The video: Forget turning the other cheek. A new Kickstarter-funded documentary called Fight Church takes a look at evangelical Christian pastors who encourage their flocks to spread their faith... through extreme violence. (Watch the trailer below.) The movie, which is still in production, follows young Christian preachers and fighters as they explain how they use brutal Mixed Martial Arts bouts to glorify God. "Jesus was a fighter," one pastor says in the trailer. "That is the type of Jesus that I would want to serve." A younger competitor, preparing to enter the ring, says simply that he's just out to "rip this kid's head off." The documentary's Facebook page explains that the film is about the struggle to reconcile faith with a sport widely criticized as barbaric. Or as one fighter puts it: "Can you love your neighbor as yourself and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?"
The reaction: This documentary looks like it will be hilarious, says Rich Juzwiak at Gawker. Who wouldn't pay for the novelty of watching a sect of out-there Christians who "like to pummel each other in the name of Jesus"? Well, I'm all for linking faith and athletics, says Michael O'Laughlin at America. But "trying to beat the hell" out of your brethren might be taking things a bit too far, don't you think? Judge for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The case for voting (even if America is a corrupt plutocracy rigged by the rich)
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week