Friday, July 25, 2014


At the time it premiered in 2009, David Heilbroner, Franco Sacchi, and Kate Davis were capping off the Bush decade.  For eight years, George W. Bush had tried to actualize the Religious Right's designs on public policy regarding everything from the notion of abstinence-only sexual education to charter schools to family planning.  In this sense, the film is a relic of the years before the Tea Party movement, when these militant church-goers turned nasty.
The film begins with an outline of Evangelical theology regarding the Rapture, an almost absurdist series of vignettes where the True Believer parents wax romantic about the Rapture while the teen daughter sheepishly interjects "But just have it happen after my birthday."
Soon we meet the local pastor and would-be antiquities experts who lecture to eager Bible study groups weekly.  It is when the group goes to Israel that things become clear, that these delusional but relatively harmless apocalyptic Christians have found the most eager of partners in the hawkish corridors of Jerusalem's metropolitan society, the types who are eager to see the Dome of the Rock removed so they can build a Third Temple.  Of course, such a move would also be apocalyptic, but that's the whole point for these Christian donors.
In a sense, the inter-relationships between GOP Evangelical voters and the groups in Jerusalem that dream of vandalizing the Dome of the Rock should be exposed.  But this film is simply playing it safe.  The film gives absolutely no explanation of the realities on the ground and instead devotes itself to focusing on how awkward, reactionary, and gullible the Evangelicals are.  By giving no context, it just seems like another liberal expose of bizarre Christians.  Too bad they chose not to interview a Palestinian Orthodox Christian.

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