that can't be missed.
I want to clarify a misunderstanding that's come to my attention. Jesus
Camp is not another Passion of the Christ. It is not a movie with
strong Christian support trying to spread God's "Good News" on the
silver screen. It's been a little surprising to me how many people out
there seem to be missing the message of this movie. I've seen blogs out
there saying "FUCK JESUS CAMP!" and've received emails from
people who can't wait for me to "trash this disgusting film,"
hoping everyone involved in the Jesus Camp project goes bankrupt or
I have to admit that I may have sent the wrong message by going to this
movie dressed up as Satan. I even had the producer of the movie
approach me and ask me what I was up to. However after she saw that I
was promoting it she gave me a smile and a wave. Jesus Camp is a movie
exposing the ugly Christian tactics used on children who are far to
young to make any rational decisions for themselves. In my opinion,
Jesus Camp is an atheist's Fahrenheit 911. It takes
the camera inside the breeding ground of bad ideas and bad intentions
and exposes them in all their ugliness.
Directors: Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
Featuring: Becky Fischer & helpless children
Bravely, you step forward in your
Snoopy-sneakers to the front of the stage. Reaching deep inside
yourself, deeper than few other 6 year olds before you have ever
reached, you find your true feelings, and in spite of your fear of
judgment, exile, lovelessness, worthlessness, and eternal damnation you
fall to your knees and confess: "This is really hard for me to do,
but it's so hard for me to believe in God, because you can't feel him,
or see him, or hear him..."
this. You're the 6 year old boy to the right>> and excited as
hell about how much fun you'll be havin' next week at summer camp! In
fact, an announcement during church service sends young and old alike
into a screaming frenzy of anticipation!
Flash forward, and you're there in a cabin in the woods, on stage, in
front of all your friends having just been instructed by the camp
leaders to confess your sins and profess your Christianity.
This is you begging for answers, for reasons, for a sign from above.
"I don't know what to do. I try to believe, but
it's so so hard! I don't know what to think. I don't know what to do."
camera pans the audience, and they are speechless. The children look up
at the adults to see how they should react. And the adults peek at each
other, also to see how adults should react.
Welcome to Jesus Camp, mother fucker.
was one of the many compelling scenes for me. It's a compelling movie
all around. Each time they showed a child trying to make sense of it
all I couldn't help but totally relate. You see, Jesus Camp is only a
martyr's pledge shy of the camps I was sent to as a kid.
What is it that happens in an
adult's head that allows them to stand quietly in the back of the room
while a six year old begs for answers? What is an adult who
stands for this? Are they simply other children stuck on this boat
along with everyone else, helpless to the course it takes? Do they see
themselves as full grown men and women without answers or explanations
for their children? Or is it as obvious to them as it is to us looking
in, but they are just not bold enough to remove their child from such
mindlessness and introduce them to a reasonable world?
Whatever it is to be this sort of
adult, this movie is full of 'em. One after another doing more than
simply standing for misinformation they believe is truth. They are also
failing to protect their children from the obvious confusion.
One aspect of this movie that I'm
getting more and more irritated by when this topic comes up is the
"mediating moderate Christian." You see, the Jesus Camp footage is broken
up by this DJ giving his opinions on the radio, and he was not at all
fond of their extremism. He was appreciated because he was the opposing
viewpoint the movie needed. He was Christian, which I'm sure the
producers felt gave him some sort of odd credibility on the topic. But
what I'm tired of is the continuing tolerance moderate religious types
are given. I'm sure it won't shock anyone out there who knows me that I
would've appreciated a 3rd viewpoint from a Strong Atheist pointing out
why they're all crazy! You might have to pardon me a bit
because I am presently engrossed in Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" for a second
time in the same month. And as Mr. Harris puts it: "Nothing stands in the way of public discourse that encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty more than the respect we accord religious faith."
This movie is my crazy hate
mailers up on the big screen. It's proof that people actually do
believe it all to this extreme. And I'm not sure if you know this, but
there are a lot of people who think that these people don't really
exist. That these sorts of believers are few and far between. They are
not. That mother who says "There are two kinds of people. Those
who love Jesus, and those who don't." That lady is the majority of
middle America. They followed that mother as she home-schooled her
child about Creationism, and she believes what all the ladies that were
around when I was a kid growing up in Colorado believe.
She says this on film! Outloud!
All in one paragraph like that! And you wanna know what the really good
news is? Christians are trying to separate themselves from this movie
as fast as they can. And the most telling part of it all is that
they're running from it even though they're teaching the exact same
things to their children back at home.
They actually have this Becky
Fischer lady on film saying "Palestine is putting all of their
focus on the kids! I can take you to some websites that would shake you
to your foundation, teaching them how to use bombbelts, rifles and
machine guns! I want to see young people who are as committed to the
cause of Jesus Christ as those young people are about the cause of
loved this movie, and I'll probably end up buying it on DVD. I even got
teary eyed several times. I was surprised how moved I was watching
these babies getting their minds manipulated so severely. Witnessing
that force-feeding of misinformation by such grotesquely uniformed
adults is like witnessing a snuff film. And in my opinion, it is a
snuff film of sorts, because there's no doubt that viewers of this
movie are bearing witness to the destruction of reason at it's very
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