First things first: Lord, Save Us from Your Followers is a documentary that defends Christians, and it's made by Christians. "We're not all unwavering zealot dicks!" it shouts. But the rest of us godless heathens already knew that, right? And we certainly don't need Dan Merchant, a self-described evangelical and Portlander, making the case. That'd be like me making a film called I Am the World's Greatest Lover. You're not going to take my word for it. Even if it is true.
But Merchant does it anyway. Covering himself in religious bumper stickers, this Christian Morgan Spurlock travels across the country staging events and interviewing a few talking heads, most notably Al Franken, Rick Santorum, and Lars Larson. Christianity's identity problem, Merchant surmises, is multifaceted—the result of the media, fringe extremists, bad policy, and more. In an effort to make Lord, Save Us cool, loads of pop culture references are tossed in, but often, the sound bites only gloss over the problems Merchant addresses.
Merchant's heart is in the right place—a scene where he sets up a confessional at Pride Week and apologizes for his own bigotry is touching. But his film has an identity crisis of its own: Lord, Save Us tries to be a hip, honest documentary, and a tool to teach Catholics how to combat stereotypes. It can't have it both ways.