Constantine’s Sword: Oren Jacoby’s Probe into Christianity Dark Side

The latest film by Oscar-nominated documentarian Oren Jacoby, Constantine’s Sword, is an astonishing exploration of the dark side of Christianity, following acclaimed author and former priest James Carroll on a journey of remembrance and reckoning.

Carroll, a National Book Award winner and columnist for the Boston Globe, is a practicing Catholic whose search for the truth leads him to confront persecution and violence in the name of God–today and in the Church’s past. He discovers a terrible legacy that reverberates across the centuries–from the Emperor Constantine’s vision of the cross as a sword and symbol of power, to the rise of genocidal anti-Semitism, to modern-day wars and conflicts sparked by religious extremism.

On one level, “Constantine’s Sword” is a detective story, as Carroll journeys both into his own past, where he comes to terms with his father’s role as a three-star General in the U.S. Air Force preparing for nuclear war, and into the wider world, where he uncovers evidence of church-sanctioned violence against Jews, Muslims, and others. Visiting the Air Force Academy, he and Jacoby expose how some evangelical Christians are proselytizing inside the country’s armed forces and reveal the dangerous consequences of religious influence on American foreign policy.

Warning of what happens when military power and religious fervor are joined, “Constantine’s Sword” asks the timely question: Is the fanaticism that threatens the world today fueled by our own deeply held beliefs

I caught this intriguing film, which has been praised by our best documentarians (Maysles, Errol Morris) and is distributed by First Run Features, in an Upper West Side New York theater.
“Constantine’s Sword” opens in L.A. shortly, but considering the competition for screens during thebrutal summer season, chances are that more people will see it on their samll screens, when it’s released on DVD.