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One Nation Under God

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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(Jun 08, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

{WINNER! Audience Award-Best Documentary, 1993 San Francisco Int'l Lesbian & Gay Film Festival}

ONE NATION UNDER GOD takes on the history of the religious right in America and the techniques they've used over the past fifty years to try to change gays and lesbians into straight people.

ONE NATION UNDER GOD provides a historical context as well as political analysis of the frighteningly large and well-financed anti-gay campaign being waged by the religious right and conservative political leaders, who are "curing" gays and lesbians in the name of Family Values, Morality and Patriotism. It analyzes the underlying social and cultural factors that have contributed to the persistent and harmful myth that gay people are somehow damaged and can be "fixed."

"Reparative therapies" such as "orgasmic re-assignment therapy" sound too humorous to be taken seriously. Yet, they are part of a system of destructive aversion therapies that includes exorcisms, beauty makeovers for butch lesbians, football for gay males, and other truly frightening methods that have been used to cure, discourage and stigmatize homosexuality.

Interviews with people involved in the ex-gay movement, including the former ex-gays Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper. Bussee and Cooper were the founders of Exodus International, a large ministry aimed at changing gays into straights, but renounced the group after falling in love. Gary and Michael state, "We learn three messages growing up gay. First, don't be gay. Second, if you're gay be miserable. Third, if you're not miserable shut up!" By combining such insightful interviews with archival footage from the 1950s and 1960s in a stylish mixture of humor and horror, ONE NATION UNDER GOD not only entertains and enlightens, but also celebrates diversity and promotes a sense of shared values.

Review

This riveting documentary offers the most dynamic historical overview of gays and lesbians in modern American society since Before Stonewall. --Planet Out

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: -
  • Directors: Francine Rzeznik, Teodoro Maniaci
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTVRU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,685 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "One Nation Under God" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
With the ludicrous "Truth in Love" campaign now fully underway, this video is a must-see for anyone who wants a more full understanding of the concept behind ex-gay ministries. As shown in the video, many of the original founders of groups such as Exodus are no longer associated with those groups and debunk their "conversion" therapies. Although I found some of the ideas that these "ex-gay" ministries espouse to be silly and ridiculous, I thought the video was not as "funny" or "hilarious" as the box quotes make it sound. Rather it was a chilling wake-up to the way certain religious groups in our country are preaching hate and intolerance in the thinly veiled form of "Ex-gay" ministries. Ever more frightening is that many of these groups are growing every day...
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Format: VHS Tape
I suppose some people will accuse me of traking a seperate but equal way of thinking about this film, but tough beans. I would say that for gay people, especially gay Christians, especially gay Christians who have felt alienated from God, this is a wonderful and moving, powerful and important film. For those of the rest of us who are straight or gay but non-Christian, it is just good.

The film is a frank discussion about ministries that claim to be able to change your sexual orientation from gay to straight with the Bible, support groups, therapy (including electroshock), and a lot of hard work. However as the film points out, you never can work hard enough to change your sexual orientation, and all these ministries accomplish is self delusion, denial, hatred, homophobia, low self esteem and self destructive behavior including suicide. Every accredited scientific study of the last 30 years or so has collaborated this fact, but ex-gay groups like Exodus Ministries (the largest group) still claim to be able to "cure" a gay man by teaching him how to play softball and a lesbian woman by teaching her how to put on makeup, willfully ignoring the reality that gay women wear makeup already (myself among them) and there are gay men who can bench press 300lbs (like my roommate). The film is pretty low budget and shows production values that are pretty consistant with it being made in the early 90's, so it is no technical feat. However you can have a good laugh at the woman from Exodus trying to cure a lesbian by slathering her in blue eyeshadow ala Mimi on The Drew Carey Show.

As a final point, a reviewer on this site said that the film lies when it claims that Gary Cooper co-founded Exodus Ministries.
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Format: DVD
Associated with right-wing Christian evangelicals, Exodus advocates conversion of homosexuals into heterosexuals through various programs--although precisely what these programs are, how effective they are, and whether such conversion should be attempted at all have been contentious issues since the organization formed in 1976. ONE NATION UNDER GOD seeks to describe Exodus and similar programs and compare their somewhat vague success stories against the realities of those who attempted this sexual conversion and crashed and burned.

The major focus of the film is on Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper. Bussee was among the five co-founding members of Exodus; Cooper was an Exodus volunteer who is sometimes described as a co-founder, depending on the exact source. Both were gay men determined to become heterosexual--but precipitated a mighty scandal in the Exodus ranks when they instead fell in love with each other. Other notables interviewed include Frank Worthen, founder of Love In Action, which pre-dated Exodus; and Martin Duberman, noted author, a gay man who sought to become heterosexual through psychotherapy and whose book CURES documents the process he underwent.

As these and other interview subjects speak out on camera they are occasionally interrupted by "scientific films" drawn from the 1950s and 1960s; religious leaders who condemn or support, as case may be; and some unintentionally hilarious moments, including one that can only be described as "beauty tips for lesbians." The result is a collage of questions to which no two people have exactly the same answer. Can one change one's sexuality? Or not? If so, how? And if so, is it actually a desirable sort of thing?
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Format: DVD
This documentary interviews the former ex-gays that started one of the "repartive therapy" movements to cure gays of being homosexual. It includes interviews with those who believe in being able to cure gays as well as Rev. Mel White (founder of Soulforce). Rev. White's testimony is intriguing as he experienced efforts to become an ex-gay. As a PFLAG chapter president, and a member of the GLBT community, I highly recommend this documentary to increase awareness of the reparative therapy groups and the harm that they cause to the GLBT community.
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Format: VHS Tape
I agree with this reviewer..."To say that *all* homosexuality is wrong and bad and *never* okay is presumptuous and ignorant." A lot of thought was put into this documentary. Exodus is pushy and wants their way and they are sure, like Hitler was, that God was on their side. They are homophobic and want to hand lead us into the June Cleaver age. I felt sorry for the male couple in the film who were originally spokespeople for Exodus saying "Praise God we are cured. Praise the Lord." But wait....maybe we shouldn't be afraid to be like we are deep inside. Maybe it's OK to be ourselves without any short-sighted judgement from the outside. What we are deeply inside we cannot change. Michael and his partner made it crystal clear. "Why should we try being something that we are not?" I agree that life is too short for that.

What this world needs is more tolerance for people with differences. It is that simple. Let's not cloak it in all of this God stuff. Exodus are you listening?
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