It didn't come to Waco (not surprisingly,) and I've been extremely busy since it's release on DVD a few weeks ago but tonight I finally got to see "Saved!" and everything everyone told me about how amazing it is was true.
More than just an indictment of the American Evangelical Sub-Culture, Saved! is a mirror into how hard and complex it is to be not only a teenager but to be a human living in a very messed up world with very messed up emotions seeking out a God and people who will love you regardless. The people who made the movie did an amazing job of making me care for, and wish the best for, every character, including the Christian bitch Hillary Faye.
I know the movie is hyperbole-- but it's not extremely hyperbolic. With just about every character I could think of about a half dozen names of people I know who fit the bill and with every ridiculous Christian slogan I can remember my self mouthing something similar.
The movie convinced me of two things. The first is that every church should require their youth ministers to spend at least five hours every week with unwed pregnant teenagers and the fathers, homosexuals, someone of a different faith or none at all, and an outcast from the youth group in a non-agenda laden meeting where the minister does nothing except hang out with and do his/her best to keep their trap shut and listen. (Of course I'm exaggerating, but you get the point.)
The second thig I'm convinced of is that the further Christianity moves away from loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself... hell, I don't know what I'm writing. I'm just as guilty of not loving God and my neighbor as much as these caricatures of Christian freaks.
Now I'll be cynical.
Why is it that the more suburban, the more slick and pre-fab, the more wealthy, the more corporate and business-like and wrapped up in popular management principles churches become the more hateful and fake and freakish they become? I'm just talking.
Reading several websites devoted to Saved! confirmed my suspicions that the response from a majority of evangelicals who fit the caricatures in the movie was basically "Oh, I know people like that and we are not like that. We keep it real." The funniest thing about some of these sites are that they could have just as easily been written by the students of Eagle Mountain High School.
Wow, I've done enough finger pointing for today and I'm tired. I wanted to have a cool inspirational post about this but it's faded into something else so I feel the best thing to do is to stop and hope that I've sparked some good comments that'll breed good discussion. Please, if you've seen the movie or if you haven't, comment.
Here I go.