Film and TV

Beating for Christ: Daniel Junge's Fight Church Plays Friday Night

Jesus talked a lot about loving the underdog, the meek, the oppressed and the poor. He argued God is love and told his disciple to turn the other cheek. Jesus's life ended in violence and bloodshed from which he could have liberated himself, but he chose not to fight -- and so that life ended as he hung on the cross.

See also: Daniel Junge on His Oscar Nomination, Saving Face and the Colorado Film Industry

From the crucifixtion, a new religion was given life.

So blood sport seems like an unlikely way to honor the Prince of Peace. But that doesn't stop Christians from entering mixed-martial arts rings and beating each other into pulp as a way to minister to "tough guys."

Friday night, Chautauqua Community House will host a screening of Academy Award-winning Denver filmmaker Daniel Junge's Fight Church. The documentary chronicles several pastors whose devotion to mixed martial arts is only trumped by their faith. These brave (or foolhardy) devotees of Christ spar, risk life and limb and worry their families, all for the love of the sport.

Featuring interviews with preachers who fight and one priest who advocates against the sport, the film presents a balanced look at questions of masculinity, Christianity, self-defense and violence.

Junge will present the film at 7:30 p.m., at the Chautauqua Community House. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased here.

Find me at Twitter: @kyle_a_harris


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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris