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The Machine Gun Preacher’s holy war

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 29, 2011 | 11:11 pm

I caught the real Machine Gun Preacher on CNN while I was sitting in the airport today. True story. Fascinating story. Check out the trailer above for the Hollywood film, in theaters now, based on Sam Childers’ life. USA Today calls it an “unholy mess.”

As for the real Childers, the Los Angeles Times had this story:

Childers’ story is nothing if not cinematic. Act 1: He spends his youth running drugs, riding Harleys, packing heat and doing time. Act 2: In his 30s, he suddenly finds God, builds his own church and starts preaching himself. Act 3: On a mission trip to southern Sudan, he sees a child’s body torn apart by a land mine. The searing experience inspires him to build an orphanage there — and to take up arms himself against the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Uganda-based militia group notorious for mutilating, killing and conscripting children into its cult-like ranks.

The prime challenge of the film, a flawed hero’s tale, is to capture Childers’ duality — is he a man of God, a vigilante or both? — while straddling the line between real emotion and schmaltz. It’s a tough balance to strike, especially considering how the subject matter makes grown men cry when they get to talking about it.

Read the rest here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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