter to approach strangers like that to ask them about changing their belief system disturbing.

i actually lashed out at a mormon "missionary" on the bus the other day, because he was harassing some poor old woman who was too nice to tell him to screw off when he repeatedly tried to tell her about 'finding god'. i just find these kind of zealots so disgusting.


Stormy, I'm afraid you're the one who is delusional; this is absolutely "real" and it might be "campy," but it's the evangelists who are, not the filmmakers.


When you write things like this, it totally justifies us my head.

And isn't Dancing for the flesh like that robbie william's video where he peals his flesh off at throws it at girls roller skating aroung him.


I sat through most of this movie wondering A) how these people are not declared mentally incompetant (aka, the guy who sees demonic energy?) and B) why much of this is not considered child abuse, at least in an emotional sense. Can anyone really think it's good for a child to yell repeatedly that they must repent, that they're sinners, until they're weeping incoherently, falling on the floor, and otherwise obviously emotionally traumatized?


Thanks for this amazing post Rich. It's been a while since I've read something so articulate, passionate, and witty. What I love about your writing is that I end up laughing out loud at all the things you notice ("She's designing in Word, you know?")I'm renting this movie tonight!


I would just like to point out that normal Christians are to these extremists as normal gay people are to pedophiles.

Do you see what I mean?

This movie strikes me as being more sad than funny.

That's all.

John R

Excellent and thoughtful review Rich.

"biology does not evolve, but epistemology does" = Howls!

Clay said:
"I enjoyed this movie, but thought the filmmakers did a disservice to the audience with the score (a rehashed horror movie soundtrack laid on top of many of the religious scenes). The content itself was disturbing enough. I didn't think we needed music to manipulate us into recognizing how disturbing it was."

I agree totally, except that I liked the score itself (kinda Boards Of Canada-ish) but it's use was manipulative and just bad filmmaking.

As someone who 'accepted Jesus as my personal saviour' at 8 years old (I was really weighing alot of other options too: Buddhism, Hopi, Secular Humanism) I have to agree with some of the other commenters: I thought my upbringing was ultraconservative but this was just shocking!

Have you seen Hellhouse? Great double feature - and a better made documentary too.

Thanks Rich!

John R

PS - Not that it weakens your point at all, but I'm pretty sure she's using Powerpoint :P


^ pretty sure it's word. powerpoint has those feature bars on either side of the slide editing page.

great review.
and totally unrelated, a side note: can't wait to see if/when the antm recaps will resume when the show does!

Lisa M.

I'm so glad that the Christian Camp I went to as a kid was the "God created nature, and nature is great, so let's go birdwatching/canoeing/stargazing!" kind of camp. And the Bible Lessons we had tended to focus on "God loves everyone, yaaaaay!" kind of messages.

Haven't seen this yet, and probably won't for a while. I don't want my roommate to see it -- she would want to talk about it. Forever.


Some call them spoilers, but when it comes to your reviews I call them enhancements. Looking forward (but still scared) to this one.

I had to pause and gaze at the anti-abortion baby fetuses. I haven't seen those since they gave them to us in 7th grade in catholic school. Yup. some therapy may be in order.


I love your review. I've had it on my Queue with Netflix for a while, but I just bumped it up to the top of the list. :)


Excellent review! I am so happy the only (religious) camp I attended focused on doing work in the community; rebuilding and renovating houses for those who could not afford it. So we worked all day (and paid for the privilege) and did some Bible study and had sing-alongs at night. It instilled in me not only a commitment to religion but a commitment to tolerance and community service...funny how that works sometimes.


I saw this in the theater in Kansas City and almost had a heart attack, since most of the kids are from Lee's Summit, a suburb of here. Combine that with the infamous "god hates fags" clan of Fred Phelps & co. in Topeka, and it seems like every day the crazies are getting closer, although, like you, I really hope people don't see this movie as a reflection of the midwest as a whole.
Aw, who am I kidding...if you tell someone you're from Kansas City, they think you're a hick anyway (and they think you're from Kansas...half of it's in Missouri).
I love The God Delusion, too, by the way.


RE THIS: " My mother has, since her recent marriage, converted to Seventh Day Adventism which, while not as terrifying the Jesus Camp zealotry, still leaves me concerned with her newfound notions on what makes a "good Christian" in a way I've never been fully able to express to her. "

I grew up a Seventh-day Adventist, and one thing I can say about them -- they do in fact subscribe to the "we have the real truth" mentality that most Christians do, but they never, ever once instructed me to "hate" anybody, or take up violence of any kind. (I don't approve of the "pity" mentality that they tended to substitute it with, especially toward gays, but I was never allowed to forget the "other sheep have I which are not of this fold" tenet, and asking questions was always encouraged and presented to me as integral to the faith.) The "Jesus Camp" mentality terrifies me, and did so even back when I was involved in church, and would terrify just about any Adventist, I'm pretty certain. (Caveat -- a major part of this terror comes from an SDA belief that Christian groups are going to take over the US government and make everyone go to church on Sunday; as sabbatarians, Adventists prefer to do this on Saturday. I had nightmares as a kid. I don't think that's okay. BUT... this terror makes them awesome champions of religious freedom, fighting legal battles for free speech and all, so I'm extremely cool with that.)

I don't adhere to any religion now, Christian or otherwise, because I can't get past the bit where, for one to be right, all the others have to be wrong. The universe is just too big (and I'm too small) for that nonsense. And some of the rules are just based in outdated foolishness (To ME! In My Opinion!). But I will always respect the SDAs for those two things -- being encouraged to question, and "other sheep." (They're pretty big on higher education too. :-)

I won't rent this -- it really does terrify me in a physical, visceral sense.

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