O Me of Little Faith

As I’ve said before, one benefit of being a writer is you get to interview some interesting people from time to time. A couple months ago I interviewed Dan Merchant, the writer/director/producer/star of Lord, Save Us from Your Followers, a documentary about American Christianity and how it seems to be causing more division than healing. It’s an excellent, entertaining, and funny film — if you ever get a chance to watch it or attend the live Lord Save Us tour, don’t hesitate to check it out.

The film was just nominated by BeliefNet for the Best Spiritual Documentary of 2008, describing it this way:

Filmmaker Dan Merchant has one burning question: “Why is the ‘Gospel of Love’ dividing America?” Merchant draws on a variety of film devices–from man-on-the-street commentary to animated shorts to exclusive interviews with controversial figures like black preacher-politican Al Sharpton, liberal evangelical Tony Campolo, and conservative radio host Michael Regan—in his search for answers to why Christian faith in America has come to be represented by divisive language and actions. The film, says BFA judge Brandon Fibbs, helps Christians “to see what we really look like to those on the outside looking in. … Christianity, [Merchant] contends, is far more interested in the gospel of being right than the gospel of Jesus Christ.” But if Christianity supposed to be built on the foundation of “loving the unlovable,” then what does that say about the face of Christianity in America today?

That, as Dan has said, was the good news. The bad news is that Lord Save Us is up against the concert documentary U23D and the Oscar-nominated Katrina documentary, Trouble the Water.

Here’s a clip from the film, in which Dan dresses up as “Bumper Sticker Man,” draping himself in a jumpsuit covered by religious (and non-religious) catchphrases in order to start man-on-the-street conversations:

Watch a lot more clips from Lord Save Us here.

Vote for your favorite 2008 spiritual documentary here.

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