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FDL Movie Night: The Jesus Guy

Sean Tracey’s documentary The Jesus Guy takes a look at a bearded peripatetic preacher who dresses in a white robes and engages people on street corners, in auditoriums and schoolrooms. Tracy caught up with “What’s Your Name?” (real name Carl) after his appearances on 20/20 and Good Morning America and follows him during his three year mission ministering in New Jersey.

What emerges is a portrait of a complex man. What’s Your Name? appears sweet and genuine, well versed in Scripture, and struggling with issues of pride, ego and fame, refusing money and at times food. He visits a Charismatic Catholic convention, expressing reservations about speaking and praying in tongues; local police challenge his right to speak on a public street; his visit to a parochial school doesn’t go too well as students ask pointed questions and the diocese feels that maybe an unaffiliated preacher shouldn’t be allowed to come in and talk to the students. He busily negotiates contracts on a cell phone, complains about lack of attendance at a gathering, meets up with his biological father, and leaves supporters in the lurch. But we also see him sooth the souls of ill and troubled, bringing peace and hope, and allowing people a chance to talk about faith.

As one of his patrons, Connie, points out, it’s not him doing good, but the spirit of God working through him. What’s Your Name? is sincere about his beliefs and he brings out belief and caring in others. He isn’t a conman, crazy or a charlatan, but rather a guy who has a mission and vision. While some of us may not agree with is belief system, there is something appealing about What’s Your Name? and his dedication to carrying through with an idea and his ideals.

Watch The Jesus Guy – HULU

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.