The Machine Gun Preacher: Saint or Scoundrel?While I'm sure our gun loving crowd will accept without critical assessment the assumption that more guns and shooting and killing provide a solution to an international crisis, I'm betting that the closer scrut that is going to come with the release of this movie will be the catalyst for more than one expose that show this is hype and self-promotion, not accurate history!
Today, moviegoers will meet a new action hero: the Machine Gun Preacher, the eponymous protagonist of a just-released film starring Gerard Butler (300) and directed by Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, The Kite Runner). Butler plays Sam Childers, a shotgun- and smack-shooting biker who hits rock bottom, gets religion, and travels to Sudan, where he discovers the devil in the form of the Lord's Resistance Army, the nihilistic child-kidnapping guerrilla group. Childers builds an orphanage and rescues kids from the LRA, then arms himself for all-out war on the group. "Hope is the greatest weapon of all," goes the movie's tagline. But judging from the trailer (watch it below), a rocket-propelled grenade will do in a pinch.| Fri Sep. 23, 2011 3:00 AM PDT
The Machine Gun Preacher is a familiar Hollywood character: The white Westerner who stumbles into a foreign land, discovers locals in desperate need, and embarks on a mission to kick ass in their name. (For more examples of this trope, from Lawrence of Arabia to Avatar, check out this clever video of Anglos Valiantly Aiding Tragic Awe-inspiring Races.) One reviewer, unimpressed by the movie's predictable righteous-Rambo plot, sneers, "Did you guess that there was a scene where Childers screams to the Heavens as he clutches the legless corpse of a child?"
None of this would really matter if Machine Gun Preacher weren't "based on the inspiring true story of one man's extraordinary journey." That man is a gruff 49-year-old whose arc from hellraiser to holy warrior pretty much matches his celluloid version's. Since 1998, Sam Childers' orphanage in Nimule, near the Sudan-Uganda border, has provided shelter to more than 1,000 kids. After building the orphanage, his website explains, "Sam began to lead armed missions to rescue children from the LRA. It wasn't long before tales of his exploits spread and villagers began to call him 'The Machine Gun Preacher.'"
Until now, Childers has been largely unknown outside of evangelical circles. The new movie promises to make him a celebrity and fill his charity's coffers. But it's also inviting scrutiny from those who suspect his claims are exaggerated and that his gunfire-and-brimstone tactics, which reportedly include arms trafficking, are a disaster. (my emphasis added - DG)
Saturday, September 24, 2011
More from the God Loves Gunpowder and Killing Crowd
You can read the restof the article here: