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Jesus, Don't Let Me Die Before I've Had Sex is a documentary examining the idealism and silence embedded in the sexual teachings of evangelical churches. Through the stories of gay, straight, celibate & sexually active churchgoers we explore the hopes, fears, and prayers of real people as they learn to reconcile their faith and sexualities.

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Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex will be a feature-length documentary examining the teachings of the evangelical church on sex and exploring the undercurrent of idealism that leaves many lay members feeling frustrated and confused. The movie will paint a picture of what is taught explicitly and implicitly by showing how churchgoers react to those teachings⎯through anecdotes of first kisses, chastity rallies and secret obsessions. Along side these stories will be interviews of pastors reflecting on their own teachings, as well historians and sociologists diagramming the evolution of sexual teaching in the Church. Intercut throughout will be poignant stop-motion animation by the artist Brent Johnson of Yo Gabba Gabba, bringing to life the pain, joy, triumph and sorrow of our interviewees.

For millennia, the church has grappled with the role of sex in the life of its adherents: from King David’s multiple wives to St. Paul’s call for celibacy, the Christian faith has struggled to find a balance between the natural urges of the libido and the orthodox view that sex is sacred and designed only for marriage. Place this in the context of a western culture espousing romantic ideals (most of our love stories end with a “happily ever after” moment) and you get a pressure cooker of repression and lust.

Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex aspires to start a new dialogue about sex within the Christian faith and isolate the philosophical underpinning which creates much of the cognitive dissonance experienced by church laity. Most documentaries on this topic are narrow in scope, usually limited to discussions on homosexuality or pedophilia in the priesthood. By examining the topic more broadly, the film will be able to present a more comprehensive picture of sexuality in the Christian church and hopefully illuminate many of the cultural struggles we face in America today.

We are currently in production. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact us at film@mattbarber.com

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