About the Film
"Lord, Save Us from Your Followers" is a funny but heartfelt look at why faith is dividing America. Clad in a bumper-sticker suit, interviewing people on all sides of the divide, from people on the street to well-known activists in today's culture wars, director Dan Merchant seeks to open a genuine and respectful dialogue on faith.
If you were to meet 10 average Americans on the street, 9 of them would say they believe in God. So why is the gospel of love dividing America?
Dan Merchant put on his bumper-sticker-clad jumpsuit and decided to find the reason. After talking with scores of people all across the nation, and also interviewing many well-known activists in today's culture wars, Merchant realized that the public discussion of faith doesn't have to be contentious.
With humor more common in a comedy-sketch program than a documentary, Merchant brings the sensibilities of someone who is deeply concerned with how his faith is being represented by others. He sits down for interviews with well-known people on all sides of this great divide, including best-selling author William Paul Young ("The Shack"), comedian/politician Al Franken, former "religious right" senator Rick Santorum, noted "liberal evangelical" Tony Campolo, conservative radio host Michael Reagan, and racial reconciliation activist Dr. John Perkins.
Engaging, unpredictable, and challenging, "Lord, Save Us from Your Followers" hopes to change the way you talk about faith.
About the Filmmaker
Dan Merchant was the kid who once showed up to summer camp with typed scripts for talent night and cast his cabin mates in the comedy sketches. Not much has changed since 1976. Merchant has been writing, producing, directing, and talking people into his ideas ever since. He makes his debut as a feature documentary director with "Lord, Save Us from Your Followers" – the product of a three-year journey behind the front lines of America's so-called culture wars.
Merchant began his career at Portland's KOIN-TV, where he won an IRIS award for "We're Makin' Movies" and three Northwest Emmys for writing/producing "The Dr. Wilderness Show" and the original "Bill Nye the Science Guy" pilot. Merchant also contributed scripts to the classic Seattle sketch comedy show "Almost Live!" and was the executive producer and writer on VH1's "Strange Frequency," hosted by The Who's Roger Daltrey.
Merchant is currently at work on a new documentary, "Homeless, Inc," an examination of homelessness and the urban myth of a clandestine industry building up around it. He is also developing "The Armor," a supernatural action-adventure tale inspired by the Biblical battle between the "seen and the unseen worlds," and recently optioned the screenplay "You Make Me Sick" (co-written with James Melkonian), a raucous teen comedy about a high schooler who fakes a terminal illness to improve his social standing.
As an author, Merchant has published "Lord, Save Us From Your Followers: Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America," a companion book to his documentary, as well as the novel "The Great American
Stay At Home Wives Conspiracy."
Merchant and his wife and two teenage boys live in the rainy woods near Portland, Oregon.