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Selling God

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

SYNOPSIS
What is the price of a soul? At a time when televangelists can fill a stadium at the same rate as a rock star and a theme park can sell tickets to the Holy Land, organized religion has in many ways put a price tag on salvation. Selling God is a fascinating and always amusing survey of evangelical Christianity from Biblical times to the rise of megachurches to the post-9/11 culture wars.

Combining historical insight with irreverent humor, director Carl Christman explores the many absurdities that arise when pop culture meets religious doctrine. Featuring interviews with Dr. Noam Chomsky and a host of other scholars and religious leaders, this satirical documentary shows that in many modern churches, every prayer is accounted for and every penny, too.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Noam Chomsky
  • Directors: Carl Christman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004MA1K1C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,422 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rick on August 15, 2011
Format: DVD
This documentary takes an interesting and comical look at how religion and our faith has been tailored to fit the needs of whomever is yelling the loudest at the time and has the best mass marketing approach. You would only take offense if you are those following the types of churches portrayed in the film. The ideal that controlling the minds of individuals through fear and the promise of salvation if you follow a specific path is not new to religion. I think the underlying theme to this film is to show how far we've reached from the initial intent of religion and God. It's not about doing one to others as you would want done to you or helping the sick and weak. It's about how much money you can collect to build a bigger church and buy more influence in those making decisions about our laws and economy. Unfortunately modern religion has become the furthest thing from what Jesus ever intended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Borden on August 3, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The seven reviews so far are split between those with an open mind and those who take everything on faith. If you rely on faith rather than reason you will hate this video. If you're religious but open minded you with gain historical and modern day insights into the evolution of religious thought and belief. Very well produced and historically accurate, funny and at the same time scary. Yes it pokes fun at religion and is a bit over the top but the truth of how religion has evolved is also frightening. It explains why there are so many religious denominations all claiming to be the only true religion; each claiming that if you don't follow its beliefs you're going to hell. It explains why so many faithful hate the equally faithful who don't share the same religious dogma. Highly recommended for the entire family as a starting point for discussing the basis for their beliefs or faith.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alex on July 23, 2011
Format: DVD
Just recently watched this documentary and thoroughly enjoyed it. To be fair it is one sided but it doesn't really poke fun at average christians but more on their ministers and preachers. This movie is not a history lesson of christianity even though it does give some historical facts here and there through out the documentary. It mainly shows how christianity has changed over the last century and some of the hypocrisies that have occurred. All in all, it was a very fun and interesting documentary. If you are a hard core, fundamentalist christian then you may not enjoy this documentary because it does poke fun at you, and well honestly, it's well deserved. If you are a average christians then I think you will enjoy this. If you are a secular person then you will definitely enjoy it.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Christina Karolyi on March 26, 2011
Format: DVD
In this documentary, the movie pokes fun at the way our society has evolved from a society that worships god to one that uses god for our own purposes. Even though I'm a devout Christian, I found myself laughing out loud at the clever way points were made throughout the movie. It reminds me of the Michael Moore style of documentary which pokes fun while making even those he's making fun of, find him funny. I saw this movie in the theater and am so excited to get it and show it to my friends. What a genius piece of work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Sanberg on March 25, 2013
Format: DVD
The fact is, the Christian religion in general, and the Catholic church in particular, do not have an exemplary history. Between the Inquisition, the Crusades, their open disdain for evolutionary science, gays, women's rights to name a few things, they don't put themselves up as being a good bunch of guys. This documentary examines the evangelical movement within the church in a mildly jocular manner.

Here's the scoop. Writer/director Carl Christman (that must be a ghost name) tackles various aspects of said evangelical movement, such as prayer, faith, Heaven and Hell, etc and shows the views of the big names in the evangelical movement (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell et al) and how they clash with science, contemporary culture and just plain logic. It appears all too easy a task.

I'm not one to say science is always correct. They have a pretty whacky history all by themselves, but I'm pretty certain the Earth is more than 10,000 years old. I'm also not going to blame the ACLU and pro-rights groups for the horror of 911. And why aren't women allowed in the upper echelons of the church? History moves forward and as many bad things there are that happen, humans seem to be a generally decent bunch overall. Yes there have been Hitlers and Stalins but, by and large, they are few and far between. It's just a shame their actions harm such a large number of people. So why does the church want to keep us down with guilt and fear of damnation? And gays. What is the church's problem with gays? It's my understanding that, through studies of twins separated at birth, homosexuality is predominantly in the genes. Doesn't that make it God's will?

I could have used a bit less whimsy in the tone. Upending a religious platform is a tough road to begin with.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J L on July 9, 2011
Format: DVD
This documentary explains the basic ways in which religion grows and supports itself. I was not surprised to see a few negative reviews here since this film is critical of modern Christianity. If you are a religious person who doesn't have an open mind then this film will probably offend you.

The film starts out by explaining how religions evolve over time through natural selection. The religions which have beliefs that promote growth are the ones that survive while others fade to obscurity. For the rest of the film they explain the strategies and beliefs that help bring money and people to the church. The film proves their point using many informative interviews and clips from Christian events/promotional materials.

The only criticism I have is that the filmmakers sometimes use humor at the wrong times. Some of their jokes such as the "7 basic tenets that all modern Christian denominations agree upon" came across as arrogant and overly biased.

This documentary provides interesting points and is especially informative if you are not aware of the machinery that drives the business side of religious organizations.
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