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Soldiers in the Army of God

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Hill, Neal Horsley, Bob Lokey, Jonathan O'Toole
  • Directors: Daphne Pinkerson, Marc Levin
  • Writers: Daniel Voll
  • Producers: Daphne Pinkerson, Marc Levin, Alex Gibney, Daniel Voll, Mikaela Beardsley
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,127 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Soldiers in the Army of God" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Over 50 minutes of outtakes and additional footage
  • Updated interview with Jonathan O'Toole, conducted by producer Daniel Voll
  • Esquire magazine article "The Future of the Armed Abortion Movement" by Daniel Voll

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Many of the most extreme members of the anti-abortion movement reveal themselves to HBO cameras for the first time in this disturbing verite documentary. The film focuses primarily on "soldiers" in the Army of God, a pro-life group bonded together by the Internet, by organized rallies, and by a common belief that abortions must be stopped at all costs. In addition to intimate footage of Army members at their homes, in their cars and at gatherings, the film includes harrowing footage of high-profile crimes targeted at abortion clinics, most notably the 1993 murder of two abortion-clinic workers in Pensacola, Florida. The documentary also features an exclusive death-row interview with the man who committed these murders: Paul Hill, who has become a hero and martyr to many Army of God zealots.


No topic on the American socio-political landscape is more divisive than abortion, but in a way, Soldiers in the Army of God may actually bring reasonable folks on both sides of the issue together. That's because directors Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson's 70-minute documentary, made in 2000, chronicles the Army of God, a radical anti-abortion group who preach and practice violence as the best, indeed the only, means to end legal abortions, a stance that more moderate advocates on both ends of the spectrum must surely abhor. Granted, most of the people interviewed here make their cases calmly, even reasonably; they certainly don't come on like the fire-breathing fanatics their views might suggest. But there's not a lot to like about guys like Bob Lokey, an ex-con (he served 20 years for murder), an "activist" and smarmy hypocrite who claims he wouldn't harm a hair on an "abortionist"... but nor would he complain if someone else did; or the ultra-confident Neil Horsley, who does his propagandizing on the Internet (a vital source for spreading the word and identifying fellow protesters) and offers the usual argument that those who were killed merely got what they deserved. Regardless of one's position on abortion, the fact is that it's legal, and shooting people who perform them isn't. But these "soldiers'" belief that they are doing God's work muddies the waters, because faith is not fact; indeed, it is inarguable. As a result, Soldiers in the Army of God ultimately leaves one with the sinking feeling that this issue is irreconcilable. Take the example of Paul Hill, who in 1994 killed Dr. John Britton. Hill regarded this "abortionist" as a murderer, so he shot him and his escort; interviewed here, the utterly unrepentant Hill languishes on a Florida death row, awaiting his own death (he was given a lethal injection in September '03). And the infernal wheel goes 'round and 'round. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By stoic VINE VOICE on June 14, 2010
Format: DVD
Soldiers in the Army of God is a fascinating look at anti-abortion activists who believe that it is OK to murder abortion providers. These extremists can be fascinating. What is like to believe in a cause strongly enough to kill for it? What if God "tells" someone to commit murder? Soldiers of God forces viewers to consider these questions.

The "soldiers" in this video are almost all men. They all say that they respect women. But viewers may wonder after hearing activists Neal Horsley and Bob Lokey discuss what they perceive to be women's role.

Where do extremists come from? One of the film's best sub-plots involves an earnest young man (Jonathan O'Toole) who becomes involved in the Army of God. Viewers see Lokey and Horsley "coach" the O'Toole - and viewers wonder whether he is destined to become the movement's next martyr. (The DVD extras contain an interesting update on O'Toole).

This film gives viewers little cause for hope. Unlike most political issues, abortion does not lend itself well to compromise. At the end, the viewer feels that the anger over abortion is likely to continue.

I highly recommend Soldiers in the Army of God to anyone interested in the abortion debate or political extremism. Viewers come away with food for thought.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Thornton on October 29, 2009
Format: DVD
I saw this film recently and it was an eye open but was missing something vital to the story in my opinion.

One reviewer, and Army of God member J Graff, admonishes people to remember that this was all in the past and these "colorful figures" (his words, not mine, I'd call them criminal sociopaths) were also in the past. The AoG is in his words "different today". One visit to their website to view a picture of Scott Roeder, the murderer of Dr. Tiller on May 31st of 2009, as an "American Hero" might lead others to the realization that this terrorist group is as dangerously fanatical today as ever. They are a terrorist group by any meaningful definition of the word so let's not mince words when discussing organizations such as this. They use terror and murder in an attempt to force society to change to fit their desires They are also organized in cells, much like other terrorist groups, to keep any one person from knowing too much about their members and activities.

The serious flaw in this documentary is what is missing. These fanatics draw their source of inspiration from a 4th century collection of ancient writings. It is past time to put away such childish things. Bronze age myths may or may not have been good for bronze age society but they are absolutely horrible as a source of any guidance in today's modern world. Put these fanatic's book of "inspiration" on the shelf with all other ancient mythological works of fiction and let us move on as a society shall we? Pretending that there is anything of value in this ancient collection is exacting a terrible toll on us today. It is dangerous to continue to be accommodating to those who claim they have access to some sort of absolute revealed truth. Their text either is or isn't what these fanatics claim it to be be.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Karlis Streips on May 4, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was slack-jawed during most of this excellently produced documentary, in which men (almost entirely men) discuss breaking the law in pursuit of their crazed "Christian" agenda. There were a couple of things which struck me particularly hard. First of all, again I say that almost all of these aborto-terrorists are men. It seems that none of them has ever been pregnant or had to deal with the emotions of keeping or getting rid of a pregnancy. What the hell are they doing in the debate? Second, the men all appeared to be completely sans women -- the lead loony said that God told him to stay away from women altogether. That's a convenient way of saying "I don't think any woman would be crazed enough to come anywhere near me". He also announced that on God's orders, he circumcized himself, "and I'm probably the only one who's done that and isn't insane." Now there's a wee bit of self-delusion. He is insane, and he is such an excellent representative of how crazed semi-fascists have taken over the Christian church in America. What a sad thing that is in a democracy. What a sad, sad thing, but thanks to the people who produced this documentary, which should open up many, many eyes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Wooldridge on August 29, 2011
Format: DVD
This is a truly frightening portrayal of a clash of world views that can scarcely end any way but violently. 95% of the movie focuses on a group of extremely dangerous Christian extremists who promote (and sometimes participate in) the murder of medical professionals who perform abortions. However I thought my fellow Unitarian Universalists out there would be interested to know that the remaining 5% of the movie is about the good guys - a UU church that speaks out against the Army of God.

This film is a must-see, just don't expect it to put you in a good mood. This is NOT a good film for encouraging interfaith dialogue. This is a film about an irreconcilable clash of values and where the battle-lines are drawn. You will be pissed off and depressed when the movie is over.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By j. sistin VINE VOICE on April 23, 2006
Format: DVD
"Thou shalt not kill" is not a conditional statement, yet the Army of God, in their arrogance, decided they have the right to choose who deserves to live and die in this fascinating documentary. This film is an excellent exploration into how people, driven by the urge to "do good", commit horrible acts of violence(in other words: evil). The utter hypocrisy of their actions is breathtaking, if not ironic, as they condemn individuals they deem "murderers" while martyring people who murderer for their cause. A human, if disturbing, portrait, of faith and morality gone horribly awry. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
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