by Max Brantley
Religious extremism is serious business and a good Sunday topic on the closing day of the Little Rock Film Festival.
I've mentioned before "Silhouette City," a documentary by, among others, Little Rock Central and Hendrix grad Michael Wilson, which reviews religious extremism back to the infamous Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord Christian militia routed out of the Ozarks by a massive federal raid in 1985. The Oklahoma City bombing had its roots in the CSA and a former leader of the group who served federal prison time, Kerry Noble, will be on the panel that follows the movie today.
Film is at 5 p.m. at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. The panel discussion is at 6:30.
BONUS: Here's an essay written by filmmaker Wilson about his research following the likes of such currently relevant -- and threatening -- apocalyptic preachers as John Hagee and Rod Parsley.
I have followed these two men – their writings, their broadcasts and their public appearances – and I have seen the radical effect of their carefullyconstructed, yet utterly fantastical arguments in the sudden show of understanding in theeyes of their followers. I have seen the emotional effect of their showmanship – an intensity unmatched by any other ministry I witnessed. ... The rhetorical excesses of John Hagee have been widely cited, but his nearly singular focus on the imminence of apocalyptic events has been largely absent from serious discussion. Hagee has been actively lobbying for a war with Iran – a conflict that he believes will trigger the biblical battle of Armageddon.
As you know, John McCain has welcomed Hagee's support.