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Lord, Save Us From Your Followers (2008)Lord, Save Us From Your Followers (2008)

In case you haven't noticed, there's a clash of cultures provoked by the role of religion in our society. Think of Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck yelling at Howard Stern, Bill Maher, and John Stewart. Or, as we see in this documentary film, the city council of Saint Paul, Minnesota, banning the Easter Bunny from city hall because of its association with Easter. Film maker Dan Merchant dons a jump suit plastered with religious cliches when he hits the road to interview people on the street about why a gospel of love so bitterly divides people. The results were predictable, and in some ways I thought this film was a tedious glimpse of the obvious. Its dozens of cameos lack any narrative direction except to tag the bases of hot button issues. But in the last thirty minutes he pivots to consider witnesses that he considers more authentic to the Christian story — Bono, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Tony Campolo, and Rick Warren. He himself set up a "confession booth" at a Portland gay pride festival, only he was the one confessing the sins of believers. In the end he peddles an important message, which is that people need not agree in order to be nice. Lord, Save Us has drawn comparisons with Bill Maher's mockumentary Religulous, only this time the satirist is himself a believer.

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