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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 something.

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
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JESUS CAMP
2006
Directors: Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
Featuring: Becky Fischer & helpless children

Image 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.

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 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."


A 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.

This 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.

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 Islam!"


Becky Fischer
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.

I 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 base.

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