With God On Our Side does more than just present another Evangelical perspective -- it presents an opportunity for Christians of all denominations as well as Jews, Muslims, atheists and agnostics -- whomever -- to engage for peace as vigorously as the Christian Zionists root for war.
Speakman allows everyone he interviews to express themselves, share what they believe and then he responds with story, facts and context. With God On Our Side contains interviews with the leading Christian Zionists including John Hagee and Malcolm Hedding (of the so-called International Christian Embassy Jerusalem).
The film shows that one of the problems with the Christian Zionist rhetoric is it is never put into context. Hagee and his warmongering ilk say whatever they want and get an "Amen" -- and a check -- from those who believe the same. But when you show the implications of their beliefs and actions, it becomes clear that this is not the way of Jesus.
Those like Hagee and Hedding are deeply disconnected from the pain and suffering amongst the Palestinian people and they abuse the Bible to justify such an approach with blatant disregard for the Bible's core teaching for both Jews and Christians -- love of neighbor.
The Christian Zionists are also deeply disconnected from the American military family that, for generations now, has been the spear point not of American foreign policy but of Evangelical fantasies about making the world "safe" for the return of Christ by "helping" along "biblical prophecy" by "standing up for Israel." This so-called standing up has mired America in perpetual war. And as if that's not enough their very raison d'Ãªtre is an insult to any actual God (if there is such a thing). I mean how could God be stupider than his frail human creatures? And what could be stupider than tying land acquisition to spirituality, as if the God Of The Universe is addicted to enforcing borders established by British colonialists and/or some rather nasty genocidal warring Bronze Age tribes?!
With God On Our Side soberly and quietly challenges the thought that God is only "with" one ethnic or religious group. When I interviewed Speakman for this article he said, "When you think God is on your side everything is justified. Radical Muslims justify suicide bombings, Radical Jews justify ethnic cleansing and radical Christians justify modern-day crusades."
Speakman has toured the US (mostly in churches) twice with the movie -- quite incredibly mostly ignored by the mainstream media so far -- and is now in the UK and Ireland to answer his (often insanely hostile Evangelical) critics. "What we are seeing is that there are many people who are disturbed that they have not heard this side of the story before," says Speakman. "What is encouraging is that many people who watch our movie then want to learn more and get involved to make a positive change, for both Palestinians and Jews."
Note to the media: Pay attention to this film. It's a newsworthy story. Here's your hook -- "Evangelical Turns Against Own 'Side' and Works For Peace..."
Note to the cable news shows: Interview Speakman, he's articulate.
Note to anyone reading this review: Buy the DVD, watch it and then share it, you owe it to yourself, children and country.
Note to non-Evangelicals: Speakman takes the time to answer questions about bizarre "covenant theology" in a way that's directed at Evangelicals. Watch anyway, you need to understand the preoccupations, concerns and off-the-wall ugly delusion gripping of the vast Evangelical public, even if the archaic questions they care about -- for instance, "are the Jews still the chosen people or does this idea only apply to us Bible-believing Christians now?" -- might seem nonsensical to you.
If you want peace in the Middle East then learn why the Christian Zionists who say they love Jews love Jews the way tigers "love" lambs. Their "standing up for Israel" is not helping the Jews, Arabs and Palestinians who live there. It's only encouraging the militant hardliners -- like the ones who just stuck it to the rest of us with their 1000 new insults to peace they call "housing" -- to commit suicide, and maybe take the rest of us with them.
Speakman has gone a long way to proving that sometimes progressives' smug dismissal of "all those Evangelicals" as nutty is as unfair as it is inaccurate. With his courage (the aptly named) Speakman proves that truth may sometimes be spoken by the most unexpected people.
After watching With God On Our Side I have a renewed hope for the Evangelicals in America. And maybe peace in Palestine and Israel is possible. This film can help that happen by signaling the beginning of the end of the largely unchallenged influence of Christian Zionism.Film Website: WithGodOnOurSide.com
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