'Silhouette City' Captures Essence of Christian Right as Supremacist Political Movement
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat May 17, 2008 at 11:58:09 AM EST
It is the mark of a truly outstanding documentary that it can survive the test of a fast-changing political and religious landscape and remain relevant and even transcendent. There have been many superb documentaries in the last few years about religion and politics, but my own personal opinion is that Michael W. Wilson's Silhouette City stands above the pack, and for one overriding reason - Wilson's deep understanding of the dynamic in which the militant, militia-movement grounded Christian right of the 1980's has morphed into a political movement that has penetrated the highest reaches of American governmental and military structures. [note: for larger resolution views of the two Silhouette City trailer and excerpt below, see full documentary review]

Because of that, the disappearance of several major evangelical leaders who featured in the film, Ted Haggard and D. James Kennedy most notably, does not noticeably diminish Wilson's documentary because others also featured in the film, such as John Hagee and Rod Parsley, have come to the fore as rising new stars jockeying for the prominence Kennedy and Haggard enjoyed. Silhouette City traces the evolution of the apocalyptic and Reconstructionist strands of the militant American Christian nationalist, or supremacist, movement from its militia movement roots in the 1980's up through its penetration of America's highest political and military structures, and that aspect should concern all who have any awareness at all of the Christian right political movement aimed at imposing Christian theocratic government on the United States and on the world :

Christian nationalists do not need the support of a majority of Americans or even a substantial minority : the very origins of the movement were profoundly anti-democratic and remain so. Power is the overriding objective.

For the nature of what I study and write on, the Christian right of course, my wife is constantly bombarded with minutia on the subject. But for all that, she told me that she did not really understand what I was talking about, the larger picture, until she saw Michael Wilson's documentary Silhouette City and, because of that, I have to give it the highest recommendation.

As Michael W. Wilson writes in Advancing The Kingdom :

"I began making "Silhouette City" because, in late 2001, I began to hear echoes of the Christian extremism from my childhood in Arkansas. In order to quiet the ringing in my ears, I immersed myself in the contemporary Christian right - the media, music, ministries, books, personalities and organizational apparatuses.... As the economy continues to slide, the energy crisis becomes palpable and the occupation of Iraq appears indefinite, the potential grows for a major disruption of daily life. A significant percentage of the population sees these looming crises through a specific lens: a belief that humanity is waging the opening skirmishes of a cosmic war between Good and Evil that will usher in the Kingdom of God. Such belief enables an ever-escalating sense of urgency - very real threats to the middle and lower classes (outsourcing, rising fuel and food costs, etc) combine with perceived threats (secularism, homosexuality, ethnic/religious others) to become overwhelming evidence of the tribulations that signal apocalypse."

Good and Evil that will usher in the Kingdom of God. Such belief enables an ever-escalating sense of urgency.smarsh

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