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With God on Our Side - George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right in America (2005)

Ronald Reagan , Jimmy Carter , David Van Taylor , Calvin Skaggs  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham
  • Directors: David Van Taylor, Calvin Skaggs
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • 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)
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AM4POA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,711 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "With God on Our Side - George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right in America" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What makes George W. Bush tick? While much of the world is confounded by his righteous rhetoric and his boundless certainty, Bush's story makes perfect sense to one group: America's conservative evangelicals...also known as the Religious Right.

This provocative but balanced documentary begins by providing the historical context necessary to understand President Bush's evangelical agenda - exploring the five-decade political education of conservative Christians. Then it zeroes in on Bush himself with a religious biography - from his mid-life crisis involving excessive drinking and a failing business, to his pivotal meeting with a cross-carrying evangelist, and finally to the skillful embrace of 'born-again' imagery that helped elect him president.

Incorporating comprehensive historical detail and interviews with religious conservatives such as Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed, as well as Bush confidants including former speechwriter David Frum, this "eye-opening" film "should be mandatory viewing for those interested in the dominant intersection between religion and politics." (Hollywood Reporter)


By calmly putting all the pieces in a row, shows how we came to have a president who believes, in the words of one commentator, that 'he and his country have a special relationship with God.' --The New York Times

Serious, in-depth and even-handed...If you want to know how [evangelicalism] affected the course of politics in the 20th century, this documentary is an outstanding place
to start. --The Chicago Tribune

Scrupulously balanced, packed with historical, sociological, and cultural context. --Christian Science Monitor

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good objective look at the situation January 29, 2006
Whether you're on the side of the Christian right or suspicious of it, this film successfully gives nothing more than the facts about the conservative/fundamentalist's political agenda and its influence on the U.S. political scene over the last several decades. It never resorts to taking a stand. Those on the right will find nothing to disdain, and those on the opposite side will perhaps be more informed about what they fear. The movie gives the entire scenario, much of which I've either forgotten, or perhaps never was aware of, regarding the Rev. Billy Graham's unfortunate support of Nixon, President Reagen's Supreme Court nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor and her "disappointing" track record (to those on the right), the presidential bid of Pat Robertson and his scarey jump start in the early primaries, and how conservatives feel that George W. is finally, definitely their man. All very interesting and informative.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Religion in the white house and as a campaign tool... January 21, 2006
Fabulous doco...

Explores various religious aspects across more than a quarter of a century.

The documentary discusses the importance of religion in modern politics and its place as a modern campaigning tool - using rare footage from Carter onward.

The other focus of the program is on the president and his personal embrace of religion. Though some are cynical, the program enables a better understanding for those unfamiliar with some of the personal history of Dubya.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary January 18, 2006
The real danger is that someday the evangelicals will gain so much power that they will turn this country into a theocracy. You can believe that the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Robison and others, if given the choice of a country under their power or a country under the power of the people, would not hesitate to install themselves or someone who would do their bidding.

Well, would this be a bad thing for America? The astonishing thing is that many people would say "No, it wouldn't be a bad thing for America." The more amazing thing is, it could happen.

Democracy and the rule of law, the idea of equal rights for all citizens and a government of checks and balances is actually something new in the world if one takes a long view. Throughout most of human history most rulers were tyrannical and told the people that they derived their power and authority from God. Whether they were European kings, Japanese emperors, Islamic ayatollahs or Easter Island chieftains, they all spoke for and were to spoken to in a privileged way by God. It is only in the last two centuries or so that democratic leaders have risen to rule their countries without the claim that they rule by the authority of God. Thanks to the Enlightenment and the rise of education for the masses it has become increasing difficult to persuade the majority of people that any individual should rule because that individual (and his supporters) say he is God's choice. After all, who decides who is God's choice, and how can we know? Who speaks for God?

That is the real question. In Iran the ayatollahs speak for God. In America it is often the TV evangelist. But they speak in different tongues and they say diametrically opposed things. Both have the Truth and the Light.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating, but hollow July 29, 2006
WGOOS is an examination of the rise of conservative Christians (especially the Moral Majority) as a political force in America over the last 40 years. It uses interviews with some of the movement's heavy hitters -- Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Chuck Colson, Ralph Reed and others -- to discuss the movement's ups, downs and political maturation. The film seems intended as a critique of the movement. In this it fails, depicting these men (and they are all men!) on their turf, with no agenda other than to bring Christ to the nation. But there's little examination that the "Christ" they are talking about is pro-American, pro-capitalism and pro-conservative. If there's a lack of balance in the film, it's that there is almost no voice to oppose the self-sanctifying stories these men tell of themselves. It would have been helpful to the ordinary viewer, for instance, had voices from the religious center or left be added to challenge the conservative interpretation of Jesus and the gospels. It would have been helpful too had the film shown more clips from the TV shows these men run. Falwell's claim that the ACLU and lesbians (among others) were to blame for 9/11 was included, but little other spectacular and disturbing material. As it is, the men seem quaint and passionate about their faith, but little more.

The second part of the movie focused on the rise of George W. Bush as the latest hope of religious right to push their agenda. The movie makes a strong case for Bush's sincerity as a believing Christian. After seeing Bush praying and preaching and talking about God, it's hard to believe him to be completely cynical on the subject. The film buttresses the case for Bush the believer, but fails to note behaviors or positions at odds with that image.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This was a very strange documentary. The first half is a very straightforward, objective and informative history of the evangelical influence on US politics from circa 1950. But by the last half all objectivity is thrown out the window and it turns into a very blatant promotional movie for George W. Bush and his handling of the 9/11, the Iraq War, etc., ending with Bush waving the flag and an interviewee saying he hopes God still has a plan for George W. Bush to help the world.

Watch it if it's on TV, but I wouldn't recommend spending money on the DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars George W. Bush Is Our Worst President since George H.W. Bush and...
The authors of this film try to make a hero of W, but they seem to have forgotten the disaster that was Iraq, the murder of 3000 innocent people at the World Trade Center, his... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Zarathustra
5.0 out of 5 stars GOD IS ON OUR SIDE
Just the America people are rejecting GOD and " believing the local news media. I really enjoyed hearing and seeing the footage of our history. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ann
1.0 out of 5 stars Right Wing Siren Song To Evangelicals at Election Time
How anyone can call this film evenhanded is beyond comprehension. It's a creepy Valentine from the malignant far right, appealing to evangelicals to set aside the constitution and... Read more
Published on May 27, 2012 by Paulette Kenyon
2.0 out of 5 stars Even-Handed? I Don't Think So
A published review refers to this documentary as "evenhanded," but I don't agree. It seems distinctly dominated by the Christian point of view. Read more
Published on May 13, 2012 by Barbara Frederick
4.0 out of 5 stars Shake it to the left & you shake it to the right.
The day I watched this movie I also started The Audacity of Hope, by President Obama. Both are old news. Read more
Published on July 27, 2009 by JOHN GODFREY
4.0 out of 5 stars An objective history of the Religous Right
Actually this is completely free of editorial opinion, nothing beyond a few basic facts are given by the producers. Read more
Published on November 24, 2007 by Bob from the Midwest
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbiased but still one-sided
Before viewing "With God on Our Side," I suspected the title might be ironic or downright sarcastic. The film, I suspected, would seek to skewer George W. Read more
Published on June 8, 2007 by P. Mann
3.0 out of 5 stars If God did exist...
...whatever the names/aliases used by those who pretend to believe in such a thing, He would never have allowed the existence of Bushs nor any fanatic zealots who have been... Read more
Published on March 29, 2007 by philrob
1.0 out of 5 stars All Right
Ignore those who claim this is an even-handed doc. It's a promotional film for the christian right thinly disguised as investigative journalism. Read more
Published on September 29, 2006 by Stephen Ashley Holt
5.0 out of 5 stars An Explanation of the Core W and Evangelicals in Politica
Frankly, this is simply the best & most objective DVD explaining President George W. Bush's faith. It also gives a fairly objective reveiw of why evagelicals are involved in... Read more
Published on March 21, 2006 by Keith Brown
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